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“How many calories should I eat to lose fat ?” This is a question I get from people all the time.

This is actually an amazing question to get more and more  awesome because it means folks like yourself are understanding that they need to be in calorie deficit for fat loss to happen.

It doesn’t matter if you eat sugar, fat, carbs,  eat late at night or you go keto or do fasting… you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose body fat.

But just telling you to eat in a calorie deficit doesn’t tell you how to find that out for yourself…

Don’t worry though I’m going to show you exactly how to find this out for yourself…

One of the big problems when you ask me how many calories they should be eating is you assume there is a magic number of calories I can tell you to eat that will zap you right into your ideal body quicker.

Unfortunately I’m not a wizard…. Yet

The best calorie predictors for fat loss in the world don’t account for a lot of missing factors that can make or break your diet.

Here is what I recommend you do to figure out how many calories you you should be eating for fat loss.

Track your calories for 5-7 days in my fitness pal, and also track your scale weight and measurements for the week too so you have a baseline to go off of.

If you’ve been stuck and frustrated for A long time then I’d recommend tossing your food on a food scale to make sure you’re being accurate with how many calories you’re eating.

If you have a big issue with using a food scale for a week and you’ve been stuck for a while there’s two options…

Continue feeling stuck and confused banging your head against a wall because you aren’t seeing progress or use a scale for a week and rule out easy to correct calorie overages.

I can’t tell you the amount of clients who have been stalled, and used a food scale for a week and came in 250-400 calories above what they were entering into MFP, and once we corrected that they were making progress within a week.

Now that you’ve tracked your calories for 5-7 days take the average of your calories for that last  week and see if you had any changes in scale or measurements during that time too.

If nothing has budged there’s two routes I’d go from here.

The first is that you’ve been trying too aggressively to crash diet and exercise too intensely for the fuel you’ve been giving your body.

This is assuming you have been accurate with tracking calories and haven’t been binging late night or slipping up a few times per week.

If that isn’t the case you’d want to look at taking a diet break or going through a reverse diet to increase your calories back up to maintenance for a period of time to offset the adaptations of aggressive dieting.   

The other and more likely option is that you’re not eating in a calorie deficit, which is extremely easy to correct.

At this point reducing calories by 5-10% should get you moving in the right direction, give it at least two weeks.

If still nothing budges you may need a larger calorie deficit to make things move in the right direction in which case I’d go with a 20% reduction in calories from your 5-7 day baseline.

Eventually this calorie intake will stop getting you results though, and this is where you’d make  a 5-8% calorie reduction.

Here’s the secret though, the calories and macros are only part of the equations when it comes to getting sustainable fat loss.

Accountability, support and knowing when the to make an adjustment and when to hang tight is where the art and science of coaching comes into play.  

If you’ve been stuck for a long time and you’ve tried all the diets without any progress…

You tired of feeling uncomfortable in your own skin...

You’re embarrassed that you lose gain the same 15-20 pounds every few months

You’re tired of all the restrictive dieting that ends in a binge after a few weeks…

What if we removed the food restrictions, you lost that  20 pounds for good and you started walking around feeling more confident and comfortable in your own skin… If that sounds good then click HERE… and lets chat!

She Put A Towel Over The Mirror For Years... Until..

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Imagine this…

You’re so disappointed and unhappy with the way that your body looks that every time before you shower you put a towel over the mirror to make sure you don’t have to see your own body…

This was the what my nutrition client Andrea used to do everyday...

The first time she told me about this I could hear the pain in her voice as she started getting choked up...

My heart literally hurt when I heard her talk about how uncomfortable she felt in her own skin and the lengths she went to everyday to make sure she didn’t see her own naked body.

Andrea tried every diet underneath the sun and they only left her feeling more broken, frustrated and desperate…

She’d been living with a thorn in her side for years and now it was my job to help her remove it.. And that’s exactly what we did.

With some coaching she began to understand the basic principles of fat loss, and things started to click for her.

