Cori – 00:00

Hey guys, this is Cori from Redefining Strength. Welcome to the Finis-Tax podcast. This is a show where I share all my free work on the 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 it 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 you know, so let’s jump right in. So we’re going to talk about underrated versus overrated for fat loss. Michelle and I have very similar perspectives, but I think the differences that we do have will be very interesting in eye-opening. So, michelle, I’m going to throw you under the bus and make you start with the first one Workouts for fat loss underrated or overrated.

Michelle – 00:50

So in my opinion, overrated and part of. There’s several factors to this. And obviously I’m not saying workouts are bad and there’s obviously lots of health benefits from them. But if you are solely focused on fat loss and you think that throwing in an extra workout is going to get you your results, you’re going to be disappointed. And this is often because a lot of people tend to work out and we tend to over consume after because we think we’ve earned it or we think we’re burning more calories than what we actually are. And sometimes working out in general can actually increase your appetite. So if you’re not adding your workouts with a macro approach, you probably are going to be hungrier and more susceptible to kind of falling, falling victim to those simple refined carbohydrate cravings.

Cori – 01:40

And I’m going to disagree with you and say underrated.
And while I think for weight loss all you need is diet you change your diet, you can create that calorie deficit, you can lose weight I think that we so often misuse our workouts now that we now say diet is 80% of the battle and workouts are only 20%, but when we’re really trying to achieve that fat loss and that body recomp, workouts are so much more important than we give them credit for, especially for a sustained lifestyle.


So I would argue, underrated because we treat our workouts like a chance to just burn more calories and create that deficit, which is misusing them and that can then make them overrated. But if you’re trying to build and retain the muscle, you’re going to help yourself keep your metabolic rate higher. You’re going to help yourself feel more like fit and fueled and want to do all the healthy habits you have to in terms of like the nutrition wise and outside of the gym. So I think it’s really the implementation of our workouts that can be so important and make them such a valuable tool. However, as you mentioned like we can’t just see them as a chance to burn more calories. We can’t just see them as a chance to try and create that deficit, because ultimately that does backfire and then make them overrated.

Michelle – 02:44

Yeah, and I do think that’s the biggest issue is when people view their workouts that kind of as a punishment, like, oh I ate this, I need to go burn it. Most likely you’re not going to oftentimes work out long enough to actually burn it off or you’re probably overdoing it in the gym and causing other potential injuries. Other issues, increased stress that can kind of backfire.

Cori – 03:06

And I think part of what has made workouts slightly be like not as valued for fat loss or not as valued in terms of the weight loss process, is the fact that we’ve turned to just seeing them as a chance to burn more calories and we’ve gotten very obsessed with the fitness trackers which is actually kind of funny because I have two on one I use the time rest, the other one I use more to track sleep.

But we see our workouts only as this chance to burn more calories, and this is what backfires, versus seeing it as a chance to building muscle, really creates that healthy metabolic rate, and even see it as a chance to get functionally fit. So I think it’s almost realizing that there is even nuance in the workouts. I would say cardio is overrated, making our workouts hard is overrated, but true strength, where building that lean muscle is so undervalued and underrated when we want to achieve that body recomp. And it’s even why we can think, hey, I can’t get as lean as I’d like or I don’t see the lasting results, or I lose weight but I only look skinnier and I can’t maintain those results right. So it’s the nuance in how we use those workouts to pair with our nutrition really.

Michelle – 04:08

Yeah, exactly, I think you kind of nailed it right. There is, I think the biggest issue I have when people are focused so much on their workouts is they think that they need to be sore every workout and they really need to hit it hard. When the research shows that doing kind of the strength training and more slow, steady, you know, cardio, like walking where you were not not even speed walking, just walking, is going to make the bigger difference overall.

Cori – 04:34

We cannot exercise or diet plain and simple, and so both have to work together. Now, moving on to the nutritional component food quality does it matter for fat loss? Why or why not?

Michelle – 04:48

So I do think food quality is underrated and I have to have a little bit of a caveat here because I think the biggest thing is if how fast you’re wanting fat loss to results to occur.

So while macros are always going to help you, having you know that calorie limit is going to help you towards your goal, If you’re really looking to try and have fast results, you need to take into consideration of your quality.

