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When my readers sign up to receive my emails, they receive a welcome email where I ask how I can help them overcome their struggles with weight loss.

Below you will read REAL women’s emails back to me. I read each one to help direct future content so I can make a real difference in these women’s lives.

For every one email, hundreds of others have the same struggles. I want these struggles to be a thing of the past so please read and post your comments below.

Hi Flavia,

Thank you for your e-mail. The other day I was searching pregnancy
workout, I saw your videos and then I decided to visit your website.

Honestly I was impressed by your story. My biggest problem is my fear
is to gain weights and be fat again as I used to be when I was
younger. I am 39 years old and I am pregnant for 6 months. I always
had problem with my fat legs and finally I lost some weights in my
legs and my behind started to feel better about my self and here i am
pregnant… the worst in this situation is I don’t enjoy my pregnancy.

I need please some advice how to eat and what kind of exercise shall I
do during my pregnancy in order to not gain weights in my legs?

Thank you in advance!

Have a great day & best regards
– ML

Flavia's Answer

Thank you for writing ML. As I read about your legs being your problem area so many negative feelings overwhelm me. I too struggle with leg fat. Honestly, even when I am lean, I haven’t always loved the way my legs look. And just like you, I struggled to love my pregnancies.

I applaud you for admitting it because I feel ashamed admitting it myself.

After my first pregnancy of eating SUPER clean and exercising all the way through my pregnancy, I still gained 40 pounds. I came to the realization that genetics play a HUGE roll in “healthy” weight gain during pregnancy. So let me say this, you are gaining weight to ensure the baby is healthy!

Now, I HATE when women find it offensive that I was watching what I was eating while pregnant to ensure I didn’t gain too much weight for two reasons:

  1. Eating healthy has never been MORE important than when you are pregnant.
  2. Why should you gain more weight then needed just because you are pregnant, making weight loss, that is already hard, harder.

Now, rest assured that YOU CAN GET YOUR BODY BACK. I am getting my body back after two kids, two c-sections in fact! IF I can do it, ANYONE can!

So back to your questions; what to eat and how to exercise when you’re pregnant:

The same rules of eating applies as it does at any other time of your life. Here is a list of foods to
Eliminate: wheat, gluten, soy, sugar, processed foods, food dyes, GMO’s, cows milk.

Those are my rules — note that I still have my “treat days” when I eat wheat, gluten, sugar and cows milk (usually a nice pizza), but 90% of the time, I cut all the above foods OUT! Don’t bring them into your house, make it a “treat” if you are going to have those foods.

Exercise: I have an entire pregnancy workout series called All-Belly Pregnancy and some workouts on YouTube as well.

All Belly Pregnancy also includes food and has a supplement guide. This is some of my best work. I put SOOOO much into this program as I learned how to eat, exercise and supplement while I was pregnant.

Hey I’m looking to lose 150lbs and I just don’t know were to start
their are so many programs out there so I was looking at your program
see if it would work for me.
– JF

Flavia's Answer

JF, I am so happy you found me! Let me start off by telling you that losing weight is a difficult road, which you know, but it doesn’t have to be brutally hard and it actually gets easier as you go! I want you to know that EVERY MEAL, EVERY WORKOUT makes a difference and if you fall off the wagon, GUESS WHAT — you can make the next meal, the next workout count.

Don’t beat yourself up anymore! You can make a difference inch-by-inch. All you have to do is take weight loss ONE STEP AT A TIME.

Most people have a time in their lives when they feel motivated, they eat healthy and exercise in such an extreme way and do indeed lose weight; but all of a sudden, their motivation leaves them and they are stuck binging and gaining all the weight right back.

This happens because people often go to EXTREME.

There is a time and a place for that but now is not the time. You need to learn how to change your prospective on food and exercise one step at at time.

I am going to give you simple steps to help get you started on your weight loss journey:

Step 1: Set a Goal

Goals must be:

  • Measurable
  • Written down
  • Set for a specific deadline
  • Realistic

See link for further help with goal setting:

==> My Number 1 Fitness Tip – Setting Goals!

Step 2: Cut out ONE food amount in half — or if you can eliminate it

Take the ONE food that temps you the most, your regular bagel and cream cheese for instance, and cut it in half. Eat only half of what you normally world (throw the rest in the garbage) and eat a handful of nuts to replace the calories lost from the bagel.

