Diet and nutrition coaches know only too well how frustrating it can be for people wanting to lose weight. They’re doing everything right but nothing seems to work. What’s going on? Well, as Fitmark Ambassador Ashley Belger found out on her own fitness journey, getting to know your body type and how you respond to different foods will make all the difference to your weight loss success.
Fitmark Ambassador: Ashley Belger
Lifestyle: Online Personal Trainer, Fitness Model, Fitness Athlete
Fitmark Bag: Athletic Tote
Dieting is a tricky business and with so many fad diets out there, it’s hard not to get on the wrong track. The bottom line is fad diets or slimming programs that place you on a highly restrictive way of eating aren’t the answer and could mess with your metabolism. As a fitness competitor, Ashley knows about reaching her goal weight through restrictive dieting and told us about some of the pitfalls:
My diet has been a roller coaster ride…… In the beginning of it all up until about a year ago, I dealt with serious food control issues. I binged after my first competition after I knew I had already screwed up my metabolism with the super low calorie diet I was on and it was a battle after that.
This is not an uncommon scenario. Lots of us who have been on crazy diets know how it can lead to yo-yo dieting, where you lose weight then gain weight, then lose some more weight and then gain it all back again. But Ashley says she’s found the answer. She told us:
Recently I’ve really adopted intuitive eating. I feel it’s only successful when you are already familiar with the nutritional profile of most foods. All that means is that you need to know what’s a carb, what’s a fat and what’s a protein and from there you can figure out your portion size for each meal.
The trick is knowing your body type and how you react to certain foods. For instance, if you’re an endomorph like Ashley, you’ll be prone to weight gain and will need to watch your carb intake. For Ashley, she found a ketogenic diet was the right way to eat for her body type. She told us:
My diet is on the ketogenic side. It’s a high fat, moderate protein diet with carbs not exceeding 30g. After years of experimentation, I’ve found it’s what works for my body. Also, I’m estrogen dominant so having glycogen is never a good thing for my body; it makes me retain water hardcore. I’ve been able to gain muscle and lose fat while following this ketogenic method.
Ashley’s Top 3 Weight Loss Tips
- Be in a caloric deficit. It’s that simple – calories in and calories out – so burn more than you consume, whether you’re eating less or burning more calories through exercise and cardio.
- Look into your hormones and body type. For most people, your cortisol is highest first thing in the morning. So starting your day with a ton of carbs puts your body straight into “fat storing” mode. At the end of the night, your cortisol is the lowest, and you’ll think I’m crazy, but this is the best time for carbs. Now, if you have a high metabolism (ectomorph) that rule doesn’t apply because it’s so hard for them to gain muscle they need those constant carbs. I’m an endomorph so I have to pay attention to those details and I gain fat very quickly. Best way to know? Go get tested by your doctor!
- Make it a lifestyle and never go on a “diet.” When you’re on a diet, you feel restricted which makes bingeing inevitable. Fad diets like detoxes are marketing ploys to get you to spend money. The best detox is cutting out all processed foods, artificial sweeteners and caffeine for a week or two and loading up on fiber to flush it all out. When you’re done, slowly return to your regular foods and introduce things like caffeine in moderation. Most of all, enjoy your progress and love your body at all stages while being CONSISTENT.
Ashley stays consistent by prepping her foods and keeping her Fitmark Bag packed and at the ready every day. She told us:
My Fitmark Bag has been everything to me. I use it to carry my meals for my long shifts at work, and for my gym bag and storing all my accessories for a great workout.
Eating for our body type takes some trial and error, but the best place to start is by tracking your meals and figuring out your macronutrient profile. Eating balanced meals at regular intervals throughout the day will help you to reach your weight loss goals. It really is the key to living a healthy lifestyle…for life!
You can follow Fitmark Ambassador Ashley Belger on Instagram @ashbelg09