Lack of Sleep & Fat Gain: What’s the Link?

-Lack of Sleep & Fat Gain

The human brain is the most complex thing on earth. Really though, comment something more complex, I actually want to hear other opinions!

That being said, the brain can have major implications in our body composition. How so you might ask? Well, obviously there are regions associated w/ hormone secretion which can effect a number of things but I want to take a special look today at the amygdala. The amygdala plays a vital role in hunger. When someone is sleep deprived (hours or less) brain scans indicate an increase in amygdala activity & decrease in frontal cortex activity (the frontal cortex plays a vital role in our ability to say “No, I shouldn’t eat that”)

So when it comes to stacking the deck in our favor for fat loss, we need to get our brain on board. This is why it’s critical that we understand the ENTIRE picture. Not only does sleep effect performance in the gym, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisol, & much more — It also plays a vital role in managing will power by balancing the activity of different brain regions. Why do you think we often make such poor decisions when we are sleep deprived?

It is for this reason I use BIOFEEDBACK measurements in my coaching. I ask all my clients: How are you sleeping? How is your stress? Digestion? Hydration? Recovery? Desire to train? ETC. WHY? Because that’s the biggest part of getting results.

Here are some of my favorite hacks for increasing sleep:

  1. Magnesium (200-400 mg/night)
  2. Tart Cherry Juice (4-6 oz. pre bed)
  3. Reishi Mushroom (pre sleep)
  4. Blue Vervain (Herbs are legit)
  5. Vitamin D (Make sure your getting enough)
  6. Cannabis (If it’s legal where you live, don’t break the law!)Be sure to follow me on Facebook and IG for more FREE advice on reaching your goals. Feeling stuck? Don’t know if you’re on the right path? You can apply for a FREE coaching call at www.kaylimontoyafitness.weebly.com. It’s absolutely free with no obligations. I am here to help!
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Keto for Fat Loss

Keto for Fat Loss

It seems that now more so than ever, the ketogenic diet has gained popularity as a mechanism to drive fat loss. I get a few messages a week asking for my opinion on this particular diet. Nobody ever messages me asking about the validity of the keto diet for neurological issues, a positive well noted in the literature. Nor do I get messages about using it to bulk, something that sounds altogether disgusting.

Nope, none of that.

I ALWAYS get a question like this “Should I try keto if I’m looking to loss fat?”

Keto seems to be a “go to” diet for many people attempting to shed some body fat. It is the same line of thinking that also perpetuates the continued “carb-phobia” in this country. But why is it so effective for many?

1. It increases the need for one to prepare their own food (generally drives people to eat less).

2. Limits an entire group of foods (starchy carbs) which may drive people to have involuntary caloric restriction.

3. Greater perceived satiety from increased intake of protein and vegetables.

KETO IS NOT MAGIC. Using fat for fuel, DOES NOT mean burning a greater amount of stored body fat. What is does do is promote eating whole foods, and eliminate a likely contributor to overconsumption – hyper-palatable foods. It’s far from magic. It is one of the most difficult diets to adhere to, and not an optimal diet for many who perform high levels of glycolytic work (things like CrossFit) but will likely work well for many other things. Well, however, does not mean optimal, and what is optimal for you is something for you and your coach to figure out.

I don’t use ketogenic diets much with my clientele, but that does not mean it is a bad protocol-it’s just simply too often misrepresented by charlatans and under informed “gurus” in the fitness space.

 

Have more questions about diets, macro counting or fat loss? Head over to www.kaylimontoyafitness.weebly.com to apply for a free coaching call where we can discuss your goals and the steps needed to help you get there!

 

How to Read the Scale

A lot of coaches don’t like using body weight to track progress.

They say it’s unreliable (which, if you’re using it wrong, is true) and all it does is frustrate their clients.

And I agree that, for some people, it might make sense to forego the scale… But that does NOT mean tracking weight is worthless.

Body weight alone isn’t a great marker of progress, but it is absolutely can be when it’s used correctly and alongside other forms of progress (like measurements and photos)!

But here’s the problem — most people don’t know how to “read” the scale.

