Your Weight Loss Questions Answered

by | Jun 24, 2024

Today is a very momentous day. It is episode 100. Almost two full years of Unf*ck Your Weight Loss and I want to sincerely thank you. I wouldn’t be podcasting if I didn’t have you as a listener. So thank you for your kind words, your reviews, your emails, your messages, joining me inside the Society, Self Made and being part of the community in the free group, Food, Fitness, Fat Loss for Women Over 40.

A couple of weeks ago I asked for your questions. I wanted to do a special episode. Episode 100 was going to be your questions, answered. Many of the questions that you had definitely could be full podcast episodes. I have 15 questions here that I’m going to answer. Some will be short and sweet and some of them I will go into depth. 

I want to say that the podcast has actually turned out to be one of my most favorite things. I guess the next thing for me to do is to put it on YouTube and actually do a video. I haven’t quite gotten there. I enjoy doing my podcast, unshowered and unafraid. Unshowered and the real me. Unf*ck Your Weight Loss currently sits with 392,000 plays. That is wild. The most played episode is How To Lose 30 pounds in 90 days. I think next week, we’re going to have a Lose 14 Pounds in 30 Days. As much as that all sounds like clickbait, that one is actually a fact. 

Without further ado, let me get into your questions. Like I said, some of them will be in depth, some of them may be less in depth. Obviously, every single question that you ask will be my opinion. I don’t pretend to be a scientist. I don’t pretend to be a doctor. I’m not a PhD level anything. Every question can always be answered with, it depends. There’s always going to be some context, it depends on who’s asking the question and in what context they are asking. So we’ll just go from there. 

1) Do you have to give up carbs to lose weight? 

No. This is so interesting, because we have Atkins, Paleo, Primal, Keto, and every type of low carb kind of diet out there. I used to be a low carber myself, for sure. I think what is alluring about dropping your carbohydrates, lowering them, or removing them altogether, is that when we stop taking in carbs, a couple of things happen. One, we can crowd out some processed foods. Things like chips, crackers, cereals. A lot of those things have a higher carbohydrate count. When you do take carbs out, you are going to lose a lot of water weight. So we get right back to the scale. I can make the scale go down.  

I’m not opposed to removing carbs as a short term tactic. I like things like carb cycling. I might play with different card counts, I might have higher carbs on my strength training days, on a recovery day, just randomly throughout the week, or plan throughout the week. I think there’s a lot of different ways to have different carbohydrate levels. In general, carbohydrates give you a lot of energy, they’re your preferred energy source for your body. They can help you feel better in the gym and help you sleep better. 

Many people do notice when they drop all the carbs, or too many carbs, that they start to lose sleep and they don’t feel well. I don’t think it’s necessary to lose body fat. You’re trying to actually access body fat. You’re trying to get your body to burn body fat for fuel, so we just need to be in a calorie deficit. That could be from carbs or proteins or fat. 

If I had to answer it in one sentence, it would be with one word, no. 

2) What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting as a lifestyle change and weight loss strategy? 

That’s actually two questions in one. One is, is intermittent fasting a lifestyle change? Yes. Then, could it be a weight loss strategy? Yes. Intermittent fasting works because you’re limiting total calories. I think it’s sort of interesting the games we play with our mind. We think intermittent fasting is magical. But all we’re doing is reducing our total intake, especially when you get into the shorter, narrower windows. 

I am sometimes aghast at what people will tell me in terms of, I only ate one hour out of the entire day. Like, okay, that’s a choice. You have to do what works with your schedule and your lifestyle. It’s very hard to take a strategy and throw it into your life if it’s not going to work with your schedule. 

Is it a weight loss strategy? It is because it is a way to lower your total intake. Is it a lifestyle change? It can be. I look at intermittent fasting and sort of a more broader view. If I eat all day long, from morning till night, from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I’m probably not going to do a great job burning fat. My body just keeps getting calories. I just keep filling up the tank. I do want to let my digestion rest. I do want to give my body an opportunity to use body fat for energy. I want to put on a cap in the late afternoon, early evening. Where I’m not going to eat at 7, 8, 9, 10 o’clock at night, unless something’s gone on where;

  • I’m traveling, 
  • Something got really screwed up with my schedule, 
  • I missed a meal,
  • I miss lots of meals, 
  • I’m super hungry, 
  • Everything is sort of off.

I like to be ready for bed by 9 or 930. 

