Monday, January 27, 2020

The mistake I made that held me back for years

One of the BIGGEST mistakes I made in terms of weight loss was focusing solely on calories in and calories out.

In this day and age, it sounds silly, right? Like, how could our bodies be so simplistic?

It’s funny looking back at what I used to eat… Light ‘N Fit yogurt, Fiber One Bars, 100-calorie snack packs. I thought I was being “healthy” because I was eating low-calorie foods, but my body was seriously lacking quality nutrition, and, honestly, I was just filing it with artificial junk.

I know I’m not the only one who’s been “tricked” by diet culture into thinking that in order to lose weight and feel good, we must eat low-calorie. And it doesn’t end there! Diet culture also tells us to:

  • Limit carbs
  • Avoid sugar
  • Intermittent fast
  • Drink green juice
  • Load up on protein
  • Give up grains and gluten
  • Go Keto
  • Become vegan
  • Carb cycle

Basically, diet culture tells us to do what worked for somebody else, but here’s why this doesn’t work: It forces us to follow someone else’s plan without checking in with what works for our bodies and lifestyle.

We think we’re supposed to follow in someone else’s footsteps to get results, but that’s just not the case. What works for one person, might be detrimental for another.

I mean, totally cutting sugar from my diet might actually kill me! Kidding. Kind of. I would be very unhappy. Plus, eliminating treats from my diet is definitely NOT sustainable for me.

The 6-week Macro Motivation Challenge will teach you how to stop dieting and create a nutrition plan that works for YOU. Dialing into what works (and doesn’t work) will help you get results because you’ll find consistency and flexibility with your eating habits.

Long story short, if you can’t see yourself eating a certain way forever, it’s really difficult to maintain lasting results. Period.

Learning to tracking macros is something you can use forever. You don’t have to track every single day for the rest of your life, but it’s a tool that you can rely on now and in the future.

The 6-week Macro Motivation Challenge includes: 

  • Personalized macro + calorie goals for workout and rest days
  • 2-week sample meal plan
  • Weekly group accountability and education
  • Ongoing support and communication via private Facebook group
  • “Getting Started with Macros” guide

What’s not included: 

  • 1:1 coaching
  • Formal check-ins
  • Macro adjustments, but I’m more than happy to help you troubleshoot in our Facebook group!

Pre-sale registration ends TODAY, so be sure to sign up ASAP if you want to lock in the lowest rate.

If you’re ready to sign up, you can do so here. We start NEXT Monday!!

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Dear Mark: OMAD for Women, Low-Carb Glucose Testing, and Carb Limit When Fasting

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions taken from last week’s post on the power of pairing low-carb with fasting. First, do I have any advice for a woman who’s struggling to see results eating one meal a day? Second, how does low-carb interact with the different types of glucose tests you can take? And third, what are my thoughts on carb limits when fasting? Is lower always better? Is there a carb threshold after which fasting stops working so well?

Let’s go:

I have been dappling in low carb for nearly year and in the last 2-3 months I have been playing around with OMAD. My question is, I eat ’till I’m full ,which is about 12-18 grams of carbs, never over 100g protein and around 100g fat, sitting at 1000-1400 calories—but I’m not losing weight. Over 3 months I’ve lost about 6kg and I have about 30kg to lose. Do I keep going? I’m enjoying it but I get frustrated about the lack of weight loss (I’ve lost a dress size).

The majority of women don’t do well on one meal a day. Consider the average office worker struggling to lose weight. They do coffee for breakfast and maybe have a salad with no meat (and few calories) for lunch, struggle mightily not to eat five stale donuts at 3p.m. in the break room, only to cave at night and eat a sack of potato chips and take out while streaming some show.

