Amanda Fisher Coaching

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

Author: Amanda (page 2 of 168)

Building A Bangin’ Metabolism: Why Is My Metabolism A Mystery?

This is post numero uno in my Building A Bangin’ Metabolism Series…..

The past few weeks I have had many, MANY questions on the mysterious metabolism. MANY.  And in the past I’ve probably shied away from this topic because it involves a ton of work to lay a foundation of truth, provide detail and facts, and….well, sometimes I’m just running low on coffee and energy and the idea of talking AGAINST what is preached at us on social media, and spewed through shares of “truthful” information, well…it sometimes seems like a big damn task.

However,  women deserve and need quality information, and need to know their “big dial movers” when it comes to metabolism and what things they can do to help themselves.  Said another, how can we spend most of our energy on the few things that ACTUALLY matter most?

And with many questions like :

“Whyyyyyyyy is my metabolism so slow?”

“How much does my metabolism slow down every year?”

“Why can’t I have one of those metabolisms like skinny people have, the people who just eat and eat and eat and never gain weight?”

Well, I knew it was time.  Time to break down metabolisms, and their mysteriousness.  Because I get it.  I spent loads of years floundering around wondering if I was wrecking my metabolism by eating too many carbs, or toxins, and other food groups.  I also spent loads of time gaining and losing the same 15 pounds, and either feeling fabulous or feeling like shit, depending if I was up or down.  And, I was FRUSTRATED, because WHY was this so hard to understand.  And, of course, I was using crap information to base my decisions off of.  So, basically, here is the anti-crap so YOU can take the easy route and skip all the bullshit I waded through for so damn long 🙂

Like anything I find as a nutrition and strength coach, the answer always lies in the “it depends” arena on this topic.  Everything depends on a whole lot of things.  Which makes sense, of course, because there are lots of things at play here.

So maybe it makes sense to start from the beginning in this post.

Like….the foundation.  So we can help break down the actual foundation of metabolism.  You know, the building blocks.  The brick and mortar.

I mean, we can’t put a roof of knowledge on a house and foundation made of fluff, can we?  I mean….who can make educated decision on that?  How do we build a bangin’ metabolism without knowing what actually goes into the equation first?

So, this post we are deep diving into just that.  The foundation.

Let’s learn exactly what makes up the mysterious metabolism……

In general terms, your metabolism is basically what is costs to exist everyday.  That’s really it.  Just “exist.”  But that sort of simplicity is what makes us all go “but what the hell,” right?  So let’s break it apart a bit better.  Because “existing” is one piece of the equation, and we need to talk about three other pieces (called living, real life) to kind of understand how this all fits and works.  Before going into the pieces though, I want you to understand something.  There are always degrees of variation in these pieces.  I can toss out some percentages, but to be honest, “it depends” on each individual, their genetic makeup and habits, their lifestyle, gender, and other stuff.  So….just know, I’m giving you the four pieces, and the percentage of how they make up or impact your metabolism, but….it varies a bit on either end, too, ok?

Piece 1 – Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).  Ladies, this is the biggest piece, and what we think of as metabolism and what we reference when we toss out phrases like “I have such a slow metabolism!”  Roughly 60% of our total output (or what it takes calorically/energy needs wise for us to live our life everyday) is RMR.  Remember, though, “it depends,” and the variation of a few percentage points, of course.  So what actually goes into this piece?  This is basically, you, existing without doing a whole lot.  Think laying on the couch and not moving, and catching up on Real Housewives of Orange County….barely lifting an arm except to fast forward through the commercials.

I find that this tends to be the piece that trips ladies up.  This tends to be the piece that many use as a calorie calculation/target each day.  The amount of energy it takes us to “exist.”  And, well, there is MUCH more to the story, seeing as this only accounts for 60% of our energy output, give or take.  So I like to highlight this because calculating our energy needs solely off this number is just usually not enough, because there is 40% (give or take) of the equation to still account for.  Eating enough for just THIS often leads to massive undereating, which can bring on cravings and then going off the rails, then a cycle of guilt, and gaining and losing the same pounds year after year.  

Piece 2 – Thermic Effect Of Eating (TEE, sometimes called TEF/Thermic Effect Of Food).  Yes, it COSTS energy to eat and digest food.  You know, because that’s additional, on top of laying on the couch watching Housewives, only moving to run the remote or blink.  This is 5-10% of the equation (give or take a few points as always).  It costs energy to chew, to swallow, to digest, and then it costs more or less energy based upon if you eat more whole foods (takes a bit more to digest) than it does if you eat things like smoothies or highly processed foods (those things are easier to digest).

