Do you want to know the secret to eating doughnuts and still being able to lose weight at any age? There’s no strict diet, no sacrificing your favorite foods, there are no long hours spent at the gym. Rachel Freiman teaches us how to lose fat while loving what we eat.
Do not miss these highlights:
[04:40] Diet’s are never destined to last because we’re pleasure-seeking creatures
[05:50] Macro tracking, the approach to dieting as a skill
[08:33] The magic pill to losing weight is being in a caloric deficit
[11:17] A look at putting yourself into starvation mode and its effects
[14:33] Nutrition is 90% of this game
[15:25] Is water a contributing factor to losing weight?
[17:34] Rachel’s journey from being a Musician to being a fitness pro
[23:47] Learning to track macros is taking complete control of one of the unhealthiest relationships with food
[24:15] Get past that learning curve, be dedicated and it will literally transform your life
[28:25] The idea of neural connections in our brain
[32:45] Can you maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight while eating foods that “are not good for us”?
[36:00] The first steps to take when starting on a fitness journey
Freebie:Lose Weight While Still Eating Donuts: How to Never Diet Again https://www.mindstrongfitnesscoaching.com/donuts
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About our Guest:
Rachel Freiman (Slotnick) is the CEO of MindStrong Fitness, a lover of lifting heavy things up and down, and a coach passionate about helping others unleash their strongest, most empowered selves through education and mindset training.
With more than fifteen years of classroom instruction and certifications in personal training and sports nutrition, Rachel developed MindStrong Fitness with an inside-out approach: focusing on both the mental and physical sides to build healthy, sustainable habits.
When she’s not in the gym, Rachel enjoys exploring the world, snuggling with her puppy Charlie, eating, and thinking about the next time she’ll be eating.
Transcription of Episode #126:
Debra Muth 0:02
Welcome to Let’s talk wellness. Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging, and live our lives on our own terms.
Debra Muth 0:16
So how many of you want to learn how to lose weight while eating donuts? Well, that’s our conversation today that we are having with Rachael Freiman. And she is going to share with us how easy it is to actually lose weight without having to do these crazy diet plans, the shakes all of these different systems that we’ve been seeing out there, she’s going to tell us not only how to do it, but she’s going to give us the science behind it as well. And you guys are going to absolutely love this conversation with Rachel, she runs the mind strong fitness coaching program. And you can find her on Facebook, she’s got a whole group of ladies that have been doing this for years, and some that are brand new. And I know you guys are going to want to log on and follow her, I’m actually going to head over there and follow her as well. Because what she’s learning is so what she’s teaching us is so incredible that every one of us needs to know how to do this so that we can have that birthday cake or that wedding cake. Or maybe we just want to have some ice cream once in a while. And we don’t want to lose our figure and we don’t want to give up everything we’ve worked so hard to do. So, listen in on this conversation with Rachael Freiman, the Mind Strong fitness coach, she is going to teach us all about how to lose weight while still eating doughnuts.
Debra Muth 1:44
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Debra Muth 3:00
Hey, welcome back. This is Dr. Deb from let’s talk wellness now. And I have the pleasure of speaking with Rachel Freiman who’s going to talk to us about fat loss, not necessarily weight loss, but fat loss. And she’s got a way that we can eat donuts and still lose fat. Is that right, Rachel?
Rachel Freiman 3:18
That is right. I know it sounds too good to be true. But yeah, 100% I always like to joke that, um, it’s not really a joke. But I always say that if someone held a gun to my head and said, Listen, you get to choose a life and fitness, or a life that includes doughnuts hands down door. But this is not a competition, my priorities are very straight on that.
Debra Muth 3:36
You and me be both!
Rachel Freiman 3:39
And the beautiful thing is you don’t have to choose because there there absolutely is a way to do both. And it’s not a quick fix fad diet. It’s a sustainable lifestyle. I’m excited to jump into that with you,
Debra Muth 3:50
Oh, I’m so excited to hear this. Because so many times when we’re talking about diet, it’s restrictive. It’s give up this give up that you can’t cheat, you can’t do anything. And that’s just not realistic, you know, you’re gonna have that wonderful wedding. And those people have an amazing wedding cake that you want to just have a little bit of, and if that blows your whole diet, and you have to reset your metabolism for 90 days, because you have that one piece of something. Most of us can’t do that. We want that sustainable life.
