I stopped eating sugar, grains, and processed oils in 2008, and it changed my life for the better. Now that my blood sugar is stable, and my insulin resistance is vastly improved, I almost never experience sugar cravings.
If I do have a craving, I have learned to substitute nourishing foods and enjoyable activities that replace the snacking, shopping, and smoking I used to do.
You can learn more by watching the video in this post. There are also many posts in the history section on the right that describe the way I have been eating and training for the past 14 years. So many of us are looking for ways to consume less and create more as we look toward the future. As always, I want you to eat for yourself, and train for what you love.
My ketogenic food plan enhances your energy, mood, and shape by getting rid of bloating, flattening the belly, and shrinking the waistline. I developed this plan when I was working with my training clients at Gordon Studio, and it was effective for women and men of all ages. Note: check with your doctor before starting a new nutrition and fitness program.
Here are the guidelines for my 14 day fat loss plan:
Every day: Drink the Freedom Tonic. 1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, and 8 ounces of water. You may add liquid stevia to taste to cut the sourness. (We had a saying at Gordon Studio, “Hold Your Nose and Drink Your Tonic.”) It may not taste great, but it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, aid digestion, and we all swear by it to increase fat loss.
Every Day: Drink an additional 6 glasses of water. You can make “Freedom Water” by adding cucumber, mint, ginger, and sliced lemon to a large pitcher of water, and finishing it by the end of the day.
Protein: Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of your ideal body weight per day. I’m 5’1″ and although my preferred body weight at age 56 is 123, I go with 110 grams of protein per day.
Carbohydrates: Limit carbs to 20 grams total or less per day. Here is my list of favorite low carb vegetables, along with their carbohydrate grams per serving.
5. Fats: Have enough fat grams to feel satisfied up to 80 grams of fat per day.
Resistance Training 3 Times Per Week
8 repetitions per exercise. Do a total of three rounds for each super set.
Super set #1: Squat/Push up
Super Set #2: Romanian Deadlift/ Dumb Bell Rows
Super Set #3: Reverse Lunge/ Bicep Curls
Here are 5 more examples of effective super sets for fat loss and muscle growth or maintenance: Forward Lunge/Tricep Extension, T-Bend/Overhead Press, 1 Leg Sit To Stand/Chin-up or Dumb Bell Pullover, Goblet Squat/Reverse Fly, Bulgarian Split Squat/ Butterfly raise.
You can complete your fitness session with interval training. My favorite style is to use my favorite House and Shuffle Dance steps Tabata Style. Here is an example of Tabata Style Training:
The most important goal is to use these 14 days to discover what exercises work best for you.
You can e-mail questions to Catherine@dareshine.com
I’ll be blogging for the next 2 weeks to fill in all of the details for this Fast Fat Loss Plan.
In the meantime, be well, and eat for yourself.
You can click the sponsored link below for the Kettle Bells I recommend.
In 2008, I followed a food and fitness program that took my weight from 67 kg to 60 kg in 12 weeks. What was even better is that I lost three dress sizes in that time and my waist went from 78cm to 66cm.
Here are my 4 keys to losing weight and sizes quickly and permanently:
Eat adequate amounts of whole natural protein and fat, and eliminate added sugars and processed carbs. The saying I used during my program was, “Nothing out of a bag or a box.”
Lift weights to maintain muscle and metabolic rate. The top goal of weight lifting isn’t calorie burning. The top goal is to build or maintain muscle so that your diet won’t burn it and leave you with a higher body fat percentage and a slower metabolism.
Add interval training to increase fat burning and help manage appetite.
Set goals for success. Choose a specific period to focus on your food and fitness changes. In my training practice my clients used 6 or 12 week programs. Choose a smart weight loss goal. Two pounds a week is reasonable when you are eating and training effectively. Follow process goals as well as outcome goals. Plan your menus, shop for, and prepare your food. Schedule your training sessions: for example: lift 3 times per week, and do interval training 3 times per week.
In my case, the diet I used was a whole food diet of 20 grams or less of carbohydrates per day from vegetables that grow above the ground, 100 grams of protein, and 80 grams of fat. I call this a “Leaner Keto” diet, and I used these exact macros to get excellent results when I did the “Ketogains” program a few years ago.
