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FAQs: FASTer Way To Fat Loss Online Bootcamp

FAQs: FASTer Way To Fat Loss Online Bootcamp

Coach Amanda

Since I joined Amanda Tress’ program, FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I’ve gotten quite a few questions about carb cycling and intermittent fasting. I wanted to send this email to answer a few of them as well as a few questions that I anticipate!

(Coach Amanda is pictured to the right.)

There are over 1,000 women who have been through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. This program is very popular because it’s so incredibly effective!

Q: What is carb cycling?

A: A carb cycling program is an intentional variation of carbohydrate intake each week. Most carb cycling plans consist of high carb days and low carb days. In Amanda’s program, she bases our cycle on the workouts we will be doing to maximize fat burn and energy levels. It’s all about strategy and timing!

Q: Why carb cycle?

A: Long-term restriction of carbohydrates and calories can lower your metabolic rate and negatively affect your hormone levels. This is a big reason women find themselves at one of those weight loss plateaus.

For a short period of time, a significantly restrictive diet will bring you results. However, over time it will cause your metabolic rate to decrease.

Once that happens you will see your weight loss stop and will need to restrict calories even further to lose more weight, thus lowering your metabolic rate once again. Not only is this a terribly unhealthy way to live, it is also incredibly frustrating.

Q: What does carb cycling do?

A: Carb cycling allows for planned high carb days that increase your thyroid output and help you control hunger. Because you are cycling your carbs, you will also have low carb days that offset your high carb days.

With this type of cycle, you will continue to see fat loss, increased energy levels, and improvements to your overall body composition. Carb cycling improves insulin levels, helping your body to store less fat. When paired with intermittent fasting and effective workouts, carb cycling can help you break through those dreaded plateaus so you can truly look and feel your very best.

Q: What is intermittent fasting?

A: Intermittent fasting is not a type of diet but an eating schedule.

Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted. In the fed state (anytime your body is digesting food), your body’s insulin levels make burning fat a challenge. However, in the fasted state (8-12 hours after your body finishes digesting), your insulin levels are lower and better able to reach into your fat stores.

People rarely go into a fasted state throughout the day. In fact, the traditional theory of several small meals per day keeps us from ever reaching the fasted state.

In addition, that type of eating schedule regularly spikes our insulin levels which also hinders fat loss. So, while eating several small meals per day can lead to weight loss (calorie deficits always do), you will likely be losing both muscle and fat.

When you lose calorie-burning muscle, you lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat. You also might become frustrated because you never feel toned and fit, even though you are working out and eating clean.

Q: Will I be fasting daily?

A: Yes, and you already do! 🙂 Every night when you are asleep, you are fasting. In this program, we extend the nightly fast a few hours essentially skipping breakfast. It is called the FASTer Way to Fat Loss because we focus on implementing cutting edge strategies like intermittent fasting.

We will be fasting daily and have shorter eating windows than you may be used to. This is actually time-freeing in that you don’t feel that you’re constantly prepping, cooking, and eating. I find that I’m most productive and have the most energy during my fasted state!

Q: Is it okay to participate in FASTer Way to Fat Loss if I am breastfeeding?

A: Yes! However, there are some things we may need to modify. Here’s a video with more info. Throughout the program, you will listen to your body, and continually keep an eye on your milk supply. However, when you eat the foods God intended for you to eat, you most likely won’t see a decrease in milk supply. He’s designed our bodies intentionally, so fueling them well will not affect that. However, we will be sure to check on your caloric intake, because when you are living in too big of a calorie deficit and doing crazy, intense workouts, your milk supply can absolutely be affected. This program is designed to fuel your body in a way that is perfectly safe for nursing moms.

Q: Do I need to purchase any shakes or supplements to participate in this program?

A: No! Throughout the program, we will talk about the importance of probiotics and other supplements like BCAAs (here are my favorite BCAAs). However, none of them are required to participate. Amanda is a huge proponent of fueling your body with real food, and this program is based on that premise. Nothing is required but hard work, commitment, and positivity.

Q: Am I a good fit for this program?

A: This program is for women only (men can invest in the program but can’t be in any of the Facebook Groups). In addition, this program has been incredibly successful for women who have a foundation of working out and under 60 pounds to lose.

