Category Archives: Tools For Weight Loss

Three Diet Fixes You Can Use Right Now

Three Diet Fixes You Can Use Right Now

1.  Find out exactly how much you are eating with www.fatsecret.com

Fat secret is a totally free, easy to use, and accurate food and calorie tracker that gives you the information you need in order to be confident that you are following your food plan correctly.  For example, if you are starting a Ketogenic diet, you need to make sure that you are eating 20 grams or less of carbohydrates a day in order to get into nutritional ketosis for the first time.

If you are training to build muscle, you may be following the advice to get one gram of protein per pound of your lean body weight.  It’s pretty hard to get the results you want if you’re guessing, so it’s always best to have an accurate tracking program.

2.  Simplify Your Menus

You don’t need to prepare elaborate meals in order to create satisfying meals that you actually want to eat.  As a matter of fact, studies show that a little less variety helps to reduce appetite.  That way you eat less automatically.  This is a strategy I have literally been using for years, and it never fails.

Here’s how:  I pick 3 proteins, 3 carbs, and 3 fats as the basis of my meals for the day.  I have even used the same foods for 3 days in a row if I absolutely have to shed fat fast.  Here is an example of a daily meal plan using this tip:

Proteins:  Eggs, Shrimp, Chicken.  Carbohydrates: Avocado, Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes.  Fats: Cream, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, 1/4 avocado, shrimp.

Lunch: Chicken breast, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, 1/4 avocado

Dinner: Shrimp, romaine lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg.

Olive oil and vinegar dressing, and 1T home made mayo (made with avocado oil, 1 egg yolk, lemon juice, and cider vinegar) are included to make these meals enjoyable without over stimulating my appetite.

3. Slow Down and Chew Every Bite.

Recently, I was shocked to learn that eating too fats was a common cause of stomach bloating.  Imagine, instead of doing all those crunches that really don’t help to get you a flatter belly, you could simply slow down and enjoy your food.

Try this experiment: see what happens when you try to chew each bite 30 times.  By practicing the 30 bite technique, a healthy sewing pace of 20 per bite will become natural and normal.

My readers, clients, and I can assure you that quick fixes like these have helped us lose up to 5 pounds in three days.

If you want to simplify your workout, I highly recommend The Venus Factor plan that you can find at this link: ===>Click Here<===

I used this program to get fantastic results before I became a personal trainer.  The entire program can be done with Dumb Bells, which is a big plus if you train at home, or in a busy gym where the bar bells and the squat rack are often taken!

I hope this report was helpful, and I want you to e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com if you need tips, strategy, or coaching to help you reach your goals.

P.S.: E-mail me if you want to join the free Facebook Accountability Challenge that starts September 6th.

Free Weight Loss Accountability Challenge

It’s been eight weeks since the floor literally blew up at Gordon Studio.

The doors are closed, much of the equipment sold, and everything I kept is put away in its place.

It has been wonderful to get back in the gym, and return to the training that changed my body and my life eight years ago.

So many times, I have pursued the latest thing in diet and exercise in order to get leaner faster.

Every time I have had to face the fact that I can’t get greedy and try to cut my calories too low, while making my training sessions too long.

In my case, that always leads to rebellious over eating, skipped workouts, and beating myself up for fooling  myself again.

Does any of that sound familiar to you?

I don’t stay down for long though.  My solution is to get back to what works:

No sugar, grains, or processed vegetable oils in my food plan, a limit of twenty grams of carbs per day until my appetite is obviously reduced, and three weight lifting sessions per week without fail.

I add bodyweight training, yoga, or dance class two times per week, and I make sure I do activities I enjoy on my two recovery days like gardening, walking with my husband and son, and training and romping with my dogs.

The one thing that guarantees that I will take all of these actions is accountability from a like minded group of individuals who are pursuing clear fitness goals.

If this style of health training sounds good to you, this is my invitation to join me starting September 6th for a four week accountability challenge in the closed Facebook group: Sugar Freedom/LBD Challenge.  The group is free to join.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/972825209446395/  and click the join button in the cover image.