We got rid of the food restriction… no foods were off limits!

Ditched the shame and guilt she used to associate with food choices

We developed a nutrition plan that worked with her lifestyle, not against it…

We checked in multiple times per week to keep her feeling supported, accountable, and to make sure she was on path to her goals each week. 

She ate plenty of whole foods, and an adequate amount of protein.

She chose to track her calories which helped her understand why a calorie deficit was the key to fat loss.

She never had to feel stuck or confused and she was getting amazing results weekly!

Three months into working together we were on a check in call and she said something that flattened me....

“ So Alex, you know how I used to put a towel over my mirror before showering everyday ?”

“Yeah Andrea, I remember that”  (I was playing it cool that conversation was burned in my memory)

“For the last month I haven’t put a towel over the mirror at all, and for the first time in as long as I can remember I look in the mirror and I’m Ok with what I see”

At this moment I was speechless and honestly tearing up...

“ And I’m down a total of 22 lbs now in the past three months”

I was now even more speechless… if that’s even possible.

If you’ve struggled with weight loss your entire life, you have your own version of the towel over the mirror like Andrea.

You’ve tried ALL the diets…

You’ve lost and regained the same 15-30lbs for years on your own…

You've wasted a lot of money on things that didn't work...

How would you like to finally stop worrying about what you eat all the time ?

To stop settling for clothes that you don’t like, but buy just because they fit…

To stop feeling so self conscious and uncomfortable in your own skin all the time…

Everyday I help women just just like you get results and simplify their fat loss goals.

Click HERE and let’s chat about your goals and what you’ve been missing.

The Most Important Supplement You're Not Taking!

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If I Could Only Take One Supplement, This Would Be It! Right there that’s a bold statement fresh out of the gates.

If you know my stance on supplements then you know there’s very few worth while supplements out there, let alone one worth writing an entire blog on.

But this specific supplement stands out from the crowd in many different regards.

The benefits of this vitamin are as undeniable as the amount of research and studies backing it!

Not to mention more than 50% of the worldwide population are deficient in it too.. Pretty crazy to think about!

For starters we get a minuscule amount from our diet, even when trying to increase it from food!

You can get this vitamin fortified in foods, but it comes in a form our body can’t even use.

So that doesn’t help us either.

It regulates so many functions in our body that it’s actually considered a pro-hormone more than a vitamin..

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits:

  • Improves immune system function

  • Enhances bone health and calcium absorption

  • Regulates the turning on and off of 900 genes in your body..

  • Reduces depressive symptoms

  • Boosts overall mood

  • Potentially improves strength and fat loss ( Remember you still have to be in a calorie deficit and lift weights folks!)

  • Pretty much overall health!

A deficiency is associated with increased risk of:

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Cancer

  • Irritable Bowel Diseases

  • Autoimmune disorders

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This isn’t some secret supplement you’ve never heard of it’s Vitamin D3, and it’s one of the most powerful and health promoting supplements you’re likely not taking...but should be.

For doses ideally you’d want to get a blood test done to see where your levels are, but for most people the range of 2,500-4,000 IU works well.

I personally take 5,000-10,000IU per day because of how long I lived in the sun deprived pacific northwest, and I’m likely still playing catch up.

If you end up taking Vitamin D3 or currently take it, I’d love to hear your experience it’s literally one of the only supplements that I notice a BIG difference from when I take it consistently.

This is absolutely not medical advice and make sure to consult with a physician before making any huge changes to your diet.

Do you feel like you’re constantly spinning your wheels with your own nutrition ?

You’re feeling less confident in your own skin, and your favorite pants are only growing tighter and tighter…

You put in the hard work but never see the progress you know you deserve, and aren’t sure what you need to change ?

Let me help you out of the diet and fat loss quick sand you’ve been stuck in for too long, and let’s get you on the path to the results you deserve.

