Amanda Fisher Coaching

I help women get crazy strong - physically AND mentally - through strength training, sustainable eating habits, and a heathy mindset.

How To Spot A Quick Fix Like A Boss: The Sexy Product Edition

Gloves off this year, Big Diet!

I mean, if you hadn’t already picked up on that from me, lol.

But seriously, it is important that we talk about Big Diet, and all the ways it is jacking up our relationship with food.  Well, really, it doesn’t stop with JUST our relationship with food.  It spreads it’s ugly message of “not good enough” into every facet of our life – how we feel about ourselves, how we feel about our body, and, well…how we feel about how we make choices about our food and our body.  

Big Diet breeds fear.  Fear of food groups, or food in general, or fear of feeling fat, or fear of feeling inadequate.  Just plain old fear.  Fear, although not an overall bad emotion,  isn’t generally an emotion that is helpful with food because, well….it’s dang hard to trust yourself and your food choices when you fear them.  And Big Diet is there, lurking right around the corner, waiting for you to get frustrated, feel like a failure, and opt into the next diet waiting for sale.  

You guys, I KNOW!  The lure of a new plan, a new nutrition program, a new diet…..ohhhhhh the sexiness of it.  It feels HOPEFUL.  It feels EXCITING to feel like you are taking charge, as you head to the grocery store to buy all the new foods on your approved foods list.  It feels incredibly empowering to know that when that diet is over, you will be wearing all the new clothes, and getting all the compliments.  

But it’s a trap.  One that, if you don’t stop and drop out of the Big Diet cycle, will keep you feeling powerless and fearful and never being able to trust your choices surrounding food.  You will always be relying on Big Diet to provide you a plan for you to eat.  And not only that, you will be messing around with your metabolism in the process, possibly finding yourself in the ugly lose/gain/gain cycle that is so common of Big Diet.  Check out my Building A Bangin’ Metabolism series if you need more reasons to not diet, mmmkay?

Does that FEEL like a good place to live the rest of your life?  In fear?  Unable to trust yourself?  Gain and losing the same pounds plus some?  Never making your own food choices?

The sooner we can drop out of Big Diet, the sooner we can get on living life the way it’s meant to be lived – with trust.  And confidence.  And realizing, that YES, you ARE good enough.  

I thought it might be helpful to start this How To Spot A Quick Fix Like A Boss series to show you the sneaky ways Big Diet can manifest itself, and so you can hone your skills, and vaccinate yourself against Big Diet’s ugly ways.  Sound good?  Because I would love nothing more for you than to hone your skills, so that when a Quick Fix presents itself, your bullshit detector goes off and you run the other way.  Because a Quick Fix is just that short term “solution,” right?  We know it won’t work, or last. And we know it will keep us in the Big Diet shame cycle.  Ish.

Today, we chat all about The Sexy Product, the easiest Quick Fix to spot.  

Quick Fix #1: The Sexy Product

Ladies, this is the easiest Quick Fix to spot, because there is actually a “miracle product” that will “do all the hard work for you.”  Pills, shakes, patches, fat burners, detox systems, allllll this stuff falls into this Quick Fix category.  

I know it feels super hopeful to eat a donut and then either slap a patch on your skin so “the calories don’t absorb” or to eat french fries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and take fat burners at each meal so you negate them, buuuuttttttt…..

….it doesn’t work that way.  

Here’s why The Sexy Product is another Quick Fix.  Because you are being led to believe that you don’t have to change anything about your habits in order to lose weight.  You can eat like you always eat, the product will do the work, you know?  

Uh, no.  

Let me share a way that The Sexy Product has become EVEN SNEAKIER.  Often times they are sold with some sort of meal plan or strategy.  It looks a little like this – drink two shakes a day, and eat two colorful meals (often protein and veggies), and 2 healthy snacks per day (often protein and fruit or something).  Let Sexy Product work for you while you follow this meal plan!

Here’s the shady part – you lost weight, which you feel great about!  But….you believe The Sexy Product was the driver for the weight loss.  And, to be honest, it was YOU who was the driver for the weight loss.  You see, yes, you took the product, but those shakes were lower in calories than what you might typically eat.  So were the colorful meals and the healthy snacks.  Instead of The Sexy Product “being magic” and causing the weight to fall off, what really happened was YOU were in a calorie deficit, which generated weight loss.  And now The Sexy Product gets all the glory, instead of YOU for your hard work!  Um, WHAT?

