Weight loss and wellness can be confusing AF if you don't have a basic knowledge of how nutrition works, how fitness works, and how your body works.
Add in a million different "experts" confusing you further with contradictory advice, and chances are pretty good you're going to feel stuck, frozen, or like you don't know which way is up.
But the real problem is, you don't know what you don't know. So let's shine a light on where the missing pieces are, so we can fill them in and make you an expert of your own body.
Once you complete the quiz, come back here for my 5-sentence-or-less explanations of each of the answers. NO PEAKING!
1. How many calories do you have to burn to lose 1 pound?
So when you feel like you "gained 10 pounds" after 2 days of debauchery, remember you probably didn't actually eat 35,000 extra calories (at least, I HOPE not). So you may be fighting a little extra pudge along side a LOT of water weight from excess alcohol, sugar, and salt.
2. How many ounces of water should you drink per day?
Answer: half your body weight in ounces
If you answered "64 oz," you're kind of right in that that has been the standing number suggested. But it doesn't account for the fact that a 250 pound body builder probably needs a different amount than a 104 pound dancer.
3. What are the three macronutrients your body needs to function optimally?
Answer: protein, fats, carbs
All 37 trillion of your cells are made up of a combination of proteins, carbs, and fats. That's right; those diets that demonize any one of these essential nutrients is ignoring the very make up of your body.
4. What role do complex carbs play in your body?
Answer: all of the above - supply energy to the brain, muscles, heart, and central nervous system / aid in digestion / create a protective layer around the cell to help prevent aging
That's right, the low carb craze that's happening right now is making us age faster, lose energy, and f***ing up our guts!
Note: it says complex carbs, i.e. fruits, veggies, and whole grains. I am not advocating for crackers, pastas, and breads here guys.
5. What role do fats play in your body?
Answer: all of the above - store energy / maintain the structure of cell membranes / stabilize metabolism and hormone levels
Yup, fats are good! But again, this is referring to the healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats coming from olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
6. What kind of fat should you avoid at all cost?
i.e. Anything that says "hydrogenated." Basically any food that can last in your cupboard for over a year probably has some level of transfat in it.
p.s. Look for "hydrogenated" oil in the ingredients list, they can list a food as having "no trans fats" if it's under a certain percentage.
These oils disrupt hormones, are known obesogens (cause weight gain), and are horrendous for your gut health!
7. What role do proteins play in the body?
Answer: all of the above - building and maintaining muscle, building and maintaining bones, blood, organs, and other tissues, fighting off pathogens.
I think we all know the importance of clean protein in our diets from sources like fish, chicken, and eggs. But do beware of going overboard on red meat and soy.
8. How many servings of produce (fruits and veggies) should you have in a day?
That is NOT a typo! Count your portions (a portion is the size of your fist) and see how many you're hitting. I've had clients drop weight like crazy and see a huge boost in energy just from adding in this simple habit.
9. What is the proper serving size of protein?
Answer: the size of your palm (2 for men)
Again, I could give you a set number of ounces, but that isn't accounting for different size humans!
10. What does "organic" mean?
Answer: A and B - no pesticides were used during growing, the food is not genetically modified
Unfortunately, organic does not automatically equal "healthy." It is healthier than its non-organic counterpart because you're avoiding the dangerous pesticides and GMO's. But let's keep it real, an organic cookie is still a cookie.
11. How many calories do you burn per minute, during a moderate intensity workout (on average)?
Answer: 5-10 calories per minute
We often overestimate how many calories we burn. But on average, a moderate intensity workout burns 300-600 calories in an hour. You could cancel that out with half a fast food meal... so just be aware that you likely aren't going to burn off that whole cheat meal in one gym session.
12. When working out, what rep range is best for toning?
Answer: both A and B - 15-20 light weights / 8-12 medium-heavy weights
Light weights and higher reps are great for getting a good calorie burn during the workout. But adding lean muscle with some legitimate weight training will up your metabolism over the course of the day causing you to burn more fat. Plus getting "toned" muscles requires having muscles.
p.s. It takes a LOT of focused, hard work, and likely some supplementation, for women to truly "bulk up." So don't be scared of those weights ladies!
13. What is the best workout for burning the highest calories in the shortest time?
High intensity interval training for the win! It also is the best workout for anti-aging benefits. So if you have difficulty finding an hour to get your butt in the gym, kick up your intensity and knock it out in 20 minutes.
What is HIIT? Long story short: short bursts of all out effort followed by short active recovery.
e.g. 30 second sprint followed by 45 second walk, repeated for 15-20 minutes.
14. Can stress cause weight gain?
Yup, it signals your body to create more fat cells, signals your body to pump up existing fat cells, and it signals your body to stop burning fat as fuel.
15. What is the key to weight loss?
Answer: calories in < calories out
There is nuance here, and clean eating is super important, and I'll dive into that in a future post. But for now, at its most basic level, if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Unless there is a hormonal component getting in your way.
16. How do fake sugars (like aspartame) cause weight gain?
Answer: Lower the production of satiety hormones (hormones that tell you when you're full).
I don't care if they have no calories, if you use these "zero calorie" sweeteners, you'll end up eating more calories throughout the day because your hormones aren't telling you that you're full. Hear me: STAY AWAY!! I would rather you use a regular 2 regular sugar packets than one fake sugar packet.
How'd you do??
If you were surprised by some of these answers or were disappointed with your results, don't worry. NO ONE is really teaching this stuff.
Sure, lot's of programs are giving you generic workouts and cookie cutter meal plans to blindly follow; but I believe the saying goes, "If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime."
Following those generalized fitness programs with the hopes of reaching lifelong weight loss would be as if you were trying to sail across the ocean and I gave you a couple pages of broad guidelines like, "Put the sail up so it catches the wind."
Ok great, but how does the sail actually work? Do you treat all sails the same or is it specific to this boat? How exactly do I put it up? What happens if I hit a storm?
All of that is to say, I want to teach you to sail... I mean fish... I mean lose weight! in a way that allows you to keep it off forever.
Ready to learn how? Join my online coaching program, Fit for Life Academy on January 19th (my birthday!!) and you'll get to try it out for a whole month for just $1.
Why am I giving away $350 of value for only a buck? Because I know after one month with me, you're going to feel so much more energy, so much lighter, and so much more empowered to reach your weight loss goals, that you'll want to stick around to see what other awesome results you can get with that little boost of education, motivation, and accountability.
Not January 19th yet? Or maybe January 19th passed? No worries, click here and it'll take you to the main page so you can still find out more information, sign up, and grab some cool bonuses!