Thank you for submitting so many amazing questions for our first official “Coffee with Kate!” I always love chatting with you ladies. I’m so excited to start a more regular way of answering your questions and connecting with you. Submit your questions for our next coffee date via email with the subject line “Coffee with Kate.”
Coffee with Kate: Question 1. What’s the best healthy protein shake? Also what do you drink or take before workouts?
I have a full blog post on how, why, and when I used protein shakes here. I know that choosing a protein powder can be overwhelming! Especially if you don’t know what to look for or where to start! Despite the wide variety of protein powders available, the differences boil down to a few characteristics:
- The type of protein used
- The types of flavors and sweeteners used
- Additional ingredients used to enhance the product’s benefits
Read more about the various types of protein powder and determine what might be right for YOU here. Personally, I use PEScience protein 30-60 minutes after my workouts. Pre-workout, I use Prolific. This is a pre-workout supplement designed to give energy to your workout while improving increased blood flow to the muscles. Or sometimes I’m watching caffeine intake or training later in the day. Then I’ll use High volume. This is a caffeine-free, nitric oxide targeted pre-workout supplement. It uses multiple pathways to deliver an amazing pump to your muscles. I also drink BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) before and during my workout, approximately 30 minutes prior to training.
Coffee with Kate: Question 2. How do you get rid of the “pooch?” I’m not really sure if it’s Diastasis Recti (DR), or maybe just a little extra tummy fat and skin from four babies.
Such a great question! If you want to test to see if it’s DR, you can do that easily from home with this simple test. Some exercises you can begin at home if you want to work to strengthen and retrain your core can be found here!
As far as tummy fat, you definitely make sure that the issue you’re dealing with is actually loose skin and not simply extra body fat. Calipers prove useful for this type of testing. However, most moms don’t have access to this type of test. Instead, pinch the area you’re concerned with and if you can grab more than a few millimeters of skin, there’s more fat in there to lose. Until you lose that fat, your skin has no reason to return to its former size and tightness.
Typically most women need to be at or below 17-18% body fat before addressing the skin issue itself. In many cases, when you work on lowering your body fat percentage first, you will burn off that stubborn subcutaneous fat on your stomach first. Then the problem of what appears to be loose skin will take care of itself.
If that’s not the case for you, though, and you find yourself still wondering how to get rid of loose skin after weight loss, you’ll find a few tricks that I’ve experienced first hand that work for both my clients and me in this blog post.
Coffee with Kate: Question 3. Your hair is always amazing–how often do you wash it? Can you share some tips for post workout hair? How do you get your hair to curl so well?
First off, just promise you won’t judge me when you find out how little I wash my hair. Ha Ha! But for real now…dry shampoo is my best friend–so much so that I dedicated this entire blog post. I wash and blow dry my hair about 2-3 times per week. Aside from that, it’s dry shampoo all the way! You do not want to be THAT GIRL with white powder all over her head. So find the right product and know how to use it. It’s a total game changer! You’ll turn your SWEATY BUN into HAIR DONE in less than 5 minutes.
Dry shampoo adds volume and it’s my best kept secret to rescue post-workout hair in a snap. I also find that my hair holds curl better a day or two after a wash. Following this schedule and using dry shampoo as well as sea salt texturizer instead of washing every day seems to make styling easier too! My all time FAVORITE brush is the wet brush, and I recently upgraded my curling iron and blow dryer and I am in LOVE with them. I’d seen lots of ladies using T3 hair tools for awhile, and I admit I wasn’t sure if they were worth all the hype but…they are!
Put my favorite products to the test!
Coffee with Kate: Question 4. How do you go about eating for maintenance for when you are needing a break from fat loss or when you meet your goals?
Consistency with NUTRITION proves one of the biggest issues for women It is often the thing holding you back from attaining and then maintaining your goals.
To lose weight, you need two things: caloric deficit and hormonal balance.
If you can’t achieve this, you won’t lose weight no matter how “healthy” you are eating. When it comes to nutrition, three approaches can help you attain it:
- Counting calories
- Adjusting based on biofeedback & hormones
- Tracking macros (Read more about all three here.)
For fat loss, I track macros. It’s the quickest and easiest way for me to see changes in my physique. But when it comes to maintaining, I really like to move back to the biofeedback approach. Loosely tracking macros and focusing on being my own “detective” is a much more sustainable way to live. This means listening to my body’s biofeedback tools and considering how to eat to balance hunger, energy and cravings, rather than focusing on every little calorie.
I focus on eating sensibly, choosing minimally processed, satisfying, nutrient dense foods that I enjoy (The 2 P’s: protein+produce, of course!). I try to eat until I’m satisfied, and then stop. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, you need to determine what is best for YOU! But this approach works best for me.
Coffee with Kate: Question 5. Are there any “off limit” foods for you? How do you enjoy treats–on a schedule or a whim?
I’ve changed my stance on this quite a bit in the past few years. I used to look forward to weekly “cheat” meals and spent years placing a long list of various foods into an “off limit” category. However, when I became a mom I realized I did not want to set this example for my boys. I want to teach them how to develop a healthier relationship with food, so I worked hard to change my thinking and remove the guilt associated with certain foods.
In addition, I’ve personally found that this type of “off limit eating” actually has a rebound effect that triggers overeating in the long run. There are many physiological effects of food deprivation. Ultimately,forbidden food rules lead to obsessively thinking about food, overeating said food, feeling guilty and then repeating the cycle.
The best way that I’ve found to keep cravings under control is to give myself permission to have them on occasion, without guilt, as part of my Beyondfit L-I-F-E program. (Keyword: LIFE!)
Instead of having foods that are off limits, I ask myself two simple questions:
- Do I really like the taste of this food?
- Do I like how this food makes my body feel?
When no foods are off limits, you’ll automatically be less likely to overindulge. You can stick to your program without feeling as though you’ve failed.
Most of the time, I focus on eating healthy foods that balance hunger, energy and cravings. I fuel my body with whole foods that nourish it and provide it the vitamins and minerals that it needs is important.
But this does NOT mean that I am depriving myself or forbidding myself from eating specific foods that may not be considered healthy. (For example, I LOVE chips and salsa in moderation, and I also have a serious sweet tooth).
It’s not as glamorous as the “hardcore” perfectionistic dieting or the all-or-nothing approach, but it is based on solid behavioral science. It gives you something that diet perfectionism can’t: a way of eating that works for LIFE!
Do you have more questions for me? I’d love to answer them and get to know you through our beautiful community of women working together in fat loss, fitness and life. Join the BeyondFit Life Club to learn more and get your questions answered!