I like to talk about this piece because honestly, so many women struggle with fearing food, and viewing food as the enemy, and dang, we get to burn calories from eating calories (of course, strategically, and being mindful, and other things are at play here).  But it helps us see that food is not something to fear.  And, if you are struggling with preparing foods, I’d love for you to give my FREE #20Under20 meal system a run!  20 simple and tasty and healthy meals prepared in less than 20 minutes, yo!

Piece 3 – Physical Activity (Sometimes called Training, Intentional Movement, etc).  This piece is what you actually make an effort to get your body some movement in during the day.  Maybe you strength train three times per week.  Maybe you run three days a week.  Maybe you make an effort to go for a walk each and every day, or do a 30 minute yoga flow every morning when you wake up.  This piece is intentional, and what you are doing to move your body in a specific way.  Here’s the dealio on this piece, though.  It’s highly specific as far as output goes.  It obviously depends on your height, weight, gender, intensity or selection of exercise, etc.

I like this piece.  Because, well, if you are stuck in chronic diet mindset, we get caught up in physical activity being a way to burn off our food choices.  And really, we can use it as an intentional way to better our bodies, and help our output.  It can actually be a helpful tool to better our RMR, but we will talk about that in future posts, mmmmmkay?  

Piece 4 – Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).  This is basically every move we make besides “just existing” and physical activity.  Like tapping your foot when you are impatient.  Or scratching an itch, standing and chopping veggies, or brushing teeth and doing your hair.  Literally every move you make aside from existing and intentional exercise.  Again, the percentage of energy output here is based on LOTS of factors – weight, height, gender, lifestyle, etc.

I think most people hear “eat less, move more” and interpret that as eat less and exercise more.  Welllll…..for many, it means literally MOVE MORE in this non-exercise fashion.  Less sitting, more doing and moving and such.  Moving more in a non-exercise fashion is an excellent tool in our toolbox that doesn’t usually create an uptick in hunger or compete with life much, or recovery from workouts.  Not to sound corny, but it is neat to get NEAT, lol.  

So, a quick summary, yes?

RMR (sort of our actual metabolism) is roughly 60% of our energy (calorie) output every day.  RMR is existing, bare minimum…not really living your normal life.

Eating costs energy, too.  Somewhere in the 5-10% of our energy output everyday, but again, it depends on certain factors.

Physical activity and NEAT fill the roughly 30% gap that is leftover.  So you can see, these two combined carry a nice chunk of output.  But, they depend on YOU.

We tend to think about our metabolism as a calculator.  We want the input and output to reconcile and work out according to our goals.  But, it’s not as simple as a daily target all the time.  We need to think of metabolism as shifting and averages.  And not get so damn caught up in specific numbers.

So, this is meant to help lay the foundation on metabolism so we can see what carries the most weight (pun always intended), and where we can be strategic.  I hope this was helpful for you!  If it was, please pass this on to your best girlfriend who could use some crazy helpful info.

Over the next few posts, I’m going to dive deep into:

  • The typical reasons women usually struggle with a “slow metabolism” and feeling frustrated
  • Ways that women can strategically help out their metabolic game, AKA build a bangin’ metabolism
  • Things women can strategically avoid to hurt their metabolism
  • Provide actionable steps to take to audit your own metabolism

Sound good?  Stay tuned!  We have LOTS to cover!

References for this post:

Precision Nutrition – I’m a certified nutrition coach

Why You Shouldn’t Obsess For 80 Days (A Beachbody Rant)

Ah yes.  Today is the day.  The day I’m done being Switzerland about Beachbody.

I’m going to rant about the “latest and greatest” Beachbody program….80 Day Obsession.

AKA another way for people to get sucked into the mentality that fitness (and nutrition, if you’re a “fixer”) must be BALLS TO THE WALLS in order for it to count.

Let’s start with the name of the program.

80 Day Obsession.  AKA 80 Days Of Disordered Thinking About Yourself, Your Fitness, And Your Food.

I don’t know about you, but 80 days is a long ass time for me to be obsessive about my workouts and my nutrition.  Hell, one day is too long to be obsessive about those things.  I’m more like….let’s lift a few times a week, enjoy our eating, and then still do the mom-ing, and the working and not just be so damn focused on “pushing play” for the sake of pushing play to say “I was obsessed for 80 days.”

There doesn’t seem to be room for growth with an 80 day obsession.  There just seems to be room for starting a program, being crazy about it for 80 days, and then stopping.  Then what happens?  Are you “indifferent” for 80 days beyond that?

According to Beachbody’s website, under FAQ’s….in order for someone to be successful with the 80 day obsession….

