Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Ep 127: 5 Fat Loss Mistakes Women Need to Avoid (What To Do Instead)

December 01, 2023 Philip Pape Episode 127
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Ep 127: 5 Fat Loss Mistakes Women Need to Avoid (What To Do Instead)
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Are you struggling to achieve your fat loss goals? You might be making one of these common mistakes!

Today, we will go over why females should think twice before jumping right into a fat loss phase, the 5 most common fat loss mistakes women make, and how to set yourself up for a successful, healthy, and sustainable fat loss phase.

Two-thirds of my clients are female, and most of them are over 35, putting them squarely in the peri- and post-menopause phases where hormones become an even more sensitive factor during fat loss, though it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.

I wanted to create this episode to focus specifically on aspects like low energy availability, carbs, and even the discomfort of change that comes up most frequently with my female clients and listeners.

You can grab my totally free guide called “FEMALE FAT LOSS” now available HERE or at witsandweights.com/free. It’s a nicely organized summary of all the topics discussed on today’s show as a reminder of what’s important, mistakes to avoid, and how to approach successful fat loss.


Click here to apply for coaching!

Today you’ll learn all about:

[2:47] Low energy availability
[8:01] Training fasted
[12:28] The 5 nutrition mistakes women make before  a fat loss phase
[26:06] How to have a successful fat loss phase
[42:55] Hormonal imbalances can cause fat loss plateaus
[45:34] Proper food tracking
[49:19] Get a coach or join the community
[53:27] Outro

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Philip Pape:

This is maybe the most important for getting a setup for fat loss for everybody really, but females especially, is doing a body recon phase, doing a primer phase doing a prep phase, a pre diet, maintenance phase, whatever you want to call it, spending about four to eight weeks before fat loss on a few key behaviors and routines or habits or systems, whatever you want to call them. Welcome to the Wits & Weights podcast. I'm your host Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. Wits & Weights community Welcome to another solo episode of the Wits & Weights podcast in our last episode 126 more carbs, more muscle why low carb and keto are keeping you skinny fat. I discussed all the reasons a moderate to high carb diet is essential. If your goal is to build muscle get stronger, improve your body composition get leaner and make fat loss easier. Today, as promised, for episode 127 Five fat loss mistakes women need to avoid what to do instead, we will go over why females in particular should think twice before jumping right into a fat loss phase. The five most common fat loss mistakes women make and how to set yourself up for a successful healthy and sustainable fat loss phase. Now two thirds of my clients are female. Most of them are over 35 Putting them squarely in the Peri and post menopause phases where hormones become an even more sensitive factor during fat loss, though they do not have to be a deal breaker. And I wanted to create this episode to focus specifically on aspects like low energy availability, carbs, and even the discomfort of change that come up most frequently with my female clients and listeners. Last thing before I jump in, I did create a new and totally free guide called female fat loss now available at the link in my show notes or at wits& weights.com/free. It's a nicely organized summary of all the topics discussed on today's show. As a reminder of what's most important, what mistakes to avoid and how to approach successful fat loss. Again, just click the link in my show notes, or go to wits & weights.com/free, to download the female fat loss guide. With that, let's get into today's topic five fat loss mistakes women need to avoid and what to do instead losing body fat. It's often seen as an aesthetic goal. But we have to understand that for women especially there are additional considerations here regarding your health, your hormones, your performance that needs to be factored in, I'm all for going after the physique that you want the dream body, whatever it is. And at the end of the day, we all want to have a healthy level of body fat. We want to look and feel our best. But we do have to understand the unique considerations that come into play. Now every individual is different regardless. But there are some differences between men and women. I wanted to focus exclusively on women today. So approaching fat loss with realistic expectations. And a plan. An appropriate plan is really the key here. And before I dive into these, I do want to give a shout out and give credit words do I want to give a shout out to Jeremiah bear of the living lien podcast for inspiring this topic because he had Brandon to cruise on who by the way, was on the show twice before. And they did a female fat loss series it was something like six or seven episodes very detailed if you want to go check those out. And I definitely borrowed generously from some of the key points, as well as my own experience and working with female clients. But I wanted to give a shout out to them. And I'll include a link to that. I'll include a link to Jeremiah's podcast in this episode. And I'll go ahead and tag him. So he knows, give him a shout out. All right, let's start by talking about how fat loss especially when done aggressively affects women in particular, and why you should avoid just jumping into a fat loss phase before you're ready. We want to be ready for fat loss. So it's not just another crash diet. So there's really three big things here that I want to talk about. The first is that females you know women are more susceptible to the negative effects of low energy availability and calorie restriction. This is probably the biggest one. Many women are walking around for years and years and years in a state of low energy availability. I just talked to a client this morning on her check in a longer term client who she told me you know After, after she was done with her fat loss phase and she went back to maintenance. I was asking her to eat a little bit more than that, like, not just exactly at maintenance, but a little bit more, because I felt like her body needed to recover, and wasn't getting the opportunity to do that. And she's like, Well, I really want to maintain my results, I don't want to gain too much weight, I'm just going to kind of stick around maintenance for a while I said, Okay, you can do that. But just just understand that I think you'll get better performance and quicker recovery, if you just kind of pop above that threshold for a bit. And recently, she did that. And lo and behold, everything just started to improve, right? Her performance, her hormones, her even her menstrual cycle, her sleep, stress, just the psychology of it, everything. And you may be walking around in a state of low energy availability, not even knowing it thinking that, okay, because I've maintained my body weight, I'm eating what