Liese: 3 Years of Hard Work= Results!

Liese originally started working with us at the very beginning of Flex Fuel, over 3 years ago! She has been through multiple cuts and bulks, diet breaks, refeeds, intuitive eating and has worked to learn more about her mind and body every step of the way. She started in 2015 at 118 lbs, 18% body fat and 96 lbs of lean mass. A year later, after working hard in the gym and going through a cut and a reverse, she stayed the same weight but dropped down to 12.5% body fat and 103lb lean body mass! About another year later, continuing to phase through nutritional periodization she bumped up to 120 lbs but down to 10% bodyfat and 108 lbs lean mass. Now, after years of hard work she sits at 125 lbs 12% body fat and 110lbs of lean body mass and has found a place where she is comfortable and happy to maintain.

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We want to show you this progression because it’s taken time, it’s taken consistency, it’s taken hard work and it’s taken her constantly evaluating what she wants, what’s important to her what her goals are. Achieving performance and aesthetic goals in a healthy way takes TIME. We live in an instant gratification era and often times if we don’t get results fast enough it’s easy to become impatient and jump to extremes. Building lean muscle is ideal because the more muscle you have, the more fat you will naturally burn at rest! We originally started her at 1900 calories and throughout the process, she now currently sits at about 2100 calories for maintenance.


NAME: Liese Nieman 

AGE: 37

What led you to Flexible Dieting/FF?:

oh man loaded question here.  Well I originally started with Katy before FF was even FF, an original OG. But I started because I wanted to learn how to properly fuel my crossfit workouts and at the time my running

What do you do you stay active?:

crossfit 4-5x a week,  a mom and also spend many weekends with my family either in the woods or on the water hunting and fishing

What has been your biggest challenge throughout this process?:

learning to let go of the scale. Since I spent most of my 3 years with Katy trying to actively gain muscle,  the scale should move.  That doesn’t always mean my brain understood that.  Once I let that go, it was amazing the progress that was made

What has been your biggest success?:

Too many to mention but I would have to say freedom. Freedom to know that I have the tools to either count macros myself, intuitively eat or just even just take some time off and know that I can come back and be right where I left off

What do you like most about flexible eating?:

That it’s flexible! I have the room to eat things I wanted and never feel deprived. One day I could eat completely clean and hit my macros,  the next day might have been a little different and had more treats and still hit my macros.  

What is your favorite treat to fit into your macros?:

chocolate,  I don’t think I’ve ever went a day without some sort of chocolate.  I always said I wouldn’t give up my treats and I never have.  

Macro hack?:

hmmmm that’s a hard one! I’m not sure. Eat all the veggies and save the carbs for treats 

What do you like most about having a nutrition coach?:

everything! Katy is amazing,  she is always there for me no matter what. She has talked me down a million times from mental breakdowns,  been there for me everytime I needed to vent about life , supported me at each and everything I have done..She isn’t just my nutrition coach, she is a life long friend


Would you recommend FF to someone? 

of course I would! I think anyone and everyone could benefit from the knowledge both Katy and Mal have. I know they have both helped change my life and the way I see myself and food. I hope that anyone who has been on fence reads this and takes that leap and trusts them . I promise you, it will be worth it 

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Performance Wins:


    • 18# Bench Press PR in last 6 months!


    • 20 RM Backsquat at 170# (220# 1 RM)


    • SUPER Close to a ring muscle up!


    • Consistently able to hit desired weights in the gym and feeling good in performance!



We are so proud of you Liese, thank you for all of your hard work and trust! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future!



Meet Kate: 6 Mo. Postpartum to 35+ lbs down!



Name:  Kate


Age: 31




What led you to flexible eating/Flex Fuel?:


My friends/coworkers and I signed up together! At 6 months postpartum, I wasn’t happy with my weight or my performance, and I knew I needed to do something. I wanted the accountability, but also wanted flexibility to eat the things I wanted in a healthy way.




What do you do to stay active?:


I do CrossFit and chase my toddler around




What has been your biggest challenge through this process so far and how did you overcome it?:


Balance. Balancing being a mom to a preteen and baby/toddler, a wife, working full time, having a social life, while being active and eating right. Planning has been my biggest tool – both meal planning and scheduling my time to prep and workout. I like to simplify meal planning, I pick two lunches and two dinners to cook each week and prep over the weekend. It helps save my evenings for my family, and creates balance.




What has been your biggest success through this process so far?:


The scale, lets be real! Since signing up, I have lost approximately 35 lbs. I’m also wearing the smallest size I have in my adult life.




Why do you like most about the flexible eating process?:


I rarely feel hungry, and I can eat what I want (within reason). I like that there are guidelines and something to measure against, but I have the control over what I actually consume.




What is your favorite treat to fit into your macros?:


I’m a sucker for dark chocolate, or Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups!




What’s your favorite macro hack?:


I like to tweak my snacks to hit my macros (ie peanut butter, yogurt, nuts, etc). I’m not too exciting I guess!




What do you like most about having a nutrition coach?:


The accountability for sure. Having someone that gets to know you and your quirks, while providing support and knowledge.




