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Fitness & Nutrition Tips

What to Expect in Your Fat Loss Journey

In general, it’s a good idea to manage expectations and fat loss is no exception. Here are nine real world scenarios you can expect when you’re on your way to becoming a lean machine:⁣

1. Don’t expect the scale to drop right off the bat⁣. While initial loss is motivating, it’s usually a depletion of glycogen and water, which doesn’t make for a long-term solution. Be patient and keep working at it every day to lose fat⁣.

2. Expect weight and circumference fluctuations. Fat loss occurs over time, usually several weeks and months. Measurements in weight and centimeters don’t always reflect fat loss. Instead, note how clothes fit, how easy/hard it is to perform day to day activities, or take progress photos.

3. How much fat you lose and where you lose it is individual⁣. No need to compare your results to others. In fact, it doesn’t make any sense. ⬅️Read that again, please. ⁣

4. You could lose muscle mass⁣, especially if you recklessly restrict the amount of food you’re eating. Eat enough protein (0.8-1g per pound of body weight) spread out over several meals per day. Aim for an ideal fat loss rate of 0.5-1.5 pounds per week, limited to 8-12 weeks increments in order to preserve the muscles you’ve worked so hard to build.

5. Expect that you’ll probably get hungry⁣. Hunger isn’t required for fat loss, but it’s a sign that you’re in a deficit. Too much hunger means you’re not eating enough and/or the quality of the food your eating needs to improve. Make a change and see what happens⁣.

6. You may notice a performance dip⁣. Take 1-2 rest days a week, sleeping a minimum of 7 hours per night. It’s also ok to taper down training volume and intensity if you’re not recovering. Carbs can help speed recovery so keep some in your diet, especially if doing high intensity workouts (like CrossFit).

7. BE CONSISTENT! When your main goal is fat loss, you have a narrow margin for error. Accept that you might have to say no to some experiences in the short-term⁣.

8. Plateaus will happen so when they do, get more daily steps, audit your food choices, eat out less, weigh and track your food before taking away more calories (calorie restricting is a last resort).⁣ You may have to adjust your caloric intake more than once.

9. Take regular inventory of your progress- you’ll need to stop at some point. If ⁣you cut too many of your daily calories and you’re in a deficit too long, your health may suffer and there’s a high chance of yo-yoing. Make your best effort for 8-12 weeks and then adopt a nutrient maintenance program. Not sure how to do that? Hire an experienced coach to help⁣.

If you have any fat loss questions, I’m here for you! Just send an email to katy@instrength.online and I’ll get right back to ya :0)


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Fitness & Nutrition Tips

6 Tactics to Help Overcome Stress Eating

In difficult times, it’s easy to use food to cope and find comfort. It’s understandable. What we eat is within our control when the world is uncontrollable. We all know that stress/emotional eating isn’t great for our health. So what do we do? Here are some vital tactics to help overcome stress eating:

  1. Be gentle with yourself when it happens. Beating yourself up and making yourself feel guiltier only perpetuates the cycle. Recognize what happened and use the information you have to move forward.
  2. Feel what you need to feel. Negative emotions like stress, anxiety, boredom, anger and sadness create a void that can’t be filled with food- at least for long term. Food is only a distraction, it satisfies physical hunger and not much else. Resolve to deal with the root issues.
  3. Learn to recognize physical hunger vs emotional hunger. Try to eat when you’re physically hungry. Some indications that you’re physically hungry include: hunger comes on gradually- there is no event that triggers it, willingness to eat any food, sensation of fullness and satisfaction when finished, it is guilt/shame free. Contrary to physical hunger, emotional hunger is characterized by: hunger comes on suddenly or is triggered by a specific event, associated emotions (anger, anxiety, boredom, loneliness), desire for specific types of food, tastes or textures, difficult to sense fullness and hard to stop eating, feelings of guilt/ shame/remorse about eating.
  4. Slow down. If you want food, but you’re not hungry, take a 5 minute pause. Tune into what’s on your mind, what you’re feeling or what you need. Maybe you need a hug instead of a brownie- something you’d only realize if you took your time to figure out what’s really going on.
  5. There’s a chain of events that leads up to emotional eating. If we can disrupt that chain, we’re able to pump the brakes on it. For example, you could:
    – minimize skipping meals so you’re satisfied throughout the day
    – keep better food options close by
    – portion out servings onto a plate instead of eating from the container
    – eat at the table instead of in front of the tv
    – do something to help cope (go for a walk, practice yoga, meditate or breathe deeply, play games, call friends, play with pets, etc)
    – change the habits or events that lead up to emotionally eating
  6. If you’re still struggling, seek out support:
    – join a support group
    – work with a counselor or hire an experienced nutritionist

