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Coach Spotlight - Vivian Gill

Have you ever met a woman that made you think Wow, I want to be like her when I grow up!  If you haven’t yet, then get ready, because you’re about to!  Vivian Gill is a powerhouse professional and she’s doing amazing things and truly making a difference in the world!

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Vivian is married to her high school sweetheart and has four amazing, grown kids.  She’s s a registered nurse of 30 years and holistic wellness coach of 25 years, plus a NASM certified personal trainer and certified Somatic Coach.  Vivian has worked extensively with clients in crisis, coping with catastrophic illness and the end of life, and in caring for the family when faced with chronic illness.  If you’re not impressed yet, I should also tell you that Vivian has a Masters in Human Services Counseling: Life Coaching and is passionate about coaching women to be their “best self so they can lead a joy-filled life.  Wow!! 

Vivian tells us, “My passion is to empower women to take control of their lives, starting with their health and fitness.  I firmly believe that when we truly feel well, we are able to give so much more of ourselves to family, church and community—and we can serve with a sense of joy and love instead of obligation.”

I am so honored that Vivian has chosen to become a FASTer Way To Fat Loss® certified coach.  She has had an incredible reach and has touched so many clients’ lives! One way she’s introducing people to a healthier lifestyle is with her free guide to carb cycling.  Check it out if you’ve ever wondered what it is and why you’d want to do it! 

The FASTer Way To Fat Loss is gaining momentum FAST and Vivian is a true leader in our community.  She chose the FASTer Way because, “It is the ONLY holistic lifestyle program in the marketplace, it's simple and IT WORKS! No deprivation, no dieting and I am so passionate about empowering women to find food FREEDOM and learn how to strategically exercise for fat loss results.”

Some of the other reasons Vivian loves the FASTer Way are:

  • It’s backed by solid science, which is important to her as a nurse

  • It bridges the gap between healthcare and fitness

  • She can reach women all over the world

  • She’s part of a strong community of like-minded professionals

  • The income potential is exponential—she’s on track for a 6-figure income this year!

We get a lot of feedback from our coaches that the community is one of their favorite aspects.  Vivian said it perfectly. Her comments were, “We have embraced the "better together" mentality and work to uplift and support each other. There is zero competition with each female entrepreneur using her gifts and talents to elevate our team. No pettiness, competition, gossip, backbiting, the ultimate professionals with integrity! We truly desire to see each other succeed! This is completely unique in the fitness industry! This leadership mindset comes from Amanda and her team and is WHY I chose to partner with the FASTer Way To Fat Loss®.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself!  If you want to see for yourself what our coaches are so excited about, visit our information page and sign up for a screening call.  Let’s find out if the FASTer Way coaching opportunity is the right fit! 

For your daily dose of food and fitness inspiration, follow Vivian on Facebook and Instagram (you’ll love her workout videos)!

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Coach Spotlight - Jenny Mire

Real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear workout tanks and leggings.  At least, that’s what I’ve found in working with some of the most talented trainers in the fitness industry!  I’m in awe when I see the incredible changes they’re helping women make in their health and their lives.

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Jenny Mire is one of these heroes!  She’s a certified personal trainer and the creator of Think Fit Method™ which is an eight-week, self-paced, online course to help you conquer mindset, negative self-talk, emotional eating and self-sabotage on your journey to weight loss. She is also a FASTer Way to Fat Loss® certified coach, leading women through a 7-week fat loss bootcamp once they have conquered their mindset!

Jenny has a degree in Counseling, Educational, and Developmental Psychology, which she used in her development of Think Fit Method™. She hasn’t always been fit and healthy, but after years of struggle, and having three kids under the age of 4, something in her changed. With the support of her husband, Jenny began the process of changing her health through weight training and proper nutrition, as well as hours of research on the two topics. In 2014, after 10 years in the social work and mental health industry, she stepped away to pursue a new found passion in fitness. This is when she purchased a local gym and began personal training both at the gym and online. Now, three years later, she is passionate about teaching women the proper steps to change their health, starting with mindset!

She’s even written two free guides to help women get started on their journey:

Why Your Own Mind Is Making You Fat

The Comprehensive Guide To Fat Loss

Jenny chose to become a FASTer Way to Fat Loss® certified coach because, “It works. As simple as that.... IT WORKS!  It is not like all the other diets out there—because it’s not a diet at all. This is truly a lifestyle that is changing people's lives. The FASTer Way to Fat Loss® gives people FREEDOM from food and I love teaching my clients how to do this. That, combined with proper and strategic exercise, is changing lives.”

Since becoming a FASTer Way to Fat Loss® coach in early 2017, Jenny has been able to reach more women than she ever thought possible. Her passion and dreams were to work with women all over the world and teach them a better way of life when it comes to their health—and the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® has allowed her to do just that.

But that’s not all!  Since becoming a FASTer Way coach, Jenny’s business income has tripled within the past year!  That’s pretty incredible no matter what business you’re in.

As a FASTer Way to Fat Loss® coach, one of the most valuable things Jenny has gained is a sense of community with like-minded women who all have a passion to help others within the coach community. She loves it because, “There is no competition or pettiness that goes on.  We all support each other 100%. This is not something I had experienced before (especially working in any MLM or Network Marketing Company). Having Amanda and the other professionals in the field that support you day in and day out is priceless!”

I am SO inspired by Jenny and the amazing success she’s seen by following her passion and a solid plan.  We are honored to work with incredible businesswomen like Jenny. Click here if you’re interested in knowing more about becoming a FASTer Way to Fat Loss coach and how we can help you turn your passion for fitness into a successful business.

Working with Amanda Tress and The Agency Side has truly changed my life and my business; I would not be where I am today without them!”

~Jenny Mire

 

Connect with Jenny for more inspiration!  You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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Coach Spotlight - Tessa Guevara

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Coach Spotlight - Tessa Guevara

I’m inspired every. single. day. by the incredible women in my business mentorship program. These women are leaders in their industries and experts at what they do. They hustle hard and strive to provide incredible programs and services that empower their clients.  

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Working with these women is truly my greatest passion, and empowering them to earn significant income is what my business mentorship is all about. It’s really incredible when I’m able to connect my followers with the women responsible for changing the health and wellness industry.

One of these amazing ladies is Tessa Guevara.  Tessa is a FASTer Way To Fat Loss® Coach and a CRNA (that’s a nurse anesthesiologist…it’s okay, I had to Google it, too), and is currently studying to be a Functional Nutritionist.  She is crazy passionate about helping women be or discover the best versions of themselves, and getting healthy from the inside out.

In fact, Tessa has two fantastic FREE guides!  You can grab How to Eat More and Weigh Less or her Meal Prep Guide to start transforming your health right now!

If you’re ready for the next step, Tessa can help with that, too!  She offers two online programs. Check out 4 Weeks to Wellness and the FASTer Way To Fat Loss® on her website!

Here’s another reason Tessa is so inspiring.  She is passionate about female hormonal changes, which is one of the many reasons she loves being a FASTer Way coach.  She says, “The program is 100% hormone-healthy and supportive of women just like me. I also love the focus on whole-food nutrition, which is vital to feeling great and energetic.”

Tessa has done an incredible job growing her business. Utilizing The Agency Side and my Business Mentorship program, Tessa has seen some incredible success. Here’s what she has to say about working with my team:

“I cannot say enough about The Agency Side and how their support has helped me be a better person in so many ways. They have helped me to stand up, be heard and be seen. To speak regardless of whether people listened, to think about the issues of others, and they’ve pushed me—waaaaayyyy out of my comfort zone—to solve the issues, because they knew I could. Their belief in me has made me believe that I can make a difference and influence the health of others. I could not be more grateful. In fact, I daily think of the team and how grateful I am to be in contact with them.”

I’m grateful for incredible clients like Tessa, and I LOVE watching her succeed!

Connect with Tessa on Facebook and Instagram!

If you’re interested in leveling up in YOUR business the FASTer Way, check out the FASTer Way To Fat Loss® Certification by clicking here!

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What are MACROS and Why Do We Track Them in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?

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What are MACROS and Why Do We Track Them in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?

Have you ever wondered what macros are and why you should care about them?  Macros are more than just a popular buzzword. They’re a strong foundation for a healthy lifestyle, and they’ll help you hit your goals faster and more effectively.

 

What Are Macros?

Macronutrients (or macros) are the molecules our bodies need to grow and be active. We use these molecules as energy to do work on a cellular, tissue, organ, and organismal level. This energy helps us break down nutrients, repair damaged cells, grow new cells, and more. Macronutrients are broken down into three basic categories: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Clients of the FASTer Way To Fat Loss™ learn how to track macros right away.  This is not a “calories in, calories out” program because that simply isn’t enough.  We eat the right macronutrients at the right time (through Intermittent Fasting) and for the right reasons.

We not only track our macros in FWTFL, but we also cycle our carbs and fats.  This may sound a little overwhelming, but it’s actually a very simple practice of varying our carbohydrate intake each week to maximize the body’s ability to burn fat.

 

How Do Macros Work?

The carbs, fat and protein we eat on a daily basis have a big impact on our bodies.  For optimal health, you need to fuel your body with the correct fuel. You wouldn’t fill your car’s gasoline tank with diesel fuel, so treat your body with the same care.  

Here’s how it all fits together!