Would you recommend others to Flex Fuel and why?:


Yes. It’s super convenient. As long as you’re ready to commit to the process, it can be great!




We are so proud of all of your hard work Kate! Thank you for trusting the process, working hard and staying consistent!


Metabolic Adaptation and Reverse Dieting- Does It Apply to You?

The yo-yo dieting saga

Majority of those diets will have you living in a caloric deficit, which when it comes to simple science, is what needs to happen in order to lose weight. But what happens when we live in that severe deficit for a period of time then abandon the diet and go back to normal life? More times than not, we will gain the weight back and then some and so begins the cycle of yo-yo dieting. 


When we are fed up with the extra weight we automatically revert to cutting calories, maybe even going back to that old diet you tried that worked the first time, or try a new one that is also super low calorie. It is very common to go back to what worked before and then no longer see your body respond or respond very little. When this happens we think, okay now I have to cut calories even lower than before to see weight loss, which can very well work for a time but then, when we fall off the band wagon this time, we yo-yo back up and gain the weight back. As we go around and around through this viscious cycle we are ultimately altering our body’s natural setpoint.

Changes in Setpoint

Our Total Daily Energy Expenditure is massively affected when we go into a caloric deficit and to prevent us from essentially starving, our body will naturally protect itself from losing too much body fat. The further we go into a deficit and the lower our body fat goes, our body will adapt and  burn less calories doing the things that make up our TDEE. As we take in less calories, our energy output also becomes less. Ever been on a diet and felt low energy and weak? This is because your body is protecting itself! You are only giving it so much energy, so you can only put out so much energy! Your body is constantly trying to revert back to homeostasis or “setpoint” and fighting off losing body fat so it will naturally slow your metabolism down. 


Changes in hormones

Living in caloric deficit can greatly affect hormones like cortisol, testosterone, thyroid, leptin and ghrelin. Each of these serve a different purpose, but in short, together they regulate, fat loss, hunger response, satiation, lean muscle gain and metabolic rate. Chronic dieting or under eating for your activity level will decrease the function of these hormones and in turn, slowing fat loss, leave you hungry and unsatisfied, low energy, decreased ability to build lean muscle and a slowed metabolism. Your diet should be periodized so that when you do go into a weight loss phase, it is monitored and ensures that hormones are affected as little as possible and calories are brought back up when your body starts giving signals they are on the decline. 

Are you at risk of Metabolic Adaptation?

It is more common than you think, that clients come to us actually undereating. Even if they are technically over weight, under eating is a large cause of this. Eating low calorie majority of the time and not seeing weight loss, having low energy and not feeling hungry are all signs of metabolic adaptation. If you are eating well under your TDEE and aren’t seeing progress, your metabolism needs fixed! If you are a heavy exerciser and aren’t seeing progress, it is likely you are underfeeding your body and your high level of exercise is actually doing nothing but preventing you from seeing body composition changes. If our output is much higher than our intake, our bodies will go into defense mode and hold onto body fat. If we chronically diet and don’t let our bodies recover from those deficits, it will protect itself and refuse to lose the weight! 

How do we fix it?

Good news! Great results have been seen using the reverse dieting protocol. We do this by adding calories in – the exact opposite of what most think they should do in order to see progress! Reverse dieting means exactly that, reversing from a low caloric intake back up to an appropriate maintenance intake. This process is best done slow and steady, this will keep unwanted fat gain to a minimum, will allow your body to adjust to the added calories and restore healthy hormone levels and metabolic function. This will then create a new, healthier setpoint, a more solid caloric intake to cut from and avoid having to cut calories too low. Week to week we monitor biofeedback to ensure we aren’t increasing too fast or slow and make sure the body is responding well. We calculate TDEE and use this as a general target to shoot for in a reverse but often times depending on biofeedback and mindset, we can go a little lower or higher than this. Every person is unique in the process and it’s not black and white. 


What to Expect

Going through the reverse process, everyone responds differently. First, we have the hyper-responders, this group are the lucky ones! This means that as we add calories in, we will see weight drop and body compostion improve. Next are the maintainers, this group will see weight and body composition hold steady. Next are the gainers, pretty self-explainatory, they will see weight creep up and some fat gain happen. All groups will usually see energy improve and become more consistent and steady throughout the day. See performance gains, especially strength as well as other biofeedback markers, like hunger response and mood normalize as well as sleep and sex drive improve. 

Mindset can often be the biggest challenge unless you are a lucky hyper-responder. The majority of people that have to do a reverse diet will be looking for some sort of weight loss or improvements in body composition, so it can often be frustrating news to hear you have to go through a period of time where you won’t see that weight loss happen and might actually see the opposite. This is where having a coach can be so beneficial, it is hard to monitor our own progress especially in a process like this. It’s easy to let our own emotion and mindset get the best of us and lose sight of the big picture so having someone that can look from the outside in and make sure the right adjustments are being made will ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. It’s common to think “it’s been long enough” or to panic when you see weight fluctuate up and want to cut calories, not allowing the reverse process to take full affect. 

The timeline of the reverse process can vary from person to person, some will only have to reverse for a few weeks, others for many months. It really just depends how metabolically adapted you are in relation to your optimal TDEE. 


