I’m back with another “RANT” episode and today’s topic is Cookie Cutter Diets. Join me as I discuss the flaws in the Cookie Cutter Diet and other one-size-fits-all approaches to weight loss, why they often fall short of delivering sustainable results, and then finally getting the results that you want.
Doors to MACROS 101 are open now! If you are someone who wants to get help and you want to be able to learn how to become a macro scientist, you want to learn how to use this tool of macro counting to fit you, fit your lifestyle, to fit the things that you want out of a program, then I highly recommend coming and joining us.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/272
- All about Cookie Cutter Diet (00:46, 07:06)
- Important factors to consider in creating a customized plan (10:24)
- Macro Counting vs Cookie Cutter Diet (13:58)
- My Coaching Approach (16:14)
- How to become a macro scientist (20:05)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio Episode 272.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PR's. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife and mom of four. Each week my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise, mindset, personal development and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in. Now, let's jump into today's episode.
Cookie Cutter Diet 00:46
Hey, hey, hey. Welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke and today is going to be another “RANT” episode, you guys like these, it's kind of where I just talk freely, sit down like we're just hanging out in between reps and just shooting the breeze, talking about the things that bug us. So today's topic is Cookie Cutter Diets and let's just start with a definition of what I mean when I say a Cookie Cutter Diet. I, I simply mean a diet that is universal in its application. There are certain rules. There are certain requirements and the whole point of the diet is to cross your fingers and hopefully create a caloric deficit. So let me back up, in order to lose weight, you have to follow the laws of thermodynamics, which means you have to consume less calories than you burn. And I think most people understand this concept. It's why we've been told for years that we need to eat less and move more. Essentially, you are trying to use less or you still trying to use more calories during the day than you are consuming and if so, you're going to create a caloric deficit and your body is going to need to come up with calories some way and where does it go? Hopefully goes to your fat and pulls energy from your fat and that creates fat loss. So a caloric deficit is necessary for fat loss. Now a lot of people don't really want to have to pay attention to specifics when it comes to their nutrition. And So what happens is people come up with really creative ways to try and attempt to create a caloric deficit without having to spend a lot of time and energy thinking about it. So that's, I mean everything that falls into this into this category of how can we create a caloric deficit as easily as possible and so people come up with lots of different ways, they say, well, maybe if we shorten people's window of eating, they will eat less calories and you know what? It's true. If you eat less calories, it doesn't matter whether it's a short period of time. But if in eating in a shorter period of time causes you to eat less calories, you will lose weight.
Same thing people are like, well, maybe if we cut out carbs, then that will inadvertently cause people to eat less calories, and so, you know, Keto was born. Actually, that's not even true, Keto came from a treatment for epilepsy. It was created to be therapeutic for people with epilepsy, but I digress, but all that's how all diets are created is, is people are trying to come up with creative the easiest possible ways to be able to create a caloric deficit and so what they do is they create these rules and guidelines and parameters and then they give them to people and they and they cross their fingers and they hope that what that does is create a caloric deficit. Now sometimes it does and then it will work, “work”. You'll see fat loss, and then sometimes it won't because it's not actually the diet itself that is magical. There's nothing magical about eating within a certain window of time. There's nothing magical about cutting out all of your carbs. There's nothing magical about macro counting, there's anything magical about any of those, these things, if they create a caloric deficit, that is what is going to drive fat loss. And that's a really important thing to understand. So I get it that people just want to make it as easy as possible. They don't have to think about what they're eating. They don't want to have to think about, you know, how many, how much, how many calories are eating, how many of the macros they're eating. They just want to make it as simple as possible. I get it.
