Categories
weight loss

Sugar Free Fat Loss Update

Just ten days ago, I made a strong re-commitment to my nutrition and training program.

Some one very close to me, (no, it’s not me) is getting ready to train for a bikini competition over age 55. She has been working with a personal trainer, and she has years of fitness experience, but preparing for a competition will be a big leap.

I’ve never done a bikini competition, but I did win a body transformation contest, and I went on to coach dozens of women and several men through their own body transformations.

Back when I had my fitness studio, I got to take a workshop with Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove. They are experts in contest preparation, and I recall that they required their female competition clients to be at 22 percent body fat to qualify for their 16 week contest preparation program.

I’ve decided to use Sugar Freedom and Cardio Freedom to get to 22% body fat in order to support my friend, and to learn what it takes to prepare for a high-level competition training program.

Ten days ago, I took my measurements, and my body fat percentage. I know that even expensive bathroom scales aren’t very good at measuring body fat, but my scale read 24.8%, and I’ll use that for my self-experiment. One tip I use for this kind of measurement is to input all of the information requested, but to leave it on the “Normal Female,” setting, not the, “Athletic Female,” setting. I think this can prevent giving a reading that is too low for someone like me who is training regularly.

This morning’s reading had me at 24% body fat, which made me very happy indeed.

I am doing my 9 lifts to momentary form failure three times per week, eating a “Close to Carnivore,” diet, practicing Electro Swing Dance, and practicing piano, guitar, and drawing to counter any food cravings with fun activities.

When I eat “close to carnivore,” I rarely get hunger based cravings, but I do have to watch out for boredom and avoidance behaviors, which can make me think about reaching for extra food.

I’ll be checking in each week to report on how my plan is going. If you’re up for improving your fitness, have a plan for eating, training, fun, and recovery so that you can get to your goal.

Be well, eat for yourself, and train for the body you want.

Catherine Best Gordon

Categories
Uncategorized

Summer Transformation Challenge

Recently, I’ve been doing tons of cardio, and experimenting with eating more fruit.

These changes were work related, and they had a negative effect on all aspects of my life.

My appetite increased right away, and my mood started to suffer within days of these changes.

I tried pulling back on the fruit, and that helped a little, but walking and climbing stairs for 8 to 10 miles a day was doing a number on my knees, back, and fast-twitch muscles.

The worst part was that I lost the energy and desire to train.

I resigned two weeks ago, my last day was Sunday, I recovered on Monday, and today I’m starting TT for Amazing Abs.

The TT method combines resistance training and intervals for fat loss, improved mood, and vastly better physical prowess.

I have known since childhood that traditional cardio makes me weak, hungry, and miserable. In 2008, TT made me lean, super strong, and happy for the first time in decades.

My transformation process takes 12 weeks, and it starts with choosing a TT program, taking my measurements and “Before” pictures, and doing the Army Body Fat assessment. As always, I will be keeping sugar out and carbs very low when it comes to my eating plan.

Here’s to continuing to do what works for health and fitness, no matter what the trends are, and no matter what the influencers do.

Categories
How to get off of sugar.

Insulin Resistance and Hunger

Every once in a while, I read an article that describes the Sugar Freedom message perfectly.

I have been writing about what it takes to get off of sugar, and why quitting sugar can lead to a happier, healthier life for those of us who struggle with overeating.

The biggest barrier between health, happiness, and me has always been hunger. Constant, irresistible hunger has been with me ever since my mother replaced my favorite breakfast of two soft boiled eggs with cereal, toast, and orange juice.

Yesterday, I read an article on childhood obesity that could have been about me.

Here is a link to the article: Insulin Resistance and Hunger in Childhood Obesity: A Patient and Physician’s Perspective

It addresses the problem of constant hunger in a child who is being fed what is considered a healthy, home cooked diet. The underlying condition causing the unstoppable hunger is insulin resistance. The solution in the article is Metformin along with a change in meal composition.

Thankfully, I never got to the point where I had to take Metformin to manage my blood sugar, insulin, and appetite, but I did have to eliminate sugar and plants from my diet to the point where I was able to experience healthy hunger.

I define healthy hunger as an appetite that can be satisfied with a reasonable amount of unprocessed food. Healthy hunger is also the desire for food that nourishes and satisfies.

Once I was exposed to Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts, and concentrated orange juice in childhood, the wholesome pleasure of eggs, bacon, and whole fruit couldn’t compete. What’s worse is that the processed foods I craved only left me hungry for more, even when I was physically stuffed.