My point is not that these people would do better if only they ate a solid meal for dinner rather than chips and snacks and Netflix. Nor is it that this problem only afflicts women and never men. Plenty of men do it, too, and have bad results. But it shows more quickly in women, who by nature of their reproductive physiology are simply more vulnerable to nutritional insults than men—on average. I explain the reasons this happens in this post on fasting for women. Long story short, because reproduction is far more costly and demanding on a woman’s body than a man’s (conception, pregnancy, nursing); woman are more finely attuned to caloric restriction and fasting. My point is that fasting for most of the day, every day, doesn’t work well for most women—it becomes a constant stressor, driving unhealthy cravings to which you eventually succumb.

It sounds like OMAD might not be working for you. Just one dress size (which is a better barometer than weight) in 3 months? Yeah, it might be time to try something else.

Was low carb with more frequent meals working?

I’ve seen a lot of men burn out on OMAD, too. Throw in some sleep disturbances, a heavy training schedule, work-related stress, cooking for the family, bills, and whatever other stressors modern life throws our way, and OMAD can be counterproductive.

For one thing, your calorie intake is way too low. One thousand calories is way too low; 1400 calories is really pushing it. Perpetually starving yourself for 22 hours a day and then trying to cram a big meal in that doesn’t even provide enough calories or nutrients just doesn’t work for most people. I can imagine your leptin is low, your caloric expenditure dampened, your thyroid function inhibited.

Here’s what you might try.

Do OMAD with 1000-1400 calories once a week. Twice max. Eat normal—two to three meals—the rest of the days. This way you pulse your fasting and OMAD’ing. You eat normal amounts of calories for five days a week and then drop them down low twice a week, giving your body a message of relative abundance punctuated with short bouts of scarcity.

I think that’ll work better for you. Write back with your results.

If you are low carb and need to do a glucose blood test and an A1C test: What is the best fasting times then? Just the night before or for 24 hours?

If you fast longer, shouldn’t the glucose reading be lower?

It really depends on what kind of test you take.

If you’re doing a fasting blood glucose test, fasting will probably lower it.

If you’re doing a postprandial blood glucose test, fasting will probably raise it. You’re asking your body to suddenly go from burning fat to processing 75 grams of pure glucose. The fat-based metabolism triggers transient insulin resistance, which inhibits your ability to process the glucose efficiently. Your postprandial reading will thus be higher than is “real.”

If you’re doing an HbA1c test, fasting won’t affect it. HbA1c is the “average” blood sugar over three months or so; a single meal will have no impact.

I totally agree with the science of this relationship. Mark, at what intake level of carbs are you considering this relationship no longer synergistic? Anything over 100 grams or should the carb intake be kept lower to have the greatest fat-burning / weight-loss effect?

The bulk of the synergy lies in the ease with which you can maintain the fast. Low-carb/fat-based metabolisms simply make it easier to slip into and remain in the fat-based metabolism of the fasting state. If you can easily fast, easily slip back into ketosis and maintain the fast while eating an otherwise moderate or high-carb diet, have at it. That isn’t as common as the opposite, drawing on my experience talking to hundreds of people about this.

However, some people get the best weight-loss effect by combining intermittent fasting, heavy weight training, and periodic/timed carb feeds. The trick is to time your carbs around your workouts, and eat no more than you’ve actually expended through glycogen depletion. That means you’re still in a fat-based metabolism because the carbs you do eat are going toward glycogen repletion rather than being burned for energy, so they never actually inhibit the burning of body fat.

If you’re doing CrossFit WODs that hit every muscle and leave you panting on the ground (or the equivalent), you could probably get away with 100-200 grams right after without any issues. It really depends, of course. More muscle, larger glycogen sinks. Some people just slip right back into ketosis more easily. Others have a life history that may inhibit this. But that 100-ish carbs after a “hard” training session that you feel should be a good target for most people.

You should keep fat low and protein high in these carb-heavy meals. What you want is to refill that glycogen and hit the protein hard.

That’s it for today, folks. Take care. Be sure to ask any followups or additional questions down below. Thanks for reading!

