What I’m Currently Doing To Get Lean

In case you haven’t noticed, I write about a lot of different approaches to nutrition and fat loss. Make that a LOT. You’d be forgiven for occasionally wanting to bury your head in the and (or your laptop/iPad/iPhone) and wishing all the how-tos and should-dos would just go back to wherever they came from.

That being said, I do honestly make an effort to layer my advice in such a way that much of what I suggest reinforces a previous message possibly forgotten, or adds new information. Occasionally new information conflicts old – for example, there was a time when I suggested we should all get off caffeine, and now I don’t agree with that. The rules on cardio is something else I’ve changed over the past few years.

So what I’m saying is that while I can’t guarantee never to contradict myself as my education continually progresses, (although I’ll always admit it, and explain why), I can promise complete transparency when it comes to my beliefs and my personal as well as professional experience.

The truth is that even though I’ve maintained a lean body for 5+ years now (pregnancy was a longer-than-I-liked blip), I’ve constantly changed what I’m doing. My beliefs and recommendations are always based on real facts and science which I learn from people I respect, as well as from a host of research-based sources. I don’t really write about the scienc-y stuff because I don’t enjoy doing so, but trust me; it’s there. Oh – and some of my changing beliefs are just based on logic as I see it!

So basically these changes are always based in reason, and they can sometimes be for the better, sometimes for the worse, and often not better or worse but just more effective. I assume that you want me to share this stuff with you, even if it gets a little confusing from time to time?!

Recently I had an email suggesting I should hold back free content on my blog in order to then be able to reveal the ‘missing links’ or extra content at my paid events or (I guess) in 1:1s. Well obviously if you see me for a 1:1 I’ll be speaking directly to you as an individual, in a way I can’t do on the blog, but the idea of deliberately holding back my knowledge and experience here, just so my paid events can offer something noticeably magical and new? It doesn’t sit well with me. When you come to one of my events you’ll learn a LOT that I’ve spoken about previously, but you’ll learn it in a structured manner that inspires you to take massive action. And sure, one or two new tidbits will always sneak in, because I’m always learning.

I’d be interested to know what your thoughts are on this.

But in the meantime, in the interests of full disclosure, here is a little about what I’m doing now to get (even) leaner. I have a particular focus in that I’ll be in Rhode Island in 2 weeks for another Biosignature update, and I always like to show up to class feeling proud of my physical fitness!

  • Eating protein within 30 minutes of waking
  • Meeting my protein goal daily (my bodyweight in pounds x 1.2 is what I’m working with as I’m trying to gain lean muscle. For fat burning I’d suggest similar)
  • Lifting very VERY heavy weights with slow (and even super-slow tempos)
  • Minimal cardio. 1-2 max 20 minutes sprint sessions; separately to weights
  • Protein shake and post-workout supplements before I even leave the gym
  • Lots of BCAAs in and around training
  • No snacking after dinner. If I’m hungry; some more protein!
  • Peppermint tea at night (most nights ;)) instead of wine
  • A treat MEAL that is gluten-free once per week
  • Focusing on the positive things I am doing for my body rather than all the coulds and shoulds!

How about you – what are you doing at the moment to meet your health goals? Comment below!

16 responses to “What I’m Currently Doing To Get Lean”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for this! One question – Why is your cheat meal gluten free? Is that better for weight loss ?
    Thanks –

  2. Natasha says:

    Hi Kat,

    First off, thank you for sharing what you are doing at the moment to get lean! I like the sound of your plan and there are a few points in your list that I am also doing πŸ™‚ Before I list mine too, I wanted to comment on the point you raised about the dissemination of training and nutritional information.

    I think what you are doing, overall, is FANTASTIC! Why shouldn’t you share nutritional and training tips and conduct dialogue with us on your blogs and your facebook page? Information is power and anyway that you can help distribute the ‘science-ey’ stuff to us in layman’s terms may help one person start their journey to improved health, another to vary and experiment their current diet and training plan and most importantly help that person out there who has struggled with their weight, nutrition and exercise, possibly for their whole lives to date, to take ACTION. Moving people to the action phase is the hardest – as health, wellness and exercise is something I am passionate about, actually taking action is the one common denominator when I hear friends, family and colleagues talk about what they ‘should’ be doing…”Oh, I really should do more exercise…” or “Oh, I really should eat healthier…”. Rarely do they actually come back and say, “I’ve started walking home from work…” or “I’ve started eating breakfast…”. So, Kat, please keep up your awesome work in giving us as much information as you can. I think I speak for many of your followers when I say I very very much appreciate it and “thank-you!”.

    In regards to your 1:1 paid sessions, your paid workshops – this is your core business, purpose and strategy (as I see it) – your blogs, facebook page, emails etc are ‘value added services’. The reason people should pay for this type of contact is that, obviously, in a 1:1 environment the person is receiving personally tailored information, you are in essence a ‘health/nutrition/training doctor’! You have their attention here and in small group workshops to be able to, as you say, ‘structure’ the information, you have the control here, not us. We choose whether or not to read one of your emails, blog entries or comment on a facebook post. Not sure I’ve heard of anyone who has been able to take themselves through a course, degree or similar on their own, without professional support.

    Now, on to the getting lean stuff! This year has been a year of big change in my eating and training. I started training with Result Based Training in Jan and it’s now almost June and I feel fantastic, feeling fitter, feeling leaner. I also subscribed to your blogs and the Woman Incredible facebook page to learn as many tips and tricks as I can! And yes, I want to come to one of your future workshops. I clearly see the value and will be paying! I am no longer having milk, bread, rice etc (I thought I couldn’t live without it!), no where near as much fruit, A LOT more veggies, good fats (I used to do the whole low fat or ‘lite’ eating). Supplements have made their way into my life too, BCAA’s just of late, and nut butter, cinnamon and stevia into my desk draw!