My cravings and insulin resistance contributed to eczema, gum disease, glucose intolerance in pregnancy, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and finally obesity.

When I cut out sugar and grains in 2008, I recovered from obesity for good. When my weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar started to creep back up after menopause, I went Carnivore, and my good health returned.

I have returned to a state of health, happiness, and productivity by eliminating plant foods from my eating plan. This is the message I want to share now as more people become curious about what happens when a sugar addict gives up plants. In my case, the constant hunger of my youth is gone, and that makes room for all of the other good things in life. That is my carnivore diet experience. You may not need to give up plants to get relief. No matter what food works for you, I want you to be well, and eat for yourself.

Categories
How to get off of sugar. Tools For Maintenance Tools For Weight Loss

Six Years of Sugar Freedom

The Sugar Freedom e-book was released six years ago, and I’m so grateful to the thousands of readers who have quit sugar and improved their heath by replacing sugary, starchy, processed foods with simple foods that can be found in the meat and dairy aisle, and at the farmer’s market.

I gave up sugar back in 2008, and by keeping it out of my food plan I have been able to maintain a healthy weight and a happy mood for almost 14 years now.

After menopause, I spent a year on the Carnivore Diet and my health improved even more. The most important benefits of this animal based approach to eating have been blood sugar control, motivation, enthusiasm for life. Some of the unusual effects have been shrinking and disappearance of moles, thicker hair, stronger fingernails, and healthier gums.

The biggest surprise was that problems with moles and nails come right back when I try to re-introduce too many plants to my diet, even in the form of green vegetables and low sugar fruits.

As 2022 begins, I will be focusing on reaping the benefits of better insulin sensitivity with a sensible weight lifting and interval training program, and by continuing to eat for myself. I invite you to do the same.

I will be sharing the training I use to maintain my 75 pound weight loss, good health, and good mood here and on my YouTube channel.

Here is a link to my most popular video on quitting sugar:

Please join me to reap the benefits of Sugar Freedom.

Categories
weight loss

To Maintain A Big Weight Loss Key #5

#5 Is Fun

The 5 Keys To Maintain a big weight loss are:

  1. Faith
  2. Food
  3. Fitness
  4. Friends
  5. Fun

When it comes to health and fitness, you have choices.

You have to breathe, drink water, and eat enough protein and fat to stay alive, but everything else that you eat, and all the ways that you move involve an element of choice.

A challenge of simply being human is choosing well among the enormous variety of experiences you can have at any given moment.

When I was going through my physical transformation from obese to healthy, I met people at the gym and on-line who had gone on the same fitness journey. The ones who kept weight off long term had developed a health and fitness lifestyle. In other words, they kept following the practices that led to their weight loss in the first place.

What keeps exercisers engaged in their fitness practice for life?

Last week, I read an intriguing article, published by Harvard University. I have copied an exerpt below, and you can read the entire article here:

https://scienceblog.com/526056/no-one-outruns-death-but-hunter-gatherers-come-closest

“No one outruns death, but hunter-gatherers come closest”

October 18, 2021 Harvard University

Keep moving as you get older, says evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman, comparing tribal ‘healthspans’ with outcomes of sedentary Americans

Lieberman, who spoke at a virtual lecture sponsored by the Harvard Museum of Natural History, said he began thinking about the rise of the modern exercise culture while conducting research among native peoples who, though often more fit than Westerners, also often expressed surprise at his questions about exercise and training. He once asked a member of a tribe known for its running prowess about his training regimen, and instead of hearing about intervals and splits, Lieberman was asked in return why anyone would run if they didn’t have to. (Italics mine.)

Lieberman, who published his latest book, “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding,” in January, realized that what he believed to be a modern concept of exercise was really a Western, wealthy, industrialized concept of exercise. “For most of the world and for most of human history, people exercised because they had to or because it was rewarding for them, as in the case of dancing.

So the key to maintaining a fitness practice as part of your lifestyle for those of use who don’t have to train to earn a living is to make it rewarding. In other words, you need an element of Fun.

How to choose your fitness practice in a world full of entertaining distractions.

The internet provides us with practically infinite variations of activities that give us little “hits” of reward. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube all use technology that hooks the viewer in and keeps them pleasure seeking for as long as possible.