So oftentimes you know everyone has this idea that calorie is king and as long as you’re in that deficit you are going to achieve your goal. And while that’s kind of true, part of the issue is, if you are only focusing on calories and macros in general and not giving any attention to quality, you’re really missing out on a lot of those whole nutrient dense and diverse foods that are really going to help you stay more energized, be more active, be able to repair and rebuild, be able to have that muscle protein synthesis actually rolling, so you’re getting on more muscle and actually being able to burn your fat, versus burning your muscle mass when we are in a deficit.

Cori – 05:57

When I put this one on there to talk to you about, I debated myself underrated. Overrated, because the thermic effect of food and whole natural foods really does make the weight loss process easier. Getting those nutrient dense foods versus calorically dense food makes our body function better, which helps us see better results faster. It can help us feel fuller, which makes the calorie deficit easier. At the same time, when I was really thinking through all of this and I knew you were going to say underrated, I had to almost lean towards that overrated side of the continuum for under rated to overrated because, let’s face it, it’s not really either or there’s a continuum. I had to lean towards that overrated side. The reason I did, I think, is my own personal bias and experiences with the fat loss process, the body recount process. I think it’s very easy to start and I see it a lot online, which is probably why I’m saying this.

But the clean eating pressure, while whole natural foods are really key, we want to improve our health, we want to have our body function as optimally as possible. So often we do just demonize any foods that aren’t perfectly clean by someone else’s standards and we don’t see that lifestyle balance. So we ultimately sabotage our own consistency. So I would say, if you are just starting out, food quality is vastly overrated Start meeting yourself where you’re at.

If you’re eating out all the time, try and find slightly better variations to hit those macros, to hit those calories right. Include foods that make your lifestyle easy. If it is having a protein bar on the go, if it is having something that’s a little more processed on the go but will keep you consistent, so that you can see that long-term adherence, do it. You’re still going to see results. People see results eating McDonald’s, fast food diets and lose weight right, and the whole point is that we’ve got to meet ourselves where we’re at to make those changes. So I would say, if you’re just starting out and your food quality maybe isn’t what you think is ideal or clean, it’s going to be overrated to focus on that first over just trying to get those portions dialed in. Get the calories dialed in. Meet yourself where you’re at. But then, yes, if you want to reach that next level of leanness, food quality is vastly underrated and if you’re relying on protein shakes and some not quality foods, that’s probably going to make the process a lot harder on you.

Michelle – 07:55

Yeah and that’s something that I actually talked to a lot of clients about is when we are starting to see that caloric intake be filled with protein shakes and protein bars and lots of supplements and don’t get me wrong, I’m not against supplements, I think they have a place but if we’re starting to miss out on those micronutrients, that can be oftentimes where the plateaus happen, and that’s what I see with the quality, like he said, I think you’re starting out and things are rolling. Yeah, you’re doing well as long as you are focusing on the macros and the calories. But if you want to avoid those plateaus and see continual results happen, then that’s when we do want to make sure that we are having that quality.

Cori – 08:39

And going off of that too and I bring this up because I know you had this discussion with a client where she was increasing her fruit and vegetable intake but she wasn’t quite seeing the quick changes she wanted on the scale in terms of body recompense. She’s like what’s even the point? And you’re like, well, but you’re eating all these things that are good for your health, which, long term, will benefit you. It will also snowball in terms of the body recompense that you’re seeing. So I think it’s important that we don’t forget the importance that getting the proper fuel in will make the vehicle function better, which ultimately will create hormonal balance, better recovery, all the things that lead to the results, even if it doesn’t feel like it’s snowballing right away.

Michelle – 09:15

Yeah, and I know this isn’t on the list, but I am just going to add I think the biggest underrated thing is time and patience. So many of us want those fast results and, like you said, like I’m doing these things, why am I not seeing the results as fast as I want? It’s going to snowball. Your health is improving, Hormones are getting fixed and that takes time.

It’s not an overnight switch. It may not even be like a week or a month switch, but you are going to see those improvements and the best results I hear from is when people are talking to me about their labs. Like you know, I may not have seen it on the scale, but those non-scale victories of my blood pressure has improved, my cholesterol has improved, I you know, my knees, my joints are feeling better, I can actually bend without pain or move without pain. Those are things that are often getting the recognition that it deserves and it’s going to snowball and the scale sometimes may be the last place that you actually see that improvement. But the labs, the measurements, those are going to be the areas of that. You’re going to see the results first.

