Reverse Dieting

Reverse dieting may not be a phrase you’re super familiar with but this is how I help the majority of my clients when we begin working together. It requires a high level of trust because I usually have my clients start out eating more than they ever thought possible to lose weight – BUT that’s actually the reason they were having a hard time losing weight or they were stuck in a weight loss plateau in the first place. They simply weren’t eating enough! With that being said, let’s dive head first into reverse dieting. 

What is a reverse diet? 

This term is something that is really uncommon but it truly shouldn’t be. A lot of times reverse dieting is referred to as “the diet after the diet.” To make it simple, a reverse diet is a way to gradually increase calories over a few weeks or months to allow you to eat more food after you’ve been on a “diet,” or series of diets for that matter (where you are restricting calories or just not eating enough to fuel your body properly). This increase of calories also increases your metabolism and prevents fat gain or regain. 

I know what you’re thinking…”Rachel, that doesn’t make sense. You’re telling me to eat MORE and I’ll finally begin to lose weight.”

Yes. I am! Let me explain. 

When we go through restrictive periods (which most of us have in the past), and when we try these fad diets where we are eating 1,200 calories or less, our metabolism decreases. This is where we start to see weight loss plateaus. Think about it: you can only go so low with your caloric intake, right? Once you do, you can’t go any lower and your body stalls out in a lot of ways. There are also a lot of things going on behind the scenes in our bodies when we limit the amount of fuel we are taking in. We have been conditioned to believe that we are doing our bodies a service by restricting them, but here is actually what is going on: 

  1. We experience hormone changes, and this is where things can start to get out of whack pretty fast. Our bodies begin to either suppress or release various hormones to increase hunger and push us to eat more. Think about it: your body needs more fuel and you aren’t giving it the fuel it needs. So it starts using these hormones to send you signals that it needs fuel. Your body is literally saying “feed me!”
  1. Our digestion slows down because it’s trying to absorb as many nutrients and calories as possible because it isn’t sure when you are going to give it adequate fuel again.
  1. Our resting metabolic rate decreases, which causes our bodies to redirect all focused energy on vital organs to keep us alive. When you are eating a minimum amount of calories, your body has to focus on the essentials because you don’t have any extra fuel in the tank to dedicate to anything else – your body is almost in survival mode. You don’t have adequate energy to dedicate to “non-essential” functions, like hair and nail growth. If you’ve been restricting calories for a long time, you may notice that your hair is thinning or your nails are brittle. This is why. When I was in my 20s and was eating less than 1,000 calories a day, I saw a noticeable difference in my hair. I have always had super thick hair, but I noticed that it was becoming extremely thin. I didn’t know why back then, but looking back I had physical evidence of the damage I was doing to my body by not feeding it what it needed.
  1. You may also feel like you have less energy to exercise or you see a noticeable difference in stamina and endurance, even in day to day activities (cleaning, washing dishes, playing with your kids). This also means you burn less calories through the activities that you do. The good news is though that this metabolic adaptation likely isn’t permanent! Your metabolism can gradually increase as you begin to increase your calorie consumption. And this is where reverse dieting comes into play.

So, how do you know you need to do a reverse diet? 

There can be many reasons to try reverse dieting. For example, if you want to eat more without gaining weight or if you are someone who has  been dieting for a long time and you are ready to maintain your current level of body fat, then the reverse dieting method is right for you. This method is really great for the transition period from dieting to maintenance because it teaches you how to increase calories without going crazy in the process and regaining all the weight you worked so hard to lose. 

If you have been eating 1,200 calories (or less) a day and not losing weight, reverse dieting may be something you can try. Low calorie diets may result in weight loss for some, but it’s usually temporary – it isn’t sustainable. They can also trigger physical and emotional side effects, such as nutrient deficiencies, fatigue,  irritability, anxiety or depression, and obsessive thoughts about food and weight. Studies have also shown that following a 1,200 calorie diet or living a restrictive lifestyle actually boosted levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone known to increase belly fat.

