The entire fitness industry is set up to promote one message: "More exercise is better."
The diet industry sends you another message: "The less you eat, the more weight you lose."
Thanks to those messages, we have learned to believe that in order to see results, we have to do some crazy stuff, such as work out 7 days a week, do juice cleanses and buy diet products that promise miracles. But how many of those you've tried did you stick with for more than one month? How many delivered results you still see today?
I'm Doing Everything Right
The #1 complaint I hear from my private nutrition clients in our first meeting is: "I'm doing everything right and nothing's changing. I just don't know what to do anymore." They've done low-carb diets, low-fat or vegan diets, Weight Watchers (I have strong opinions on their methods), have been spinning their hearts out and worked out 7 hours a week, gone to the latest and greatest workout that the celebs flock to and... NOTHING. No change. Nothing. Of course it's frustrating when you put in so much time, effort, money and energy into a goal and then don't get even half of what you were promised. It comes as no surprise that most people throw in the towel, say "screw this" and go back to doing nothing, because what's the point anyways.
Exercise Is NOT The Key To Fat Loss
A few weeks ago a woman showed up in class and told me she needed to lose the 10 lbs she had gained over the previous month. I asked her what contributed to her weight gain and she told me about the insane work hours she suddenly faced at work . She had never dealt with that intensity before. She figured she'd take spin classes several times a week to de-stress. Before she knew it, she had gained 10 lbs in a month.
How is that possible? Working out is supposed to make you feel LESS stressed, no...?
Another new client put on 20 lbs in a matter of two months. She had decided to start running to lose weight. Work was intensely busy, she wasn't sleeping well, she was struggling to stay off the cookies, and as a result she put on 10 lbs in a matter of a month. She also started to feel more exhausted, slept terribly, had terrible gas and bloating and woke up between 1 and 3am, her appetite became uncontrollable, her cravings for sugar overbearing..
Strange.... Isn't running supposed to make you lose weight & fitter....?
Another client was struggling with the recent loss of a family member. She was overwhelmed by the long hours, the 3-hour daily commute, her stressful family situation and her lack of sleep. Despite eating clean and cranking out 3 hours of exercise a week, her body didn't budge a bit and instead she became more bloated, puffy and lethargic. She also noticed bouts of depression, anxiety and anger. Her blood work done revealed low thyroid function, signs of early menopause, elevated cortisol levels with low DHEA levels. How could she feel sick and depressed despite regular workouts and a clean diet?
All of the above 3 clients thought they were doing the right thing. All 3 managed to compound the life stress with additional stress from exercise and dieting. As a result, their bodies fought them hard by producing stress hormones that promoted fat storage. Even worse, the ongoing stress lead to a breakdown of various systems in their bodies: thyroid, digestion, brain/mood, endocrine/hormone and made them feel and look worse and they were actually damaging their health.
The Fix For Overweight People Is Always: Eat Less & Exercise More
If any of these women showed up at a personal trainer or at the local gym, the prescription would be a rigorous cardio and strength training workout, paired with a low-calorie diet. At their local boutique fitness studio the sales staff would suggest various class packages, without anyone asking for any health or fitness background. After all, they have to make money and the more the client buys, the better for the studio and if she needs to lose weight, she better work out more...
The fitness industry would lose money if they promoted what's right
Unfortunately, the impact of stress on the body and on our metabolism is not something that's well understood in the fitness industry. You likely won't hear your trainer say: "Let's work out only twice a week instead of 4x a week." They'd be losing money and most also believe in "More is better to see results" or they'd tell you that you're simply not sticking to your diet and workout schedule if your results are lacking. You won't hear your local spin studio advertise: "Don't take more than two spin classes a week!" because their business model would go down the drain.
I recognize that my approach is at the polar opposite end of what most of my colleagues and competitors offer. I started my journey in the wellness world as Personal Trainer and went through the training and it fell short because it didn't deliver the results for my clients that they wanted. That's what kept me looking for the answers to the struggles we all have. I truly believe that your success is my success. I am showing you the most effective way to get to your goal by teaching you the information you need to understand how to manage your metabolism throughout the various life stages. I believe knowledge and education is empowering. It's what helps you achieve your goals. If you're happy, then I'm happy and fulfilled. I believe that if you're happy, you'll tell your friends about what I do and send them my way, so they too can live a happier life. It's really that simple.
One Size Does NOT Fit All
Back to the 3 ladies who were struggling with their bodies. In a customized program that focused on minimizing stress on the body and allowing their metabolism to thrive, I've helped them drop the weight they had gained and we created a lifestyle that centers around well-being. They now have a lot more time to do the things they love doing, rather than spending all hours at the gym and feeling miserable about being deprived and restricted.