I need. No, it could be that your body is simply in that purgatory, and that no man's land in between, you know, full energy availability and a diet where you're losing weight, we're actually what's happening is you are in a very, very, very, very slight deficit. And so it doesn't even look like you're, you're losing weight. And every time you get a pop on the scale, because of a little extra carbs, you freak out, right, tell me this doesn't sound like a familiar story. So being in that state of low energy availability, it's going to cause a perpetual disruption to your hormones, it can cause issues with your cycle, it can decrease your bone mineral density, everything gets downregulated. Because your body says, well, you're giving me 90% Of what I need, but not 100%. So guess what, I'm gonna dock everything by 10%. And I might dock certain things more than others. And you have a higher risk, the deeper you go have what they call red s right, which is relative energy deficiency syndrome. In all honesty, that tends to be in the more extreme cases, when you're severely in a deficit, I'm just talking about being in an unintentional deficit constantly. That's the big thing. So if you are in that state, if you feel like things are not right, things are foggy. Maybe it's my hormones, maybe it's because of my age, whatever reason you tell yourself, and you're doing a lot of other things, right, like your strength training, for example, and keeping the stress moderate, it could simply be that you're not eating enough. And I know, I know, it's a simple thing. And you've probably heard people say, Well, you need to reverse diet and eat more food. I'm not a fan of reverse dieting, I'm a fan of knowing exactly where your metabolism stands, and then eating just slightly above that level. So that you have all the energy you need, and you feel great and you perform great, but you don't really gain any weight. And if you do gain weight, it's going to be the most infinitesimal amount of weight over many, many, many, many months, which is easy to cut off in a very short period of time with a fat loss phase. Okay, so that's the first one is understanding that you may be in low energy availability, and that females are even more susceptible to this because of your hormonal situation relative to men. The second thing is training fasted. All right, a lot of your training fasted. I'm going to suggest that you try training with some food in your stomach and seeing what the difference is, I'm not going to say oh, it's better. We're gonna say let you decide that for yourself. But training, fasted does a number of things, it increases your cortisol, believe it or not, it increases your cortisol, okay, it increases muscle breakdown, it can impair your workout performance and recovery, you definitely have the risk of other hormonal issues down the road if you train fasted for a long time, and training intensely while fast, it seems to exacerbate these effects. So before you even go to a fat loss phase, I would want you to evaluate how you train when you train and the timing of your food. Sometimes when people ask me about meal timing, they're looking to optimize and I'll tell them, you know, that's not as important as getting enough protein and getting enough food. But in other cases, if you're for example, training fasted and you literally are just not eating around your workout, that can have a much bigger effect. Like even if you aren't getting enough food and protein the rest of the day, the training fasted piece, especially for females can be detrimental and backfire before you've even gone into a fat loss phase. So I want you to strongly consider that it might be more beneficial to have a banana and a protein shake an hour before you workout, right? It doesn't have to be anything huge. It can be a bowl of oatmeal, right? Mainly protein and carbs and little to no fat and you're good. Um, the third thing that I wanted to mention here with regards to why women would avoid aggressive fat loss or going into a fat loss phase before you're ready, is and this is maybe the most important for getting a setup for fat loss for at for everybody really but females especially is doing a body recon phase, doing a primer phase doing a prep phase, a pre diet, maintenance phase, whatever you want to call it. I'm spending about four to eight weeks before fat loss on a few key behaviors and routines or habits or systems, whatever you want to call them. And they include the following number one, building some muscle. Now this could be building muscle and body recomp phase, or this could be spending a longer period of time actually building muscle, even in a surplus. But, but best case, or worst case, doing it at maintenance calories in what we call a recomp. And for those of you interested, we are doing the let me see what does this episode come out, it might already be happening, but we're doing our body recomp challenge in December. But regardless, that's just like a kickstart. For three weeks, a real recon phase should take anywhere from like four to eight weeks, sometimes longer. And that's definitely the phase that I take my clients through first, before we do a fat loss phase. You're trying to address the metabolic issues, the hormonal issues, the the lack of fuel, the things like fasted training, you want to make sure you're lifting heavy that you're lifting the right number of days per week for you and not doing too much, not doing too much cardio, making sure you're getting enough steps, making sure you're hydrated, making sure you're getting enough protein. It's all of those things, right. And I don't mean to overwhelm you by saying like, you've got to fix 20 things all at once. What I'm trying to suggest here is taking that four to eight weeks to slowly add in one to three of these tiny habits a week so that by the end of the 40 weeks, you're in a great state for fat loss, rather than jumping right in, they want no I gotta lose a fat, what do I do? Oh, calorie deficit, let's do it. And then all these things are way off where they need to be. The fat loss phase is not going to be successful. And it's just another crash diet. Just give me another yo yo diet. All right. There's things like improving your relationship with food, thinking of food as a fuel that serves you that aligns with your goals that that helps your performance. Eating for satiety, like all of all of these skills that we've developed in a body recomp, or pre fat loss phase are extremely important to address before we go on to fat loss. Okay, so I just wanted to lay all that out first, just so you know that this is a long game, that we want to take this the right way we want to do it sustainably. And if you work with me as a coach, or if you're one of my challengers or even in the Wits, & Weights Facebook community, you'll see these themes come up time and again. And we can help you get to that point we can put in place some of those foundational habits. All right. So now I want to cover the five big nutrition mistakes that most women make. So you can avoid these when you're setting up your fat loss phase. Now, we all love odd numbers. We like fives, we like lists. Could I have done seven? Could I have done