Carbohydrate metabolism: Carbs are the primary fuel source for the body.  Most people love to eat carbs (any bread junkies here??), which usually leads to overeating of carbs.  It may sound like a good thing to have a little extra energy for the body, but when the body can’t use it, all those excess carbs are stored as fat.     

Avoid excess carbs if you want to avoid fat accumulation.

Fat metabolism:  Fat contains much more chemical energy than carbohydrates or proteins, which is why our bodies use fat to store excess energy when we overeat.  We are wired to store fat (energy) for a future time when we’ll need it, but modern society has evolved in such a way that we have less natural opportunity to utilize that stored energy.  If we want to use our fat stores, we first need to deplete the carbohydrates we use for quick energy, which is exactly why we cycle our carbs. We intentionally deplete our carb stores so the body can dip into its fat stores.  This is when you’ll start seeing real results in your fat loss journey!

Protein metabolism: Proteins are used for fuel—only if the body is in starvation mode.  A lot of trainers approach me with hesitation about trying the FWTFL because they’re afraid of losing muscles mass through Intermittent Fasting.  The opposite, in fact, is true. IF helps with the maintenance of muscle mass. However, if you’re not eating enough protein, your body WILL go into starvation mode and you will start to lose muscle mass, which is exactly why we track protein.

The way we cycle our carbs is a key element of the FASTer Way To Fat Loss™ program.  We have low-carb days (we eat low carb and high fat with moderate protein). We have regular-macro days (we balance our macros, which is TYPICALLY 50% carbs, 30% fat, 20% protein)—this helps rev up thyroid function with an adequate amount of carbs.  We also have low-macro days (we drop down on calories a bit), and we have occasional 24-hour fast days.

Most people will start out using the typical proportions, but be aware that as you progress on your fitness journey, you’ll need to adjust your macros.  The real question is when and how, which we cover in detail in the FWTFL program! We make it very simple to track macros and accessible even to beginners.  If you’re interested in more information or signing up for the next round, click here!

 

Are you on Instagram?  Share our new hashtag #macrogansta when you’re posting about your daily macros or nutrition!  (And if you aren’t following along, let’s be friends!)

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Top Three Surprising Reasons My Clients Aren’t Losing Weight

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Top Three Surprising Reasons My Clients Aren’t Losing Weight

Have you hit a plateau in your weight loss journey?  You’re doing all the right things, but you’re not seeing the results you expect?  You are not alone! You could be affected by one of the top 3 reasons my clients aren’t losing weight.

Now, let’s be clear.  When I say “lose weight” I really mean “burn fat” because that’s the ultimate goal.  Weight loss isn’t a good indicator of health, but it’s common terminology, so just know that when we say weight loss here, we’re really talking fat loss.

These are the three most common problems we observe with stalled results, but we’re not here to diagnose.  If you suspect you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor!

 

Top 3 Reasons My Clients Aren’t Losing Weight

 

1. Suboptimal Thyroid Function

Suboptimal thyroid function is affecting millions of people, and most of them don’t even know it.  Of the 200 million people worldwide who have it, 25 million of those are American, and 60% are undiagnosed!  So if you have it, there’s a good chance you don’t know.

We are seeing epidemic levels of hypothyroidism, even for women in their 30s.  This is a huge challenge, especially in light of how much stress we are under on a daily basis.  If you consider a typical woman, she’s having babies, raising kids, doing insane workouts and undereating long term (which causes the body to think it’s in starvation mode).  

This isn’t your fault.  We’ve been taught by the wellness industry that we should do 6–7 intense workouts every week, eat with a calorie deficit, and eat mini meals (so you’re never truly satiated).

When you eat mini meals every 2 hours and do insane workouts every day, something is going to break, and it’s your thyroid.  

When the thyroid isn’t working properly, it stops producing T3 (the hormone that controls growth, metabolism, body temp, heart rate, etc.), or starts converting T4 to T3, which tells the body that we’re either starving or running from danger.  This is a good thing if you’re truly starving or actually running from danger! But the body isn’t meant to be in this state all the time, only for short periods, and it takes a huge toll on us when we can’t get those levels to normalize.

If you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, having a hard time losing weight, getting sick all the time, run down or burned out, talk to your doctor.  You could be experiencing suboptimal thyroid function or adrenal fatigue.

If you suspect your thyroid is functioning suboptimally, ask your doctor to do a full thyroid panel. Just a TSH doesn’t diagnose Hashimoto’s or an overabundance of Reverse T3, which are becoming more and more common.  A lot of my clients will get their thyroid checked and assume they’re fine because their results came back “normal,” so they think it can’t be the reason they’re not losing weight.  What they may not realize is that they aren’t seeing the whole story without that full panel, and things may not be functioning optimally.


 

2. Leaky Gut

You hear me talk about probiotics all the time.  This is why! Leaky Gut is a major issue, but it’s an uncomfortable topic for a lot of people to talk about, so it often gets ignored.

Leaky gut occurs when the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged (and therefore permeable), causing undigested food particles, toxins and and bacteria to “leak” through the the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.

This causes chronic inflammation in the body, which in turn causes A LOT of problems.  We won’t get into all the details here (it’s a HUGE topic!), but when you’re living with chronic inflammation, the body simply can’t lose weight.

 

“There’s a relationship between obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes, and I believe that inflammation and leaky gut are the key players in this metabolic epidemic.”  

 

Having healthy gut bacteria is crucial to maintaining a normal weight and functional metabolism. A clean diet is key to a healthy gut, but you also need to add probiotics into your diet on a daily basis.  

Great sources of probiotics include:

  • Fermented veggies (sauerkraut, kimchi, etc)

  • Kefir (milk or water)

  • Kombucha

  • Tempeh

  • Yogurt

  • Raw cheese

 

If it’s tough to eat enough probiotic-rich foods everyday, then consider a supplement.  My clients ask me all the time what I recommend, and if you’re looking for a great probiotic supplement as well, check out Just Thrive Probiotics.  I’ve taken it for years and I love it for its quality and effectiveness!

 

3. You’re Not Eating the Right Macros

Eating the right macros is an important part of your fat loss journey.  The average person needs to consume a ratio of 50% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein, but if you hit a plateau in your progress, you may need to increase your protein consumption.

Diets higher in protein burn the most fat, so if you want to change your body composition, you have to eat enough protein, lift weights, and do sprints.

The FASTer Way To Fat Loss™ incorporates all of these strategies, in addition to intermittent fasting and carb cycling.  In fact, the main reason we utilize low-carb days is to focus on protein!

One of the biggest challenges of eating the right ratio of macros is getting the correct amount of carbs every day!  We tend to over-consume carbs, and that’s a problem because your body is going to store it as fat.

If you’re eating the correct proportions of macros, your body will have the fuel it needs to burn fat and lose weight.  Too much of the wrong fuel will stall your results.

Track your macros daily so you know what you should be eating!  I like to use the free version of MyFitnessPal because it’s simple and fast.
 

Addressing these issues is key to solving your stalled progress.  I know you work hard and eat clean, so make sure your thyroid, gut and protein are all in check so you can crush your goals!  

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The Best Time of Day to Work Out

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The Best Time of Day to Work Out

You’ve probably heard a lot of conflicting information about the best time of day to work out.  My clients know that I usually hit the gym in the afternoon, but I also encourage them to do fasted workouts, which would realistically be done in the morning.  So which one is best, how does it all work, and what does the science say?

 

Let me start out by saying that the BEST time to work out is when you can make it happen with your schedule.  Any workout is better than no workout because it wasn’t the “right” time of day.  

 

But if you have enough flexibility in your schedule to choose when you work out, then let’s take a closer look at the best time of day to get your sweat session in.  Both times have advantages, and knowing them will help you make the best decision for your health and fitness.

 

Advantages of working out in the morning

  1. It’s easier to be consistent (unless you’re prone to sleeping in!) and it ensures your workout actually happens, instead of getting pushed to the backburner when your day gets busy

  2. It’s a great sense of accomplishment to get something done first thing in the morning

  3. If you’re a busy mom, sometimes an early workout is a must because life with kids can be unpredictable

  4. A morning workout can energize you for the day

  5. Fasted workouts are easy to do in the morning and have great fat-burning effects that can last for hours

 

Advantages of working out in the afternoon

  1. It’s a great break, which helps you work more effectively for the rest of the day

  2. Working out alleviates the buildup of parenting- or work-related stress

  3. You can adjust the intensity of your workout based on energy levels, stress levels, etc.

  4. Boosts energy and mood to get you through the rest of your day, especially if you tend to have a dip in the afternoon

  5. Basal body temperature peaks in the afternoon, plus your muscles are already warmed up, which makes you less prone to injury

  6. Mornings are less rushed and hectic because you’re not adding another activity into your busy early-day to-do list

  7. Afternoon workouts take advantage of optimal muscle function

  8. Testosterone and Growth Hormone levels rise after exercising (which is good for building muscles), and they tend to have a more profound increase in the afternoon than in the morning

  9. Strength and power tend to be higher later in the day, which is one reason most sporting events are not held in the morning.

  10. Working with your circadian rhythm takes advantage of your normal cycles and fluctuations throughout the day—this means you’re utilizing your natural cycles of temperature, hormone output, blood pressure, metabolism and sleep patterns.

 

What exactly is my Circadian Rhythm?