With all this reward at our fingertips, how to we make sure that enough of our free time is spent in healthy movement? I love music, and I have access to recordings of almost infinite variety on YouTube, Spotify, and Soundcloud. I adore ballet, salsa, tap, and jazz, and I can watch all of these and all kinds of entertainment right on my phone. Even with all of this entertainment in the palm of my hand, I still want to dance myself. I want to play, and the internet provides the soundtrack.

Once Covid hit, it also provided a virtual space for people to exercise on a vastly larger scale. How many people have learned to use Zoom for the sake of fitness alone? Speaking of Zoom, I have recently renewed my Zumba and Zumba Gold instructor licenses, and I will be offering classes on-line. When I first started teaching the Latin dance fitness craze my classes were packed, and I pushed the intensity hard for 60 minutes. Now I’ve designed my classes with the variable intensity that keeps it effective, but fun.

I find the opportunity to dance and enjoy fantastic music to be incredibly rewarding. I get to practice and teach fitness by choice and out of joy, which is the 5th key to permanent weight loss.

I salute all of the clients I trained who fell in love with movement whether it was weight lifting, intervals, Tabata, swimming, cycling or dance. They are the ones who keep the change and maintain their physical transformations.

I want you to find your fun, practice what you love, and fitness will become a part of your lifestyle.

Be well, eat for yourself, and practice what you love.

Catherine

Categories
Tools For Maintenance

How To Maintain A Big Weight Loss Key #4

 Key #4 to Maintain a Big Weight Loss: Friends

With these friends, I get a long walk every day.

Like the song says, “You’ve got to have friends,” especially when it comes to keeping weight off for good.

When I was studying for my personal training certifications, “Social Support,” was the the term I was taught for the power of friends, coaches, and allies to enhance long term success at weight loss, or any other area of personal development.

This is a good time to share one of the most important secrets of maintaining weight loss, or preserving any ongoing achievement: 

In order to keep what you’ve got, you need to keep doing what you did to get it.

For example, in order to create financial freedom, you need to live within your earnings and grow your financial surplus.  Even as you generate more income and build financial resources you still have to stay within your budget, even if that budget is bigger.

In order to maintain a big weight loss we stay true to what we did to create it.  

The same challenges we face as we pursue our goals remain once we’ve achieved them.

I have been reading Mel Robbin’s book, “The High 5 Habit,” and she writes about three things that interfere with reaching a goal:

1. Your Goal Is Too Big

2. You Don’t Have A Plan.

3. You Try To Achieve It Alone.

When I was going through my fat loss transformation in 2008, I entered a transformation contest that included social support through the TT Members website.  Many of us were new to weightlifting and interval training, so we would share tips for getting over soreness, sticking to our training schedules, and managing temptations to cheat on our nutrition plans.

The most important thing I discovered about social support was that helping other people stick to their goals was a powerful predictor that I would stick to mine.

We receive what we want for others, and it is definitely true that when you want to get something, you improve your odds of success by helping someone else get it too.

You can get support at a distance with Facebook groups, and you can get in person support by striking up friendships at the gym, working with a personal trainer, or taking fitness classes. Most of us already know someone who would like to get fitter, stronger, and happier.  The next time one of your friends says,

“I need to get some exercise,” it’s time to team up.

Our local hospital and community college both offer low cost fitness opportunities to the public, and there is a wealth of free content on YouTube that can get you started.

Here is a link to a video demonstrating the program I’m using right now to maintain muscle while I also pursue improvement in my dancing: 

I am so grateful to the people in my life who are committed to good nutrition and effective fitness training. I am delighted by my friends in their 70s and 80s who are enjoying retirement to the fullest because of the physical freedom they get from cooking, training, and having fun.

By the way, Fun is Key#5 to maintaining a big weight loss, and I look forward to sharing ways to bring more fun into your lifestyle in my next post.

Until then, Eat For Yourself, and Practice What You Love.

 Catherine

You can access a free copy of the original  Sugar Freedom program by clicking below.

==>SugarFreedom<==

Categories
Motivation Tools For Maintenance

How To Maintain a Big Weight Loss: Key #3

Key #3: Fitness

The Five Keys to Maintain a Big Weight Loss are:

1.Faith

2. Food

3. Fitness

4. Friends

5. Fun

In this blog post, I am going to share the proven training technique for unlocking permanent positive change in your body composition.

You’ve Probably heard trainers say that losing weight is 80 percent food and 20 percent fitness. This is accurate for many people in my experience, but maintaining weight loss is closer to 30 percent fitness, and maintaining lean body mass is 80 percent resistance training.

