Eat, Lose Fat, Enjoy Food

What if you could eat to lose fat AND enjoy the food you’re eating?

We’ve talked about how to properly balance the foods you’re eating, but it doesn’t seem to really fit with the lives we live all the time. What do you do if you go to a family event and they have a casserole or a crock pot meal? What do you do when you’re staying with friends who are providing food for you?

The best place to start is to recap how to achieve balance with your food so you eat for your goals. Using your hand you have a measurement tool wherever you go.

Start by filling your plate with dark, leaf green vegetables then use your hand to measure the rest. A hand sized portion keeps portion sizes to what your body needs based upon your size. A palm sized portion of a protein source such as chicken, tofu, beef, eggs, etc. meets your needs so you build lean muscle without adding to fat. To keep starches to a minimum, use a cupped fist for measuring it out. Fats are just a thumbs worth. If you’re a male do two palms of protein, two cupped hands of starches or fruits, and two thumbs of fat such as nuts and seeds. As a female do 1 of each of those.

Now that we have the blueprint to in towards our fat loss goals, how do we apply it when ingredients are mixed or our options are limited? The answer to both is we can’t control the ingredient portions so all we can do is control the overall portions. A full hand (hand plus fingers) sized portion for either option will help ensure you avoid overeating yet still get to enjoy the yummy food in a social situation.

No matter if its pizza and wings with your friends or mom’s special 6 cheese casserole, you can continue towards the identity you deserve and desire for your future.

Remember, we said it’s about balance, not all or nothing. As long as a majority of your votes are towards your desired identity you will embody it. Once you become known as someone who doesn’t overeat, not only will you believe it more but others will come to associate you with not over eating.


To Your Success,

Christoph Kettermann

Hidden Gem CrossFit

Finding Balance Through Simplicity

How can you possibly be successful at finding the diet right for losing fat? There are so many good foods out there. Ample opportunities for social interaction that revolve around food. There’s so much information about this diet or that diet and no matter what you MUST follow their rules 100% or it won’t work.

All or Nothing thinking leads to obsessive behaviors that leave us isolated from our friends and family. It also tends to create a sense of self loathing when you don’t follow the rules to the tee.

I’ve discussed the best route to finding the best fat loss diet, but I haven’t even hinted at the destination: what is the best diet? That’s because honestly the answer is it depends. It depends on what you’re willing to do. It depends on how consistent you can be. It depends on how important social adherence is to you. It depends on a lot.

I find though that you can’t go wrong with balance. The USDA release something to help people with nutrition in 1992 called the Food Guide Pyramid. Some of you may have grow up with it. It’s a pyramid with different foods and recommended amounts (servings) of those foods on it. At the time it was a great first attempt at balance that honestly should have never seen the light of day. Leaving out the political and financial sides of this story, the Pyramid was inadequate at truly giving people balance as each part wasn’t created equal.

Later it was updated with MyPyramid then MyPlate. Each were attempts at providing better nutrition to the American public. All three attempts have failed as people are fatter than ever. Where do you find the end all resource on balanced nutrition if not the USDA? That’s the funny part, there isn’t one. Everything is really just a bunch of SWAGs (Scientific Wild Ass Guesses).

So, to add my SWAG to the pile: Eat whole foods such as lean meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Eat mostly plants. This means fill your plant with green vegetables if you can, but if not at least 1 fist sized serving. Don’t eat too much. Use your hands to measure portion sizes and use some measurement consistently to determine if you’re getting fatter.

First part seems as if it contradicts the second part. Balance, but don’t eat sugar. Balance, but avoid processed foods. Going back to the all or nothing, what I’ve recommended is a guide and if you have some sugar or processed foods it’s not the end of the world. It’s a single vote. Filling your plate with dark, leafy green vegetables will NEVER lead you astray. No one has ever gotten fat from too much broccoli (it’s usually the 3 cups of ranch they dip it in or 2 cups of oil they cook it in). Vegetables are low in calories but high in nutrients that keep us healthy and primed to lose fat. They keep us full and our body functioning properly, so we feel good.

A hand sized portion keeps portion sizes to what your body needs based upon your size. If you’re told to do a 4 oz portion of chicken, but you’re a male, 6’7”, and weigh 280lbs, it may not turn out the way you’re wanting. Using that same example but having two palm sized portions of chicken would best meet that guy’s individualized needs and also avoid overeating. To keep starches to a minimum, use a cup fist for measuring it out. Fats are just a thumbs worth. If you’re a male do two palms of protein, two cupped hands of starches or fruits, and two thumbs of fat such as nuts and seeds. As a female do 1 of each of those.

BOOM! Balance is had. You’re avoiding overeating. You’re providing your body the nutrients it needs. You’re not denying yourself foods and social interactions. Sounds like a worthy way to eat for the most part. How do you handle mixed dishes such as a casserole, enchiladas, or slow cooker meals?

That friends, is the topic of next time: How to have balance and still enjoy food.

To Your Success,
Christoph Kettermann
Hidden Gem CrossFit

It’s All Or Nothing

Our blog series thus far has been focused on the best fat loss diet based upon your identity and the three things that have created challenges to being successful: discovering the identity that you believe and aligns with the life you want; strengthening that identity so it sticks; accepting it is not an all or nothing situation.

I briefly touched on how to discover your identity in our first part: define the traits you envision for your future self and identify traits you see displayed in someone else you admire. I gave some helpful tips and examples on how to strength your new identity in our second part, using my wife as an example.

Now it’s time to assess the third hurdle. The one that seems to trip everyone up on regardless of their path, goals, identity, or past experiences: all or nothing thinking. All or nothing thinking is the belief that in order to be successful at something you need to go all in, do it to your fullest at all times, and any deviations from that are a complete failure. This leads to neurotic obsessions when you’re being “successful” and self attacks (shaming, blaming, guilt, etc) when you don’t stick to your new plan 100% of the time.
A good example of this is when you decided on New Years to start that new diet. Maybe you chose Keto, Vegan, or Gluten Free. You planned out meals and made rules in your head based upon that new diet about what is acceptable and not acceptable for you to do. Then you followed those rules religiously (for about a week). That’s when the first misstep happens. Maybe it wasn’t in your control such as the recipe had honey in it and you didn’t even know until later, throwing you out of Ketosis.

Now what? All of the stages of grief kick in: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and even acceptance. Once acceptance happens you make a vow to be even stricter. You won’t eat out anymore. You won’t eat anything you didn’t make. You won’t ALLOW that failure to happen again, but then it does. An ingredient you’ve used comes to your attention as not being keto friendly. Cycle repeats.

Sound familiar? If it does you’re like 99.9% of the population. Our society has bred into us that we either succeed or fail and there is no grey area. The reality is, to create and strengthen an identity is more a matter of small wins consistently done. Just 1% changes made routinely towards your identity, make a massive difference in the end, but what about the ones made against your identity?

Who we are in the future is the sum of the actions we consistently take today.

Think of it as votes. Each action you take is a vote towards an identity. Making a single vote once a month or twice a year away from your chosen identity hardly denies your chosen identity. You don’t lose 20 lbs from a single salad and you don’t become morbidly obese from a single bowl of ice cream. Those singular votes will happen. The key is to make a majority of the votes, an overwhelming majority of the votes, align with your chosen identity.

No obsessions needed. No judge, jury, and executioner because you had some wings and a beer. Just consistent small steps to prove you are the identity you wish to be.

To Your Success,
Christoph Kettermann
Hidden Gem CrossFit