Also known as your sleep/wake cycle, circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle controlling all the physiological processes of humans and animals (and even plants). The functions of the circadian clock include organization of sleep/wake patterns, control of your hormones and metabolism, blood pressure and even athletic performance.

Circadian rhythm is adaptive to a certain degree, so your body can get used to a morning exercise routine, but to work with it most effectively, consider exercising in the afternoon.

 

What about evening workouts?

If working out in the evening is your best option, and it isn’t having a detrimental effect on your sleep, then keep it up.  If your sleep cycle is off and you aren’t getting the rest your body needs, it could be that you need to work better with your circadian rhythm and exercise earlier in the day.

 

Which one is best for YOU?

Remember, ultimately, the best workout is the one you actually DO.  If that means an early-morning workout fits your schedule best, then that’s the best time for you to work out.  If you can hit the gym in the afternoon, you’ll see benefits that you can’t get if you exercise in the morning or later in the evening.

 

If you have some flexibility in your schedule, experiment to see what works best for you!  Try morning exercise for a couple of weeks, then try afternoon for a couple of weeks and see which you prefer according to schedule, lifestyle and how you feel.

 

Looking for amazing workouts?

If you’re trying to find an exercise routine you really love, then try the FASTer Way To Fat Loss!  You’ll learn how to pair specific exercises with the most effective food cycle for ultimate fat loss and fitness.  My clients love the FASTer Way because it gets results no other program can touch, and it’s a truly sustainable lifestyle.  Click here for more information!

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Is the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Safe For Breastfeeding Moms?

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Is the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Safe For Breastfeeding Moms?

Even prior to having Lily, one of the most common questions I received about the FASTer Way to Fat Loss is whether or not it is safe to do while breastfeeding. I’ve been reluctant to share tips regarding breastfeeding while fasting because I am not a lactation consultant or medical professional. However, I am living proof that the FASTer Way lifestyle is both suitable and flexible for breastfeeding moms!

Intermittent fasting is completely safe for breastfeeding moms and in my experience, can even cause your supply to be higher in fat, which means your baby will be more satiated after each feeding. The last time my friend, a lactation consultant and I chatted, she commented on how much milk I was producing and how fatty it was. I often joke that I actually produce heavy cream - enough to feed the entire town! In my experience and the experience of hundreds of my breastfeeding clients, intermittent fasting, or specifically an 8 hour feeding window, will not negatively affect your supply, so it isn’t something you should be too concerned with. However, you do need to ensure that you are eating enough of the right macros while breastfeeding, particularly on the FASTer Way’s low carb and low macro days.

In addition to making sure you eat enough, here are a few tips for living the FASTer Way lifestyle while breastfeeding:

Tip 1-Do not stress over your feeding window.

Listen to your body. If you wake up famished because you were up all night feeding your baby, then break your fast. I have been doing this on certain days, and when it happens, I just end my feeding window a little earlier than normal. Do not stress over this, just listen to your body and do what you need to!

Tip 2-Bump up your carbs on a low carb day.

If you are breastfeeding an infant and are still in the newborn stages, it is totally reasonable to need more carbs. I bump mine up on low carb days to about 100 grams net carbs, and listen to my body to make sure I have enough carbs to keep me energized. Oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and apples are my go-to carbs. If you are in a normal cycle with your nursing and your baby is a little older, feel free to bump those carbs down to 50 grams again. But, do not worry one bit about upping those carbs to 100 grams while your baby is still young or if you notice that your supply has dipped for one reason or another!

Tip 3-Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.

You’ve got to make sure you aren’t dehydrated throughout the day. I typically wake up, have a tall glass of water, then have another glass of water every time I nurse Lily. Again, listen to your body. If you are thirsty, then you are probably already a little dehydrated, so do your best to stay on a decent hydration cycle!

Tip 4-Focus on foods that will increase your supply.

Whole foods are the foundation of your diet during the FASTer Way. This alone will do wonders for your milk supply. However, things like carrots, almonds, garlic (also good for your immune system), oatmeal,  and sweet potatoes are some of my favorites for increasing milk supply while breastfeeding.

Also, if you love tea, a client and friend of mine has an amazing tea called Our Lady of Leche. Her teas are all amazing, and this one is specifically made for increasing milk supply. Jen has kindly extended a discount to my readers. So, if you like tea and want to increase or maintain a healthy milk supply, head on over to Birds and Bees Teas to grab a tin of this delicious tea! Use the code: BF2018 to get your discount!

The FASTer Way can totally be done while nursing, I am living proof. My milk supply is far greater now than it was with my first two babies. Additionally,  I have had plenty of clients see incredible weight loss results while doing the FASTer Way, without decreasing their milk supply. In fact, most women say that this program alone, has helped to increase their supply. You simply have to learn to listen to your body and be okay with making some slight adjustments. If you do that, you will see some incredible results!

If you’d like to join me for the next round of the FASTer Way, grab a spot before they are all gone! We start on Monday the 5th!

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There Are Plenty of Ways to Get Lean, But Only One FASTer Way

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There Are Plenty of Ways to Get Lean, But Only One FASTer Way

You’ve heard me say that the FASTer Way to Fat Loss is the best program on the market today. It will get you leaner, stronger and healthier than anything else out there. However, I am often met with criticism when I say this. People are quick to point out that there are other ways to get lean, and that the FASTer Way is not the only option.

They are right. There are PLENTY of ways to get lean.

You can go low carb, hit a Crossfit Gym, and live a competition prep lifestyle to get lean. You could hire a personal trainer to work with you 3-4 times a week, and follow a strict meal plan to get lean. You could go Paleo, Keto or Vegan and get lean. There are tons of ways you could get lean. However, most of those ways require significant amounts sacrifice, planning and time.

My clients are willing to plan, hit the gym, and make sacrifices, but they also want to live their lives. They want to eat donuts on the weekend, and enjoy a night out without feeling guilty. They want to workout for a few hours per week, not a few hours per day. They want freedom and flexibility without sacrificing their results. They want a program that is sustainable long-term and that won’t have a negative effect on their hormones, energy levels and mood. These women are busy. They can’t spend hours meal prepping and obsessing over tracking every morsel of food that goes into their mouths. They are interested in getting lean, yes, but they are equally interested in feeling more confident, sleeping better, feeling more energized, and improving their overall health.

These are the women the FASTer Way was created for. The women who have eaten clean and hit the cardio for years, without seeing the results they really want. The women who want to repair the hormonal damage that occurred because of years of dieting. The women who want to go to the gym, without competing. The women who want to wake up every morning feeling energized and confident, not sore, depleted, and overwhelmed by their meal plan. The women who want to get lean and eat their donuts too. These are my women. These are the thousands whose lives have been changed by the FASTer Way. For these women, there are plenty of ways they could get lean, but only ONE FASTer Way to Fat Loss.

One comprehensive program that gives them health, strength, flexibility and freedom...in addition to getting leaner.

I hear the critics, and I agree with them. The FASTer Way is not the only option, but for my clients, and the type of woman this program was created for, it truly is the BEST option!

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Three Common Fitness and Nutrition Strategies That Are Making You Fat

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Three Common Fitness and Nutrition Strategies That Are Making You Fat

January is one of my favorite months of the year, because the gyms are overflowing with new clients ready to take on their health and fitness goals. The crowding that bothers lots of gym rats, actually excites me, because I am all about people living healthier, more active lives. However, without fail, these gym newbies are typically following some common fitness and nutrition strategies that unfortunately don’t work long term. And what I really hate, is that it’s not their fault. The health and weight loss industry is full of myths, neatly marketing and highly touted by the experts in the field. However, year after year, we see the same cycle in so many - yo-yo’ing.

While I won’t walk over to a perfect stranger in the gym to tell them what they are doing is wrong, I do want my followers to be aware of the fact that they might be engaging in things that could sabotage their long term goals. So, here are the top three fitness and nutrition strategies that are making you fat.

Hours of Cardio

You can’t simply do hours of cardio and expect to continue to see weight loss results that last. While you will see some initial weight loss, you will be losing some very important calorie burning muscle with that weight - slowing down your metabolism in the long run.  However, I see countless women hitting the ellipticals, the bikes or the treadmill for hours on end. Here’s the deal - cardio is important. However, long for cardio will not help you reach your overall goals of fat burning. Instead, you should engage in either low impact cardio like walking, or HIIT training which will help you build muscle while doing cardio. Typically I do about 5 minutes of cardio before my strength training workouts on a regular day, and HIIT training on low carb days. This maximizes the fat burning effect of cardio, giving me all of the heart health benefits, with none of the metabolic side effects.
 

Maintaining the Wrong Food Log

Whether you are following a low carb, low cal, gluten free, or diet food nutrition plan, you are likely falling into some cleverly wrapped marketing trap. If you want to lose weight, and stay lean you have to start with a whole foods based diet, and track your macronutrient intake. Ensuring that your body is getting the right percentages of each macronutrient will help you increase your metabolism, keep you full, and improve your energy levels. Shakes, wraps, diet pills, protein bars, 100 Calorie packs and diet coke are NOT the answer. Stick with a whole foods based diet and pay attention to your macros, and you will start to see some real results.