They’ll see a small jump and freak out. Or they’ll get excited about a big drop (often called a “whoosh”), but then have it followed by a week or two of no change and assume they’re plateaued…

Here’s the truth— Your weight will NOT go down linearly, day-to-day, week-to-week.

For most people, it’ll look like this:

They’ll have a big drop in weight (their “whoosh”), go up a little, hold steady for a bit, and then repeat the process.

For some people this happens on a weekly basis, for some, it’s a monthly basis. It really just depends on how YOUR body responds.

My advice? Use the scale to track your progress, but understand how it works and make sure you’re using it the right way.

Do you need some extra help reaching your goals or knowing what metrics to use to track your progress? Head over to www.kaylimontoyafitness.weebly.com and apply for a free coaching call so we can get you on the right page.

 

 

How to Make Exercise a Habit

Everyone always wants to know where to start. Starting is the first step, but it’s also the hardest. To be successful you must create a habit. Once you have created the habit, dedication and adherence will help you reach your goals. Here’s some tips to creating the habit:

  1. Do it first thing in the morning – you’ll get it out of the way and start your day with a win.
  2. Set out clothes the night before – this will make it easier to get up and go.
  3. Put it in your schedule – that way you can’t make excuses when it comes time to actually do it.
  4. Follow a set Workout Routine – this makes your workout more productive and time-efficient.
  5. Don’t start out doing too much – doing too much will only lead to burnout. Start small and slowly, work your way up.
  6. Workout with friends – to build accountability and make it fun.
  7. Combine it with chores – this goes back to making exercise more time-efficient.
  8. Something beats nothing – a 20 minute walk beats no walk at all.
  9. Make sure it’s goal-focused – wanna build muscle and lose body fat? Lift weights. Wanna improve you cardiovascular health? Do more cardio.

Still having troubles creating the habit? Looking for someone to keep you accountable? Guess what one of the main functions of a coach is? Keeping you accountable. Head over to www.kaylimontoyafitness.weebly.com and apply for a free coaching call so we can discuss your goals and how I can help you reach them.

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How low can you take your calories?

How Low Can Your Take Calories?

Most people should be able to lose body fat at a caloric intake equal to or greater than “bodyweight x 10”.

Given…

  • You’re moving 8,000 steps/day
  • You’re not on either end of the extreme (i.e. attempting 8% body fat OR very obese)
  • You’re consistently resistance training

You all know by now that you need a calorie deficit to make fat loss happen.

The question comes up: “Why not just drop calories as low as possible to lose weight quicker?”

Is there a limit to how low you should go with calories? And why?

So here’s the deal with weight loss: as you eat less, your metabolism slows. And eventually you’ll have to dedicate time to slowly increasing calories to speed back up the metabolism.

This is a must if you want to be able to eat normal amounts again without gaining back all the weight you just lost.

The lower calories go on a diet, the longer/harder the return to “normal” will be for you.

This is why there’s such a distinction between “weight loss” and “sustainable weight loss”.

Honestly, the floor of how low to take calories is hard to generalize, as everyone is a bit different.

If you can’t drop fat with calories at bodyweight x 10, you probably need to reverse diet, given you meet the following conditions:

  1. You have a moderate amount of weight to lose (Not on either extreme: getting shredded or obese)
  2. You’re active: 8k+ steps/day, consistent resistance training.

For most, going much lower than this makes it much harder to hit your macronutrient and micronutrient needs to stay healthy, feel good, and prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Have questions about your specific needs? Apply for a free coaching call at www.kaylimontoyafitness.weebly.com. Or shoot me a DM on Facebook or IG.

Have a slow metabolism?

Have a slow metabolism?

Stop doing these things!

  • Drastically cutting your daily calories
  • Adding hours of intense daily cardio
  • Buying a bunch of fat burnersStart doing these instead!
  • Lifting weights to build muscle
  • Following a diet that’s high in protein
  • Slowly increasing your daily activityHere’s the thing about your metabolism…There’s a buttload of stuff that’ll influence whether yours is “fast” or “slow” – much of which is outside of your immediate control.

    Losing weight is all about calories IN vs. calories OUT.

