Answering Your Weight Loss Questions

by | Aug 23, 2023

Today I am answering your weight loss questions. Each of these questions probably could be a full podcast episode in the future. I also want to preface this podcast with I am not a doctor, I am not your doctor, I am not PhD, I am not a researcher. I’m going to give you my experience and opinions as a coach based on my clients working in health, fitness, nutrition, wellness, transformation. 

I could answer all of these questions with one answer, “it depends.” Just like if you asked 10 coaches, or 10 physical therapists or 10 doctors, 10 lawyers, 10 accountants, 10 teachers, 10. botanist, you could ask a question and of course, it just depends. It could be a different answer based on somebody’s specific circumstance. I’ll also try to give you something actionable, so that one of these questions is the question you wanted to ask or needed to hear and that you walk away with something that you can use something that is useful for you.

1) How many calories should I eat? Or what should my macros be?

This is the most frequently asked question. This is one of those, it depends. I’ve talked about this before, a lot. I could have 10 Women who are 45 years old, they’re all five foot five about 150 pounds, and they all walk daily, they all lift weights three times a week. All relatively similar. Yet their caloric needs may be different, their maintenance level calories may be different. We’re not going to know exact numbers. Calorie counting or macro tracking is not an exact science. 

That all being said, what I tend to see when we’re thinking about dieting or losing weight, is we tend to under eat. We tend to go overboard on the restriction. My personal philosophy on weight loss is eat as much as you can and lose weight versus eat as little as you can to lose weight. Otherwise we’re sacrificing our lean muscle mass, which could slow down our metabolism and could give us more hormonal imbalance. We don’t need to add more problems and more stress.

Under-eating is a stress to the body. 

So when people ask me how many calories I should eat? I look for a probable range. For example, my goal weight would be 150 pounds. It could be 149 some days and 152 some days, but let’s just use round numbers. I would use a range. I would say the multiplier of 10. I would not go under 1500 calories. 

I know you’re gonna have some days where you’re crazy busy, you got sick, you were tired, you didn’t get out of bed, you ate one meal, whatever. On average, I wouldn’t go under 1500 calories. 

The other two multipliers, I would also take my 150 and multiply it by 11. I get 1650. I’d multiply by 12 and get 1800. So I would be in that range. To be honest, I would try for 1800. I would see, do I lose weight at 1800 calories a day? Because again, if I want to eat as much as I can and lose weight, I’m going for the higher number. I don’t want to go lower if I don’t have to. 

That’s the baseline, I would start with. If you do eat at the lower end, let’s say you’ve been eating at 1500 calories, and your goal was 150 but  you’re not losing weight. There’s other things to look at. 

I don’t want to have you just slash calories, slash calories, slash calories. Maybe it’s not the calories, maybe it’s;

  • Not enough steps in the day,
  • The sleep isn’t good. 
  • Your digestion isn’t good. 
  • There’s something else going on. 

But that’s kind of where I tend to hang out for calories. 

Could I go higher? Sure thing. 100%. If you want to go higher and you track it? Absolutely. Because again, I can’t even imagine why our goal would ever be to eat as little as possible in order to lose weight. It’s to eat as much as possible and lose weight. Losing body fat is what we’re trying to do. 

2) Should I do intermittent fasting? 

Here’s the thing, we all do some form of intermittent fasting. You know what it’s called? It’s called, I go to sleep. When I go to sleep, I am not eating. That’s an interesting correlation, of course. Many of us tried to burn the candle at both ends, and we go to bed late, and we wake up early, and therefore our fasting window is actually pretty small. We’re going to bed at midnight and waking up at five, we’re not fasted for very long. 

Intermittent fasting really means the window of time that I don’t eat. I talk to my clients about looking at it as an eating window. What is the amount of time that I do eat? When the calories turn on, and when the calories turn off? If I wake up in the morning, and I have black coffee, technically, my calories really haven’t turned on. If I add half and half to my coffee, my calories are going to turn on and my eating window begins. 