Thousands of people have done my workouts either in person or on line, and my students who maintain their weight loss are the ones who continue to do resistance exercise. My readers and clients who incorporate interval training, and fun physical activity literally become stars of fitness. They shine a light on the joy of movement that influences other people in a healthy way. 

We can apply the 80/20 principle to training by giving intense effort to 20% of our reps for any given set. All of the reps require excellent form, but if the set has 10 reps, it should be a real challenge to maintain excellent form for the last two. This is good news, because then 80% of the reps should have an element of enjoyment, while true discipline is only required for the final two repetitions.

This technique delivers the most important benefits of resistance training which are, strength, better body composition, staying power, and best of all, improved insulin sensitivity. 

Insulin sensitivity is my super power, and I want you to make it yours too.

Four major benefits of good insulin sensitivity are:

Benefits of Insulin Sensitivity

  • Easier fat loss. When you’re insulin resistant, you’re more likely to have trouble losing weight, or maintaining a healthy body weight. …
  • Less risk of all disease. …
  • Better brain health and cognition. …
  • Fewer cravings and less hunger. (From Dr. Taz’s Centre Spring M.D. Website.)

Here is a proven resistance training program to improve your insulin sensitivity in six weeks.

Perform one set of nine resistance exercises to momentary form failure.  

1. Push ups 2. Dumb Bell Squats 3. Dumb Bell Rows 4. Romanian Deadlifts 5. Dumb Bell Overhead Press 6. Dumb Bell T-Bends 7. Dumb Bell Curls 8. Single Leg Sit-To-Stand 9. Dumb Bell Tricep Extensions.

You will notice that this plan alternates upper and lower body exercises. You don’t need to go to the point where you can’t do another lift. Your goal is to perform reps until you can’t do the lift with excellent form. In my case, I hadn’t been doing push ups regularly when I started this program, and I could only do three excellent push ups before I had to move on to the Dumb Bell Squats. 

Warm up by doing a few reps of each exercise without any weight. 

Do this training session three times per week for six weeks.

These sessions are short enough that you will have time for other activities that you enjoy like yoga, dance, walking, or swimming.

When it comes to the third key to maintaining a big weight loss: Fitness, I want you to know that muscle matters. You really can gain the benefits of resistance exercise safely in a very managable amount of time.

In my next blog post, I will share the power of friends to help you stay committed and accountable when it comes to your goals for health and happiness.

In the meantime be well, and Eat For Yourself.

Categories
Motivation

5 Step Plan For Health and Happiness.

Step 2: Find Your Freedom Foods

Hundreds of years before I was born Luigi Cornaro wrote: “The Art of Living Long.”

He had experienced very poor health up until his late thirties, and when his doctors told him to make a change or prepare to die, Cornaro committed to a two point plan that was as effective as it was simple.

Luigi decided to eat only as much food as he could comfortably digest, in other words not too much, and he chose to only eat foods that agreed with him.

Almost five hundred years before I was born, Luigi Cornaro decided to eat for himself.

His food choices were determined by what felt right to him, not by the fashions of the day. By embracing simplicity in his eating, Cornaro was able to achieve health, happiness, and extraordinary longevity, as he lived over 100 years.

My favorite part of Cornaro’s book is his description of his delight in being a grandfather. He relates his joy in playing, singing, and laughing with the little ones, and conversing with the older ones. He tells us how he is able to climb hills, mount his horse without any assistance, and and enjoy his intellectual, artistic, and social pursuits with ease.

What is most important to me at age 57, is Luigi Cornaro’s conviction that the years after age seventy, are the best that a person can experience due to a shift in attitude toward giving and enjoying people, places, and experiences rather than trying to gain more money and things.

I have found that a simple nourishing diet quiets the negative voices and fears that drove me to keep seeking pleasure and relief in more food and drink for so many years. Simplicity, not variety and novelty, is what satisfies our appetites and let us happily turn to other pursuits.

The ability to feel contentment is a wonderful gift for our times. As we confront the reality of our personal and collective impact on the environment, we need to realize that now is the time to find a way to tread lightly on the planet, and shift our desires in a way that heals it instead of demanding more from Mother Nature.

By simplifying our lives and returning to health and enthusiasm, we can put our energy into pursuits and enjoyments that help the community and the environment. How can we add to the confidence, security, and happiness of young people?

Let’s embrace simplicity in what we consume starting with food. Then let us take our health, energy, and optimism into the neighborhood and the marketplace with the intention of growing in what we experience instead of what we consume and collect. Let’s develop the physical and emotional freedom that let’s us embrace sport, art, culture, and fulfillment through what we do instead of what we earn, buy, and eat.