three? Could I have done 10? Of course. But I spent some time on this. And I think these five come up the most often? Or could be the most helpful. All right. So you know beyond what we just talked about, like not taking this overly aggressive approach and just jumping in? What are the common pitfalls that women run into? All right. The first one is really about behavior, psychology, it's getting stuck in old habits and being unwilling to change and accept the discomfort that is inevitable. When you're going after a transformation like this. Yes, this is the long game. Yes, this is your life. But you also have been stuck for years doing something that hasn't worked. And even when it quote unquote, worked in the short term like you lost a bunch of weight, you gain it back, didn't you? And when you lost the weight, did you have the physique and the health that you wanted? I'm pretty sure the answer is no, you probably lost muscle. Right? Doing it the right way is going to get you the results. But it requires a little bit of discomfort. And so I actually talked recently in the podcast about getting about pushing your comfort zone into the expanded comfort zone and being willing to change. But you don't have to change so much that it feels overwhelming, right? None of these diets you've done in the past work. They don't work for a reason. They don't work because they're not sustainable. They're not flexible. They don't work with you and your lifestyle. Wouldn't you rather live in the identity of a person who enjoys her life and enjoys what you eat, and never feels guilty about it? Right? And so accepting that change is inevitable, but also realizing that the cost of that change is far less. In fact, it's a basement bargain, compared to the cost of not changing and continuing to do what you've always done. So for some reason, especially, there's a difference I see between men and women when it comes to this kind of thing. I you know, not sure what it is. And I'm not going to dissect that because every individual is different even within that spectrum. But I think this is maybe the number one pitfall is just not being willing to accept change. Now if you're working with a coach like if you work with me, you've already shown that you are open until that kind of change and are willing to listen and an experiment, I've seen many people who don't work with a coach, or they're looking for a quick out, or the answer, right? They'll send me a question like, What do I do for this? I just want the answer. And then even if I give them a suggestion or an answer, it's like, well, I don't want to do this. Because this, this, this. And there's always excuses, right? If you are making excuses, step back and ask yourself, whether it's an excuse, or just a reason not to change. Okay, two different things. All right. So that's the first one. All right, I told you tough love today, a little bit of tough love. Because we all we all want to hear this sometimes. And we know we know what it takes. And it's, it's not that hard, it just takes a little bit of a little bit of change and discomfort. Alright, number two, the second big pitfall or mistake is the yo yo dieting, which is yo yo dieting on the large scale weekend dieting on a short scale. And either way, it's a form of a Yo yo, it's an up and down pattern. And this up and down pattern results in what I mentioned earlier, have low energy availability. So it's this metabolic whiplash, where you think that when you're on the downside of it, right, when you're quote, unquote, in the diet, the dial is turned on, I'm going all after I'm using my discipline and willpower, you think that, okay, now I'm going to be losing the fat or the weight or whatever. And it might happen in the short term, and then you gain it back and then have the short term gain back and then you hit a plateau. And you constantly feel like you're dieting, and yet you get nowhere, and things get worse and your body composition gets worse, and you get weaker, and the hormones get worse and the sleep gets worse and sleep gets worse. Does this sound familiar? Does this sound familiar? And so on the short scale, what might be happening is very simple. You may be Monday through Friday, sticking to that diet, Saturday, off the rails, and I'm using terms that are kind of the standard conventional terms. And when you are taking the right approach to fat loss, and you're taking a sustainable approach, no longer are you going to have, you know, sticking to it, stayin on track, getting off track off the wagon, none of that, because it's not so rigid. But what you've done before is rigid. And so Monday through Friday, you're like a machine, you're rigid, you're perfect, quote unquote. And then Saturday, I'm not going to track today, I'm going to go out with my friends, I'm going to have just everything right, the alcohol, the appetizers, the deserts. And before you know it, you've over consumed by 2000 calories. But because you're not tracking, you don't know what your metabolism is, you don't even know what your exact, you know, weekly calories need to be to get where you want to go. You're not in touch with their hunger signals, because you eat like a monk during the week. And then you eat like, you know, a queen or whatever. I was trying to think of like, kind of a gluttonous I was thinking of a king really. But then I thought, Okay, this is about women. So what's the analogy, but you get what I'm trying to say. So that happens on a weekly basis. And then on a monthly or yearly basis, you're doing these like strict diets for three months. And then you're just ravenous for carbs and sugar and fats and you over consume and you binge and you get it all back. And before long, you weigh more than you did before and more of it as fat than muscle. And the irony, I guess it's ironic is that you have been in a low energy state the vast majority of that time, and yet it still hasn't gotten you anywhere. Because the net energy balance has not been favorable. But the majority of the days you've been suffering in this low energy state. Right? Does that make sense? So when you're hearing this, you're like, Oh, you're speaking to me, like, I'm constantly feeling like I'm dieting and I'm not making progress is because you're not actually in a consistent energy deficit for fat loss. You're probably not doing a lot of the other things to him, but that's okay. We'll talk about that. And you're offsetting those. Any progress you do have with the yo yo aspect of it. So we're gonna stop doing that. But that's number two. Number three, cutting calories too aggressively. Very simple. Most of these diets whether it's keto, carnivore or whatever, even Weight Watchers doesn't matter. Are the really bad ones like Octavia Octavia? Yeah. Really rely on the simple energy balance equation, right calories in calories out. And yeah, you're gonna lose weight if you just starve yourself. But you're gonna get a lot worse than that you're gonna lose a bunch of muscle, you're going to dramatically slow down your metabolism. You're gonna ramp up your cortisol and get super stressed, you're gonna shoot down your performance in the gym, you're not even be able to build and hit your lifts. You're not going