Eating All Day

Eating all day is making you fat, because you never allow your body to be in a fasted state or enter into digestive rest. This is why my clients engage in intermittent fasting. It allows the body the necessary time it needs to restore itself, improves the immune system, increases metabolic rate, and helps your body build calorie burning muscle. While there is no one size fits all approach to intermittent fasting, I have my clients use the 16/8 protocol which has them fasting for 16 hours each day and eating for 8. For more info on this, grab my free comprehensive guide to intermittent fasting.

There is a reason the diet industry continues to make billions each year - most of the common strategies out there simply don’t work, long term. They get clients quick results that can often destroy their metabolism and mess with their hormones so they yo-yo back to where they started.


If you truly want to see results this year, join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss! This is a proven program that has gotten thousands and thousands of women real results that last. I am only accepting 300 people into the February 5th round of the FASTer Way, and we already have close to 200 ladies signed up. You have a choice to make. You can do what you have always done and get the results you’ve always gotten - or, you could join the thousands of women who have found a lifestyle that works, and that they love. The choice is yours - but I would sign up if I were you!

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Lillian Jane's Birth Story - Part Three. Living my best postpartum life.

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Lillian Jane's Birth Story - Part Three. Living my best postpartum life.

And now for part three of Lily’s birth story - the first few days with Lillian and living my best postpartum life.

If you did not read part one regarding the day of Lillian Jane’s arrival, or part two with labor and delivery details, feel free to click the links below to read those blog posts.

The first few days of Lillian’s life have been absolutely wonderful. And after experiencing three postpartum periods, I can confidently say that this recovery has been by far my best.

I delivered Lily on January 5 and arrived home with her on Saturday, January 6. It was a perfect first day home. We spent some time outside soaking up some Vitamin D, met Lucy our golden doodle, snuggled with Emma and Cole, and rested. As I mentioned in part two, I even went on a short walk with Lucy to get some fresh air.

On Sunday morning, we woke up early and immediately went in for her first pediatrician appointment. I scheduled the 7.30 a.m. slot to be sure we weren’t in the waiting room with sick kiddos during cold and flu season. When we arrived home we listened to the church sermon and enjoyed some snuggles. My parents took the big kids overnight and for the morning so we could enjoy a low key day with Lily. My friend came over in the afternoon to visit and drop off some gifts, and we relaxed in the evening.

By Monday I was settling into our “new routine” which included an early morning feeding before getting ready for the day, a bit of work for my fitness business (this has been a record month for the FASTer Way to Fat Loss with 1,608 current clients going through my program), and an afternoon “workout” of low intensity cardio in between feedings.

This has truly been the best few weeks of my life. Lily is just perfect and SUCH a good baby and I absolutely love the newborn stage.

Here are the steps I’ve taken to ensure I’m able to live my best postpartum life and be the very best mom possible for Lillian Jane in the first few days and weeks of her life.

  1. I’ve focused on whole food nutrition and eating clean (no processed foods).

    Eating clean after delivery may sound like common sense, but frankly after having both Emma and Cole I felt like I had earned a few weeks off from whole food nutrition. After all, I had stayed healthy and fit through 9 months of pregnancy and then pushed a baby out -- mama deserved some donuts, right?! However, this time around, I decided to 100% commit to good nutrition after labor and delivery and it’s made a HUGE positive impact on my postpartum recovery. Hours after delivering Lily, I “broke my fast” with some green juice from The Weekly Juicery and oatmeal. No hospital food for me! Constipation had been an issue for me after delivering Emma and Cole, so I wanted to be super proactive this time around. Every time I fed Lily in the hospital and in the first few days after delivery I would drink a huge glass of water and eat an apple (fiber). You could say I was too proactive about preventing constipation because this time I nearly had the opposite issue, haha. I also focused on consuming foods that would naturally increase progesterone.  I knew that after labor and delivery my progesterone levels would tank, and I wanted to help balance my hormones and begin the process of preventing the postpartum blues. Estrogen dominance causes headaches, depression, weight gain, and can ultimately lead to cancer so I obviously wanted to address this issue head on. Overall, I’ve stayed completely committed to perfect nutrition (with the only exception being a couple pastries or treats friends brought to the house when visiting Lily). Eating clean has helped me keep my immune system strong, reduce inflammation, prevent constipation, and balance hormones in these first few days and weeks postpartum.
  2. I’ve taken supplements and avoided pain medication.

    After delivering Cole (my second baby) I suffered from full-blown adrenal fatigue. I lacked energy, I dealt with the postpartum blues, my immune system was shot, and I had compromised gut health. This led to 5 or 6 bouts with strep within Cole’s first year of life, food sensitivities, and whole other slew of issues. Thankfully, third time is a charm, and I am older and wiser now and more equipped to prevent postpartum issues. Shortly before I delivered Lily, my friend and client, Ali Damron sent me the link to a postpartum supplement to prevent/address adrenal fatigue and prevent the postpartum blues. I purchased the supplement to begin immediately after delivery. I also decided to avoid pain medication like Motrin or even Ibuprofen which can cause constipation and also act as a blood thinner which would only delay recovery. Here is a list of supplements I have continued or integrated postpartum. Please note you need to chat with your naturopathic doctor before taking any supplements.
    • Juice Plus (fruit and veggie blend for important micronutrients)

    • Red Raspberry (to help uterus contract quickly and stop postpartum bleeding as soon as possible after delivery)

    • Fish oil

    • Iron (when applicable - when my tongue is super pale I know I need to supplement)

    • Vitamin D (when applicable. I try to get outside daily for Vitamin D but when I am deficient I supplement. I try not to have too much Vitamin D versus Magnesium because then I deal with the symptoms of magnesium deficiency (ie: headaches)

    • Magnesium spray before bed, and a supplement when my blood pressure was high.

    • Vitamin K (K1 and K2 for blood clotting and other benefits to speed up recovery)

    • Postpartum supplement (to prevent/address adrenal fatigue and prevent the postpartum blues)

    • Calcium

    • Probiotic (to promote good gut health which is vital during postpartum healing)

  3. I’ve resumed my normal “workout” routine quickly. (I’m going to ruffle some feathers with this one.)

    Let’s address the obvious as we get started -- the generic recommendation is to wait until the 6 week postpartum check-up before resuming “exercise.” This “rule” is preached to every woman … from those who had an emergency C-Section (which is a major surgery), to those who had an uneventful vaginal delivery. As you may guess, I don’t follow this “rule,” and frankly, I’ve been criticized for this. I took a walk with Lucy the day after Lily was born and I was back in the gym for low intensity cardio 1 week postpartum.  Several Instagram or Facebook ladies would add comments on my gym photos stating that I was “the exception to the rule” or that I should not promote activity so soon after delivery, or that other women were going to compare their postpartum recovery to mine and become discouraged. Here’s the deal -- I don’t wait to be the “exception” and frankly, I think we will laugh at the 6 week rule for women with a smooth and uneventful vaginal delivery years from now. In many cases, promoting a sedentary lifestyle for 6 weeks postpartum is causing more harm than good. I believe that movement (low intensity cardio or low impact exercise) as soon as possible after delivery speeds up recovery, helps to prevent the baby blues, and should be considered a normal and beneficial aspect of postpartum recovery. My personal strategy was to start with short walks outside followed by a transition to low intensity cardio on machines, and then low impact workout moves (ie push-ups). Obviously I would not engage in or promote anything that would slow down wound healing or postpartum recovery. Many doctors and midwives will say that if your postpartum bleeding gets heavier or comes back, you’re doing “too much.” While I do not believe this is untrue, I find that exercise does NOT cause my postpartum bleeding to get heavier, re-start, or continue beyond the typical timeframe. In fact, through my three postpartum journeys, changes in my postpartum bleeding is more related to cluster feedings, medications like blood thinners, or the natural processes of uterine contractions throughout the healing process. For me, postpartum bleeding tends to ebb and flow for the first few/several weeks, and is not be negatively impacted by low intensity cardio including short walks. I have not resumed intense workouts, nor will I for a few more weeks. However, my low impact and low intensity workout have been a vital part of my postpartum recovery and I am so grateful for my opportunity to hit the gym each day.
  4. I’ve been drinking tea … and lots of it.

    Birds and Bees Teas have been a huge part of my prenatal and postpartum health and wellness. During pregnancy I drank “peaceful pregnancy” and “ripe and ready” tea, and I am now drinking “family immunity” daily. My friend and client, Jen, owns Birds and Bees Teas and she’s been an amazing resource for me through my postpartum recovery.

  5. I’ve RESTED.

    I can’t help but follow up the workout tip with my thoughts on rest. Brandon can attest to the fact that I’ve rested more during this postpartum recovery than my previous two. In fact, I’m in bed for no less than 10 hours per day between overnight sleep and naps. Not only am I working hard to prevent or address adrenal fatigue and keep my immune system strong, I’m relaxing during the day and enjoying as many newborn snuggles as possible. I’ve been more present with Lily during these first days and I could not be happier. Because I delivered Lily during cold and flu season I’ve been out very few times. We’ve had several visitors, but I’ve scheduled no more than one visitor per day to be sure that Lily and I don’t get worn out.

    _______

One of the reasons I love the newborn stage and the first few weeks so much is because I recover very quickly after labor and delivery. I share these tips and my postpartum journey simply to INSPIRE you. I hope sharing both my fit pregnancy and postpartum journey has been helpful. As always, consult with your doctor or midwife before beginning any prenatal or postnatal fitness routine and be certain to listen to your body. Every woman is different and every pregnancy is different.

