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abby transformation

Abby’s Weight Loss Advice Part 2: Nutrition

By | Nutrition, Uncategorized

Abby is back with part 2 of her series on sharing the exact formula she used to get in bikini competition shape.  Today she speaks on nutrition, which is the toughest battle for most and also plays the biggest role in fat loss!

Click here if you missed part 1 of Abby series…

Enjoy!

“What should I eat?” is one of the most popular questions both Dustin and I hear.  And I completely understand how confusing and frustrating it can be to figure out what is best.  There are so many articles out there with different opinions, and it is hard to know what is right…and more importantly, what is right for you!

        In the post last week, there were a lot of questions asking about eating.  Some people wanted to know what I eat regularly and others wanted to know what I ate during my “diet” for the competition.  To be honest, the two plans are pretty much the same!  (Phew, that makes things a little easier!)  Another thing to keep in mind, the eating info I’m about to share coincides exactly with what Dustin is telling all of us!  The only difference is I do it (most of the time)!  😉
       
        As fitness people, the one thing we don’t want to do to our body is starve it!  Actually, no one should starve their body!  Not giving your body the nutrients it needs is going to cause your body to start shutting down, and this will cause it to stop burning fat!  I don’t know many people who want that to happen!!!  People who work out, like all of us, need to pay particular attention to what we eat because we want to fuel our bodies for our workouts and for our active lifestyles.  Many of us are trying to lose weight, as well, so keeping that metabolism going is key!  The best way to do that is to eat small meals every 2-3 hours!  Keep in mind, “small” is the key word in that sentence.  We can’t be eating 500-600 calorie meals each time!  Instead, each meal should be 200-300 calories.
       
        Alright, alright, we’ve all heard that before!  So, what exactly should be included in those meals?!  The most important thing to remember is to have protein with each meal of the day.  How much protein should you be eating?  It’s a pretty common belief to eat one gram of protein for each pound you weigh.  So, if you weigh 145lbs, eat 145 grams of protein during the day.  Now divide that total amount of protein by the 5/6 meals per day.  That’s about 24-29 grams of protein each meal!  Eating this much protein will help you keep full in between meals. 
       
        Of course, we can’t be eating protein alone!  Each meal should also have a fruit or vegetable with it.  These help the protein get absorbed into the muscles.  And the great thing about vegetables, you can eat a LOT of them (especially the green veggies) without adding a lot of calories to your diet!  I usually have my fruits before and after my workouts.  My body burns those sugars and carbs right away then!
       
        It’s also important to get starchy carbs into your diet!  The staples for me are: brown rice, Ezekiel bread, oatmeal (not the individual bagged kind) and sweet potatoes.  I try to eat these earlier in the day, usually not much after 4 pm.  Of course, it’s not the end of the world if you do have them for dinner sometimes.  Just try not to carb-load late at night!  Once again, you want to be eating this with protein.
       
        Finally, fats…and we’re not talking about the pizza-kind of fats…we’re talking the healthy fats!  Eat about 45 grams of fats a day.  I find it better to eat them throughout the day, in smaller portions, rather than all at once.  (For whatever reason, I found my energy lacking if I ate all my fats in one meal and had none the rest of the day.)

       
        Regarding my diet for the competition, the only big difference was I ate only 1 serving of fruit a day.  And of course, there were NO cheat meals!  🙂  I would not recommend either of these.  For one, you need more than one serving of fruit a day.  And second, without cheat meals every now and then, a person could go crazy!  Especially if you have a sweet tooth like mine!  (Just ask Dustin, I was miserable to be around some days when I was dieting and couldn’t eat some sweets!!!!)  The third difference between my regular eating and my diet eating is that I only ate fats at night during the diet.  Again, I wouldn’t recommend this because I lacked so much energy without fats during the day!