to feel like going to the gym, right? And you're gonna do what's called a crash diet. You're gonna lose muscle, you're gonna get hungry, you're gonna binge it all back. Same idea. It's kind of tied in with the yo yo, yo yo dieting. And so this is why we want to understand our calorie intake. We want to understand our metabolism. And we want to understand how much weight we are losing every week like body fat and Body Weight wise, so that we can stay within a reasonable rate of loss, which you've may have heard me say before, but I'll just reiterate is 1% of your body weight per week, that's the maximum you would want to lose. And most of these crash diets, you'll, you'll, you'll lose 40 pounds in a month, which just do the math and based on whatever you weighed before, that's probably like, you know, three or 4% of your body weight a week, it's insane. You're losing so much muscle doing that, actually, a lot of what you're losing initially is just fluid, but then you're losing a bunch of muscle, it's not what we want. Okay, number four, mistake, mistake number four, avoiding or restricting carbs. Yes, you know, I was gonna say this. So number, the earlier things we talked about related to just restriction overall, and, you know, not being willing to change cutting calories too aggressively. And I'm not even mentioned protein, as one of the five Believe it or not, believe it or not, I'm not, because for some reason, that ends up being something a lot of women get, find out pretty quickly that they need to do and then they start to increase it. If they are focused on it. We're talking about carbs. Okay, and I talked all about this on the last episode, so I'm not going to rehash everything. But by eating too few carbs, you are impairing your, your performance, you are impairing your muscle growth. Yes, carbs are needed for muscle growth, not just protein. For a lot of reasons that I talked about in the last episode. Carbs are protein sparing in so many amazing ways. Not having enough carbs means you're going to disrupt your hormones, you know, increasing your carbs, I've seen time and again, have improved hormone production, testosterone, for example, reducing cortisol helping with your insulin sensitivity, believe it or not, okay, it sounds counterintuitive. You increase carbs, you get more insulin, you combine that with strength training, better utilizing the insulin, you're more insulin sensitive, and now easier to lose fat because you have more carbs. And now if that's not the opposite of what so many influencers are saying, you know, tell me I'm wrong. Right? That's that's exactly the opposite of what a lot of these influencers, say when they say carbs will make you fat, carbs from ride fuel, they help with recovery, they support muscle growth, muscle building, optimize hormones, all the things. So that's Mistake number four is just not having enough carbs. We all have these have an asterisk behind them. And that is, if it's right for you. But what I'm sharing here are the pitfalls that affect the vast majority of women who are having trouble with this. And I will never say you have to do this or have to do that. What I'm suggesting is that many women are restricting carbs unnecessarily, and having more carbs would help them with all these things. And once they introduce the carbs, voila, a lot of these problems go away. Okay, mistake number five, is neglecting nutrient density. So we talked about flexible dieting, and we talked about diets or good and bad foods and these restrictive diets, and it's always about the foods themselves. The thing is, you can eat any food, if it serves your goals. The question is, will it especially for fat loss. Also serve your health, serve your satiety, serve your digestion, serve your performance, like once you add all the list of things where we want to improve with what we eat, we realize it's not about specific foods. It's about the density of those foods, the nutrient density of those foods, which ends up being primarily Whole Foods, but not a restrictive list of Whole Foods, all Whole Foods, meats, you know, eggs, seafood, dairy, all the plants, grains, starches, right? Fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, all of it is okay. Right? Unless you have an intolerance or something like that, or just don't like it. It's all okay, and having a diverse food matrix. A diverse diet will improve your chance of not having micronutrient deficiencies, and improving all these other things, hormone production, thyroid function, metabolism, digestion, and the list goes on and on and on. Right. So instead of like cutting out carbs, and now all of a sudden you're eating just meat, and you're missing out on all these other nutrients and dense foods that will fill you up and so on. Have a diverse diet. Okay, so we're going to talk about that. Some of the details when we talk about specifics for fat loss at the end, or actually shortly. But what I wanted to do here was establish you know, when it is appropriate for women to consider fat loss and in the mistakes women make so you can look for those as you're going through this process. Now, I want to lay out exactly how to execute a successful fat loss phase, the moment you've all been waiting for. And remember, you don't have to write all this down because I created a free guide called female fat loss that covers everything in today's show. Just click the link in my show notes for the free female fat loss guide or go to Wits. & Weights dot dot com slash free. Hey, this is Philip. And I hope you're enjoying this episode of Wits & Weights, I started Wits & Weights to help people who want to build muscle lose fat and actually look like they lift. I've noticed that when people improve their strength and physique, they not only look and feel better, they transform other areas of their life, their health, their mental resilience and their confidence in everything they do. And since you're listening to this podcast, I assume you want the same things the same success, whether you recently started lifting, or you've been at this for a while and want to optimize and reach a new level of success. Either way, my one on one coaching focused on engineering your physique and body composition is for you. If you want expert guidance and want to get results faster, easier, and with fewer frustrations along the way to actually look like you lift, go to wits & weights.com, and click on coaching, or use the link in my show notes to apply today. I'll ask you a few short questions to decide if we're a good fit. And if we are, we'll get you started this week. Now back to the show. Okay, women, you are looking to drop fat in a healthy sustainable way, what do you need to do. So I have a decent list here of things and again, so that you're not overwhelmed, you may just want to go download the free guide where I summarize all of this stuff kind of in CliffsNotes style. And you can re listen to the episode along with it, make notes, all that good stuff. At the end of the day, what's important is that you take action, whatever that action is, I would take one action today based on this podcast episode, that is based on how you were inspired by the show and what you are not doing that you