I want YOU to enjoy your best postpartum life so you can look back on the first few days with your newborn with nothing but fond memories.

XO

Photo below is two weeks postpartum. 

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Earn CEU's Through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Certification

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Earn CEU's Through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Certification

The success of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss online program has truly been unparalleled in the fitness industry. Through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, thousands of women have shed unwanted fat, increased their energy and improved their overall health. Time after time, woman after woman, the results speak incredible volumes about the effectiveness of this program, and its ability to change lives.

Because of the success of the FASTer Way, I simply could not keep this program to myself. Enter the FASTer Way to Fat Loss coaches certification. This certification program was created because I wanted to empower other women, interested in building their own fitness business, with the skills and content necessary to be successful. Since creating the certification, I’ve already had over 70 women pass the exam and begin building their FASTer Way businesses.

And now...if you are a certified personal trainer or group fitness professional, you can earn CEU credits toward your recertification! I just got word that NASM/AFAA have approved the FASTer Way coaches certification for recert credits. This accreditation only further solidifies what thousands of women already know to be true...the FASTer Way to Fat Loss works. It is based on real science. It gets real results in a truly safe way. NASM and AFAA agree that the information provided in the FASTer Way Certification is not only valid, but holds an important place in the fitness industry and today’s wellness landscape.

If you are a certified trainer who has always wanted to take your business online, the FASTer Way to Fat Loss cert would be a perfect fit for you. Upon completion of this certification, you are the owner of your very own FASTer Way to Fat Loss business. You keep 100% of the profits from your FASTer Way programs. You run your boot camps when you want to. You are in the driver’s seat...with ALL of the support and content you need to be successful. You don’t have to worry about programming, tech or any of the bootcamp materials. As a coach, you have full access to all of that.

This program will without a question, get your clients results. The certification process will help you grow as a professional, while giving you everything you need to run a successful online fitness business.

If you are interested in learning more about the certification, it’s requirements, and whether or not you would be a good fit for the program, sign up for a free consult here. I am very selective with my certification program. I want to ensure that it is truly in the hands of those who want to improve people’s lives while earning a significant income to give back! If that sounds like you, let’s chat. My slots are limited, so grab one today!

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Tips for Intermittent Fasting

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Tips for Intermittent Fasting

As you know, the FASTer Way to Fat Loss is based upon a few different cutting edge nutritional strategies: intermittent fasting, carb cycling and macro counting. However, the key distinguishing factor is our emphasis on fasting.

While fasting may sound a bit intimidating, most of my clients find it way simpler than they had originally thought it would be. In fact, it usually ends up being one of their favorite things about the program.

How do you survive your first round of intermittent fasting? Here are a few tips!

Start slowly.

I practice a 16/8 intermittent fasting: 16 hours of fasting, 8 hours of eating. However, if you’ve never fasted before, you don’t have start with such a big fasting window. I highly recommend starting with a 12 hour fast. Cut off your eating at 7 or 8pm, then don’t eat breakfast until 12 hours later. You can gradually increase the length of your fast an hour at a time, until you reach the 16 hour mark. In addition, don’t feel as though you have to start fasting everyday. I recommend starting with Sundays. Cut off your eating at 7pm on Saturday night, then don’t eat anything until after church on Sunday. This will help you dip your toes into the intermittent fasting lifestyle without feeling too overwhelmed.

Keep Hydrated.

While fasting, it is super important that you stay hydrated. In addition to water, it is totally acceptable to drink black coffee, herbal teas and BCAA’s. Use these to get through your fast with ease and to keep your mind from wandering to the various snacks in your pantry!

Stay busy.

The best tool for making it through your fasting period is to stay busy. In fact, productivity is one of my favorite side effects of intermittent fasting. Because you aren’t worried about fixing your next meal, or scarfing down a quick snack, you can focus on work, and getting things done. And, staying busy keeps your mind from thinking about food, and helps you get through your fasting period with ease!

Intermittent fasting has some phenomenal benefits that not only help my clients burn fat effectively, but that helps my clients to feel their best. The overall improvement in health, energy and productivity make the strategy a lot simpler to implement than many believe it to be. In fact, I am not usually hungry at all during my fasting window and find that the longer I practice IF, the more accustomed to the strategy my body becomes! FASTer Way clients know the power of intermittent fasting. Want to try it out for yourself? Check out the next round of my FASTer Way to Fat Loss and learn how to combine this strategy with carb cycling, macro counting and effective workouts!

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Lillian Jane's Birth Story - Part Two. Labor and delivery.

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Lillian Jane's Birth Story - Part Two. Labor and delivery.

I am thrilled to share the story of Lillian Jane’s birth. I decided to break the story down into three parts.

If you did not read part one sharing how I prepared my body for labor and delivery and details regarding the day of Lillian Jane’s arrival, feel free to read it here.

On Thursday January 4, after weeks of Braxton Hicks contractions and implementing daily strategies to prepare my body for labor and delivery, I decided to do two things I rarely do. I vacuumed and mopped the floors … and I sat in a tub and truly relaxed for two full hours starting around 6.30 p.m. If you read the end of my last post (part one of Lily’s birth story), you know that I was not feeling well on Thursday and I had just about given up hope that Lily would come on Friday, January 5, which had been my desire for months.

Two hours after getting in the tub to relax (and sulk since I was so over being pregnant and truly READY to meet my baby girl), I started feeling what seemed to be real contractions. I had experienced Braxton Hicks for weeks (really months) and was very aware of what those felt like. But my contractions in the tub were much stronger, faster, and deeper. What a pleasant surprise and a huge relief!!! I’ve never been so happy to be in pain. At 8.32, I texted Brandon from the tub to say I was getting what seemed to be real contractions.

He immediately came in the bathroom and I told him I was pretty sure this was the real thing and to call my parents to come over.

With both Emma and Cole, my water broke in the middle of the night and my contractions came on slowly. I even had time to get a shower, put on make-up, and casually make my way to the hospital. With Lily, I could tell it was going to be a much faster labor. Within 15-20 minutes my contractions were already coming faster and stronger. My parents quickly arrived at the house, we threw a few extra things into my hospital bag, and headed for the hospital.

At the hospital I checked in to triage to be “monitored.” Here, the triage doctor and nurses would decide if I should be admitted. I quickly told them that this was my third rodeo and I would not be going home that night. The doctor saw from my chart that we had the same birthday (April 2) and quickly acknowledged that he realized I was going to get my way that night, haha.

If you remember from part one, there was only ONE doc at my OBGYN who I truly trusted and liked. I found out when I was in Triage that she was on call that night in labor and delivery. That was a massive relief!!! I was so so so pleased that she would be the one to delivery Lily. It was my doc's first night back at work after the holiday break. AND I was even more thrilled that Lily would arrive on January 5 as I had hoped ... yay!

I was quickly admitted and moved from Triage into the Labor and Delivery area. The first nurse I had in labor and delivery wasn’t my favorite, so Brandon asked for a different one. The second nurse was AMAZING. She and my favorite doc came in to check on how I was doing. I had a dream team to deliver Lily. My doc (who was a huge fan of intermittent fasting and a big supporter of my fit pregnancy) was on a 36 hour fast which I loved to hear.

Once in labor and delivery, my contractions started coming even harder and faster. My “plan” was to get an epidural and rest for a bit before it was time to deliver. I had done this with both Emma and Cole and truly enjoyed my experience especially post-delivery while breastfeeding the babies for the first time, etc. Because I have VERY high pain tolerance and was carrying on a normal (smiling) conversation with my doc and the nurses, they did not seem in any big rush to get me an epidural. When I was checked in Triage I was 4 or 5 cm dilated, so my doc thought we had plenty of time, and even mentioned coming in to check on me around 3 a.m.

At around 11.30 p.m., I told Brandon to ask the nurse to call for my epidural. The anesthesiologist came in about 20 minutes later and slowly dinked around my room and made small talk. I told her I was hoping to get the epidural sooner than later and she remarked that I looked so calm, she didn’t realize it was an “urgent” matter. I told her I simply had really high pain tolerance (and I had been practicing some pretty intense “mind over matter” pain management) but was sure I needed it soon if I was going to be able to get an epidural. I am SO GLAD I rushed her because 5 minutes later and it would have been too late. Again, my “plan” had been to rest after getting the epidural. However, Lily had different plans. About 30 minutes later I turned to Brandon and asked him to get the nurse to check me because I felt a lot of pressure and ready to push. She came in and immediately said, “Ok, do NOT sneeze. I’m going to round up the team. This baby is coming.”

My doc and the nurses came in a few minutes past 12.30 on Friday, January 5, which was just in time. I was READY. I could still feel my contractions and move my legs without any issues. Brandon got a video of nearly the entire delivery which lasted for all of a couple minutes. I felt that I could push Lily out with one push, but my doc asked me to do three controlled pushes. She came out easily (no tearing!) and was handed to me. A nurse took my phone from Brandon and continued the video while Brandon cut the cord and also took a ton of still shots (she clearly knew what she was doing with an iPhone, haha). The nurses were so complimentary of how perfect Lily was and I was overcome with so much emotion.

