Why 93% Of Women NEVER Lose Belly Fat

Why 93% Of Women NEVER Lose Belly Fat

Alright so do you think those old fitness infomercials are as ridiculous as I do?

What’s the real reason why 93% of women never lose belly fat?




And because when we feel like results aren’t snowballing,

when we don’t see changes happening on the scale, we feel like the effort doesn’t equal the outcome…

And we QUIT.

But to lose from those oh so stubborn areas…To lose that last little bit…

We often NEED to keep going past the point we want to quit.

We need to stay consistent, be precise with our nutrition and workouts and not give up just because it feels like nothing is happening.

Because the simple fact of the matter is…

It’s not easy to reach a new level of leanness…especially for the first time.

And stubborn areas are stubborn for a reason.

Literally we may see fat being lost from EVERYWHERE else FIRST before we shed that final bit.

We may not see the scale change at all as we are actually getting leaner.

But we will only lose that last little bit of stubborn belly fat if we don’t quit or let little inconsistencies and 1% deviations from our plan start to add up.

We’ve got to embrace the suck of doing something hard and outside our comfort zone.

Which is easier to do when we remember that what you do to reach a goal is not what you’ll do to maintain it.

While we don’t want to sabotage our long-term success with fad diets or crazy 2 a day workout routines, we do need to recognize that not everything we do will feel sustainable.

There is a hard we have to push through before we then transition into maintenance and more of a lifestyle balance.

So now that I’ve sold you on still pursuing your goal of achieving abs so you can be in that 7%, I want to share why some areas are so stubborn to lose from…

Then go over the 2 main struggles you will have to push through…

And finally highlight 4 key tips that can make that 1% difference when you already have the fundamentals dialed in.

So first, why are areas like our stomachs, especially often the lower abs and obliques, so hard to lose from?

First off…our genetics do have an impact on where we tend to store fat. 

And as women we do have higher levels of body fat, and need those levels to be higher than men, to maintain hormonal balance.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t still lose that stubborn fat to see that definition.

This all just has an impact on what areas are most stubborn for us.

It just means these areas we often want to change the most will be the last to go…And consistency for longer will be key. 

Sucky but key.

Fat loss from these areas, like specifically our love handles, lower abs or even our hips, thighs and butt, can be harder because there is generally less blood flow to these specific regions.

Less blood flow makes it harder to mobilize and utilize fatty acids from these areas. 

And not only that, but these areas generally contain fat cells that don’t respond as well to the fat loss process.


There are different types of fat cells in our body – alpha and beta – and both respond differently to the fat loss process. 

Alpha cells respond better and accelerate the process while beta cells don’t respond as well and make it harder to lose the fat.

Of course guess which ones we tend to have more of around our middle?

Those annoying beta fat cells!

But notice I didn’t say they made it impossible to lose belly fat.

It just is why you have to truly go in prepared to be consistent and let TIME work its magic as you’re precise in making sure those systems work together.

You can’t out exercise your diet if you want abs.

You can’t try to rush the process to see the scale change quicker.

Both of those things will ultimately only sabotage your success.

That’s why I think it is key we go in with eyes wide open as to the struggles we may encounter when trying to get leaner. 

Because the more we almost oversell the negative to ourselves, the less challenging we may find the process because we are prepared for the struggles. 

We may even find ourselves thinking “That wasn’t so bad!” just because we knew it was going to pop up over being caught off guard!

So in terms of the challenges….

First, the areas you want to change the most will be the last to go and even though you’re progressing, you may feel like you look worse. 

Yea you heard that right…

You may actually feel like you look WORSE as you lean down.

Where does your eye go when you look at progress photos? 

The areas you want to change the most.

And as I already mentioned, those are the stubborn areas that often are the last to change.

This means we will lose off of other areas first.

As these areas get smaller, guess what looks bigger in comparison?

That fat around our middle!

Yet that area didn’t gain.

We just haven’t lost from there YET.

This is why we need to track measurements too from these other places. 

Seeing losses from those other areas can help us know we are on the right track and just need to stay consistent. 

So if you’re feeling like you look worse, and have seen loss from other areas, you need to buckle down and keep going.

Second, you’re going to get “burned out.” 

Breaking a set point, getting leaner than you’ve gotten before will not be easy.

It’s new and oddly “scary” for your body.

Our body, and even our mind, doesn’t like or want change.

So your body will fight the process and you are going to need to be more precise in your systems. 

You can’t guestimate your macros or calories.

You can’t randomly pick a workout.

You need a strategically designed plan.

And this plan will be uncomfortable and push your boundaries.

Because it will take a lot of focus to be consistent and prevent old habits and patterns from creeping in…

It will require WILLPOWER and not just discipline to sometimes do that workout on a day you’re tired and just want to watch chick flicks on the couch…

Or skip that cupcake or cookie when everyone else is having something on Friday night. 

You’ll question is it worth it?

And you’ve got to say YES and keep pushing through.

Now you may be thinking…IS it truly worth it?


It is.

But it’s not the actual ab definition goal that is worth it…whatever losing the belly fat and achieving ab definition means to you and your aesthetic goals. 

What’s worth it is you achieving something you thought you couldn’t.

Doing habits that are honestly good for you and your body and health. 

It feels good to almost “overcorrect” and break patterns you thought were impossible to break to then be able to create new and sustainable habits and a lifestyle balance.

Because in achieving this aesthetic goal, yes we may love how we look…

But the confidence and strength is really built through what we overcome.

Life is the pursuit of goals…and about conquering the journey and showing ourselves all that is possible. 

We train hard and make sacrifices in so many areas for goals that matter to us.

No shame in this being one of them!

Honestly, I can tell you that so many clients that realize their strength in changing lifestyle patterns not only achieve amazing body recomp but feel their most fabulous and confident inside and out of the gym.

They see so many wins in not only their health and functional fitness but also because they’ve gained pride in what they can push themselves to achieve, in the love and dedication they’ve shown this one body they have for life!

So if you’re like YES this is a challenge I want…

Yes this is a pride I take in my body and I’m going to own my goals, here are 4 keys I want you to focus on to help you push through and see results snowball.

#1: Macros matter most.

Not tracking when you want to get abs is like throwing spaghetti at a wall hoping something sticks.

Precision pays off and what gets measured gets managed.

Track your food. Sucks but it is the best way to make 1% changes that build. 

It helps us avoid dramatic wrong turns in our program and makes sure our diet even matches our activity level, body and goals.

And then don’t be afraid to adjust as you progress. 

Too often when we are trying to lose fat, we even first turn to cutting our calories lower.

But when a client has only that last little bit to lose, I avoid cutting calories as much as possible.

A bigger deficit often backfires and leads to more muscle being lost. 

Instead we will do more cycling of macros, especially going higher on protein. 

This is where those really high protein ratios of over 40% of your calories coming from protein pay off amazingly well, especially as you get older and even go through menopause! 

#2: Progress your core work.

You better learn to love core work. 

No you can’t spot reduce an area by just doing a bazillion reps of an exercise for that muscle group. 

But your abs are muscle and you see better definition when you do build them to some extent.

No, you’re not trying to grow them like you may other areas…

But you do still need to progress your core training to see better results.

Focus on changing the range of motion, tempos, loads, resistance types all while keeping the reps in that even 10-20 rep range.

And even consider including this core work to END your workout before maybe some steady state cardio, such as walking. 

I mentioned to start there is less blood flow to stubborn areas making them more stubborn.

But by working the muscles in an area, we can stimulate more blood flow to help mobilize more fatty acids.

The key is then making sure we USE those mobilized fatty acids which is where the walking comes in. 

Now note…this is that 1% tweak…if your macros aren’t already dialed in…

If you aren’t already following a clear workout plan…

If you aren’t implementing proper recovery…

This isn’t going to be a magic fix to broken fundamentals.

#3: Focus on QUALITY. 

Honestly this is quality in every component of the systems you are implementing.

Because losing belly fat isn’t about one magic food, one magic supplement or one magic move.

It’s about quality in all those systems working together. 

And it’s about intentionality in your training and your fueling.

You want to make sure you’re focusing on nutrient dense foods.

Yup…as much as I preach including foods you love, you’ll see better results faster by focusing less on those fun foods and more on those nutrient dense foods that help maintain hormonal balance, make you feel fuller, help you recover and even have a higher thermic effect.

This will make the fat loss process easier.

Same goes for your workouts…

You need to focus on quality in those sessions. You need to push hard and truly drive progression. 

You need to focus on what you feel working.

You need to work hard in the gym and then focus on that recovery between. 

We want to focus on quality NOT quantity.

Doing more will only backfire.

Now last but not least…

#4: The process is never linear. 

Note I didn’t say progress is never linear…

I said the process.

You’ve got to embrace ebbs and flows.

To lose that belly fat, you may not always be driving toward fat loss.