Cori – 10:18

And I mean that boom might drop. But like that hits on, even how you might value some of these things and decide they’re underrated or overrated. For you, specifically, is what helps you be able to stick with it for long enough. Be consistent with it for long enough, right, because you can’t out exercise out, work out, diet time and you have to be consistent with things. So, moving on to the next one, because I think this actually does really play into that fasting overrated or underrated for fat loss?

Michelle – 10:50

I’m going overrated with this one, mainly because I think it’s a tool that some people can respond well to and it can help lead to results.

But I also think it’s become this like, oh, to get results you should be fasting, when in reality oftentimes this fasting really is just helping you kind of limit your caloric intake.

But I often see the negatives of fasting with clients, and that is one if you are fasting and you are perimenopause or sorry, not perimenopause, but if you are premenopause and preperimenopause oftentimes fasting can actually interrupt or disrupt your hormone production.

So sometimes I’m seeing a lot of issues with women that are having that, where their hormones all of a sudden are kind of thrown off balance. But the other issue I see, particular with the clients, is that they have this smaller window and because of that they have a very difficult time getting their protein in that they need at the end of the day and that is important is like, even if you’re fasting, this doesn’t all of a sudden mean that, like, those calories and grams of protein that you need daily get subtracted from your day. No, it just means that you have a smaller window to get them in. And while for postmenopause women there can be more benefits because we’re not worried so much about hormone production and I have seen postmenopause women respond decently to a moderate you know, fasting period. It is really one of those that’s just kind of overrated for the general population. It’s something that you don’t have to do and as long as you are kind of focusing on those calories and those macros in general, the timing is a little bit less important, thank God.

Cori – 12:37

I 100% agree. I actually like intermittent fasting. I’ve done it on and off over the years. It helped me allow me to find my balance, really understand my hunger cues a little bit better, work with my schedule to not feel pressure or think that my muscles were just going to melt off. I didn’t eat at a specific time. But I will have to still 100% say that it is overrated for fat loss and often misuse.

I see clients a lot of times using it to try and create more severe restriction which ultimately backfires and makes them want to overeat.

They try and force it when it isn’t right for their scheduling right, where they can’t then break their fast after training.

Or they do these different things just to try and intermittent fast because they’ve heard it’s really good and ultimately they try and use it to excuse not hitting their macros or not hitting their calories, which, if you don’t hit those things, I don’t care what your meal timing is you’re not going to see as good a results right. You can’t just eat crap even though you might be in a deficit and see the body recomp you want. Yes, you might lose weight on the scale initially. I also see it as something they then rely on to end up under eating and therefore they’re not getting the fuel they need to build and retain that lean muscle mass to keep their metabolic rate healthier, which then sabotages future weight loss efforts, makes it harder and harder to maintain the results that they even worked hard for. So I, even as a person who still does it not as consistently but still does it believes that it can be a tool to fit your schedule, think it is vastly overrated for fat loss.

Michelle – 13:58
And I think too just to kind of add, because you know we talked about fitting your schedule it also needs to kind of fit your social schedule as well, because I think so often, like we, we try it, like you said, we try to force ourselves in this box. But if you are struggling and it’s causing more stress because you’re worried about not being able to enjoy social events, go out with family and friends because it doesn’t line up with your eating window, then that can also have negative effects on your overall goal. So it’s really just taking into account your lifestyle, your social calendar, all those things, to really finding if it’s right for you or not.

Cori – 14:36

I totally agree. And on the flip side, you know if you are having a meal out where you don’t have as much control and you know you’re going to have more calories and you do fast, or you want to use it to really learn your hunger cues because you don’t want to be stuck to a meal timing, or you can’t eat at specific times, like all these things are really important, which kind of leads into the next topic, which is meal timing in general, not just fasting underrated or overrated because you hear it talked about a whole heck of a lot when it comes to achieving body recomp.

Michelle – 15:02

So I’m going to go overrated with this one, and mainly because I think so often we compare the you know the general population likes to compare it to like the athletes or what we’re hearing, so and so is doing, and the celebrities and what they’re doing, but so often we are over complicated, as it needs to be complicated. So when it comes to meal timing, you know I grew up and I was taught, you know, even going through my own schooling with nutrition that it really mattered to make sure that you had the proper nutrients post workout and that it really mattered to make sure that you were eating at X amount of times throughout the day. But the new research shows that it doesn’t really matter as long as at the end of the day, you are still hitting your overall caloric needs and your overall protein needs. So we get caught up in like well, when do I need to eat this pre workout and when do I need to eat this post workout?