Reverse dieting can also help improve body composition. In other words, you want to lose fat, gain muscle, and maintain your current weight. Increasing calories while keeping activity high is a really effective strategy for muscle growth.

Reverse dieting can be pretty great, right?! So why doesn’t everybody try it?

The mindset! 

Eat more food without gaining weight. That sounds too good to be true, right? And since we live in the glorious era of social media, it can be hard to know who and what to trust. But more importantly, what MOST of us are thinking is that we don’t fully trust our bodies. We have been conditioned to believe that we should punish ourselves for reaching this point (with starvation diets and overexercise), and we’ve tried ALL the things out there to lose the weight and none of it has worked – so something must be wrong with us. And that simply isn’t true. God created your body to work FOR you – not against you. Give it a chance – and GOD a chance – to take care of you. Work with your body – fuel it properly – take care of it – give it what it needs…and I promise you – it WILL respond. 

If this concept resonated with you and you’d like to learn more, I invite you to schedule a discovery call and see if it’s a good fit for us to work together. Click the link below to find a time that works for you. More importantly, I’d love to help you get clarity on what’s holding you back from trusting your body to work for you and not against you. Remember, you have to do the work – there is no quick fix, no magic pill, or end all diet…but when you do it God’s way, lasting change begins to come. 

Why Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat

“Eating fat makes you fat.” That has been the school of thinking for most Americans for nearly two decades. 

This is a theory and a myth that is making our nation very sick and overweight.

As a kid growing up in the ‘90’s, I remember my parents buying “low fat” products. This craze took off like a rocket. Even though this myth has been dispelled now, so many of us are still fearful of eating fat.

This mindset, however, will get you nowhere with your weight loss goals. 

Incorporating the right kinds of fat into your diet will ACTUALLY help you lose weight and hit your goals. The body requires fat to function properly. Healthy fats provide anti-inflammatory benefits and improve insulin sensitivity. They help our bodies in a multitude of ways including optimal brain function and heart health. 

Our food choices affect everything. They control everything. Hormones, gut health, metabolism, heart health, brain health. All of these are affected by our food choices. 

Take sugar, for example. When you eat sugar, your brain gets a surge of dopamine, the feel good chemical. So when you eat sugar, your brain likes it! Then, when that sugar wears off, your brain is looking for the next hit. You continue to go through this sugar craving cycle. Your brain wants your body to feel good and safe and sugar will make that happen, even though it’s temporary. 

You can see how our addiction to sugar has contributed to our overweight and “low fat” addicted society. “Low fat” does not mean low sugar and oftentimes, if the fat is taken out of something, it’s replaced with sugar. 

Not all fats are created equal, however. I always advise my nutrition clients to avoid trans fat and saturated fats when possible. Keep it simple by prioritizing God-given foods and avoid man-made foods. 

The one thing I want to leave you with is this – You are in control of the weight you gain or lose by the quality and type of food you eat. Focus on healthy foods and the rest will fall into place. 

If you know your mindset around “low fat” foods is keeping you stuck, I’d love to invite you to apply for a laser-coaching call with me to help! We will dig deep on a one-time, 90 minute call to get you those mental breakthroughs so you can hit those weight loss goals you have. 

APPLY HERE

How Does Nutrition Influence Hormones?

When we think about what to eat to nourish our bodies, hormones may not always be top of mind. But our hormones play a very important role in our bodies.

Hormones are chemical messengers that are part of the endocrine system and help with growth and development, metabolism and digestion, fertility, stress and mood and more.

A number of factors contribute to hormone problems. Things like consuming processed foods, environmental factors and stress. You nutritional habits can be used as a tool to combat the things we can’t control like genetics or postpartum imbalances, menopause and more. 

There are over 200 hormones in the body. Estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, insulin, leptin, ghrelin and thyroid hormones are the most commonly known.