It can be a weight loss strategy. I do urge most women to not go so narrow where they’re doing a one hour window. A six or eight hour window of eating is really hard to get enough calories, protein and nutrients. You’re probably going to be overriding a lot of real hunger. If it’s going to be a lifestyle, you have to figure out what actually makes sense. 

Remember, if you eat within a 12 hour window, that’s still a 12 hour fast fasted window. That’s where I would probably start. Again, every question could be answered really with it depends. 

3) I’m exercising. I play pickleball, four to five times a week for up to two hours a session. I get home around 8pm. What can I eat before and after I exercise? I want to avoid a meal at night. 

Apparently Pickleball is all the rage. I would have to be living under a rock to have not heard of it, but I haven’t played it. I think it’s great. I love the fact that so many people are staying active. Men, women, people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond are picking up this sport and going with it. 

Pickleball is fantastic. It’s basically a cardio type of activity. I would make sure that you are still strength training. You are probably going to have to eat before and after. Running around on a court for two hours is exhausting. I don’t think that you need to avoid a meal at night. 

There is this part of our brain that has old Diet Rules that’s like you can’t eat after 7pm. Everything turns to fat after 7pm or you shouldn’t eat at night. Depending on your schedule, you’re going to be eating at night. If I played Pickleball for two hours, and I got home at 8pm, I’d probably be really hungry. I would plan what you’re going to do on these nights and I would really think about being very protein heavy. I think you can eat a regular meal. That’s what I would do. 

If you want to drink a protein shake on the way home, that’s possible. You could do that but you will probably still be hungry. I don’t have a problem with eating when you get home. I really don’t. I would make sure that you’re also fitting in strength training. That’s the only thing that really stands out for me. I think if you’re doing all of this exercise, and you’re not eating, you probably risk going to sleep and like not falling asleep because you’re so hungry.

4) Why is more protein so important to weight loss? 

This is one of those where you can go to Google and see all of the reasons that protein is very important. One of the things that you don’t necessarily hear a lot about, if your goal is weight loss, you’re here to unblock your weight loss, something’s gone on with your weight loss, you’re not losing weight, your metabolism slows down, you want the secret sauce, here’s the thing. If you’re losing weight, you’re on some type of weight loss plan or program, you’re following calories, or macros, or whatever the hell you’re doing, you’re also going to lose muscle mass. You could lose a lot of muscle mass if you’re severely under-eating, and you don’t have enough protein to hold on to muscle. 

Muscle is your currency for a healthy metabolism and a healthy life. Protein will help you preserve the muscle mass you have and will help you build new muscle mass. Interestingly, digesting protein burns more calories than digesting carbs.

I think there’s a big difference between eating a turkey burger versus Greek yogurt. I think you’ll find most animal protein to be very satiating. This is because the satiety factor goes up. You could imagine, if I put a plate out of all you can eat steak versus all you could eat cookies, you’re going to not be able to eat all the steak. You could probably eat way more cookies, because they’re going to break down very quickly in your mouth, and in your stomach. Very easy to digest. 

It’s not until we’ve reached max capacity with something sweet, like cookies, that were like, oh, geez, I overdid it with steak. You have to chew it and it’s not going to dissolve immediately. Even if you cut it into small pieces, and you chew it thoroughly. That digestion process is pretty rigorous. 

There’s a lot of great reasons to eat protein, especially when it comes to preserving and building muscle mass. I know a lot of you might be like, Oh, muscle mass, that’s not the look I’m going for. I apologize for using words like muscle mass. If I could have a block of 10 pounds of muscle and I could have a block of 10 pounds of body fat, the body fat block is going to be easily twice as big as the muscle one. So imagine two cubes. One is big and puffy, and takes up a lot of room. That’s 10 pounds of fat. Then imagine more condensed, harder cubes, smaller, denser, leaner. That’s the muscle. You’re going to look leaner, you’re going to be smaller, you’re going to fit into smaller clothes, when you have more muscle and less body fat. 

A lot of times when people go on a diet, they’ll just cut calories, and then do all the cardio. What happens is they just become kind of a smaller version of themselves and they can feel very soft, feel like cheese. I expected that I would have more muscle tone or I expected that I’d have less body fat that is visible. Less rolls or flab or what have you. If you’re not lifting weights and eating protein, you’re going to find that you just are creating a smaller version of your current self and it is much easier to gain back your lost weight. 