        I often get asked how I get so much protein in my diet each day.  The protein I eat most is chicken, chicken, and more chicken!  During my competition, I ate so much chicken, I thought I would start growing feathers and clucking.  I’ve cut back a bit now, but I still make a bunch of chicken at the beginning of the week and then have my portions all divided up so I can grab and go!  Another favorite of mine is ground turkey.  I brown a couple of pounds at once, adding some spices, divide it up and then have that as my topping for my no-shell taco salad!  Just throw some salsa on top for more spice and flavor.  Lean steak and ground beef are good, too, just in moderation!  Nuts are good, but be careful of the portions because of the fats!
       
        I also get asked about water consumption a lot.  Personally, if I don’t get enough water, then I get massive headaches.  It’s amazing how my body has become so dependent on it!  I usually drink most of my water earlier in the day and then it slows as the day progresses.  (I hate getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom!)  I carry my Nalgene around everywhere with me!  I know that one bottle is 32oz, so I can keep track of exactly how much I have drank.  I usually try to drink at least 3 Nalgenes of water at work.  Then I know I don’t have to worry about much more the rest of the day.  I don’t drink much else during the day, either; green tea is pretty much the only other liquid.  The more I drink, the less hungry I am, too!  If I’m feeling myself getting hungry and it’s not quite time to eat again, I’ll take a huge drink glass of water and will feel full! Drinking enough water takes practice and some effort, but anyone can do it.
       
        Sample Meal Plan:
        Meal 1:  ½ cup oatmeal
           2 eggs w/ spinach & tomatoes 
        Meal 2:  Apple
            Handful of almonds
        Meal 3:  Turkey sandwich 
  (2 pieces Ezekiel bread, turkey, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes)
           Small side salad
        Meal 4:  Protein drink (pre-workout)
        Meal 5:  Protein drink (post-workout)
        Meal 6:  Chicken
           Sweet potatoes
           Green beans
        
        Sample Competition-Diet Meal Plan:
        Meal 1:  ½ cup oatmeal
           5 egg whites w/ spinach & other veggies
        Meal 2:  Protein drink
        Meal 3:  Chicken
          Sweet potatoes 
        Meal 4:  Chicken
  Green beans
 Meal 5:  Salmon
    Large salad
 Meal 6:  Cottage cheese (only if still hungry)
        
               A few things to remember:


1.) I am not a nutritionist or dietician.  The information above is simply what has worked for me and what I’ve seen work for others. 

2.) The most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to listen to your body.  It is so incredibly important that you get to know your body and be able to eat and do what’s best for you!  No one else can tell what you’re feeling inside.  Once you get to know your body better, you’ll be able to see how it reacts to different foods.  Listen to it!

3.) Buy a digital scale to measure the weight of your food…it seriously helps!  You’d be surprised how much you are actually eating by not weighing things.  After a while, you can start to “eye” things and won’t need the scale as much.

Dustin says I can’t give this away totally yet, but I am starring in my own core workout DVDs.  We will be releasing this program within the next month with only a limited number of copies being made available, so be on the lookout for that!

Please post comments in the section below if you have any questions about what I eat!  Next time I will be sharing with you my workouts!

How Abby Got Her Body Back Part 1

By | Behavior Change, bootcamps, Fitness Modeling, Mindset, Transformations, Uncategorized

abby5Due to the overwhelming response from my last post about the transformation Abby has made, I have asked her to write a response answering your questions.  You had so many questions and Abby has so many answers that I have decided to make this a 3 part series.  So today is part one.  This article may not answer all your questions yet, but Abby felt this was the biggest reason for her change and felt compelled to write about this first.  Next article will be on her eating plan.

Here is Abby’s article!

Wow! I never would have thought there would be such a great response over an article written about me! (Granted, I never really imagined I’d be the center of attention for an article!) Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments and support. They motivate me to keep working hard & to get ready for the next show…at some point!

