We are nearing the end of week 4 - the final week - of Summer Fat Loss Cooking School. Week 4 is our favorite because we spend the whole week learning about baking and treats!
"Hold up - a program on female fat loss spends a week talking about dessert?"
YES, WE DO!
Fat Loss Cooking School is not a "get skinny in 4 weeks program."
It is a "learn to cook and eat so you can get and stay lean for the rest of your life" program - and life has special occasions, AM I RIGHT? Events like weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, holidays, cookouts, birthdays, etc. are all part of life, and don't they always seem to have sugar?
At some point, I think we've all tried a sugar detox or elimination program. And hey, maybe we lost a couple pounds, but it never solves the underlying problems: imbalanced hormones due to improper nutrition and a messed up attitude about sugar.
The Definition of Insanity
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
If sugar detox programs do not work for you no matter how many times you've tried them, why do you keep doing them? Why do you keep signing up for Whole-Whatevers and This-Many-Day Detoxes if they only mess you up more?
Here's a New Idea: Eat the Chocolate
There's another way to manage sugar, and it doesn't involve avoiding it.
Fat Loss Foodies see sugar for what it is and recognize that it can be a TOOL, a strategy to keep us more compliant in our overall nutrition and add just enough pleasure and enjoyment to make this a sustainable lifestyle.
All Summer long, I've been getting emails from our current and former clients that for the first time EVER, they have managed a Summer filled with weddings, vacations, baby showers, bridal showers, etc. - and not gained a single pound.
That's how we handle sugar here at Fat Loss Foodies and it's what we're teaching our team right now in Summer Fat Loss Cooking School. This approach has worked for hundreds of women and continues to, long after the FLCS kitchen is closed.
We set women free from the prison of diets and detoxes by making dessert PART of their lean lifestyle.
First, you learn to follow your FLF template at meals. A fat loss diet is high protein, high fiber, and high in water content. We eat real food: lean protein, veggies, low-sugar fruits, the right amount and type of starches, and healthy fats. This balances our metabolic hormones (like insulin, cortisol, ghrelin - to name a few) and makes cravings for sugar less frequent and less intense.
If you're a Fat Loss Foodie, you're going to be eating a low-sugar diet. In fact, some ladies report having headaches and feeling sluggish for the first 7-10 days as their bodies are coming off a high sugar/high carb diet and adapting to this new way of eating.
Once you have your template down, you start creating a strategy for sugar that fits YOU.
Girlfriend, this may be the best news you read all day: You get to create a way of eating that works for YOU, and that includes how you manage sugar. We are all unique. We all have different personalities and preferences. Why do we all have to things exactly the same? WE DON'T!
Option 1: For some women, having a few squares of good chocolate every day or a couple small treats throughout the week is enough to keep the Sugar Demons at bay. Combined with a proper diet, this strategy takes the edge off their cravings, making sugar utterly powerless and almost uninteresting to them, because it's there and they know they can have it any time they want.
Option 2: For others, one treat meal a week is the way to go. For women who are true foodies, this approach works really well! They can schedule a meal out, try a new restaurant with friends, and have an amazing meal. It doesn't "open the flood gates" (i.e. trigger over-eating) and there's no need to throw in the towel because this meal is PART of the plan. They might also have a glass of wine, and/or they might order dessert with their meal. Because it's one meal, and it's an experience to be enjoyed with good company. They have whatever they want. But then, they get right back to their template at the next meal.
Option 3: Lastly, some of our very fit/athletic clients do better with what's known as a "re-feed" meal or day, where they hit a certain number of carbohydrates to reset hunger hormones and keep the metabolism from compensating from training hard and being in a caloric deficit. For example: One of our clients has been doing a once-a-week refeed where she does just over 300 grams of carbs on Saturdays. She's lost 3% body fat with this strategy, but it's not for everyone. For a woman training intensely and often throughout the week, who is trying to build muscle and strength while also leaning out, the refeed approach can work really well.
The point here is this: there are MANY options for dealing with sugar that do not require white-knuckled abstinence.
Breaking the Cycle
You know you've broken the cycle when sugar doesn't even phase you any more. You know you've done the work when you can walk past a tray of stale donuts or cookies in the office break room like, "Meh. I'd rather have something really good that I want later."
Trust me: I'm not able to bake a batch of these Flourless Chocolove Brownies and eat one, then put the rest away and freeze them for later because I have super human discipline. Trying to exert extreme discipline and avoid sugar bit me in the ass every / single / time I tried it.
I eat dessert every week, but not every day. Maybe I'll grab frozen yogurt with my husband, or I'll take myself on an afternoon coffee date for a Cold Brew and a Vegan GF dark chocolate cupcake, or maybe I'll bake a batch of these slightly-cleaned up brownies. I'll have one hot out of the oven with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Halo Top on top and I AM GOOD. TO. GO. Totally satisfied and in my power.
You can take away sugar's stranglehold as well. But you won't do it on some strict 21-day sugar detox program. It takes time and work and trial and error to learn what your boundaries are and to find out what makes you "tick" around food. There's no short cut. You just have to do the work.
But to have your power back around sugar and never feel out of control again? It's life-changing.
Incidentally, these brownies are kind of life-changing too, if you like really intense dark chocolate. I made them to celebrate the amazing results coming in this week from our Summer FLCS ladies. Their mental, emotional and physical transformations have been truly remarkable.
There wasn't any chocolate in my baking supplies, but I did have two bars of this 77% Dark Chocolate Chocolove in our Chocolate Drawer.
"I wonder what would happen if I melted these down and made brownies with them?"
Only good things happen. Very good things.
Registration for the next round of Fat Loss Cooking School opens in September! Be the FIRST to know when it opens by joining the FLF email list. It's free, and I'll send you 3-4 emails a month with high-quality content on female fat loss nutrition, training, and living an FLF lifestyle.
Enjoy the brownies, babes! Tag me on Instagram if you make them! @FatLoss_Foodies!
Yield: 16 brownies
2 Chocolove 77% Extra Strong Dark Chocolate Bars, roughly chopped (or 180 grams of some other dark chocolate chips)
1/4 c. + 2 Tbs. coconut oil
2/3 c. coconut sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbs. arrowroot powder (tapioca flour works here as well)
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Make a double boiler: Place a small saucepan with 2-3" of water in it over medium heat. Place a glass bowl on top and melt together the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat (careful: bowl will be hot!) and let cool.
3. In a medium bowl or a stand mixer, combine eggs and sugar. Blend until smooth, until mixture starts to lighten in color - about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and melted cooled chocolate, and blend again to combine.
4. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, arrowroot powder (or tapioca flour), and a pinch of salt (or two - I like two;) Whisk together to combine, then add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture. Blend well.
5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is set. Remove from oven and let the brownies rest for 10-15 minutes. Carefully lift them out of the pan by holding the edges of the parchment paper.
Let them cool slightly before cutting and eating because nothing will send the enjoyment factor of a brownie plummeting faster than a 3rd degree burn on the roof of your mouth.
NUTRITION (for 1 brownie)
159 calories, 11 g. fat, 14.6 g carbs (2 g. fiber), 2 g protein