I am not a doctor or dietitian, and you should consult one before starting a diet and exercise program. My motto is, “Eat for yourself,” because I do believe that you need to discover and focus on what works for you when it comes to food and fitness.
Wishing you well,
If you have question on food, fitness, and goal setting, post one in the comments or email me at:
To Get Lean Safely and permanently, embrace the lifting lifestyle.
Here’s how to get started.
Personal Training is expensive and time consuming. In person one on one training requires you to travel to the gym, or get your home ready for a visitor.
Group weight training, which I taught for years at my studio, is very effective, but it is difficult to match the weight, reps, and rest intervals perfectly for everyone in the class. In addition, the trainees who have the most success for years and years are the ones who embrace the lifting lifestyle, and learn to lift on their own.
Before you start a weight training lifestyle, I want you to know the two things that are most likely to wreck a resistance training plan.
Injury. If you pull a muscle, twist an ankle, or inflame your knees, your training pattern will be broken. You will have to take time off to heal, and it is extremely de-motivating to start back at square one. Some people do learn their lesson and start over, but it’s much wiser to lift with caution and respect for form in order to prevent acute and over use injuries.
Avoidance. I also call this unwillingness to train, or even: resistance to resistance. This is the impulse to skip training sessions because you perceive them as too long, boring, confusing, or difficult.
One key to embracing resistance training for life is to treat it like the sport and art form it is. Begin with the basic lifts the way an athlete or a musician would start with drills or scales. I approach each session the same way I approach the barre in ballet class, or the center steps in jazz class.
Another key is to stay within the boundaries of your skill and ability by giving yourself permission to keep the weight low until you are willing and eager to increase it. For the beginner, just performing the movements themselves with body-weight creates progress.
Key number three is to have a complete plan every time you train. Your complete plan will cover exercises, repetitions, sets, and the frequency of your training.
Here is the complete plan I recommend for your first four weeks of lifting.
Frequency: Three times per week with one day between sessions: For example Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Exercises: Three non- competing super-sets with eight reps per movement for three sets.
The first super-set is your warmup, and it should be performed with 50% of your working weight, or body weight if you are a beginner.
Super-set #1: Dumb-bell squats: 8 reps followed by Push Ups: 8 reps. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.
Super-set #2: Dumb-Bell Romanian Dead-lifts: 8 reps followed by Dumb Bell Rows: 8 reps per arm. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.
Super-set #3: Dumb-Bell Reverse Lunge: 8 reps per leg followed by Dumb-bell Curls: 8 reps per arm. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.
Gently stretch major muscle groups, and you’re done.
If faster fat loss is your goal, you can perform 8 to 16 minutes of interval training exercise, but the resistance exercises are the priority. As a dancer, I use dance steps for my interval training immediately after my weight session.
The simplest way to do beginner intervals is to walk briskly up hill for 20 seconds, then walk back down for 10 seconds. Complete 8 rounds. Rest at least one minute and repeat the interval round if desired.
Please leave a comment with any questions, and share with someone who wants to get lean and strong.
When I was preparing to sing at Carnegie hall in 2019 I had two essential goals for my nutrition plan. It had to allow me to get leaner, and it had to be anti-inflammatory.
When you are a singer, and you eat anything that causes inflammation, the first place you notice it is in your voice. The vocal chords have to lengthen, shorten, and vibrate in perfect sync with the demands of the singer’s intentions.
The vocal chords, like the heart and the digestion, are autonomic. Here is the definition of autonomic:
Any inflammation will reduce the vocal chords’ ability to respond to autonomic reflexes.
I Went Carnivore in March of 2018
I expected to lose body-fat and have more energy, but I didn’t expect more glowing skin, more hair growth, smaller moles, and extra high notes at the top of my vocal range. It was as if eating mostly meat and animal foods had reset my body’s growth regulation to increase growth where I wanted it, and limit growth where I didn’t.
How is it possible that one diet could help me lose fat, and grow longer thicker hair at the same time? I believe that the healthy action of the Carnivore diet comes from the way it heals hyperinsulinemia.