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The post Dear Mark: OMAD for Women, Low-Carb Glucose Testing, and Carb Limit When Fasting appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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How To Take A Baby To A Restaurant (And Have A Good Time)

While it’s a bit nerve wracking to take a baby to a restaurant, here are some lessons we have learned to make it as enjoyable as possible. We took Birch out to dinner with us this weekend to Junction in Belmont. And we had a fun, romantic time! (Note this post is dripping with sarcasm!)

baby and dad in belmont, charlottesville, out to dinner

A Dozen Tips For Taking A Baby To A Restaurant

Get ready at 2:00

Seriously!! Don’t wait until it’s go-time to start packing up your diaper bag. When baby is napping, get all of his foods, bib, toys, and high chair ready. Take it from us – we’ve had way too many times when I’m yelling “Did you pack the Cheerios?!” and he’s yelling “Yes but what about the bib?!” when we’re trying to get out the door before everyone else.

Go at 5:00

Really 4:45 would be even wiser. You have to be earlier than the early crowd. This is a good idea for many reasons:

  1. Baby won’t be hangry
  2. The restaurant will be mostly empty so baby won’t disrupt the 7:00 date nights
  3. You’ll be able to actually get a table and the kind that fits with a high chair (not bar stool height!)
  4. You’ll get home in time for baby’s bath and bedtime with plenty of extra time for you two to relax with a movie
Pick a restaurant that is loud enough that little squeals won’t bother

Our favorite places to take the kids are big brew-pubs that are loud enough that other patrons won’t hear them. Mid-level restaurants work too, but we avoid anything with a white tablecloth. Because those are usually whisper only and because baby will try to pull said tablecloth off!

Pack whole bags of favorite foods

Don’t just pack a tiny container of Cheerios. Pack the whole damn bag! Because if your baby is like ours, he’ll eat his 25 Cheerios in three minutes and start signing for more right away. It’s always better to have twice as much food if you need. We either share our entrees with Birch, giving him bites of soft foods, or order him a kids meal, but sometimes what we order isn’t baby friendly or he just doesn’t like it. We always pack a backup assortment of somewhat healthy baby foods to supplement his dinner. Pouches are great to keep in the diaper bag for this kind of situation.

BYO high chair

This is optional, but highly recommended! We have the Lobster that clips onto the table and it’s so nice for a handful of reasons. For a younger baby who can’t sit in a wooden highchair, it’s more supportive. Wooden high chairs also sometimes don’t reach the table, so it’s would be extra hard for Birch to reach his food. We like that it brings baby to table height and comes with its own carrying bag. And it fits in your diaper bag. It’s also great to have if you’re in a booth so you can put the baby between you or if your restaurant is so busy it’s out of high chairs! (It happens.) Or ya know, the straps don’t work and you’ll spend the whole meal trying to get baby to sit down. Bringing our own means we know we have what we need. We don’t use the little tray that it came with. We’ll either use a restaurant plate or one of these stick-on placemats (that are also great to keep baby entertained!) Depending on the restaurant, we also bring our ezpz mat in the washable carry bag they come with. Don’t forget to pack your bib and baby’s water cup if he’s too young for a kids’ straw.

Remove all throwing hazards from baby’s reach

This might seem like an obvious one, but I once saw a baby throw a glass of wine! Their little arms can reach much farther than you think, so do be sure to double the length you guess they can reach and remove all table decor.

Pack a few toys in a wet bag

Pack washable toys that can be cleaned with soap because your baby will toss them all on the floor one by one! The wet bag serves as a place to store dirty toys until you can get home and wash them. A ziplock also works! Like food, bring more than you think you need because you probably won’t want to hand your baby his chew toy back after it’s covered in floor hair and food grime.

Don’t take the baby hungry

You might be tempted to wait until you get there to give baby some snacks, but you might encounter a wait or a melt down in the car. It’s best to give him a small snack before you leave and then the other 75% of his dinner when you get there.

Look at menu in the car

Do not dilly dally with the menu! It’s best to order right away since your ticking time bomb might decide dinner is over at any minute. If you can, check out the menu in the car so you have an idea of what to order and can get dinner on the way ASAP, especially for the baby if you’re ordering them something from the kids menu.

