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Leigh Peel - Fat Loss Troubleshoot - The Interview

Posted Jan 14 2009 5:12pm

Last Thursday I mentioned Leigh Peele and her blog Avidity Fitness. Leigh’s a sassy personal trainer with strong opinions on weight loss. She recently released a new eBook called, Fat Loss Troubleshoot. It’s chock full of great resources and I think it will help those that are trying to "sculpt" their bodies. Especially those of you who are having a hard time with the those last pesky 5 pounds.

However, I know when I was in my "yo-yo diet cycle of hell" stage it wasn’t about losing pesky fat it was about learning how to have a good relationship with food. How to stop that cycle of on/off diet mentality, the binge eating and the poor body image. The truth is, at that time, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to really learn what Leigh is trying to teach. I needed to first accept myself. Now that I broke the cycle I can appreciate her knowledge and approach it from the perspective of educating me instead of a quick fix.

Why am I telling you this? Well when Leigh contacted me I was hesitant to share he book. Not because I think it’s a bogus attempt at weight loss. On the contrary I think it’s a great collection of resources. But I know "old Roni" would drop tons of money to buy this thinking, "Yes! This is it…. I’ll just read this book and I’ll be in a bikini in no time!" But the truth is I’d read the book, get motivated for about a day and then go directly back to my old habits. Why? Because I wasn’t ready to learn what Leigh was teaching.

All of that being said I came to the realization that all of you aren’t "Old Roni’s." Some of you may be ready and interested in learning more. So why not go to the source and ask Leigh what she thought! Then you can make a educated decision.

So without further ado I present Leigh Peele…

Hi Leigh! Can you introduce yourself for those readers who may not be familiar with your blog.

My name is Leigh Peele. I am a author and trainer with a special focus on metabolism and fat loss both in training and research. Peoples general take and like of me is my straight forward approach. I tell it like it is but hopefully without ruffling too many feathers. I love learning, I love helping women, and I love my job.

You recently launched a eBook called Fat Loss Troubleshoot and share a wealth of information about losing weight and fighting fat. What do you think is the number one reason why people have such a hard time losing weight?

The top, the absolute top reason that people have a hard time losing fat is not understanding how it happens in the first place.If you took a bunch of 8 year old kids and threw them into a car and told them to drive the car and they kept running it into the curb and wrecking it, would you be surprised? No. You would say "aww they just don’t know how to drive." Well, the majority of people in America don’t know how to drive the fat loss "car" and it is this problem that I am hoping to help correct. It is kind of hard to blame them when they have "driving ed" teachers who are educationally challenge. If your readers take anything else away from this interview it should be that fat loss is not an opinion. Your APPROACH to fat loss can vary, yes. The method can be a huge variety, but the technical physical effect of fat loss, is not an opinion.

What do you say to clients who may struggle more with motivation then anything else?

It’s hard because at first I am like the parents who tell their children that Santa isn’t real. People get angry sometimes because I take away their excuses. Once that happens they have to face the harsh truth, and there is a lot of anger involved sometimes. The anger is no so much towards me, but society, and the lies they have been told. So the first thing I help my clients deal with is the reality of all the control that is in their hands I help them deal with the fact that they want their success or failure to be their own fault. This is truly one of the most important things you could have for motivation; being accountable for your actions.

After that then I try to understand the reason a person is trying to change their body. Let’s be honest, the majority of the time the reasons are deemed "shallow" reasons. We apparently should only lose fat, or change the way we eat for health. I don’t agree, or I have a different view of health. From a study aspect, those who feel better about how they look, and have a higher level of self esteem, have better overall health. Those who think fat loss is nothing but a society stuffed vanity fix can look at the facts.

Honesty is the best policy, you want to look hot in a bikini to turn your husband on, or you want to give the "I’m a hottie finger" to a guy that picked on your in high school? Well, you have my support, 100%.

Being someone who’s constantly struggling with emotional eating and a "healthy" appetite do you have any tips to help control hunger?

Hunger is a funny thing. There are so many different causes of "hunger" and fixes or tricks for them. In my book I discuss the five different labels of hunger.

  1. Thirst Hunger
  2. Addictive Hunger
  3. Sugar Crash Hunger
  4. Psychological Hunger
  5. Hunger Pangs

Each hunger has its different reason ranging from thirst to actual physical hunger. There are some good tricks though that anyone can use to help when the moments come on. Teas, taking baths, eating more fiber, eating more protein, not over training, and getting more sleep.

The funny is physical hunger is very rarely felt and if anyone knows what I am talking about, they can think of the feeling in the pit of your stomach, the feeling of a little whoozy, sick to the stomach, and an actual "gnawing" feeling. That is actual physical hunger, and it comes slowly and with time.

Quick Tip: If you all of a sudden feel hungry, it isn’t hunger. ;)

How do you feel about diet plans, like Weight Watchers or South Beach?

I get asked this a lot actually. People think because of my forward approach that I am against these programs. The truth is that most programs in the mainstream market have their positives and negatives. Of the two, I would lean more towards South Beach because they encourage more whole foods and protein intake then Weight Watchers. However, Weight Watchers is a little better at tricking you into a deficit and you will likely see more physical weight loss.

My problem with these programs is they don’t actually tell you what you are doing, they try and seduce you into believing you aren’t dieting ,or that things are a way of life. "Stop dieting. Start living." The problem with this approach is that no one does, or should do Weight Watchers for life. Weight Watchers goal is to put you in a deficit of calories to lose fat. Being in a deficit, for life, is not living. Hence why it doesn’t work in the long term because like any sane person would, you stop the deficit. I can’t tell you how many times I sit and overhear conversations on dieting and fat loss and most of them lead to Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. They always say this phrase "Weight watchers worked pretty well the last time I did it, I am going to give it a run again." If it worked so well before, why are you doing it again?

Now, let me say that if you just feel off the wagon, knew exactly why you re-gained the weight, and just like their points/portion system then that is fine, that is one thing. However, the majority of people don’t get it, they don’t understand why it worked when it did, and are going through it all over again blind. That is my problem with those type programs, their lack of telling you straight out how it is, and why you are doing their method.

Knowing that you are a personal trainer "to the stars" :) What do you say to the everyday busy mom who struggles with time management, stress and motivation? Do you have must share tips for them (me)?

One of the best tips, for anyone, is to understand weight loss and health are two completely different things. Yes, they can go hand in hand. For example, if you are obese losing fat can certainly lead to a better well being. However, there is nothing healthy about losing weight. The goal is to deprive and turn to your storage for energy and use. If you look in the wild, winter is not exactly the best time for spunky animals. They are weak from low food intake. The best tip to lower stress is to not add it as much as possible. If you want to train great, but be smart about it,, and do only what you have to do to get caloric burn. Focus on sleep, good foods, laughing, etc. All that hinky seeming "holistic" stuff does have truth in the aspect of stress management. Studies show time and again being less stressed out always leads to better dietary compliance. Will getting a massage or 8 hours of sleep cause you to magically lose fat or help if you are stuffing too much food? No, but it will help you not stuff in the first place.

The take home point is take time for you, and only do what you have to. If you can lose fat without training because you move enough in a day, then don’t worry about the gym. Screw it, take that extra hour, and go shopping or just relax instead.

Thank you so Much Leigh! Knowing your stance on these topics really helped me get a better understanding of your approach to weight loss!

If you are interested in Leigh’s information click here to order her eBook Fat Loss Troubleshoot. Also be sure to check out her blog AvidityFitness.net




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