If you need help deciding what foods to eat and what to eliminate, my cookbook gives you hundreds of recipes and lists of what to eat and what to eliminate.

Take out one food at a time and replace that food with a better alternative – ONE-BY-ONE until you no longer “need” that food.

For the bagel example, once you drop the bagel and instead eat nuts and eggs for breakfast, you can then look for another food you can replace.

Think about what makes the food bad. The bagel has wheat, gluten, processed sugar and bleached flour. It is low in nutrition and high in calories. Look at another food that has those qualities and eliminate them one at a time.

**You can even start (if this works for you) eliminating wheat all together or gluten all together. IF this is too difficult do one food at a time and eventually you can do all gluten, then all wheat, then all sugar slowly as you drop weight and feel better this will become easier and easier.

REMEMBER — I am not asking you to NEVER eat these foods. Once you can say no to them consistently and there is no doubt you can make it through the week without that food, you can have it again in your “treat meal” once a week.

Things to consider:

You Can’t Drop A Habit, You Can Only Replace

How we should eat? HIGH nutrition, LOW calories.

How we shouldn’t eat? LOW nutrition, HIGH calories.

You can eat 10,000 calories a day. If you’re not getting the specific nutrients your body needs in a way it can digest and assimilate, your starving on a nutritional level.

Your body is going to stay hungry until it gets those nutrients. The cells don’t get nourished. So now you’re not nourished at a cellular level. Sugars trick your body into getting nourished. And the cycle repeats itself.

Step 3: Start to exercise

– this means if you don’t do anything, start walking even if it’s once a week. Next week increase it to two days a week. Then change that walk to a bodyweight workout twice a week and advance from there.

Need help starting? Download my free bodyweight workouts here.

.Step 4: Reward yourself

— this doesn’t mean adding in the foods that you struggle with, you can do that once you don’t have an emotional attachment to it.

You can reward yourself with a drink, night out, a healthy dinner (until you can have that treat day and not go back to old habits) or a pedicure.

Whatever will help motivate you to keep you going. For myself, I set a goal and once I complete a perfect week of eating healthy and working out, I go out for dinner of pizza and wine 🙂


That’s it for now. Stay connected for further strategies for making weight loss a thing of the past.

Now it’s your turn, what do you struggle with?

Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • jean says:

    I am turning 50 at the end of next week and I am struggling with weight loss. I have completely cut out my morning coffee that included creamer. I quit drinking Diet soda. I have replaced breakfast with a meal replacement shake. I cook good healthy meals from your cookbook/website as well as from Diana’s website and since I am an Advocare rep I get recipes from too. I consistently workout for an hour 3-5x per week. I lift weights, do tons of squats and I admit I am probably light on cardio but I have been doing this for quite some and my weight is so stubborn. I recently did the Advocare 24 day challenge and lost a mere 2 lbs. although I am certain it was all fat because I could tell around my waistline, arms and back but I am frustrated because I feel I am doing all the right things but with little success. Don’t get me wrong I feel great. I feel better than I did in my 20s because I am fit and healthy even though I may not look like it. All of my numbers as far as cholesterol, etc. couldn’t be better but I am so bothered by the BMI and being labeled as “obese”. Such an ugly word. Could menopause be that big of a factor? Any suggestions you have would be great. I won’t give up the fight but I would love to see some progress in the weight loss department. Thank you!

    • DM says:

      I can ditto everything you say except that I am a little more than a year older, have Hashis autoimmune hypothyroid disease and chronic Lyme disease. But everything else you say is ME spot on…. I was told by a nutritionist just recently that I have age-related weight gain, and bottom line is that I eat more calories than I burn. I am just not 100% convinced this is true.

      • Flavia says:

        Hey ladies. Thank you for posting. Women have it rough! We suffer from such hormone issues making fat loss pretty tough. What I would have to see is the exact foods you eat. Sometimes we think we are eating healthy or enough or whatever but when we write it down we can see so many flaws that we miss along the way….or simply sometimes we think we are eating healthy and aren’t.

        That would be my first step; write it all down for 7 days, every single thing you put in your mouth including snacks, drinks, everything.

        Next we would have to look at hormones. Usually hormones can be controlled through foods but sometimes we are lacking something and need some supplements to help; probiotics, fish oil for instance to help get the junk out of our body.

        Then there is the chance of overtraining and underrating, which causes us to store fat and makes our hormones unbalanced.