How restriction affects our mentality 04:35
The problem that comes with this is one, people are really bad at sticking to rules in general, our brains do not like rules and restriction. Our, our brain especially doesn't like restriction. We tend to fight against restriction. We tend to do everything we can to fight against restriction. You don't want you know, I'm talking about. It's like when somebody tells you you can't do something to me, and that's like the most fired up I get. Like you can't tell me I can't do something. I'm going to be able to do it or when you're a teenager and you wanna date a boy. And your parents are like you can't date that boy. You're like, watch me, all you wanna do is like show them that you know you can't tell me what to do, and that doesn't just happen to teenagers. That's that's inherent in all of us. One of the the core human needs is this need for autonomy. The need to tell ourselves what to do, like to feel like I have say in my life that I can make decisions that nobody else is forcing me to do things. And what happens is when you set yourself into a diet sphere where the whole thing is built around rules and restrictions and telling you what you can and can't do. Most of us have a very rebellious nature when it comes to that. Now this rebellious nature might not show up immediately. A lot of us can kind of quell that rebelliousness for a little while. We can say I want to lose fat, I'm going to cut out all the carbs. And I can do this and I can white knuckled and I can have willpower. And I'm so motivated and I can do it for a while, but eventually what happens is our rebellious nature takes over and we end up falling off the wagon. And so if you've done a lot of diets in the past, you may have had that experience of being really excited, really motivated, dive into you know, a diet head first, I'm all in. Maybe you were able to hold on to that excitement and motivation and follow the rules for a little while. And then something happens and you fall off the wagon. And then and then what what occurs it's the guilt. It's the shame. It's the why can't I do this? Why can't I stick to the plan? Why don't I want this bad enough? Hard stop. Hard, hard, hard, hard stop.
Effects of Cookie Cutter Diet 07:06
Because it's so interesting to me how and and I must speak in generalities towards women, because that's who I work with the most, and I do think while there are of course there's nuances in the genders that I see, this tendency a lot with women to try something have it not work and then inevitably turn around and look at themselves and label themselves as the problem, like I can't even express how often this happens with us, as women is something happens and we are always looking back at ourselves saying well, I must be the problem. It couldn't be somebody else, couldn't be this other entity. I must be the problem I need to I need to work on that, I need to get better, I need to have more motivation and I think in just again blanket generalizing statements. I think in general men don't do that quite as often and they tend to blame external sources. So it's like you don't like me? Well, that's your problem. There couldn't be anything wrong with me. I'm amazing. That must be your problem. So I think, if again, we're talking in generalities, men have a much easier time of not internalizing things and women as women, we often tend to internalize things. But diet didn't work, I must be broken, I must have done something wrong, I must need more willpower, I must need motivation more motivation. You don't need more willpower. You don't need more motivation. It's like there's nothing wrong with you. It's not you and I think this is the thing I really wanna hammer home. It's the diet, you're taking this diet, that again it's like cookie cutter, right? It was just like mass produced.
It was created by someone who was, like, crossing their fingers and saying, hey, if I give this to people, you know, for some of them, it's going to create a caloric deficit, you know, shortening the window of eating is going to create a caloric deficit. Cutting out sugar is going to create a caloric deficit. Eating clean, they're probably going to eat less food if they eat clean and they have more fiber, so you know, we'll cross our fingers and hope that that that that inadvertently causes them to create a caloric deficit. There is simply no customization in any of that. It's standardized, it's cookie cutter. It's given to everybody the same and then it doesn't work for you. I mean, look at yourself and say well, I must be the problem. Instead of realizing that, hey, maybe what the problem is, is that I was trying to find just follow this like standardized thing that wasn't actually even customized to me. That person who created Atkins diet doesn't even know you. They didn't, they didn't create that for you. It wasn't created for the the lifestyle that you want to live. It wasn't created for your goals or specifically how your body responds to things. It wasn't created for you, it was just created as a standard and then handed out to a bunch of different people. And of course, for some of those people to work and some of those people won't. And a lot of people will be in the middle because it wasn't actually customized to you. And I think this is a really important point and I think we all understand on some level that we are unique.
Important factors to consider in creating a customized plan 10:24
OK, we all have unique things that make us, us and those things need to be taken into account when we start talking about how you are going to reach your goals. So there are three areas that I like to work with clients in helping them to create a customized plan, one that's going to be unique to them and that's going to work for them. And these three areas are thinking about what's unique about your body, what is unique about your goals and what is unique about your lifestyle. And we need to make sure that anything that you are following is taking those three things into account. Your body, your goals, and your lifestyle. So let's start with your body and some of the things that are really important to consider when you are customizing something to your body. All of our bodies are different. There is genetic differences. There are body type differences like you put 12 women in a room and you can see completely different bodies, completely different histories, completely different medical conditions, just completely different bodies in general, and it's so silly for me to think that everybody is going to respond the exact same to anything really to anything. And there's a reason why you know, some products work. I'm thinking specifically, like in skin care, like some skin care products work better for some people and some work better for other people. It's because we all have differences in our body and anything that we're doing needs to take into account those differences.