This Quick Fix traps you into thinking that you need the product to get the results.  It leads you to believe that the product is the magic, the doer of the work.  And it keeps you buying the Quick Fix month after month because you believe that, lining the pockets of Big Diet even more.  

Again, The Sexy Product can be a variety of things.  But it boils down to being only something that looks sexy, and feels sexy (and hopeful), and really, it just traps you into thinking you must rely on the product, and not yourself.

Do you see how that breeds fear?  Fear of what happens to you without the product?  

And do you see how that is the opposite of trusting YOURSELF?  

So, if you find yourself stuck in this Quick Fix, here are a few helpful tips for you:

  • It’s time to leave.  You need an exit strategy.  Here’s one – just stop this Quick Fix.  You are delaying your entry into a mental space and belief system where YOU are the driver for change.  
  • Understand that you are worthy of unconditional love (no matter what you think your size or body has to do with it), and you are SO ENOUGH RIGHT NOW.  This might be hard to hear, I know.  But, it doesn’t make it any less true.
  • Unsubscribe from emails, unfollow social media accounts and friends that promote this Quick Fix so it’s out of your face all day long.
  • Find a support system that will help you look at the bigger picture here, and not send you running into the next Quick Fix.  

Ladies, I get it.  I’ve DONE the Quick Fixes.  Loads of them, in fact.  I was trapped in this little hell for a LONG TIME.  So, I want to give you hope.  You can come out on the other side of it.  It’s hard, for sure.  There is lots of baggage to unpack.  But it is doable, so long as you decide you want to take back the power, instead of giving it away to Big Diet every day/month/year.  

If you want an understanding of how your body, and your metabolism actually WORKS, feel free to pick up my free #MetabolicBoss guide.  My guide will help you learn how your body actually burns calories, and what things help or harm that process.  Oh, and at the end, there is a five step action plan that will help you get on the path to actually doing your body a favor and work with it, instead of against it.  

Snag my FREE #MetabolicBoss guide here!

Building A Bangin’ Metabolism: Your Exact Five Step Action Plan

Alright, let’s roll on with my metabolism series, shall we?

In case you missed my first installment, your metabolism mystery, go ahead and review that.  Likewise, you can read installment two, five questions to ask yourself before you assume your metabolism sucks, as well.

Today, our final installment, is alllllll about the big things you can do (or not do) to keep your metabolism in happy and healthy territory.  Consider it an action plan.  Something to refer back to on the regular, in case you lose your way, or in case you get muddled down in tiny details and need help finding your way back to the big things you can do to actually focus on that matter most.

Remember, like anything, all good things generally take time to accomplish.  I know, I know…the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is sometimes overused, but it’s true.  We can take action on these big things…..over time.  Change, well…change that lasts anyway, happens in days and weeks and months, not overnight.

Some of the items on my list might surprise you.  Some might be things you would typically expect.  My list has nothing to do with superfoods, or dieting, or cleanses, or resetting.  It has everything to do with simple, strategic, and SMART things to focus on (and really, only just a few!) so you can cut through the crap and get down to business.

Should we get right down to it?  Let’s do this!

Don’t diet, but be a detective.  Guess what?  Big Diet tells us just to eat less and move more.  CAN this be true?  Sure.  But, it likely isn’t in the way we think.  And most often, diet tends to run amok and mess up our hormones and hunger and satiety cues, and lead us down the path of “on” and “off” with eating.  Instead of dieting, or eating less, or counting, or whatever, let’s build meals, and reverse engineer this thing!  Instead of relying on a website to spit out how much you can eat per meal or per day, why not build meals and taking notes and tweaking and figuring out how much you actually require to thrive?

I know this sounds overwhelming, but it really doesn’t have to be.  Build your meals around lean proteins and tons of veggies, and then sprinkle in some complex carbs and healthy fats.  A good rule of thumb is that protein and veggies don’t change in quantity just too much.  However, YOU being a detective is to determine the right amount of complex carbs and healthy fats for YOU.  Then, pay attention to how these things go for you.  If you take a few notes and be aware, you’ll be surprised to find out what things satisfy you and what things really don’t, and instead make you hungrier or a little up and down on energy, instead of stable.

I like to use the HEC method by Dr. Jade Teta.  If your hunger, energy and cravings are managed, you are on the right path, and are probably finding out that you don’t crave or binge eat because, well….you just don’t want to.  Your hormones are balanced, and doing what they need to do so YOU can do what YOU need to do.  This might take some time to figure out, but, it’s worth it!

