We wanted to give a big shoutout to Suzette Monteiro for all of her hard work and dedication over the past 2 years since joining us at Pennant. Suzette just celebrated her 40th birthday on Sunday and has been been on a steady, consistent journey to becoming her best self.
Suzette has had a long, gradual journey to where she is today. When she started with us in January 2017, she was 162 pounds and her body fat was 37%. She started working with Coach Nicole in April and she was 152 pounds with a body fat of 27%. Suzette completed her most recent 3-month program with Coach Nicole and is now down to 126 pounds and her body fat is 15%!
Suzette’s gradual consistent progress is a true testament to consistency and dedication. It shows that things worth having take time but, if you put in the work and trust the process, amazing things can happen!
Below we have included some pictures from Suzette’s journey. Awesome work, Suzette!
152 pounds with a body fat of 27%
Suzette’s 40th Birthday, October 2018
126 pounds with a body fat of 15%
“Ok, so my 14 week cut ends today. This was one of the hardest things to do, amidst the ACOA depression I had this winter I had let my diet and exercise slide and had lost a lot of strength and put on a lot of fat. Like, a lot. Highest percentage in two years. I had a lot of meltdowns and panic attacks thru this process before slowly rebuilding to a place where I am worth the work and all I have to do is eat all my food and trust the process. I am worth the cost of healthy, fresh food. I am worth the time it takes to prepare and weigh out all my meals. I am worth the time and effort it takes to go to the gym often enough to feel radiant in health. It is valuable for my children to see me investing in my health and longevity in such a deep way. While weight loss wasn’t one of my goals, it did happen and I definitely feel faster for it.
Unashamedly, here are my stats:
Starting weight: 165
Today’s weight: 157
Starting PBF: 29.1
Ending PBF: 23.2 (lowest in 2yrs)
Starting BFM: 47.9lbs
Ending BFM: 36.4lbs
Starting SMM: 65.3lbs
Ending SMM: 67.7lbs
Dropped over a full point on the BMI, gained 50kcal on my basal metabolic rate, gained a pound of bone density, and kept the overall weight loss to 8lbs while losing 11.5lbs fat. Very pleased with my results as I go into a few months of maintenance to give my body a break before I work again after the holidays to shift those percentages even more. If you’re curious at all about this process or in joining the Pennant CrossFit nutrition group message Nicole Torres. ☺️💪🏼🏋”~~ Sarah Whiteman
Great work Sarah!!!
Click Here to hear what Coach Nicole Torres, Head of Pennant Nutrition, has to say about your post workout meal!
Maintenance & Why It Is Important:
By now, most of you are well-versed in what it means to cut weight. Some of you are even lucky enough to have experienced the wondrous world of massing! However, regardless of whichever diet phase you are currently in, at some point you will be faced with what many believe to be the scariest and most challenging phase of all: maintenance.
To ensure that we are giving our bodies and our minds a break after any type of dieting “stress” brought on by deviating from caloric homeostasis (i.e. being in a caloric deficit or a caloric surplus), it is imperative to enter a period of caloric balance where we are trying to neither lose or gain any more weight. Mentally, this can be the toughest type of way to eat. We are generally so programmed to look for changes on the scale that it is a mentally tough pill to swallow when the goal is to maintain your current weight. However, it is essential to maintain weight after about 12 weeks of either cutting or massing to make sure that our hormones and minds have the opportunity to take a figurative deep breath and relax.
During maintenance, the idea is that you are living more of a normal life and no longer letting your world revolve around your food intake. This can manifest in various forms including having a cheat meal or 3 alcoholic drinks once a week, not weighing and measuring every single meal, and fitting in foods that are not typically “allowed” on the template or during a diet. Because of this phase of mental and physical relaxation, it is even more important to take your cutting or massing phase seriously and strictly adhere to your diet since there will be a time to relax at the end through maintenance. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, those donuts will be waiting for you on the other side of a diet.
The amount of time that someone spends on maintenance completely varies from person to person and is entirely dependent on someone’s goals and how well an individual’s body responds to a diet. However, a good rule of thumb is that maintenance should be AT LEAST half of the time someone is dieting. For some people who respond very well to dieting and do not easily get mentally or physically fatigued from dieting, they will be able to handle a shorter maintenance phase. Conversely, for those whose bodies respond poorly to dieting will require a longer period of mental and physical relaxation, i.e. maintenance. The last thing to consider in regards to how long maintenance should be is what a person’s goals are. For someone whose only goal was to lose 12 pounds and she was able to do that during her first and only cut, she will be able to maintain for the rest of her life if she wishes, or until her body-weight goals change. On the other hand, someone who has the goal of losing a significant amount of weight and is not able to do that on her first cut is more likely to have a shorter maintenance in order to start another cut.