Rachel Freiman 4:18
Yeah. And that what you just said is hitting the nail on the head. You know, there, I there’s an extra I have a book. It’s called becoming mind strong on Amazon. And one of the exercises we do in the book is we actually make a chart with three columns. And we list every single diet you’ve ever tried in your life. So for some people that’s 50 for some people, that’s 550. Yeah. And then we list the logistics. And then we list at the end after we do some mindset work, why the diet was never destined to last. And what we find is exactly what you just said, as human beings. We’re designed. We’re pleasure seeking creatures. We’re designed to avoid pain and seek pleasure. And every single diet, whether it’s 50 or 550. They’re the same diet at their core, whether it’s low Whether it’s keto, whether it’s low fat, whether shape systems, they’re designed to put horse blinders on and say, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, these are good foods, these are bad foods, these are allowed, these are not allowed. And that is completely pushing against human nature that we are not designed to live in a state of restriction like that. So when we put those horse blinders on, and we try to say I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, we’ve all been down this path, right? We’re on great havior for like five days a week, maybe three weeks. But then when we cave, we don’t just cave, we cave and we binge. And we say, well, I’ve already ruined it, I had one piece of cake, why not have three pieces of cake right. And I’ll start again, Monday, I’ll start again Monday. And there, there’s two pieces to this that are just the the key to the Holy Grail. And the first is getting out of this all in all out mindset. And the second is getting away from this restrictive nature. And that’s exactly what when I talk about nutrition being a learnable skill, and why we can eat doughnuts and lose weight. It’s because there’s no more of this good food, bad food, it’s the idea of not living off restriction and fitting in everything into what I call your your budget.
Debra Muth 6:07
I love that. Because if you you know, it’s kind of like if you’ve got a bucket, and when the buckets full, you’re full, we get that. And however we want to fill that bucket with whatever is that what we’re talking about here, something similar to that.
Rachel Freiman 6:22
But that’s a great analogy. The analogy I always used as a financial budget. So if I hand you 100 bucks and say, Here you go, this is your 100 bucks to spend, the only rule is it doesn’t roll over, you have to spend it all today. Well, now you have the freedom of choice, you could make little purchases throughout the day, you could go on a shopping spree in the morning and be stingy at night, you could hoard your money all day and go shopping. And it doesn’t matter to your $100. So when we approach nutrition as a skill, it’s called macro tracking. And what we’re doing is we’re figuring out your personal nutrition budget. And from there you have the freedom of choice. So for someone like me, who refuses to live a life that doesn’t include doughnuts, if I want to budget and spend some of my carbs and some of my fat on a doughnut in the morning, cool. It’s not cheap food, it’s not a splurge food, I didn’t break my diet, I’m just going to spend those macros and be a little stingy as the day goes on. And as we do this longer and longer, it just becomes a skill, there’s the you will literally never diet again, it just it completely heals your relationship with food by getting out of that good food, bad food all in all out.
Debra Muth 7:27
I love that. And how does that affect your metabolic rate then? So I’m assuming based on macros, if you’re figuring out what macros are for each person, it’s different for a 15 year old versus a 50 year old that’s in menopause, or somebody who’s 20 pounds overweight versus somebody that’s 100 pounds overweight? Is that right? Absolutely.
Rachel Freiman 7:47
Yeah. And I’m so glad you brought that up for two reasons. One, you know, a lot of people were designed to want the quick fix, right? So people say, Well, you write me a meal plan? And the answer’s no, for two reasons. One, not that I won’t, but it’s not in your best interest, right one because, you know, if you weigh 150 pounds, and your best friend weighs 350 pounds, how the hell is this meal plan that you downloaded off the internet gonna work for both of us? Like that doesn’t make sense, right? The second reason is this, a lot of these diets out there that you know, big businesses are designed for dramatic results, they want you scrolling through Instagram and seeing these before and after pictures that blow your mind. But what they don’t show is what happens after. So I’m gonna backtrack a little bit and then I’ll pinpoint in your answers, the only the holy grail we’ve all been looking for the magic pill to losing weight is called being in a caloric deficit, you have to eat less calories than you burn, it’s the only way the human body can lose weight. So any shake system point system, anything out there, macro tracking, all they’re doing is getting you to eat less calories than you burn in a day. What these big businesses are doing when they want those dramatic results is they’re putting you in a drastic deficit. So you right now, if you’re eating 1900 calories a day, and that’s the reason we’re struggling with weight loss, they’re gonna put you at like 1100 calories a day, are you gonna lose weight? Absolutely, you’re gonna lose a ton of weight really quickly. But you are shooting your metabolism in the foot, you’re telling it, listen, we’re not going to give you very much food. So you may as well go on vacation, you don’t need to work so hard. So then what happens at some point, because we already know restriction is not sustainable, you’re going to start eating like a normal human being again. And when that happens, not only and we’ve all been there not only gained the weight back, we gained more back because we told our metabolism to go on vacation. So with macro tracking, it is super personal. It’s based on your age, your weight, your activity level, your preferences, and what we’re doing, we’re still putting you in a caloric deficit, because it’s the only way to lose weight. You have to be in a deficit. But we’re putting you at the high end of a deficit. So we’re literally training your metabolism. To speed up, we’re telling it Listen, we’re gonna lose weight. We have to it’s math and science. It’s how the body is designed, but you’re gonna process as much food as possible. I will tell you that the number one feedback that I get from people who are new to macro tracking is I cannot believe I’m eating this much food while still losing weight. I hear that all the time. And like, what a beautiful thing to say. That’s not how we associate dieting. Right?