I have a fabulous FREE resource for you, my #20Under20 Meal System, that will help you build some satisfying and tasty meals to help you get started!

Be strategic and stingy with your workouts.  Strength training is a must for a bangin’ metabolism.  Lean muscle on a body helps that body burn more while doing nothing AND while recovering from gym workouts.  However, we need to be smart.  ALL the workouts, for ALL the time, well, that’s a good recipe to hurt our metabolism long-term.

I like to think about folks after general health and fitness, and a lean body needing about two to four moderately intense strength training sessions each week.  Not two-hour long sessions, mind you.  But somewhere in the ballpark of 20-40 minutes.  This is crucial and a MUST for a metabolism.  Remember, the dosage, or how often, is different for everyone.  The number of sessions that fit into your life and that you can do consistently matters MOST.

After that, some women might benefit from one or two metabolic conditioning sessions.  These could be on different days or AFTER a strength workout.  These are those 20 minute max workouts, more intense, and less time than most think is “worth it” in the gym.

A great way to do your metabolism a disservice is to plod along on the treadmill for hours on end.  Remember, MORE doesn’t equal better.  Effective and better….is better.

My program, #MomBoss, might be a great way to get in about four SHORT strength sessions each week.  These would be an excellent workouts for busy mamas who find themselves wondering “what to do” in the gym, and who want to cut through the bullshit of “more is better” and get their goals accomplished STAT.

Find your stress management approach.  Unmanaged stress can create a shitstorm for us hormonally, which can in turn jack around with our metabolism.  Unmanaged stress can also entice us to eat our feelings, and then instead of acknowledging THAT, we say “my metabolism sucks” and never take action on managing our stress levels.  Please don’t read this as never feel stress.  We will ALWAYS feel stress in our lives in some form or fashion, and having stress isn’t a bad thing.  Managing stress, however, is key.

One tactic I really like for stress management is saying NO a lot.  Don’t always be a “yes” girl.  Your time is valuable, girl, and YOU are valuable.  Say no.  Turn down things.  Initially, this might make you feel MORE stress because you have to learn how to not feel bad.  But, in the long run, this will be HUGE.  If it isn’t a HELL YES, it’s a NO, at least initially.

A second tactic I really like is for scheduling time to do nothing each week, lol.  Seriously,  schedule time that can’t be filled with other things.  Simple as that.  Block out time on your calendar (and your family’s calendar) for doing NOTHING and then use that time to just do nothing or do whatever the hell you want that recharges you a bit.

If either of these two choices give you anxiety, it’s probably time to implement both, stat.  And, if you can’t find time on your calendar for downtime, you need to say no a LOT more.

Go the eff to sleep.  Guess what is our biggest hormonal reset?  SLEEP.  A time where your body recharges and repairs tissue.  Guess what HELPS a metabolism?  A hormonal system that isn’t all out of whack and jacked up.

I know, I am one step ahead of you.  We can’t control that we always GET the sleep, meaning, that we STAY ASLEEP at night, or fall asleep easily.  We CAN, however,  build a proper night’s rest into our schedule, and make an effort to prioritize 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  The other great thing sleep does is balance our energy, which….means…..we aren’t likely to experience cravings for sugar and stuff allll day everyday.  And those cravings are generally what make us go “why is my metabolism so slow” when we find ourselves in the candy dish all afternoon at work.

Always be moving (outdoors when possible).  Moving more (this is NOT fitness or exercise) is HUGE.  This can be ANYTHING.  Playing outside with kids.  Taking 10 minute walks after meals to help digestion.  Walking to do errands instead of driving.  Leisure walks.  This actually helps us burn calories in a way that doesn’t really compete with our appetite or anything that we are doing, and falls into that NEAT category from installment one.  And…..time outdoors and time moving your body….are GREAT STRESS REDUCERS.  We aren’t on this planet to work in a seated position all day, then stop by the gym to try and really kick ass for 60 minutes, only to drive home, and sit while eating supper and sit some more while catching up on two hours of DVR.  Bodies are made to move.  In a variety of activities. In a variety of positions.  And our bodies (and brains) need it!  So do our stress levels.

Ladies!  These are five things to begin implementing that don’t cost a dime!  Oh, and long term, they will put you in such a great metabolic space that you won’t be finding yourself googling “ways to fix my metabolism” and finding cures from shady internet sales people, you know?

Please share this with your best girlfriend who needs to stop obsessing over quick fix solutions that wreak havoc long term, mmmmkay?  Oh, and be sure to drop your questions if you have them!