Here is the definition of hyperinsulinemia:
Hyperinsulinemia (hi-pur-in-suh-lih-NEE-me-uh) means the amount of insulin in your blood is higher than what’s considered normal. Alone, it isn’t diabetes. But hyperinsulinemia is often associated with type 2 diabetes. Hyperinsulinemia: Is it diabetes? – Mayo Clinic
I believe that the Carnivore Diet allowed me to improve my insulin response to food to the point that my entire body was able to perform better.
Eating in the Time of Covid-19
When we went into physical distancing in March of 2020, all of my singing events were cancelled, and I decided to go back to a low-carb diet that incorporated many vegetables and some fruits. My appetite increased immediately, and my motivation dropped. I attributed this to the lockdown blues, but since I returned to Carnivore after Thanksgiving a little more than 3 weeks ago, the sun has come out, my motivation has returned, and I’ve even lost some fat.
I have decided to claim the right to eat mostly meat, but I have designed the meal plan I posted here in order to keep my meat consumption at or below the amount of meat consumed by the average American which, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was about 10 ounces of meat per day in 2019. The meal plan above contains 10 ounces of red meat. It is my opinion that red meat is safe and healthy in the absence of sugar, grains, and processed vegetable and seed oils.
I intend to honor the animals I eat in order to live by living fully with honesty, integrity, and generosity. Now that I eat mostly meat, I consume less of everything, including meat. I look forward to consuming less and creating more.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive future for all of us.
How Do I Lose Arm Fat? Is the question I just answered on Quora.com.
Quora has been very helpful in showing me what people are really looking for in fitness advice, so I’ve decided to share my answer with you.
Catherine’s Answer on “Arm Fat.”
When I was trying to overcome obesity back in 2002, I did a lot of cardio and almost no resistance training. As a result, I lost muscle in my legs and arms, and I experienced loose skin starting in my late 30s. When I learned how to lift weights with proper form and technique, I was able to bring definition back to my legs and arms. When I had my fitness transformation studio, by clients were always amazed by the fact that when they trained their arms with resistance exercise they got smaller, not bigger!
Here is one way lifting makes the arms look better: If you build the deltoid muscles, which are at the top of your arms, that lifts and lightens the skin on the opposite side of your arms.
Here are my favorite exercises for defined arms:
One Arm Overhead press, Deltoid Raises, Tricep Kickbacks, Bicep Curls, Hammer Curls, Bent Over Double Tricep Extensions, and Butterfly Raises. You can find video examples of all of these exercises on YouTube, and I would incorporate them into your fitness routine two or three times per week. A sample arm day would be One Arm Overhead Press: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds. Tricep Kickbacks: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds, Bicep Curls: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds, Deltoid Raises: 8 reps 3 rounds.
Finally, it sounds like your diet is already working for you, so if you keep doing what works in the nutrition department, you should definitely see improvement in four weeks if not sooner with these exercises.
Catherine’s Spring Training Challenge Starts 3/20/2018. In class or on-line.
I am delighted to announce that the Spring Transformation Challenge: Train For Joy, will begin on March 20th. The challenge will feature Sugar Freedom, and my Positive Training Program. The Sugar Freedom method encourages you to find your most wholesome foods, and I created the T.E.A.M. technique to teach you how to train for the life you love. The challenge lasts 4 weeks, and there are two $125.00 prizes for the most inspiring transformations.
E-mail me: email@example.com for details or click on “class schedule” above.
Catherine Best Gordon ACE-CPT Presents:
The Spring Transformation Challenge
Discover the “Best Practices” to lose fat, and never gain it back.
4 Weeks of Proven Nutrition, Training, and Support. Plus: 2 $125.00 cash prizes for the most inspiring transformations.
Cost: $50. Location: in class at TCAA: Dance at the Dome or on-line.
Do you need a simple exercise routine for beginners? Here is a warm up and a simple weightlifting program for you.
Don’t be afraid to start lifting weights.
One of my biggest fears when I started resistance training was that I would look foolish in the gym. I’m 5’1″ so many of the machines are hard to adjust to my height, and I didn’t know very many dumb-bell exercises, so it was hard to get good results.
That’s where a Certified Personal Trainer can help. I learned from Craig Ballantyne, John Barban, Jennifer Nicole Lee, and more by searching for programs on-line. I was able to start lifting at home with their programs, and when I switched to the gym, I knew what to do in order to get a safe, effective workout.