    For fear of writing a complete essay (this is something I am passionate about so I couldn’t hold back!), I will leave it there.

    Thank you again, Kat, for passing on as MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE! Love your work!


    • Kat says:

      Thanks Tash, you are amazing – you should start your own blog! It’s great hearing about your journey and seeing how passionate you are about it all … and I definitely appreciate your feedback on all of this stuff!

  3. Bonnie says:

    Would you recommend eating 1.2grams of protein per pound and continuously adjusting that according to your weight as it changed (i.e. decrease the amount of protein you eat as you lose weight) or applying that equation to your ideal goal weight/ end weight?
    May I also ask, what ‘s in your protein shake (post workout)? Obviously protein but do you recommend a brand or do you start with a plain protein powder and add to it for flavour (eg. cocoa, stevia, coconut water)?

  4. Kat Eden says:

    The protein goal is actually supposed to be based on your lean mass, and you would change it as THAT changed. Average for female is 0.9-1.6g of protein per pound lean body mass. I just simplify it by saying 1.2 per pound body weight. Not exact but easier math day to day. With PWO shake I use tonic organic grass-fed casein, and I add raw cacao, sometimes bee pollen/maca/camu camu and always glutamine and glycine! I prefer to buy naturaly flavour protein powder and add raw cacao; I don’t really like the sweetness of stevia!

  5. Kaari says:

    Really enjoying your writing! I found it through a link on twitter but can’t remember who posted it.

    I’m ramping back into regular exercise after a few years of on and off due to injuries and allergies. I do a combination of running, weight lifting/calisthenics, and yoga. (Not all in one day!) I’m not so much interested in being lean (although it’d be nice to lose weight) as I am in overall health, especially my joints, heart, and lungs since I’ve had problems with those.

    I read the post you linked about limiting cardio and have seen articles about how exercise (particularly cardio) may not help with weight loss, but what about health? And now I’m going around in circles, because being heavy affects my health too, so I need to figure out what works for me in terms of both weight loss and heart health. It’s going to be an interesting summer for me!

    • Kat says:

      Heart health will come about from lifting weights. That being said, if you are getting into exercise then cardio definitely can have it’s place, and I would even keep doing some intervals. The key is just not to think that cardio is the be-all and end-all πŸ™‚

      • Kaari says:

        Gotcha. I think I’m doing all right with that so far. I like cardio, but I like strength training and stretching too. I like feeling strong and bendy. Thanks!

      • Kat says:

        Oh, I love stretching as well! Bikram yoga once a week πŸ™‚ and strength training is certainly a favourite of mine; I try to periodise my weights now with the help of my trainer.

  6. Renae says:

    Hi Kat,

    am a little confused on protein requirements, is it 1.2grams per pound or kilo?
    The only reason i ask is that i have been going by the following which i read on another site:
    How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:

    1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
    2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.

    I have also had very little fat loss in the last 5 weeks since following this reccomendation….. have i been eating to little??

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  7. Cate says:

    Hi Kat,

    I’ve recently signed up to your blogs and purchased Look Great Naked Training Plan which is great!

    Few questions…I have a health background myself and have had many years working/studying in the health promotion field- focusing mainly on physical activity and nutrition. As you are aware, there is sooooo much conflicting info on weight loss, nutritional info, eating plans etc that this has been really refreshing reading all your blogs and stories from yourself and others proving that your mechanisms can work. For me, purchasing the training plan has been about trying something different and seeing if my body responds approvingly.
    One evidence-based “rule” I have found to be make sense is when wanting to lose weight, it is important to lift lighter weights, lower no. of sets with max repetitions? This way I am enduring more of a cardio/elevated heart rate work out; burning more fat. I am interested (and NOT disagreeing with your “rule”) in that you believe for weight loss it is important to lift “very VERY heavy weights with slow (and even super-slow tempos)”.
    As I said I purchased and signed up to the training plan to give it a go and see if it works for me (as a lot has not in the past) and I was just wondering the theory/ behind why you believe this works?

    Having said all this- one of my biggest problems is I am quite small with a naturally quite petite frame. Although, I do have about 5kg I want to (and can afford to) lose, I look a lot bigger as my sporting background is in Swimming and my muscles are already perceived as quite big (although my strength is not matching). I am quite toned and fit but I am beginning to look more bulky- which is not what I desire to look like.

    • Kat says:

      Hi Cate,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      And for checking out my Training Plan.

      I absolutely don’t think you need to lift slow and heavy all the time. I believe it’s about periodising it; forcing the body to adjust. But definitely you need some slow and heavy lifting to build lean muscle.

      What you’ll notice with the programs is that they vary, so some are based on lower reps and longer rest times, and others are more strength based. Coupled with the fat loss sessions which are circuit based and interval based, you have the perfect recipe for success.

      Where are you up to with the training?


      • Cate says:

        No worries Kat, I am really enjoying it!
        I am only up to week 3 so all I have done is 3 sessions/week on gym session-
        phase1, workout 1. (I think you wrote to stay on that for 6 weeks before moving to the next workout?)

        My legs are definitely feeling it! (I love the after affect pain). I have been using 3kg weights (each arm)for each exercise except for the lat pulldown 20kg and the BB squats 7.5kg (each side). Do you think I should increase this weight to see better results?

        Oh I should clarify something with you… when you write up programs and they say (for example)
        A1- BB Squats 3-4 reps, 10-12sets, 60sec,
        A2- Lat Pulldowns 3-4, 10-12, 90sec,
        B1, B2 etc…

        Should I be doing one set of A1, 60 sec rest then A2, 90 sec rest then back to A1? I’m not really sure how grouping them works/what you recommend we do?

        Thanks Kat πŸ™‚