        It’s tricky — but here are the steps I would take:

        1) Write a food journal (including supplementation) for 7 – 14 days
        2) Write out a workout schedule with reps, sets, weights and rest periods that you do in 14 days
        3) Hire someone who can interpret the results you find. I wish I did one-on-one coaching but until I have more time, I can’t swing it. I can recommend my husbands coaching program which is in fact 1-1.
        4) if you can’t hire, manipulate things yourself. Once you have all the information on what exactly you are eating, you can then try to change things one by one to see what works and what doesn’t

        Failing to plan is planning to fail.

        Anyone interested in this can let me know and I can send you the info to apply. Only certain people qualify since space is limited

        • Flavia says:

          Nutrition is almost ALWAYS the missing link. Writing things down can you look at everything from a birds eye view and then manipulate things from there and see what works and what doesn’t. This is EXACTLY what I did when I was getting lean for Curvalicious; i wrote everything down and if I was at a standstill, I would manipulate one thing and see if it worked. If it did great, if not, I’d try something else.

          I teach a lot of strategies in my programs:

  • Michelle says:

    Hi – I am turning 50 this year too, and find it incredibly hard to lose this weight. I have tried all my tricks that worked in the past, but it’s taken me 6 weeks to lose 4 lbs. It’s discouraging. I finally hired a personal trainer, and that was THE BEST MONEY I’ve ever spent. I am floored and surprised at how much my body has changed in 4 weeks than in the past 4 years. So, that would be my personal #1 tip. Secondly, I’m trying the Isagenix system. It’s a 30 day program that incorporates shakes/cleanse days. This is just to “shake things up” so to say to change up my pattern. I will go back to my food once I’m done with this.

    One more thing that was very, very powerful — Rod Hairston’s “Are You Up for The Challenge?”. What a fantastic book. Gets your most powerful tool — your mind — on board with your goals. I got it on Kindle.

    Okay, that’s what I’m doing. Can’t wait to hear from Flavia’s team on this topic.


  • TDM says:

    Hi, I’m 57. I have struggled with my weight and unhealthy eating. I finally lost my weight with a the use of protein and staying away from simple carbs. I no longer eat bread, red meat, white potatoes, sugar, or corn. I eat vegetables, chicken and fish, and too many nuts. I eat one fruit a day, usually an apple with no sugar peanut butter. I work out two times a day, most days. I still have to watch everything I put in my mouth! I do weights, have done flavias program, the best, and am currently doing a beachbody program. I also run three to four times a week. With this regime I can keep a fairly good body but, I will forever have “fat” legs. Nothing has helped. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know it’s my build but they really are unattractive even though they work really well!

    • Flavia says:

      Thank you for your comment. I have to say that you are rocking it! Good for you. I am currently learning some really amazing techniques to shape the legs and shed off the fat. I am really really happy with the results so far.

      Try the newest blog post workout to see the difference using the techniques I mention. I can’t wait until I can share everything with my readers like you!

  • Amber says:

    Hi Flavia,

    I have been following you for awhile and I can’t remember exactly how I found you but you appeared to be about the same build as me and I have been coveting the way you shaped your body. I am 5’2″, currently about 115lbs, 37, and a marathon runner. Since last July I put on about 10lbs, I think 5lbs alone in December. 🙁 I was not running long distance after July through the fall but still working out 3-4 times a week and running periodically. So, when January came around and I decided to recommit, I want to run 2 full marathons this year one to finally break 4 hours, my current PR is 4:01, which is just annoying and then possibly take that fitness to my second marathon and try for a Boston Qualification. Since January, I have completely cleaned my diet and I usually workout twice a day. I do an array of workouts each week from HIIT, running, Interval Training, Barre, Title Boxing Class, weightlifting, strength and toning exercises, etc. I drink 100oz of water a day, take ACV shot every morning, take a multivitamin everyday, eat whole organic foods, get good sleep, and still almost 7 weeks later, I weigh about the same and still have the fatty outer layer everywhere. I feel stronger but there is no change in my weight and or measurements. I realize 115 is a healthy weight for me but just weighing 10 pounds more when it comes to running and my goals it makes me feel clunky and I don’t preform as well. I am so frustrated because I feel like I am doing everything right and I still cannot figure it out. My marathon training starts in March so my hope was to drop even 5lbs by then to make it easier on my body and joints. So, if you have any suggestions or advice I would really appreciate it as I am becoming very frustrated. Thanks for your posts, I use your workouts and the gym quite often.