For a lot of us we can just play with a 12 hour fasting window. That just means there’ll be 12 hours out of the day I eat and 12 hours out of the day that I don’t. For many people, this works really well. In fact, my own physician told me two years ago that this approach alone has helped her clients a lot. When we just know, I stopped eating at 7pm or 8pm, which probably means I started eating at 7am or 8am. Try 12 and 12 and see how that goes. 

I get it because we’re looking to lose weight and we’re looking for some new way to do it. We’re looking for new, we’re looking for interesting, we’re looking for novel, we’re looking for the latest and greatest and my hairdresser told me about intermittent fasting or I read about it in a magazine where everybody’s doing it. I get it. 

However, a lot of the intermittent fasting and the research behind it,it’s a eight hour eating window and a 16 hour fasting window. Which doesn’t work well for a lot of women, especially the women I work with who are in their 40s and 50s. They are going through that perimenopause, menopause time where our bodies are undergoing different changes in different kinds of stressors. 

If you’re already a really stressed out person, intermittent fasting is definitely not for you. If you’re already a person who thinks or knows they have a thyroid issue, intermittent fasting is not for you. I’m gonna say that even though I told you I wasn’t a doctor and that is a doctorly thing to say. 

That’s my take on intermittent fasting. It does not have to be drastic, in order to be effective. We don’t even have to call it intermittent fasting. We don’t even have to talk about an eating window. For many of my clients, we just have a kitchen close time. I have decided I just don’t eat after dinner and that saves me hundreds of calories every single day. We think oh well, it’s just a handful of cheeses. It’s just a handful of trail mix. 500 calories later we wonder why we’re not losing weight or keeping our weight off. 

I have done intermittent fasting and it works well. I did a 10 hour eating window and a 14 hour fasted window. That is as aggressive as I would go. I would not go more aggressive than that for most people. It’s hard to do. I did 7am to 5pm. That is not easy. Because it means by 8pm, you’re like, I gotta go to bed otherwise I’m gonna get really hungry. 

The secret sauce to intermittent fasting, like any other diet, it’s a way to keep your calories lower. You’re reducing calories because you’re just shortening the amount of hours that you’re eating. That is in the magic. Other benefits and you hear about a tar Vichy and things that cell clearing. It’s good for cancer and all that stuff. Perhaps, but for something sustainable, I’m against long fasting for regular women. I don’t really see a necessity for it. If you’re doing it for medical reasons, and you’re working with a medical professional, and that works for you have at it.

3) Is there any truth to not eating after 7pm?

I think this has been sort of common diet mythology that you can’t eat, or you shouldn’t eat after a specific time of the day, like after 7pm. All carbs, double in calories and double In consequence, right? As if all the food gets way worse the later it gets. The truth of the matter is that there is no real truth in that. 

I think eating and the times you eat are definitely going to be all about your own personal schedule. What times of day do you work? When do you go to bed? I have a lot of clients who are nurses and they work that second or third shift. Obviously shutting off the food at 7pm may not work for them. It doesn’t have to. 

I remember when I was still teaching classes, I was teaching boot camp and kettlebells. I would teach the last class at 730 at night. It seems so late right now, 730. I can’t believe I taught a class at 7:30pm. That means it was done at 8:30pm. I’m probably now driving away in my car at 8:45pm. Maybe I’m not eating till 915-930 at night. I was very hungry. I remember going to Chipotle and I’d get one of their salads or whatever and just devour it. Maybe to salads. Anyway, that did not prevent me from losing weight or keeping my weight off. That was simply my schedule. I ate dinner at 930 at night but I didn’t go to bed until about two or three hours later. So my body had time to digest. My blood sugar had time to come back down. That’s what I look at. 

There’s always going to be an instance where I don’t know you have a flight delayed and you don’t get home unexpectedly till like one in the morning. Maybe you’re starving, you haven’t eaten in 6-7 hours, you’re gonna eat something and then pass out. We’re always going to have those situations so I don’t like to be all or nothing. It has to be this way. I can never eat after a certain time or I’ve screwed up. Everything’s ruined. I’m a terrible person. There has to be some level of flexibility if I want to lose weight and keep it off, which I think you do. 