The protein thing is very important. I think whether you’re a vegan or vegetarian or you prefer plant based, that’s a full time job making sure you get enough protein. Which is why a lot of people love to use protein shakes. You can go out and get a protein powder, whether it’s a plant based one or its whey or whatever it is, and easily get in. I mean most of these protein powders are a minimum of 50-20 grams per scoop, use two scoops. You’re a third of your way for the whole entire day. 

5) No matter what I do, the cravings for sweets are always there. How do I stop them for good? 

No matter what you do, we have to figure out what is really going on. You will never stop them for good. You will quiet them. You will start to see that they’re less impactful because it can still happen around holidays and such.You start to have that emotional attachment like, Oh, I love my grandmother’s cookies, or we always have this tradition, or this ritual, or these chocolates or what have you. So you might still notice some urges or cravings or temptations. You can get much better at handling them and not answering them and not fulfilling them and not going for that instant gratification that every time I have an urge, I must fulfill it.

You do have to ask yourself, what is it that you’re doing? I think, for a lot of women, what’s happening is we;

  • Under-eat,
  • Don’t have enough protein, 
  • Over exercise,
  • Have a lack of sleep, 
  • Have poor digestion,
  • Have poor gut health, 

All of that will mean that I do have cravings. My hunger hormones are going to be kicked up when I don’t have enough sleep. 

This is very much like okay, it depends on who it is. I would kind of go through that checklist and ask yourself, am I eating enough? Like during the day? When are these crazy cravings generally happening? Urges to eat generally happen during the three or four o’clock hour, yet most people aren’t having all of these urges at 7am. Or it’s happening after dinner or just the weekends. 

We want to figure out;

  • What is it that we are normally doing with food? 
  • What aren’t we doing? 
  • Do we need to actually have larger meals? 
  • Do we need to double down on that protein? 
  • What is your digestion like? 
  • Do you notice a lot of gas or bloating? 
  • Do you have regular bowel movements?

All that stuff. 

You really have to go through that checklist to figure out what is kicking up this hunger and the cravings for sweets because there are things you can do to sort of satisfy that. I think there could be something more than just having a cup of tea, having a piece of gum, brushing your teeth, going for a walk, knitting a sweater, trying to distract ourselves from it. That will work, but I think we want to figure out what the root cause really is. 

6) What does a Bonnie Lefrak day look like? 

Well, first I roll out of bed before my family gets up. I go downstairs and I drink coffee. I scroll the internet by myself. That is true. Then I wake up my kids who tell me to be quiet, go away, stop speaking. Also true. Sometimes I take a shower. 

This is the whole question: 

  • What does a Bonnie Lefrak day look like? 
  • What are your typical go to meals? 
  • How long do you work out for? 
  • What types of workouts are you doing? 

Bonnie 1.0 would probably say, You know what? It doesn’t matter. It’s none of your business. Why do you care? I’d have some really facetious answer. In some ways, it really doesn’t matter what I do, but I appreciate that you’re curious. I think we’re always curious about what other people do. What does this person who’s in the health and fitness industry do? Should I do what she’s doing? 

Here’s the thing, I have an advantage in that I’ve been regularly strength training since, in a gym not including group exercise, since 1998. I have spent a lot of years in the gym. I think that is an advantage to me. Some of you might also have that same advantage. However, over time, I really became aware that I needed to be careful with my energy. I wasn’t going to be able to sustain five or six days of lifting forever. It was not going to work for my hormones or my joint health. My goal right now is to lift three days a week. Sometimes it’s only two days a week and I generally do a very, very boring workout. 

I’ve been through this with a lot of the people in my programs. I believe in very basic and boring kinds of workouts. The things that work. You’re going to do a squat, a deadlift, some type of pushing exercise like a bench press. Whether that’s on a flat bench or an incline bench or a machine. You’re gonna do some kind of pulling exercise, dumbbell rows, some type of seated row. I’m going to do as much of what I would call the majors, and not the minors. 

I don’t really get into worrying about calf raises right now. I’m not getting on stage. I have calves from walking. I want to do the bigger exercises that involve multiple muscles. When I’m on a leg press, I know I’m using my quads, my hamstrings, my glutes. I’m really stabilizing my core. If I did a squat, same thing. If I did lunges. If I did a deadlift. I’m looking for something that’s going to move multiple body parts. 