Nutritional Periodization

The road to our goals is never linear and no matter where you are in your nutritional journey, nutritional periodization is essential. Even if you go into a weight loss phase in the proper way, you cannot stay there forever! Our bodies were made to adapt, so every time we diet, we must keep a close eye on biofeedback and watch for signs of metabolic adaptation. Whether you start in a reverse diet, a cutting phase or a performance focused phase it’s important you have a clear plan throughout the year of what your nutrition will look like in relation to your goals. Once you go through the proper periodization you should never have to guess on where you are at in your journey. 

If you have any questions on metabolic adaptation, reverse dieting or on how your nutrition should be periodized throughout the year, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We are always happy to help and if you are a candidate for a reverse diet, we know that good coaching is a large part of making it successful! 

Join us in crushing the old ways of thinking around dieting and start looking at nutrition in a whole new light!



5 Hacks to Stay Satisfied During a Calorie Deficit

5 Hacks to stay satisfied in a Calorie deficit

We won’t lie, eating at a caloric deficit is not sexy or fun but if your goal is to lose weight or lean down, spending a period of time taking in less calories than you are expending is a must. It will never be as pleasant as getting to eat whatever  you want, but if done correctly, it will yeild results that will last forever 

The feeling of loving yourself in your own skin and knowing you worked your a** off to reach your goal tastes far better than any food that gives temporary satisfaction.

Your diet should not leave a bad taste in your mouth. Sure, there will be challenging times where self control will be tested but it shouldn’t be torture or something you feel you could never do again.

We believe that if you go about losing weight the right way, you will no longer look at the process as impossible.

Clients come to us for many reasons but the most common is to lean down and lose weight. So how do you reach your goals without going mad and raiding the pantry?! We have a few tips that will think change the game, the smallest changes in your diet and lifestyle can put that hungry monster to bed. 


Micronutrients are the easiest way to get more volume of food for your macros. If you are filling you calories with foods that are rich in micros then you are naturally eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. Veggies will allow you to eat more food per gram than any other food type. If you are eating things like donuts, bread, protein bars, high fat dairy, sweet treats, etc., you will get very little volume of food. Packing in clean, whole foods will not only get you all the vitamins and minerals you need but your body will burn more calories digesting them! Refer to our previous blog post for some comparison examples, . If you implement this first tip, you will immediately feel more satisfied!


So simple, yet so effective and often overlooked. You have probably heard at some point that dehydration can be mistaken for hunger and it’s true! We give all of our clients a water intake goal and many are shocked at how much they should be drinking. Our bodies need water to hydrate, regulate body temperature, remove toxins and help to metabolize our food, so without water our bodies cannot function at their full potential! When hunger strikes, try drinking a tall glass of water before running to the fridge! Make sure you are spacing your water intake throughout the day, this will keep you more satisfied and make it easier to hit your water goal! 


Keeping variety in your food choices can be the ticket to staying satisfied and motivated while on a cut. Our bodies need a wide range of nutrients and by interchanging the types of foods we eat, we can be sure to get what our bodies need. It is easy to get in a rut of the same ‘ol foods that we know work and it can lead us down the path of boredom. Start by choosing a protein, carb or fat at each meal to switch up each day and it will be easy to incorporate new foods. Plan one new recipe a week or even hook up with a friend to make macro-friendly dishes you can swap! Macro-free seasongs are also a great way to put a spin on those foods you might be getting tired of! Keep it fresh and new and it’s garunteed to help!

Meal Timing

Making sure your meals are spaced throughout the day and balanced properly are important to keep you satisfied, recover well, keep energy levels up and make sure you are fueled for whatever the day brings. Pre-planning and food prepping for the week can help ensure that you have food through the day, keep meals balanced, aren’t forced to go too long without food or opt for less than ideal options. Talk to your coach about the best way to space your meals and what types of foods to eat to best fit your schedule and lifestyle! 

Volume of Training

This can be a tough one for all you workout junkies. It’s easy to think that more is better when it comes to hitting the gym, but this could actually be holding you back. If you are in a caloric deficit and are training just as hard as you were when you were at maintanence or even a surplus, chances are you are feeling tired, fatigued and/or recovering slower. Be aware of how you are feeling before, during and after workouts and if it is negative, think about pulling back a little bit on training. This does not mean that you have to do anything drastic! Start by lowering weights a little or if you are doing extra work on top of a normal class session, pull back on that. Listen to your body, play around with training volume and see if you notice improvements in mood, energy, performance and/or hunger. If you have a good response, take note of this! Cutting back on training can actually result in positive body comp changes!

If you are on a cut and struggling, go through this list and see if you are hitting all of the points. They may seem simple but they are often the things we so easily overlook and can make life easier if implemented! If you feel you  do all of the above and are continuing to feel negative affects from your diet, talk to your coach! Your diet shouldn’t be torture and if you feel you are going to be unsuccessful, there are always steps you can take to keep positive and find a route that works best for you. 

Remember dieting is not forever! It is a challenge and there will be moments that test you and how bad you want it, but know it’s temporary! Keep a positive mindset and a healthy balance.