I’ve read a lot of blogs documenting others’ experiences with the LiveFit Trainer. It seems like those who have limited success with the Program generally are not following Jamie’s meal plan. I believe that diet is the most important component of any training/fitness program and I learned this through trial and error.
I hired my first trainer when I was in college. I had definitely put on a few pounds during my first couple years courtesy of my weekly drinking schedule. I actually didn’t gain the “freshman 15″ and looking back, I think this was because I was still living in the dorms with access to fresh food every day and was not yet at the point where I was obsessing about everything I ate. My mother is a dietician and had raised us with healthy food habits including lots of lean protein, fruits and vegetables. The problem came when I moved into a house the following year with 5 other girls. I didn’t really know how to cook and my grocery list primarily consisted of diet coke and frozen chicken breast. While I still exercised regularly, you know that the alcohol you’re drinking has a lot of calories, so you start skipping meals so that you would still be able to go out an party. We all know that’s a recipe for a 2 am pizza run that no one needs.
So somewhere around my junior year, I started going to a trainer. She was extremely nice and approachable, but her workouts were killer. After about 3 months, I had really put on some muscle and could actually run a 5K (and I had never, ever considered myself a runner so I never even tried to run more than 2 miles before). I learned so much from her but since I was an impoverished undergrad, I couldn’t continue to train with her.
I kept the weight relatively stable until I graduated and moved to Utah. I had about 9 months before I started law school, so I did what any newly minted ski town resident would do and got a job waiting tables at a ski resort bar. Soon, I reached my highest weight of around 150 lbs, which is damn hefty when you’re only 5’3”. I still have a picture of myself from that time to remind myself of where I do NOT want ever be again. Again, my poor lifestyle and eating habits had done me in – late nights, lots of alcohol, too tired for breakfast, big lunch, eating restaurant food, blah blah blah you get the idea.
Fast forward to 2012. I started going to CrossFit because several people in my office were Crossfitters and I was curious to see what this was all about. I had also heard about this mysterious “paleo” diet that all the CrossFit peeps were doing. Aside from being somewhat historically inaccurate, any diet that allowed you to eat bacon and whole eggs on the regular seemed like a recipe for disaster and just another Atkins. A couple months after I started CrossFit, my trainer encouraged me to try 30 days of strict paleo – no dairy, grains, sugar, beans, or other artificial ingredients. I successfully completed a Whole30 and couldn’t believe 1) how easy it was to maintain and 2) how much better I felt. While I didn’t lose any weight, my athletic performance improved, I stopped feeling fatigued in the afternoon, and the IBS I have been struggling with for 10 years is almost nonexistent. The concept is simple enough: eat protein and lots of veggies, a little fruit, healthy fats (yay Avocado!) and don’t worry so much about counting calories. I’ve maintained a 90% paleo diet since then and I see no reason to turn back.
This leads me to my main point. My biggest issue with Jamie Eason’s diet program is that it includes a few things that I just don’t think are good for you – mostly her protein bars. She’s a big fan of using so called “natural” zero calorie sugars such as xylitol and stevia in her recipes. Sure these sugars may have natural origins (like a leaf) but so so is sugar cane. I’ll get my sweetness from honey and maple syrup, thanks. I do think it is possible to follow her diet with paleo modifications. Of course, the fat content will be higher with paleo, but “fat doesn’t make you fat.” See It Starts With Food. It will be interesting to see how my PaleoFit results compare to others who have completed the LiveFit Trainer…
Off to do chest and triceps today – fun fun!