How often should we eat for weight loss?

Today, my friends. I am dispelling one of the most common nutrition myths out there. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever done any research about dieting or losing weight.

If I want to eat for weight loss, I should eat every few hours.

Beachbody coaches everywhere tell their clients to never let themselves get hungry. Thousands of free diet plans float around the internet provide options for your six small meals per day. This belief is so widespread that if you ask anyone how you should eat to lose weight, they’ll tell you to eat often so you never overeat. They’ll spout some fact that eating every couple hours stokes your metabolism and helps you burn more fat.

How often should we eat for weight loss? Should we really eat 6 meals a day? I'm answering these questions once and for all.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

I hate to break it to you, my friends. There is absolutely no scientific evidence (I searched!) out there that eating every few hours is better for weight loss. When it comes down to it, your body burns the same number of calories breaking down your food you eat regardless if you eat three meals or seven.

With that in mind, it’s super important to figure out an eating schedule that works for YOU. Determining how many meals to eat is a process of trial and error, because it’s all about creating habits that are easy and natural for you! 

Over the last year, I’ve switched from eating every couple hours to eating four larger meals per day. This change has helped me make progress towards my fitness goals and automate my eating. My friends, I will NOT be going back, because it’s made me super consistent with my food, regardless of where I am. Today, I’m sharing WHY I’ve made that shift but If you wanna learn exactly how I’ve found consistency, I’m sharing handful of things you need to implement daily to eat moderately, completely stress-free here.

Why I eat four meals per day

It promotes satiety

Back when I subscribed to the idea I had to eat often to stoke my metabolism, my meals were super small. And let’s be real, small meals=hungry Katherine. When you eat mini-meals, you never feel like you ate enough. You know the feeling, you finish your chicken and broccoli but you feel like you can and should eat more.

Bleh. I hate that feeling.

So, when I started eating four meals a day, spaced out by 4-6 hours, I had to start eating bigger meals. And guess what? I loved it! As I added more protein and fat to my meals that nagging feeling of “I want to keep eating more even though my plate is empty” went away.

Now, I feel satisfied for hours after each meal, which is awesome after living in a constant state of hunger for years. 

It decreases my daily caloric intake

Wine, Protein, Veggies

When I first started trying to eat for weight loss, I tracked my macros to ensure I got everything I needed. At first, I was worried I’d start gaining weight because I was eating “more.” But what I found was pretty surprising.

I was eating less than before!

After doing a bit of research, I found this is actually pretty common! When you’re eating six times a day, you end up eating more than you think. Snacks turn into mini meals and your mini meals tend to be a little bigger than they should be.

Confining my eating to four times a day has helped me keep my calorie intake within healthy ranges, even when I’m traveling or eating out.

It gives me flexibility in my social life

Eating six meals a day can make social situations more difficult. Sure, you can grab happy hour and pick at a side salad but how satisfying is that? Oh, and you’ll need to eat again in two hours, so don’t hang out for too long. With an eating schedule that includes bigger meals, your life doesn’t have to revolve around your food.

It’s so nice to be able share meals with my friends and loved ones again without worrying I’m eating too much.

I hear from women all the time that they have a hard time eating on the go. Drive-thru’s, happy hours and travel can botch even the best intentions for healthy eating. SO, I put together this super simple cheatsheet for dining out and how to stay consistent with your nutrition wherever you go. No crazy meal plans, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately, completely stress-free. Grab a copy of the FREE #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet here.

Now, even though eating four meals a day works super well for me, please don’t take this as a one size fit all approach. Do some experimentation! You may do best on three bigger meals, and that’s totally okay! If you want to find a way of eating that works for YOU, I’d love to work with you on your nutrition goals. If you’re ready to make some changes and reach your nutrition and fitness goals, let’s chat!

How many meals do you eat daily?

How do I build a workout plan?

You walk into the gym, ready to work out. You head over to the weight section, look in the mirror and realize you have no idea what to do, even though you know you’d like to be weight lifting. Sound familiar?

