Skip to main content

Fitness Tip Tuesday – Another 7 Lessons in Fat Loss

By August 1, 2012April 16th, 201443 Comments

 toning exercises

I received an email this week from a loyal follower of Curvalicious. I thought I would share what my responses were to her wonderful questions as I think many of us have these same questions about fat loss and muscle-building.

7 Lessons In Fat Loss

1) Where’s your favorite organic meat source? Do you purchase local grain fed meats or join a meatshare program as well?

 I use an Organic company called Bolten Farms, they work out of the Toronto Airport. Their meats are the same that Ruth Chris Steak House uses. They also get their fish wild from all over the world. It is important to research a company to see what is best for you and your location. Bolten Farms only delivers to the GTA. If you are unfamiliar with GTA that means you are not in their shipping area.

2) Is it critical to drink a during-workout drink? What do you usually drink?

Not critical but beneficial. You are depleting your body stores of electrolytes and glycogen when you workout. Consuming an electrolyte drink during this time will help restore your body. You can also add Glutamine and BCAAs to your during workout drink (or you can have this after the workout). Adding these two amino acids will be utilized by the muscle tissue to help restore the damage caused during the workout.

Let’s recall what it is that we are trying to achieve with post-workout nutrition:

1. Replenish glycogen
2. Stop protein breakdown
3. Promote protein synthesis

This tells us we need carbohydrates to replenish our energy levels, and protein to prevent further breakdown and promote rebuilding tissue.

3) Am I in serious trouble if I don’t get the carbs within the 1 hour time window after the training sessions? Does that impede either muscle growth, recovery or fat loss? I just want to understand why so many people stress this.

They will do both. Your insulin is high at the end of the workout. Insulin is a storage hormone and will shuttle the nutrients to the muscles or the places in the body that need them for growth and recovery. After your workout your tissues are broken down from the workout and need to be repaired. This is the very best time to repair the muscles! 

4) Should I limit my HIIT to 3 times a week on non consecutive days or only to a certain length of time in a session? Do you have overuse injury concerns with HIIT and how do you address that?

Limit your HIIT  to 20-30 minutes every other day or every 2 days. Do not do HIIT sessions on consecutive days to prevent injury. If you are suffering from over use, simply take a couple of days off of training all together and when you return start with just half the workout you would normally do. When you feel back to normal begin your regular training routine. It is important to maintain adequate nutrition following your workouts.

Symptoms of Over Training:

Fatigue – not being able to complete your workout
You stop losing fat or gaining muscle despite all your hard efforts
Feelings of restlessness, inability to sleep
You begin to have joint pain
Becoming ill – catching a cold
You are not recovering after a workout

5) Is it really possible that the hormones and chemicals in non-organic meat will impede our goals, or is that more for health reasons because muscle builders are just consuming more meats?

Yes for sure it will impede fat loss and muscle-building goal. For starters, the toxins contained in non-organic foods tax the liver. The liver is responsible for fat metabolism and if it is overworked trying to rid the body of toxins, it won’t be as efficient.  Hormonal imbalances can cause fat storage, destroy healthy muscle and bone, slow down normal cell healing, weaken the immune system – to name a few.

Meats, eggs and dairy are the most important foods to buy organic. Fruits and vegetables that can be cleaned well with water and vinegar can be bought non-organic. The thin skin fruit such as berries will need to be bought organic. The thicker the skin, the less likely the chance for toxins to enter foods.

 6) If I do lighter training or cardio (say 1 hour of swimming) is it still critical to get the post-workout carbs and protein after workout?

Post-cardio – you don’t need carbs here, only when you are doing resistance training. The key to replenishing your glycogen stores is to shuttle nutrients into the muscle tissue. Carbs will be utilized after cardio as well and if you are only doing cardio today, use the carbs following your cardio session. Otherwise, save the carbs to post-workout to repair the muscle tissue broken down with resistance training. 

The other adequate time to use carbohydrates is 3-4 hours before you workout. This will provide you with energy during your workout. If you eat carbs too close to your workout you will likely experience a crash during your workout and will prevent you giving it your all during the workout.

7) What should I eat for breakfast? Why do you say to have protein and fats?

The protein and fat meals I like to call them control meals because they are used to control hormones. We want to eat these meals first thing in the morning and your last meal before bed to control hormone levels. We avoid this meal around the workout as it includes fat. 

Towards the end of your workout you release insulin. Insulin is a “storage” hormone so any fats that are in your system during this time will be stored as fat in your body, not what we want. Do not have control meals two hours before your workout to two hours following your workout. 