There is no truth in that there’s a certain time to stop eating. Human beings are designed to be diurnal meaning are we designed to be awake during the day and go to sleep at night, not eat all night long. We’re not owls, not flying around looking for mice in the middle of the night. We’re not cats, we’re humans. Our bodies and our cortisol curve do mimic sort of the sunrise sunset effect.

Ideally we’re all working nine to five, in an ideal world. Then you eat dinner at six and go to bed at nine. But we don’t live in an ideal world. So choose your schedule based on what happens in your day. When do you work? What time do you get up? What time do you go to bed? I do like the idea of leaving two to three hours before the last time you eat and bedtime so that you’re upright when it digests versus laying down and your blood sugar comes down as well. 

4) How can I get rid of cellulite? 

Cellulite is one of those things that I think, to some effect, is genetic. If you don’t like the look of your legs, they might look like your mom’s legs or your grandmother’s. Look around in your family. Obviously when we lose weight, a lot of women do notice that what they perceived as their trouble spots look a little bit different. 

By and large, most women do have cellulite. That’s the truth. 

Women have cellulite, they have loose skin after weight loss or after having a baby, they have stretch marks, they have scars, they have imperfections. Sometimes we judge all of these things to be way worse than they are. I haven’t found a solution that works for everyone that there’s one kind of treatment or cream or anything like that. There’s certainly med spas that maybe offer something in terms of laser.

You can reduce cellulite, I don’t think you’ll totally get rid of it. I think that is okay. Obviously, exercise, hydration, fat loss can help the appearance of your skin. But a lot of us have cellulite, including me. 

5) Why is my weight loss so slow? 

This is one of those “tell me more: questions. Sometimes we think weight loss is slow or that it’s not happening because every time we get on the scale, it’s not going down. 

A couple things here, make sure if you are using the scale as your tool then I would use it the same day, same time, every single week. Whether that’s Sunday morning, or Monday morning or Tuesday morning, whatever it is. I would be very consistent. Most people are not going to see the scale go down every single week, and not every single day, for sure. There might be times where you go one or two or three weeks without it moving. Then the next week it goes down three pounds. 

Weight loss is not necessarily consistent. You’re not always gonna get that one to two pounds that you hear about all the time. That’s not the normal loss of weight for most people. It’s considered a good rate of weight loss, one or two pounds per weeks. By good rate, I mean, a good amount of fat loss can be had without losing too much muscle mass. Whenever we’re talking about weight loss, we are hopefully talking about fat loss. We’re talking about a body recomposition. We’re asking a lot of our bodies to hold on to muscle, but also to release fat. It’s not going to happen automatically. 

I think for most of us, because we want to lose weight and keep it off, does it really matter if I lost one pound this week or two pounds? That’s a difference of one pound? Yeah, it gets me to my goal quicker but my goal is to keep going, right? I don’t just lose the weight and stay there. 

I know we all love the gratification. We love seeing that our efforts are paying off, but I don’t think you can count solely on the scale to tell you if your weight loss is fast or slow. We’ve all done those low carb diets or the keto diet or a very low calorie diet where the first week or two you see a lot of water loss. After that the weight loss rate slows down. Sometimes my clients have gone on to lose 50, 80, 100 pounds, literally half a pound at a time. 

It’s like the question, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you accomplish any kind of goal? Very slowly, right? You hear the story where somebody started as the busboy. Well, they don’t go from the busboy to the chef to the owner of the restaurant in three weeks. It is a process of keep doing, keep showing up, and stay consistent. 

Watch how you talk about it. If I think, why is my weight loss so slow? It feels terrible that way. Maybe your weight loss is slow, because you’re doing a great job losing the body fat and holding the muscle. Maybe you’re doing a great job introducing flexible eating into your life and this doesn’t feel like a diet. We could go at it a lot of different ways. 

6) What’s your take on HRT? 

I heard estrogen is bad. Interesting. I see this everywhere, of course, because I’m in that age range and I’m hanging out with other women who are going through menopause. I’m in all the Facebook groups on menopause. It’s everywhere. People talking about HRT, right hormone replacement therapy. People talking about bioidentical hormones. We have heard it’s bad. That information could be from people who are in our mothers generations or generations before us. What HRT used to be was a lot more of the synthetic hormones. Essentially what birth control is. They had things like Premarin and the other synthetic type of hormones that were known, or have been known, to have a little bit higher incidence of cancer. 

