1. Question: I want to lose weight as quickly as possible. What is the best way to start?
Answer: Focus 100% on nutrition. A healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week on average, although everyone is different. It took longer than a week to put the weight on, so understand it will take a bit to lose it. Don’t rely on the scale to measure your success. Weigh yourself as a starting point but hide your scale afterwards. You should NOT weigh yourself daily. This will discourage you. A good way to measure your success is to take measurements with a tape measure every four weeks. I like to measure these areas: chest, arms, waist, hips, glutes and thighs. Taking photos are also a great measure of success. The scale doesn’t know you are replacing fat with muscle. Muscle takes up less space than fat, so it’s possible that the scale won’t change for a while but you are losing inches and body fat. For example, when I first started eating clean and measuring my portions, I weighed 140 pounds and was about 24% body fat. After just a few months, I was down to 15% body fat and still weighed 140 pounds! However, I went from a size 8/10 to a size 4 jeans. Amazing! It really is a science so trust the process and give it your all. Also, stay away from the fad diets. It’s important to find a realistic way of eating so you can maintain it for life. It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. 8-12 weeks is just the right amount of time to see BIG results! Be patient with yourself and your body. Strive to be better every day.
2. Question: Should I avoid carbohydrates in order to lose weight?
Answer: No. Complex carbs are great for you and give you energy. You burn more calories when you eat complex carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, etc. Avoid simple carbs like chips, crackers, candy and processed foods.
3. Question: Should I restrict calories to lose weight?
Answer: The first six pounds you lose on a restrictive diet is loss of muscle. Muscles tones your body. You never want to restrict calories or “diet” because that isn’t sustainable long term. I like to “eat for my goals.” If I feel my pants fitting a little snug, I clean up my nutrition. That’s 80% of it. In order to get the best results in the shortest amount of time, eat a diet of lean proteins, complex carbs, veggies and healthy fats. Fruit is great too in moderation.
4. Question: How much food is enough?
Answer: I recommend a balance of about 20-25g of protein and carbs per meal. Healthy fats are great in moderation, so 1-2 serving sizes per day is a good goal. For best results, eat a small meal every 3 hours, 5 meals per day. Check out the sample meal guides in your membership portal for examples.
5. Question: Should I only do cardio for weight loss?
Answer: I don’t recommend doing only cardio for weight loss. Cardio only makes you a smaller version of yourself. It doesn’t tone your body. For best results, I recommend a combination of weight training and cardio. Don’t be afraid that lifting weights will make you “bulk up.” We only appear bigger when we lift weights and eat bad. That’s adding muscle to fat. However, if you eat well and lift with moderate amounts of cardio, you will become a lean machine! Having more muscle means you burn calories all day. Cardio only burns calories while you are performing it. Work smarter, not harder!
6. Question: I hate running. Do I have to run for cardio?
Answer: No. In fact, I typically don’t run either. Running for distance tends to elevate your heart rate for long periods of time and can actually burn muscle. This can hinder your results. So unless your goal is to train for a half or full marathon, I don’t typically recommend running. I prefer steady state cardio like the elliptical, cycling, stairmill or walking uphill. Another effective cardio option is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). That is when you perform short bursts of high intensity movement for short intervals. For example, sprinting 40 seconds, walking for 2 minutes, then repeat.
7. Do I need a heart rate monitor?
Answer: A heart rate monitor is great to make sure your heart rate is in your fat burning zone during steady state cardio. The formula is: 220 – your age = A number. Multiply that number by 70% and then 80%.
For example, 220 – 35 years old = 185. 185 x 70% = 129 and 185 x 80% = 148. So, a 35 year old needs to keep their heart rate between 129 and 148 during steady state cardio. Anything lower isn’t doing much for fat loss and anything higher can burn muscle. This formula does not apply during HIIT cardio because your heart rate is only high in the interval and low in the easier interval.
Here are a couple of options I have used:
Fitbit Blaze: http://amzn.to/2xO09eY
Mio Heart rate monitor: http://amzn.to/2xNXLov
8. Question: Will lifting weights make me bulky?
Answer: Women do not have the testosterone levels that men do. Therefore, we won’t get bulky by lifting weights. As long as you eat well and focus on your nutrition, you will tone up and get lean. See answer for question #5 as well.
9. Question: Do I have to quit eating at a certain time of the evening?
Answer: No. There is not a cut off time for eating in order to be successful with your goals. However, it is important to eat the right things. Typically, we aren’t active at night. If I am hungry later in the evening, I choose a lean protein source and steamed veggies so that I feel satisfied. If I am awake late on the weekends, sometimes I have 6-7 small meals in a day.