My doc and the nurses left the room and I nursed Lily and did skin to skin for two full hours. This was a nice change from my delivery with Cole and Emma where they were immediately taken to be measured, weighed, etc.

Lily and I had some great conversations and she latched right away. I told her how thankful I was that she was cooperative and came on January 5. She was very alert and the sweetest, most petite little newborn - just like Emma!

The nurses came back in to weigh Lily and run their usual tests. My nurse asked if I could get up to go to the bathroom. I confidently stood up, and immediately collapsed and started throwing up. Oh, the joys. I pulled myself together and quickly got the peppermint beadlets out of my hospital bag to manage my nausea. The same thing happened to me after delivering Emma and Cole and I felt foolish for not seeing it coming. The peppermint beadlets did the trick and I quickly felt better. We headed to the mother/baby unit to rest after an eventful night.

The next morning (Friday morning) my doctor came in to check on me. I was recovering nicely and Lily was eating really well. I had pumped Colostrum the week before delivery, so my mom brought it to the hospital and we fed her with a dropper in between feedings to ensure she was pooping and peeing plenty. I also pumped Colostrum in between feedings to stockpile more. The nurses were shocked I was able to produce so much, but this was a strategy my doc up north had told me about, and I’m so glad he did. PS This is not a common strategy and I am not endorsing it or asking for a debate. I’m simply sharing my experience.

We enjoyed a wonderful first day together and loved having Emma and Cole come visit to see Lily for the first time on Friday afternoon. Emma was in awe of her baby sister and Cole kept saying, “She is so cool -- she is awesome.”

Friday night we got as much rest as possible and started packing up to leave on Saturday morning. The nurses and pediatrician cleared us to leave and we headed home. It was an absolutely beautiful day outside and we soaked up every minute of sun and newborn snuggles. Lucy (our Golden Doodle) was especially thrilled to see the baby. (She has been an amazing big sister and it’s so cute to see how attentive and caring she is). I took a walk with Lucy on Saturday after we returned home to give her some attention and to get my blood flowing. This time around I was much less puffy/swollen during my recovery, and I think it was due in part to walking shortly after delivery. More on that in part three of Lily’s birth story.

We went to bed around 7 p.m. on Saturday to try and catch up on rest and woke up to another gorgeous day on Sunday. My recovery seemed faster and easier than the previous two (third time’s a charm) so we enjoyed listening to the church sermon on live stream and a visit from one of our friends.

For more about my postpartum recovery - living my best postpartum life, stay tuned for part three of Lily’s birth story. I will share my top tips and strategies for preventing constipation, eliminating inflammation, minimizing the postpartum blues, and speeding up the recovery process.

Click on the gallery below to view a few highlights from Lily's birthday.

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Lillian Jane's Birth Story - Part One. Preparing My Body for Labor and Delivery

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Lillian Jane's Birth Story - Part One. Preparing My Body for Labor and Delivery

I am thrilled to share the story of Lillian Jane’s birth. I’ve sat down to write the story multiple times this week and I simply cannot fit it all into one blog post, so I decided to write three parts.

  • Part one - preparing my body for labor and delivery and details regarding the day of Lillian’s arrival  

  • Part two - labor and delivery. Lily’s birthday.

  • Part three - the first few days with Lillian and living my best postpartum life.

If you were following my fit pregnancy journey, you know that I was not super patient toward the end of my pregnancy. The third trimester is hard for me. The final month of pregnancy is truly one of the main reasons I did not want to try for a third baby. But of course, now that I’ve delivered Lillian Jane, I’m ready to do it all over again :)

On social media, I tried to focus on the highlights of pregnancy including my passion to stay fit and healthy through the third trimester, but many of my friends were privy to my impatience in the final weeks.

At 9 months pregnant I just couldn’t be bothered. And frankly I was worried I would say something on live video or social media that would be the quick end to my career. One of my biggest pet peeves during the third trimester was when social media followers would remark, “The baby will come when she’s ready. There is literally nothing you can do to prepare your body for labor.” Of course, I knew baby girl would come when she was ready and I also knew that I would not be pregnant forever, but I didn’t need 12 people per day to remind me that I had no control. In fact, I personally felt that I did have some control over when she graced us with her presence, or at the very least, I could put a plan into place to do my part and prepare my body for labor and delivery.

For MONTHS I announced to my team, friends, family, FASTer Way to Fat Loss clients, agency clients, and social media friends that I was planning to have Lily on January 5. I even added “delivery day” to my Google calendar on January 5. When meeting with agency clients to develop a social media marketing timeline, I would jokingly add “January 5 - Amanda has her baby” to everyone’s calendar.

I wanted to deliver Lillian Jane on January 5 because of a few reasons. First, I wanted Lily to have her own birthday instead of sharing one with Jesus. Not that there is anything wrong with a Christmas baby, but I thought a January birthday would be better for her long term. If Lily had come when Emma came her birthday would have been in the middle of Christmas and the New Year. I wanted Lily to come on January 5 also because 5 is my favorite number. The number 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans. I’ve always loved the number 5. Third reason I wanted her to come on the 5th is because Emma and Cole went back to school on January 4. I didn’t want to have to worry about entertaining them while I was in labor, haha. More on this later …

Now, onto the fun stuff. Here is exactly what I did to prepare my body for labor and delivery. Again, I figured I should do my part while I waited for Lily to do her part.

  1. I exercised daily. This pregnancy was different than my previous two in that I did more strength training and spinning overall. I also did a LOT of squats. Frankly, you would think the baby would have slid right out at the gym with all the squats I completed. I followed my Fit Pregnancy Total Body workout program and it made my labor and delivery very fast and easy.  

  2. I ate 6 dates per day and pineapple whenever possible during the final weeks of pregnancy. A few friends told me this was a natural way to ripen the cervix.

  3. We did the dance with no pants every other day. I’ve heard this is the only true scientifically proven way to ripen the cervix. Sex certainly got my Braxton Hicks going.

  4. I walked … and walked … and walked … and then walked some more. I should have kept track of my mileage during the final month of pregnancy because I bet it would have been a record of some sort, haha. On Christmas day I actually started feeling real contractions I couldn’t talk through, so that was one day I cut my walk short. I did not want to deliver on Christmas day.

  5. I ate eggplant parmesan. Chef Donna made it for me twice.  The first week she didn’t add oregano, and then we found a better recipe. I ate the second batch the day before I went into labor. Here is the exact recipe we used.

  6. I used EPO (evening primrose oil). This not only can help to ripen the cervix, it can actually help prevent tearing. And guess what? I didn’t tear at all, so I would say it was worth it!

  7. I drank Peaceful Pregnancy and Ripe and Ready tea from Birds and Bees Teas. I tried to drink a couple mugs each day and I am continuing to drink it while in the first weeks postpartum in addition to the Easy Naps Calm Nights. I also plan to purchase some Our Lady of La Leche tea for breastfeeding.

  8. I got a prenatal massage and focused on pressure points. My friend and client Ali Damron turned me on to this strategy. I got the massage 4 days before I went into labor. It felt amazing. Ali has an amazing eBook regarding how to naturally prepare your body for labor.

  9. I cleaned. I actually think vacuuming and mopping brought on Braxton Hicks (practice contractions) better than my workouts, haha. I also rarely clean since we have a housekeeper who comes every other day, so I think it was a different physical activity that my body responded to well.

  10. I pumped colostrum. This is something I did with all three of my babies per my doctor up north's suggestion. I stockpiled about 6 bags of colostrum the week leading up to delivery to feed to Lily with a dropper in between breastfeeding sessions in the first few days of her life. Great way to get Braxton Hicks going too! 

  11. I relaxed in my soaking tub. The evening my contractions started I had lost all hope of delivering anytime in the near future, and decided to sit in my soaking tub for 2 hours. I actually think this helped a lot!

As you can see, I did ALL the things. The week before Lily was born, my doc checked my cervix and I was only 1 cm dilated. The week of her birth (one day before I went into labor) I was 1.5-2 cms dilated and 80% effaced. As many of you know, I had a HARD time finding an OBGYN in Florida. I had a fabulous baby doc in Ohio and truly enjoyed my experience being pregnant and delivering there. The office was right next to my house, the docs and NPs were professional and caring, and the brand new hospital was within walking distance from my house. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. In Florida I went through three docs before I found someone who was a good fit. The doc I loved was a huge supporter of my fit pregnancy and intermittent fasting. She personally lost 25+ lbs with IF last year and had the best disposition. The only problem is that I had to see all other docs at her practice … and I didn’t love any of them. In fact, one was so outdated in her research that I didn’t even trust her to deliver my baby and would have asked to only have the nurses deliver if she was on call the night I delivered. On Wednesday, the day before I went into labor, I was supposed to see my favorite doc and I was thrilled. I had prepared questions for her and had been looking forward to the visit for three weeks. I got into the office, and a different doc (one I didn’t care for) walked in. I asked where my favorite doc was and she quickly remarked that the schedule had been switched, and they didn’t feel the need to notify me.  Ugh, I was so disappointed. I actually asked the nurse for different OBGYN recommendations before I left because I truly did not trust 3 out of 4 of the docs at my new practice. So stressful.

On Wednesday, after my baby appointment I was determined to help my body progress past 1.5-2 cm dilated. I did a great workout, ate eggplant parm, cleaned, got some good contractions going, and went on a walk. It was January 3, and I was feeling optimistic that Lillian Jane would come on January 5 as I had hoped.