Today, I invite you to learn from me, and get started with these exercises. I designed this program for a small group class that I just started teaching, and they asked me to to post it on-line so that they know what to do at home, so thanks students!
Start with a warm up of 8 Stick ups, 8 Prisoner Squats, and 8 Cross Crawls. Repeat.
Super sets: do 8 reps of each pair of exercises. Do each pair three times.
Super Set #1: Chest Press and Glute Raise.
Super Set #2: Bird Dog and Double Tricep extension.
Follow along with the video to learn how. Learn proper form and technique before you increase the weight. By using good form, and contracting your muscles, you can get excellent results with light weights. That’s one of the wonderful things about being a beginner. With patience and persistence, you will get stronger, more confident, and you will train safely.
2/1/2018: Here is the latest “Homework” video.
10 Squats, 10 Romanian Deadlifts, 10 Overhead Press, 10 Rows per side, 10 Curls. Do all exercises as a circuit, and repeat 2 times for a total of 3 circuits.
Remember to check with your health care provider before staring a new exercise program.
E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a custom program.
This article on the 7 benefits of heavy resistance training was written by the experts at the American Council on Exercise. As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, it helps to be able to pass along the science of weight training on my blog, especially when we have so much to cover in our one on one and group training sessions.
Here is the article:
For years only a finite number of dedicated fitness enthusiasts practiced a sure-fire method of achieving results from exercise: weightlifting with the heaviest loads possible. Most common gym routines are derived from the bodybuilding world and focus on moderate-to-high repetition ranges, usually eight to 15 reps, to increase the size of a muscle. Serious strength-training enthusiasts know that lifting heavy for five repetitions or less, while extremely challenging, is the quickest way to increase muscle strength.
There is a distinctive difference between training for muscle size—technically called hypertrophy—and training for strength and increasing a muscle’s ability to generate force. While lifting heavy can improve the force output of a muscle without significantly increasing its size, training for size can increase muscle volume without necessarily improving strength. Lifting with high repetitions can increase the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy of a muscle by increasing the amount of fluid in the sarcoplasm of muscle cells. However, using a heavy weight for fewer repetitions results in myofibrillar hypertrophy by increasing the thickness of individual muscle fibers. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases the size of a muscle, while myofibrillar hypertrophy results in thicker muscle fibers capable of generating higher levels of force.
If you are looking for a way to supercharge your clients’ workouts or help move past them past a plateau, consider using a weight heavy enough to limit them to five repetitions or less.* Here are seven benefits of how using heavy resistance can maximize the results from your fitness program.
Training for muscle strength is different than training for muscle size. A six- to 10-week strength-focused mesocycle of heavy resistance and low reps followed by a six- to 10-week hypertrophy (bodybuilder) mesocycle of moderate weight for higher rep ranges can produce significant gains in both size and strength.
Using heavy weights increases intramuscular coordination, the number of type II motor units and the amount of muscle fibers engaged within a specific muscle. Have you ever felt your muscles shaking while lifting heavy weights? This is because you are recruiting and activating the larger type II muscle fibers, which are only stimulated to work when a muscle is challenged with heavy resistance or working to fatigue.
Using maximal loads for compound (multi-joint) movements like the deadlift, squat-to-shoulder press, bent-over row or chest press can improve intermuscular coordination, which is the ability of many muscles to work together to generate and control high levels of force through multiple joints.
Lifting heavy weights elevates levels of anabolic hormones—specifically testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)—which are used to repair muscle fibers damaged during exercise. This helps the muscle fibers to become thicker and capable of generating higher levels of force.
Lifting heavy weights increases production of the hormone IGF-1. This hormone is related to the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a neurotransmitter responsible for stimulating the growth of new neural pathways in the brain along with enhancing communication between existing pathways. In short, lifting heavy could make you smarter by enhancing cognitive function.
Training with heavy weights helps you to improve your self-confidence. Knowing that you can lift heavy stuff gives you the confidence that you can handle common challenges, such as a putting a bag in the overhead bin on an airplane or carrying a heavy piece of furniture while reorganizing a room or helping a friend move.