Your thyroid hormones, for example, help regulate weight, energy, temperature, growth of hair, skin and nails and more.

Another example you may have heard of is cortisol. Cortisol is released in times of stress and increases blood pressure and heart rate. Too much isn’t good for your health, and it’s often referred to as the “stress hormone.”

While these hormones are needed in your body for certain processes, when we eat a well-balanced diet, we keep them at the levels that serve our bodies best. Everybody’s bodies are different. We have different genetic makeup and different lifestyles that all influence our hormones. Your nutritional habits matter! When you consume the right kinds of foods, you are protecting yourself against out of the ordinary hormonal imbalances. Think of your nutritional habits as putting on your armor of defense! 

So what do you eat to keep your hormones in balance?

Consuming a balance of carbs, protein and fat will help maintain a healthy endocrine system. Eat less processed foods, fried foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners—and drink less alcohol—to avoid hormone imbalances. 

In addition to a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, keeping stress levels low and exercising regularly are all crucial for hormone balance. 

While losing weight might help hormonal issues, be aware of the method you use to achieve weight loss. Simply cutting calories doesn’t work long term. You may lose weight but you also may be doing more harm than good by potentially depriving your body of the macronutrients it needs. 

Hormones impact so much of our growth and development, metabolism, digestion, fertility, mood, energy, appetite, weight and more. Eating a well balanced nutritional plan of cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and adequate protein keeps hormones balanced. Not eating enough total calories, healthy fats or fiber can disrupt hormones and may lead to conditions like obesity, diabetes, infertility and cancer. Stress, alcohol, processed foods, and lack of sleep can also throw off hormones directly or indirectly by influencing the gut microbiome, which keeps hormones balanced.

When most of my clients come to me, thinking they are eating a well balanced diet, we dive into the numbers and find they are typically over-consuming carbs and fat and not getting enough protein. Protein is usually the hardest macronutrient to get enough of for women. This is why working with a coach and someone who can give you insight into your numbers helps. You have a target to shoot for instead of winging it and not hitting your goals. If you’re interested in setting some macronutrient goals and benchmarks to help keep your hormone levels in check, I’d love to chat with you about working together. Check out the link here to book a call with me. 

The BEST “Diet” to Follow

Hear me on this… when you start any kind of diet, you don’t need to be extreme on day one. 

Too many times, we, as women, go all in on changing our eating habits when we really don’t need to to get started. 

Before you jump into any new nutrition plan, I always tell my clients to fix your vitamin deficiency first before you try anything else. Without adequate vitamin intake, your body will not function optimally.

After that, start small. Up your protein. Get in healthy fats. Drink enough water. Your body will be working better in no time. It really is that simple!

My suggestion would be to pick the biggest limiting factor and start there! If you’re not getting enough water, start there. Add an extra glass to your meals. 

Pick one habit to focus on at a time and as you feel capable, add another one. 

Picking a nutritional goal or plan can depend a lot on factors like budget, dietary restrictions, and preferences. Find the approach that works for you! Our bodies are extremely adaptable and so stinkin’ smart! 

So which diet is best for you? 

By keeping your changes small and smart, you can tailor a diet to fit your goals and your age. Key in on those lifestyle changes where you are consistently creating habits toward your goals. Add in more protein and more whole foods and you’re on your way to hitting the goals you want in the way that is best for your body.

If you’ve tried and tried and know you need accountability in reaching your nutritional goals, let’s chat! I’d love to see if we’d be a good fit for working together. You can schedule a call with me here.

Just Wait…

Two of my least favorite words: “just wait.”

I heard these words from so many people when Jordan and I were engaged and just married. “You just wait until you’ve been married a few years. The new will wear off and you’ll be just like the rest of us’ Or my favorite, ‘You just wait…enjoy the honeymoon stage while it lasts!” I never will forget how discouraging that was to hear. Why must people tear others down? Why can’t you just let people be happy?