When people talk about HRT these days, hormone replacement therapy or bioidentical hormones, you’re working closely with a physician who is well versed in bioidentical hormones and doing hormone testing with you regularly. Probably the first couple of years, four times a year, you would have your hormones tested to see.

If you’re asking me like a friend, Bonnie, what’s your take on HRT, I am all for it. I am on hormone replacement therapy, I am not trying to hide that either. I’m 56 years old, and I’m trying to live as long as I can and to reduce any type of symptoms of menopause. No one wants to stay up all night and be hot. 

Whether you decide to do hormone replacement therapy, one hormone, two hormones, many hormones, no hormone replacement therapy, whatever it is you decide, hormone balance is a delicate dance. Like weight loss, we never arrive and are in this place that’s completely stable. Like I’ve made it to hormone balance. 

Everything is imbalanced because our bodies are constantly in motion. At any given time, my hormones will be shifting whether I stay up too late or I drink too much coffee or I have a lot of stress at work or I get a stomach bug or something’s happened. My body is always shifting, your body’s always shifting. 

Overall, I think having a conversation with healthcare professionals that you know, like and trust so that you get informed about what makes sense for where you are on your journey. I’m all for it. Estrogen itself is not a bad hormone. In fact, as we go through perimenopause and menopause our estrogen is actually declining. So it is the lack of estrogen or low estrogen in comparison to other hormones, that does create the hot flashes and the weight gain and sort of the belly and the changes in our body that we do not like. It also can affect your heart health and your bone mass. So there is something to be said about some level of estrogen replacement. Don’t be afraid of estrogen, it is not bad. Talk to your doctor. 

7) I think I need Ozempic. What do you think? 

This is a big one. You can’t go anywhere without the Ozempic conversation. It’s all over the news. Anywhere that you follow, you’ll see this came up with Ozempic. Or be careful, you’ll get Ozempic face or Ozempic but or Ozempic fingers or all these crazy things. 

Here’s the thing with Ozempic. It’s a relatively new drug, there’s similar drugs, I think Wegovy is exactly the same perhaps and Mounjaro is slightly different. But they all are relatively similar, same classification, more or less used to treat people with pre diabetes. People who have elevated A1C. The idea is that this would help lower your agency. Which you want that because you want your blood sugar to come down. You don’t want to have elevated blood sugar because that can obviously lead to cardiac events and stroke and other unpleasant traits. If unchecked,  if our A1C does not come down, we could have diabetes. So I would talk to your doctor, again, because I am not a doctor and I’m not your doctor and I’m not here to pass moral judgment on what you decide to do with your body. 100%.

I will say this, because the person who asked me asked me what I thought. I’ve worked with a lot of clients, not that many on the Ozempic type of drug but more people who’ve had the gastric bypass or the sleeve, those different types of surgeries. I know they’re completely different. If someone said, Hey, I could get gastric bypass, or I could try Ozempic, which would I do? I would try Ozempic. I would not go a surgical route because there’s just so many more risks. In my opinion, to be put under anesthesia and to have some type of surgery and to be cut open is not my choice. That’s my personal opinion on it. 

What I think is interesting right now is that there are FDA approved versions, which is Ozempic. Then there’s a lot of these health spas and med spas that are prescribing compounded versions of this. It’s a GLP1 drug, it’s semaglutide. I don’t know about that. I’m not saying everything the FDA does is better but something that is vetted by the FDA, I probably would go that direction first. I would get something that is prescribed by my doctor and fulfilled by an actual pharmacy before I tried something from a compounding pharmacy.

I brought up gastric bypass because I’ve had so many clients who’ve had the sleeve or gastric bypass. What does not change when you do some type of surgery, or you take a drug to help you with your weight loss? You still have mindset work to do. I’ve had clients who’ve been on the Semaglutide, the Ozempic, or Mounjaro, or what have you. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not a snap of the fingers and now you think, act, do, you are a healthy skinny, lean, fit, tone, whatever word. Wherever you’re trying to go.You don’t automatically become that. You still have to work on your mindset, on your habits, on your consistency. You still have to show up, think about your nutrition and think about all of the things that you did. It should of course, make it a little bit easier.