Then I woke up on Thursday feeling “off.” I was scheduled to work a full day, but I was exhausted. Thankfully one of my clients canceled a consult which meant I could get in a quick afternoon nap. I got through my morning consults and had hardly eaten because I was feeling nauseous. I took a nap before heading to the gym and instead of hitting it hard like I usually do, I did a half-ass treadmill workout. When I got home Chef Donna was cooking some amazing food but I just wasn’t in the mood to eat much. I was also feeling overwhelmed with work since January is my busiest month of the year and I hadn’t actually scheduled an official maternity leave. I decided to text one of my team members and communicate my desire to take a proper maternity leave. She immediately responded and said she thought I should take time off and that the team could handle agency client consults - wow … what a relief. This definitely helped me release some stress and tension.

The kids got home from school and instead of going on our typical daily walk before dinner, I decided to forego both the walk and dinner and sit in the tub for 2 hours.

I texted one of my best friends with the following text around dinner time on January 4 when I got into my tub:

“I am starting to lose hope and I’m sick of trying to get Braxton Hicks going only for them to stall. Ugh. Pregnant for life on this one.”

Little did I know, everything was about to quickly change. 

Stay tuned for part-two of Lillian Jane’s birth story in the days to come including all the details about labor and delivery.



 

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Lillian Jane is here...and so is the next round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss!

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In case you haven’t heard, Brandon and I welcomed Lillian Jane into our family on January 5th -exactly when I was hoping to deliver! Petite just like Emma, she was 6 lbs 8 ounces and 19.5 inches long. She is absolutely perfect!

We’ve been home since Saturday and so far she is doing a phenomenal job eating, pooping and cuddling! Emma and Cole love holding her, and are enjoying the extra time they have with my parents while they are in town.

While it’s been a little while since I’ve lived the newborn life, I’m totally soaking up every minute of baby cuddle time available!

While I will be on a maternity leave of sorts, those you you who know me, know that I won’t be out of the game for too long! I am so thankful that while I’m adjusting to Lily and life with three kiddos, I have an incredible team working to keep the FASTer Way to Fat Loss and the Agency Side running smoothly! In fact, the next round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss starts January 15th, and is more than halfway full!

During pregnancy I followed the FASTer Way to Fat Loss with only a few modifications. I fasted and stuck with the food cycle (minus a few low carb days) right up until delivery and went pretty hard with my workouts my entire pregnancy. While I was met with some criticism, I can honestly say that I went into this birth feeling stronger and more ready than I did with my first two pregnancies. In addition,  I am more than confident that I will be able to get back into pre-pregnancy shape in no time, thanks to the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. The FASTer Way is responsible for getting me and thousands of my clients into the best shape our lives, and I am certain it will do the same for me, post pregnancy.

Of course, I will listen to my body as I get back to working out, fasting and carb cycling...but am planning to do my best to stick to what I know works - the FASTer Way Lifestyle.

If you’ve been trying to get healthy on your own for a while, but realize that it’s a lot harder than you thought, join my January 15th round of the FASTer Way! Lily and I will be there to cheer you on the entire 7 weeks. Don’t miss out on tons of cute baby pics and a leaner, healthier new you in 2018!!!!

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Tips for Surviving Low Carb Days

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Tips for Surviving Low Carb Days

While low carb everything is all the rage, the lifestyle itself can be quite challenging to live when starting out. Although the FASTer Way is not solely a low carb lifestyle, because mama likes donuts, my clients do cycle through low carb and regular carb days. The area that my clients struggle with most, is by far, low carb days. But, they aren’t as difficult as they may feel at first. Below are a few tips to help you crush low carb days and reap the maximum benefits.

Enter your meals into My Fitness Pal in the morning.

One of the best ways to ensure you don’t go over your daily carb limit is to do your best to plan out the day. If you have an idea of what you will eat, go ahead and enter everything into My Fitness Pal in the morning. This will help to ensure you stay within your limits and see where you might need to make adjustments, before you start your day.

Have some simple, go-to snacks on hand.

Snacking is where the carbs can creep in and take over! Be sure to have plenty of low carb snacks on hand for your low carb days. Nuts, raw veggies, beef jerky and hard boiled eggs are all great snacks. Having these ready to go so you don’t have to think about what to eat between meals is super important. While my FASTer Way clients practice Intermittent Fasting and typically only do 2 smaller meals, the need to snack in between can still be prevalent. Surviving low carb day is all about being prepared!

Drink lots of water.

Instead of reaching for something carby grab a glass of water. This goes a long way to helping you staving off cravings and will do its job keeping you hydrated.

Vary your proteins.

Low carb days can get boring if you don’t try new things. Instead of always going the grilled chicken route, add in some different kinds of fish, pork, beef, and sausage. This will help you keep things interesting while keeping those carbs in check!

Focus on healthy fats.

During low carb days, focus on healthy fats. They will keep you feeling full longer and will help you reach your calorie goal for the day (1 gram of fat has more calories than 1 gram of protein or carbs). Fish, nuts, avocados and healthy oils will help keep you satiated while keeping carbs low.

Low carb days are an essential part of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program because they help deplete the glycogen stored in your body, and require you to burn fat. When paired with higher carb days and strategic workouts, the results are truly incredible! If you didn’t join me for the March 26 round of the FASTer Way, you can join us on April 23, and start getting lean in 2018. Don’t spin your wheels feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Join me and hundreds of other women for the most effective program on the market. Get in shape, feel great and then go out live your life with energy and purpose. Join the April 23 round here!

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The Keto Rage and Why I'm Still Eating Donuts

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The Keto Rage and Why I'm Still Eating Donuts

Unless you are living under a rock, then you have probably heard of the ketogenic diet. For some reason, Keto living has become quite the rage as of late, but it hasn’t quite phased me...I’m still over here eating donuts and crushing my leg days even at 9 months pregnant.

While Keto living isn’t my cup of tea, there are some benefits to the lifestyle and I do believe that there is a select group of people who could benefit from Keto living. However, for the most part, I am a firm believer in eating all the carbs. Here’s my two cents.

What is Ketogenic living?

A Ketogenic is a diet that is extremely low in carbohydrates. The goal of the Ketogenic diet is to put the body into ketosis, or fat burning mode, by severely restricting the presence of glucose in the body. Simply put, this means that the goal is to trick the body into believing it’s in a fasted state. With no glucose to burn, the body will reach into its fat stores for energy. Typically those who hold true to this type of lifestyle will aim to consume fewer than 20 net grams of carbohydrates per day to eventually reach ketosis.

What are the benefits?

There are some immediate fat loss benefits that people see when living a Keto lifestyle. In addition, Ketogenic diets are associated with helping to reduce the risk of: Type 2 Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, and Neurological Disorders. One major benefits to living a Ketogenic lifestyle is that you don’t have to track anything, but can simply opt for no carb foods and stay on track.

Who is it for?

A keto diet is best suited for those who are significantly overweight, living sedentary lifestyles. These people tend to see the greatest results, particularly middle-aged men in this demographic. In fact, I’ve recommended this lifestyle to my dad multiple times!  I even had my VIP membership work through keto, and try it for 2 weeks. Many of the women enjoyed the process, but most ended up coming back to the FASTer Way Lifestyle. A lot of the feedback that I have had come back is that women have experienced some negative effects on their hormones. For some it can really mess with their cycle and cause them to store midsection fat in the long term. Typically if I am recommending the Ketogenic diet it is to a dude who lives a sedentary lifestyle, has a lot of stress and needs a good jump start! I am still waiting on the science behind Keto living to show long term results for multiple groups.

Why I don’t do it.

While there are obviously benefits to a Keto lifestyle, it’s not something I would ever do for a long period of time. There isn’t enough scientific research to show that it is any more effective than the FASTer Way lifestyle, and it is not nearly as sustainable. A Keto lifestyle is far too restrictive for this donut loving girl. In addition, since 95% of my clients are female, I am regularly looking for ways to improve their hormone function, and carbs actually play a significant role in hormonal health. For that reason alone, my program doesn’t ever have more than two low carb days in a row, and my FASTer Way clients enjoy the benefits of a low carb lifestyle along with a few donuts and glasses of wine along the way.

If the Keto lifestyle is something that appeals to you, then let me know. I have a phenomenal client who is incredibly knowledgeable about Keto living, and I’d love to connect you with her! If you are like me, and donuts and wine sound like a fun way to meet your weight loss goals then the FASTer Way is probably for you!

Interested in learning more about the FASTer Way Lifestyle and giving it a try in 2018? Sign up to snag one of the last spots available in my January 1st round. Learn how to burn fat and look lean, without giving up your favorite treats! Join me and the thousands of others who have seen unbelievable results! 

Want to hear more of my thoughts on Keto living? Check out my latest FB Live Video!

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Why Eating All The Carbs Will Help You Lose Weight

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Why Eating All The Carbs Will Help You Lose Weight

If you think that cutting out all carbs is the way to go for weight loss, you’re wrong. In fact, strategically using your carbs to fuel your body will improve your overall metabolism and keep those hormones functioning optimally. This is why the FASTer Way to Fat Loss is NOT a low carb diet. While we do have a few low carb days in our food cycle, FASTer Way ladies know the joys of regular carb day...aka...donuts.