Click HERE and lets chat about how to get you unstuck and on the path to the fat loss results you deserve while, all while eating foods you love!

Diet Breakdown: What You Have To Know About Popular Diets

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There’s a lot of confusion about specific diets because we tend to give them more power than they deserve.

There’s principles you need to achieve to reach your goal whether that’s fat loss, gaining or plain getting healthier. The diet you choose is the method to help you achieve that principle to reach your goal.

To lose fat you have to be in a calorie deficit, to gain muscle you need to strength train and eat enough protein, and it does make it easier to be in small calorie surplus.

To get healthier you may need to be in a calorie deficit if losing fat will improve your health, or gain if you’re underweight.

The point here is to be strict with the goal and principle, but be flexible with the approach and diet you use to get you there.

The thing a lot of people don’t talk about when it comes to being an advocate about a certain diet for fat loss is the single fact that their diet isn’t magic, it just helps you to better adhere to the principle.

Effective diets also have a heavy focus on high satiety protein, veggies, fruits, starches and healthy fat sources, and remove high calorie processed foods that are easy to overeat.

Pick a diet you enjoy, that you can see yourself following for at least six months from now instead of trying to white knuckle it for the next three months on a diet you hate before giving up.

While there isn’t a perfect diet for everyone there’s going to be one that you enjoy and find easier to follow than others.

In this blog series we’re going to cover the most popular diets and break them down to give you the full story behind them and the pros and cons behind them.

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We mine as well start this diet breakdown blog with the diet I get asked about more than any other, and is extremely popular these days.

First a little history, the ketogenic diet was developed for drug resistant epileptic children because researchers noticed when the kids were fasted the kids their seizures greatly reduced.

However it was considered immoral and not good from a health perspective to consistently starve children while fasting them. The researchers needed a diet that mimics starvation while still eating, and the result is the ketogenic diet.

Keto is a very low carb diet, where you eat between 30-50g per day, and includes moderate protein and a much higher fat intake.

You focus on fatty cuts of meat, extra healthy fats and limited non starchy vegetables. When the body is starts breaking down the large amount of fat the byproduct is ketones, which are a third source of fuel outside carbs and fats.

Just as with any diet keto may suite some well, while other people are miserable on it.

To lose fat you need to create a calorie deficit and by removing all carbs you remove a food group and in essence can eat fewer calories.

For some you who are very sedentary or are very obese and don’t need a ton of carbs keto can help to better manage appetite, because protein, fat and veggies are highly satiating.

Some of you will lose weight on the scale very quickly due to large amounts of water weight being lost.

For those who have blood sugar management issues keto can be helpful, but if you have diabetes definitely work with a professional and consult with your doctor before making any extreme changes to your diet.

For higher end athletes or people who have a strong preference for carbs, there are some drawbacks to keto as it can hinder performance for athletes who rely on carbs highly explosive sports.

At the end of the day keto isn’t magic but it can help those who it fits well to better manage their appetite, have strict guidelines to follow and can cause a big drop on the scale in a short amount of time.

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Continuing on with our diet breakdown blog lets look at the next hottest trend in nutrition these days, Fasting!

Fasting has been around in one form or another in every religion for as long as we’ve been around.

Fasting comes in many different forms and can be something such as avoiding all calories together or avoiding certain food groups or eating extremely low calories for a few days.

We’ve just started to get hip to it as a tool for fat loss in the fitness industry, and the most common version is strictly avoiding calories for a set period of time.

In essence you avoid eating or drinking any calories usually for around 16-24 hours, then consume all your daily calories in a smaller time frame.

This is known as a compressed eating window, and this can help you follow specific rules and dramatically decrease the amount of calories you eat on a daily basis.

While fasting works as a great tool for a lot of folks, it’s not always going to be a great fit for everyone.

Fasting is not going to be a good fit for athletes with multiple training sessions per day, people with a lot of sleep issues, women who are pregnant or some people who already have a ton of stress in their life as fasting is a stressor.