want to do. Okay, first. So this is gonna sound What is this gonna, this is gonna sound counterintuitive, or a cop out. The first thing to do for successful fat loss phase is don't do a fat loss phase build muscle first. That's the first thing. I'm not even talking about the prep phase, I'm talking about the opposite of a fat loss phase going into a very slight surplus, a lean gain phase, where you just pack on your first you know, 1015 pounds of muscle over the next six to 12 months, having more muscle is going to boost your metabolic rate. You're going to be lifting heavier, you're going to be building that strength, building that muscle, improving your hormones, improving your insulin sensitivity, all these things, it's going to basically shift everything toward a metabolically healthier state so that when you do fat loss, it's even easier. Yeah, you're delaying the fat loss. But you're going to thank me for it, you're going to be thankful that you went through that process of building muscle first. So that's the first thing but now I'm going to get the rest of these are okay, fine. I got it. Philip, I need to build muscle. But I really damn, I just really want to build lose fat right now. Okay. So again, assuming you've done all the other things we talked about and are not making the mistakes, what should you be doing? First we have protein. All right. Protein, you know what? Hold on, I got to look at my list here. Because the one thing I wanted to add to this actually don't actually didn't have in my notes, which is kind of silly is is training strength training. And that's primarily because today I wanted to focus on the nutrition side. But even if you aren't going to build muscle first, you need to be training as if you're building muscle before you do a fat loss phase. And this can happen in the body recon phase. So training for progressive overload, lifting heavy and all that. I recently did an episode on progressive overload Look, isn't this so nice? Every one of these topics, I've got like a full episode that goes into details on it. And you can always reach out to me on IG at Wits & Weights and say, Hey, what was the episode about this? What was the episode about that? Do you have a video training on this and I will send it to you. Okay, so training. But assuming you're doing that the next thing is prioritize protein intake. can't say it enough. In fat loss protein becomes even more important than when you're not in fat loss. Because this is going to help you preserve and repair and regrow your lean tissue, your muscle mass, this is how you hold on to it. So that your body will be really stingy with the protein and instead it's going to go to the next source of energy which is fat. Okay, it's gonna go to fat. If you don't have enough protein, then it's going to your body is going to break down that muscle protein tissue because you also don't have very many carbs coming in and let's be honest, the calories are low, and you're going to lose muscle. We don't want to do that. So what's the target? I would shoot for the full one gram per pound of bodyweight, which is like 2.2 kilograms, grams per kilogram, or even a little higher like 1.1 Give yourself a little bit of a stretch goal 1.1 grams per pound, which is about 2.4 grams per kilogram. And how do you do that? Okay, that's the big challenge. You want to consume high protein foods. So eggs yes are kind of in that category, but you got to be careful for the with the fat in the yolk. So I would supplement holy Eggs with egg whites during a fat loss phase. Chicken is always a good option in Turkey fish, low to emit low to moderate fat or even no fat dairy are all good options. And of course, you can supplement with protein powder if needed. And most people do need to like the amount of protein you're going to want to get usually requires at least one protein shake for most people just to kind of get through the day with with everything intact, and then distributed evenly throughout the day is the best advice I have in terms of how to fit it in. A lot of people say well, I'm too full, or I can't fit it in or, you know, I can get my calories, but I never get my protein. Plan ahead, look at your day. How can you get three feedings, maybe two feedings, three feedings, four feedings, depending on what it is. And just divide just subdivide the protein. If you need 120 grams, and you eat four times, that's 30 grams per meal. Now one meal might have 50 And one might have 20. And one might have 15 or 35, but just distributed throughout the day. So you can you can get it. Okay, prioritize protein. Second, I'm gonna I'm not gonna use numbers because I have these bullets on my notes. So the next item is ensure adequate carb intake. Okay, so again, we're just focusing on macros right now just to start simple. The thing in fat loss is your calories are low, right? So and your protein is high, and your fat needs to be at some certain minimum level. We talked all about the benefits of carbs for muscle in the last episode. But I also suggested that it gets really difficult or gets to be more of a trade off during fat loss because you only have so many calories to play with. Carbs are anticon up catabolic, they prevent the breakdown of muscle protein, they provide fuel for high intensity exercise. So my suggestion is after the protein needs are met, let's say it's 1.1 grams per pound. You can experiment with different fat and carb levels, mainly to ensure you have enough carbs. But some women respond better to higher carbs versus fats and vice versa. And I've had female clients who the carbs are pretty low, the fats are pretty low, we increase the carbs not much difference, we increase the fats and all of a sudden the the started to perform better. So you just never know until you try it yourself. But I wouldn't just pick a fixed number and go with it. As a one size fits all. I would experiment with different levels. So for women, the fat can come down to as low as like 15, even 10 grams. I mean 10 is getting sporty, I think Eric Trexler mentioned seven is like the rock bottom. But I would give yourself a little buffer and say 15 and all the rest, go to carbs, anything that's not already reserved to protein, and give it a shot right now, part of it for a lot of women. It's the timing of the carbs. And here's what I see. For example, let's say you train in the morning. First of all, don't train fasted or at least experiment with training fed to see how it feels. So that's that's one problem is training faster. But let's say you're not training fasted, and you are eating, you know, three meals a day, and you trade. If you are not shifting those carbs toward your workout, you may experience a performance degradation. And so time, the most carbs around your workout, if you work out in the morning, get like 60% of your carbs or even 80% of your carbs around the workout. If you work out around dinner in the evening. Same thing, if you work out in the middle day, same thing, shift your carbs so that they are parity workout pairing meaning in the vicinity of your workout. So that's the second thing, especially important for women, especially cuz you're gonna have lower calories to play with and most men, sorry