Do I still do things like bicep curls? I do. But it’s not the main thing. I also know, when I’m going to do lat pulldown or a pull up or something like that, I’m also going to affect those smaller body parts. I like to walk. I’m all about walking. When I don’t walk, I’m using my Bellicon Rebounder. They should be a sponsor of mine. They’re not. 

Every single day, I’m doing something. There could be a rare day that I did nothing, but it is rare. I might go for a walk. I might actually go for a walk and lift. I might rebound and lift. I am always looking to do something. That is partially because I sit a lot. I sit way more than I would like. I’m working and I work from home. You guys who work from home, kind of know how that goes. 

My go to meals are really basic things. I like protein shakes but I really only use them during hot weather. To be honest, I don’t drink them year round. I kind of come in and out of it. For probably over a year, two years, I didn’t have a protein shake. I just started bringing it back in because the weather is starting to warm up. I also like a lot of things. 

I like eggs. I think it’s so super fast and easy. I’m always cooking up an egg sandwich and I will use all kinds of things. Sometimes I’ll use avocado or tomato, maybe I’ll use a little bit of cheese. I’m not a huge cheese fan. It just doesn’t really do anything for me. I eat a lot of the same stuff. I eat a lot of salads with chicken or steak. I’m a very basic person. I also like things that you probably like. Pizza is one of my most favorite foods, and I probably eat pizza almost every weekend. 

I do urge you, don’t worry about what anybody else is doing. Find your go to meals. A lot of it is just mix and match. It’s just I’m into whatever this week. Ground turkey? Great. I’m going to put ground turkey on a salad. I’m going to put ground turkey over zoodles. I’m going to literally mix and match and then once the ground turkey is gone. If I’m still digging it, I’ll go for weeks and weeks and use it, then I’ll rotate it out. Maybe it’ll be time for steak tips or just grilled chicken breast and cut up on a salad. 

7) What is the best way to get back into a healthy routine after vacation? 

Number one, when you come back from a vacation, I wouldn’t jump on the scale first thing. That’s what I would not do. I would give myself a couple of days just to integrate back into real life. Probably the same thing that happened when you went on vacation. 

I know for me, I don’t just switch into vacation mode right away. It kind of takes time to be like, Okay, I’m in a new place. I’m at a home or a hotel or the meals are like this, like it takes a little bit of time to unwind. When you get back home, you just have to take a couple days. I think sometimes we are hard on ourselves and expect that as soon as we walk through the door we’re just like, nothing ever happened. It can be a lot. You have to unpack, you have to do all that laundry, you have to go through the mail. Give yourself a little bit of time. 

The longer that you have been practicing your workouts, your meal prep, the basic kind of boring habits that you had at home, the easier it is. That’s all we’re trying to do. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes we’ll have thoughts like, I have to start over. I’m back at square one. I really blew it. I hope I didn’t gain too much weight. I think that gets in our way. That’s what I would look out for is there some kind of chatter that’s happening as you’re coming and going from vacations like, Oh, this is a big problem.

I think it’s perfectly normal to go on vacation, and to not be doing the things you do every single day. You’re taking a vacation, you are resting. Obviously, when you come back, you don’t want to take another week or two weeks or three weeks to fall off track. That does happen. I think that’s what the fear is, is that we’re so afraid sometimes to go away. We start to not enjoy ourselves. We start to not want to do social occasions. We don’t want to go on the weekend away or the vacation, because I’ll ruin all my progress. 

That’s really where the mindset of, you know what, I can go on vacation. I can enjoy myself. I don’t have to overdo it. However, I can fit in being active or walking. Or if there’s weight training to be had, I’m going to do that. I’m going to write it in a plan when I get back. Give myself 48-72 hours to get settled back in, and then just get back to it. It’s normal to creating a lot of drama around it. This will be hard. 

8) Why is it so hard to keep the weight off? 

I didn’t know this person who asked this question. So I said to her, Okay, why do you think it’s so hard to keep the weight off? She listed out a bunch of things. She actually started with genetics, I thought that was interesting. The reality is we all have some DNA, we’re genetically predisposed to certain things. I like to use this analogy. It’s not mine. I’ve used it for many years. It is: genetics load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger. And I think that’s true. 

We all can be genetically predisposed or inclined to look a certain way or have a certain body type for sure. Some of it is for sure. I understand where that’s coming from. There are other things. I think attached to the genetic part was more family tradition. Where we think we’re being pulled back in to;

  • how it was when I was a kid, 
  • my childhood, 
  • how I was raised, 
  • my family expectations, 

all of the things that society puts on me is going to pull me back into being overweight or not at the weight that I want. 