Want my FREE #MetabolicBoss Guide sent right to your inbox?  It's EXACTLY what you need to know to build a bangin' metabolism.  Drop your email below and I'll send it right over!

Building A Bangin’ Metabolism: Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Assume Your Metabolism Sucks

Did you catch my first installment in this Building A Bangin’ Metabolism series?  This is the second installment, so be sure you head back to the first one to get all primed up on what your metabolism actually IS, mmmmkay?

So, of course, last week we talked all about the basics of metabolism.  What it actually IS, and what things go into the equation of it.

This week, I thought it would be a good time to deep dive into a few reasons WHY we tend to think our metabolism is slow, or damaged, or basically faulty.  Rather, five questions to ask ourselves as sort of a quickie assessment of how things are really going before we say “slow metabolism.”  These are the biggies I hear frequently as a nutrition coach, and well, let’s get them out there so we can start helping more women understand this information and use it to make their own decisions, right?

These things may have something to do with your actual metabolism, but what generally ends up happening is that we have several other driving forces in the mix that affect our energy balance, and when things don’t necessarily go our way, even when we think we are doing all the right things, it is easy to assume that “my metabolism is slower than molasses” instead of face the other things head on.  This post isn’t about blaming yourself, but instead is a tool to get you thinking about what else may be going on that makes you think your metabolism is slow.

So let’s get down to it.