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Amber. I would look at two things:

      1) the food that you are eating — are they high in nutrition? Organic is great but you can still be eating the wrong foods or possibly the wrong food proportions. Perhaps not enough high quality carbs for all your workouts or perhaps not enough fat or maybe too much carbs. Right a food journal and start manipulating things each week to see what works.

      ex. you are eating 2 cups of fruits most days — try dropping to 1 cup post workout – see if that makes a difference.

      When you see what is written down, you can start to see a trend and simply do trail and error strategies to help figure out what you are missing. I do believe that it’s usually ALWAYS nutrition that is the missing link.

      2) Timing of foods that you are eating — what are you having after your workouts? make sure that you are eating protein and carbs post workout to help build muscle to then in turn lose fat.

      Hope that helps — have you tried not eating carbs and fats together before? I teach this in Curvalicious :


  • Amy says:

    I am 49 years old. My concerns are about the weight I have gained in the past year. I had lost 35 lbs over the past 4 years. In the last year 10-15 of it have come back with no changes in my exercise and eating habits. I am feeling overloaded with information (carb cycling, low carb, fasting…) Sometimes I wonder what to do. I would like to just lose 5-10 lbs and not worry so much about all of this.

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Amy.

      Love this comment. I personally don’t like all the hype around nutrition. I think nutrition is pretty simple and figuring out what works for YOU is the best thing that can happen because from there you can easily get back to the weight you want if you stray.

      Carb cycling works – fasting works – but it’s usually just for a limited time.

      I personally think if you eliminate foods that I talk about in Flavilicious Cooking, and avoid those foods 90% of the time, you will find success.

      This means, only eating out once a week or having a treat once a week — and the ENTIRE rest of the week you MUST eat nutritious foods.

      It’s hard! But not impossible and not that bad once you have some amazing recipes to help. If you want to look different, you have to be different — that’s what I tell myself every day

  • Jesse Bell says:

    I’ve always been baffled by people who think eating healthy when you’re pregnant is a bad thing, and also annoyed by women who seem to think that being pregnant means it’s time to pig out on junk food.

    “Hehe, I’m eating for two!”

    You do know how tiny a fetus is and how few calories it actually requires, right…? You can’t really use it to justify eating an entire chocolate cake, I’m afraid.

  • Lee Stephens says:

    Flavia u are such an inspiration! One thing I’m struggling with is what do you do when you are just to exhausted to train? I’m training 5/6 times per week. 2 x cardio the rest weights. I push hard!!!! But sometimes it feel as if my body just shuts down for 4 days… and I have nothing in me to give. What do I do then?

    • Anna says:

      Hi Lee,
      First of all make sure you are eating enough and giving your body enough fuel to recover. If it’s simply lack of motivation you have to just push yourself and think about why you started your fitness journey in the first place. If your body is super sore and you just feel completely drained, it’s ok to take an extra day off. Especially if you have been training super hard and consistently weeks on end, you can also take a 4 – 7 day recovery period as well.
      All the best,
      Anna, CPT, FF Specialist

  • It really is amazing how much better replacing works than eliminating. I used to have a bad habit of eating something at night, usually cereal, but I recently decided to start just having a cup of green tea with a little honey instead. I was never able to just “give up” my late night snack before, but now that I have the green tea it isn’t even an issue. In fact I even look forward to my evening tea! And 15 calories of honey is much better than 300+ calories of cereal, or even more if I went really crazy and went on a full late night binge (which has happened more times than I’d like to admit).

  • Benjohnstone says:

    Hello, first of all, thanks a lot to write up such an informative blog, it is really beneficial. I am certainly going to follow the strategies you have mentioned here. From last one month, I was not able to lose weight and was constantly putting on more and more. So finally, 6 months back, I made my mind to hire a Celebrity Personal Trainer via who can suggest me some good ideas about weight loss, and thankfully I got expected results from it.

  • Flavia,

    You are so spot on with SMART goals. If you cannot make your goals SMART, you have almost zero chance to make habit changes stick. I really like your tip on replacing versus eliminating – that’s a neat way to think about it and “trick” your brain into adopting new habits.

  • Mary says:

    Really needed this! Thanks for sharing

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