If you’re not engaging in, like major endurance competitions where you know timing is going to actually matter a little bit more for you to be able to perform that activity, you don’t need to be stressed so much day to day. You can really just kind of have, kind of eat a fairly normal. You know, when you’re hungry you eat and make sure that you’re hitting your calories and macros without stressing about. Oh, it’s an hour before my workout, I need to get this in. Or, you know, 30 minutes after my workout there’s a magical window that I need to make sure I’m consuming X in. So that’s it, that’s not going to matter as much.

Cori- 16:34
I agree. I think meal timing is highly overrated and overstressed and over like focused on. I can tell you that in all the times I’ve ever tried to get as late as possible, I never want stress of specific meal timing, nor even kept a specific meal timing day to day. It’s fluctuated dramatically and I’ve just focused on hitting my macros and calories for the day and I’ve seen great results. That being said, I do think that, as much as it’s overrated in general for fat loss, some of these details can often be underrated when we’re trying to really meet ourselves where we’re at. So I do want to put the slight emphasis on if you are getting older, you’re struggling to get in your protein, you’re struggling to see the muscle gains you want. So again, this is would be if, even with fat loss, you’re trying to gain a little bit more muscle, you might then consider the timing of your protein to make sure that you are getting it right around your workouts, because that will help you with that muscle protein synthesis to see better results as you get older. So, understanding that, while it’s overrated, and if you haven’t gotten those other big fundamentals down and first, you’re focusing on the wrong things by focusing on meal timing. If you are really struggling to see the results you want when you have dialed in your overall macros, you have dialed in your overall calories, this can be something that you can play with to then help make sure that you’re getting the feel you need when you’re you need it.

If you’re training for something specifically, or if you have hit that next level of leanness and you’re really struggling to get those last few percent off, this is where those details can become highly underrated. But it’s very specific circumstances. So if you’re just starting out, if you want generally really fabulous results, stress the fundamentals first, focus on those overall macros, calories for the day. Then you can get into some of these details just to make things work better for you specifically. So, jumping off of that, because I think this is one of the biggest things that we need to focus on, and I’m going to say a spoiler here we’re both saying this is underrated protein. Why is protein so important and will we die on the hill of it’s underrated, no matter what?

Michelle – 18:30
So there’s lots of reasons, but one you know protein has a higher thermic effective food. You do get a slight metabolic boost and a little bit improved calorie burn when you are consuming higher amounts of protein. A big thing for me is whenever you are specifically focusing on fat loss and this is where, in this case, it’s a huge portion is when you are trying to lose fat. You are most likely going to be in a deficit. When your body is in that deficit, it’s going to turn to whatever it can for energy, especially at that, those beginning stages. So what happens is your body will actually turn to that muscle and obviously we want to keep that muscle. We want to lose that fat. So protein is going to help protect that muscle mass from being used up as energy when you’re in a fat loss phase. And then, of course, protein is important for repairing and rebuilding muscle. We want you to put on more muscle. We want to decrease that fat. We want to improve muscle. It is going to have an increased or it’s going to help you feel fuller when you’re consuming meals. So if you are looking at staying within a deficit, we want to To be focusing on foods that are going to keep you full so you’re not just feeling hungry all the time.

And then a big thing that I feel like a lot of people don’t recognize or give it credit for is protein does not come in just a little package where it’s just delivered just as pure protein. It’s going to have those micronutrients as well, so protein really is going to be full of, like B vitamins, which B vitamins are known as the energy vitamin. So oftentimes you can kind of get a boost in energy if you are increasing your protein and if you have that extra boost, you’re more likely to engage in behavior that’s going to have you burning more calories throughout the day. We tend to fidget more, we tend to be more excited about things, and that’s going to actually contribute to your overall calorie burn just, and that’s outside, of course, of feeling good enough to actually hit your workout. And then, of course, it also is going to have other vitamins and minerals, but things like zinc and iron are also going to help you fill, alert and feel more energetic as well, it is truly filled with micronutrients and even informed, so we can’t get in other foods.