Debra Muth 10:14
Not at all. And I will tell you, I work with a lot of women and have for 25 years. And nine times out of 10. The women that hit midlife, they hit that wonderful age of 50. And their hormones start doing all these wonderful dancy things, they will find that their metabolism is tanking. And so they keep cutting their calories and cutting their calories. And I literally have women that come in and say, I’m on 800 calories a day, and I’m not losing weight, I’m still gaining. And you try to explain to them that they’re in that starvation mode. But we’ve been so trained in our head that if you’re not losing weight, just keep cutting the calories, keep cutting the calories, and it’ll happen. But it’s really hard for people to understand that starvation mode. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Rachel Freiman 11:01
Yeah, for sure. And that like listening, I felt that in my soul, as I’m hearing you say that. It’s the same thing like I’ve lots of women come to me saying I’m eating 900 calories a day, and I can’t lose weight? And the answer is you’re not losing weight because you’re eating 900 calories today like, right, and and that’s what it is, you know, we talk about starvation mode. What What is that the basis of starvation? There’s two things one, is this idea of your metabolism. It is related to the parent who like does the kids homework for them, right? And then one day the kid comes home and says mom do my project. And the mom’s like aghast How could you ask me that? Like, you train that child to do that? But that’s on you. Right? Yeah. So but that’s us. We told her metabolism, like, I’m not going to give you very much food so you can slow down? And then we get upset with it for slowing down. Right? Yes. So there is a way because macros are so personal. The very first thing I do when I set client’s macros plant macro plans, is I simply have them track their feed for a week. So there’s tons of free apps out there, I use my fitness pal a week. One is don’t try to be on good behavior. Don’t try to change anything. We’re going to simply eat as we normally eat and track our feed. Because we want to meet your body where it is, if you’re eating 900 calories a day, and I’m going insane. No, you should be eating 1300 calories a day, your body’s not going to like that it doesn’t like drastic change. So we’re going to meet it where it is. And we’re going to slowly work to increase because that’s when we can really retrain that metabolism to start speeding up the little, little little. And then what happens in time is you look back and you’re like, holy crap, how am I eating 1400 calories a day. And now my body’s finally releasing the weight. And it’s all about what’s going on with your metabolism behind the scenes.
Debra Muth 12:40
Yeah, I was at most of our fitness in Utah this year, not on purpose. Let me tell you that we were, we were I don’t want to say lied to you. But we were teased a little bit that we were going to this business retreat, and it’s going to be at this great resort. However, like 90 of us said, we hope we all miss the fitness part in front of them. Yeah. We left that part out. So we were working out this is no lie, like from six in the morning till six at night, we ate three meals a day, 1200 calories a day, some of us were less than 1200 calories a day, burning all this fuel, and literally walked away losing like one pound of body fat. And we were talking to the trainers. And there was another gal and myself saying, you know, we don’t need that much. And how is this going to work and blah, blah. And she was telling us the same thing. Like, you have to start eating more calories, but you have to do two hours of cardio a day for three weeks to reset your metabolism. And we’re like, okay, we don’t have two hours a day. Okay, we just burned all this fuel in this last seven days and lost nothing. And you want us to do two hours of cardio with 1200 calories a day. And that’s going to reset it. So I came home and I’m the smarty and I said okay, I’m going to do an hour a day of cardio. And I’ll gradually increase my calories and lost a big fat zero. And I’m like, I don’t think that extra hour would have done a dang thing anyway.
Rachel Freiman 14:08
No, yeah, that’s no no, whoever said that you like no, firm now. This, this can get into a bigger conversation of weight training versus cardio. But, you know, cardio is if weight loss comes down to calories in versus calories out what your does, we’ve already said you have to be in chloric deficit. cardio is great. It’s great for your heart. It has lots of health benefits, and it’s great for straight up burning calories. But at the end of the day nutrition is 90% of this game. So when people come to me and they say you know I don’t have time for both do i do nutrition or workouts? It’s not a question every single human being on this earth should get their nutrition in check first because a you’re going to eat everyday anyway. You’re not going to necessarily always find time to work out and be you can do this without ever stepping foot in a gym. There’s health benefits to it, but it’s not necessary. This nutrition piece is the Holy Grail to the topic that most of us have struggled our whole lives with.