There’s no real “off limit” foods when it comes to fasting it’s about when you eat, and when you don’t that really makes this diet unique.

Some of the benefits from a fat loss perspective with fasting is getting you to eat larger more satisfying meals. This keeps you fuller for longer time allows you to naturally reduce calories.

Fasting can also help you with insulin sensitivity, cognitive focus and in my opinions helps you build discipline with food choices.

Fasting also gives you a structure of when to start/stop eating, and is helpful as a lot of you probably don’t really care about breakfast, and tend of overeat a lot of calorie dense foods at night.

For the right people fasting can be a game changer, but there’s no secret sauce to it when it comes to fat loss, it helps to create a calorie deficit.

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Just about every diet today is based on excluding certain foods or macronutrients, and has specific off limit foods.

If you’re paleo you avoid grains,legumes, dairy, sugar and alcohol while if you were vegan you don’t eat animal products, and with keto you avoid denser carbs all together.

Flexible dieting is much different than these diets as there is no specific off limit foods, instead of excluding specific food groups you focus on making the foods that you enjoy fit within your target calorie and macronutrient goals.

The foods you choose to hit your specific calorie, macronutrient and fiber targets is up to you to decide.

Before we get much further I want to dispel a common flexible dieting myth that it’s a pro junk food diet and promotes only eating doughnuts and ice cream to lose weight.

Selling the idea of eating junk food all the time was never the point of this diet, regardless of what you see on Instagram.

The main idea behind flexible dieting is that the majority of your food should come from natural whole food sources like lean proteins, vegetables, denser carbs, fruit and healthy fats.

Flexible dieting has never been about eating as much junk food you can, at the end of the day any diet should be based around improving your health, as well as reaching your physique goals.

Then with the remaining 15-20% of your calories you have the flexibility to kick your heels up and enjoy some treats or indulgences.

A well put together flexible dieting structure will naturally control the amount of junk food you can eat and still hit your calorie, macronutrient and fiber goals.

This diet is a good framework to help remove the restrictive ideas around dieting where you feel that certain foods are off limits or can’t be consumed because you’re dieting.

When you feel like there is no food that is off limits suddenly the shame, guilt and judgment around food choices goes away and you’re set free recognizing there is no food that stops fat loss.

You can finally stop feeling bad about craving sugar, having a few glasses of wine or having a date night out with your significant other, and this way of eating becomes more of a lifestyle because you have food freedom!

Some of the down sides of this diet is it does require you to track your calories and macros in the beginning which isn’t going to be a good fit for everyone.

Others will get a little too flexible with their diet and see just how much junk they can fit in and end up feeling like crap because of it.

The benefits of this diet is you become very aware of how many calories many common foods you eat contain, and learn real portion sizes.

You also get your food freedom back and feel less restricted because there are no off limit foods, and you’re able to build your diet around your lifestyle instead of the other way around.

If you’re still confused about diets, and how to organize a nutrition plan so you can enjoy the way you eat while still getting amazing results click HERE and let’s chat about your goals and how we can reach them in a sustainable way that becomes a lifestyle for you.

Why You Can't Fix A Body You Hate...

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You likely believe that once you finally have the body of your dreams, and lose the fat you’ll really appreciate your body and take care of it.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’ve seen people lose 70 lbs and still dislike themselves back to a heavier weight than before they started.

If you hate yourself and your body at your current weight, you’re going to hate yourself and your body at any weight…

The scale may change, but your feeling self worth won’t change if you don’t address what’s going on between your ears.

You may act and appear more confident because that’s how you think you should be but deep down that self loathing is still there.

When you lose the weight instead of looking at yourself and thinking “damn look at that sexy thing in the mirror”

You’re more likely to step closer to the mirror and pull out a magnifying glass looking at any minute reason to cut yourself down and shit talk yourself.

Let’s be honest the the real issue here is the fact that you dislike something about yourself, not weight or anything along those lines.