Diet breaks, maintenance periods…

Times you back off to keep doing the minimum…

May be needed to ultimately achieve your goal.

Self control is like a gas tank.

We can’t let it hit E while driving on the highway or we’re going to be in trouble. 

At points, you need to pull into that gas station and refill…ideally when the light even first comes on, to keep being able to move forward.

Same thing goes for your fat loss goals.

Sometimes you need to strategically back off to keep pushing forward. So know when burn out may become I don’t care at all forget everything…

And proactively and strategically even plan in breaks! 

So if you’ve felt like you’ll never lose belly fat…

Stop writing off your body recomp goals.

Yes it is hard but when we know the struggles we can plan for them and prove to ourselves so much more than we thought possible is possible!

If you’re looking for that support and programming to dial in your nutrition and workouts to see amazing body recomp, check out my 1:1 Coaching…

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Burn Fat and PROTECT Muscle (4 Tips)

Burn Fat and PROTECT Muscle (4 Tips)

I know you don’t want to hear this but…

Fat loss is a slow process.

If you’re trying to lose fat faster, you might not like the result.

And when we strive to see weight loss faster on the scale, ultimately all we’re doing is LOSING MUSCLE.

Which is generally the exact opposite of what we are trying to do.

Especially as we get older!

Because guess what?

It IS a harder process as we get older.

It’s harder to build and retain lean muscle.

It’s harder to lose fat.

Now note…I didn’t say impossible.

I said harder.

Honestly part of why it is harder is because we’ve approached losing fat in the past in the wrong way.

We’ve tried to out exercise and out diet time.

Spending hours in the gym, as we slash our calories lower isn’t what “used to work.”

It’s why we’re now stuck.

It’s why we’re now seeking to lose fat and so worried about losing our muscle.

So don’t just accept muscle loss and weight gain.

But it is time to buckle down and embrace a true lifestyle change.

That’s why I want to first go over WHY we tend to lose muscle during a fat loss phase and what we can do to protect our lean muscle while leaning down as much as possible.

And for those of you thinking…

“I only have a few pounds to lose…It shouldn’t be that hard…”


It’s harder and a SLOWER process to try to avoid muscle loss as you lose those last few percentages of body fat.

Because the leaner we get, the more our body wants to avoid depleting its fat stores, which are basically stored energy to make sure we are able to continue surviving.

So we can’t just slash our calories lower or train harder to try to get the scale to budge faster.

Doing so will sabotage our success.

Because muscle requires more calories to be maintained.

That’s why we often WILL lose some muscle during a weight loss or fat loss phase…

We just don’t have enough fuel coming in.

But while some muscle loss can be expected, we do to so much to prevent this from happening and even at times GAIN lean muscle while losing fat IF we focus on those fundamentals and don’t rush the process.

Because slashing your calories lower as you train harder will make your body do what it can to function off of less.

We lose muscle because it becomes an optimal source of FUEL.

It not only provides amino acids our body may feel it needs, the building blocks of protein that contribute to so many functions within our body besides just building muscle, but it also COSTS us energy to maintain.

When we eat less and burn more calories, our body finds ways to conserve energy.

Losing muscle is one of those ways as well as our brain telling us to move and fidget less.

Even bodily process such as hormone production are impacted as our body conserves energy to function as efficiently as possible off the restricted energy intake.

What our body is NOT doing as long as possible, is utilizing our fat stores.

It wants to hang onto those as fast as possible.

So when we push to see faster results on the scale, often we’ve depleted stored glycogen that our muscles hold, we’ve lost water weight because of depleting the stored glycogen and we’ve even lost muscle…

What we haven’t lost is MORE FAT from what we would have lost had we not tried to rush the process.

And often we’ve even lost LESS…

Especially as we get older.

Because our body doesn’t have the optimal hormonal environment it did when we were younger…

Not to mention previous dieting and training practices like this have already created metabolic adaptations and put us into a position where we have learned to survive off of fewer calories.

Basically if we don’t commit to dieting and training in a new way that matches what our body needs now, we’re not going to see the fat loss results we want.

But there are diet and workout changes you can make to help yourself not only reverse what’s going on but also protect that amazing lean muscle and even BUILD IT….

The thing is…

What I’m going to recommend you’re probably going to hate.

And your brain will rebel against doing it.

So let’s look at 4 tips to burn fat while protecting your muscle.

Which is to EAT MORE. 

Yes, lose fat by eating more.

Especially if you’ve slashed your calories super low in the past and never retrained your body to eat more, you’ve learned how to function well off of well…Nothing. 

If you’re eating under 1000 calories and not losing, it’s especially time you eat more.

And while you may think you need less as you’ve gotten older because your metabolism has slowed down, the opposite is actually true.

You need to first increase your calories to help increase your metabolic rate.

I won’t lie to you…This retraining process stinks.

And it can make you feel like you’re going BACKWARD before you go forward.

But, by eating more, you’ll have the fuel you need to help your body feel like it can let go of the stored fat.

To move more. To train hard. To support all those efficient bodily processes and restore hormonal balance. 

And most importantly, you’ll build lean muscle!

With eating more, we also BURN MORE.

You burn more calories to turn that food into fuel. 

So by eating more you burn more. And of course, what you eat does have an impact.

You’ll even find you may become hungrier as you eat more as your natural hunger cues return. 

Now the sucky part to start…As you increase your calories, you may gain weight.

You may see some fat creep on.

But you have to go through this slow process of retraining your body to eat more BEFORE you can then create a small calorie deficit to lose.

After increasing your daily calories 50-100 and maintaining each increase for a few weeks, you may then find you have then rebuilt to a point where you start to see the scale tick down. 

Or you can even then try a small deficit of 100 calories off where you’ve built to.

But the key is first learning to eat more to then have an intake where you can even create a deficit from.

Because at 800 calories?! What can you really cut!? 

Now if you’re thinking, “That’s not my problem. I eat a lot and am overeating right now.”

Eating more is still key. BUT in the way of not creating an extreme deficit off of your current intake.

Don’t then dramatically slash your calories lower. 

Instead just create a calorie deficit of 100-200 calories from what you’re doing.

The more we can continue to fuel, the more we support our body maintaining that lean muscle while utilizing our fat as fuel. 

And to help encourage that protection of lean muscle and even avoid gaining fat as we go through that hard retraining process to start, we want to then also focus on protein. 

Yup. Protein.

The macro that some people say we get too much of and others say we don’t get enough of.

And the thing is, the situation matters for what our intake should be. 

The older we get…

The harder we train…The more we want to lose fat and NOT lose muscle… 

The more important protein becomes.

So focus on at least 30% of your calories coming from protein to make sure you’re fueling those muscles to recover and repair while having enough protein left over for other bodily functions even while in a small calorie deficit.

And while diet is key for fat loss and even protecting our muscle, we can’t ignore how our diet and our WORKOUTS work together. 

If our workouts don’t match how we’re fueling, we won’t see the results we deserve.

Yet so often our training compounds the problem of under fueling because we see our workouts just as a chance to burn more calories. 

Which is why we so often turn to doing more cardio.

But if you want to protect your lean muscle, you need to focus on strength work and be SMART about how you include your cardio. 

I didn’t say you couldn’t do cardio, especially if you love your long runs or rides, but you do need to be smart about how you include it.

We always need to know the cost and reward of anything we include.

Steady state long distance cardio is catabolic to muscle mass, especially when in a calorie deficit. 

So if you’re turning to cardio to see results faster, you may be sabotaging yourself.

If you love your endurance sport, make sure to account for that in how you fuel and strength workout. 

And no, that doesn’t mean just more carbs. Actually increasing PROTEIN is again key. 

But also consider, lowering your mileage for a time to focus on one primary goal.

Remember it is easier to maintain your results once you’ve achieved them. 

And if you do include cardio, prioritize your strength work FIRST. 

What we do when we are freshest, we get the most benefit from. 

If you do your cardio first, you’re going to be tired for your resistance workout.

Your 100% intensity simply won’t be a true 100% because you’ll be fatigued. And progressing week over week is what drives muscle growth. 

So if you want to protect your muscle and lose fat, do any cardio AFTER you lift.

Even put cardio workouts after strength workouts that target those stubborn areas. 

This mobilizes more fat from the areas surrounding the muscles you worked to be utilized by your cardio finisher.

Also adjust the length and intensity of those cardio sessions. 

Short sprint work or even walking may be better forms of cardio for fat loss without putting you at risk for losing muscle. 

Both help you burn more calories over the week to create that deficit without slashing your calories lower (aka you can eat more) while also not being catabolic to muscle. 

Walking especially can be great for recovery.

And sprints can improve your conditioning and power to improve even your strength workouts while helping promote an optimal hormone environment for muscle growth! 

Now, the last and probably most important thing I want to cover to help you protect your lean muscle during fat loss is something that mentally may be the hardest to do…

Step off the scale. 

Yup. It’s not a workout or diet tip but it is key.