I’ve recently been getting lots of questions from women who are not super comfortable in the free weights section of the gym. Braving all the bros working their biceps leaves them feeling intimidated, not knowing how to approach the weight rack. That’s why I’ve decided to write a series on Mastering the Weight Room.

At the end of the series of blog posts, you’ll be confident in approaching that free weight section with ease.

Previous topics in the Master the Weight Room series include:

-Choosing your weights
-Building your workout routines

This week, I’m tackling the final topic in the series: building your workout plan!

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How should I build my workout routines?

You walk into the gym, ready to work out. You head over to the weight section, look in the mirror and realize you have no idea what to do, even though you know you’d like to be weight lifting. Sound familiar?

I’ve recently been getting lots of questions from women who are not super comfortable in the free weights section of the gym. Braving all the bros working their biceps leaves them feeling intimidated, not knowing how to approach the weight rack. That’s why I’ve decided to write a series on Mastering the Weight Room.

At the end of the series of blog posts, you’ll be confident in approaching that free weight section with ease.

A few weeks ago, I covered deciding which weight to use.

This week we are tackling step 2: building your workout routines.

Read More »

How much weight should I lift?

You walk into the gym, ready to work out. You head over to the weight section, look in the mirror and realize you have no idea what to do, even though you know you’d like to be weight lifting. Sound familiar?

When I first started lifting weights, I had no idea what to lift. I’d follow along in workout videos and just pick up exactly what the instructor used. When I stopped getting results, I had no idea why.

I’ve recently been getting lots of questions from women who are not super comfortable in the free weights section of the gym. Braving all the bros working their biceps leaves them feeling intimidated, not knowing how to approach the weight rack. That’s why I’ve decided to write a series on Mastering the Weight Room.

At the end of the series of blog posts, you’ll be confident in approaching that free weight section with ease.

I've recently been getting lots of questions from women who are not super comfortable in the free weights section of the gym. Braving all the bros working their biceps leaves them feeling intimidated, not knowing how to approach the weight rack. That's why I've decided to write a series on Mastering the Weight Room. At the end of the series of blog posts, you'll be confident in approaching that free weight section with ease. This week we are tackling step 1: deciding which weight you should pick up :)

This week we are tackling step 1: deciding which weight you should pick up 🙂

Selecting the correct weight

When you’re getting ready to workout, all you need to do is ask yourself three questions to choose the appropriate weights.

What are your goals?

Your goals determine how heavy you need to lift, so it’s important to identify what’s most important to you.

For most women, 10-12 reps will be ideal. This rep range is ideal if you are looking to tone up and lose some body fat. If you’re looking to gain endurance, increase your reps (12-15), and if you’re looking to put on lean muscle, decrease your reps (8-10).

weight

Rule of thumb: if you’re looking to put on lean muscle, you want to lift heavier and complete fewer reps.

What part of your body are you working?

Depending on whether or not you are working your upper or lower body determines how heavy you should lift. In general, women have more muscle mass on their lower body, so this requires heavier weights. With your upper body, you’ll likely lift less weight. When I’m lifting for my upper body, I grab a set of weights that is 2-5lbs more than I “think” I can lift. I’ll perform as many reps as I can with that weight and drop down as needed.

weight lifting

This is why I recommend having two sets of dumbbells, one heavier for your lower body and one lighter for your upper body.

What type of workout are you doing?

I can generally squat with 45lb dumbbells with good form but that doesn’t mean I automatically grab the 45lb DBs whenever I am going to squat.

If I am doing a more metabolic style (think, HIIT or strength training on an interval timer) workout, I’ll definitely use lighter weights. For the majority of my workouts, using weights ranging from 5-20lbs should be perfect.

woman push upWith these three questions, you’ll have your bases covered. Be sure to check in with yourself after each set. If the weight gets too heavy or light, be sure to mix it up so that you can still hit your allotted number of reps.