Debra Muth 15:04
That’s awesome. You know, what do you think about people talking about cellular hydration. And there’s some people that believe that the lack of us being dehydrated, not getting water into ourselves is a big part of us not being able to burn fuel does that have any sustainability or real realistic,
Rachel Freiman 15:25
um, it’s usually not a factor in why you’re not losing weight. But I will tell you that the vast majority of humans are not getting enough water. And this is my number one quick fix energy hack. Like if you are low energy, and you want to just do something quick, and I don’t know if I would call it easy, because it’s a habit, right? It’s something we need to form. But if you slowly start increasing your water intake, and that’s going to be different for everyone. If you barely drink water, then start with a few glasses a day, if you already drink some, keep it slow. Like when I say to people try to get up to a gallon, some people have a heart attack. But that’s a very long term goal. But if you can get yourself up that high, you are going to feel your energy just skyrocket. And the other thing that’s going to happen is you know, some people, some people have a flipped view of water weight, they think, well, if I drink water, I gain weight, right, you get on a scale, you get off, you chug a couple glasses, you get back on the scale went up. But that’s the opposite of how it works our body because we’re most of us are walking around dehydrated, it’s holding on to water, it’s not getting what it needs. So it’s holding tight. It’s like someone living paycheck to paycheck, we’re afraid to spend it because we don’t know when it’s coming in next. But if you’ve trained your body that it’s going to get enough water every single day. Now we can go on those shopping sprees, it’s like oh, I trust you. Let me get rid of some of this water cuz I know Moore’s coming in. And that’s where you see the scale go down. But that goes back to your original statement of weight loss versus fat loss. water weight is not fat. However, it can make a big difference on the scale. So like, if you water a super important, most of us are not getting enough. And it’s not a contributing factor to actually losing fat on your body. Gotcha.
Debra Muth 17:03
And when we’re taking in more of that water initially, to get it into the cells do we need to be adding more electrolytes or Himalayan sea salt, things like that, so that the cells can take up the water, or just straight water is all we need?
Rachel Freiman 17:17
For most people just straight water is fine. If you’re a hardcore athlete, the answer is going to be different. But for the vast majority of us, just increasing our water is going to be all we need.
Debra Muth 17:26
Gotcha. That’s awesome. So tell us about your program. How did you create it? Why did you get involved in all of this?
Rachel Freiman 17:34
I love this question, because my answer is so not what you would expect from a fitness Pro. I was a musician for most of my life. I was a freelance jazz musician in New York City for a long time. And then I started teaching Middle School music, which was also something that I swore I’d never do. I’ve never been a teacher. And I loved it. I absolutely love teaching, but it is you know, I taught Middle School. It’s a tough job. I was working 12 hour days with a roomful of 30. preteens.
Debra Muth 18:01
Yeah, bless your heart. Right.
Rachel Freiman 18:04
I always joke now that it’s not a joke. They’re like, patience is my superpower. Because if you can do that, you can do anything. So I started going to the gym, just as a release for myself, right? Like, teaching does take so much patience and like so much breathing it out that I just needed a release. So I got into training very organically, I started going to the gym with a friend. And it became one of those things where, you know, they say thing you struggle with the most becomes the thing you’re most passionate about teaching. Um, there were two aspects to it. One, I was just flabbergasted when the more I learned about this, I was like, there is so much BS in the health and fitness industry, that the teacher in me that like, I will never consider myself a personal trainer, I consider myself an educator. And the teacher in me was like, Oh my gosh, like all this stuff on this the market the point system to shake systems. They’re Bs, they’re, they’re a blanket so that people become reliant on these companies. Why is nobody teaching this as a skill because the more I learned, the more I saw that workouts and nutrition are learnable skills. Yeah. And I struggled with this idea of like, the world doesn’t need another personal trainer. But ultimately, where I decided the world doesn’t need a personal trainer, but it needs someone educating with what I call truth with a capital T. Mm hmm. And then the other side of it was I’ve learned the hard way. Like I my first year was a hot mess. If Instagram had been a big thing back then there would be viral, viral. I was injured all the time. I did not see results for almost a full year because my nutrition was a mess. And it was just a very organic process where the more I learned and the more my body started to show results. Friends at other teachers would be like, Oh, I’d love to, you know to get muscles like you How do I do that? And I was like, Well come to the gym with me. I’m doing it anyway. And I always relate this story is almost selfish of me where the feedback I heard from them lit me up so hearing these teachers say like, wow, I feel like a better Teacher a better wife a better partner. Because of the confidence I have, like, I’ve been avoiding mirrors for 20 years. And now I feel amazing. To me, I was like, like, I want to hear that every day, I want to help people feel like that every day. So it was a very slow organic process with this mix of wanting to light that spark for people and also wanting to streamline the process and cut through the BS in the system. And lo and behold, mind shrunk fitness came to be and it’s just very, the the mindset piece is the key to this, right? Like that’s mine strong comes from the education part and the mindset piece of getting out of this all in all out. And cutting through the Bs, I always joke that I have the worst sales pitch in the world, because my sales pitches, you only need me once. And it’s true like, with me, I’m going to teach you how to do this, most of my clients stay and hang out because we’re like our little family in there. But you don’t need to keep buying my point system like shakes hands, and I’m here as a teacher to teach you how to do this. And then you you leave the nest and you fly free and you do it forever.