Because too often we judge fat loss based on that number on the scale changing.

And fat loss, without losing muscle, is going to mean that scale changes VERY slowly, especially the closer to your goal you get and even NOT AT ALL especially to start. 

Because the scale sucks at measuring fat loss.

The faster we want the scale to change, often the more we ultimately lose muscle.

So if you want to keep yourself focused on fat loss, take measurements, progress pictures and use clothing to monitor changes. 

This way you won’t sabotage yourself by working harder and going to extremes to ultimately just lose muscle and not more fat and keep yourself stuck in that horrible yo-yo dieting cycle! 

Ready to dial in your diet and your workouts to work together?

Learn more about my 1:1 Online Coaching.

FHP 641 – Menopause Nutrition (Micronutrients and More!)

FHP 641 – Menopause Nutrition (Micronutrients and More!)








Cori (00:00):
Hey guys, this is Cori from Redefining Strength. Welcome to the Fitness Hacks Podcast. This is the show where I share all my free workout and nutrition tips. I’m not going to ever fill this episode with sponsorships or ask you to buy anything. All I ask in return is if you’re enjoying the podcast to leave a review or leave a five star rating or even better share with somebody you think it might help. This will only take a few minutes and would mean the world to me and possibly change the life of someone. So let’s jump right in.

Cori (00:28):
Let’s talk about nutritional strategies to manage the symptoms of menopause. And I’m so excited to be joined by the fabulous dietician, Michelle, to really go over not only some micros that we can include that we might know a little bit more about, but also some ones that are often not talked about as frequently that can have a huge impact in our results and the symptoms that we’re experiencing. So welcome Michelle. Thanks for joining me today.

Michelle (00:55):
Thank you. Happy to be here and talk all things micronutrients and menopause.

Cori (01:01):
So I know you mentioned some common ones we go over calcium vitamin D, we often to talk about omega threes as being really important. Can you touch on those just a little bit before we dive into some of the ones that we don’t discuss quite as frequently?

Michelle (01:15):
Yeah, so I really look at those as your base foundation. Let’s start there. Let’s make sure we’re getting adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D and Omega-3 because when we hit menopause, oftentimes our bone health is concerned. Osteoporosis risk rise, and that’s really where the calcium and vitamin D come in. Menopause is also known as kind of being a slow simmer state. You have slightly higher inflammation that it’s occurring. So omega threes are really going to help kind of combat that and it’s just overall you’re going to get benefits for your brain health as well. So those three are really key components, but they’re not it. And I feel like people focus so much on those three that they kind of forget that there are other items as well that we want to be paying attention to. Now I’m not saying you need to be completely crazy and be looking up every single amount every single day, but it is to your benefit to have at least little checkpoints where you actually look and see, oh, am I getting enough vitamin K? Am I getting enough of these other micronutrients in my diet through Whole foods? And if the answer is no, if you are looking at all the food list and what each micronutrient is in, then we need to potentially either look at adapting your diet or a supplementation route.

Cori (02:34):
And it’s really important that at every stage, at every phase, we’re constantly reassessing our balance because with menopause, we are seeing shifts in our hormones, we are seeing shifts in how we’re utilizing things, we are seeing an impact in our recovery, and so we have to adjust our fueling to health. And I love that Omega threes are talked about so often as one of those foundational things because we go a lot to bone health and those different things, which is really important, but also we see an impact in our recovery. And I’ll constantly have clients coming in saying, I’m not recovering as fast, I’m not feeling ready for my workouts, but I want to train as hard. And omega threes might be a really key component of that while we’re dialing in their macronutrients and even paying attention to their mobility work. So it’s really important that at every stage we’re constantly reassessing what our balance is, realizing that what might’ve been even enough at one phase might not be enough now. So now diving into some of the lesser known or lesser talked about micros, you mentioned vitamin K. Can you go into why that one is so important?

Michelle (03:35):
So the big thing, vitamin K gets kind of pushed to the side when it comes to bone health, but it actually plays just as an important role when it comes to your bone health as vitamin D and calcium. It’s as easy as is to forget the importance of vitamin K. We do want to make sure that we are consuming adequate amounts of it, and most people’s diets really are low in vitamin K food sources. This is really where you are going to be looking at fermented food products, things like sauerkraut, keefer, dark, super dark, leafy greens are going to also have it. But the big thing is is vitamin K works synergistically with calcium and vitamin D to actually be able to help and kind of improve your bone health, which is, as I already mentioned previously, it’s a big concern when women start hitting menopause, osteoporosis risk go up.

But on the other flip side of this, your heart is also another area that we want to pay a little bit more attention to. Estrogen is heart protective. So when we have lower estrogen levels, all of a sudden you may have gone your entire life with not having any cardiovascular concern or heart health concerns and all of a sudden your cholesterol, your blood pressure may all of a sudden start to be rising and you’re kind of like, what the heck is going on? I haven’t changed anything. This is actually going to help with that as well as making sure that we are doing everything we can for your heart health at this stage.

Cori (05:05):
It’s why not to repeat myself, but it is so important we’re constantly reassessing things because what used to work might have even been good. It’s not that it was bad, but it might not work now to match what we need. And even paying attention to vitamin K when you mentioned some of those foods, I’m like, well, that’s great for gut health and we might see more symptoms of bloating or GI distress or disturbances with menopause. So it’s a lot of times when you’re focusing on some of these micros, you’re going to see a far reaching impact just by adjusting your food type. Now you did mention if we’re struggling to get in those foods, maybe we don’t like them. Maybe we are really doing everything we can even from a nutritional standpoint, but we’re still seeing issues or we want to increase further. How much would you recommend that someone supplement with in terms of vitamin K?

Michelle (05:49):
So we are typically looking at about 180 micrograms of vitamin KA day. So it is something that can very easily be hit with your diet if you’re putting an effort in there. So again, if these foods aren’t something that you typically consume, if fermented foods just really aren’t your thing, even though as we mentioned it is so great for your gut health as well, which is a whole other thing that we can get into when it comes to menopause and your gut, but it is making sure you have that. So if you’re not going to be getting that amount through your food, we do want to make sure that you are at least supplementing with that amount and maybe even slightly higher the bioavailability of micronutrients when it comes to vitamins and minerals, you’re not always going to absorb everything that’s actually stated on that bottle just because not everything is going to be processed as easily when it comes to supplements. So even something that’s at least 180 a little bit higher, you’re going to probably be looking for if you’re looking for a supplement.

Cori (06:49):
Now the next micro I know you mentioned you wanted to touch on was B vitamins. And I think this one is also very interesting and I always have to slightly tangent off to go over this because not only do we talk about increasing protein because of the benefits for muscle building when we aren’t able to utilize it as efficiently, especially during menopause and as we get older and building retaining lean muscle is so important to our metabolic health as we go through menopause, but we don’t often talk about the micronutrients that are really available in specific forms only in protein sources. And so I think B vitamins are specifically interesting for that reason, but can you touch on why they’re so important during menopause?

Michelle (07:28):
So this actually can start actually before menopause. Your body naturally starts declining on its ability to actually absorb vitamins as you age. So we’re actually looking at the age of 40. We’re wanting to make sure we are putting an emphasis on our B vitamins and this is going for menopause specifically. We’re actually looking at B vitamins to actually help support some of that hormonal balance during menopause. So if you’re someone that’s really struggling with some highs and lows, B vitamins are going to help regulate that. One of the biggest things I see with people is their moods. Your mood changes often when you are in menopause. You can have higher levels and symptoms of anxiety and depression and vitamin B six for example, is involved in the synthesis of those neurotransmitters for both serotonin and dopamine which help regulate your mood and alleviate those symptoms.

So there’s B six and when we talk about B vitamins, there’s quite a few B vitamins. I am going to go over a few of ’em. B six is one that we do want to pay attention to when it comes to our mood. There are things like vitamin B12, B12 is often known as the energy, the energy vitamin and it is because it does have a crucial role in your energy metabolism and can help feelings of fatigue. And a lot of times that’s another symptom that I see a lot with clients. They’re just tired, they’re wanting more energy, they’re looking for that and it could be simply that they have low B12. Another one. I

Cori (09:01):
Love that you touch on that, not to interrupt you, but I love that you touch on that because I think that also could be something that if you are feeling fatigue instead of just turning to the caffeine instead of just saying, oh well I need to get more sleep and then not really doing anything about it, exploring the other reasons why you might be seeing changes is super important from mood to fatigue because otherwise you’re going to get yourself potentially stuck in that cycle of over caffeinating sleeping worse, feeling more fatigued when there might be one little missing link where if you increase your consumption of B12, all of a sudden you can see improvement. So there’s not magic pills but there are filling nutritional gaps now going back to the other forms of B vitamins.