The extra weight is a shield for you.

You use that as a way to validate those the behaviors that serve the story you tell yourself about who you are as someone who’s overweight.

But long term those same behaviors are really just you punishing yourself for being overweight.

You make the assumption that when you finally get in shape and look better naked you’ll like yourself more…. you won’t.

Once you drop the weight you’ll finally feel like you’re enough… You’ll be missing something still.

You’ll finally be happy… that’s not true either.

When you’re in the better shape you’ll finally find the person for you… but the void will still be there, it’s not them.

It’s you.

The reality is you need to master what you’ve got and know the users manual before upgrading to next model.

Where most people fail when it comes to changing their lifestyle and their body is in-between the ears.

Once you realize this and stop looking for the magic macro split or diet the sooner you’ll stop wasting your time and make some real progress.

So how do you go about doing this ?

The first think you’ll need to acknowledge is that you’re in control of this body of yours.

No more blaming anything or anyone.

You may not be happy with the state of your body, but regardless it can still do some pretty amazing things.

GRATITUDE is an absolute game changer, what you can do is far more important that what you can’t do yet.

I understand that some of you have been dealt a shitty hand from the environment you were raised in to specific health complications, those are not your fault.

But now it’s your responsibility…

You don’t have a slow metabolism

You’re not addicted to sugar

You’re not big boned

The problem isn’t that you skip breakfast

It’s not hormones

Nor is it starve mode

These are all ways for you to feel disempowered, and only move you further from the real answer to your problem.

None of these are holding you back from reaching your fat loss goal though.

The chances are good in this blog you’re thinking“ Fuck this Alex guy he doesn’t know me or my circumstances”

You’re 100% correct, I don’t.

What I do know is that every nutrition client of mine in your situation who chose to  remove the mask of victimhood, felt empowered and made progress with their fat loss goals.  

I’m saying these things that may sting in the moment to give you a hand out of the quicksand you’ve been stuck in so that you can finally take control.

If you want to change your body and finally look, feel and perform better you need to take responsibility to change your nutrition and  exercise to start making progress.

I’m not sitting on an ivory tower telling you it’s going to be super easy, because it isn’t, but your health and well being is worth the effort and struggles.

You’re not going to be perfect and you’re going to make mistakes… a lot of them, everyone does.

When you stop lying to yourself you’re going to open your eyes to an entire universe of small habits that have sabotaging you along the way.

You’re never going to fix a body you hate, don’t worry this isn’t going to degrade into one of those inauthentic love yourself no matter what blogs.

This is the stark reality that is going to be very unpopular and piss a lot of people off.

If you’re not happy with your current body, don’t listen to some supermodel trying to tell you you’re just fine where you.

I say fuck that, make a change and lose the weight you want.

BUT do it because deep down you know you and your body both deserve better than you’ve been giving it.

Not because you think it will automatically bring you happiness

Before you can upgrade that  body of yours you have to master what  you got currently.

You have to know the operations manual of version 1.0 before you’re ready for version 2.0

No more shit talking yourself in the mirror for past slip ups or not getting started sooner.

Cut the negative comments and put downs you tell yourself, those become self fulfilling prophecies over time.

Be grateful for what your body can currently do, and not angry for what it can’t...yet!

Eat a varied well balanced diet that help you to be in a calorie deficit.

Eat plenty of protein and vegetables to keep yourself full, and from time to time enjoy an indulgence so you don’t feel overly restricted.

Exercise not to punish yourself but because it makes you feel better afterwards and help you feel more confident.

Lastly but most importantly recognize this is going to take time, and don’t beat yourself up over slip ups or mistakes we all need to make to learn lessons.

Realize that you only fail if you give up entirely and toss in the towel.

If you’re ready to start taking back the power of your own health and fat loss journey, and are tired of spinning your wheels not having a plan or feeling supported in your own fat loss journey then click HERE and lets chat about your goals and how we can get you there.