The second thing is your goals, and I know that a lot of people think that they have a very similar goal to other people and it may be just simple like I want to lose weight or I want to gain muscle and that may seem like well that's, that's pretty universal. That's pretty standard. But it's not that simple. There's a lot of nuance when it comes to exactly what your goal is, and specifically when you get really clear on what you aren't willing to give up for your goals. In MACROS 101 I call these your non-negotiables. These are the things that you, that you aren't willing to give up in order to reach your goals. And this kind of bleeds into your lifestyle, but it's really important to be clear on not only what you want to achieve but what you're willing to do to be able to do it.
And then again, lifestyle wraps in this idea that we all have different lifestyles. We live in different places, we have different jobs, we have different time constraints, we have different amounts of kids, we have different preferences, we have different things we like and things that we don't like, and all of those things need to be taken into account. So those things, three things again were: the uniqueness of your body, the uniqueness of your goals, and the uniqueness of your lifestyle. Those are the three factors that I'm helping work with clients to be able to customize, create a customized plan that's going to address those three individual things so that you can stop this, the shame spiral that so many women get into where they think I'm the problem. This diet didn't work and I suck. No, it's that you are like a round peg trying to fit yourself into a square hole and then blaming the round peg as if the round peg needs to adjust and adapt to the square hole. No, my friend. What you need to do is you need to create a round hole, we need to help you to create that round hole so that you can fit yourself into it.
Turning macro counting into Cookie Cutter Diet 13:58
OK, so I'm going to get into something now that is a little controversial and, but it's something that I feel very, very, very passionate about and that is this idea of people taking macro counting and turning it into a cookie cutter cutter diet and I see it happen all of the time. Now, it's, it's, it's subtle, it's subtle, and how this happens because people trick themselves into thinking, oh, I have these macros that are set for me and are unique for me so it's not cookie cutter Amber, it's just, it's just like these are unique customized numbers to me, so that makes it customized. And to some extent, yes, you're not wrong. But here's, here's where it gets insidious and this is where macro counting gets turned into a diet. We've just replaced the rule of you have to eat between the hours of 10 and 6, or the rule of you can't eat anything processed or the rule of don't eat carbs. We just taken that rule and we've now replaced it with a new rule for a lot of people of you have to hit your macros. That's the rule you know, and so the rules it feels like, well, there's a little bit more freedom in there I can like have a little bit you know I can fit in foods that are fun and it feels like there's more freedom and I and I agree. But I still think that a lot of people bring this diet or mentality, this cookie cutter dieter mentality into macro counting and so now they see these numbers and now it just becomes the new rule. The new rule is you have to hit those numbers. And then the same pattern happens where you don't hit the numbers and now you feel guilty, or you feel ashamed, or you feel like, Oh man, I'm such a loser. I can't hit these numbers. How many of you guys have counted macros and have then going through your day tracking, eat something that you know is going to put you over your macros, and then you stop tracking? If that's ever happened to you, you know what I'm talking about. It's that. It's that feeling of guilt and shame when you know that you're not going to go over your numbers. That's a problem that is an indication that you're just replacing one rule for another rule. Now the rule just becomes you have to hit your macros.
My coaching approach 16:14
And look, you come by it honestly, because that's how a lot of coaches approach macro counting as they approach it in a very diet mentality type of way, this you want to get results hit these three numbers. You're going to get results. Oh, you're struggling over the weekend. Well, I don't know what to tell you like you just need to try harder. You just need to hit these numbers like why can't you hit your protein, why can't you do these things? Now I say I don't think most coaches are that mean. At least I hope not. But essentially that's that's all the time. That's all that goes into the coaching, is just hit these numbers or you didn't do it. Well, let's give you some more accountability to see if you do it. Let's you know, give you some incentives to do it. Let's try harder to do it and it just still becomes this all that all there is to do is just to hit the darn numbers. And I can't like I can't. I can't. I really, really think that when we get into that diet mentality, it brings all of the other problems with it that the other cookie cutter diets have. It brings all those problems into macro counting and the way that I like to view it in the way that I like to teach with my clients is much more in a tool style of, hey, let me teach you about this tool. I have this tool here. It's really powerful. Let me tell you about it. Let me teach you about the different aspects of it. Let me teach you about, you know, different ways that you could use this tool and then let's figure out how you're going to use this tool you know, customized and individualized to you.