And now we are hearing it again, but for a different reason…”You just wait…you’ll find out soon enough!” (Pertaining to ANYTHING child related – behavior, eating habits, how I’ll never sleep again, school activities, tantrums, how our house will never be clean again, how expensive babies can be, and the list goes on and on…). Don’t you think we’ve thought about all of this? My husband and I are 30 years old. And while we don’t have a real clue what we are about to get ourselves into when Grayson arrives, is it really necessary to make us feel defeated as parents before we even get started? I know that I won’t get much sleep the first several years (I’m already getting good at running on 5 or 6 hours or so just due to pregnancy). I know that my child will not be perfect and he will act out in the most inopportune moments, and he’ll probably say things that embarrass us from time to time. I know that boys will be boys, and we will probably have broken windows, messy floors, stinky clothes, and lots of jokes about bodily functions.

But I prayed for that.

I admit – after wanting to be a stay-at-home mom for so many years (that’s all I wanted to do when I was in high school), I totally changed my mind when I graduated college and started working. It took me a long time to get mentally ready – well, as ready as you can be – to start trying to have kids. But once God showed me that the time was right, I prayed for those things. I prayed for the sleepless nights and dirty house. I prayed for the chaotic schedule that we’re sure to have that will completely throw off my beloved, familiar routine. However, I also prayed for the snuggles, and the “I love you Mama,” and getting to see my husband be a dad. So let us enjoy it – even if for a short time. Let’s turn the “just waits” into “Just wait until you lay eyes on your son for the first time’ and ‘Just wait until you get to hear those sweet baby giggles.”

I know life is hard. And I know I don’t know how hard it can be just yet. But life is too short to “just wait” on the bad things and focus on the hard times. So for now, I’ll “just wait” on Baby Grayson to get here and for my life to be changed forever. And I’m completely ok with that.

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Are You a Hopeful Christian? Or Are You a Believing One?

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Yesterday I prayed a prayer that I have been praying for months now. I pray it multiple times a week. It’s on my prayer wall. I have even asked others to pray it with me. But do you know what was different about yesterday’s prayer?

I realized that this entire time I had just been “hoping” it would be answered. I was hopeful that something would happen. Up until yesterday, I don’t think I truly BELIEVED that anything would come of it. As awful as it sounds to say it out loud, I didn’t believe that God was going to answer my prayer.

How guilty are we of doing that, though? How many times do we pray a prayer and “hope” that God will take care of it, but then we never actually give it over completely to Him? Why do we feel that we need to care those burdens around with us when God wants to take them off our shoulders?

Now, God may not answer my prayer in the way that I see, but He WILL answer it. And He will answer it in His timing and in His perfect way. Last week, I attended a leadership conference where I had the privilege to hear Lysa Terkeurst speak. She shared an amazing story about God’s perfect timing, but the one thing that she said that has stuck with me is this: “There’s what I see…and then there’s what God is doing.” We do not get to see the big picture, but God is always in control of it all. We only get a small piece of the puzzle BUT when we trust and BELIEVE that He is going to see it through, God will show up and show out.

So from now on, I am fully believing that God is going to answer my prayer. It may not be today, tomorrow, or next week. It may not happen for another few years. But when it does (and it WILL), I cannot wait to tell you all about it.

Tasty Tuesday – Crockpot Enchiladas

If you are anything like me, weeknight dinners are HARD. We don’t even have kids yet, so I can’t imagine how crazy these nights will be like when we do! Both my husband and I work full time, plus we have long commutes, and when we get home at night – we tend to crash.

 

Luckily, there’s this little thing known as the crockpot, and I seriously do not know what I would do without it! It has been a lifesaver, especially since we converted to a plant-based diet. I love that we are eating lots more veggies now and fueling our bodies properly, but most times the prep work takes time. These Crockpot Enchiladas are super simple – just dump everything in the crockpot in the morning and go! Then after you arrive at home after a long day, everything is ready. All you have to do is scoop it on to a tortilla and enjoy!