….You need discipline and dedication—and a willingness to work hard for maximum results! To reshape your body in a specific way like this requires an obsession to detail, including following the Timed-Nutrition Eating Plan and giving your all in every workout. It’s not easy, but don’t worry, Autumn and the cast will be right there with you, working just as hard!

To reshape your body requires an obsession to detail, people!  We aren’t doing it good enough anymore!  Plus, that timed nutrition eating plan!  I mean….

80 Day Obsession….another way of saying if you don’t prioritize nutrition and workouts to the hilt and live and die by them, you just aren’t good enough.

Here’s the thing.  It isn’t *just* about the 80 Day Obsession.

It’s that it isn’t good enough anymore to incorporate some strategic workouts and figuring out how the hell how to like how you eat after being on a diet for eleventy billion years.  Nope, now we gotta OBSESS.  And that really chaps my ass.  Because, well, isn’t the point of fitness and food to ENHANCE our life?  Not BE our life?

A quick question that I like to ask myself when I’m considering a new program or a nutritional approach….

Am I willing to do this for the rest of my life?  

I mean, because, if I’m not, well…where the hell are those “hardcore” results gonna go after the 80 obsessive freaking days?

Perhaps a better way to do this, Beachbody, is to help people find the intersection between where they can eat in a sustainably healthy fashion, work out in a sustainably healthy fashion, AND FUNCTION AND THRIVE IN THEIR LIFE IN A SUSTAINABLY HEALTHY FASHION (yes, those are shouty effing capitals).  Where is THAT program, Beachbody?  Where are THOSE “coaches” helping people do THAT?

*awkward crickets*

Oh that’s right.  There aren’t sales in those products.  There won’t be turnover in those products from the buyers needing to find “the next best program” after they obsess for 80 effing days.

How does a company in the multi billion dollar fitness and diet industry generate revenue?

Hint: they DON’T, if their target market suddenly decides to like themselves and doesn’t need the hardcore shit anymore.


You guys, this isn’t just about the 80 Day Obsession.  This is about the entirety of this brand.

Push play on this 80 day program.  Good job!  Whoops, not good enough, now buy this really freaking expensive superfood shake to go with it.  Good job, aren’t they delicious?  Aren’t you freaking nourished and #blessed?

Wait….we need help pushing this shit out to the masses, I know, let’s create “coaches!”

Suddenly spread in every feed in your social, hell, you’re lucky if you have just one in there.  There’s likely three or four.  Hinting that you should join their clean eating challenge.  Or their detox (the devil’s work).  Or….maybe you want to create YOUR #blessed life too, and start peddling the shit down the line to the next unsuspecting victims.

Here’s the thing.  I’m down if you want to push yourself in a workout program.  Dude, I push myself in workout programs!  I am down with that good stuff!  I am down with adding some healthy intensity to my life.  I’m also down with making my nutrition match my goals, so long as it’s sustainable and SANE.

I am absolutely not down with this shit running my life for 80 days, or 1 day.  I have better things to think about.

I am also not down with a company who talks down to the masses about “needing to feel good about wearing that swimsuit this summer.”  Because if it’s summer, you put a swimsuit on.  End of story.  And feel good about feeling good RIGHT NOW in it, too.

Oh, and let’s not quite stop there.  I’m not down with people who actually perhaps don’t have the training to advise people in workout programs or nutritional protocols, and the only credential they have is paying $49 or $99 to a company to buy a starter kit to help them peddle shit down the line.  That isn’t training.  That’s a pyramid.  No matter if you feel #blessed or not.

Here are the things I look for in a workout program for what it’s worth:

  • It’s intentional…the exercises inside of it help you be better at something, somehow, and help you shore up any weak stuff
  • It’s scalable….you can make it harder or easier, there isn’t a cookie cutter way or choreographed bullshit
  • It’s a tool in your toolbox, not your ENTIRE toolbox (meaning, it enhances your life, doesn’t RUN your life)

There are more things for sure, those are a quick list.  Shitshows like 80 Day Obsession are exactly why I wrote #MomBoss.  Because, well, it meets my criteria for a program, AND is short and sweet AF for busy mamas to get inside their workout and get out of it, so they can continue on wiping butts, winning the bread, and ending their day with a glass of wine (that doesn’t fit into a 21 day fix container, BTW).  I have no idea if #MomBoss is for you.  Only YOU can know that.  And a full disclosure on #MomBoss.  It will make you stronger and more resilient, but it won’t help you magically find happy, because that’s an inside job.  It is one tool in your toolbox.  And you already rock.  This will help you follow a strength program, stay focused, build mom muscle, and, to be honest, probably be stronger and more mobile than you even think can happen in eight short weeks.  But it can’t BE your life.  It can only be a tiny little sliver.  Because 80 days of freaking obsession is no way to live, mmmmkay?

