What Stephen Has Gained From Nutrition Coaching

Stephen has spent the last 10 months learning how to fuel his body for energy and good health. He has changed his mindset and met many goals.

Here is his inspiring story:

Where He Started

I rejoined the gym after a pandemic break in October of ’21. In January of ’22, I stepped on the InBody scale/scanner for the nutrition challenge. I was dismayed. How could I be so heavy after putting in all that work at the gym? Moreover, my blood pressure was out of control, and my doctor had put me on hypertension medication. This amped me up to have a very limited month where I cut out all sweets and unhealthy carbs. That, coupled with a bad stomach flu, resulted in a 10 pound loss in a month. I thought I was good to go and that I would just continue the progress on my own.

Along came May. I remember telling myself that if I went a full week without an apple fritter that I would skip signing up for the next nutrition challenge. That didn’t happen. So, a day after the sign-up deadline, I sheepishly walked up to EJ after class and asked if I could still join. Of course she welcomed me and scheduled a meeting right away. I had put on three pounds, some of which was muscle, but was again infuriated with myself. Clearly nutrition was my problem and I’d become one of many to live the adage, “You can’t out-train an unhealthy diet,” especially one centered around sugary Chai lattes and donuts.

The second nutrition challenge also went well: body fat down, muscle up. I decided I wanted to keep this progress going and signed up for ongoing nutrition coaching.

Education

EJ and I once again tackled the sugar. I read a book called “Breaking Up With Sugar” and another called “The Obesity Code” (since I had to admit to myself that this was the problem I was facing) which changed my mindset about the dangers of excess sugar and the need to get my insulin hormone under control for health and weight loss. We worked on what to eat (and eat plenty of!) such as proteins, fruits, and vegetables with small habit changes month by month, but with an 80/20 approach (eat healthy 80% of the time and allow indulgences 20% of the time) so I never felt very constrained.

EJ and I have also talked a lot about sleep and its relationship to the cortisol hormone, since sleep deprivation was another big problem for me. It took a lot of small baby steps, but I eventually got into much better sleep habits. I’ve weaned off most caffeine – who knew going from a pot of coffee and loads of diet pop everyday to only a morning latte and an afternoon decaf would help me sleep so much better…. ?

RESULTS!

Working with EJ, I’ve lost 28 pounds year to date – I’m 9/10th of the man I used to be. I have more energy and sometimes feel like a little kid at CrossFit. My mind is so much clearer without the constant sugar fog. My blood pressure has come down. But we’re not done yet. With good habits established, we’re now working together on additional dietary changes for hypertension such as adding plant-based meals and fiber. And, despite my manly-man desire to always hurl heavy weights through the air, adding some breathing/yoga/meditation exercises for stress reduction to also help my blood pressure – hey, it beats going on a diuretic and having to pee every 30 minutes.

The Truth

Some say weight loss is 75% nutrition and 25% exercise. From my reading and experience, it’s really more like 95% nutrition and 5% exercise. And there are other factors besides nutrition and exercise – sleep and stress management are also key.

“The nutrition coaching program has really been a complete lifestyle overhaul, and EJ has guided me to conquer my goals with her endless encouragement and large knowledge base.”

Amazing work Stephen!

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Want to read more nutrition coaching success stories? Check out Erika’s nutrition coaching journey HERE!

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