If you would like meal plans, tailored training sessions, or coaching by phone or Skype, please e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com by August 29th.   Tailored plans are $50.00 for a limited time, and weekly coaching is $250.00 for the 4 week session.

Let’s get leaner, stronger, and happier together.

 

Adobe Spark

Losing weight and keeping it off: for years.

 

 

IMG_1636IMG_0186It’s been ten years since the pictures on the left were taken, and the one on the right was taken a week ago.  Women First magazine is doing a story on transformation contests, and the picture in the blue dress is a test shot for the official photo shoot.  The publicity is very gratifying, but I admit, these past few weeks since Gordon Studio closed have been a little dis-orienting.  For the past 4 years, I have had somewhere to go to deliver my message about training and nutrition.  As the combination of resistance and interval training for fitness, and Ketogenic eating for fat loss have gained acceptance, more health conscious people are searching for information, so I’m still busy on line, but I do miss seeing the faces and enjoying the company of the women I was training.

So I am working enthusiastically on the next phase of my “Live” training business.  I am putting together a program that combines mobility, intervals, balance, and flexibility with a techniques that specifically give my students the skills they need in order to lift safely on their own.

I got my results by lifting 3 times a week,  combining intervals and dance  2 days a week, and recovering on the remaining two with yoga, gardening, swimming, or even golf with my husband.  Of course the other major element of my fat loss was Sugar Freedom.  Now that I can re-design my work schedule, I am back to the same system, and I have left off my previous intermittent fasting, and I’m back to three meals a day, with no snacks.

It’s working beautifully, as I now have the wonderful experience of never going hungry.  Here is today’s menu:

Breakfast: 2 Eggs, 3 Strips of Uncured Bacon, 1/4 avocado, 1 cup Roasted Cauliflower, 2T Salsa.

Lunch: 2 Chicken Thighs,  Romaine Lettuce Salad with Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing, 1 Cup Roasted Cauliflower, 2T Salsa,

Dinner: 2 Lamb Chops,  Romaine Lettuce Salad with Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing, 1 Cup Sauteed Zucchini Curls, 2T Salsa, 1/4 Avocado.

Believe me, this leaves me full, satisfied, and I can hardly believe I’m losing fat each day on this much food.  Then again, when I track it at www.fatsecret.com, it only comes out to about 1400 calories: just right for my goals.

This brings me to a quiet offer I’m making.

For a very limited time, I will design 4 weeks of training, (at home or gym based) plus meal plans for a very special price.  Just e-mail me with the subject: Summer Fat Loss Plan.

catherine@sugarfreedom.com

 

 

Before. After. Still.

Do you know the definition of insanity?

Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

But wait. It gets crazier.

The next level of insanity is knowing what to do, and refusing to do it. I can’t blame people, or myself for that matter, for trying to just eat less and move more. Really, if that worked wouldn’t we all have our dream bodies?

You see, we have to move beyond “Eat Less and Move More” by cutting fat and increasing cardio, to figuring out how to eat and move so that we satisfy and reduce appetite spontaneously.

How do we do that? Simple. We reduce or even eliminate the appetite stimulating foods like sugar, grains, and starches form our eating plan, and we eliminate appetite stimulating exercise like moderate intensity, steady state cardio from our movement plan.

Back in 2008 I cut the sugar and the cardio, and I got my dream body.

Then I went insane and started doing hours and hours of cardio again.

I gained back 15 pounds. What was I thinking? Oh right: I was insane.

I had actually reached the third level of insanity: I knew what to do in order to achieve a physical transformation. I had actually done it, and helped over a dozen people do the same thing by that point.

Then I stopped. I call that the third level of insanity.

Then I got wise. I gave up the cardio, and I stopped trying to cheat on my food plan.

Thank Heaven, my figure came back.

The most foolish mistakes I have ever made happened when I ignored my instincts in order to be popular or please someone else. Perhaps that’s the best definition of insanity that I can come up with.