PS – Gloves are off, Beachbody.  And, well, every MLM for that matter.

Four (Mom) Boss Tips To Avoid Passing Body Image Yuck On To Your Littles

Last week, I came across something disturbing AF on social media.  A body fat measuring scale for…………..KIDS.

Holy effballs, you guys.  I immediately wanted to throw up in my mouth a little, because this is potentially what we are doing to the NEXT generation.  Did you know that HALF of teenage girls have been on a diet?  I mean, I thought we were doing better than this at this stage.

Then, I got raged up.  I mean, what in the ACTUAL eff?

Then, I started thinking critically.  Instead of freaking out (well,I did internally)….I thought for a few days on what we CAN do to help our littles NOT deal in the body image ick that so many of us deal in.

Said another way, what things can WE Mom Bosses do right now to breed healthy confidence, and not shame or fear surrounding bodies or food.  Or, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t instill a nasty body image yuck cycle in those littles.

I’m definitely not an expert in this area.  I mean, I get caught up in body image yuck and have to check myself lots!  Having little girls has made that CRYSTAL clear.  My four tips aren’t exactly mind blowing.  However, they might create a stir in YOU, as you begin to have to deal with and/or unpack all the body image shit that YOU deal with internally, whether you know it or not.  This definitely isn’t meant to be a blame game for anyone (including myself), but it’s an opportunity to be aware and do better as we go.

And guess what?  We can talk and say all the right things about body image, but if WE don’t act the part, well, that’s not super awesome.  Actions always, always, always speak louder than words.  So I’m going to give you a variety of topics to process, with lots of questions.  This post isn’t about “how” to do this so much as to get you reflecting a little bit so YOU can figure out YOUR way of addressing this.

Check YOUR language.  How are you talking about YOUR body?  How are you talking about YOUR food intake?  What descriptions are you making of your body?  What words are present as you talk about health and weight and food?  This is a big damn clue, mamas.  We have a big opportunity to use lots of positive words around body image and food stuff.

  • Eating lunch gives me LOTS of energy.
  • Veggies give me big muscles!
  • I like how this outfit makes me feel.
  • I love my legs!

Mamas, we can go lots of places here, depending on the ages of your littles.  But more importantly, it starts with how YOU are talking about YOURSELF so THEY can learn, too.

Check YOUR actions.  Are you marching to the scale every day to mourn?  Are your littles seeing that?  What about the mirror?  What kid of expressions are your littles seeing when they are in front of the mirror with you?  Disgust, pinching skin, and yuck?  Or power, smiles, and appreciation?  I think lots of things can happen with mirror time that can be opportunities for learning and growth.  Yes, there are the muscle flexing times, I mean, DUH!  I think you can probably learn lessons from a bad day in the mirror, too, with a kid.  I mean, everything ISN’T rosey all the time in life and with body image.  Mirror time can easily be a time for reflection and appreciation, or even just to make yourself laugh with crazy faces and whatnot.  Oh, and are you always making yourself different meals than your littles?  Or are you eating what they eat to some extent?  If littles are eating pizza and mom’s plate is completely different, won’t there be questions…or even assumptions….that mom’s can’t eat like everyone else?

Measuring weight and body fat on a child is probably just not a great choice.  I’m no expert, but holy hell, getting the “how much do I weigh” and “do I have too much body fat” and “am I the same clothing size as my friends” thoughts into a child’s head is probably not ideal at all.  This can easily lead to “is this the right weight” or “am I too big” or a whole bunch of other yuck that just need not be present at home.  Of course, littles get exposed to things in the real world and at school and from social media, but holy hell, if we can keep home a measuring free zone, well….I think we can teach them that measurements aren’t the norm.

Face those conversations instead of avoiding them.  I mean, it can be easy to avoid or change the subject on a hard body image topic.  Avoiding doesn’t give littles an opportunity to learn a positive way (unless you are trying to avoid the “where do babies come from” convo and trying to make dad be the teacher on that one, lol).  I don’t know about YOU, but having these conversations at times feels like insane therapy for ME.  Having to face MY shit head up and put the conversation and lesson into words a four year old can interpret and learn from helps ME realize some of the yuck I’m STILL hanging on to in the back of my brain.  It simplifies it for me, to be honest.

Oof, you guys.  There isn’t one way here in my opinion.  But there are a lot of NOT awesome ways, too.  Ultimately it probably depends on the context and atmosphere and YOU and YOUR littles.

What say you on this topic?  I’m ALL ears.  Because if we unpack OUR shit, we can help our littles nix some of that baggage.

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