Stay tuned for the rest of the series. If you have questions or things that confuse you in the whole weight lifting realm, let me know in the comments below!

What’s one thing about weight lifting that still confuses you?

Working out while sick – my three rules

You’ve got a 6am workout scheduled. You go to bed early, your clothes are set out, and the coffee will be ready with plenty of time to sip before you hit the gym. But when your alarm pings, your throat is sore, your body feels heavy, and you’ve got a cough. As you lay in bed, you go back and forth on whether or not you should get up. You mentally go through your list of all the reasons for or against working out while sick.

I’ll answer that question once and for all. These are my three guidelines to working out while sick.

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Three lunge variations you still haven’t tried

It’s workout time! You look down at your lower body lift workout plan. The lunge, squat, deadlift, leg curl, and all the usual suspects are on the docket. You want to work your legs and booty but are feeling a little bored.

Been there?

Yeah, me too! As a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, I love my workouts. They sometimes are the highlight of my day! But the truth is, sometimes they can get a little boring when you’re doing the same thing over and over. This is when variations can save the day!

Using alternate variations of a specific exercise can add some variety into your workout AND keep you motivated to push hard.

Today, I want to help you add some variety into one of my favorite exercises.

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Progress your bodyweight training

You’re in the middle of a bodyweight workout and realize it’s way too easy. Or maybe you find a fun workout to try but it requires equipment you don’t have. How do you update the workout for your needs?

As a personal trainer (and online fitness junkie), I find a lot of my workouts online. For the last few years, I’ve consistently worked out at home, making online workouts perfect. YouTube, Pinterest, and my favorite blogs fueled my workout routine.

While there are tons of options to get your sweat on, to maximize your results, it’s imperative that you are able to take a workout to YOUR level. Trying out a workout that’s much too advanced or beginner for you is not an effective use of your time. This holds true even if you don’t have any equipment to use.

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Although I love athletics, working out, and lifting weights, but I am NOT all for youth athletics. Here's why.

A personal trainer’s case against youth athletics

I’ll never forget ninth grade P.E. as my introduction to youth athletics. For an entire semester, we cycled through team sports, covering one per week. Basketball, badminton, base(soft)ball, soccer, track & field, and volleyball. This was, and is, my hell.

One afternoon during our volleyball unit, I cowered near the back corner of the court, desperately hoping that the ball would not smack me in the head. Another freshman on the other side of the net served the ball. I watched it sail towards me and positioned my arms to hit the ball but a wave of fear washed over me. I stepped out of the ball’s path.

Before I knew what happened, the P.E. teacher/coach was in my face, yelling “EDGECUMBE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU SCARED OF THE BALL?”

I looked back at him. “Well, YES. I am.”

And there ended my experience with team sports.

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Build your workout plan: progress or modify any workout

If you’ve ever skipped out on a workout because you think it’ll be too hard (or too easy), keep on reading! Anything can fit into your workout plan!

As a personal trainer (and online fitness junkie), I find a lot of my workouts online. For the last few years, I’ve consistently worked out at home, making online workouts perfect. YouTube, Pinterest, and my favorite blogs fueled my workout routine.

While there are tons of options to get your sweat on, to maximize your results, it’s imperative that you are able to take a workout to YOUR level. Trying out a workout that’s much too advanced or beginner for you is not an effective use of your time. Whether you need to make a workout more difficult or easier, it’s important that you do.

Read More »

Your motivation and missing workouts

Your alarm buzzes. You roll over to spot the time and feel overwhelmed with exhaustion. Instead of getting out of bed and hitting the weights, you hit the snooze. Or, you finally finish your project at work and get ready to head out the door. You know you should go to the gym but all you feel like doing is watch Criminal Minds reruns and drink wine…so you do. Your motivation does nothing to get your butt off the couch.

Wine, Protein, Veggies

If this sounds familiar or you find yourself skipping workouts, this is for you!

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