Debra Muth 21:01
That’s awesome. I love thatI have been a gym rat my whole life. And back in the day. For those of you that are my age, you all remember victini that was like our big place where everyone worked out, like in the 80s and 90s. Right. And so I worked there and got a chance to see so many transformations, but also got to see a lot of people who would show up every day and didn’t transform their bodies. And I remember one person specifically that I worked with, and he you know, we were all about the same age, we were all in our 20s. And he was a bigger guy and a little pudgy around the belly. And he said, I’m getting myself in shape. And he had been working out all the time, you know, year, but he decided he was going to change nutrition. And oh my gosh, when he did that, literally the transformation in his body happened in like six weeks, it was incredible. And that was probably the first time that I really realized like all these fad diets we had all been doing really didn’t matter. It was all the stuff that you’re talking about, along with the exercise that made a difference. And and he wasn’t in the gym killing himself three hours a day, like the most of us were you know, and we weren’t killing ourselves anyway, most of it was a social event a little bit, you know, spent a lot of time there. But it really made a huge difference when you saw people really, truly transformed like that. And it’s incredible. But we haven’t talked about that anymore. Like you said, it’s all about what can I sell you? What can you buy for me? What can I teach you that you already know, but I can pack it package it all in I’m pretty bow and sell it to you for 1000 bucks or 5000 bucks. That seems to be the magic number these days. Everybody’s program’s $1,000. And so I love the fact that you’re saying, you know, give me 12 weeks, let me work with you. And you’ve got this, you can do it. And I think a lot of people need that they know they need an end to the end in sight, but that it’s something they can live with forever.
Rachel Freiman 23:02
It’s true. And that I mean, what you’re describing is exactly the key nutrition is the holy grail to this and a lot of us are of the mindset, the biggest the biggest pushback I hear from people is, I don’t have the time to learn this. I’d rather someone just tell me what to do. And my answer to you is I we all want that right? We right? We all want the quick and easy method. But my first question is how well has that worked for you? Right? Because that’s what we’ve done our whole lives and it doesn’t stick. And the second thing is if we think about how much time and energy we spend on the topic of our bodies, right? Well, I’ve smelled pizza last night, now my jeans feel tight, I shouldn’t have eaten that I can’t eat this I can, if you add up the time and energy you spend, and you just shift where you’re going to put that energy for the next few weeks, you literally This is all about control, like learning to track macros, is taking complete control of one of the unhealthiest relationships in our life. And that’s our relationship with food. And it is it’s a learning curve. When people come to me, I tell them right away, if you’re looking to drop 20 pounds in a month, I am not the coach for you. Because what we’re going to do is going to be a learning curve. It’s going to be frustrating for the first few weeks. It’s going to be like knitting like you get a couple stitches in and you have to unravel it and do to get like it sucks for the first few weeks. Yeah, but if you can get past that learning curve, if you’re dedicated to it, it literally transforms your life because there is no more guessing is this working? This is math and science and it works for every single human being on the face of the earth as long as you’re willing to put the time into learning the skill.
Debra Muth 24:31
I love that. I love that because you’re right, so many of us have that unhealthy relationship. I grew up with my mom and my family. My mom’s family is they’re bigger women. And so I knew like I never wanted to look like that I would do anything I had to do to not look like that. And my mom is the same like she follows this totally restrictive diet has her entire life. She’s still overweight. She bakes cookies for us every single weekend and never touched one of them God I don’t know how she does that. But She does power. But if at she’ll still say, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, I keep eating less, and I still gain more weight. And I grew up with that bad body image system. Like, I don’t want to look like that. I don’t want to be like that. And I know that anything I put in my mouth, I’m gonna have the potential look like that. And so my entire life too, I’ve always walked around, you know, if I’m 10 pounds overweight, I’m fat, and that’s in my brain. And to unravel, that is so difficult. So when you talk about it being mind, it’s so much mind control for us, and body image issues. And so many of us have issues with that.