Michelle (09:38):
Yeah, and I love that you added that because it really is true sometimes people are looking for these drastic changes or overdoing it with training and thinking they need to cut more calories or they need to work out harder and it could just be a simple adjustment to the diet. So some other things to pay attention when it comes to the vitamins in particular are looking at B nine or folate. A lot of people probably know of folate if you’ve ever been pregnant, but it does actually help with reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes. And then there’s B one and B two which also helps support the nervous system and those can actually help things like insomnia and irritability. So those are just a few of the B vitamins that I’m going to go over. But what’s interesting with all of those two is they also can help with your bone health as well by helping regulate homocysteine levels. So elevated homocysteine levels is actually associated with an increased risk of bone fractures. So making sure that we have the adequate amounts of B vitamins are going to lower that risk and also lower your risk of falling victim to any bone fractures in the future, which again, that risk increases by the time from 50 to up your bone fractures risk increase.

Cori (10:58):
I just think it’s so interesting how all these little micros play such an important role and yet so often we jump to bigger things and don’t get me wrong, we have to dial in that foundation first. You have to pay attention to macros, you have to pay attention to workouts, right? The big things to sleep. But at the same time when we start to see changes that we’re like I’m not doing anything differently, the more we can say, Hey, what could have an impact? That would be even an easy adjustment to my diet, to my training, adding in a little bit of foam rolling, the better off we’re going to be and often the more that little thing can really be that 1% improvement that truly does pay off. And so off of that, if someone were looking to adjust their diet, making sure that they’re getting enough of those essential B vitamins to really see results, what would you recommend they start to really focus on?

Michelle (11:42):
So you already kind of touched on this, protein is going to be a huge thing specifically in meat. So animal-based products are going to have a lot of B vitamins. If you’re someone that doesn’t consume a lot of meat, we are looking at making sure your diet is filled with legumes seeds and leafy green, but this is even one that in particular, no matter what stage you’re in, a lot of times we do suggest that vegan and vegetarians do supplement with a B complex. So if you’re not finding this in your diet or not able to add those items in particular to your diet, you do want to focus on a B complex. Oftentimes you will look at supplements and they’ll actually load it often with high amounts of B12, which is great, you’re going to get that energy, but they’re doing it because it makes you fill better, which we all want to feel better, but sometimes they’re missing out on the other B vitamins. So you’re really wanting to look for something that says a B complex.

Cori (12:40):
And as you do this, you might find you need more or less of something and that’s where you can start to dive into more details. And again, we don’t want to get bogged down, so this is feeling at all overwhelming. Remember small little changes add up, but even as you’re trying to hit your macros, maybe you start focusing on, hey, okay, I want to get a range of these things so I’m going to make sure I even just focus on more dark leafy greens because I know I’m going to get more B vitamins and I’m going to hit on that vitamin K from there. So think in terms of the most bang for your buck when you are making adjustments while keeping things simple, but just also recognize that if you are seeing changes and nothing has changed dramatically in your diet, it might just be that you have a nutritional gap that has now popped up with getting older with having those hormonal changes. So off of that, another essential micro magnesium. Can you touch on why this is so important for us to focus on during even menopause?

Michelle (13:28):
So often women struggle with sleep and it’s very common because your hormones actually that regulate your sleep and your deep sleep in particular become dysregulated. And so this is where I actually have, I’ve had this conversation many times where they’ll be like, my partner is waking me up or my pet is waking me up and they’re just rolling around and they’re not sleeping well and it’s causing me to not sleep well. And I always have to break the news that most likely their partner or that pet is doing the same behavior that they have been doing. It’s actually that they’re not hitting that deep REM that they used to. So they’ve become a lighter sleeper, so they’re waking up to slight sleep disturbances that before they would’ve slept through magnesium helps get you into that deep and deep rem. And part of that is because it helps actually calm your muscles and helps ’em the ability to be able to relax.

It eases anxiety and it’s going to help with those sleep disturbances that we oftentimes experience. So one of the big reasons with that too is when we are talking about muscle cramps, which oftentimes magnesium is used for estrogen, again acts like a sponge within the body so it holds onto water. So you actually become less hydrated as estrogen levels drop. And if you are focusing on a high protein diet, which you should be because muscle is important and we want to encourage muscle growth and retention when we hit menopause, oftentimes people don’t increase their water intake when they do that. So if you’re having a higher amount of protein, slightly lower carbs and all of a sudden lower estrogen levels, you could be dealing with more muscle cramps. So this is really going to help with that.

Cori (15:14):
We often, most of us at least I think are always like, oh, I need more sleep. And we know we compromise and make sacrifices where our sleep is, what sacrifice to fit in other things in our daily life, whether or not it’s getting up early for a workout or working later doing all these different things. But I think so often we do get focused on that quantity over the quality and really making sure that we’re getting that quality sleep from the bedtime routine we do to even paying attention to our micros is super important. And I bring this up because I think sometimes too knowing we’re doing something even that can help us, whether it’s the placebo effect or actually that did fill a nutritional gap, it can help us relax better when we go to sleep, which can help us improve that quality. So if you’re like, well, I have a pre-bed routine and I’m still not sleeping better and I can’t get more because it just doesn’t work for my schedule, think about some of these little micro adjustments actually adjusting your micros to see if you can help yourself improve that quality of sleep because it might be the missing component and it could really pay off so that you are feeling better rested and also going to sleep more relaxed knowing that you’ve sort of done that as part of your routine to help yourself.

So if someone were looking to boost their magnesium intake, what foods could they include in their diet?

Michelle (16:22):
So nuts and seeds are going to be a great option for this. Legumes are another great one and my favorite is dark chocolate. So even if you’re looking at adding cocoa powder to your shake or things like that, you’re going to give yourself a boost of magnesium intake. And the benefit of this as well, we kind of touched upon this earlier, but menopause does come with some GI changes. Oftentimes it’s slowing the transit of food through the gi. I mean magnesium also helps with that. So if you are dealing with any issues, again, it helps relax muscles and that includes the muscles within your gi. So if you’re dealing with that, this is also another option to kind of pay attention to.

Cori (17:04):
I feel like if we look at all the micros that we’ve talked about, there’s something here where we can make some sort of really delicious dessert where you can still have your dark chocolate, maybe you work in some nuts and seeds, you can get a little balance going right there. I definitely feel like there is a dessert recipe we can make out of this, especially for those that want that sweet treat like myself at the end of the night. So if someone was like, Hey, I’m really consuming these foods, what would you recommend in terms of supplementing to get enough magnesium? And I know also there are so many different forms of magnesium, so depending on what you have going on, you might want to even dive a little deeper into the nuance of some of that. But in general, someone were looking to supplement with it.

Michelle (17:42):
So if you are someone that’s dealing with things more like constipation, blood pressure, looking to focus on osteoporosis, magnesium glycinate is typically the one that most people use and it’s often usually fairly universal and that’s going to provide you with all those things. So it’s going to help with your heart, it’s going to help reduce blood pressure, even plays a role in combating and improving your bone health, but it’s also going to help with that constipation and again, just that muscle relaxation. So that would be the one that I would start with. Now I’m saying start with because as you mentioned, there are a lot out there, so if you’re trying to find the one that works right with you, it doesn’t mean you need to be stuck with that one and be like, oh well that one didn’t work for me because there are so many other options out there to kind of explore. But starting point, I would start there because going to be your most cost friendly and usually you’re going to get more bang for your buck with that one. If you’re looking for something in particular, then I would start looking at a different option for magnesium.

Cori (18:49):
Keeping things as simple as possible is always good again, but knowing that there are so many opportunities for these adjustments. Now moving on to the next micro vitamin E, why is this one so beneficial during menopause and managing some of the symptoms?

Michelle (19:05):
So it does help with hormone regulation during menopause by actually helping with estrogen activity. So I think there’s kind of this myth that when you hit menopause that you have zero estrogen, you still have estrogen, it’s just going to be in lower levels, but vitamin E is actually going to help regulate that activity. It also does act as an antioxidant, so it’s going to help protect cell membranes from that oxidative damage, including damage that could occur when you are doing helpful and healthy stress that you’re putting on your body such as working out. We talked about recovery may be slower for you when you hit menopause because you’re kind of in this slow simmer state and vitamin E is going to help with that as well. So we do want to make sure that we are just increasing our daily intake of it and there is a lot of research that does show that. It also helps with lowering your nervousness and lowering your chances of experiencing hot flashes and even plays a role in dealing with sleep disturbances as well.

Cori (20:10):
Adding in some of these micros or paying attention to some of these micros is kind of like greasing some of the cogs on the machine, right? The machine might be running but you might see it starting to slow or not operate quite as efficiently and by just greasing some of those cogs, all of a sudden you could really see improvements and that’s what we’re doing with these. You’re doing little things that might help you sleep better, which then can help you feel better in your workouts, which then gets you that better training session so that you can see the battery comp that you want. So then you feel energized during the day. So then you want to eat better so then you sleep better. It can be that little change that often adds up and snowballs so that you get that momentum going. So really think about how you can address certain symptoms you’re seeing with even just one change. So as you notice a lot of these do hit on multiple different things. Maybe pick one that covers the most of the symptoms you are seeing or the changes you are seeing. So off of this, what foods can we consume to boost our vitamin E intake?