It starts with your Freedom Foods, and it can lead to health and happiness for you and everyone around you.

Categories
weight loss

13 Years At A Healthy Weight

I quit sugar in April of 2008. By the last week in August of that year, I reached a normal, healthy weight for the first time in eight years. From a highest non-pregnanacy weight of 195 at a height of only 5’1, to my current weight of 125 is 70 pounds. That means I lost more than a third of my body weight.

It is unusual, to put it mildly, for a woman to lose that much weight with nutrition and fitness training alone. It is so rare to maintain that much weight loss for over a year, that the National Weight Control Registry surveys members like me each year to gain insights on what it takes to maintain a loss of more than 30 pounds for more than one year.

In this post, I will be sharing the Five “Fs” of significant long term weight maintenance. These are:

1.Faith

2. Food

3. Fitness

4. Friends

5. Fun

Let me begin with Faith. When it comes to significant lasting weight loss, I am describing the belief that it is possible for you. Whether your faith comes from a Higher Power or not, without the belief that you can lose the weight, you will not be able to turn your desire to change into action.

I began to believe that I could transform my body when I started reading about transformation success stories, and seeing pictures of them on the internet in 2007. Not long after this, I began listening to early podcasts like, “Inside Out Weight Loss,” and, “The Livin La Vida Low Carb Show.”

I learned that women and men over 40 like me were finding a way to manage nutrition, fitness, and mindset that led to lasting change. Their stories gave me hope and even more desire and determination to take action by completely changing the way I ate and exercised. Their examples led me to eliminate sugar, grains, vegetable oils and seed oils from my diet, and to replace traditional cardio with resistance and interval fitness training.

None of those changes would have taken place without the belief, desire, and faith that those successful people inspired. I wrote Sugar Freedom, started my podcast, and began making YouTube videos in order to give back what I received from them.

The podcast can be found here: The Sugar Freedom Show.

Here is my YouTube Channel: Sugar Freedom.

I hope that you will find real help and inspiration for your health journey here.

I look forward to writing about the next 4 Fs: Food, Fitness, Friends, and Fun over the next 4 weeks. I hope that you will share your success story or any questions about health transformation with me here:

catherine@sugarfreedom.com

Until next time, be well, and Eat For Yourself,

Catherine Gordon: Author of Sugar Freedom.

Categories
Sugar Free Meal Plan

Sugar Free Meal Planning

Here is a simple way to plan your low sugar, low carbohydrate meals.

First, establish how much of each macro-nutrient you will eat.

  1. Protein: 1 gram of protein for each pound of your goal body weight per day. Note: This is an upper limit, and it comes from the high protein tradition of body builders and athletes. This is the amount of protein I have consumed when the goal is to lose fat and gain, or at least retain, muscle.
  2. Carbohydrates up to your personal level of carbohydrate tolerance. Level One: 50 grams per day. Level Two 30 grams maximum per day Level Three: 20 grams of carbohydrate per day maximum (Ketogenic.)
  3. Fat: Enough to get satisfied.

Food List:

Meat, Poultry, Eggs, Fish, Tofu,

Vegetables that grow above the ground.

Low sugar Fruits:

Berries, Melons, Apples, Oranges, Grapefruit if well tolerated.

Fat: Butter, Olive Oil, Heavy Cream, Ghee, Avocado Oil.Other

Dairy: Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, up to 2 oz. of cheese per day if well tolerated.

Condiments:

Bragg’s ACV, Lemon Juice, vinegar, herbs and spices.

Extras:

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Liquid Stevia, Xylitol.


How many meals per day?

Level 1:

50 grams of carbohydrate per day. 3 Meals Per Day. 2 Snacks if desired.

Level 2: 30 grams max of carbohydrate per day 3 Meals Per Day. 1 or 2 snacks if well tolerated.

Level 3:

20 Grams max of carbohydrate per day= Sugar Strike/Ketogenic. 2 or 3 meals per day. May add 16/8 fasting/eating hours if helpful.

See the charts below for food choices.

Protein Choices
Fat, Dairy, and Nut Choices
Vegetable Choices
Fruit Choices

I have been using these food choices for almost 13 years now. This truly is a sustainable approach, especially when you keep listening to your body. E-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com if you have any questions or concerns, and as always:

Be happy, healthy, and eat for yourself.