There isn’t much that Allie Janszen can’t do. Not only is she an adoring mom to two precious kiddos and a supportive wife to husband, Mark, she’s also a labor and delivery nurse at St. Elizabeth. She also has a passion for diet and fitness so with her ounce of down time she started a side hustle--her own business with two flagship programs.
Pretty Fit Mama is a program that she created to help moms slim down and learn about nutrition and exercise postpartum. It’s a 5 week program (1 week of prep, 4 weeks of work), where she coaches Moms through workouts virtually via streaming videos, and provides meal plans and recipes based on macro tracking (explained below). Since this program is tailored towards moms who may only have nap time to workout, the workouts can be done just as easily in a living room as in a gym.
Realizing that it’s not just postpartum moms that may need education and assistance in weight loss, Allie received her certification as a health coach for Faster Way to Fat Loss- a program developed by Amanda Tress which now has about 40 coaches across the U.S. This program is 7 weeks (1 week of prep, 6 weeks of work), and includes workouts and meal plans also based on macro tracking. But she also throws in carb cycling (eliminating carbs for 2 days a week) and intermittent fasting. We sat down with to better understand both maro tracking and intermittent fasting.
Macro Tracking: can be an effective way to lose weight. Many people like to track food, and this type of self monitoring Allie teaches participants how to track macros via the MyFitnessPal app. Tracking macros means focusing less on calorie count and instead on keeping track of carb, fat, and protein intake. Depending on a person’s goals, they aim to hit a certain ratio of the three macro groups a day. Macro counting allows more flexibility than calorie counting and doesn’t vilify or eliminate foods. There are a number of macro calculators on the internet that can help you calculate your daily macros based on your goals. If this is your first time tracking macros, it can also be helpful to work with a coach or dietitian to assist.
So…. I know you’re probably thinking it. Can you still eat ice cream and drink wine? The answer is yes: IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). Allie still eats ice cream every single week. And look at her.
MyFitnessPal is the app Allie has you use to track your food and exercise. When you log something, like a scoop of Graeter’s, you’ll see how much of your fat/protein/carbs that this takes out of your “bank” for the day. What’s left in your bank is what you have to work with for the rest of the day. So, there may be days where it’s TOTALLY worth it to have that scoop of ice cream. But on other days, maybe you’d rather have a big steak and potato dinner and not splurge on the Black Raspberry Chip. Macro tracking teaches moderation and balance.
We could do a whole post on just this topic, and we just might. Reach out to Allie to learn more.
Intermittent Fasting 101: I’ll be honest, when I first heard about intermittent fasting, it sounded a lot like starvation. I wake up SO hungry most mornings and don’t feel like myself until I literally inhale 2 fried eggs (with about ¼ a cup of Cholua) and a banana. But after hearing the science behind it, it makes total sense. In short, you spend 16 hours “fasting”, then consume the same amount of calories but in a strict 8 hour time frame. So, for example you might wait to eat until 10am which means your last meal would end at 6pm. When you eat until late at night, then wake up and eat right away, your energy supply is coming solely from the food being digested, in the form of glycogen. But when your glycogen storage is depleted after digestion is complete, your body then turns to your fat supply for energy. Intermittent fasting is also linked to disease prevention. Once all food is digested, your body has the ability to focus on repairing damaged cells. We're going to try this out in 2018.
Meriden and I participated in a special program Allie offered called 12 days of FITmas leading up to Christmas, which was an abbreviated version of her FASTer Way to Fat Loss program. There were a few noteworthy things that we really liked about the program:
1. Although the coaching is all done virtually, Allie has a strong focus on building community within each of her programs. She runs all her programs via Facebook groups, where she hosts all the program information and consistently engages with everyone. She encourages each person to post their daily macros, share photos, stories, etc. It makes it a heck of a lot easier to stick to the program knowing that there are a team of others across the country participating at the same time.
2. The education and tools that you receive when going through this program make it more than just a 5 or 7 week program. She gives you everything you need to make it a new lifestyle. I embarrassingly had NO idea what it meant to count macros, and turns out I’ve been totally overdoing it with the “healthy fats”. I feel like the education on counting macros alone made the program worth it for me.
So, who is a good fit for Allie’s programs? First off, they involve following a plan and include tracking every little thing you consume, which isn’t for everyone. But if you need a little education on how to have a balanced diet (i.e. macro tracking) and like to have guidance and rules, then I’d definitely recommend looking into it. And if you have short term goals of weight loss, then YES, this is going to be an effective way to shed those extra holiday LBs that may have creeped up on you, or to rock that wedding (Mer) or bridesmaid (Mo) dress this spring.
Personally, I have never been a fan of tracking my food and bev intake, but what I love about Allie’s model is that the main goal is to never feel like you’re depriving yourself. Once you allow yourself to eat the sweet treats and come to the realization that it didn’t totally foil all your hard work, then the quicker you’ll be able to create a more sustainable healthy lifestyle. Which, let’s face it-- that's what we're all after.
Allie has 2 programs starting up at the first of the year:
FASTer way to Fat Loss starts on Jan 1. Find out more HERE.
Pretty Fit Mama Starts on Jan 14th. Find out more HERE.