This program is challenging and will require commitment. If you have more than 60 pounds to lose and have not worked out in a long time, then the program can be adjusted to work for you, but it will require some modifying. If that’s you, Amanda will have you start with the nutritional cycle then ease you into our workouts. She truly wants you to see results but also wants you to be safe and remain injury free. So, if you have more than 60 pounds to lose, you will move a little more slowly, but will eventually be able to ease you into the full program and lifestyle, over time.

Q: Do I need a gym membership to complete the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?

A: No! Amanda offers both a gym and at-home workout versions. Both are equally effective and you are welcome to do either. I personally do that at-home version.

Q: What equipment do I need for the at-home workout version?

A: You will need 5 or 8 lb weights and a 20 or 25 lb weighted object. Amanda tries to accommodate for clients who do not have much equipment but if you have more weights and equipment at home you can also do some of the gym workout moves.

Q: Do I have to follow a strict meal plan?

A. Amanda provides a guideline for each day of our food cycle. For example, on low carb day, she will indicate that your goal is to consume less than 50g net carbs. She will explain how to calculate your macros (carbs, fats, protein) and also give you a sample meal plan and recipes. However, you will have the flexibility to consume the foods you truly enjoy (especially treats on leg day!).

Q: Am I required to be on Facebook to join the program?

A: Amanda hosts FASTer Way to Fat Loss community groups on Facebook (about 25 ladies in each group to keep it intimate). Most clients choose to join a Facebook community group for daily tips and accountability. While recommended, it is not required for participation in the program.

Q: What does my program investment include?

  • A convenient 6-week program that fits your busy schedule
  • A comprehensive program guide with resources to help you thrive including sample meal plans, a detailed program overview, and video interviews
  • Prep week with video trainings to set you up for success
  • Weekly workout plans which can be completed at the gym or at home
  • Accountability and a supportive approach that keeps you on track to accomplish your goals
  • Affordable package option that is among the lowest cost option you’ll find (only $199 total)
  • The focus, quality, intensity, and commitment you’d expect from Amanda, a trainer with 10+ years of success!

If you are ready to break through a plateau or move into an active fat loss mode, definitely consider joining Amanda’s 6-week program! You will not be depriving yourself of calories but rather fueling your body with proper nutrition for your workouts.

Hormonally, this protocol sets up your body’s metabolism to shed body fat!

Join HERE to get started with the upcoming group. This is a great opportunity for you to work with a top coach in the industry. Amanda will help you achieve your goals!

Please note that the first week is always a “prep” week to familiarize yourself with the program through video trainings, reading through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program manual, and getting your questions answered by Amanda before the official start the following week. This “prep” week is in place to set you up for success!

Email me at jill@jilljacobs.me if you have any questions!

Join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss today!

Blessings,

Jill


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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Q & A: What are BCAA benefits for women?

I’m a huge proponent of eating a whole foods diet and limiting supplements. However, there are a few supplements I do take personally and recommend for clients. The big 3 are protein powder, Krill oil, and BCAAs. Today, I want to share a bit with you about BCAA benefits.

I was recently asked by Emily and Debbie from Momsanity to sample their brand new BCAA powder. I happily obliged because it has all natural ingredients and perfect ratios of leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

BCAA benefits

Overview

BCAAs are branched chain amino acids. Simply speaking, they are broken down protein molecules and the building blocks for muscles.

Usually, BCAAs are purchased in powder form and added to water. They can be used for multiple purposes. Many people (including myself) use BCAAs when working out in a fasted state. The purpose for this is to provide the body with amino acids so that muscle tissue is preserved. When you workout, muscle tissue can be burned ALONG with fat. BCAAs help to preserve muscle tissue without having to eat prior to your workout.

BCAAs can also provide the body with energy similar to ingesting carbs but without the insulin response. This is another benefit to drinking them prior to working out fasted. BCAAs are also great for muscle retention and muscle gain, particularly in the post workout window. This is why most all commercial protein powders include BCAAs in them. Note that if you are eating a protein packed meal after your workout, you do not need to supplement with BCAAs at that time.