Rachel Freiman 25:38
Oh, my goodness, yes. And this, this is where like, when we talk about revolutionising the health and fitness industry, when I was a middle school teacher, I would hear sixth grade girls, these girls are 11 years old. And they would come in and say, Oh, I feel fat. I had pizza last night. And I’m like, you’re not old enough to know what that feels like. But what you’re doing is you’re regurgitating what you hear mom say. And that’s not that’s not mom’s fault. Now we’re talking about grandma and great grandma. And to me, like the beauty of taking control of your nutrition is it goes so far beyond this. Because now your children or your students, or whatever your interaction is with kids. Now, when they watch your relationship with food, they’re they’re sponges, and they’re picking everything up. So if they see mom go, like, Hey, who wants pizza at night, I’m sitting in my macros. That’s not a bad food anymore. This 11 year old girl is not viewing pizza as the thing that’s making her fat at 11. It’s cool. Here’s a food I really love. And I can learn to fit it into my lifestyle. And we can have conversations about nutritious versus non nutritious, right? Like, I try to get away from the good bad labels and focus on nutritious eating most of the time, while still allowing for those fun foods. But what you’re saying is so important, because this is the trickle down effect. You know, it’s one thing for us to try to try to BS our way through it and be like, no, I feel great about my body and you don’t and your kids pick up on that. And it’s another to just the way you view food to not be good or bad. All in all out. Because that’s that’s the example we’re setting for. Especially our daughters.
Debra Muth 27:08
Yeah, especially It is so true. So you teach on the neuroscience behind fitness. Tell us a little bit about what that means.
Rachel Freiman 27:18
Yeah, I am I not was gonna say a secret neuroscience. Now that my book came out, it’s no more. That’s not a secret. I was if you talk to my parents, they will tell you I was one of those really annoying kids that always said, but why But why? Oh, why? Like, don’t tell me something is telling me why it is. So the more that I learned about health and fitness and nutrition and working out, I got really interested in habits, I think that we can all agree that where we are in life in every area, whether we’re talking about fitness, or finances or relationships, we are our habits, what we do everyday equates to where we are. So I got really interested in learning how habits are formed, and why it’s so difficult to form a new habit and what it actually takes to form a new habit. And like most people, I spent most of my 20s reading self help mindset books and, and just I understood this stuff. But there was this missing piece like standing in front of a mirror saying I am a goddess every day, it was just like not it was not doing the trick for me. And there’s a time in place for monitors. But I wanted to understand little Rachel was like, but why But why? So what I teach and what I’ve studied on my own, and what really fascinates me is this idea of neural connections in our brain, that every time we learn something new, your brain is literally forming a new neural connection. And in the beginning, it sucks. It’s new, it’s hard. I one of my favorite stories for my book is talking about habits where it’s like if I’m standing here and there’s a creepy farmhouse across an overgrown field, the first time I try to walk to it, it’s gonna suck because stuffs poking me and I’m trying to weave my way through. But if I do it again and again and again and again, eventually a well worn path is going to be there, I could just walk there without any effort, because I’ve done it so many times, actually, yeah, and understanding that this is how our brain works. The first time we make a connection, we’re weeding our way through the garbage. But as we do it again and again. And again, this stuff called myelin is coding that connection. And that’s how we form a habit. So the first time we go to the gym, we don’t want to it goes against all the neural connections we already have. And the second time it sucks just as much. And the third time, it’s just as much. But we do it again and again and again. And eventually it’s just part of who we are and what we do. And that’s true, not only of actions that we take, but the thoughts we think because 95% of our day is running on autopilot every time we walk by a mirror and say oh, how do I get myself let myself get like this. That’s not a conscious thought. We’re having that as a neural connection in your brain. And if we want to change our lives when we talk about leveling up and thinking positively, it’s not some rainbows and unicorns, hippie stuff. It’s it’s neuroscience is that we need to first flag that thought Like, wait a second, there’s that neural connection and replace it with something again, that’s not sugarcoating. But that’s true. Like, yeah, I don’t feel great about how I let my body and today is the day I take step one, for macro tracking, I’m making a change. There’s our new mantra. And every time that thought comes in, we interrupt it, and we replace it. And when you picture it, that way, you can actually see what’s happening in your brain that we’re forming new neural connections, we’re coding you with that myelin. And this idea of positive thinking and changing your life, it becomes less like, whoo. And this is how we literally do it. This, these are the steps we take from a neuroscience perspective to change our habits.