to say it's just just reality, right? You're smaller, your metabolisms are lower, you have less muscle mass, etc. That's one of the differences. Okay, next is the the wealth, nutrient timing around the workouts I think I already covered. But the last one was carbs specifically than I wanted to talk about nutrient timing, specifically around training, both carbs and protein. So in addition to shifting most of your carbs to around your workout, also make sure to have protein before and after. And by before I mean, two hours, you know, before or less doesn't have to be half an hour before and after. I mean, like within an hour to have protein. So again, you're kind of shifting a lot of your calories, you're really important calories to the workout period to maximize the muscle preservation and the use of that training signal. Okay, the next thing for successful fat loss is eating high nutrient density foods. So the very simple approach here is the 8020 or even in fat loss might be 9010 approach, where 90% of our foods are Whole Foods. The other 10% is indulgences, whatever you want, right and so it's a little tighter during fat loss than if you weren't in fat loss. So you're going to focus on whole foods, lean protein, fruits, veggies, dairy, whatever Whole Foods That fill you up to have a lot of nutrients. So I have a preference or bias toward more green veggies, more salads, more steamed vegetables, roasted vegetables with your dinner, like putting vegetables wherever you can. As well as fruits that are lower in calories like strawberries, a huge bowl of strawberries can really fill up your stomach, at the cost of like 100 calories, you know, very few calories, but it fills up your stomach. But don't discount other things like even in your indulgences, if you like popcorn, I mean, you can eat a huge bowl of just lightly salted popcorn, air popped popcorn. And that's very few calories, compared to like a tiny bowl of you know, chips, which are which are cooked in fat, right, they're gonna have a lot more calories. Again, I'm never saying anything's good and bad. What I'm saying is during fat loss, nutrient dense foods are going to be your friend, because they are going to have more fiber, they are going to fill you up, they're going to take up more space, okay. And they ensure that your diet includes some, at least the minimums of certain things of certain nutrients like magnesium, zinc, iron, chromium, all those things, which leads me to the next item to address micronutrient deficiencies, which become way more common during fat loss because you simply can't consume as much food. So even if you are focused on nutrient density foods, you just may not have enough mass of it coming in to give you optimal levels of all the different vitamins, you know, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and so on. And this is where you could use bloodwork, like if you want to if you want to take this to the next level and be totally sure get bloodwork done, you know before the fat loss phase, and then maybe halfway through, and kind of an even at the end, and you can see what you are susceptible to in terms of deficiencies, correlated with the calorie deficit, right, not just in general, because everybody has certain deficiencies, because they eat a certain way, or genetics or whatever. And this is where you would use supplementation strategically. So the common supplements I recommend for most people in most of my clients are going to be a multivitamin of some kind. Magnesium for most people, vitamin D, for some people, fish oil. For some people, it depends on if you're deficient and really need these, if you get a lot of sunlight, you may not need vitamin D, if you eat a lot of fatty fish, I mean, the fish oil, but in a fat loss phase, you might be eating super lean fish or white fish, and not getting very much of the Omega threes, right? So in fat loss, it becomes even more important that you're addressing your micronutrients where you can't, okay. And the reason I say that is because these minerals and these vitamins cascade into lots of performance related aspects of your life, how you feel how you sleep, your stress on and on and on. And it could be the simple remedy, you need to for example, get a better night's sleep, like you may be deficient in magnesium, you may be getting migraines, you may be whatever. And it can be a nutrient deficiency. And this is more common in women, because you're eating fewer calories than men. All right. Next is improving your relationship with food. Now I'm not just going to say do it. Like, okay, improve your relationship with food go. It's more complicated than that. But it doesn't have to be. So the big rule I hate to call it a rule because we're talking about getting away from rules and rigidity. But if I had a rule of be don't view foods as good and bad, it is what it comes down to eat foods because they satisfy you. Because they are important in your lifestyle for who you are, what your schedule is what you do what you like your preferences, your social calendar, your you know, the things you do with friends and family plan in the indulgences because we don't want to binge eat, we don't want to emotionally eat, we want to be able to have the things we enjoy occasionally by choice. And then part of that is learning your hunger and satiety cues, you know, physical versus emotional hunger. And I know I'm throwing a lot at you here. But the overall the overall picture here is we want to be consistent and be able to add here to our diet during fat loss and not feel like we are suffering. Like we're miserable. Like we can't eat things. Instead, I want you to take one or two indulgences that you enjoy and plan them in. plan them into Saturday plan them in every day if you if you want to write like if every single day you want to have a cookie, this this awesome cookie that you like and it satisfies a sweet tooth and one cookie we'll do it or two cookies or whatever. Plan it in, look at the macros calories planning in and work the rest of your diet around it. As far as hunger, you're going to have higher hunger during fat loss. And so this is why going back to nutrient dense foods high fiber foods high volume foods is going to make a big difference. If you can drink a lot more water and eat a lot more veggies and eat more strawberries and watermelon and whatever and things that fill you up in addition to the things you need for protein because protein is also satisfying and filling. Then you've got it covered. You can still fit in okay white potato white potatoes are the highest satiety food because they are resistant starch. A lot of people don't realize that, right? They're more way more satisfying the sweet potatoes, people think of sweet potato is this amazing nutrient food, dense food and potatoes. white potatoes is bland, inferior cousin over here. Not true. white potato has a ton of nutrition. And it's extremely filling. So slice it up, put some seasoning on it, and cook it you roasted in the oven and have that with your dinner. Right? Okay, so being consistent rather than perfect. Eating for satisfaction, planning in indulgences, not viewing foods is good, bad, all of that stuff related to your relationship