Ultimately, my answer to this question is, when we lose weight, we are kind of setting the stage for our metabolism. However it is that we lost the weight, you’re pretty much going to have to continue in that way to keep it off. 

Now there’s an asterisk in there. Most of my clients when they lose weight, it’s not a straight line. We don’t just start losing weight and we keep losing, losing, losing losing reach the weight and maintain along the way. Whether it’s two months, six months, or two years. There are little plateaus or maybe even just a place where we say, Okay, I’m not going to try to lose right now. I’m just maintaining. I’m seeing what things are like at this weight, this size, this amount of food. 

We can kind of play with things. I’m a big believer in, as you know, not trying to rush the process, because I want to maintain as much muscle as I can. I don’t want to have 1000 pounds lost in a year. I want to be able to maintain my weight without having to drop to ridiculously low calories, because I think that’s where the weight comes back super fast. 

I would like to lose weight and then to try to reintroduce some level of calories slowly. And it could be as simple as hey, let’s try to increase by 100 calories this week. See what happens. Another 100 calories, another 100calories and just see how it goes. Very incrementally adding calories because you don’t want to get to a place where all you do is take away and take away. More workouts and less calories. That’s I think what happens with dieting and then we get to a place where we can no longer do it because we’re so tired and we’re so hungry. You know, we have so many cravings and we can’t wait to eat, and then we gain the weight back. Then we go right back to the Atkins or the Keto or the fill in the blank diet of the day. That’s why I think it’s hard to keep the weight off is that we end up burning off a lot of muscle, lowering our metabolic rate, and actually giving our confidence a real kick. 

We’re not helping ourselves mentally when we do that. We start to feel bad, our clothes don’t fit, we think, oh my gosh, I can’t believe. I did it again. I’m so stupid. We sort of beat ourselves up. So it’s a multi prong question and answer and it’s a good one. If you yourself, have had that question, it’s worth asking, Why do you think it’s hard to keep the weight off and answer it for yourself? 

9) How much cardio and what type of cardio to maintain a healthy weight?

I always struggle with how much to be doing each week, in addition to strength training. I’m not huge into just cardio. What I do, of course, is walking. If you can walk everyday, great. When I say walk everyday, I don’t mean like put on a heavy weight and go fast and get hand weights, and do a 12 minute mile up a hill. You can have some of those harder days, like if you’re going on a hilly walk or a hike. I think they call a hilly walk a hike. 

Maybe you are with a walking group, great. Or you’re just going out around the neighborhood, that’s usually enough “cardio” to keep things in check to lower your blood sugar and to burn off a couple 100 calories. 

By and large, I’m not usually prescribing a ton of things like, you need to be on the stair stepper or the rower. You might like to do all those things, and that’s totally fine too. You could be bop around but as somebody who spent hours of her life doing cardio, I can tell you, it did not contribute to my fat loss, it only contributed to adding more stress to my life. I am not a huge proponent of just doing cardio, it can be part of your overall plan, and it really is context dependent. 

I happen to know who actually wrote this question, and I believe she’s under 40. So that could also be a difference too. I always struggle with how much to be added. Here’s the thing your body is going to adapt, so you want to be very careful not to be like 45 minutes on the arc trainer. Now I’m going to do an hour, now I’m going to do an hour and a half. That’s what would happen if it’s just trying to add more and more and more in order to make the scale go down.

I think also to maintain a healthy weight. That’s what you think a healthy weight is. It could be more like a healthy body composition, it could be in the clothing you want to wear. As you guys know, a big part of Unf*ck Your Weight Loss is I’m trying to change the messaging around weight loss. It sounds kind of contradictory to be like, we’re talking about weight loss, but you’re saying that weight doesn’t matter, which is that it’s fat loss. 

You want to have less body fat, and you want to have more muscle and you want to be leaner. You want to be smaller, not because you’ve lost all your muscle, you want to actually be healthier. I know it’s very easy to get connected to a weight, especially if you were 25 years old and you wait a certain amount. Then life went on and you had kids and we’re always trying to get back down to that pre baby weight, that high school weight, the college weight, the previous weight, the post this way. We’re always trying to shoot for a weight. What if instead, we’re just trying to shoot to wear certain clothes and to have a certain amount of muscle mass? 