Debra Muth 30:39
I love that I read a book from another neuro person called the elastic habits and it was great because it taught us how to change those habits. And one of the things that he was talking about, is working out. And so every time he would get up to go to the bathroom, he do one push up. And when he’d get up to go for a cup of coffee, he’d be he do two squats, or whatever it was. And by the end of the day, all of a sudden, you knew you had your whole workout in, but you didn’t do it in that whole one hour time you did it throughout the day, it finally became a habit to the point where he didn’t even think about it. It just happened. He was just doing it. And I was like, What a cool way of implementing some new habits to not make it so hard for you.
Rachel Freiman 31:24
I love that. Yeah. And that’s something that my clients and I talk about constantly, like we you and I already discussed this idea of nutrition being 90%. With workouts, a lot of times my advice about workouts is the polar opposite of what you’d expect from a coach. I, most of the time, I’m telling people, if you’re not working out at all right now, do not try to go to four or five, six days a week, 45 minutes a day, you’re never going to stick with it. Because again, our bodies are pleasure seeking creatures. And that is that is overload. That’s too much discomfort all at once. And it’s not necessary, because we’re pleasure seeking creatures when you do one thing. Your body’s gonna go man that felt good. What else can I do? What else can I do? So if today is a 20 minute walk, you know, you feel into what feels good for you. And tomorrow you do another one. If you just stick with that, by next week, you’re organically going to go on that walk felt pretty good. I wonder what would happen if instead of McDonald’s for lunch before my walk, I swapped it out for this. And that’s how you look back six months from now and say, Wow, I completely transformed my life. Instead of this unsustainable idea of today’s day one six days working out eating clean, Major, like overhaul that’s never gonna stick. It’s all about baby steps and momentum.
Debra Muth 32:38
I love that. So the million dollar question, how do we still eat donuts and stay in shape?
Rachel Freiman 32:45
It is it’s all macros. So to go back to our budget analogy, I’m just gonna throw numbers out there. I’m gonna get into a little bit of logistics, but not not too deep. So when we talk about macros, that simply stands for macronutrients. If you look at the nutrition label on any food, there’s tons of information. Three of those pieces of information are your carbs, your carbohydrates, your fat, and your protein, carbs, fat and protein are your macronutrients. They’re the three nutrients of what you need the most. That’s why they’re called macro nutrients, we call them macros. So let’s say I figure out your personal macro plan. And again, I’m just making up these numbers. So I don’t suggest you use them. And your says you’re gonna eat 80 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbs, 60 grams of fat every day. Okay? So you wake up tomorrow, and you’re like, I need a doughnut in my life right now, like this day is not going to happen if it doesn’t start with a donut. So you eat the donut, and you plug it into your app, because you’ve put your goals into your free app like My Fitness Pal. That app is going to automatically pull out however many grams of carbs and fat were in that doughnut, because unfortunately, there’s no protein and donuts. And it’s going to show you what you have left for the day. And this goes back to our financial budget. Everything you have left of your personal numbers is yours to spend. So you didn’t cheat with that doughnut. You didn’t break your diet, you chose to quote unquote, spend a bunch of your carbs and fat on donut and you’re going to be a little stingy with your macros the rest of the day. And this is true I use doughnuts because I love them. But if you’re going out to dinner, you know a lot of people when they’re on a diet, they’re afraid to go out to eat. Yeah, what I do when I go out to eat is I plug out I plug in whatever I’m going to eat in the morning so that it’s already spent and I have the rest of my day to just budget accordingly. So a burger and fries is no longer a cheat meal. I’m just gonna budget the rest of my day around it. And again, when we do this, there’s no more cheating bingeing splurging, there’s no more good foods bad foods. Again, we can talk about nutritious versus less nutritious, but we get out of these labels we get out of these cans and cants, and we’re literally hitting our weight loss goals while eating donuts, pizza, pasta burgers,
Debra Muth 34:53
I love that. I love that because now you don’t have to go out and have to sit at the table. With your friends and say, yeah, I’m on a diet, I’m gonna have a salad. You don’t have nobody wants.
Debra Muth 35:07
You can eat salad at home. That’s great. But who wants to do that when you go to this amazing pasta restaurant, you know, or anything like that? Yes, yeah. So
Rachel Freiman 35:16
the beautiful thing is that it works for every lifestyle. So if you’re a vegan, if you’re vegetarian, if you’re gluten free, if you love meat, it doesn’t matter. Your macros are yours to spend whatever kind of lifestyle you want to live.
Debra Muth 35:27
I love that too. Because then you’re not forcing yourself to eat things you don’t want to, or you’re having to change your entire belief system around food. If you’re vegan for personal reasons, not medical reasons, or whatever, you just don’t like it. You don’t have to sit and say, I have to eat this, because this is the only way I’m gonna lose. I love that.
Rachel Freiman 35:46
Exactly, exactly. Yep, it’s all about choice.