If you want more lessons see 10 Lessons In Fat Loss




Join the discussion 43 Comments


    Hi Flavia, where does coffee fit into the fat loss equation? I am extremely disciplined with clean eating and my workouts, however my one vice is coffee. I have 4 espresso shots every morning on rising…all at once….I like it strong!! Could this be hindering my fat loss…..I am currently 18.9% body fat and my goal is to get down to 15%.

    • Flavia says:

      No, I don’t think it is hindering uless you add sugar or milk to your espresso. It is better to take before a workout but I have a few cups of coffee every morning – black and sometimes I workout right away and sometimes I don’t.

      • lizzie says:

        I’m in the GTA and can’t find anything online for “Bolten Farms”. Can you please provide contact info for them? I’ve just started following you and your information and videos are fantastic! Thanks.

  • Channii says:

    Hey Flavia,

    In regards to Q.2, exactly what drink do YOU have during a workout?

    Great info, thank you!

    • Flavia says:

      I use Glutamine and BCAAs. Sometimes I will throw in a powerade or gatorade without the sugar for electrolytes.

  • Rita says:

    Hi Flavia
    Very good lessons, thanks!
    We have a problem with organic meats here in Israel. The only one that is available is chicken. So I wonder is it better not to eat meat at all, if it’s not organic or grass fed ?
    Also in dairy products, most of the organic dairy is from goat’s milk. Is it ok to use goat’s dairy products? You don’t mention it in your nutrition plan. Recently the local organic market offers products from buffalo milk, it’s not very tasty but has more calcium and protein. Is it ok to use it?
    When I work out in the morning, I start about 2 hours after I wake up, all I manage to eat before is espresso and 1 date. Next time I eat is after workout and shower, 4 hours after I wake up. I fill good this way, but maybe it’s to long for my body and this is slows my metabolism?

    Thank you!

    • Flavia says:

      No it’s not better to not eat meat – use what you can that is organic. If you can do grass fed and free range that would be beneficial. The meats there are likely not as bad as the North American foods. Goat’s milk is good, look for high protein dairy products without sugars and yes for buffalo as well.

      Yes it could slow your metabolism. Try to eat some nuts or shake to jump start your metabolism. Try it and write down your results so you can see what works!

  • Christelle says:

    Hi Flavia!

    I find it difficult to wait two hours after exercising before my evening control meal – I do weight training first thing in the morning, and follow the eating plan accordingly, but then I do HIIT in the evening – directly after work and right before dinner. I only have an hour between my cardio session and dinner. I this a big problem? Should I eat my evening control meal at another time?
    Also, I’ve purchased Isabel dos Santo’s Diet Solution plan and thinking about giving it a try, but it involves carbs and proteins at every meal and includes fat at lunch and dinner, toghether with carbs. She mentioned Curvalicious in her newsletter yesterday for her clients to check out. I’m planning to keep to your exercise plan when trying Isabel’s eating plan. What would you suggest?

    • Flavia says:

      NO, don’t wait 2 hours – have the meal within 2 hours. The sooner the better! No, not a big problem waiting after HIIT. Just make sure to drink water. Isabel is great but you would have to follow one diet or the other. Try them both (once at one time) and see which one is best for you!

  • Kate says:

    Hi Flavia!
    I love Curvalicious and am seeing results after just 3 weeks! And I love how weight training makes me feel- body confident! I want to ask you…where did you get your adorable workout clothes in Curvalicious???

  • Steffy says:

    Hi Flavia,

    I have been trying to find a website for Bolten Farms, but I think I am not finding the right company. I am in the GTA so I would love to get a hold of this company. Can you provide the info? Much appreciated

  • Sandy in Toronto says:

    Hi Steffy,

    Checkout The Healthy Butcher. They have a few locations here in Toronto.

    Cheers, Sandy

  • Amy says:

    Hi Flavia’s! You mentioned “over training” in your post…..and I have a question about that. I have been seeking advice on my inability to lose weight despite working out twice a day 7 days a week (cardio in the am and weights in the evening) and only eating about 1200 clean calories a day. Someone suggested having my hormones checked out. But do you think it’s possible I am working out entirely too much and not eating enough? And how do I fix it if that is the problem? I can’t imagine not working out for a couple of weeks to “reset” my metabolism.

    • jennifer says:

      Hi Amy,
      I would say that you are definitely under eating/nourishing your body causing it to hold on to the reserves you have. Try bumping it up a bit and see how that goes. I have a feeling Flavia would agree with me here.