I can only hope that whatever plan you follow, Sugar Freedom and TT, or something else, that when you find what works for you, you will stick with it. Find your solution, and then trust yourself. it will save you a lot of time and heartache.

Before

Before

After

After

Still

Still

Why I Feel Lucky to be a Sugar Addict

What does it mean to be truly addicted to sugar?

A few evenings ago, I was shopping with my son, and he asked if he could get a Twinkie.  He said he had never had one before, and I said “Go ahead.”

In the car, he opened the package, and took a bite.

He was not impressed.  When we got home, he threw the second Twinkie from the package in the trash.  He is clearly not addicted to sugar and flour.

I distinctly remember Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs from my childhood.  I remember how I thought the chocolate on the Ding Dongs was weird- like plastic, and I remember that I was never satisfied with eating one or two.  Even though they didn’t taste nearly as good as my grandmother’s famous cake, once I had one, I wanted to eat the whole box of them.  I still do.

So how does that make me lucky?  Well, for me, processed snack foods are simply not an option.  The consequences: bloat, swollen lips and face, joint aches the next day, headache, are almost immediate, and they get worse as I approach age 50 this April.  I am so lucky that the “cheat” is not a good option.  I have to look elsewhere for the little spark of enjoyment that most people can get from the snacks that surround us these days.

The most important thing you can do stay off the sugar train is to have satisfying, trigger free foods on hand. Make sure that you have protein, vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and healthy fats available at all times.  When I got home from teaching my classes last night I was hungry, so I had 2 chicken thighs, and a cup of strawberries.

Weird?  Maybe, but that’s the whole point.  Sometimes you have to be a little weird to succeed at permanent fat loss.

So today, make extra vegetables, mix up some salmon salad, try a new salsa, or take a Granny Smith apple with you when you run errands.  Remember the Apple computer ad from years ago: “Think Different?”

It may be that your permanent success requires you to “Eat Different” too.

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Camera Ready Diet

Permanent fat loss happens when you discover that there is something, often many things, in life that gives you far more satisfaction than eating or drinking.

You are ready to change your eating habits, and release all the fat you wish, when you start to care more about creating, and less about consuming.  

You definitely need plenty of food to nourish and satisfy you so that you have the energy and motivation to get out into the world and make your dreams come true.

Too often, we get into a “Diet Emergency,” and try to loose five pounds in three days by eating nothing but cabbage soup, or just drinking that weird lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper thing, whatever it is.  This Three Day Camera Ready Diet is nothing like that.

If anything, you will be eating more food by volume than you usually do if you are currently living on breakfast cereal, sandwiches, and pasta.

The point of the Camera Ready Diet is to reduce inflammation, (especially facial puffiness) and give you energy and a healthy glow.

My former student, and now fellow Zumba instructor, Melanie and I will be shooting three episodes of “Simple Fitness” for our local cable channel this Sunday.  Can you imagine trying to do three thirty minute interval workouts in a row on a juice fast?  I certainly can’t.

So here is the eating strategy that will get you glowing, and ready to power through your office party, yearly family photo, or help you look smashing and dance all night on New Years Eve.

First, lets get the “Nos” out of the way:

No alcohol, sugar,  grains, or dairy.   It’s just for 3 days off of the alcohol and dairy, and trust me, it’s worth it.

You’re going to focus on foods that are nutrient dense, and high in fiber and water content.  Vegetables for breakfast?  You bet.  (IHOP may suggest that you eat breakfast for dinner, but if you want to look fantastic, I suggest you turn that suggestion around.)

Start your day with the juice of 1/2 lemon in warm water that I always recommend.  If you need to sweeten it, use a few drops of liquid stevia.

If you drink coffee, lighten it with unsweetened almond or coconut milk.

The veggies that are the star of the show for these three days are:  Spinach, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus, and parsley.  You don’t have to limit yourself to these, but other than the carrots, stick to vegetables that grow above the ground.  Some of these are stars for containing phytonutrients that enhance the color and texture of your skin, and some support proper fluid balance.

Note:  Remember the water paradox: the more you drink the less you retain, so drink up.