Cori – 20:47
But on top of that and I agree with everything you said, surprise, surprise, you know again, I think it’s vastly underrated and I think we’re usually under eating it, which is part of why we don’t see the body recomp we want. Right. We’re not just looking for weight loss on the scale, we are looking to truly see that definition look leaner, right. Build and retain that lean muscle mass. Well, in the deficit, set ourselves up for long term success.

But eating more protein when you’re trying to lose fat is simply safer. And what I mean by this is if your calories go a little bit higher, if you do include that cheat day on a weekend, if you do have variations, by consuming more protein you’re going to make the other energy that you need. You’re going to be able to produce all the different things that you need because you’re getting protein. Also because of the thermic effect. If you overeat calories one day, you’re not going to see unwanted fat be gained as easily as if you had carbs or fat and didn’t utilize that energy source and you are protecting that lean muscle mass to keep the metabolic rate higher, not to mention when we do deviate okay, and most of us will have that cheat day. Most of us will have that day where our macros are off because we ate out.

If we’re airing on the side of going higher protein on all those other days, when we do have that one day where carbs and fat rule because that’s generally what happens when we don’t eat according to our macros to try and lose fat, we’re still maintaining like a higher level of protein overall and so everything balances out.

So I do like to air on the side of using higher protein ratios with clients whenever I can, knowing that when there are those deviations, those times out, they’re probably still hitting the minimum, even if they can’t fully track. So it oddly provides a safety net when we’re trying to lose fat, on top of all the other benefits from the thermic effect, protecting our lean muscle while we’re in that deficit, getting us the micronutrients that we need and all that jazz. Off of that, let’s talk about something that’s not nutrition-based and our final underrated, overrated for today sleep, Because workouts we think of as very important often for our fat loss results are nutrition we think of as very important, but those two things aren’t the only things involved in really seeing the results we want. Michelle, is sleep overrated or underrated for fat loss?

Michelle – 22:47
So I am going to say sleep is very underrated. Often times I feel like we tend to push through things when we have a lack of sleep. But one of the biggest things is, when you are not sleeping adequately, you are going to have a change in your neurotransmitters. So actually I’m a very I’m blanking for the word, but on a very like extreme level you are going to have see the effects actually harm you, and one of the things that’s going to happen is you are going to actually have an increase in ghrelin, which is the hunger promoting hormone, and a decrease in leptin, which is the satiating hormone. So you are automatically going to be craving more. You’re going to be kind of having to fight yourself against this kind of pushing your body a little bit further to kind of stay on track.

But oftentimes when we are having lack of sleep, it’s not just that we have an increased appetite, but what we’re actually craving is you’re not craving more protein, you’re craving that simple refined carps sources because you’re looking for quick energy, you’re trying to stay awake and then on top of that, we tend to over correct. So all of a sudden we feel like we need that extra caffeine and we start hitting that caffeine later in the day. Caffeine stays in your system whether you are filling, the jitteriness or the alertness of it or not. It is going to stay in your system for about 10 hours after your last consumption of it. So if you’re taking that later in the day to get through the slump because you’re tired so three o’clock, four o’clock, whatever it is you’re probably going to actually be heralded by the time you’re getting there. So it’s really trying to make sure that we are getting off of this roller coaster and being able to get that adequate sleep.

Now, on top of this, another hormone that’s going to actually increase with lack of sleep is the lack of sleep. You know there’s a lack of sleep, so you’re probably going to be able to go out and get your sleep, really trying to make sure that we are getting off of this roller coaster and being able to get that adequate sleep. Now, on top of this, another hormone that’s going to actually increase with lack of sleep is cortisol. So you are actually going to increase your overall stress and cortisol is kind of the fat storing hormone. So, specifically for fat loss, you’re not doing yourself any favors if you’re not hitting your sleep and this doesn’t need to cause like tons of extra stress, but there are things that you can do to kind of make sure that you are having good sleep habits and even consuming foods that are going to actually help you get to sleep and get a full night’s rest so that you’re able to get into that deep REM, so you are waking up well rested and actually having lower cortisol levels.