And that is how I like to approach macro counting with my clients and that's why I talk so much about moving from this diet or mentality into the macro scientist. The macro scientist is not obsessed with the rules. They're not obsessed with this, it has to be this way in order to get results. Now to be clear, I'm not saying you can, you know, set your macros and you just see whatever you want. And it'll be fine and you'll still be able to be successful. There is a moderation between those two extremes. The extreme of like I have to hit my macros every single day and otherwise I won't get results when I or I feel really bad about myself. That's an extreme. And then the other extreme is like, oh, F it, we don't really care, we see whatever we want, right. these are both extremes and we're not, I'm not advocating for either extreme. I'm advocating for somewhere in the middle. I'm advocating for that moderation, that figuring out. I tell clients all the time I want to help you change the least amount possible in your life to be able to get the results that you want. So whatever you're doing right now, you're coming to me, you're doing something already and it's easy because it's habitual. Great. I want to change the least amount possible in order to help you to get results. And not the most amount possible. I don't want to go to the farthest extreme of perfection of having to hit everything, zero out all your numbers every single day. I don't want to go that far extreme. I want to help you to change the least amount possible to be able to get the results that you want and that is and we get started there. That may not be the end destination. We may, we may want to get more specific, we may want to get tighter on your numbers. Maybe, maybe, but maybe not. And so we start with just the little changes. Then we can always incrementally add more and more and that's where this idea of the macro scientist comes into play, because we're titrating based off of your body. We're titrating based off of how it's responding. We're titrating based off of the things that you like and the things that you don't like and the things that are easy and the things that are hard and we're taking all that into account to be able to build this really beautiful, customized plan for you that is not only gets you to where you want to go, but it's sustainable. It's something that you can do long term. Because you've made those changes slowly to be able to sustain it.
How to become a macro scientist 20:05
So if you have struggled to stick with something in the past. And you know that pattern of you find a new program you're super excited, you're super motivated, you sign up and then that motivation starts to wane and you struggled to follow the rules. You struggled to eat the meal plan. You struggle to do the workouts and then a couple weeks into the program you just feel like I'm such a loser because I spent all this money and now I'm not even doing that thing. If that's you, I see you. I see you and I hear you. I just want you to know that your future doesn't have to be a repeat of that. Just it just because that's been your experience in the past doesn't mean it has to be your experience in the future and the key in my opinion, is to stop relying on writing that wave of momentum. Stop relying on motivation. Stop relying on that and instead start to step by step move in the direction you want to move by building something that's customized to you, something that takes into account, you, your body, your lifestyle, your goals, and it's something that is not only effective but also really enjoyable for you. Because if something is fun, if you enjoy it, if it feels easy, you keep doing it.
And that's exactly what I like to help clients do inside of MACROS 101. So if you've been someone who has struggled with this pattern, this diet pattern, and you feel like you're the problem and like you, you can't be successful because you've, you've gone through this cycle so many times. I just want to give you hope and recognize, you can break out of it. Your past does not have to be your future just because that's happened in the past doesn't mean it, it has to happen in the future. And being able to make those changes and be supported by a community and a program that helps you to make those changes. It's game over. It's a game-changer. Doors are open to MACROS 101 at the release of this recording and will be open only for a few days. So if you are someone who wants to get help and you want to be able to learn how to become a macro scientist, you want to learn how to use this tool of macro counting to fit you, fit your lifestyle, to fit the things that you want out of a program, then I highly recommend coming and joining us. If you are listening to this episode after the fact, you can always get on the wait list for MACROS 101 by going to bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist but if you are listening to this in real time, just go ahead to our, our website bicepsafterbabies.com, you'll see MACROS 101 open, you can also check out my Instagram account. We'll have lots of links everywhere if MACROS101 is open, if not, then I highly recommend getting on the wait list. Again that's bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist. All right. That's it. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember, my friend, you can do anything.
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