That’s what you’re looking for, is to have help. I am all for getting help. The same way I would be for anybody who’s considering HRT. Talking it over with your doctor who knows everything about you, your medical history so that you make a decision that you like and that works for you. And that you continue to do whatever you’re supposed to do, whether that is with HRT, or Ozempic or gastric bypass. Whatever you decide to do, you’d like your reasons for doing it. That you still have to do the work. 

There is no magic pill. I can tell you as somebody who’s done hormone replacement therapy for many years. My hormones never are in balance there. I’m just chasing something all the time. That’s what it is. It’s sometimes like Whack a Mole. 

As long as we have the awareness that we’re trying to build those habits and we’re trying to do it consistently. We’re trying to make the decisions that are for our greater good and bring us closer towards our result. We’re always going to have to work on it. There is not one drug or one hormone replacement therapy that is going to solve all the problems. I wish there was. You might have to mix and match the way you do things. 

You’re still going to have to;

  • Strength train, 
  • Walk,
  • Drink water, 
  • Go to sleep, 
  • Worry about your overall nutrition,

especially if you are somebody who was considering a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve or probably even Ozempic.

If it’s cutting way down on your appetite, you’re still going to have to make sure that you have supplements that really allow you to get all of your nutrients if we’re not getting that much from food to begin with.

8) Am I doing this right? I don’t think I am. Is weight loss all about stringing together different diets?

This one came from one of my Self Made clients and it’s probably based on conversations I’ve had on the podcast about how I approach dieting or how I approach weight loss. I don’t look at it like, Oh, I’m gonna start this diet, the XYZ diet, and then it’s done. Then it’s over. 

I think what typically happens for most people is they’re going to do keto for three months, and then they’re done. Or Octavia or Jenny Craig or low carbs or what have you. Then it’s all over. I lost the weight, or I didn’t lose weight on that, and’/or then I gained the weight back. Then I fell off and all of this stuff. 

The way I think about weight loss is, because we want to lose weight for forever, I’m going to have different seasons of life. I’m not just talking about like for somebody who’s competed on stage, and they have like this sort of on season bikini diet, and then an offseason not bikini diet. That’s probably an extreme version of that. But we’re not going to diet year round for the rest of our lives. We’re not going to be trying to eat in a deficit year round for the rest of our lives. We’re going to have that week on vacation. Maybe your Christmas or Hanukkah week, the holidays. Maybe you’re going to take off a couple of weeks in the summer where we don’t eat in a deficit, because we can’t get around eating in deficit without losing our minds. And We don’t want to count calories, or count macros or track anything when we’re doing summer vacation, or when we’re on holiday break, or you’re on your honeymoon or whatever you’re doing. 

I think it’s more reasonable and healthy to know that sometimes we are taking a break, not taking a break from our goals. Not taking a break from what we want, but that we have to loosen things up a little bit, we just do. Then there are times when you are getting ready to go on that two week cruise or you’re going to your best friend’s wedding or you’re going away, wherever you’re going. Whatever big thing is coming in your life. Your son is getting married, you’re moving out of your house and you’re going to a new place. Something big that’s coming up. IT could be something as simple as we’re doing holiday photos. We’re doing a photo shoot with our family, or friends I haven’t seen at a reunion. We all have those external drivers where we’re like, you know what, I’m gonna cut the shit, I’m gonna cut the crap on tighten things up a little bit. 

When you lose weight and you get to your goal weight, you don’t stay at that goal weight. Whether you weigh yourself every day or every other day, or once a week, or three times a month, or once a month, or never, there’s fluctuation. We’re going to fluctuate, and most of us, if we’re honest, can be happy with a five or 10 pound weight range. My clothes will fit whether I’m 150 or 160 pounds. I don’t want to get over a certain amount of time. Then I know  what I need to do. I need to assess and see what is going on. 

It really a lot of it is about mindset. I don’t think about stringing together diets. What I do think about is I’m looking at my goals, where I’m at right now, and I’m make a plan. 