    • Flavia says:

      Yes I agree that you are eating too little and not taking time off to recover. Your body is likely holding onto the fat in fear that it won’t have enough nutrients to keep up with all the training. Hormones can be managed by what you eat and the lessons taught in the post suggests how to do that. If you haven’t already read the 5 Big FAT Female Fitness Myths, add in your email address where it says to download the free gifts on the top of the page and the article will be given to as well. It talks about low calorie diets and why it isn’t good for fat loss.

      I would cut back on your cardio to 4 days a week, resistance training 5 days a week – take 2 complete days off. Multiply your calories by 12 to start ( ex. 125 pounds x 12 = 1500 calories/day) and see how that affects your body. Write down in a journal everything you eat and measure your results once a week, same day, same time, same clothes. Pictures also work well and a measuring tape for your hips, waist and thighs.

      • Amy says:

        Thanks for the reply Flavia! Do you suggest that I take a couple of weeks off from working out entirerly to help repair my metabolism? Or will increasing my calorie intake be sufficient?

        • Flavia says:

          Taking time off training will not make any effect of metabolism. It will help with recovery! Increasing calories should be the trick 🙂

  • Amy says:

    I did not mean to misspell your name… correct!! Lol!

  • Travis Olson says:

    well said Flavia and very educating :).

  • Anna G says:

    Great article Flavia!! I love all the info you share, thanks again!
    your devoted follower,

  • Jennie in ATL says:

    Referring to #7 – I looked up the Meat and Nut Breakfast plan and I totally agree with the concept, but I wake up about 45min before my hand is on a weight at the gym and feel a little stuck on which way to go with breakfast. I feel great just drinking a raw green powder with water and hitting the gym hard, but I know breakfast is important – just dont want my body to store more fat during the workout. With my schedule, I cant get up any earlier to eat and wait so its either eat meat/nuts and then the gym or nothing and hit the gym. I can grab a handful of almonds and do that some (especially if I feel tired on the way out the door) but not sure how much more. Thoughts??!! Thank you in advance for the advice 😀


    • Flavia says:

      Hey Jennie! This is what a lot of people face, myself included. Here is what I do when I have an early morning resistance training workout. If I had a lot of carbs the day before, I tend to go to the gym on an empty stomach. If I didn’t have an usual amount of carbs (I ate normally) I will either have the meat and nuts breakfast or I have a quik protein shake. You can add greens here but they are better taken following the workout.

      If you need more energy, add in some fruit or a nut butter into your shake. There isn’t one way – everyone needs different things because they are on different scheldules and train differently than others.

      * I find best results when having P + V right before a workout and P + C after the workout. But early morning workouts I add a F to my P at times 🙂 Hope that helps.

  • yesi says:

    hello flavia,
    my name is yesi i have not yet started your program and want to but i wanted to ask which of the progams that u offer do i get i know u have the curvalicious, and the bodylicious ? what is the difference and which do you recommend in starting with ? im very excited to try this programs and start the journey to a better healthy and fit me!

    thank you

  • Steffy says:

    Hi Flavia,

    I am getting a little confused with all the hype on protein supplements. First, it was prograde whey protein and now it’s BioTrust. I understand that the industry is constantly changing, but I’m starting to feel like this all a broken record. Could you share some thoughts and do you still use prograde?

    Thank you!! Have a great, long weekend… Canada style 🙂

  • Colleen Haykin says:

    Hi Flavia,

    I found you via your you-tube training videos….Love them! I have even incorporated many of the circuit into my recent training with great results!! I am interested in checking out your programs – but don’t know which one will be best for me…Full-Body or Curvalicious. Or both?

    I have been training seriously for 3 years now – once a week with a trainer….the rest I follow various programs depending my goals. I have found good results with 4 days strength and 2-3 days HIIT with a little yoga thrown in. I once weighed 195 before the birth of my children and through very hard work and lots of heavy lifting, I have maintained my weight at 107lbs and 14% b.f for the last 2 years.

    Thing is, I am 38 and I have to fight hard to keep the results and continue to sculpt, lift and lean out my problem areas – mainly my midsection, glutes, hips & lowerback. I have to constantly challenge my body to see change. I do follow a clean diet, with supplementation and focus on keeping my hormones in balance. Always wanting to improve and learn, I am very interested in hearing your take on what has worked for you. Can you point me in the direction of the best product for me?

