It’s amazing what can happen in 3 months.
I’d like to introduce you to my client, Liz. She joined my online nutrition coaching program to lose weight and improve her blood work.
She just wrapped up 3-months of working with me and lost 23 pounds and 5 inches from her waist.
I’m waiting to hear back from her on the blood work (if you’re reading this, Liz you owe me an update 😆) – but I’m willing to bet it will be phenomenal.
Update: Bloodwork came in
Today, I wanted to share with you exactly what we focused on together. Along with some tips and suggestions from, Liz as you set off on your own fitness journey.
Is it realistic to lose 20 pounds in 3 months?
If it’s not, Liz did something unrealistic by losing 23 pounds in 3-months.
When I first spoke with, Liz I set the expectation that if she was adherent to the plan we could anticipate between a 10-pound and 30-pound loss.
Rates of progress will vary from person to person based on a number of things. But reasonable rates of progress for most are .between 5% to 1.5% of your body weight per week.
Liz was starting at 175 pounds which gave us an estimate of .875 and 2.6 pounds per week.
For a 200-pound person that would be between 1 and 3 pounds per week. A 150-pound person may expect to lose between .75 and 2.25 pounds per week.
You may lose more or less, but these numbers typically allow for steady progress that is easy to sustain for a longer period of time. More aggressive diets may lead to faster progress but are harder to stick to due to an increased appetite, dietary restriction, fatigue, and other factors.
Reducing your caloric intake too low may also result in a lack of protein which may result in strength and muscle loss. Definitely not something you or your metabolism wants.
Looking at Liz’s weight loss chart you’ll notice that some weeks we exceeded this and other weeks we did not. Weight fluctuations like this are very normal due to a number of factors.
If you’re currently trying to lose weight and don’t experience results like this do not freak out. You want to look for trends over time. For example, you’ll notice that Liz has weeks where her weight goes up and down.
Instead of looking at day-to-day or even week-to-week trends, you want to pay attention to trends over a longer period of time. You’ll notice that Liz’s weight went up from mid-September to the end of September.
During this time, Liz was adherent to the plan, getting in workouts, and doing all the right things. Most people freak out during this time, shake their fists at the sky and say, “this isn’t working for me – I quit!.”
But, Liz stayed the course, and in early October weight started coming off again. Together we were able to talk through this, make minor adjustments, and start progressing again.
Exactly what we did together
Week 1: Onboarding and food journal
I start every client with a one-week onboarding phase with a food journal. This allows them to get comfortable with my coaching app, communicate with me regularly, set aside time for the program, and lets us learn about what they’re actually doing versus what they think they’re doing.
With the food log, we can analyze what’s going well, not as well as they would like, and focus on the lowest-hanging fruit to start getting results.
Week 2-3: Balanced plates and food journaling
Based on Liz’s client questionnaire, current challenges, and food journal we agreed that focusing on creating and eating mostly balanced plates, and continuing the food journal was the best course of action.
Week 4-5: Purposely wait 4-6 hours and food journal
We started to notice some mindless snacking and nibbling and choose to focus on purposely waiting 4 to 6 hours between meals. This was an opportunity to check in with hunger cues.
Was, she physically hungry during this time, or was it something else (angry, lonely, tired, bored, stressed, just because the food was there, etc…)
Week 6-7: Calorie/nutritional awareness and food journal
We continued with the food journal and other practices but began focusing on creating more calorie and nutritional awareness. We did not track calories or macronutrients during this phase.
Instead, we got an idea of her calorie and protein needs and started reading nutritional labels, menu’s when dining out, and serving sizes as a way to create more awareness around what and how much she was eating.
Week 8-9: Eat more mindfully
Towards the end of our work together we added in some mindful eating practices to build on the hunger and appetite awareness she created.
During this 2-week stretch, we were able to eat slowly, improve digestion, and eat less without changing the food she ate.
Because she was eating slower and without distraction, she was better able to assess when she was 80% full.
Week 10+: Tracked calories, protein, fiber
We wrapped up coaching by tracking calories, protein, and fiber. We didn’t worry about her carbs or fats during this time. So long as those three things were being met she would continue to progress, maintain muscle, and strength, and feel satiated at meals.
Liz was a little concerned with this phase of the protocol but we were able to come up with strategies that made this feel less intimidating and tedious.
Rapid Fire Q&A With Liz
So there you have it. The exact approach, Liz used to lose 23 pounds in 3 months.
If you need some extra support and accountability, please do not hesitate to reach out. Schedule you’re free consultation at the link below.
I want to leave you with a rapid-fire Q&A that Liz and I did together. Hopefully, today’s read acts as inspiration for you on your fitness journey.
How were you able to balance working out, creating healthy meals, and fitting in time for the people and things you love?
Well, luckily I’m retired but putting a priority on my health helped.
Liz focused on what she could do given the time she had available to her. Liz was on the road for a week while working with me and it required us to get creative with meals on the go. As well as finding ways to move her body in meaningful ways that did not require a gym or equipment.
Describe a typical day for you before you started focusing on health and wellness.
Not tracking any calories and not knowing if I was eating g too many carbs, not enough protein etc. No meals planned.
Her tracking didn’t mean weighing everything she was eating on a food scale or logging it into Myfitnesspal. Sometimes it was a simple picture log so that we could talk about what was going well, not as well as we would like, and where we can adjust.
Describe a typical day for you now.
Plan more meals. Have some go to breakfasts and meals. I weigh myself every morning.
Creating 4 to 6 “go-to” meals was key for, Liz. It took a lot of the guesswork out of what and how much to eat. It also made it easy for us to adjust based on the results she was getting. When more variety was needed, we simply created a new meal together.
What was the toughest change that you needed to make? What strategies did you use to change?
Keeping track of how much I was eating. Not just eating anything I wanted at any time but planning for it. Getting fruit or veggies in the morning and enough protein.
What was your biggest motivation to seek out a nutritionist (nutrition coach)?
Health and weight loss.
What were you most nervous about when working with a nutritionist, on your diet, and healthy eating habits?
Keeping daily record and updates seemed very overwhelming at first.
Working with a coach and getting accountability can be scary. You’re being vulnerable with someone and that takes a lot of courage. Liz was able to lean into that discomfort and practice doing the hard thing.
Aside from your body changing how has developed the habit of healthy nutrition and exercise affected you?
Not feeling like I’m hungry all the time.
Protein, fiber, and healthy fat for the win. This is the ultimate trifecta for satiation with meals.
What surprised you most about adjusting your diet/eating habits?
That I’m still able to eat sweets in moderation and lose weight.
Learning how to eat the foods you enjoy in the right amounts for your goals is important for long-term success. If you don’t enjoy the plan you’ll never be able to follow it.