10) Are there any specific weight loss strategies to avoid gain during and post menopause? 

Yes, you have to avoid stress. Here’s the thing, you can’t avoid stress. Stress is just part of life, the human body, our wonderful human body, is totally prepared for stress except when it becomes too much. When we find that we have poor digestion, we don’t sleep well, we’re not eating enough protein or eating enough quality food. We don’t really take any supplements regularly. We’re burning the candle at both ends. We’re not taking care of ourselves and we’re not happy.

I think that’s what generally happens and then we want to lose weight. So we under eat and over exercise. I think you have to kind of look at what you’re eating. Look at how your acts are Sighs but we have to, like, really see from a basic health perspective, 

  • How is your sleep? 
  • How is your digestion? 
  • How much are you eating? 
  • Are you eating enough quality food?

Kind of pull it apart that way.

I think we all just kind of go in to be like, I’m just going to eat less and move more. You throw that and that’s great when you’re 25 or when you’re 35. But as you’re aging and your hormones are changing, you’re just adding more stress. 

The specific weight loss strategy for me would be to make sure I have enough protein, to prioritize sleep, and to figure out ways to decrease stress in my life. There are some sneaky things to eating processed foods, eating a lot of protein bars that maybe have yucky ingredients. Yucky I said, caffeine, energy drinks, weird appetite suppressant supplements, things like that. You want to decrease stress as much as possible as you are in perimenopause and going through menopause. 

11) How do you keep the faith on the journey, when you look at yourself and still look soft and flabby?

The negative self talk is hard to avoid. One of the biggest hurdles, the negative self talk is a habit. You can’t avoid it unless you kind of confront it and just call it out. I’ve used this example before, but I like it because they think it’s powerful. Imagine, especially if you have kids, it’s easy to imagine that you have a son. I mean, could be a son. I think it’s very impactful since you guys are women. But imagine your 10 year old daughter, or 12 year old daughter or your 10 year old self, standing in front of the mirror, and you’re watching her stand there and she lifts up her shirt and she grabs her stomach. She’s like, Oh, my gosh, you look so soft and flabby. What is wrong with you? You’re disgusting. You know, imagine that. That’s what essentially we’re doing to ourselves. Sometimes we are doing it out loud. 

Many years ago, my kids were small, two or three. I remember I was in their bathroom and I did something like that where I said, Oh, Mommy is so fat, or I said something like that. Mommy doesn’t look good, or something like that. I was like, if I literally pulled the words back into my mouth, like, like, oh, boy, what just happened there? I’ll never do that again. 

Many of us probably grew up unaware that was kind of the messaging. Maybe it was more direct, like you had that relative who was like, hey, you know, boys don’t like fat girls, you have to look a certain way. You can never be too rich or too thin. All of that stuff. Like you have to be a certain way. 

You do have to take ownership of the negative self talk . It is you doing it even if it came from the past, or someone else did it to you or someone else called you names, all of that stuff. If it’s negative self talk, that’s you. And you have to get in front of it. You have to say, You know what? We don’t talk like that. We don’t say that. That’s a no. What else could I say instead? I’m learning to talk more nicely to myself, I am learning to appreciate myself. It doesn’t mean that we have to look like we’re not looking to make changes, that we’re not looking to fulfill our goals, that we don’t have a big vision. You can love your body and still want to change it. I think two things can be true at once. I think it’s really important. 

How you keep the faith on the journey is that you have to keep coming back to the big vision that you have for yourself. You also have to very consciously celebrate your wins. You have to be your biggest cheerleader. You have to be the mom to your 10 year old and just be like, Dude, you’re crushing it. You’re killing it. Great job. You drink the water. You went for a walk. You made dinner. You didn’t eat off everybody’s plate. You’re doing it one day at a time. 

We would all love to hit a button and deactivate negative self talk. I just wish it would go away. Well, the only person who could make it go away is you. It’s your voice. The best way to do that is with compassion and kindness because adding more negativity to it like, you’re so stupid for doing that. What’s wrong with you? It doesn’t work. 

I want you to make a habit of looking in the mirror. Whether that’s just to your face or your whole body and saying something nice, even if it’s just;

  • I appreciate you. 
  • I like you. 
  • I love you. 
  • I’m rooting for you. 
  • I’m in your corner.

Have your own back. 