  • What is my plan for this month? 
  • What is my plan for the next three months? 
  • Am I in more of a fat loss season? 
  • Or am I in a maintenance season? 
  • Am I in a strength building season?

I use the word season, it doesn’t have to be the actual fall or the winter or the spring. Is it for the next month, the next couple months? What is my focus? 

I’d love to say you can focus on weight loss and fat loss and building muscle and learning a new skill and starting a new job. You can’t focus on everything all at once and you don’t need to. I think it is important to really look at where you are right now and know that if we’re going to continue to either lose the weight, maintain our lost weight, or go for that next goal. Maybe it is to build muscle, maybe it is to learn how to strength train, maybe you have other things that are in line with who you’re becoming in your body. That is what it means. 

You can think about it as stringing diets together, I think that becomes a little bit more of the roller coaster or merry go round where I go from diet, to diet, to diet to diet to diet. My goal, at least what I’m teaching inside of Self Made and in the Society and what the Real Weight Loss Challenge is all about, is teaching more about this flexibility. That we’re not on a diet and we’re not operating from a place of these are good foods and these are bad foods. 

I’m operating from a place of can I tune into my own natural hunger signals in my eating when am I hungry? Am I stopping? When am I? When it’s enough? Am I able to  plan what I like to eat and what makes sense for me right now? If things are not working for me? If I feel like I’m not on track, then can I take an honest look at what I’m doing or what I’m not doing without going crazy and being like I need to like not eat for 32 hours? Or I have to do something more drastic? I have to go on a diet. I have to go back to the XYZ diet or the cabbage soup diet or whatever. 

Can I do a course correction simply by looking at where I am? What am I doing? Or what am I not doing? Have I fallen off somewhere? Am I not being honest with myself with my food consumption? 

9) My goal is to not be the biggest girl in the room.

This was from a client of mine as well. We were talking about goals. Like what would you need to believe in order to achieve your goal? So if your goal was to lose 30 pounds, what would you need to believe?

Hers was, my goal is to not be the biggest girl in the room. So I’m a little lost about what I need to believe. This was an interesting one, because I related to it. It hit home. As some of you know, I’m five foot nine. I’ve never been a small girl, never. Once I actually was small. When I was born. I was six pounds and nine ounces. And that’s because my mom was a smoker. So I was small when I was born and that was it. 

After that, I was always very tall. I think people probably thought it was gonna be six feet tall, the rate of which I was growing. I was one of the tallest girls in sixth grade. However, I’m still a relatively big girl. I have a very good friend, she calls me big girl. I don’t take any offense to it. But in my 20s and 30s I can remember, somebody I worked for, he would make comments like, you’re a big girl. Sort of like how to call somebody fat was to be called a big girl. 

Now, my client thought that she’s a big girl and she did not want to be the biggest girl. I think what she meant was, she didn’t want to feel like the biggest girl. Of course, I made a joke because that’s what I do. I said, well, if you were in a room filled with little people, you’re going to be the biggest girl in the room. You will be. Here’s the thing: we can never control who’s in the room. What they look like, what they weigh, their size, their shape or their height. All we can control is what we think about ourselves. Whether you are tall or you wear a certain size, it is what we think of it.

I think women more than men are in this diet culture. We’re always trying to be smaller, lighter, thinner, prettier. It’s all sort of wrapped up in this big ball of what a woman is, or this is how a woman should be. You should be smaller, you should not be big, you should take up less room. I think it’s pervasive, at least in my generation, and probably generations to come. 

Your goal to not be the biggest girl in the room, I could go a lot of different ways with this. Why is that a problem? A lot of it is obviously because we’re feeling like we should be small and we are too big. Regardless of who else is in the room, it all comes to how we think about ourselves. You could be in a room with men and women who weighed 300, 400, 500 pounds and you could still feel, quote unquote, big or too big. 

This is kind of the mindset piece. I think it’s worth a conversation. There is not one answer on how to approach it, if this is your goal. What would you need to believe? I think it still needs to be unpacked a little bit. It’s such a great topic about being the biggest girl in the room or feeling like you’re the biggest girl in the room or feeling like you’re too big, you should be smaller, you should weigh less, you shouldn’t weigh so much. You should be thin, lean, all those things. That is simply not true. It’s maybe something we’ve heard, maybe you heard it from a parent, a grandparent, somebody on the playground, a teacher, a book, a movie, but we can change that conversation. It starts with how we talk to ourselves. 