For breakfast yesterday morning I sautéed onion, celery, carrots, spinach, and parsley in 1T coconut oil, and seasoned it with organic iodized sea salt, ginger, and turmeric.  I added 2 poached eggs and I was in heaven.  Now you don’t have to have eggs.  This may sound odd, but I want you to get in some fish that’s high in omega 3s over these three days, so you could have salmon or tuna instead.

Here’s a way to prepare canned  salmon that I love:  To one drained 4 oz can of salmon with bones removed add 1T vegenaise soy free-mayo, 1t dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup chopped raw unsalted almonds or walnuts, plus 1 T chopped celery, and 1t onion if you like.  You can even form these into a patty and cook them in coconut oil, ghee, or kerrygold butter.  This works great at breakfast, or you can serve the salmon or tuna over romaine lettuce at lunch.

Speaking of lettuce, a big salad at lunch dressed with extra virgin olive oil and Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is a must!  Use whatever mix of oil to vinegar that you like best.

Other proteins for lunch besides salmon or tuna include poultry, grass fed beef, or pastured pork.  Portion size?  It should be about the size of your palm.  Please eat as much salad, and or cooked vegetables as you need to fell full and satisfied, not stuffed.

Dinner is going to be the same as lunch, with vegetables cooked in one of the fats listed above and salad filling most of the space on your plate, (or plates).  Then add serving of meat, poultry, or fish.

If you want a snack choose up to two servings of low sugar fruits like berries, or an organic granny smith apple.  Add an ounce of almonds or walnuts if you wish.  If you need a more substantial snack, add some sliced turkey, or have some left-over salmon or tuna salad.

Remember it is the simplicity of this 3 day strategy that makes it work.  The motto here is to trade “variety for satiety” so that you can look great for your picture or event.

You have a busy, active life so going hungry is not a good option.  Focus on “Beauty Foods” like colorful vegetables and omega 3 rich fish and you will be

Morning Veggies

Morning Veggies

satisfied, energized, and “Good to Glow.”

 

Find Your Fat Loss Goal

Last week I wrote about how you can begin to find your ideal weight with one simple measurement.

 That measurement is “Waist Circumference,” and if you’re a woman it should be below 31.5 inches for optimal health.  Guys: your goal is to get it below 37 inches.

 Yesterday, I found a fitness calculator that shocked me.

 It determines your fitness age with a formula that takes into account the time and intensity of your exercise habits, your resting heart rate, and, yes you guessed it, your waist circumference!

http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max 

Click the link above to take the test.

I was completely shocked when my result came back at under 20 years old, but the combination of Turbulence Training and The Sugar Freedom Diet has made my waist six inches smaller than when I started my fat loss journey in 2008, and they have made my resting heart rate surprisingly low.

I want the same results for you, and this is why:

A smaller waist means improved insulin sensitivity, and a slower resting heart rate indicates improved blood flow and less stress.  These two benefits are like two streams from the fountain of youth, and they give us the energy and well-being to go out and do what we love to do.

What would you do if you had boundless energy, and you felt like you looked fantastic?

Would you travel more?  Go dancing?  Open your own business?  Volunteer at your child’s school?

Remember last week’s blog where I wrote about “Media Weight?”  Well guess what, Media Weight has absolutely nothing to do with your health.  The astonishing thinness of the images that sell products are intended to raise the bar on your desires and expectations of yourself.

The “Mad Men” in advertising know that if they can put the standard of beauty out of reach, they can keep selling  you the products and services that they claim will finally help you measure up to their ridiculous standards.

I am writing to encourage you to take happiness back from the media and the “Madvertisers” by determining your fat loss goals in terms of action instead of appearance.

Let me explain.  If contemporary standards of appearance are absurd, and they have nothing to do with heath or natural beauty, why not blow them off and concentrate on how you feel and what you do instead?

 

So the next step in permanent fat loss isn’t picking a number on the scale, no not at all.

The next step is to determine what your ideal body will allow you to do.

The body of your dreams is simply the body that has the health and energy to let you pursue what makes you happy, and guess what?