This is a huge one. It’s not something that I normally talk about because I am one of those like, you’ve probably figured it out, oh, that’s stupid. Just f*cking do it. Just shut up and stop doing that. That would be my answer is stop doing that. But I think you have to really figure out why you are doing that. Sometimes we’re just doing it because it is the habit of doing it. It’s a little bit of self sabotage, it’s comfortable. I know how to do this. I know how to feel bad about myself. What if I did feel good about myself? 

When women start to feel more confident, like their bodies, and feel more sexy, maybe things would be scarier. I saw a post about that where people were like, Yeah, that was a problem. I did bad things and it’s a whole other topic. But I think right now, I really want you to start talking more nicely to yourself in the same way you would intervene if you saw your 10 year old daughter do that sh*t to herself. 

12) How do you develop healthy habits? Which one would you start with first? How do you keep yourself motivated and consistent? 

I did a coaching call with my clients, and the name of it was How to Break a Bad Habit. Then I got on the call and I’m like, look, there are no bad habits. There’s only old habits and new habits. Habits I’d like to create or habits that aren’t working for me right now. 

When I look at healthy or unhealthy habits, we just have to figure out what would I like to be doing? I just want to think about what I can do right now. Whether it’s to drink more water, get to bed earlier, or add more steps. I would go with something that is easy for you to execute. That would have a lot of bang for your buck. For me, I’m really pushing a lot of women to go to sleep, to get into bed earlier. 

You just take it one day at a time you set rules for yourself, just like you would set for kids. Hey, it’s 8:30pm. It is now time to close down the house. We lock the doors, we turn off the lights, or whatever it is. 

How do you keep yourself motivated? You know what? I get it, we’re all wanting to be motivated. I think it just comes back to what is it that you really want? That big vision. Not just the number on the scale, but what you are looking to create here. To really remind yourself of that big vision and sometimes why it’s not happening or why we’re not motivated, or why we’re not consistent is because we’re carrying a lot of this stuff in our heads. We’re just a wash of 60,000 different thoughts and things I need to do. Then I have to do this and I shouldn’t be doing that and I shouldn’t be doing this and I need this healthy habit and why are they motivated? 

Put it on paper. What is it that you’re trying to do? How are you going to track it? My earlier podcast episodes talked about really basic tracking systems, like give yourself a little tally mark to give your brain that little dopamine hit of hey, look, you’re linking together days where you’re creating this new habit. It does take time, your brain does not want a new habit, your brain wants to sit on the couch and eat Cheez-its so we don’t have to be motivated. We can just be consistent.

Consistency doesn’t mean perfection. It’s like what can I do right now? Literally, what can you do right now towards your goals? Could you get up and walk around? Could you sit down and eat a lunch with protein? Keep it like that. 

13) Why can’t I lose the extra body fat despite lifting four to five times a week eating high protein and low carb? I’m frustrated in menopause. 

I think this describes a lot of women. Number one, lifting weights, so this is context. I don’t know what you’re doing for an actual workout routine. Are you maybe doing too much? Maybe four to five times in the gym is actually too much. Maybe we’d be better three or four times in the gym. Maybe it’s just too much volume. You’re in there for too long, your workouts just are too much. We’re adding too much stress to the mix. 

High protein is all relative, low carb is all relative. So for me, I feel this in my soul. Square peg, round hole. I’m trying to make this work and this probably worked 10 years ago. Lifting weights isn’t necessarily for weight loss. It’s just not. You could actually be losing body fat. 

  • Are your clothes fitting any differently? 
  • What about steps? 
  • What about walking?
  • What about sleep? 
  • What about your digestion? 
  • What are you doing for supplements? 

When I talk to my clients and they tell me they’re not losing weight. I’m like, Okay, let’s go through the list and find out. Many times we land on sleep, and we land on digestion. Those are unsexy things that nobody wants to talk about. 

Couldn’t I just work out more? Or shouldn’t I eat something different? Or shouldn’t I take away more carbs? No, you shouldn’t, the more low carb you try to go, the more you try to work out, you’re probably going to see that the results stop coming. You’re putting your body into a place of stress. And I get it. You’re going through menopause, menopause is natural. We’re not going to stop the clock on that. But it is a different kind of stress. As you know, your hormones have changed 

13. Pathogens and overall gut, is healthy bacteria real or a myth? What helps to build healthy guts? 

It is not a myth. It is real. It’s interesting, because it’s really only been in the last 5-10 years. I can remember five years ago, being so amazed at all of the information coming out about gut bacteria. We have more bacteria in our gut than we have anything else. We are pretty much made of bacteria. That’s crazy. Good bacteria and bad bacteria. We’re just big balls of bacteria. 