What is carb cycling?

I know I talk about this often, but just in case there are a few newbies hanging around: carb cycling is an alteration of carbohydrate intake to prevent fat loss plateaus and keep your metabolism working effectively. Basically, you cycle between low carb days and regular carb days to ensure that your body burns fat effectively without causing significant hormonal damage or dips in energy.  

How does carb cycling work in the FASTer Way?

As part of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, we pair our workouts with carb intake strategically. This again turns your body into a fat burner as opposed to a sugar burner, and provides you with enough fuel to keep your energy levels up for tough strength training workouts. We manipulate our carbs to ensure optimal energy levels, while effectively using our glycogen stores to stabilize hormone levels.

Who is carb cycling best suited for?

Almost everyone...that is everyone who likes to eat all.of.the.foods! If you want the benefits of a low carb lifestyle while enjoying your favorite high carb treats, then carb cycling is for you. If you’ve been eating clean and exercising but have hit a weight loss plateau, then carb cycling will get you back on track. If you are interested in changing your overall body composition and having enough energy to make it through the day, then carb cycling will get you leaner than ever before. If you are having trouble sleeping, and are storing fat in your midsection...carb cycling is definitely for you. If you are a total newbie to eating healthy, live a completely sedentary life and are just beginning your health and fitness journey, then carb cycling is probably not the best place for you to start. Otherwise, carb cycling will benefit almost everyone!

What are the benefits to carb cycling?

Honestly there are TONS of benefits to carb cycling, but these are the ones my clients most regularly rave about:

  • Fat loss, as opposed to overall weight loss. Carb cycling clients see actual body composition changes.
  • Increased energy levels
  • Better sleep
  • Improved moods
  • A flexible lifestyle that is enjoyable
  • A nutritional strategy that isn’t too overwhelming or stressful. One that allows you to eat out and enjoy your lifestyle while continuing to see progress towards your goals.

Don’t Carb Cycle on Your Own...Here’s Why:

  • You need to effectively pair your carb cycle with your workouts to see the best results.
  • If you cut your carbs too low on low carb day, your body will actually start holding on to all of the carbs. It’s important that you set your low carb days just right, so that you see maximum results.
  • Carb cycling with a foundation of If It Fits Your Macros and Intermittent Fasting will undoubtedly get you the best results. Ensuring that your carb cycle is based on whole foods with a few treats here and there will keep you lean, strong and energized!

Carb cycling is a cutting edge strategy that will undoubtedly get you results. The benefits in terms of health are remarkable, but the lifestyle benefits make it a sustainable strategy for life.

If you’re ready to finally turn your body into a fat burner, and start shedding that last bit of weight, then my January 1st round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss is exactly what you need. There truly is no better program on the market to help you get lean, fit and in shape for the new year. Thousands of women have made complete lifestyle changes that have resulted in significant weight loss, increased energy, and greater health. You could finally feel confident in your own skin. You could finally wake up each day full of energy. You could finally feel comfortable in EVERY thing you put on. OR…. you could continue going down the same path you’ve been walking, with the same results at this time next year.  New year, new you? Or New year and same ol’, same ol’? It’s up to you, but spots are almost completely gone! Sign up today and make 2018 your year!

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No Pills, Shakes or Wraps Necessary!

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No Pills, Shakes or Wraps Necessary!

Cutting through the noise online in the health and wellness industry can be incredibly challenging...so let me save you some trouble:

You DO NOT need pills, shakes or wraps to get lean, fit and strong!

In fact, most of those things are a complete waste of time and money when it comes to long term health and fitness results.

While there are absolutely some supplements that will help you maximize the benefits of a healthy diet and effective workout plan, they will NOT get you lean and fit on their own. Which is why my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program requires zero pills, shakes or wraps to see amazing results. Instead, the FASTer Way lifestyle focuses on whole foods based nutrition, intermittent fasting and carb cycling. The foundational program will teach you how to eat the right foods, for the right reasons, at the right times. In addition, you will learn how to pair nutrition with exercise for maximum effectiveness without wasting time and energy!

If you haven’t gone through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program and are looking to turn your body into a fat burner, so you can get lean, fit and strong then the January 1st round is a perfect place to start. There truly is no better program on the market today, and there are just a handful of spots left! Due to baby girl’s coming arrival I am shutting down registration a little earlier than normal, so be sure to grab your spot ASAP! This program will truly revolutionize your life and give you the support and knowledge needed to live with maximum energy ...for the long run!

If you are a previous FASTer Way client, and have been through two rounds of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, then you have two options for January 1st. You could sign up for the FASTer Way 6 week program on the 1st for a $70 discount OR you could join my VIP Membership. I am often asked about the difference between the FWTFL and my FASTer Way VIP Membership, so here are the details regarding the two programs:

  • The FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 week program. The VIP Membership is a monthly subscription.
  • The FASTer Way to Fat Loss is going to give you the foundational principles needed to live the FASTer Way lifestyle. The VIP membership will help you take things to the next level. You will do a deep dive into health related topics and learn how to maximize your results beyond the basics of the original program.
  • The FASTer Way is open to everyone who wants to get lean, strong, energized and fit. The VIP Membership is ONLY for clients who have been through the FASTer Way twice.
  • The FASTer Way program is run by me and my coaches. While I interact often, I am not nearly as plugged in to the FASTer Way groups as I am to my VIP ladies. VIP ladies are a priority for me, and I love planning incredible things for them to learn and work through.

Both of these programs will help you live a flexible, simple lifestyle that keeps you lean and energized. Both of these programs provide you with support, accountability and cutting edge strategies that work...without pills, shakes and wraps!

If you are a previous client who hasn’t been through the program in a while and feel like the original FASTer Way is where you need to start, grab your spot here! If you are a former client who’s been through two rounds of the original program, use the code BACKONTRACK to grab a sweet discount on the VIP Membership!

If you’ve never been through the program and are ready to take control of your health and fitness in 2018, join me for the FASTer Way beginning January 1st, here!

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Why Intermittent Fasting is Necessary For Optimal Health

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Why Intermittent Fasting is Necessary For Optimal Health

The foundation of my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program is intermittent fasting. While we incorporate several other strategies, it is called the FASTer Way because it’s foundational strategy is intermittent fasting.

While intermittent fasting is becoming more and more popular, it still hasn’t become a mainstream nutritional practice. However, the research continues to build, and people’s results are beginning to scream it’s effectiveness.

During the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, my clients engage in a daily 16/8 fast protocol. This means that they fast for 16 hours each day (most of which are overnight while they are sleeping), and consume ALL of their daily calories during an 8 hour feeding window. While there are other fasting schedules that can be followed for similar results, this is the most doable for the busy women I work with!

What’s so great about fasting?

Fasting turns your body into a fat burner.

Daily periods of fasting changes your body at a cellular level. In addition, it helps to regulate hormones like insulin and HGH to make the fat stores in your body more accessible energy sources. The time given to your cells to repair during fasted periods, allows cells to remove waste and function optimally. Intermittent fasting allows time for the body to utilize fat as its main source of energy, which means you not only lose weight overall, but will see an improvement in your overall body composition. Intermittent fasting allows you to maintain muscle mass which speeds up your metabolic rate, while helping you shed fed.

Intermittent Fasting helps reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

A daily fast allows your insulin levels to remain regulated and stable. This means that your insulin levels are able to function optimally throughout the day. This means you are less likely to become insulin resistant, and less likely to become diabetic. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting reduces overall blood sugar levels by 3-6%1 .

Intermittent Fasting can prevent disease and boost the immune system.

While the fat loss benefits are enough to convince most people to try intermittent fasting, one of the other “side effects” of regular fasting is that it boosts your immune system. Intermittent fasting allows our body to remove waste from our cells. This means that it can break down the waste that can build up over time, which can lead to a decrease in susceptibility to both cancer and Alzheimer's.

There are several other benefits one might experience due to regular intermittent fasting: better sleep and more energy, greater mental clarity and the development of more neurons in the brain, along with better digestion and less inflammation. There truly is no downside to Intermittent Fasting and it has truly been a game changer for both myself and thousands of my clients.

The FASTer Way to Fat Loss has gotten so many women results largely due to the practice of Intermittent Fasting. Here’s what one client Amy had to say about her FASTer Way experience:

“I came into this program at the age of 51 with more than 60 pounds to lose to be at a healthy weight. Amanda encouraged me to go at my own pace with the exercises but to still push myself to my own limits. The change in eating habits was something I could do 100% and I did! The results were amazing. I lost 18 pounds in the six-week period, and I felt younger and more energetic than I have in a long time.  Repetition is how we establish habits, and these are good habits I want to make a permanent part of my lifestyle.”

There are literally thousands of testimonials just like Amy’s. Regular, everyday women who have made drastic lifestyle changes to not only shed unwanted fat, but look and feel better than they’ve ever felt before.

Now, it’s your turn. You could stay right where you are, and find yourself at the same place this time next year: unhappy, lacking confidence and holding on to unwanted weight. OR...you could sign up for the January 1st round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss and experience all of the above benefits and so much more. The choice is yours, but don’t wait to too long to join. Spots are almost completely filled, and once they are gone, I won’t be accepting any more clients into this first round. Sign up today, and make 2018 the year you finally get lean, fit, strong and confident!

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