This very state of happiness with what you do will go a long way toward eliminating your desire to overeat.

So right here and now I’m asking you to write down three things you love to do, or would love to do, that would be enhanced by fat loss and fitness.

By combining a simple waist measurement with three things you love to do, you will have established a brilliant fat loss goal that will be like a powerful magnet that draws positive people, actions, and opportunities right to you.

I have seen it time and again in my students that when their goals become about health, happiness, and action the fat loss frustration falls away, and their lives take off.

Here are some specific examples from my students at Gordon Studio:

Traveling to Thailand, water skiing again, kayaking, hiking, ballroom dancing, becoming a licensed Zumba instructor, getting promoted, getting pregnant :), becoming a 4H leader, protecting and informing the community during the Rim Fire, getting that first paying job as a photographer, getting the lead in another play, and on an on!

Please note that none of these achievements are the direct result of weight loss.  They are the direct result of more confidence, and more energy.

I want you to have the confidence and energy that is yours when you eliminate the aches, pains, and frustrations of poor training, and when you leave behind the obsessions and cravings of poor food.

Let’s beat the media at their own game by being happy in spite of what they show us and try to sell us.

P.S. Did you write down the three things you would love to do? 

 

To Lose Weight: Answer This Question First.

Do I need to lose weight?  Pardon me for stating the obvious, but  your fat loss journey begins with this question

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You see, there are two weights which dominate our thinking in our contemporary culture.

#1. Healthy Weight

#2. Media Weight

Media weight you ask?  What in the world is that?

Media weight is the is the size and shape that dominates in advertising, on television, in print, and on the web.  Media weight is different from the current fashion in  the look of actors, musicians, and other celebrities.  In most cases, the people we pay money to see when they act, do comedy, dance or offer some other kind of performance have some kind of talent or skill that goes beyond appearance.

Media Weight represents the look that advertisers are after when they want to sell products.  

Notwithstanding Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, the female form preferred by the media to sell products has become more and more slender since the 1950’s.

When I worked as a commercial casting assistant back in the ’90s there was a sense that it was always safer to send a tall slender actor for consideration by the client.  If an actor wasn’t model slim, she needed to be incredibly talented for the casting director to take a chance on her.  Bottom line, when it came to casting, skinny was safe.

To this day, I’m still not sure why this was the case.  Did big companies like Proctor and Gamble do market research that showed that we like to buy things from skinny people?  Is it that slenderness is something that women started to aspire to in the last century: especially after 1970? Is my theory correct that discontent drives consumption, so advertisers promote a physical standard that is impossible for 95% of the population to achieve: Thereby leading them to buy more stuff to make up for their perceived inadequacies?

And what does all of this have to do with you, Dear Reader?  Well, in my work as a personal trainer it becomes clearer and clear to me that what advertisers present to us as desirable has nothing to do with health.

Now we come to the most important point in this article: What is a healthy weight?  An even more important question is this one: What is a healthy weight for you?

Don’t worry, I promise to answer this question by the end of this post.  In the face of advertising and confusing mixed messages on whether BMI or Body Mass Index is a good measure of health, I do have  a very simple way of gauging a healthy weight for my students, and for you.

Simply measure your waist.

Here is a quote from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

In fact, recent findings indicate that WC is a stronger marker of health risk than is BMI.(WC stands for waist circumference.)

 So what is a healthy waist circumference?  See the article below from the Heart Foundation website.

 

 

Your waist measurement compares closely with your body mass index (BMI), and is often seen as a better way of checking your risk of developing a chronic disease.

Measuring your waist circumference is a simple check to tell how much body fat you have and where it is placed around your body.  Where your fat is located can be an important sign of your risk of developing an ongoing health problem.

Regardless of your height or build, for most adults a waist measurement of greater than 94cm for men and 80cm for women is an indicator of the level of internal fat deposits which coat the heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas, and increase the risk of chronic disease.

How to measure your waist

1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs.

2. Breathe out normally.

3. Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist.