Strength training with heavy weights improves muscle definition. Muscle definition occurs as the result of muscles remaining in a state of semi-contraction and heavy strength training recruits the larger type II muscle fibers responsible for a muscle’s appearance.
*WARNING: Using heavier weights requires using machines or a spotter to maximize safety. In addition, when lifting with maximal loads, it’s important to include longer rest periods of at least two to three minutes to allow muscles to properly recover before going back to work.
All exercise provides general health benefits, but resistance training with heavy weights is one of the quickest ways to achieve the benefits identified above. Keep in mind that according to the general adaptation syndrome, the body adapts to an exercise stimulus after a period of 12 to 14 weeks. Once your client starts training with maximal weights, he or she will experience serious gains. After three or four months, however, you will need to change your client’s training routine to provide a new stimulus to his or her body.
Catherine again. Did you notice in example #1 that higher reps with moderate weight causes hypertrophy? That’s another way of saying that doing higher reps with moderate weight increases size. When you train with me, I promise to adjust your weight and rep ranges to suit your goals. It’s your training session, so you get to decide. Of course, if you’re going to lift you must use proper form. Come to class at the Dome or request an appointment with me by e-mailing:
Catherine@sugarfreedom.com One on one training can be costly, but I can design a program that will allow you to train at your gym, or at home, with form checks from me. I’m ready to help you get the benefits of lifting. (Check the class schedule if you are near Sonora, CA.)
They steal my pictures to sell their scams.Here’s why.
It happened again.Yesterday, my friend Naomi sent me an e-mail with “GNC is using your pictures?!”in the subject line.
Somebody was trying to sell a fat burning supplement using my before and after photos.
Somehow the company was trying to make it look like GNC was selling their pill as well, and the worst part was the fake blog by some woman named “Kristy,” claiming that she had lost 49 pounds in one month, and using my pictures to convince vulnerable women that her results were real.
Here is the true story.Those are my before and after photos from the 2nd Turbulence Training transformation contest that I won in 2008.Over 12 weeks of following the Sugar Freedom nutrition program that I developed specifically to overcome the overweight and obesity caused by my decades long sugar addiction, lifting weights 3 times per week, and adding the dance techniques I had learned through years of study in Los Angeles, I was able to lose 14 pounds and 5 inches off of my waist alone.
Note the weight loss: 14 pounds.That’s just slightly more than 1 pound a week, not a ridiculous number like 49 pounds in one month which, trust me, would have left me looking old and deflated, not 15 years younger and glowing with health and happiness.
So why did they steal my pictures?
#1.They are real.They were taken outdoors with natural lighting, and no retouching was used.Real pictures get people to trust and buy.
#2.I look younger and happier.Smart marketers, even unscrupulous ones, know that they are selling happiness even more than weight loss.
#3.My waist is dramatically smaller.Techniques like heat mapping and split testing show the pros selling supplements exactly what kind of visible results sell products, and a smaller waist gets the clicks.
Bottom line, I got the results I wanted with sugar freedom: www.sugarfreedom.com, and Turbulence Training.
So now I am determined to do another 12 week transformation with all of the knowledge I have gained over the past 5 years of my professional trying career.I will share all the techniques with you, and when I’m done, i will get back out there and tell my story, so that no-one will try to steal my results again.
Come to Catherine’s Broadway Bootcamp at TCAA Dance at the Dome and have fun getting results fast.
There is still time to start Bway Bootcamp and get in 4 weeks of training and nutrition for a leaner, stronger, more graceful body.
The hats for “One” from a Chorus Line just came in, so if you start this week you will get the entire routine from the beginning step by step. Discover the dancer’s secret for a wonderful figure: Warm up, resistance training, intervals, and the body shaping power of learning dance steps. There is a very good reason why the celebrities on “Dancing with the Stars,” achieve such beautiful transformations: learning dances really does re-shape your body. Come see for yourself at 251 B. Baretta St. in the dance studio next to the famous Sonora Dome.
This Broadway Bootcamp session takes place every Tues. and Thurs. at 6:30AM and 8AM until 8/10/17. There are also ongoing classes every Mon. at 5:30PM, and Wed. at 9AM.
Subscribe to this blog to be notified of our next session.