Debra Muth 35:49
So if someone’s listening to us, and they’re just starting on this fitness journey, they don’t really know where to begin, what are some of the first steps they should take?
Rachel Freiman 35:59
So I’ll give you I’ll give you some logistical first steps. And then I’ll tell you, where you can hang out with people who are taking these steps to help you. The very first thing I suggest, no matter where you are in this is go download a free app, there’s hundreds of them, I use my fitness pal, I’m not associated with them, it’s just the one I use, there’s one called lose it, you can do this with a Fitbit doesn’t matter. There’s free versions paid versions, you only need the free version, we don’t have to complicate it for the next five to seven days. And this is easier said than done. I’m going to tell you don’t try to be on good behavior. But you will find that the second you start tracking some people lose weight just by tracking. Because when you when you see and you hold yourself accountable, it can, it can be a lifestyle change. But doing the best you can to not change anything, eat as you normally eat and just input your food. So you wake up, you have two eggs, bacon and toast, you go in the app, you search the database, you just input what you eat. And that’s it. There’s no judgment, this is not a reflection on you, as a human being, we’re just getting the data down. And I say easier said than done. Also, because this is a lot like let’s say you’re in a bunch of debt, and you meet with a financial advisor to get out of debt. Right? That meeting sucks. Nobody wants to go to that meeting, because you’re looking on paper at your credit card bills and your mortgage. And you’re looking at how in the hole you are right now. And that’s not a good feeling. We don’t want that discomfort. And it’s just data it’s happening, whether we’re looking at it or not. So the first step to change, we can’t change unless we take that first step of looking at the data. And that’s what this week of tracking is. Once you have your week, the logical next thing is, well, Rachel, I have no idea what these numbers mean, right? Like, I don’t know how much protein I should be eating, I don’t know how many grams carbs fat, we don’t need to worry about that right now. simply looking at our averages you’re going to see at the end of the week, it’ll tell you, you tend to average 40 grams of protein, you tend to average 200 grams of carbs. We don’t know if those are good ranges yet. But you’re going to learn so much about your tendencies just by tracking before you make any changes. From there, when you’re ready for help of what to do with those numbers. You can go my facebook group is one of my favorite things on Earth. I love my facebook group. It’s called Mind Strong Women on Facebook. If you search Facebook, you’ll find it that is a group filled up with 2000 women who are at different stages of their macro journey. But the conversations in there are awesome, because it’s people talking about I call it the nerdy game of Tetris, like how to hit your numbers, and what it means and how to get started. On my website, I also have tons of freebies to get you started with macros, it’s a very simply mindstrongfitness.comm. So you can always go in there and grab some of my freebies or contact me through there.
Debra Muth 38:36
Awesome. I love that. So what are some last tips that you want to leave our listeners with?
Rachel Freiman 38:44
The number one biggest tip that I can give people is and this is so much easier said than done. But to get out of the All in all out mindset, we have been I’m going to consciously use the word brainwashed because that’s basically what it is. We have been brainwashed by this industry to believe that we are either working out six days a week eating quote unquote clean, crushing our diet, or I’ve messed up and I need to start again next week. And I am telling you with 100% certainty as a human as a coach who someone who lives and breathes this stuff. If your prerequisite to stick with this is perfection, you’re never going to stick with it ever. People who are winning professional bodybuilding competitions are not perfect with this. The difference between someone who hits their goals and someone who doesn’t is that they get right back on. Not on Monday, not the next month. It’s cool, I ate that it didn’t fit my macros or cool I missed a workout. I didn’t plan to miss that workout. You get right the heck back on the very next day and you keep going and that that is the differentiating factor for people six months from now who look back and have changed their life and those who have lived decades upon decades of saying I’ll start again Monday I’ll start again Monday you got to get out of the All in all out mindset understand it’s not gonna be perfect and just keep going
Debra Muth 40:00
I love that. I love that because you’re so right life gets in the way sometimes. And as long as we just get back on, it’s, it’s fine, you’re not going to lose that much. But when you get off and you’re off for weeks or months or years, it’s so much harder to get started with that. Thank you so much for being here. This has been an amazing conversation. Oh, gosh, we could just chat for hours on this. And I know you’re busy woman as well. But thank you for being here and sharing this with us.
Rachel Freiman 40:29
Thank you for having this was a blast.
Debra Muth 40:32
You guys, I am loving doing this. Let’s talk wellness now podcast. And I really want us to be able to share this information with as many people as possible. So if you’re finding our episodes that have been helpful, you’ve enjoyed them. Please like us, share us, rate us do all of those things that help us get seen by the world a little bit more so that we can help other people expand their knowledge on health and wellness. Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review, share this podcast and if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest