If you've been following along on Instagram for the past 6 weeks then you are well aware that I have been doing a six-week fitness and nutrition program called the Faster Way to Fat Loss. If you only follow me for fashion, then sorry for all the posts! This program incorporates targeted workouts, intermittent fasting, carb cycling and macro counting to help you control calories, eat the right amounts of the right foods at the right times and ultimately burn fat and build muscle.
Before I tell you about it, you should know a little bit about me. I was in great shape before my wedding 11 months ago but after our honeymoon I started to settle in to some bad habits. I got used to eating the exact same meals and portions as my 6'2, 210 pound husband, purely out of convenience. I found myself being overwhelmed by the thought of working full time, coming home to cook, then hitting the gym. In a nutshell, I shut down from about August to January and basically ate whatever I wanted and slacked off at the gym and just chalked it up to being "too busy" and "deserving a break." When in reality…I would've felt so much more rested if I had been eating right and exercising!
In January I decided to be more consistent with my workouts. There hasn't been one week since January (and I am proud of this!) that I have worked out less than 4 times a week, with a goal of six times most weeks. BUT my diet still wasn't where it should be so I wasn't seeing ANY results. I was getting stronger, sure, but my body looked the same. I was downing gigantic bagels for breakfast, eating out at lunch and then over-eating at dinner and following that up with dessert. None of these things are necessarily bad, but I was eating way more than I was burning and was wondering (like an idiot) why nothing was changing. So when I heard about Faster Way to Fat Loss, I decided to give it a try because I knew the diet portion of my life needed to change if I wanted my body to change.
I 100% believe that losing weight is simple. It goes like this: calories in, calories out. But what isn't simple is figuring out how to count your calories, control your portions and then determine how much of each macro nutrient your specific body type needs for peak performance, all while having a social life, a husband and a sweet tooth from the devil himself. That is where Faster Way to Fat Loss was beneficial for me. So now that you see why I wanted to try this program, let's talk about what the program actually is.
What Is It?
FWTFL is NOT a quick fix or a crash diet. Here's how their website sums it up: "Amanda Tress is the creator of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, the premier virtual intermittent fasting fitness and nutrition program. She teaches her clients how to burn fat and live a truly healthy lifestyle through intermittent fasting, carb cycling, macro tracking, whole food nutrition, strategic workouts, and positive mindset." Basically, you are counting the carbs, fats and proteins that you eat each day and pairing that set of macros with a workout for that specific day. The program provides workouts for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels so there is something for everyone. You can do them at home or at the gym, although I highly recommend doing them at the gym with full access to weights and equipment! So this sounds like a lot of information, right? That’s where the help comes in.
Amanda created a certification program where people can become FWTFL coaches to help the program reach more people. The coaches are personal trainers who are extremely knowledgeable about health and fitness and can help you create the perfect macro count for your body. I worked with a coach, Chasity Given, and it helped so much! I would ask her quick questions and send her updates as the weeks progressed. She even sent us recipe suggestions and held us accountable through a Facebook group. I loved that! Honestly, I think I would have been really confused at first without a coach! If you want to make the most of this program, invest the $200 for a coach. Then once the program ends, you can do it again and again on your own time with the best resources and tips you learned from your coach.
I use My Fitness Pal to track my macros everyday, which is usually pretty easy! Literally every food you can think of is saved in the app and if it isn’t, you can create your own. Your coach will teach you how to do all of this during “prep week” the week before you start the program. Now that I understand how the program works, it is so easy to do! This is something that I can see being a sustainable lifestyle and not just a one-off thing. I am planning to hop into another round TODAY and continue sticking to it and making it work for my everyday goals.
Now, you don’t have to want to lose weight to do this. If you are looking to gain muscle or maintain your weight, you can adjust your macros to do that as well! I will probably do one more round with the goal of losing weight and then I’ll adjust my macros to maintain my weight. I want to be clear: skinny isn’t everything BUT healthy is! Healthy looks different on everyone so don’t feel like I am telling you that weight loss = health. For me, I knew that my BMI wasn’t where it should be and I wanted to shed some lbs and get back to where I knew my body performed best. Having a program with guidelines and a way to regulate my food and workouts works best for me because I need the structure, but to each their own! If any of this is interesting to you, here’s a little bit more info about each of the principles you’ll be implementing during the six weeks.
Carb Cycling just means that some days you eat lower carbs than others. The idea behind this is to help your body burn more fat without messing with your hormones and energy levels. It also helps avoid weight loss plateaus. Eating low carb everyday is bad for your thyroid and overall health, so def don’t do that! Carb cycling is a healthy way to cut carbs, within reason and in a healthy way, and burn fat. Here’s more info on carb cycling.
Intermittent Fasting is just a formal eating window. The FWTFL program recommends an 8 hour eating window and a 16 hour fasting window. The thought is that when you’re in the fasted state, your body will burn fat for energy, helping you lose fat and change your body composition. Here’s more info on intermittent fasting.
This seems scary, it’s not! Don’t be intimidated by tracking. If I can do it, you totally can! Macros are proteins, carbs and fats. When you’re “counting macros” all you are doing is entering everything you eat in to My Fitness Pal and keeping your macros within a range that is determined by your goals. It seems daunting, I’m sure you’re thinking, “OMG I HAVE TO ENTER EVERYTHING!?” If you plan ahead and enter your meals early in the day, you won’t be scrambling to fill a macro at the end of the day. It is also crazy to enter certain foods that I thought weren’t a big deal and see how horrible they are and how much of my daily intake they cut into. I am looking at you, Chick-Fil-A salad dressing.
Before and After
Okay, yikes! These are scary to share but I want to show you what consistency over 6 weeks of fueling my body properly did for me! I notice the biggest difference in my love handle area and my waist. It definitely has helped tone my legs and booty as well, but that is something only I would notice at this point. I made sure not to flex in either set of pictures and I tried to get the same angles for you to be able to see the exact difference. Other than the lighting, everything is the same in these photos, even the time of day. The girl on the left felt bloated and puffy while the girl on the right feels strong! I am excited to keep going with the FWTFL lifestyle and see where it takes me!
What I Lost
2.375 inches in the waist
.475 inches in the hips
1 inch off each thigh
.675 inches in the chest
.25 inches off each arm
For a total of a little over 6 inches off my whole body in 6 weeks.
The reason I am telling you about the inches is because 6 pounds isn’t a lot! But 6 inches is! I gained a lot of muscle and I had to decide that I wasn't going to let the scale dictate my progress. While the scale can tell part of the story, it will never tell the WHOLE story. You need to remember to pay attention to some non-scale victories. Things like…
How far you can run
How you sleep
How much energy you have
How the weight you are lifting is increasing
How your digestion is
How you feel mentally
How many inches you’re losing
All of these things are affected by your diet and exercise! Sometimes the scale won’t move and that is okay. You need to have a few points by which you can gauge your progress that aren’t as fickle as the scale. I sleep like a ROCK, which I attribute to intermittent fasting and not digesting food while I sleep. I have a TON of energy in the gym which I know comes from eating the right foods to support my workouts each day. Digestion issues that used to upset my stomach once or twice a week pretty severely are totally gone and that is 100% because of the foods I am eating and avoiding.
If you’re ready to give this a shot, invest in yourself and learn how to make good choices when it comes to health and fitness, I would LOVE for you to join me on this FWTFL journey! The next 6 weeks are going to pass no matter what, why don’t you make the most of them? There is a FWTFL round starting with my coach on June 17. You can register here.
Please remember that you are beautiful no matter what size your jeans are or how you look in a bikini! I would encourage you to check your body positive thoughts and make sure they aren’t a confident excuse to over eat or under eat, because I have been there! Healthy isn’t one-size-fits-all and not everyone desires to look skinny, muscular, curvy, or whatever YOUR goals are. As for me, I am going to continue with the habits that I have learned. I feel leaner and stronger even since last week and I want you to feel empowered in the same way!
If you are wanting to have more energy, sleep sounder, properly fuel your body and gain access to new workouts, then this program is a good fit for you. You can rock this regardless of your past experiences with exercise or nutrition. If you have any questions, please reach out to me. I will do anything I can to help you feel confident and bad ass because you ARE!