Managing emotional eating is tough but you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process. Progress is made with practice. Just take it day by day and you’ll be okay.


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Fitness & Nutrition Tips

Tips to Start Running Outdoors

Let’s face it. By now, I’m sure a lot of you are feeling antsy and looking for safe ways to get out of the house. Cabin fever is setting in for a lot of us and it can really darken your mood and motivation. A lot of people are taking to the streets with running along with deeper, more focused at-home training to alleviate some of the quarantine blues.

There has been a lot of discussion about the safety of running outdoors during quarantine as the pandemic is going on, and most experts have agreed that doing a solo run outdoors is a considerably safe way to keep your cardiovascular health up as long as certain precautions are taken. If you are feeling antsy for some cardio and want to try it out, I’ve compiled a list of things to consider to get you started the right way. Running outdoors is a fantastic way to keep yourself fit, improve sleep and concentration, and lighten your mood. This might be a great time to give it a shot!

During quarantine you should consider a number of things before starting a running program. First, check with your doctor to make sure that running is right for you and definitely don’t do it if you are feeling sick in any way. You’ll probably be better off doing it alone rather than with a buddy during this time and you’ll want to maintain a safe 6 foot distance from anyone else at all times, so avoid busy areas or areas with high traffic. You’ll need to avoid touching anything during your run, especially public water fountains or park benches for rest periods. When you are done, be sure to sanitize any equipment like your water bottle, towel, headphones, phone or anything else you touched. Sweaty clothes should be cleaned after every use.

If you are going to give it a try, here are some simple tips for getting started.

  • First, what to wear – Avoid too many layers so you don’t regret it later on in your workout. Moisture-wicking and light clothing is better than anything too heavy or loose so you can avoid chafing.
  • Your footwear should be comfortable and have good traction with the floor. How much support you have in your shoes is a huge debate in the industry right now, since overly supportive shoes can cause damage to joints throughout the body and too little support can also be tricky for some. But that is a huge discussion that can be addressed at another time. For the purposes of this post, just choose something comfortable that you can still feel the floor in, and dig in to some better research on the topic if you want to dive into specifics – because there is a lot of talk about this topic.
  • Don’t overshoot it at the start. The key is being consistent with your program so you’ll want to make sure you enjoy the workout and don’t leave yourself feeling beaten down after each run.
  • Start with a few dynamic stretches to get the body moving, like leg swings or walking lunges. Work your way into a brisk walk, and then intensify when you feel ready.
  • When running, stand tall, eyes forward rather than down with your chest slightly open. Feet should land right under your center of gravity each stride.
  • Once you get a good rhythm and are feeling like you’ve got a good pace going, focus on fuller, deeper breaths rather than short, quick ones. There are some specific breathing tempos and drills you can try but for starters, just focus on full breaths.
  • When exploring different speeds and intensities, let your leg stride determine how fast you go rather than quickening your legs too much. Lead with knees upward and pick up your feet to avoid “lazy legs” and tripping.
  • Try to relax into the repetitive movement by relaxing your shoulders, hands and especially avoid tense feet. Try to land mid-foot each step rather than striking your heels every step to avoid excessive impact.
  • For starters, don’t run on consecutive days to give your body ample time to recover between workouts. Starting a new program can put you at risk for overtraining and can lead to faulty movement patterns and injury.
  • End with a cool down walk and some mild static stretches to close out your workout.
  • Be sure to follow a targeted plan of progression and be sure to write down your progress after your run. This is a good way to keep yourself motivated and really see how well you progress with time.