Cori – 25:15

I love that you mentioned the cycle that we get caught in and also the quality of sleep. I would agree that sleep is really underrated and I think it’s because we often feel like we don’t have as much control over it. And it’s not just the quantity, because sometimes we can’t sleep more, but it is trying to do everything we can to improve the quality, and that does relate back to our diet. I also think that sleep and the things we see with our sleep patterns really indicate other imbalances or things being off, whether it’s over training, and that disrupts our sleep, or even, you know, under eating, so that disrupts our sleep as well. Right, so we can see different symptoms of things being off in our workouts or diet and how our sleep is being impacted. But we can also adjust those things to then improve the quality of our sleep. But if we’re not getting, you know, the proper amount of sleep, we’re not going to see results happen as fast as possible, and that might be the missing link. And I know it’s really hard to say well, I can’t go to bed earlier, right, but what can you do to try and improve the quality of your sleep, from the way you’re dialing in your macros, to how you’re training, to the caffeine you include all those different things, because the quality of our sleep does impact then how we can train.

If you’re not recovering and rebuilding, you’re going to see diminishing returns from your workouts. You’re not going to be able to push us hard. So even though it feels like you’re true 100% intensity, it’s just not going to be. And then you’re not going to see the strength gains, you’re not going to see the muscle gains, you’re not going to see all the benefits from those training sessions, despite working really hard, and you’re going to feel more and more beat down.

If you’re not sleeping correctly, you’re not going to be able to fuel in the way that you need. You’re going to find that those cravings really increase and then it’s going to feel like this constant battle where you run out of willpower. So we’ve got to pay a lot more attention to our sleep as both a symptom of something being off but also the impact it’s then having on these other systems were able to implement. Everything really is connected and off of this I have to ask, and I have to throw this one your way, which you didn’t know was coming your way. So forgive me maybe, but caffeine overrated or underrated for fall-offs.

Michelle – 27:08

Oh, that’s a good one. I’m going to say overrated, because the biggest problem with caffeine is caffeine does help, by all means. There’s lots of research that shows caffeine is going to help actually increase your metabolism a little bit. But the problem is is the research is showing that it helps at 400 milligrams? Now, how many people are actually only drinking 400 milligrams? Not very many. Most of us are hitting, you know, getting more and more in throughout the day.

And my biggest issue with caffeine is especially when people are starting to have the weight loss journey is they tend to focus on like pre-workouts that are going to have massive amounts of caffeine in it and caffeine. In my opinion, this is a very biased opinion. Caffeine, caffeinated pre-workout, is a crutch because the benefit of it is is you are able to push yourself harder because you’re not going to fill the effects and fill fatigue as as you normally would, and that’s really appealing to people. But in my opinion, oftentimes if you’re relying on caffeine, it’s because there’s probably an imbalance in your nutrient intake. You may not just be consuming enough food and so you’re relying on caffeine. You may be pushing yourself in those workouts past the point that you should and causing more damage because you aren’t filling that fatigue effect but your body signals you and you want to kind of stay and have that mind-body connection when you are working out.

So I think caffeine can sometimes mask this. And another thing that’s kind of important that I see, especially with menopausal women, is caffeine is an appetite suppressant and that’s real. Again, it’s something that’s really appealing to people that are trying to lose fat. But oftentimes I see women who and men who are actually under eating. So if they’re already under eating and not providing their body with enough fuels so that they’re even allowed to push themselves harder and see the results that they want, that caffeine isn’t actually helping them. It can actually be hindering them because their appetite’s thrown off, they’re not filling their natural hunger cues. So in my opinion, caffeine is very overrated.

Cori – 29:29

I would agree. I think it’s too often relied upon. And what we don’t realize too is that your body adapts, so that caffeine, that one caffeinated drink that you’re having, great if it’s prior routine. I like having mine as a pre-workout shake. Sometimes, if you’re relying on that. A, you have something else. Often you can’t just keep relying on it. B, at some point your body’s going to adjust. So unless you take in more and more, it’s really not doing anything extra except potentially disrupting your sleep.

If you are trying to increase it, however, I will say it’s underrated if you use it strategically because, as you mentioned, it does help boost that metabolic rate. It can be an appetite suppressant. So I might implement it strategically, saying, hey, I’m not going to use caffeine at most times, but I’m going to do this mini-cut and to see extra benefits from this mini-cut, I’m going to add in caffeine, as that boosts my workout so I don’t fatigue knowing that I’m in a stricter deficit. I have a more extreme macro breakdown. So I think it’s one of these elements we can utilize strategically, but too often we just throw it in there, say, oh, this is a detail. When we don’t have our macros dialed in, we don’t have our sleep dialed in. We don’t have all these big fundamental dialed in and we think it’s going to fix everything, and it’s not. And on top of that it’s going to reach a point of diminishing returns, where then we can’t use it strategically when it could actually benefit us. So overrated for fat loss, underrated when utilized strategically, with a mini-cut potentially.