Michelle (21:05):
So again, nuts and seeds are going to be a huge option here. Dark green leafy vegetables and fish are going to be your top sources when it comes to vitamin e intake

Cori (21:16):
As a nonsolid eater, all these dark leafy greens just make me think more salads, but I feel like you can make a pretty delicious one with all of this as well. And there are other options. If you’re not a salad eat, just got to throw that out there if everybody else is thinking the same thing. Oh, do I have to eat salad? Cause unless it has a tundras, I’m not going to go there. But anyway, that is a tangent off of that. So let’s just say you don’t even like that you’re struggling to get vitamin E. What would you do in terms of supplementation for that? So

Michelle (21:41):
I would, again, I’d be looking for something that’s probably a little bit higher than the daily recommendation just because oftentimes you’re not going to absorb everything that’s actually listed, but I’m not telling you to go completely crazy when it comes to the levels. We are just looking for something that’s slightly higher than the daily recommendation and the daily recommendation for that is 15 milligrams a day. So if you were looking at something that had 20, that would be probably where I would consider anything higher. We’re kind of looking into overdoing it in vitamin D and with everything with the body there is that happy balance. We don’t want to have anything too much and we don’t have want to have anything too low because you are going to have other issues if all of a sudden we are supplementing with very high amounts of things,

Cori (22:29):
There is such a thing as too much of even a good thing. So going off of this talking about fiber, because I think too much of good thing while we want to increase fiber, you have to do it slowly, otherwise you can see some disturbances you don’t want to see and actually go against why you’re increasing your fiber in the first place. So doing this slowly, even though it’s a good thing is very key. Can you talk about why really paying attention to your fiber is so important?

Michelle (22:56):
So we mentioned it a few times, but your gut health does change and there’s lots of research that shows that the gut microbiome itself, so the bacteria that’s residing in your GI system does not stay the same when you hit menopause and this has a lot to do just with hormones changing and your body just producing things in different levels. So because of that, I mentioned that oftentimes things slow, your food transit slows through your GI system. So we do want to make sure that we are feeding the good bacteria to encourage a healthy environment to be able to produce more good bacteria, but we also want to increase fiber so that we’re also encouraging food to transit faster. And so to do that, we’re looking at, like you mentioned, we’re looking at things that are going to oftentimes hit multiple areas. So we mentioned vitamin K, fermented foods are a great option to hit your vitamin K.

Oftentimes those are also going to have a lot of health benefits for your GI and even increase your fiber intake. So there is even research out there that is showing that insulin resistance, which is something that often increases during menopausal years, fiber is going to help with that as well. So it is something that is going to not just benefit your gut health, but it’s also going to benefit your health overall and even help you achieve your results. A lot of times we’re seeing people that are struggling with their gut microbiome, their weight actually becomes an issue. So you actually store more fat if that balance is off.

Cori (24:32):
And I think it’s really important that we do highlight the importance of fiber because I think during menopause, while often lower carb ratios are promoted and pushed and can be very beneficial, sometimes it’s not changing the macro ratio, it’s changing the type or way you’re hitting your macros. So paying a little bit more attention to fiber. If you’re like, well, but I’ve always felt better on higher carb. How can I go low carb or that doesn’t seem to match your activity level despite the changing hormone levels you’re seeing during menopause. Pay attention to even your fiber intake with that. In terms of this, Michelle, if someone were to be adjusting their diet a little bit to increase their fiber, what foods would they want to focus on?

Michelle (25:09):
So you’re going to be looking at things like legumes, lentils, artichokes, raspberries. My favorite tip is, again, I mentioned it for magnesium, but cocoa powder. A tablespoon has two grams of fiber. So if you’re just looking at slowly increasing and you’re already drinking a chocolate protein shake, add a tablespoon and make it a dark chocolate protein shake and you’ve already upped your fiber intake for that day as well.

Cori (25:36):
My head instantly went to the raspberry because you got the cocoa powder, you got the raspberries, you can add some Greek yogurt, you get some nuts and seeds in there. See I told you we’re getting a great dessert right there, but if someone were to say, Hey, I’m eating some of this foods, I want to make sure I’m really hitting my fiber intake. Any other suggestions in terms of supplementing or what they should do?

Michelle (25:57):
So if you’re going to go the supplementation route, the biggest thing things like Metamucil, I’ll hear so often like, well, I’m taking Metamucil, so I’m good. Metamucil only has about five grams of fiber per day or per serving. So while absolutely it’s awesome if you’re looking to kind increase your fiber for the total of the day, it’s not the only way to go about it, but we are going to be looking for supplements that are going to have things like cilium husk in it, inulin, those are going to be the things that I would look at in a supplement route. But just know you still have, even if you’re supplementing with it, you still need to be focusing on it in your diet. It’s not something that you can just say, oh, I took a serving, I’m good. It needs to be something that you are still continually to make sure you’re hitting in your diet

Cori (26:46):
And off of this, talking about managing those symptoms overall balance, you kind of brought it up too with the cramps and magnesium and I wanted to circle back to it even off of fiber, but water intake. I know you love to talk about water intake, so of course I had to bring it up for you, but it is also incredibly important during menopause and off of that in electrolyte balance. Can you touch on that just a little bit? The importance of water, the importance of making sure you’re still balancing those electrolytes as you’re staying hydrated?

Michelle (27:15):
Yeah, so this is a favorite topic of mine. So when you hit menopause, we’ve already talked about, and I hope you all know at this point, the importance of a higher protein intake. Higher protein means you are most likely going to have a little bit lower carb intake. It is most people respond better to a higher fat than carb ratio when it comes to menopause and carbs, hold onto water. So we’ve already talked about how estrogen acts as a sponge in the body, so it actually helps you stay hydrated. I’ve had so many people tell me that the symptom that they suffered the most was actually having dry eyes and it’s because of just a hydration issue. So when you are having high protein, slightly lower carb and you’re not focusing on your hydration, you are going to deal with things like constipation. You are going to actually slow your own results because the very first step of even weight loss is lipolysis.

And to be able to do that, water has to be able to go in and actually break up the fat so that you can actually utilize it and burn it. So to make sure that we’re doing that, we want to make sure we are properly hydrated, and that’s not just water. So often people focus on water alone, but I actually find that most menopausal women benefit from consuming an electrolyte drink. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy. I’m not saying go out and go get the ultra marathon super high sodium levels, but if you’re just focusing on adding one electrolyte based drink in the afternoon, oftentimes I’ll have women tell me their headaches go away, the brain fog goes away. All of a sudden their need to actually rely on things like ibuprofen when they’re working out actually decreases because the biggest issue is just making sure that their joints are actually properly lubricated. So water and electrolytes are going to be probably the most overlooked and easiest fix when it comes to a woman’s diet. When they’re in menopause.

Cori (29:22):
It’s not just ignoring symptoms or accepting them, it’s seeing what little changes you can make from a dietary perspective. And not that you won’t pursue other modes of help, but controlling what we can control. And that’s easy low hanging fruit in my opinion, because you can go take a look at your diet for your fueling today, tomorrow, and make little adjustments can be really helpful. And I’d actually love to hear in the comments what little maybe meals you’re even making out of some of these foods because I think there’s a lot of creative fun you could have trying to include these things and create a dinner recipe or even a dessert recipe, which I’ve been obsessed with off of these things.

Cori (30:00):
Thanks for listening to the Fitness Hack podcast. Again, this is the place where I share all my free workout and nutrition tips. I’m never going to run sponsorships or ask you to buy anything. All I ask in return is if you’re enjoying the podcast to leave a rating review or share it with someone you think it might help. This will only take a few minutes and it would mean the world to me and possibly change the life of someone.

*Please Note: this transcript is auto-generated and there may be some errors in the transcript

FHP 640 – Why Can’t I Lose Weight!? (10 Reasons Why)

FHP 640 – Why Can’t I Lose Weight!? (10 Reasons Why)








Hey guys, this is Cori from Redefining Strength. Welcome to the Fitness Hacks Podcast. This is the show where I

Share all my free workout

And nutrition tips. I’m not going to ever fill this episode with sponsorships or ask you to buy anything. All I ask in return is if you’re enjoying the podcast to leave a review or leave a five star rating or even better share with someone you think it might help. This will only take a few minutes and would mean the world to me and possibly change the life of someone. So let’s jump right in.