    Thanks from a fan!
    Oakville, Ont Canada

    • Anna says:

      That is awesome what you have acheived Colleen! They are both great programs but since you are a more experienced lifter and trying to build/maintain muscle, Curvalicious would be great for you! Curvalicious has more body part specific days which is perfect when your an intermediate/advanced lifter.

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Colleen. You are so close to me. I live in Ancaster!

      I feel that I have to fight to keep up my figure although most people say to me, “well you’ve never been overweight, you can’t get over weight. It’s your genetics” SO NOT TRUE…but I guess it’s nice that it seems that way 😉

      Check out this link that explains what the difference is between Curve and FBL:

      Can’t wait to hear all about your success!

  • Denitze says:

    Hey Flavia!
    I have a question for you.
    I do sport since I can think .. I mean for 18 years (I´m 24) . First Basketball and a lots of others sports and since december 2011 I go to the GYM, but I used to do to much cardio. But 6 months agos I started to train very hard!. I´m a med student so, i know pretty much about nutrition and stuff. BUT still.. i´m not losing fat :S!! , I don´t look how I should look like :/. and now i dont know what is happening to my body, but since 2 month I just can´t do sport everyday (swimming, basketball, or gym ) I´m always tired, i need more sleep (I always needed just 5-6 hours sleep, and now about 8 or 9 , and i´m still tired), and the recovery after work out (my training now is very hard, I can lift a lot of weight) takes a lot!!!.. i mean more than 48 hours ! I stoped to do cardio. I am training just 3 times a week .. and just lifting weight . I´m also taking vitamins, green tee extract , ALA and proteinshakes (after wake up and before going to sleep, and after work out! 🙂 . I´m tinking to take glutamine for the recovery after training.

    Can you help me ? and at the Uni have a lot stuff to study for the next exams . So I can´t be so tired :S and I can´t live without sport :S so I need something to push me up :).

    thank you!!!

    • Anna says:

      Hi Denitze,
      Sounds like you are experiencing some over training. Try taking 1 week off of all training (you can still do yoga/stretching) Then slowly start back up with weights and re-introduce cardio. Glutamine is great to aid in recover and improve gut health.
      All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

  • Wendy says:

    Hi Flavia, I’m a bit confused. I’ve read several of your nutritional tips and I recall reading that I must replenish my body and stimulate protein synthesis after a workout. So I assumed that I must have protein soon after my workout. However, the answer to the last question says not to eat control meals around my workout, which include fat and protein. What should I eat to promote muscle recovery? o_O


    • Anna says:

      Hi Wendy,
      Protein after your workout is crucial. You want to have a Protein + Carb meal after your workout. Check out this article for more information: Protein should be consumed with every meal as it is very important to stimulate protein synthesis, keep your metabolism high (burning calories throughout the day), maintain muscle mass, and control appetite.

      Also just to clarify, anytime Flavia or I refer to workout we mean weight training. Protein + Carb meal is not necessary after cardio. It is ok to have a protein + carb after your cardio but don’t do anything special. Your meals should be structured around your weight training workout and whenever you can fit your cardio in is fine and simply eat the next scheduled meal afterwards.
      Hope that helps shed some light on the subject. All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

  • Petra says:

    Hi Flavia or Anna,

    I started your curvalicious program this week and am sooo excited!! It is really great and I already see some results :-))

    Your mealplans also help me having less pain because of IBS. So happy!

    I’v got the mealplans as well and trying to find my way through it. Just 1 question to make sure i’m doing it ok.

    I used to eat flaxseeds with my greek yoghurt and berries. I quess that is not allowed anymore as this meal will have carbs and fat? Am I right?

    Thanks again for you reply!!

    • Anna says:

      Hi Petra,
      So happy you are enjoying Curvalicious!!
      Flaxseed is considered a fat but as long as your fat is under 10 grams in your P + C meal and carbs are under 10 in P + F meal that is fine. You can include some flaxseed for the taste but don’t exceed 10 grams of fat. Hope that helps!
      All the best!
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

  • I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i
    am glad reading your article. But want to remark
    on few general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D.

    Good job, cheers

  • This feels more like often the RIAA modifying often the lawful program for any rapid profit compared to these individuals actually wishing to cease pirating. Really just like songs is merely often the the lure because of their actual profit-making equipment. My spouse and i didn’t end up being shocked once they expose their very own songs onto the world wide web. While he or she truly should never have down loaded the background music, the fact often the tribunal must find this damaged often the “victim” is actually and also designate penalty appropriately. If is actually seven songs, throw out these individuals $7 dollars. That will be rights. Not necessarily this particular expensive sum.

Leave a Reply