Michelle – 30:51

Yeah and I’m just going to throw this out there because I feel like not enough people know this but if you are looking for caffeine or you are using caffeine for the benefits of getting through your workout, beetroot and like beets in general are going to have a very similar effect to caffeine without having some of those negatives. So it’s going to cause the blood vessels to increase so you’re able to get more blood flow and more oxygen to your muscles for those workouts specifically. So there are I guess I’m saying this just in the point like there are other options too. If you are someone that’s like, oh, I really do feel like I need something through my workouts, this is just another way to kind of go about it.

Cori – 31:32

And I’m also going to tangent off of that and say when I’m talking about caffeine, I’m talking about natural sources too, to be used during the mini-cut. I think those pre-workouts are really overrated and very dangerous because they’re not regulated and a lot of the things that mimic the caffeine or the other stimulants aren’t well tested. So be very, very careful and conscious of those things. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known that have taken one of those things and had a very bad experience with them. So be very careful about the types of caffeine you do choose to include. Off of all this, michelle, any closing thoughts in terms of overrated, underrated on any of these different topics we’ve covered, or just any closing tips for really achieving amazing fat loss and not getting distracted by details that don’t matter.

Michelle – 32:16

Well, you mentioned it earlier. But I think the biggest thing is is you do have to consider where you’re at and kind of where you’re going to go, because a lot of these things. Are any of these bad? No, absolutely not. Can you employ all of these to kind of help your journey? Absolutely.

The problem I see is a lot of people get caught up in the weeds and they start putting too much pressure on meal timing or, like you know, we had varying responses to workouts or they try to do too long of workouts or try to really just overdo it, especially from where you’re at. If you’re trying to get too much caught, or if you’re trying to get caught too much in the details of things, you’re going to miss some of the bigger picture items. So it really is about assessing where you’re at and where you’re wanting to go. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, like just when we were going through over these things, and you’re like, oh, I didn’t even think about that, is that something that I should start focusing on. It really is going to depend on you.

We’re just slightly working towards that 1% improvement at all times. So if you’re at the very beginning of your journey, don’t be worried about meal timing. Don’t be too stressed about whether you should implement fasting or not, or even you know you’re caffeine intake at this time. Right now, we really just want to make sure that you’re getting your foundation down. What’s your calories at? Do you have your macro plan? And then from there, that’s when we want to step forward and start getting a little bit more detailed so that you aren’t hitting plateaus in the future.

Cori – 33:48

It’s really grabbing those lowest hanging fruits. And you know as much as I think fasting is a detail. If that seems like the easiest thing for you to start with, start with it. The foundation for us would be the workouts, probably the protein, although, as you mentioned, Michelle, also the calories. But the workouts, one nutritional change, the sleep right.

Even with those three, you might think, okay, well, that’s too much, even though those are the fundamentals. So maybe working out and starting back is something you’ve always enjoyed in the past, but you’re not doing it right now and you haven’t made dietary changes. But working out seems easiest. Start with that, even if it’s walking. If you’re, like I, really dislike working out, I need to start something.

Maybe you start with focusing on protein or tracking your food or adjusting your meal timing, but think about how you can take all these different things and meet yourself where you’re at, with making one change to start, and the one that seems like it’s the easiest to grab onto. Maybe it is focusing on sleep, because you’ve not had success making workout or nutrition changes in the past and you’re like, well, hey, I would love to get better sleep. So that sounds really attractive to try and make changes. But again, what you start with will be based on where you’re at currently, and the more you understand your lifestyle and even take time to outline what your current lifestyle looks like today, the better off you’re going to be. Thank you so much, Michelle, for joining me. Any last thoughts off of what I just said, even?

Michelle – 35:06

No, I mean, I would just want to repeat what you said. Honestly, it’s really just assessing where you’re at and trying to find that one thing to change and really building off of that habit stacking, making sure that you are doing what’s best for you and not. And I guess my final thought would just be don’t compare. No one’s journey should be the same and your journey is going to be different from your best friends, from your moms, from your sisters. It’s because it’s your journey, so really just focus on you and that 1% improvement.

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