I eat so clean, I train five to six days a week. I lift heavy. I don’t eat any junk food. I just don’t understand why I’m not seeing results. Many of us have felt frustrated in this exact way and we wonder why can’t I lose weight? And we think about all the things we’re doing right, the hard work we’re putting in the gym, the ways that we’re adjusting our nutrition. We even sometimes feel really restricted because we’re trying to make so many changes and in the end we sort of feel like we must be broken because we’re doing all these things right? But going to what we’re doing right doesn’t allow us to see the opportunity and probably some of the inconsistencies that are there or even the ways that all of our systems aren’t working together. Instead, we start to even think like maybe I’m broken.

Maybe there’s a hormonal issue. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s just previous dieting practices that have hurt my metabolism and I’m just doomed, but we’re not doomed. And while there can be other struggles that make things a challenge or make us have to adjust how we fuel and train and meeting ourselves where we’re at is super key and might be holding us back. So often we don’t control what we can control. So I really want to dive into why we can think I’m doing all these things right, but I can’t lose weight so that you can actually see the results that you deserve. So some hard truths that you have to embrace, some things you have to overcome, some things you might need to assess to see the results that you want. Number one, this is a very hard truth to embrace, but eating clean doesn’t mean that your macros are in line with what you need.

Our portions can be off. You can be eating really high quality food and still overeat. You might be eating nuts and fruits and all these different things and your protein might be low despite getting great protein sources and all these other foods being healthy. But often too, we think I need to get in all these fruits and vegetables and I don’t have room for protein, but protein has micronutrients too and we can have that balance. But eating clean does not mean that your portions are right for your needs and goals. You might need to adjust your calories. You might need to increase your protein, you might need to reduce your carbs or even increase your carbs. You might need to change up your fat, but you need to adjust your macros to make sure they match your workout routine and your lifestyle. And as your activity level changes, as your goals change with your workouts, as your body changes, what portions are right for you might need to adjust what worked for you.

Maybe when you were training for that marathon or younger and super active might not work for you as maybe you’ve become more sedentary or during menopause, you might have found that you are less able to utilize carbs as efficiently, especially with changes in your workout. You might have a little insulin resistance you need to address, so our portions will even change over time. So we can’t get married to one ratio. We have to recognize that eating quality food is not the be all and end all. We can still be overeating and not eating portions in line with our goals. Number two, you’re trying to add exercise your diet, and I think this is something we got away with a lot when we’re younger and we see it adding up as we get older, and it’s why I can feel like all of our hard work in the gym is not paying off, but you simply can’t out exercise your diet.

Your nutrition needs to be paired with your workouts to see the best results as fast as possible. Now that being said, you might be like, well, I started training this other time where I started training for this race and all of a sudden I did lose weight. Yes, you can create that calorie deficit initially through your training. We can increase our training to create more of a calorie deficit, but unless you’re doing more, more, more, more as you advance, not only do you adapt to the loads to be more efficient, so you’re burning fewer calories doing the same things, but you’re constantly in the cycle of having to add on more time, do more reps, which will hit a point of diminishing returns anyway in order to create that calorie burn through your activity. So while it can be nice starting out, and if you’re really easing back in, maybe you do adjust your workouts first because you’re more comfortable being uncomfortable in that way.

But if you’re an advanced trainee, if you’re seeing that plateau, you can’t out exercise your diet. You got to match your diet to your activity level, to your workouts, and seeing our workouts just as a chance to burn more calories ultimately holds us back. Next, you’re focusing on doing more. So this is like training longer, adding in more reps sets, moves to your workouts over dialing things in strategically, everything included. Your workout should be designed with purpose and it’s not just about doing more. Honestly, just because you have six days a week to train in an hour every day doesn’t mean you’re going to use that time trying to do high intensity interval training. A tabata workout that’s really meant to be like eight minutes and spreading that out for an hour unless you’re doing more mobility work or adding in longer rest periods between things.

It’s just a lot of wasted volume that can ultimately hold you back. And people talk about all the time right now, cortisol levels and working out being a stressor on your body. And yes, it is a stressor and a good stressor as long as it is done strategically. But if you are trying to do some of those high intensity things that are meant to be 10, 20, 30 minutes and spreading them out of the hour over your workout being an hour because of more mobility work rests all those things, you are going to raise cortisol levels and potentially not be optimized to utilize growth hormone and testosterone as well as you can be and see the full benefits from your training. You’re going to be beating yourself down, hit that burnout point of no return both mentally and physically. So you want to be designing everything strategically.

Do not see your workouts just as a chance to burn more calories because this is very limiting in how you’re actually using them versus if you’re trying to build lean muscle move better, you’re going to ultimately have more energy for everyday life because we’ve even seen with studies that if you try and burn more calories in your workouts and you completely deplete yourself while you’re under fueling, you’re going to actually fidget less in everyday life. So you’re not going to be seeing that calorie burn. Your body will find ways to conserve energy, so make your workout strategic so you’re building that lean muscle to utilize more calories even at rest to not only fuel that muscle, but all the other bodily processes. So don’t just focus on doing more design with purpose for everything you include and really be strategic in using the time you have.

Then another pitfall we often see is we’re doing more of the same. We think, well, I’m eating so clean. I’m training hard. I ultimately just trying to do more of the things we’re really comfortable with making changes then versus looking at the hard changes we have to make. And I can tell you the change you’re probably resisting making the most is the one you need to make the most to see the results that you want. If you’ve been resisting increasing protein because you’re like, well, there’s no point in increasing protein for X, Y, and Z reasons that you found, you probably need to increase your protein most. If you’re like, well, hey, I’ve never tried cutting back on my workouts, I’m scared to do this because what if it doesn’t work? Often you just add in more training and that’s why you’re not seeing the results you want because you’re not truly doing something different.

So often we look at making changes, and so yes, we’re making changes, but we’re making them in the same way. We’ve always made them. We’re doing more of the same things versus truly doing something different. We’re cutting our calories lower because we’re comfortable doing that versus saying, Hey, we’re doing more of the same with restriction. We cut out other food groups instead of saying, Hey, how can I work in a diversity? How can I change my macros? How can I actually eat more to fuel? So really take that step back to say, Hey, I’m making changes, but am I doing more of the same that I’m comfortable with or truly making a change that is outside my comfort zone, that is in a new direction that has purpose towards my goal? Then think about, are you being as consistent as you think being? Are you suffering from the good all week?

I can tell you a lot of times there’s just inconsistencies adding up and that’s part of the problem. We don’t see those 1% deviations. We say one being good enough or this is okay, or one thing can’t hurt and one thing won’t hurt. Overall, we do have to strike that lifestyle balance and not just think about days and weeks, but months and years. However, those inconsistencies, the more we allow them to add up and they allow for more 1% deviations. That one thing that you’re like, oh, I’m just not going to track this becomes, oh, well this other bite doesn’t count and this other sauce doesn’t count, and all of a sudden we have thousands of calories potentially over the week that we’re not accounting for. So be conscious of those inconsistencies. I bring up the good old week thing because a lot of times what I will see is people will be like, well, I’m good Monday through Friday and it’s just Saturday and Sunday, so it’s five and two.

But what we don’t recognize is that if we’re creating that smaller calorie deficit over the week to try and retain lean muscle, not hit that starvation, not feel restricted, ultimately what we’re doing is only building up a very small calorie deficit over the week, which is very easy, amazingly easy to blow over the weekend with those two days, and then with a couple of vacation days and a couple days that don’t quite go as planned here and there all of a sudden over the month, that consistency really isn’t there. So you have to think not just in terms of five and two, but also the actual calorie intake, the actual macro impact, because a lot of times on Saturday and Sunday too, we’re not chowing down an extra protein. It’s extra carbs and fat, which can dramatically impact the ratio we’re seeing over the course of that week.

So we can’t ignore those inconsistencies. I know a lot of times it can feel like we’re beating ourself up over not being perfect, but you’re not seeking to be perfect. You’re seeking to see opportunity and ways to improve. You’re already doing over having to make dramatic changes because it goes back to the thing of we need to be reminded more than we need to be taught. We often need to tweak more than we need to overhaul. We need to make those small improvements that really add up that are meeting us where we’re at. Also, I’ll tell you, and this is tip number six, you’re not recognizing the other ways that results are building. So I’ve kind of beat us up a little bit over all the little things that might be off, but I also think a lot of times we don’t see the way that results are snowballing, so we throw out things that are working because we just don’t see progress in the exact way we want to, and I think that’s where we can even think programs have worked.

I can tell you I’ve done a lot of different things, and if I only had one vision for what my goal was, one outcome that was satisfactory, I wouldn’t have gotten the benefit of a lot of things that I have. But I’ve always sought to learn one thing, even if it’s something I didn’t like from everything I’ve done. And so when you’re seeking a goal like weight loss, you have to celebrate the other wins. Are you doing things like including more micronutrient diversity that’s going to help for your health? Are you feeling more energized? Are you sleeping better? Are clothing items feeling better or fitting better even though you might not have seen that change on the scale yet? Are you lifting more in your workouts? Are you able to run faster? You have to find these other ways to measure progress, to know that the habits are paying off for your body as you make those little tweaks and keep moving forward towards your goals.