    The calories IN part of the equation is straightforward, and for the most part, you can control it.

    Calories OUT (aka your metabolic rate) is where things get tricky, and it’s where most people make a big mistake.

    To explain, we’ll need a quick science lesson:

    There are 4 ways you burn calories:

    1. BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)-calories burned at rest
    2. TEF (Thermic Effect of Food)-calories burned digesting food
    3. TEE (Thermic Effect of Exercise)-calories burned doing planned exercise
    4. NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)-calories burned doing everyday activities like walking, standing up and down, fidgeting, etc.

    Numero 3, TEE, is the one you have the most immediate control over. The other three can be influenced, but not directly controlled.

    And this is where most people make a big mistake.

    They’ll put all of their focus on burning calories exercising, cutting calories, and spending $$$ on supplements that don’t really do much.

    It works at first, but people end up creating so much stress-physically AND mentally-that they struggle to see results (due to water weight and unrealistic expectations) or stay consistent (due to bingeing and overeating).

    If you want to lose weight and maintain a healthy body forever, you need to think long-term. You want to build a body that won’t have to rely on you doing hours of exhausting cardio daily just to stay lean.

    One way is by building muscle—this will increase your BMR and calories burned at rest (not drastically, but noticeably.)

    Another is following a high protein diet—this will increase your TEF, help you stay full, and help you build more muscle.

    I also recommend being more active—park farther away, walk during lunch breaks, stand up and stretch in between Netflix shows…

    Anything to stay moving (increasing your NEAT) rather than just doing cardio 60 mins/day followed by 8 hours of laying around.

    Are you ready to make a change, but don’t know where to start? Head over to www.kaylimontoyafitness.weebly.com and apply for a free coaching call. Or you can follow me on Facebook, IG or YouTube for more free tips and advice to help you reach your goals.

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Hate Counting Calories???

Hate Counting Calories?

Instead of being rigid like THIS:

  • -1800 Calories
  • -120g Protein
  • -195g Carbs
  • -60g Fat

Try being more flexible like THIS:

  • -1700-1900 Calories
  • -110-130g Protein
  • -Balanced Ratio of Carbs & Fats

Take a quick look through my page and you’ll quickly discover I’m a fan of food tracking.

For one simple reason—keeping a log of what you’re eating is the BEST way to ensure you’re staying in a calorie deficit consistently.

Buttttt tracking can get a bit obsessive at times, especially if you’re trying to hit specific calorie/macro targets every single day…

For the longest time, that was me!

I thought I needed to hit all three macronutrients perfectly —on the mark— every single day.

If not, some fat loss witchdoctor would use voodoo magic and make me gain 100 pounds overnight…

Or something like that.

Well, all that worrying did was make it HARDER to achieve my goals.

If I accidentally went over my nutrition targets, even by the teeniest-tiniest bit, I’d assume the day was a total wash. I’d say “screw it!” and a small surplus would turn into a HUGE binge.

I’d get back on track…but after about a week it would happen again…

So, what I started doing, and now what I do with my online clients, is set calorie & macro ranges!

With this approach, you’re not worried about exact numbers.

Instead, you make things a bazillion times easier and aim to land within a flexible range of targets.

I even like to take it a step further and drop carb & fat targets.

Reason being, as long as you’re in a deficit and consuming enough protein, you can go higher in carbs or higher in fats and achieve similar weight loss results.

I do, however, recommend keeping your carb-to-fat ratio balanced (try not to go below 20% of your total calories from each macronutrient).

The bottom line: Counting & tracking are some of the best ways to guarantee consistent weight loss results, but don’t let it consume you.

But unless you’re trying to get a bodybuilder shredded for a competition, it’s simply unnecessary to track every calorie and/or macro to a single target number.

Remember, consistency beats perfection.

Focus on being “pretty close” most of the time, and dieting will become waaaay less stressful and MUCH more rewarding.

Still confused?!?!? Don’t know how much protein or calories you should be consuming to get to that “pretty close” range? Shoot me a message on Facebook, IG, or head over to www.kaylimontoyafitness.weebly.com to apply for a free coaching call and we will discuss it.