  1. Are your portions distorted?  It is super easy to read a food label on the back of a snack food and not actually realize that the 150 calories was for A HALF CUP of that food, and not the entire bag.  Or, “just a handful of almonds” being pretty arbitrary.  That could be a legit serving of almonds, or it could be two or more, and that costs some calories.  Want to play a fun joke on yourself?  Measure out one tablespoon of peanut butter.  Like, use an actual tablespoon measuring tool, not just the “big spoons” out of your silverware drawer.  There is a huge discrepancy on what we actually THINK is a tablespoon of peanut butter, and what is ACTUALLY a tablespoon of peanut butter.  My own personal portion distortion is half and half in my coffee in the morning.  Drinking coffee that is tan colored instead of black definitely isn’t two tablespoons of half and half, you know?  I’ve had to re-learn that serving size by using an actual tablespoon so now….after years of coffee drinking, I don’t have to measure anymore.  Look, I’m not saying be a psycho and measure everything but I AM saying it is damn easy to let things get out of whack and then feel frustrated and cry “slow metabolism” when there can be tons of other things happening from a distorted view of what we actually take in.  Awareness is key.  You can turn on the awareness in a healthy way without weighing and measuring everything.  But, actually paying attention to those things you can easily overeat, it might serve you well to stick to single serving sizes or actually acclimate yourself to what a true serving size looks like….that’s not a bad thing, you know?
  2. How many liquid calories are coming in?  This one used to trip me up big time.  I drink plenty of water, and…a fair amount of coffee (and I do keep the half and half usage in check).  However, I used to struggle with liquid calories from…  In two different ways.  In my younger years, I could definitely party my face off on the weekends, and “eat great” during the week, but then basically drink enough calories from Thursday through Sunday to unwind all the healthy eating during the week.  Three nights of partying, at about 100 calories per bottle of my beer of choice back then, adds up.  The second thing this would do for me was make it easy to eat lots of bar food at 3AM, or make it extremely easy to choose foods that were not healthy….three nights out of most weeks.  I’m not gonna lie to you and say don’t enjoy some drinks.  But….there is a big difference in enjoying some strategic drinks during the week, and then enjoying some DRANKS, you know?  I still enjoy beer, and it definitely isn’t the 100 calories per bottle kind.  It’s just at a much more moderate level now.  So, finding a healthy balance for YOU is key.  Everyone is different.  Oh, and feel free to substitute beer for Pepsi or Mt. Dew or Monsters or whatever you are drinking that contains calories.  And PS….I have some nights every once in awhile where it’s time to enjoy some DRANKS, too.  Keeping it to every once in awhile versus most weeks is key for me.
  3. Are you trying to justify eating clean or low carb or a certain way to avoid facing the calorie reality?  No matter if you eat clean or Paleo or low carb….all foods have a calorie cost. No matter if you use Stevia instead of sugar, or brown rice instead of white, or sprouted grain bread versus white bread, or gluten-free-organic-free-range-fair-trade-non-gmo barbecue sauce over Sweet Baby Ray’s….everything has a caloric cost.  Certain ways of eating are generally just ways to get you to cut calories by some means or another.  But….you can still eat too many calories from eating a certain way, and not see your scale change, or see your scale increase, and then feel puzzled because that’s not to happen when you eat “that way.”  Even if you eat only good foods, the scale can go the opposite way than what you’d like, if you eat too many.  It might start to feel like you are powerless, and that for sure, your metabolism must really stink, because you are eating all the right things.  But, to be honest, there’s a good chance it’s just a caloric problem (eating too much, even if they are the right things), and not always about slow and broken metabolisms.  Sure, some might do better eating fewer carbs and a little more fat, or vice versa, but that’s a personal preference and adherence tool, which is a calorie balancing mechanism, and not necessarily anything to do with a slow metabolism.
  4. Been through a life change lately?  I find that many people struggle during certain life changes.  I can identify to many of these life changes myself.  A new relationship?  It’s easy to find yourself out to eat more frequently.  Becoming an adult?  It’s easy to feel like your metabolism is a jerk right about the time you’ve settled into a full time job from college life where you were maybe more active.  Right about the time when you might be planning your wedding, and rocking your workouts to be fit as can be on wedding day, you might feel opposite during the first year of marriage when you are learning how to be in a marriage, settle in, do marriage things, workout a bit less, and the like.  Add some babies to the mix, where your body gains and loses weight as it needs to (or doesn’t), and you find yourself with less time for yourself and a ton of time caring for a new human or two and figuring out how to do all that.  Then….menopause, when hormones are JACKED THE EFF UP for awhile.  Combine lack of sleep which can fuel cravings, with a time in life that might be more sedentary, and your hormones playing some serious roles with how you function….well, it’s kind of a shitstorm.  You guys….lots of opportunities here for us to think about metabolisms being slow that could actually be somewhat true, but also….there’s a lot of other things at play here.  Oh, and PS, as we age, it’s easy to lose muscle, which is a factor for everyone….a healthy amount of muscle on a body makes us a little bit better at burning calories even when we aren’t doing anything…and, if we LOSE that muscle, well…you can see what happens.
  5. Are you gaining and losing the same 10 pounds over and over and over?  Meaning….are you on a diet all the damn time, and then going off your diet when the 10 pounds are gone but never really addressing your overall approach or sustainability to keep you maintaining?  In my coaching experience (and in my own personal history with dieting), it isn’t actually the fact that someone decides to drop a few pounds and cuts some strategic calories to move the scale.  It’s HOW that process happens and the trickle down effect after.  If you mindlessly slash calories for a short time, it’s damn easy to rebound.  And rebound hard.  And then feel terrible about yourself for rebounding.  And doing it again.  And again.  And pretty soon, you are always on a diet.  And your body is probably not responding the way it once did because, well, you’ve sort of messed with some things internally – your hormones, your hunger signals, and your thought process about food.  From my own experience, it tooks lots of small tweaks and changes over time, and learning how to like how I exercise, how I eat, and how I think about alllll those things, and find ways to do them that doesn’t have anything to do with being “on a diet” because….this is just how I do those things now.  My clients who make changes a little more slowly (and sometimes they feel frustrated by doing things one at a time versus ALL the things at one time)…well, those clients are not having their weigh swing around wildly either.  And they are also finding ways to eat all foods, and not restrict or count tons of things.  And, they report feeling balanced, and also not so out of control around certain foods or food in general.

The above five questions are a place for you to start if you find yourself thinking you have a slow metabolism.  Think of it like a personal assessment, a data gathering tool.  Please don’t think of it as a judgement of yourself, your worth, or your character, because that just isn’t useful.  It’s just a tool to help you take inventory of things that might be happening that don’t have anything to do with the rate you actually burn calories.

I strategically avoided movement and exercise for the most part here, because, well, for most….it’s food related.  How we feel about it, how we interpret the choices we make, and how we label our eating.  Oh, and how we TRUST ourselves to make food choices.  Lots of times, alllll those things jack around with our ability to be in caloric balance, and not actually have an impact on our metabolism, even though it might feel like our metabolism is actually the problem.

Ok, this is a good stopping point for this installment.

We will continue our deep dive into metabolisms!  Stay tuned for ways we can be kind to our metabolism and even help ourselves out a bit AND an action plan to help you develop a bangin’ metabolism long term!

Was this helpful?  Please share with your best girl friend….let’s get great quality USABLE information out there for the masses 🙂

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