BCAA Benefits For Women:

  • Hunger and Craving Control – Given that fat loss often requires a lower carb intake than you’re used to, BCAAs can become your best friend for achieving leanness. They can help in regulating hunger and cravings by supplying the brain with the energy it needs. BCAAs can also lower cortisol. These lower cortisol levels will work to suppress your stress induced cravings. Research shows time and time again that BCAAs are fabulous for controlling cravings and managing hunger, especially for active women following a relatively low carbohydrate diet. In addition to balancing blood sugar, the BCAA leucine activates hunger controlling molecules in the brain.
  • Energy Boost –  What busy mom doesn’t need this benefit! Valine is considered the energizer. It promotes muscle endurance, blunts fatigue, helps with mental sharpness
  • Muscle Preservation – We work WAY too hard to put on muscle as ladies to lose it! As explained in the overview, BCAAs will help preserve your hard-earned muscle when you workout in a fasted state. Working out fasted is good for fat loss, but can cause muscle loss as well. Having more muscle is great for fat loss. BCAAs can provide the best of both worlds and allow us to workout fasted without the loss of hard-earned muscle. Leucine helps promote muscle (think lean mass) growth while assisting with fat-loss.
  • Lower Cortisol Levels – Cortisol is an important stress hormone that is responsible for increasing blood sugar and aiding in protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism – we need it in proper doses. The problem is most of us produce way too much. When we release cortisol along with low levels of Human Growth Hormone (think when you don’t get enough sleep) or high levels of insulin, cortisol causes muscle burning and fat storing (not good!). BCAAs lower cortisol and therefore help suppress cravings and hunger instigated by stress.

How and when do I take BCAAs?

For best results, it’s recommended to take BCAAs before/after a workout and any time that cravings strike – for many this is mid-afternoon or later in the evening.

While there are may different forms of BCAAs (flavored powders, pills, unflavored powders etc.) Momsanity’s NATURALLY flavored and sweetened BCAAs are THE BEST!

The pills get pricey and require a LOT of pill swallowing for proper dosing. The unflavored powders are unpalatable and VERY bitter. Almost ALL powders on the market are full of artificial ingredients and stimulants. Be cautious of any products marketed for “pre-workout” or even workout recovery as they often contain stimulants like caffeine and beta-alanine. These two things aren’t inherently BAD, just unnecessary and some women will respond negatively.

BONUS – BCAA gummies recipe:

Emily and Debbie are including a recipe book with your purchase! I wanted to share one of the recipes with you. The gummies are easy to make and great for those afternoon cravings.

Ingredients:
  • 1 scoop Momsanity BCAA powder
  • 3 packets of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • Optional – drops of lemon or lime juice
  • Optional – pureed fruit
  • Optional – package of flavored jello
Directions:
  1. Mix ingredients in a bowl (if using pureed fruit, add this after mixing).
  2. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time until mixture is clear and goopy. OR, cook on a stove top on low heat, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon mixture into silicone candy molds or ice trays,
  4. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove molds from freezer. Pop gummies out of the molds. Store in airtight container or eat right away.
  6. Enjoy!

Video: Why Use BCAAs


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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Food Cravings. How do I stop them?

One major struggle that women have is food cravings.

UGH! I know. It’s so frustrating to *want* to eat healthily but have food cravings pop up in the afternoon or evening when your willpower is at its lowest.

As you can imagine, I receive many emails asking the following question:

Q: How do I stop food cravings?

A: Besides eating for fat loss and making good lifestyle choices (like sleeping enough and de-stressing), there 2 primary supplements that I use to control or stop food cravings. Supplementation is rarely my recommendation, but when food cravings are a huge issue, these supplements are worth a try!

At the end of this post, I’ll give a few secondary ways to stop food cravings as well.

  1. Stop food cravings with BCAAs

BCAAs are branched chain amino acids.

Simply speaking they are broken-down protein molecules.

Usually, BCAAs are purchased in powder form and added to water. They can be used for multiple purposes.

Many people use BCAAs when working out fasted. The purpose for this is to provide the body with amino acids so that muscle tissue is preserved. When you workout, muscle tissue can be burned ALONG with fat. BCAAs help to preserve muscle tissue without having to eat protein prior to your workout.

BCAAs can also provide the body with energy similar to ingesting carbs but without the insulin response. This is another benefit to drinking them prior to working out fasted. BCAAs are also great for muscle retention and muscle gain, particularly in the post workout window.  This is why most all commercial protein powders include BCAAs in them.

Note that if you are eating a protein packed meal after your workout, you do not need to also supplement with BCAAs at that post workout time period.

BCAAs have been clinically shown to balance blood sugar (glucose) which makes them an excellent hunger and craving suppressant. Given the fact that fat loss often (not always) requires a lower carb intake than people are used to, BCAAs can become your best friend for achieving leanness. They can help in regulating hunger and cravings by supplying the brain with the energy it needs.