Crockpot Enchiladas:

1 cup quinoa

½ cup water

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15 oz can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained

2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes (I like to use 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 can rotel!)

1 15 oz can enchilada sauce

 

  1. Spray your large crockpot with non-stick cooking spray (or use a crockpot liner). Place all ingredients into the crockpot and stir everything together.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  3. When it is finished cooking, scoop out mixture onto a flour or corn tortilla and serve! You could also top these with salsa or homemade guacamole.

 

Enjoy! Let me know if you try these enchiladas out this week!

 

*Recipe adapted from Moms With Crockpots

I’m Back…

You guys!!!

 

I had NO idea I had been gone so long. Has it really been almost 9 months since my last blog?? A lot has happened during that amount of time. Time really does fly when you get older, and I don’t think I’m a fan! Recently, God has placed a call on my heart to begin blogging in my business again, so it looks like I’m back to stay 🙂

 

Let me catch you up on a few things…

 

August 2017: We began building our forever home! This has been one of the toughest and most exhausting processes I’ve ever been through, but it has been so worth it. We are very fortunate and very blessed to be building such a beautiful home out in the country on family land. We are almost to the closing date – in fact, we should be able to start moving in within the week!

 

September 2017: We celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary in Disney World! We had a phenomenal time in the most magical place on earth – we are such kids at heart!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2017: November was both happy and sad. I lost my dear Pawpaw at the age of 90, but I know that he is in a better place and I wouldn’t bring him back even if I could! November was also the month that my husband’s family traveled to Starkville for the weekend for my father-in-law’s 60th birthday. We had a great time watching the Alabama vs Mississippi State game – even if i was the only one happy with the outcome! 😉

This is also the month that we decided that a plant-based diet was the best decision for us. We had both been feeling super sore and stiff every morning, and we were also always tired and sluggish. We had heard great things about the benefits from some close friends of ours, so we decided to try it for a few weeks and see if it was something we wanted to stick to long term.

 

December 2017: December was filled with our usual – lots of Hallmark movies, Christmas lights, hot chocolate, cozy fires, gingerbread houses, but this year we also got something even more special…a trip to the mountains with my family! We had such a good time – even if the cabin we stayed in had no running water for two days, ha! I’ll always cherish family time, and we had some of the best that trip for sure!

  

 

January 2018: January was another sad month for our family. This was the month that we lost Jordan’s Pawpaw King. Again, we know that he is in a better place and that he will never hurt again. We are simply selfish and wish they were here with us. We are truly thankful for the many years we got to spend with both of our grandparents, and we are eternally grateful for the values and morals instilled in us by them!

January was also the both that we decided to go strictly plant-based. Up until this point, we had been eating a mostly plant-based diet, but we never truly made the decision that this lifestyle was definitely what we were going to stick with until the beginning of the new year. My husband’s acid reflux is all but gone, and we are both feeling better than we have in months. He has currently lost 12 lbs, and I have just over 5 lbs – an added bonus!

February 2018: February brought about a new extension to my Fashionably Fit business! I decided to partner with a jewelry company, and I could not be more excited about how it is going.

 

March 2018: March was special because we got to meet our newest nephew, Brennan! He is a little doll! Our house was also getting extremely close to getting finished, so we got to do a few fun things like buy new furniture! (even though Jordan wasn’t particular happy about that one!)

 

Now we are in April, and I cannot wait to see what this month will hold! We have already gotten to celebrate Easter (my favorite holiday!), and we should be closing on our new house any day now. My jewelry company is releasing the Spring Catalog next week, and I know that business is about to get crazy! (Seriously, this stuff is SO pretty!!)