Learn to eat super fast

Because taking a baby to a restaurant is one of the most unpredictable activities (even with a good plan!) you need to make sure you actually eat. See above notes on packing enough food and toys that they stay happy long enough for you to finish your meal.

Ask for check when entrees come

Since you’ll be ordering your meal shortly after sitting down, you might as well ask for the check when your entrees come. See ticking time bomb statement above. Just make sure you’ve thought about dessert first!

Order dessert to go

One way to carry the date night home is to bring a little dessert back in a to-go box. That flourless chocolate cake will taste a lot better if you can savor it bite by bite after baby is asleep!

Clean up the floor before you go

A quick swipe with your biggest napkin will get the majority of the big food off the floor that baby has rejected or tossed with delight. A small courtesy.

how to take a baby out to dinner

Leave a large tip

And the final key to taking a baby to a restaurant: leave a large tip. The wait staff at Junction was so nice and helpful when we asked for our food to come out “as fast as possible” and requested extra napkins for clean up. We are always thankful for great service, so a large tip is a must.

The beet arugula salad and vegetable chimichanga I enjoyed! We brought chocolate cake home for dessert.
junction charlottesville salad with beets and goat cheese dinner at Junction Charlottesville

What are your best tips for taking a baby to a restaurant! Sarcastic and serious both welcome : )

The post How To Take A Baby To A Restaurant (And Have A Good Time) appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.



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You know “what to do” but are you ACTUALLY doing it?

When clients come to me, they often tell me that they’ve tried so many different diets, but none of them have “stuck” for more than a few weeks because they lose motivation. Often times, they know “what to do” when it comes to their diet, but they always end up falling into old habits.

I totally get this, and I too have fallen “off the wagon” and vowed to get “back on track” one million times in the past – only to end up right back where I started.

I remember trying the Atkins diet when I was desperate to lose weight. I remember eating entire blocks of cheese and deli meat for 2 weeks straight, thinking it was some magic way to weight loss. I ended up feeling terrible, giving up, and gaining back all of the (water) weight I had lost.

A lot of people think they just need to find more nutrition information by scouring the internet for the perfect diet. They keep program jumping and try the latest diet (i.e. Keto, carb cycling, intermittent fasting) until they find the solution.

But that doesn’t actually work. Diets just make us crazier and more frustrated. Most of us continue to do this over and over again, but here’s why it doesn’t work: They force us to follow someone else’s plan without checking in with our own bodies. We think we’re supposed to adhere to the diet perfectly to see results, and that’s just not the case.

The first month of the new year is quickly coming to an end. Sure, you can hop on the bandwagon for the next new diet or follow tips from health gurus, but, at the end of the day, you need to be able to trust yourself around food and practice moderation.

Macros teach you how to truly incorporate moderation, mindfulness and self-trust into your diet. And, trust me, the last thing you need to do is follow a trendy diet protocol, because… you’ve got this. With macros in your back pocket, you can have it all (just not all at once).

So, why should you track macros?

  • It helps you figure out how much food is appropriate for your activity level
  • It helps you find “food freedom” so you can stop feeling guilty about your choices
  • It provides you with a framework for your diet instead of feeling like you have no control
  • It helps you ditch the idea that restrictive diets are the only way for you to lose weight
  • It sets a plan in motion since you have achievable goals to aim for each day
  • It keeps you accountable and moving forward with a daily reminder of your goals
  • It helps you balance nutritious foods that are important for a healthy body with the delicious ones that are important for a healthy soul

The 6-week Macro Motivation Challenge will help you find REAL balance within your diet. Trust me, you can have the carrots and the cake, too!

Pre-sale registration is only open through Tuesday (1/28) and space is limited. If you’re interested in learning more about the challenge, click here for details.

Just a reminder: The pricing will increase next week. If you want to lock in the lowest rates and you’re ready to make a change in 2020, you can sign up here. The challenge officially starts on Monday, February 3rd.

If you have any questions, just let me know. I’m more than happy to chat!

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