10. Question: What is the best way to get rid of cellulite?
Answer: You can reduce cellulite by decreasing your body fat. This is done with proper nutrition and working out. Mainly nutrition. I notice anytime I get over 22% body fat or so, my cellulite is very visible. When I get fairly lean 15%-21% body fat, it is diminished or barely visible. Being thin doesn’t mean you have a low body fat either. Everyone’s body is so different. If your goal is to diminish the look of cellulite, I recommend eating a meal plan like that in my programs. Lean proteins, complex carbs, veggies and healthy fats. It has changed my life and my body!
11. Question: What can I do to get more definition in my abs?
Answer: I was asking this question just 8 years ago. Ever heard that saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen”? It’s true. I did not see any ab definition until I focused on nutrition. In other words, I started using a food scale and measuring cups to make sure I was eating enough AND not over eating. You can hold body fat doing either of the two, believe it or not. You can do all the crunches you want but it does no good if your ab muscles are hiding under a layer of fat. By seriously focusing on your nutrition, you will get great results and change your body.
12. Question: How do I stop snacking at night and just being hungry all the time in general? Weight loss supplements/diet pills are the only thing that controlled it in the past but it’s not sustainable and the results don’t last.
Answer: Typically when we snack at night it’s a good indication that we aren’t eating enough during the day. Weight loss supplements and diet pills are not the answer (carb blockers, fat burners, etc). The sustainable way to decrease cravings and make sure your body is fueled while increasing your metabolism is to eat the way I coach in my programs. Eat every 3 hours, 5 meals a day with a protein/carb/fat combination. It works!
13. Question: What is a good pre-workout meal?
Answer: If you are lifting weights early in the morning, it’s a good idea to have something on your stomach 30-60 minutes before you work out. My favorite is an IsaLean shake. It’s a full meal with 24g of protein and carbs, plus it’s light on your stomach and doesn’t make you feel full while lifting and doing cardio. Another great option is an IsaLean bar. They are delicious and also a full meal replacement. You can certainly use any protein and carb combination for a meal. For example, egg whites and ½ cup of oatmeal is another great go-to for pre-workout fuel. If you are splitting up your workouts, you can definitely do cardio first thing on an empty stomach but be sure to drink water during your session.
14. Question: Can I drink alcohol?
Answer: Once when I was in college, I cut out alcohol for one month and dropped eight pounds. It was clear to me at that point that my body does not respond well with frequent alcohol consumption. Alcohol is empty calories that can hinder muscle growth and triggers something in our brain that makes us want to snack. Typically people don’t reach for the healthiest snacks while drinking. Drinking interferes with your ability to burn fat. Normally the liver metabolizes calories from fat but when we drink, that takes a backseat so that your body can break down the alcohol. I won’t tell you to quit drinking completely if it’s part of your lifestyle, however, I would recommend limiting alcohol to 1-2 drinks a week. Or, if you’re really serious about your goals, cut it out for a month and see what happens. You’ll amaze yourself!
15. Question: Can I eat cheese?
Answer: I get this question all the time! Cheese is mostly saturated fat and I believe it to be somewhat addicting. There was a time where I added shredded cheese to all my food. And guess what? I never lost any weight. We don’t actually need cheese for anything because we can take a calcium supplement. If you are really serious about dropping body fat, I would cut out the cheese and save it for once a week with your cheat meal. As an alternative, you can use 2% cheese but I would limit it.
16. Question: Should I eliminate sugar?
Answer: You do not need to eliminate sugar from your meal plan to be successful. As a rule, I like to keep my sugar intake between 25g – 50g per day. That’s always been my magic number to staying successful. Dairy tends to have more sugar so if you track your intake and see that you’re going over, you can cut back on dairy products.
17. Question: What about salad dressings?
Answer: I typically use a low fat salad dressing or salsa for salads. Many salad dressings are high in fat and sugar, so just use sparingly. Another option is using plain greek yogurt.
18. Question: Do I have to work out every day?
Answer: You do not need to work out every day to be successful. Usually a plan of 3-5 days a week is perfect.
19. Question: I don’t have a gym membership. Can I be successful working out at home?
Answer: You can be very successful working out at home. In fact, after I had my baby I pretty much just worked out at home for a while. There are a few items I recommend to start your home gym. Check them out in this blog post: http://www.kelseybyers.com/2015/04/8-pieces-of-equipment-you-need-in-your.html/
20. Question: How long should I work out?
Answer: You can get a very effective workout in 30-60 minutes. I like to time my workouts and get it done as quickly as possible. You do not need to spend hours in the gym to get great results.
21. Question: Are supplements necessary to get great results?
Answer: I will say that no supplement is a quick fix or will do the work for you. A supplement should “supplement” a clean nutrition plan. Having said that, I love to use a BCAA drink mix that helps with muscle recovery. I also use meal replacement shakes daily to save money on groceries and to save time meal prepping. If you are interested in the product line I use, fill out the contact form on www.ilivemyway.com and I am happy to make suggestions based on your goals and budget. There are dairy-free options as well. The shakes and bars I use are safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. They are gluten-free, soy-free and have no artificial sweeteners.