5 Tips for Improving Performance, Emotional Well Being, & Enjoying Your Food!


I wanted to share a personal story and some insights that I have learned along the way on my own fitness and nutrition journey.

As you know, I always post about carbs not being the enemy, and that they don’t make you fat. They really don’t!

I know what it’s like to go with little to no carbs during a period of “dieting” in my life. It was miserable at times, but I white-knuckled my way through it because I thought this was the way to lose weight. Yea, I lost weight alright and muscle right along with it. Looking like a string bean, lol!

You see, I was working with a trainer that was of the old school mindset when it came to physique transformation.

They came from the background of NO Carbs, high protein, and hours upon hours of exercise. With them, I would do at least 2 hours of strength training Monday through Friday and 1 hour of cardio immediately following my strength training session.

Then later on in the day, I had to do another hour of cardio. Crazy, right? Can we say please shoot me now!

If you know me by now, I can be a hard ass “A type” of personality kind of person in some areas of my life, and at that time it was fitness. I was the No Pain, No Gain kind of mindset and No Excuses chick. You may ask “Why I would put myself through this type of regime?)

For one, I didn’t know any better, or that there was a better way – you don’t know what you don’t know.

Also, when I start something, I finish it, and I felt like if I backed out, I would be a failure.

It would have been best for my mindset and health to have backed out, but some things are best learned the hard way.

I’m sure you have heard of the diet dogma about milk, fruit, and bread making you fat. These were all things that I believed were the culprit of my weight gain, or the reason why I couldn’t lose weight. My trainer made me cut all dairy, and bread was definitely off limits. I even tried the Gluten Free diet for a while, blaming my weight on wheat. I know, I know, crazy right! It was very much so.

I was crazy for believing that I had to do things in such an extreme manner, but that’s what’s supposed to work, and I didn’t know any better.

To top the cake, I trained on ½ a grapefruit, or on an empty stomach.

Meals for the day were mostly just protein and veggies.

My carbs sources only came from veggies.

Sometimes- not all the time, maybe twice a week; I would get a so-called carb up meal that consisted of 1-cup oatmeal, 6 oz sweet potato, 4 oz banana, 1 cup vegetables, and 1 tbsp butter or almond butter.

Want to talk about crying and being hungry all the time? As soon as I ate I was hungry again. My husband says I was a basket case and dumber than a box of rocks.

Sitting back and reflecting on this brings backs so many memories from that time.

I think I’ve mentioned before that  I would go to bed super early because I was hungry and had ate all my meals for the day. Not the way you should approach fat loss. Nor is it a way to live a healthy sustainable lifestyle.

The Take-Away

1. Dieting and over-exercising is not a sane or sustainable way to fat loss. It’s a diet if it restricts, bans certain food groups, or if you feel deprived and if it has a name – then it’s a diet that won’t last very long.

When I am looking to move into fat loss mode, which is not often, I do not subscribe to any particular diet. I usually set my calories to a very, very reasonable deficit and focus on hitting my macros or being mindful of my portion sides.

The way I eat is a mash-up of moderation, flexible eating (no banned foods) and intuitive eating!

I don’t classify flexible eating in the category of diets! I touched a bit on this in another blog post here! 

– If you’re looking to lose some fat- start with a moderate approach to fat loss by changing one to two nutritional components, such as getting more protein in your meals or eating more fruits and veggies. It should be effortless and simple.

Counting and tracking macros is a 2.0 solution. You should be able to build your plate with ample veggies and protein consistently. Fill the rest of the plate with carbs and or fat dependent on likes/preferences and goals.

Once you master that, if things aren’t moving along, or you want to get precise then we can track macros but not until then!

Lastly, I must say that you cannot always be in Fat Loss mode! There is more to Fitness and Health than always trying to lose some weight.

2. If you are working with a trainer that does not have your well-being at heart, fire them. They may be a great person, but your health must come first.

3. For performance in and out of the gym. Make sure you are eating enough calories, carbs to sustain for your everyday living as well as your exercise.

Like I said before, a small decrease in your calories can move you into fat loss phase. It doesn’t have to be a huge deficit. Please never drop your calories below body weight x10 or below your BMR. Never do this! No Bueno!

4. I am a big proponent of Moderation! Well, how do you eat moderately, you might ask? First, it starts with getting off the good food, bad food bandwagon and looking at food as just food. It also means, to me, eating all the foods you love, and leaving the ones that you don’t like.

Stop eating something because someone said it was healthy, or that it has some magic ju-ju properties for fat loss! Learning to eat moderately takes practice, it’s a skill. You’re going to screw it up, and that’s okay. Just try it again and learn from it, then do it again.

There’s nothing better than being self-governing (autonomous) in your food choices!

5. Lastly, pay attention to biofeedback. You know your body more than anyone else. If you don’t like how something feels or how it tastes, don’t eat it or do it.

It’s as simple as that.

No, you’re not a failure if you can’t get to the gym 5 days a week, or get in 5 days of workouts, or if you just can’t eat another salad. Do what you can with the time and resources that you have available!

Celebrate your small wins, do things that work for you, and things that enhance your life, not hinder it!

Make exercise fit in where you can. Start with walking if that’s what will work best for you.

This stuff doesn’t have to be complicated. Fitness and Nutrition should ENHANCE Your Life, NOT Hinder or Stress it!

Thanks for reading!

If you have any question or need help with your nutrition, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact me at candace@candacersmith.com. I’d love to hop on a Strategy Call with you.

In the meantime, I have an excellent resource that will help you navigate your Nutrition and Wellness in a Sane and Simple way. If you Keep It Simple, it will be Sustainable. Grab the Fat Loss Blueprint Below by clicking on the graphic!

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