with food. If, if you are not there yet, before you start a fat loss phase, it's just gonna get worse during fat loss. This is why the body recomp or the prep phase is important because at least there we can say, okay, all these things are in place. I know how to eat like my 8020 I know how to plan things in I know how to do meal prep, I don't eat with guilt, I know that I can enjoy my indulgences, I understand why when I'm physically hungry versus emotionally hungry. All that. And this is where we're working with a coach. I know I say this a lot. And it sounds like I'm plugging my service. But I got into this, because I saw these problems and I had them myself. And when you can help somebody and guide them through and take the stress off in this area, a lot of the other stuff just gets easy. So it's very important. And especially for women, I just see this way more with women than with men, for whatever reason, okay? And it's probably the pressures you put on yourself, the pressure society puts on you. It's the body image. It's the dieting, it's the this this this, okay? Okay, the next thing, hormones, we want to make sure hormone production is optimized as best we can with the natural approaches. And by natural I mean, your lifestyle. Yes, supplementation to an extent or even herbal supplementation in some cases, and then some form of hormone therapy or treatment if needed. Now, if if you've got a dysregulation or an imbalance in your hormones, whether it's thyroid or testosterone, DHEA, whatever, right? You're perimenopause, menopause, whatever. And you haven't addressed that I would not want to be, I would not want to have you do a fat loss phase until you do. So, I'm going to make the assumption that you've gotten bloodwork you've gotten urine metabolite testing, or saliva testing, you're working with maybe a hormone specialist, you've gotten your free testosterone checked through bloodwork, you've got your progesterone, estrogen, estradiol, all that stuff checked. And you've taken steps during the body recomp of the pre fat loss phase, to improve your training, your stress, your sleep, all that stuff, naturally, to get it to the best level possible. And then, if you need replacement therapy, you're getting that as well. But for you do a fat loss phase, I know not everyone can do that, I realized that it's sometimes a longer process. But just know that during fat loss, if you hit plateaus, or if your body isn't responding, or your metabolism drops, like a rock, it could be related to some hormone imbalances that are not lifestyle derived, you know, your ovaries produce testosterone, while your ovaries produce less and less until they produce zero testosterone at some point. And if your stress is through the roof, that also affects your testosterone. Well guess what testosterone is a huge player in all of this. I'll actually be covering that in my first one of my first episodes in January with Karen Martel, we talked about that. But anyway, my point here is, hormones for women are extremely critical. You know, I don't You don't need me to tell you that. natural ways to improve it are going to be the big one is reducing stress, and getting better sleep quality and quantity. If you're getting five hours of sleep. If you're running around constantly with a busy schedule with no time for yourself whatsoever, that is going to be that is going to make fat loss a lot harder. And the reason is, is those hormonal imbalances lead to a downregulation your metabolism that's really what it comes down to, you're simply going to burn fewer calories, and that means you can't eat as much. And then if you can't eat as much, you might be in low energy availability, and guess what happens? It all gets worse. And it's a vicious cycle. So reducing stress by improving your adrenal function, improving your sleep quality and quantity. Okay, and I have a lot of resources in past episodes where I talked about some of the stuff so reach out if you need specifics, make sure you have normal menstrual function. Make sure that you've gotten things checked as needed, like thyroid and cortisol, your reproductive hormones, testosterone, estradiol, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, all of that. And if you need to be taken therapy under the guidance of a specialist or doctor, go for it. One more thing is adaptogens. I'm a big fan sometimes of certain adaptogens like ashwagandha I just came I just found out about something called gorilla mind sigma as well for women to potentially boost your testosterone. Now again, these are all herbal, supple Since I'm not a medical doctor, I'm not dispensing advice, I'm just saying that those options are out there. And if you want to experiment with them, go for it. Okay, so this is really important during fat loss because if you don't have your hormones optimized, you're just shooting yourself in the foot by down regulating your metabolism by potentially hundreds of calories. And not only that, it could be to such an extent that as you cut calories, your body just further down regulates to catch up, and you just stay in a plateau. And that's why we want to address these issues first. Okay, almost done here. Second, the last item here is setting up and running your fat loss phase with proper tracking. Okay, so now we're talking about the nuts and bolts of the actual fat loss phase. Here's where I'm going to suggest using macro factor to log your food. I don't like any other food apps on the market, food logging apps, they all suck this is the only one that I think works really well because it is adherents neutral. It doesn't punish you doesn't give you flash ups you know read numbers because you were over on your on your calories. It simply says, hey, here are your targets. Here your minimums here targets based on how many calories you're burning this week. And then next week, your your new targets next week. Are you new targets, oh, you changed your goal. Okay, we'll give you new targets. very objective very neutral. And what it does is it calculates your expenditure. Go back and listen to episode 98, episode 98. If you want to learn all about food loggers, but definitely go get macro factor use my code, Wits & Weights all one word Wits & Weights to get an extra free week on your trial. And reach out to me for help. If you need help setting it up, definitely have to log your food for one minimum reason alone. And that is awareness. When you're in a fat loss phase, if you don't know what's going in your mouth, from a calorie Mac and a macro perspective, you're going to be all over the place, you're gonna go back to yo yo land, and you're going to be over consuming on the weekend, or you're gonna be grazing and not realizing you could be snacking, and you're gonna have alcohol, and you're going to just have lots of uncertainty floating around. But if you can just track your food, you're gonna have that awareness. And if you've been tracking food and use it for targets because the food lager knows how many calories you're burning, even better. All right, so then once you've got that set up, you're going to go at a reasonable rate of loss. Remember, before I said one of the biggest mistakes is cutting too aggressively. And