4. Check your measurement.

Are these waist measurements suitable for everyone?

Waist measurements should only be used for adults to check their risk of developing a chronic disease. The waist measurements above are recommended for Caucasian men, and Caucasian and Asian women. Recommended waist measurements are yet to be determined for all ethnic groups. It is believed that they may be lower for Asian men.

 

So this is where we begin.  If your waist measurement if over 31.5 inches for a woman and 37 inches for a man, it’s time to take action.

 

The solution to my own struggle with fat was to learn Turbulence Training and follow the Sugar Freedom diet.  By addressing my overeating, and finding a way to train safely and effectively, I finally got to a healthy BMI, a waist circumference I feel great about, and I opened the door to finally figuring out what I wanted to do with my professional life.

 

I want to encourage you to start in the same place.  What is your waist measurement?  If it’s higher than healthy, take action to get it lower.  Then, it will be time to consider your appearance as a motivator for change.

 

In my next post we will look at setting the goal for your ideal authentic body.  Reaching a  healthy waist circumference is the first stage of your transformation journey.  A healthy WC is what you need.  Next we will address what you desire.

 

By the time you try to eat less and move more, it’s already too late.

By the time you try to eat less and move more, it’s already too late.

 You’ve missed the boat, you’re closing the barn door after the horses have left.

 What you have to do to lose all of the excess fat you want, and keep it gone forever is simply this.

 You must find a way to want less food, and crave more action.

 

It Is So Worth It.

 

Understand this above everything else.  Your behavior is motivated by your desires.  By the time you try to control your behavior Mother Nature has taken over, and she is stronger than your personal ego, and good intentions.

 You have to learn to manage what you want,and I can show you how!

 When you eliminate sugars, grains, and processed oils from your diet your appetite will tank, and you will be in charge of your behavior once more.

 Once you are well nourished, and your appetite is well satisfied instead of over-stimulated, you will re-discover the desire to move more.

 The fit, slender people who have been trying to motivate you to eat less and move more aren’t being deliberately cruel. (No matter how they behaved in Eighth Grade.)  They simply have no idea what it means to feel starved and exhausted at the same time just from eating two slices of pizza.

 What I am suggesting is that you stop trying to control how much you eat, and start influencing how much you want to eat.

 What’s the difference?  I can tell you first hand that it is the difference between fulfilling your dreams in a body you respect and cherish, and fighting your body every day for the rest of your life, until you finally just give in to the food addiction and eat yourself to death from diabetes, stroke or a heat attack.

 Yes, this is a rant from the bottom of my soul that says enough half truths, enough worn out sayings, and enough diet dogma.  There is a way to eat every day, and at every meal, that will nourish and satisfy you without causing you to eat to excess and to store that excess as fat.

 I am going to tell you what that way is.  You are going to think, “What’s the catch?”  Is there a catch?  Let me describe my solution and you tell me.  

 You are going to discover the foods that satisfy you without triggering your appetite.  And then you are going to develop a lifelong personal eating strategy that is going to allow you to keep doing  just that.

 With the Three Day Sugar Strike, The Sugar Freedom Diet, and the Sugar Freedom Lifestyle, you are going to break away from your trigger and binge foods.  You are going to get enough distance and freedom from them that you will finally be able to create your own personal eating strategy for a life of slenderness and satisfaction on your terms.

 By now, if you have read this far, I’m going to guess that you have had enough, tasted enough, and consumed enough of every kind of food to last a lifetime.  Now you know that  it’s time to put the foolishness and self destructiveness of overeating behind you.  It’s time to step away from a life that revolves around what you can eat and when you can eat it, and move toward a life that revolves around what you can create and how you can give it.

 It’s been more than five years since I gave in, surrendered, and admitted that I couldn’t have my cake and live my best life too.

 One meal at a time, I leave the cake behind, and the life I get to live instead is so much better than anything I ever dreamed.  Sugar Freedom will be ready soon, and I hope that it helps everyone who tries it to feel fantastic, look wonderful, and have the abundant energy to make their dreams come true.