My goal for this blog is to continue to bring you articles that pertain to your own Fashionably Fit lives, so I’ll be talking about lots of fashion (including makeup, outfits of the day, and jewelry), as well as workouts and my new way of plant-based eatings (and recipes that go along with it!). This year is going to be the best one yet.

 

So, until next time…

 

Xoxo,

Rachel

Whatever Happened to Gratitude?

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

 

I’ve come to realize just how rare this quality is these days.

 

Just in the past week, I’ve witnesses more selfishness, hatefulness, and ungratefulness than I have seen in a very long time. In our society, it seems that no good deed goes unpunished. People try to take advantage of you. You try and do something nice for others, and all they seem to do is complain about what you DIDN’T do with no “thank you” for what you DID do. 

Also, now more than ever, our society lives in an “all about me” mentality. It’s all about “what can you do for me?” or “what can I get out of this?” and “how long can I MOOCH off of this?”

 

Whatever happened to gratitude? Being thankful for acts of kindness? When did we enter such a selfish mindset? Or maybe it’s actually a lazy mindset where we think the world owes us a favor?

 

Either way, I still choose gratitude.

I still choose to show appreciation when someone offers me a meal. I still choose to be thankful when someone offers a place to stay. I still choose to show my gratitude by offering help in return for acts of kindness. I still choose to send cards in the mail to offer encouragement to those who are struggling. I still choose to send little gifts to team members to show how much I appreciate their hard work. I still choose to work hard to chase my dreams because I’m grateful for the opportunity to do so, and I know this world doesn’t owe me a dime.

I still choose to be grateful when things don’t go my way because God has a greater plan in mind.

 

Gratitude is not only a virtue, but a mindset. Choosing to be grateful should not be something our grandparents did – it should be something we choose to do each and every day. We do not deserve any of the blessings we have on this earth. We do not deserve any of the gifts given to us. We do not deserve grace. We do not deserve salvation. But I am so grateful for it.

 

That’s how we should be in all things. So, so grateful.

Who are you when you think Jesus isn’t looking?

Today on my lunch break, I decided to make a quick stop into the local CVS for a few necessities (shaving cream and something to battle these terrible summer allergies!). I usually make at least one stop into the store each week because I get great customer service and the employees are always so friendly.

As I was standing in the checkout line, the man behind the counter begins to tell me how he sees me in the store quite often and asks if I work in the area. I tell him yes and we begin to chat about the city, community, church, local activities, etc. We discovered that we had an “acquaintance” in common, and the man goes on to praise this acquaintance as such a wonderful person that he held in high regard. I stood there shocked and almost speechless because my thoughts about the common acquaintance were…let’s just say, definitely less admirable. So what caused the stark difference in opinion? This man went to church with the common acquaintance, and I knew who the person was out in the world – beyond the church doors. I smiled and nodded, thanked the man for his help, and went on my way.

 

I left the store with a mix of emotions. How could our opinions be such complete polar opposites? Do people view ME that differently outside of God’s house? Am I truly the same person – with the same integrity, same values, same morals, same smile, same heartfelt concern for others, same positive attitude – that I am on Sunday? Would people who know me outside of God’s house say the same things about me as the ones that see me in church each week? I sure hope so. And if not, today is a great day to get my attitude in check and be intentional in living out the person that I strive to be EACH and EVERY day. I don’t want to be the person that puts on her “church face” on Sunday.

My prayer today is that each of us live out our Christian lives on a day-to-day basis so that others may see Jesus in us and through us. We are to be a witness to everyone – the sinners and the saints. Sometimes we forget that people are watching us. Who are you when no one is looking? I want to live out my days like God would have me to live them – for Him and for His glory. I want my friends to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know Jesus. I want them to come to me when they need to be lifted up in prayer. I want strangers to know that I am authentically, genuinely concerned for them and their salvation just by my actions. I want my life to be a walking Bible for the world to see. I want to treat people as Jesus would treat them.

 

So who are you? Are you the person people know on Sunday? Who are you when you think Jesus isn’t looking?