It’s really important that in our gut, we have the right balance of bacteria, and it can get thrown off very easily. If you’ve ever taken antibiotics, you’ve killed off all kinds of bacteria, the good, the bad, the undeserving. We just kill everything. Sometimes we get sick and we are like taking all different kinds of antibiotics. We may never replenish our bacteria. In general, we’re not taking probiotics, we’re not eating the kinds of foods that could help, fermented foods. You could be doing things like yogurts, and things like that, where you’re replenishing your body. So it is real.

Many people will start to notice bloating, gas, indigestion, or irregular bowels, things like that. They could be experiencing something. In layman terms, it’s called leaky gut. A lot of people will argue, and by a lot of people I mean medical personnel will say, well, that’s not a real thing. What it is, it’s that your gut lining starts to open up. It is a real thing that they just don’t like to call it leaky gut. But that does happen where we need to reinforce our gut lining so that we’re not literally having food flow into our bloodstream and our bodies are saying, Hey, this is a problem. This is a toxin, this is the enemy. That’s why when we start to have digestive issues, we don’t feel well. 

We do want to pay attention to getting really high quality probiotics, and that will take time to replenish your gut. I think it is real. There’s so many different types of probiotics. I always try to push my clients to have something that is more pharmaceutical grade. For example, I’m not gonna go to CVS necessarily and buy something there. Who knows how long it’s been on the shelf? Who knows if it’s really viable colonies of bacteria? 

15) What are the best made meal plans and appetite suppressant supplements? 

Lots of different companies today put out meals that are made for you. This could be national companies that have frozen or partially frozen meals. It’s not my favorite to go frozen, but it does help in a pinch to have those. There are companies as well that do fresh made. I would look local to you wherever you live. If there is some kitchen that is creating those meals that either you go pick up or delivered to your house in your community. It can be really helpful. 

The question is, which is the best? The ones that you eat, the ones that work for you. I get it, there’s nothing worse than buying food or getting a meal service and you’re like, I hate this food. I’ll lose weight because I can’t eat it. Because you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on things that you aren’t going to eat. You want to have foods that are simple, easy, clean, and make your life easier. 

I’m always talking about going somewhere and getting a salad. You know why? Because a salad that somebody else made is way better than the one I made. I’m like a lazy man salad. I literally open a bag of lettuce. I’m like, it’s a salad. My family’s like, that is a bag of lettuce. But it’s a salad to me. You can obviously go to a company that makes the salad and they’re going to put in the shredded carrots and the tomatoes and the cucumbers and the pepper. They’re going to do it all the way you want to. 

There is not one best, it’s the one that you will eat, and often. It could be maybe more calories than you’re used to taking in. But if you think about it, sometimes we actually need to have a more substantial meal. We need to have more quality foods and these meal types of services could be that for you. 

As far as appetite suppressant supplements. Yeah, I’m a no. I do think once you dial in on getting enough sleep and you drink enough water and you have better digestion, you’re going to feel like you have a better connection to your real appetite. You’ll know when you’re hungry and you’ll know when you’ve had enough. I think that’s really important. Sometimes we think the answer is an appetite suppressant. We have to figure out why what’s happening with your appetite or why are you hungry all the time? Is it because you’re just under-eating so much that you are literally starving or did something happen? Because you just don’t get enough sleep? 

I love answering your questions. I really do. Thank you so much for being part of Unf*ck Your Weight Loss. If you’re not already in my free group, it is Fitness Weight Loss for Women Over 40. If you’re interested in finding out about my programs, I have my membership the Society. Tonight I’m delivering the May masterclass which will be, Look Like You Work Out. It is going to be all about strength training. Every single month in the Society is a new masterclass and a new coaching call if you’re not there for it live, it’s totally fine. It’s put into our member portal. So you can join the Society in a couple of weeks and you’re gonna get everything that’s been in there for the last couple of months, including Lose 10 pounds, which was the April masterclass, and I’ll probably do a podcast about that next week. I also have Self Made and if you’d like to book a call, I’d love to talk to you. All right, my friends. Thank you so much. I appreciate you


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.

Connect with Bonnie-

With Bonnie Lefrak


Weight Loss Without The Bullsh*t