I’m not really sure where to start with my responses to all the questions. I guess I should first start by saying: I could not have done this alone! Of course, Dustin was a big help with the workouts, encouragement, and moral support (minus the fact he ate ice cream in front of me numerous times). I guess no one is perfect! 😉 My family was very supportive, as well, even though they thought the process was slightly crazy! They didn’t quite understand what I was doing, but knew that it meant a lot to me and that they needed to be there for me. Even my poor brother (and roommate) dealt with the crabby moods without saying anything. He was so patient during it all. They definitely did not “get it” at first, but saw what the end product was and they were impressed! It goes to show how important it is to make goals and let those people around you know about your goals and what they mean to you. Family is the best kind of support. Read More

Abby’s Fitness Modeling Experience

By | Abdominal Training, Behavior Change, Lowerbody toning, Mindset, Transformations, Uncategorized

abbyshowA couple weeks ago, I got the privilege of watching my girlfriend compete in her first fitness modeling competition!  It is amazing the transformation she has made the past two years.  I first met her a little over 2 years ago at Supreme Health and Fitness, the gym that I work at.  She joined my Got Core class.  When I first met Abby, she wasn’t in very good shape, was holding more weight in her stomach than she would have liked, and was extremely weak in the upperbody.  She really enjoyed the core classes and wanted more, so she got a few of her friends together and did small group personal training… she said that I was the most expensive crush she has ever had 🙂

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Abby over 2 years ago at MY first competition!

She really set herself apart from most girls in their 20’s that I had worked with in the past.  She didn’t question my philosophies or techniques and embraced the heavy lifting and intense cardio.  For many years she had been doing 90 minutes of cardio 4 days a week, which was doing very little for changing her physique!  I believe the reason Abby has had such an amazing transformation comes down to 3 things.

Abby before she started working with me.

Abby before she started working with me.

1.  She embraced lifting heavy:  Abby now squats 225 lbs, deadlift 200 lbs, can snatch a 50 lb db over her head, can do at least 20 dips on a parallel bar, and 8 pullups!

2.  She realized that she couldn’t just eat whatever she wanted to.  Abby doesn’t drink any alcohol, packs her lunch and snacks everyday, reduces her carbs after 4 pm, and drinks well over a gallon of water.

3.  Support group:  Okay, it definitely helps to date a trainer from the support aspect!  She also spends more time with fit people who would rather go for a hike or go swimming than go to the bars and pig out on beer and fatty food.

abby2You can only imagine how many people now ask her for advice on how to achieve the results that she has seen.  She usually laughs and tells them that she does what I teach everyone of you to do, the only difference is that she does it at least 95% of the time!  Consistency is key!  Abby certainly has a sweet tooth, and definitely eats her sweets, but she does enough of the other things right and doesn’t eat the bad foods enough for them to have lasting change.

Abby placed 4th out of a really good field of 12 women!  It was great for her self-confidence and had a really good time with the whole thing.  Even before it was over she was ready to do another one!  This type of competition is just a abby4small tip of the iceberg of different goals and events that you can set and participate in.  I encourage you to find something that puts you out of your comfort zone, sign up, join a group, and be committed!  You will be amazed at how good you feel and the satisfaction of knowing that you pushed yourself past your safety bubble you have been in, and gone to a whole new level of success and fitness!

One of my bootcampers came to Chicago to support Abby.  This bootcamper is in the middle of her complete body and mind transformation and 6 months ago would have never imagined going to such an event.  The show really touched her on a lot of levels, but one of the comments she said to me really stuck, “Dustin, it is simple, it all comes down to choices, these contestants have CHOOSEN to live a lifestyle that gets them to these results.”  She is right, none of the participants just “accidentally” got the results they did or were born that way.  NO!   They had to work extremely hard, sacrifice certain things, and have strong will power and determination.

Abby is now pursuing getting her personal trainers degree and also teaches Fit Fun Bootcamps in Middleton at Madtown Twisters west.  Click here if you would like to join her bootcamp!

I would love it if you posted a question for Abby or gave her a positive message for all her hard work!