BCAAs can also lower cortisol. These lower levels will offer the overlapping ability to suppress your stress induced cravings.

Dosage is 5-10 grams pre (fasted) workout. If you are taking them to suppress hunger and cravings, 5 grams is a good dose.

My personal experience:

Although I’m personally a huge fan of getting all of my nutrition without supplementation, BCAAs is one of my exceptions. Most days, I work out fasted first thing in the morning. Working out fasted is good for fat loss, but can cause muscle loss as well. Having more muscle is great for fat loss. BCAAs can provide the best of both worlds and allow me to workout fasted without the loss of hard-earned muscle. I also use them successfully for my own cravings. When clients report having cravings, this is one proven way I can recommend that regulate body functions that fight those cravings.

Here are 3 of the name brands that I have used that taste great!

  1. Momsanity BCAAs are my top choice. It has all natural ingredients, perfect ratios of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and has a nice fruit punch flavor. This one is my top pick because of the ingredients and ratios of the BCAAs plus it mixes well in my water bottle! I featured this product in a blog post on the benefits of BCAAs for women.
  2. The MRM Reload is watermelon flavored. It is sweetened with stevia and xylitol which I prefer over artificial sweeteners. It stirs well with a spoon. They make a version sweetened with artificial sweeteners, so be sure to check the label in the picture before purchasing. The one I have linked was the correct version at the time of this blog post. 🙂
  3. The Scivation Xtend needs a little shaking to get it mixed well. It’s sweetened with sucralose (same as Splenda) and can cause some people GI issue (mainly gas and bloating) if used often. It’s very tasty in the green apple flavor (think: Jolly Rancher).
The science:

If you’re interested in the science behind BCAAs, here is a great article from Metabolic Effect which is where I received my nutrition coaching certifications as well as one of my personal training certifications.

2. Stop food cravings with 100% cocoa powder

Obviously, if you can get a handle on food cravings, you are less likely to grab that unhealthy food that’s calling your name. Consuming baking cocoa will also release serotonin in the brain causing you to feel happy and euphoric. 🙂 As a bonus, it has almost no calories, it’s high in fiber, and it contains compounds that blunt hunger and reduce cravings. Through research studies, it has been shown to lower blood pressure and balance blood sugar. Good stuff for the fat loss lifestyle!! Check out this blog post about cocoa by Metabolic Effect if you are interested in reading more.

Here is a way to incorporate cocoa into your daily fat-loss lifestyle. Grab a mug of this yummy drink as an after dinner treat or to curb an afternoon craving!

Hot Cocoa Drink

Ingredients:

  1. Hot Water
  2. 1-2 Tbsp of 100% baking cocoa
  3. Stevia to taste
  4. Optional: add a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne pepper to the drink, add a splash of almond milk, or even flavored stevia drops (like Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops English Toffee), add coffee to make it a mocha.

Directions: Heat a mug of water. Stir in a 1-2 Tbsp of 100% cocoa. Sweeten w/ stevia or Truvia to taste (approximately 3 packets but depends on your preferences). Enjoy!

Another pre-mixed option is Metabolic Effect’s Craving Cocoa. It has excellent reviews from many followers of Metabolic Effect!

food cravings

Additional Ways to Stop Food Cravings

  • Eat small amounts of protein regularly
  • Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep
  • Add flavor to water (lemon, lime, Vitamin Water Zero)
  • Unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon sprinkled on top
  • Drink hot tea
  • Chew gum
  • Brush your teeth
  • Eat a pickle
  • Have a piece of lower sugar fruit (sweet craving)
  • Have celery with peanut butter (crunchy craving)
  • Make an effort to avoid things that you KNOW trigger temptation and cravings
  • Go outside —> Get busy.
  • Give it time to pass
  • Know that success breeds success. Giving in will sabotage success.
  • Assure yourself that it WILL get easier the more you succeed!!!

Have you tried any of these methods? If so, comment below with what works best for you!

xo -Jill

p.s. If you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter to receive a free copy of my Lean Lifestyle Guide for Busy Women. The included meal plan is designed to help balance out your hunger, energy, and cravings. I know you’ll enjoy the guide!
p.p.s. For more “Q&A” style blog posts, click here. http://jilljacobs.me/category/qa/

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!