Below is a really great program I found that walks you through a typical start-off to a great running program. I like this one because it hits all the points about keeping your targets realistic, manageable and not over-doing it. It’s always good to have a plan and I like the way this one progresses. If at any point you don’t quite feel ready for the next step in the list below, just repeat the same week until you feel ready for the next challenge. It’ll get you on your way to running like a pro in no time!


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Fitness & Nutrition Tips

Get Your Nutrition on Track with The Powerful 6!

Let’s strip the complexity and confusion from food and eating! You can learn simple nutrition basics to achieve success regardless of your body type or nutritional knowledge.

At Studiomix, we’ve built a Nutrition Manifesto to give you a concise and realistic approach to eating that helps you reach any health or fitness goal.

The remedy for eating better isn’t deprivation, blandness, or a rigid diet of endless kale- it’s incorporating good habits into your life. Success lies in our ability to be consistent in making good daily choices.

Without further ado . . . .

Studiomix Nutrition Manifesto: The Powerful 6
1. Drink lots of water
2. Eat colorful vegetables
3. Get enough protein
4. Include healthy fats
5. Minimize sugar
6. Eat responsibly

Follow these guidelines and keep it simple! Once mastered and consistently practiced, you can dive deeper into macronutrient breakdowns, calorie counting, and supplementation.

First thing’s first: start with the basics. Don’t beat yourself up if you get off track – each day is an opportunity to practice The Powerful 6.


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Fitness & Nutrition Tips

Create Success by Scaling Back



Life gets busy at the most inopportune times, but that doesn’t mean your health, fitness, or athletic goals have to wait. By pinpointing your priorities, it’ll be easier to stay consistent and still see the results you are after.

To help illustrate, a little personal history: I used to work out 10+ hours per week, balance my ratio of protein, fats, and carbs, and considered myself a connoisseur of nutritional supplements. I had everything dialed in. It didn’t take long for a budding relationship, a pair of demanding jobs, and a long distance management obligation of family affairs to cause a slow burnout.

I’d like to think I can put my head down and power through anything, but it’s simply not true, and I’m not alone. On a daily basis I hear from people who start a family, accept a new job, or otherwise take on more responsibilities stating they don’t have the time or desire to do all of the things they used to do (especially go to the gym 4 times per week.)

While chiseled abs and exceptionally low body fat are appealing, they may not be top priority for all of us. Sometimes the goal is too grand to fit within the context of daily life. It can be frustrating and downright discouraging when we’re putting in our all, but not reaping the rewards that we’re expecting. At times our best effort may simply not be enough when we’re trying to do too much.

Instead of continuing to follow a tired old program, quickly fall off track, beat yourself up for not sticking to the routine (which may or may not be within reach), and slipping slowly further away from your goals, handle this transition phase by scaling back. Relentlessly focus on improving just one thing at a time.

Scaling back can be done in a multitude of ways. One of the simplest things to try is to reduce the number of hours spent in the gym. Asking yourself, “What do I really want to accomplish here?” Be honest in your answer. You might find that you have a different goal at age 35 then you did at 28, which are inevitably different from your goals at 21. Sure, you still want to be athletic and lean, but it might not be the most important part of your life.

Take a long-term view; look good, feel good, and move well with each passing year while having plenty of time to focus on other pursuits and passions. Your relationships, career, and hobbies that delight are worth your time and effort too. Truthfully, this isn’t an easy transition to make. Ego and identity can get tied up in performance and appearance, but eventually, the transition becomes easier, little by little.

Go to the gym to lift heavy, cycle indoors during a rainstorm, or learn new choreography so you can dance your heart out (even more). On sunny days, enjoy fresh air and nature while you exercise and appreciate the company of friends and family. Include variety, but no need to feel overwhelmed. Focus on the quality of your workouts instead of the quantity. Put time in, but ensure that the time you invest is in line with your goals and your purpose. You’ll probably find that you’re done in a third of the time, minimize your exposure to injuries, and feel better than ever.

When life gets busy, consider what matters most to you. Clinging to the old way of doing things will waste effort, cost time, and may cause frustration. Focus on only one goal by scaling back; make the plan simple and doable to experience success. This will help you stay consistent, which we both know is the most important part of accomplishing anything.


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