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Overwhelmed with information.

I have read some of your recent posts and seen the "Tough Love Lela" and I think I am in need of some.
I am an active person...physical exercise is not a problem for me.  I have run 4 marathons, I teach group fitness classes as a side/fun job 3 times a week.  I am about 5'7 and 157 pounds.  I really just want to lean out.  I know that my problem lies in my diet.  I know most fit bodies are made in the kitchen not the gym (I read that somewhere) I am not going for a target weight or target size, I just want to look lean.  I have done a lot of web searches and I keep getting all sorts of different information; I've read about ketosis, I've read about NO simple sugars, I have read about eating 6 small meals, calorie counting, carb counting.  I feel like I have so much information I don't even know where to start.  I have a sweet tooth in phases...I feel like I can go for weeks with no crazy cravings then BAM it hits me a like a ton of bricks and I give in FAST!!!  How would you recommend an active person, who is motivated to change, but has trouble during signs of temptation.  
I really like good wholesome foods, but then when I am presented with treats/out to dinner/boredom all my motivation and knowledge just disappear next thing you know I am so upset with myself....
Any words of advice, encouragement or tough honesty?!?!?!

ANSWER: Cravings are usually a sign that your body isn't getting something it needs- So it may be that you aren't getting something so and after a while you body says HEY! GIMMEE! Look at what you crave- If it is fatty greasy foods, you might consider adding some flax or fish oil to your daily diet- sweets are usually a sign of a lack in minerals- try eating some sweet potatoes or winter squash while it is still in season.

That being said- here is the tough love part- one splurge every few weeks does not a pear shaped booty make! Being lean is about daily discipline and making good choices every day. I feel like I have given this advice a lot lately but I will tell you what I have told many others- Write down every morsel that goes into your mouth- and if there is an emotional/boredom element to your eating- write down what is happening and how you feel before and after you eat- You will get a cold hard look at what is really going on. I did this when I started training for a figure competition and it really made a big difference in how I ate and how I trained in those months before I got on stage. Having an honest view of how you eat is an important first step- once you have done that you can fill me in on whats going on and we can take it from there.

Hope this helps,
Lela Simon

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks so much for your help.  In your expert opinion what is the best food framework for leaning out your body?
Low Carb? Low Fat?  No Sugar?  High Fiber?  I am sure that a little bit of each is helpful, but where should I really focus or zone in on?? Also, what does "Low" mean in terms of how many grams you should consume?  Finally in terms of working out what is the best combo?  Interval training mixed with weights?

I have found that every body is different and that it takes a bit of controlled experimentation to find what works for you. I did low carb when leaning out and found myself too weak to properly work out- Not a good thing- That is why I first suggest writing everything down- then you can take a look at what you are eating and notice- "Hmmm, I am eating more bread than I thought", or "Oh God, did I really go a whole day with out eating a single vegetable?!" Sometimes it isn't that we need to go "low carb" per say but that our diet is too carb heavy and we just need to reign it back to normal.  

Writing it down makes it easy to go back and clearly dissect what the weakness are in your diet. My nutrition program basically starts with journaling and then I go through what the participant is eating and figure out what the issues are, and what changes can be made.

For Exercise HIIT and heavy lifting

Best of Health
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