But we have to find ways to celebrate the changes we’re making, and sometimes that even means just giving ourself credit for stepping outside our comfort zone. Hey, I’m tracking. No, I’m not yet making any changes to my diet, and I know that tracking itself can feel overwhelming and I’m putting in a lot of effort for this, and it doesn’t feel like the outcome quite matches it, but I’m going to celebrate that I’m making this one habit because as this habit becomes easier, I can make more changes that truly snowball towards my goals. So you have to find other ways to celebrate the wins in the habits that you’re implementing. Otherwise you’re not going to stick with them and you’re not going to enjoy the journey because often there are a lot of other ways that we’re already seeing results. We’re just not recognizing them, and that makes us throw out things that are working and try and tweak those things that don’t need to be tweaked.

Then the other hard fact to own because none of us like being patient myself included, is that we simply haven’t been at things long enough. I’ve had clients be like, I’ve done this for a week. Why am I not seeing results? And I know we want to see instant results, but that’s just not the way it works. And sometimes yes, with glyco depletion because we’ve cut our carbs or yes, because we’re finally tracking and more aware of our intake, we make little changes that do add up so we can see that initial little pop of results from making those healthy swaps, but sometimes we don’t. And even if we’ve been seeing great progress, at some point we’re going to hit a plateau or things just aren’t snowballing the way we’d exactly like. Again, it doesn’t mean that progress isn’t building, it’s just not building in the exact way we want it to on the scale, but trying to rush that could ultimately sabotage our body comp.

So we have to find ways to be more patient with it, and we also have to recognize how long did it take us to get into the position we’re in now, we don’t often recognize that. Sometimes we’ll think about, oh, well, in the past when I’ve died it down, it’s taken 30 days to get this off. Well, how long did you actually have that weight on before? Only a couple months that time. Okay, well now you’ve done that crash diet which has impacted your metabolic rate, and now you put the weight back on and now you’ve had it on for three or four months or three or four years. So all those things change. And so each time we diet down, not only do we impact our metabolic health and potentially implement improper dieting practices that might’ve served us to get the weight off but not served our overall muscle or metabolism.

And that can make it harder now, but how long we’ve had the weight on can impact the rate at which we see it come off. And then yes, age does factor in our training practices and lifestyle do factor in. All these things are going to impact how the systems have to work together, and if we clinging to old practices, that might even be holding us back. So you have to recognize that sometimes you just have to stick with something longer and you have to trust the process despite it feeling like you’ve been at it for a while and you’ve been consistent and you want the results yesterday. So sometimes you just have to own, Hey, I just need to stick with this a little longer. And that’s why I even saying I’m not going to even think about tweaking things for three weeks or four weeks and give myself that end date that I’m like, Hey, no matter what, I’m testing it out for this time because I know all these other habits are going to pay off even if this exact macro breakdown or this exact workout isn’t as perfect or there’s something else I can build upon.

Because sometimes that even lays this foundation to see better results in the next four weeks because you did that hard to embrace. No one likes being patient, but sometimes we got to say, suck it up buttercup and stick with it. Number eight, you are not tweaking before freaking. It’s really easy to be like nothing is working or see the scale go up one time or your measurements go up one time and just want to throw everything away and just give up and start over. But that’s the worst thing you can do because we have to think, I haven’t come this far to only come this far. And every time you’re starting over, you’re not just starting over, you’re starting backwards because now you’re redoing everything and you’ve potentially done things in the meantime to sabotage yourself because we all have had those moments. The self sabotage, who cares?

And then we go, maybe the pin of ice cream or the bag of chips, whatever your craving is, maybe both. That would be me. But we sort of end up destroying all the progress we’ve made. We even sabotage ourselves further and make ourselves start over more than just starting over because we’ve potentially negatively impacted our metabolic health. We’ve also really shifted our mindset, and I bring this up because I see it most often with tracking. People have tracked in restricted ways, it hasn’t worked. They’ve done the self-sabotage and they feel even more rebellious against tracking again because of the association than they then have. So we then even turn ourselves off from the habits even more feeling like they didn’t work and we have to start over. So I will tell you the best thing you can do is if you feel like something’s not working and you even might say, Hey, could I give it a little longer?

And you’re like, yes, I can, but it’s really hard for me to want to give longer. Maybe do a little tweak. Maybe you adjust how you’re hitting your macros and adjust your meal timing a little bit. Maybe you do say, Hey, I’ve been on this macro ratio for a little bit. I’m going to tweak for one week because I need that break or change above things. Maybe, Hey, I’m going to add in just an extra walk per week. You do something minor that could have a major impact, but also give you that sense of control. Because I think a lot of times that’s also what we’re control over our results. It’s why we go to doing more, but find a little tweak, find a little optimization. Hey, maybe I wasn’t as consistent this last week. How can I be a little bit more consistent? Or, Hey, I fell off a little bit on Sunday or had that cheat meal and while that’s going to be part of my balance right now, I want to see results faster, so I’m going to tweak that.

Find one little thing to tweak over freaking out and trying to overhaul everything because then you’re potentially throwing out really good things that we’re building. You’re not keeping the progress going and the momentum going, and you’re starting over and you’re creating that negative association which can really hold you back, and it could become the more you do, the more you do, but not in a positive direction, then you are not accurately tracking. This sounds really weird to say because you’re like, well, I am tracking. But I think we can let those little deviations add up where we don’t log the bites, licks and nibbles that really are going on throughout the day. We’re not logging the full sauce, we’re eyeballing things, we’re not truly measuring it out. And while there are times for that, and I think that can be part of maintenance, I think it can be part of our building process.

The more we say, why can’t I see a result? Or you want a result yesterday, the more precise you do have to be. And just like you would measure a recipe, if you really want it to turn out, at least from my experience, if you wing it and throw things in, it can turn out dramatically different or not at all if you’re not really good at the eyeball measurements because you’ve done it so frequently. So this is also where those 1% deviations creep in of like, I’m being good enough. We need to log to really make sure that we’re holding ourselves accountable. And again, when you’re maintaining, when you get really comfortable with portraits for something, you might become more lax. There might be times that you’re not logging as consistently or as strictly. However, if you’re saying, why can’t I see a result? You need to track everything to make sure that everything is dialed in because those systems have to work together.

And that being said, if you’re not tracking your nutrition and you’ve added in more workouts or you’re not logging the new workouts and holding yourself accountable for the new activity and you haven’t adjusted your macros to match what you’re not tracking, you can’t fully see the impact of, so you can’t make sure that it’s truly working together where things can be off, but often we’re not accurately tracking things are being missed, even we’re choosing recipes that aren’t our own that we’ve made. And in that those recipes be dramatically different macros. And I throw this out there not because I think that eating out is bad. I like to go out to eat at restaurants, but I also know that there’s going to be more deviation in that, that I can’t fully know how they’ve cooked something. And so the more you want results, the more you can really get precise in those measurements, the better off you’re going to be.

If you’re going out consistently, you’re going to potentially want to create a little bit more wiggle room or really get consistent in where you’re going out so you can see the impact those restaurants truly have on your nutrition. But just knowing that creates a little less accuracy in your measuring. It’s not demonizing going out. You want to find your lifestyle balance. But again, it’s weighing how fast do I want to see results versus how sustainable do I want these habits to be? And you can sort of course correct along that continuum based on what you want to achieve and based on how many sacrifices you are willing to make because we do have to make more sacrifices along the way to see results. Now, last but not least, you’ve been focused on it best over dialing things in strategically together. And I say this because I will have people be like, what’s the best move for X?

What’s the best macro ratio for X? What’s the best insert? Anything else there? And there is no one best. It’s about how everything works together. I can tell you I’ve even seen it where someone has a great macro breakdown technically for their age, for their activity level, for all these different things, and all of a sudden they come up with the stress at work and aren’t sleeping and things need to dramatically shift, or they have a great workout routine, but again, they’re stress and therefore not recovering optimally, and all of a sudden we need to shift it. So there is no one best. The best thing is something strategically designed to meet you where you’re at that is sustainable. I can tell you that three days a week are better than six days a week if you can do three days a week consistently and give your all to those three days.

But I can also tell you that you can design really well for six days a week to make them better than three days a week. However, you’re taking your six day a week routine and only doing three of those days is probably not optimal because you’re not owning your reality and you’re not designing for the time you have. So you want to think about how is everything designed with purpose and strategy based on my lifestyle, based on my needs, based on my goals, and then be willing to evolve over time. Too often I do think we give very tied to tactics and tools, overseeing evolution in those things and realizing that we’re constantly going to have to be meeting ourselves where we’re at. So if you’ve been thinking to yourself, why can’t I lose weight? I want you to consider these different things and really take a hard look at your systems and how they’re all playing together to help you achieve results.