That’s one that is near and dear to my heart. The more I think about it and talk about it. I think it is super fascinating and interesting. If you are somebody who’s felt like your goal, your only goal, is to just not be the biggest girl in the room then congrats. You can be the smallest girl in the room at any given time. It’s really your thoughts because here’s the interesting thing. As women, a lot of us have this thought. We are looking around at other women thinking that woman is prettier than me or she’s lighter than me or she’s leaner than me or she’s better than me. I am not enough and I am not worthy. I am too big and I’m doing it wrong. It is not the truth. 

Before we can set a belief plan up about your goal, we probably want to rework the goal and dive deeper into that topic. 

10) How do I incorporate exercise into a busy life? 

Signed every woman ever. It is a catch 22. Especially when we look at working out and the stress effect of going through perimenopause or menopause. Not trying to stress ourselves out too much. Not trying to do too much high intensity stuff. 

Here’s the thing, a little bit goes a long way. Even if you can walk for 10 minutes at a time, could you do that two or three times over the course of a day. That’s where I might start. Look for where you can sneak in smaller time frames of activity. You know, in between a call or a meeting, Before work, after work, at lunchtime. Many of us think exercise is supposed to be an hour, or it doesn’t count. I look for where I can sneak in 10 or 20 minutes, and then do that. And keep showing up in that way. 

What we prioritize definitely gets done. I’m not trying to say hey, if you’re a busy woman, and you’re not exercising, it’s because you suck. Your priorities are out of whack. Usually, as women, we’re prioritizing everybody else. We are prioritizing our kids, our house, our spouse, our boss and all of these other things. When we start to prioritize our exercise, we will find a way to get it done, even if it’s in just smaller bits.

It doesn’t have to be high intensity, anything. Going for that 10 minute walk after you eat is magical. Keep showing up. If you walk 10 minutes after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you would already get some health benefits there. 

I incorporate exercise into a busy life. I have to plan it, like put it in writing or it doesn’t get done. 

11) What is flexible nutrition? 

I use the term flexible nutrition, flexible eating, flexible dieting sort of interchangeably. I do recognize we all have different ideas of what those words mean. I think nutrition, eating and dieting all sound different. Especially if you’re like, ooh, dieting sounds terrible. It sounds restrictive. It sounds like there’ll be horrible things I won’t want to eat. Even if you start it with flexible dieting, it still sounds bad. So don’t use flexible dieting. I’d go with flexible eating or flexible nutrition because it sounds more enjoyable and it sounds more positive and more like hey, this is good for me. 

It just means that we take away the moral stigma about what foods are good and what foods are bad. That sounds simple enough, but if you’ve been dieting as long as I have it’s hard to get away from that. We have a lot of baggage we’re carrying around whether you did a low carb diet and all carbs are bad or you did keto and you can only eat high fat or you did a low fat diet and fat is bad. It just depends on where you’ve come from. 

We have a lot of thoughts and beliefs about what causes us to gain weight. What makes weight loss hard? How do I have to eat in order to lose weight? Obviously eating low carb has its benefits because we tend to lose water weight very quickly when we eliminate carbs. So we begin to think that’s the weight loss secret but in essence, all kinds of diets, anything that has you eating below the amount of calories your body needs to maintain, you will lose weight. That is the bottom line. 

Flexible nutrition is learning how to incorporate anything into your day. Planning it ahead of time, not doing it because you had a bad day or you deserve a treat. We really start to look at eating and nutrition based on our own unique needs, hunger, our own likes, our own goals and put it together from there. It takes practice. It does take coaching for sure. 

If it was so easy everybody would do it yet here we are all running back to diets. Give me a meal plan telling me what to eat. How many carbs should I have? Give me my macros. All of that stuff. I get it. Flexible eating is a game changer.


Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.

Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on.

Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience. Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.

By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.

Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you u****k your diet brain. She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.

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