Reverse Dieting to Feel, Look, and Perform Better!

“Four years ago, I lost a lot of weight (~50lbs) – and it was easy!! Okay okay . . . not easy, but being an OCD/ADHD brain, with focus and control I became ‘slightly’ obsessed. Daily weight loss data and, soon after, positive comments from friends/colleagues were my drug. I was eating ~1100cal/day (not sure, it was WW) and doing 30 min of cardio a day and the weight fell off. I was also in the beginnings of what would result in a divorce, so a dieting and exercise regimen gave me something that I could control in a sea of life events that I could not. I felt better after losing the weight (who wouldn’t after dropping 50lbs??) but it also took a toll on my body on a way I didn’t truly appreciate at the time. Looking back, I felt worn out during the day, had trouble focusing and toward the end of my weight loss was not the slightest bit hungry – some days I wouldn’t even consume 1100 calories. Soon after this point, I left my marriage and my focus on weight and food fell by the wayside, however at the same time I found Crossfit. Once I got back up I was trying to track differently – focusing on calories, whole foods, etc but I wasn’t rigorous. While I fell in love with Crossfit, the level of exhaustion I felt during workouts was discouraging. Cheat meals became cheat days became cheat weekends and I was in a state of ‘bipolar dieting’ and surprisingly getting nowhere!

This pattern did not come from a lack of understanding – I spent my graduate and postdoctoral studies in the world of adipose tissue biology and the role of estrogens in body weight regulation. This pattern came from setting the wrong goals – if I wasn’t perfect I would ‘quit’ and try again tomorrow, or on Monday, or next week. Oh, how hindsight is 20/20!!

Fast forward to August 2017 … I had regained about 2/3rds the weight I had initially lost. I had almost completely stopped working out because my allergies had really crippled me, and I felt sick more days than well, but with the help of some meds and changing environment had started to improve. My first step was getting back into Crossfit, something I really enjoyed. However, I was trying to eat low carb and too few calories and in all honestly was stuck in the ‘bipolar dieting’ cycle and I felt like crap. I would get dizzy during workouts – at first, I thought this was normal – Crossfit kicks your ass, especially if you’ve been absent for a year. But it was more than that; I wasn’t sleeping well, was constantly sore and achy and so displeased with my performance, recovery and weight management. I had been stalking Justin for some time and was impressed with Justin’s posts, his use of data to support his recommendations and the testimonials of people who had worked with him.

I decided to bite the bullet and reach out to Justin at the beginning of November. Thinking about the impending holidays and the fact that I was going to be traveling more than at home, I wanted to jump in and do something, if for nothing more than accountability – BEST DECISION EVER. At the time I was eating low carb ~1400 calories/day or cheating like crazy – again with the ‘bipolar dieting’. The first thing Justin said was ‘you’re not eating enough!’ and upping my calories he went – the first jump was to 1500 calories/day with 40% carbohydrates. Within 1 week I started noticing changes. I lost a little weight but the biggest thing was the energy and sleep – I think I slept more those first few weeks than I did the prior 6 months! After a few more weeks he increased me to 1700 and then to 1900. Holy guacamole (mmmm guacamole…) I get to eat now!! I have so much energy, I am seeing significant gains in the gym – it seems silly, but this happened last week, and I think it’s so telling …Back in August on my very first day back at Crossfit, one of the warmups was bear crawls the length of the floor (maybe 30m) – I couldn’t do it – I had to stop halfway through and really push through the second half. Last week, our coach decided we needed to do something ‘fun’ (Crossfit coaches are really a breed to themselves) we did bear crawl suicide drills, ¼ back, ½ back, ¾ back, and to the end of the floor – not only could I do it, I kept up with the rest of the group . . . while part of this is surely the amount of time I have spent in the gym, it would never have been possible without the nutrition changes Justin has fostered.

Now ~10 weeks in, the improvements are insane! – energy..check!, sleeping..check!, performance..check!, mindset..check!. Justin’s coaching philosophy and approach to nutrition is universal but tailored for each client. His attention to detail and his drive to learn and help people become better and more fulfilled versions of themselves is rare. Do you invest in your wellbeing? Gym membership? Spa days? Vacations? Take a piece of that investment and invest in your nutrition, Justin will change your life.”

– Katie Davis

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