Thanks for listening to the Fitness Hacks Podcast. Again, this is the place where I share all my free workout and nutrition tips. I’m never going to run sponsorships or ask you to buy anything. All I ask in return is if you’re enjoying the podcast to leave a rating, review or share it with someone you think it might help. This will only take a few minutes and it would mean the world to me and possibly change the

Life of someone you know.

*Please Note: this transcript is auto-generated and there may be some errors in the transcript


What I Wish I Knew About Protein Sooner (The 20g Myth And More!)

What I Wish I Knew About Protein Sooner (The 20g Myth And More!)

Think protein is just for bodybuilders?

Think again.

Focus on increasing protein may be even more important if you’re…

  • Female
  • Over the age of 30
  • Training hard
  • Looking to lose weight
  • Looking to lose fat
  • Looking to gain muscle
  • Looking to stay functionally stronger
  • Looking to stay energized and recover faster
  • Looking to age well and stay mentally with it…

Basically protein is honestly even more key for those of us looking to feel, look and move our best at any and every age.

Yet many of us struggle with not only increasing protein, but wanting to increase it.

Too often we even search out anything we can to tell us we DON’T have to make a change.

But honestly, this desire to not make a change is what keeps us stuck.

And so often our unwillingness to embrace increasing protein, especially as we get older, is what keeps us from ever seeing the results we want.

We keep searching for a way around the hard change of increasing protein ultimately to never see any of our hard work pay off.

That’s why I wanted to share some things I wish I’d personally known earlier on about protein and dispel some common protein myths and highlight HOW it helps.

Because when we truly understand the WHY behind the habit changes, we are more willing to embrace hard habit shifts.

What we value, we prioritize.

And we value things more when we truly understand the benefit and purpose behind the changes.

So that’s why I want to highlight why increasing your protein is something you should value.

Starting with the fact that it isn’t just essential for our aesthetic goals.

This ties into a myth we often also hear that gives us an excuse NOT to eat more protein…

And this myth is “You can only utilize 20-30 grams of protein in a meal.” 

I’ve heard this myth repeated in a variety of ways, arguing that eating more protein during your day will only “go to waste.”

But this amount is just the amount that our body can use in a single sitting for muscle protein synthesis.

However, when you eat protein, all those amino acids aren’t just going to your muscles.

Only a very small portion of that 20-30 grams you’re consuming is actually being used in that way.

Because proteins make up EVERY tissue in our body. 

Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage and skin. 

And it’s involved in so many bodily functions including cellular repair.

So if you’re only eating 20-30 grams your muscles aren’t fully getting the maximal amount they can use. 

Not to mention the studies done on this “ideal” protein intake don’t take into account that mixed macro meals, aka adding carbs or fats with the protein, can impact the rate of digestion. 

They also don’t take into account that as we get older, we don’t utilize protein as efficiently.

This makes increasing our intake per meal even more key. 

Consuming less in a meal when we are younger is something we can “get away with” because of the more optimal hormonal environment we have.

As we get older, we need more protein to elicit that same muscle building response. 

Again…more protein is better.

And a recent study has even shown that consuming 100 grams of protein at a meal not only lead to BETTER muscle protein synthesis but didn’t go to waste. 

So if you’ve been trying to tell yourself you didn’t need to eat more protein because it would only be wasted, think again.

And not to harp on this, but it’s probably one of the biggest reasons I push my clients to be so protein centric, but I want them to define how they age. 

There is no denying our body changes with age. But we truly are in control of defining how we age. 

And so much of what we just write off as getting older, is within our power to change and control.

Feel like you’re losing muscle?

Feel like you’re losing strength?

Feel like you’re not recovering as quickly?

Worried about falls and fractures and your bone health? 

Seeing negative changes in your health, including an increase in your blood pressure during menopause?

Or are you frustrated because you’re metabolism is slowing down and you’re seeing the weight creep on no matter what you do as you even slash your calories lower and lower?

What if I told you focusing on protein may be the simplest solution to addressing these things you’ve written off as just getting older?!

Protein honestly is the fountain of youth we don’t often truly recognize.

Now if you want to focus on building muscle and strength, your workouts and challenging yourself with your training is key. 

But so often we see the results we deserve from our hard work in the gym paying off because our fueling doesn’t match.

You can only train as hard as you recover from. And to recover, your body needs protein. 

So if you want to stay functionally fit and strong as you get older, you can’t avoid increasing your protein.

And by building and retaining more lean muscle as you get older, when so often we see a decline in muscle with age, you’ll also help keep your metabolic rate higher. 

Not to mention the thermic effect, or the energy required for the metabolism of food, of digesting protein itself is higher. 

This means more calories burned without us doing anything differently!

And if we want to lose fat, increasing our protein not only helps with this process but helps us avoid losing more muscle, which we are at increased risk for losing already as we get older.

AKA by focusing on protein we improve our metabolic health and body recomp to be any age and freaking lean and strong!

But again, protein isn’t just about rocking those aesthetic results…

It is also key for our health as we get older.

It can help keep our bones strong and avoid fractures, and lower our risk of osteoporosis.

And it can even help lower our blood pressure, which is key especially during menopause when we can see our risk for cardiovascular disease rise.

Now I do want to touch on protein and “risk.” Because this is something I wish I’d realized sooner… 

Protein is honestly the least risky food to include if you want to see fabulous body recomp and your hard work in the gym pay off. 

And I wish I’d known this sooner because it would have helped me get leaner and stronger faster.

Of course there is too much of even a good thing…

And specific health concerns like kidney disease may mean that a lower amount of protein is key for you, although there are some interesting new studies even debating this exact amount…

But for anyone with healthy kidneys who focuses on quality fueling and hydration, higher protein intakes will NOT have a negative impact. 

But I mention “risk” also because increasing our protein intake helps us see results in a much easier way.

A high protein diet is the only diet shown to help you gain lean muscle in a deficit and even avoid gaining unwanted fat while in a calorie surplus. 

It gives you wiggle room in your calorie intake to still see results.

Not to mention, it can help you eat more and feel fueled while still seeing body recomp. 

And being able to eat more will help you keep your metabolic rate higher and create a more sustainable calorie intake that doesn’t leave you feeling starving and deprived. 

Not to mention, protein does improve our health, reducing our risk of so many health concerns…yet too often we only focus on the negatives it may have for specific populations.

But honestly, almost every healthy food can have a negative impact if not consumed based on what we need!

And there are also so many MICROnutrients in protein sources we don’t often realize and value.

We talk about getting more fruits and vegetables, which are 100% key…

But we don’t recognize that protein sources offer a diversity of vitamins and minerals that are essential as well.

And many found in protein sources aren’t available in other sources in the same form such as Vitamin A (Retinol), B12, Carnitine, Carnosine, Creatine, D3, DHA, EPA, Heme Iron, and Taurine. 

These things are essential to optimal health.

So not only is protein essential as a macro, but it packs a micronutrient punch!

Now if you’re like “Ok Cori, I’m sold on increasing protein…But it’s just so hard! I’d like to, but how!?”

I’ll tell you…I get it.

We’re used to consuming foods in the portions we are currently eating. 

And to change our macro split, we have to adjust those portion sizes which often means planning ahead.

Because otherwise we are just going to do what we’ve always done…and we’ve always not eaten more protein! 

I also think we often simply get overwhelmed with the idea which makes our brain freak out and not think in terms of small adjustments.

Or we make changes to hit a number without focusing still on making it ENJOYABLE. 

We go straight to the chicken and broccoli or force ourselves to choke down a protein shake we hate. 

Instead our goal should be to consider ways we may ENJOY adding more protein.

When we are excited to do something, when it is enjoyable over a chore, we are more likely to truly embrace the habit change.

We need to feel like, and remember it is our choice, not something we HAVE to do. 

Yes a protein supplement or bar can be used, but that is too often what we jump to. 

And we want the benefits that whole, natural proteins provide.

So instead, try looking up dishes you may enjoy that have more protein. 

Or take a day of meals you already love and search for small tweaks. 

Massive changes aren’t made overnight.

But one small adjustment that you can build on will add up. 

So even take your meals today and see where you can make one change to increase your protein.

Can you add an ounce more chicken? 

Sprinkle nutritional yeast on something? 

Swap greek yogurt of sour cream? 

Those grams add up!

And this is something key I wished I’d found when I first sought to add more protein because it would have made the process so much easier to see the results I wanted sooner!

Focus on those small changes and really seek to understand the why behind the habit swaps you’re looking to make, like increasing protein. 

It can help you truly value the changes to make them easier so you can see the results you deserve.

Because if you’re looking to move, feel and look your best till your final day on this planet, increasing your protein is the magical habit change that most of us avoid making but that truly makes all of our hard work add up!

Ready to dial in your diet to match your workouts and help you build your leanest, strongest body ever?

Learn more about my Metabolic Shred!