the most you want to go is the most you want to cut is 1% body weight per week. But I found that most women because of the tighter calorie budget are better off at around half to maybe point seven 5% body weight per week, so that you're not restricting those calories too low and causing all the other issues we talked about. Yes, it's going to take a little longer. But wouldn't you rather it take longer be able to get through it successfully, and not have to feel like you're suffering on low, you know, lower and lower calories. Probably most people would take that trade off, you can shift calories around within the week to work with your lifestyle. So if you're a big weekend partier and you'd love to go out to eat on the weekends, shift the calories a little bit toward the weekend. Now the more you do this, the more extreme you get with this, the less consistent your schedule is, and that actually could backfire with your metabolism. So I wouldn't go too much, I wouldn't do that too much. I would shift a little, you know, a few 100 calories here and there not like 1000 calories where you save them for the weekend. And then you can as you go through the dieting phase, the fat loss phase, you can use tools like refeeds and diet breaks, to give you some psychological relief as needed, or to fit within your lifestyle. Like if you're going on a trip, right? A refeed is like a one to two day period where you eat up at your maintenance calories and take a little break. Worst case, it's just going to pause your fat loss for a few days. Diet breaks are just longer versions of that where you might go for a week. Like maybe you're going on a cruise, maybe you're going on a trip you go for a week. Now, if you're if you still log during that time, you'll at least know where you stand. If you don't just be aware of all the other things of selecting protein you didn't right amount of carbs, you didn't nutrient density and like stick close to that when you're on your cruise, so that it doesn't completely backfire progress, but it is still just one week. And so we've got to enjoy life, right? It's fine. Sometimes you just need the break and that's fine too. So whatever works for you. Last thing is if you want to get the best results possible, having accountability from another person or community is going to make a huge difference. It just is every time I look in my life where I you know wanted to go after a goal and I floundered around and I experimented and I tried to do it myself, you know, DIY and I read podcasts and read books, is just fits and starts and fits and starts and sometimes going down the wrong path but then kind of reconnecting and back and forth. And then I'd hire a coach and it was like boom, one month done or whatever whatever you're trying to achieve. You know, you would you would do it. You kind of take a shortcut right to that direct path. So a free The way to do this right if coaching is too expensive is to join our Wits & Weights Facebook community in there, you have the opportunity to ask me questions that I answer live, you have the opportunity to ask a whole bunch of smart people in the group questions about your training your nutrition, recipe ideas, just to share your wins, share your frustrations, talk to people, you know, have that support people who are positive by the way, our community is positive, and not in a delusional way, in a genuine, we all want to help, we've all been there kind of way, there is no room for people who try to bring others down, people are toxic, I've only had to kick out like two people from the group the whole time it's been open. So we invite positive people and generally have positive people, you can gain a lot from that the Wits & Weights, Facebook community, link is always in the show notes. And then the other way to get accountability is working with a nutrition coach. I am a Nutrition coach. But there are many others out there. There's lots of different levels of service people provide. And you know, you've got to find what's right for you. If you like what you hear on my show, if I sound like a decent enough guy that you could stand listening to giving you feedback on a weekly basis, so that we get you that result, please reach out. And if not, you know maybe I can refer you to somebody else. Or at least join into the community and say hello. Alright, so accountability is the last piece. That's quite a list. I hope it wasn't overwhelming. And again, there's this free guide that will go through it all again for you. Hopefully it is clear, it is crystal clear that losing body fat requires some strategy. It requires some thinking ahead, some patience, and some special considerations, especially for women, we want to support your body's needs your hormones, we want to have realistic expectations. We want to adhere to an appropriate for you nutrition and training plan. So you get there the right way, and avoid all these other mistakes that so many women make. So if you are ready to chat about your specific situation, and how to go through a proper body recomp prep phase, you know the primer, the prep phase we talked about if you want to avoid the negative effects of low energy restriction, if you want to train properly for your body to improve your health, your physique, hormones, and execute a successful fat loss phase. And if you want to lose some more like 20 to 30 pounds of fat the right way. Just reach out to me and set up a free results breakthrough session. Totally free every week, I clear spots in my calendar to chat with women about their nutrition and training strategy. And what we're going to do is just map out here are the top two or three steps to take right now to get unstuck and make real progress. And that's it. No selling no pitching none of that simply a strategy that we work out together, click the link in my show notes for the free call. Let's make it happen. Okay, in our next episode 128, my favorite gym things seven gifts under $100. I've put together a fun but highly useful list of equipment and accessories that I recommend for your home gym or gym bag, just in time for the holidays, or maybe your birthday, or just a gift to yourself to celebrate a recent win. Make sure to subscribe to the show, please subscribe. It's one of the best ways that you can support me is just tap the little toggle in your podcast app right now that says follow or subscribe so you get new episodes. And you'll get all these new episodes as soon as they drop. If you don't want to listen to them, you just delete it. But please subscribe and you'll get notified. And I really thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting the show and for listening and I always welcome your feedback. As always, stay strong. And I'll talk to you next time here on the Wits & Weights podcast. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits & Weights if you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up their Wits & Weights, please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then stay strong

Fat Loss Mistakes for Women
Common Mistakes in Dieting
Optimizing Fat Loss
Successful Fat Loss and Healthy Eating
Optimizing Hormones and Fat Loss

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