During a cut or a mass, calories were slowly either taken away or added in order to allow for sustainable weight loss or gain, respectively. During maintenance, the same will be true but in reverse. If someone is coming off of a cut, calories will slowly be added back in every few weeks to get back to caloric homeostasis. If someone is cutting off of a mass, calories will either stay the same or be very slightly cut to get back to caloric homeostasis. The addition or subtraction of calories is based on how well someone is maintaining their body weight. Remember that because your body weight will have changed after a diet, you will have a new caloric homeostasis. In other words, it will not take as many calories to maintain your new weight if you are 15# lighter than before you started cutting. Therefore, the goal is not to get back to your previous caloric homeostasis but rather your new one.
If someone chose to forego maintenance and continue either in a caloric deficit or a caloric surplus, they are running the risk of burning the candle at both figurative ends. Their hormones will start to become improperly balanced which can cause metabolic damage that will deter any diet success in the future. Additionally, and arguably most importantly, they will mostly likely become mentally burnt out, which can lead to binge eating and mental anguish; in essence, creating or reinforcing an unhealthy relationship with food. Endless bouts of continuous cutting is merely a set-up for failure as no one can be “perfect” on a permanent caloric deficit, which is why we see many people who are “good” during the week and completely splurge on the weekends. They have not gone through a fixed period of mental or physical relaxation (maintenance) so they try to do this on the weekends all the while thinking that they are not doing themselves any harm. Meanwhile, from a macro perspective we can see that they are stuck on the hamster wheel or losing the same 3 pounds during the week that they are gaining back on the weekends. When a clear maintenance phase is built into a nutrition program, binge eating is less likely and healthy eating habits start to manifest themselves. The emotional side of eating suddenly becomes less significant when we consider that nutrition cycles should be treated just as we would treat training cycles in the gym.
Finally, it is important to note that body weight will most likely not stay exactly the same as it was when a diet was finished. Anyone can expect to gain somewhere between 2-5 pounds (depending on total body weigh) on maintenance due to excess food and water weight. It is important to remember that when you are at the end of a diet, your body is relatively depleted and therefore very susceptible to water weight gain. The good part is that as soon as you go back into a diet, this excess weight will be the first to quickly go.
Although maintenance can be difficult to navigate and intimidating for some, it is an essential part of the cyclical process of nutrition. It is a reset that will allow for dieting success in the future and, most importantly, it allows you to enjoy life as a normal human being!
Most people who lift weights or workout regularly are very familiar with having a protein shake immediately upon finishing a workout. At Pennant CrossFit in particular, it is very common to see athletes sipping on their shakes as soon as the WOD is over. Most people tend to think that this post-workout drink is the best way to get an extra edge if every other aspect of their food is on point. However, there is something that can be done while exercising that can aid in exercise performance, allow you to exercise for longer periods of time without increased fatigue, and boost muscle recovery. Here is where the intra-workout shake comes into play.
The intra-workout shake contains a combination of protein and carbohydrates and should be ingested during your workouts. The exact amount of protein and carbohydrates are dependent upon an individual’s lean body mass, body composition goals, workout volume, and daily consumption of carbohydrates and proteins. Drinking a shake during your workout, especially if it is a particularly hard and long workout, will provide your muscles with a continued stream of food. This results in more energy during your workout and the ability to output a higher work capacity than may be possible without the constant supply of energy in the form of this shake. Additionally, ingesting protein and carbohydrates during a workout may even prevent muscle damage from taking place at all. Many people are well aware of the importance of eating protein and carbohydrates post workout in order to aid in muscle damage repair and replenish glycogen stores that have become depleted from exercise. However, few are aware of the great benefits that can be enjoyed by giving your body these macronutrients during your workout. It is important to note that protein and carbohydrates should still also be eaten post-workout and the intra-workout shake is not a substitute for the post-workout meal.
The most difficult part about having an intra-workout shake during a CrossFit WOD, particularly if it is very short as we know most WODs are, is when to actually drink it. It is best to try to sip your drink as much as possible especially during the warm up when you can take sips more easily. You can always start sipping your shake a few minutes before the class begins. If the WOD consists of strength only, sip your shake in between sets, trying to finish it by the time you’ve completed your last set. If it is a typical WOD under 10 minutes, I would recommend trying to finish 1/4 to 1/3 of the shake during the warm-up and then finishing the remainder of your shake once the workout finishes. If the WOD is something longer that you need to pace, let’s say something 20 minutes or longer such as a hero workout, you can take sips of your shake during the workout as long as your stomach tolerates the liquid. Part of the process is figuring out how well your body handles eating while working out. As endurance athletes would surely attest to, it might take your body a few weeks to adjust to eating/drinking while you are working out, but the benefits are absolutely worth it. Once our workout finishes, remember to consume your post-workout meal that should contain your highest amount of carbohydrates for the day as well as a good amount of protein with little to no fat.
Now that you know what the intra-shake should contain and how to consume it during your workouts, try to incorporate it into your routine! Remember that it might take your body some time to adjust to the intra-shake but pay close attention to how your body feels after you start adding this into your workout routine.
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