Be sure to read to the end for a special giveaway!
Hello friends! Earlier this year I started a new diet and fitness program and it has been a huge game changer for me. The program I joined is called FASTer Way to Fat Loss (FWTFL), and it is a protocol that combines intermittent fasting, carb cycling, and macro counting while also strategically pairing workouts to maximize your results. And while I will be the first to admit that almost all of those terms sounded completely foreign (and intimidating!) to me before I started, it all makes so much sense now and is becoming like second nature! Before I jump into details of the program, I figured I would first fill you in on where I was coming from when I started FWTFL.
Where I Started From
Back in January, I was feeling extra “fluffy” coming off the holidays and knew it was time to get back on track with my diet and fitness. I had heard of the FASTer Way To Fat Loss program years ago when other blogger friends of mine had tried it, but at the time I mistakenly thought it was a short-term dieting “quick fix”, which I was not about. It wasn’t until I finally decided to stop and do some more research into the program that I realized it advocated so many principles that I believed in when it came to a healthy lifestyle.
Earlier last year, I had actually tried a few other diet programs to no avail (Optavia and MetPro, if you’re curious). I am not one for processed, pre-packaged foods and instead enjoyed having the freedom to eat foods that I normally ate and enjoyed. And while I love the idea of meal plans, I knew also that my lifestyle made it such that I didn’t always have the time to prep meals ahead of time. Personally, I felt like I generally made pretty good decisions when it came to foods that I ate. I’m also someone who loves working out so for me it was doubly frustrating to feel like I was putting in the work yet not seeing the results that I wanted. I continued to see success story after success story on my social media feed from others I knew trying this program, so finally I figured I had to give FASTer Way To Fat Loss a shot!
My FASTer Way To Fat Loss Journey
I’m happy to report that after 9 weeks of being on the program, I’ve lost 3″ as well as 4.7% body fat!
I went into the FWTFL program a bit skeptical but knowing that I needed something to help me lose extra pounds yet not feel deprived in the process. I definitely had a few ups and downs while on the program (including a couple of really stressful weeks at work that resulted in me getting derailed a bit) but I can definitely say that I’ve seen the most changes happen in my body while being on FWTFL and it’s just become a lifestyle change that I’m sticking with long-term!
I kicked off my FASTer Way To Fat Loss journey on January 21. The program runs in 6-week cycles with an additional “prep week” in the beginning to give you the opportunity to learn more about the program and start practicing some of the strategies. I signed up under my incredible coach, Loren Mattingly, and I definitely have to give her a good majority of the credit for helping me learn through this whole process!
One of the things I didn’t understand prior to going into the program was why it was broken up into “rounds.” But, now I realize that it actually has so many benefits and 6 weeks is really the perfect amount of time to really see a difference in your body! Habit changes take time but committing to it for a manageable amount of 6 weeks makes it doable and realistic. Similarly, when you sign up for the program, you’re also given the opportunity to join a Facebook group where you are with others also starting the program at the same time. It’s an instant support group of people who are at the same point in the process as you are and possibly going through the same struggles! There are options for daily check-ins in the group which I have actually found so motivating and Loren is constantly there to provide meal ideas as well as helpful tips on any issues we may be facing.
Breaking Down the FASTer Way To Fat Loss Program
The FASTer Way To Fat Loss has 3 main strategies to help you lose weight and maximize your results: carb cycling, macro tracking, and intermittent fasting. All of these sounded so daunting to me in the beginning, but I promise you the program breaks it all down and makes it easy to learn! I’m giving you a mini summary of each though just so it’s not all such a mystery.
I had fitness friends who always talk about carb cycling but I never really understood how to do it effectively. Carb cycling is essentially switching up your carb intake on different days of the week so that your metabolism is revved up and you can avoid weight-loss plateaus. Honestly, carb cycling has been one of my favorite aspects of the program and so, so easy to do! There are a couple of days of low-carb days where we aim to stay under a certain number of net carbs and other days where we can fill up on carbs based on our macro recommendations.
Every week, I actually look forward to the low-carb days where I can fill up on healthy fats and protein, but then love that following the low-carb days I can then go back and enjoy the carbs I was missing out on before! Coach Loren also provided so many different tips and suggestions when it came to easy low-carb meals as well as healthy ways to add in carbs on the other days that this part of the program was honestly so easy!
Truth be told, I wasn’t looking forward to having to track my macros when I first went into the program. Macros is short for “macronutrients” and can be broken down into three main groups: carbs, protein, and fat. I thought it would be tedious, difficult, and take the fun out of eating. But, after even just a few days of tracking my macros, I learned so much about the foods I was putting into my body and I honestly ended up kinda nerding out over it! During Prep Week of FWTFL, there are helpful videos that teach you how to set up and effectively use MyFitnessPal to track your macros based on the program, and it just all finally clicked when I started using it!
my lunches typically included loaded salads and I learned how to create combinations that kept me full for hours!
The best part of tracking macros is that I have the freedom to eat the foods that I love and didn’t have to count a single calorie! Plus, I didn’t have to cook or pay for pre-packaged meals that I didn’t enjoy or leave me feeling hungry. The program does focus on whole-food nutrition (aka just eating real food instead of something out of a box) and this was something that reflected how I wanted to nourish my body long-term. I did have it as a monthly goal of mine to learn new recipes though as I was just motivated!
I also realize that the food part can be tricky and it was honestly something that took me a while to figure out. If you’re interested, you can sign up for the program with my referral link and as a thank you, I can email you my food journal with everything broken down as a sample guide if that helps you as well as just general tips that I follow when it comes to my nutrition!
The last piece of the FWTFL program involves intermittent fasting. I had tried intermittent fasting in the past and had actually seen so many benefits with that technique alone. Intermittent fasting essentially splits your day into two windows: an eating window and a fasting window.
The program recommends a 16/8 split where you have your meals during an 8-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours. While 16 hours can sound like a long time, a big chunk of that time is actually while you’re sleeping! I have my eating window set from 12pm – 8pm which was the most doable for me but honestly, this is something that you can adjust to fit your schedule!
how my mornings look: 1 scoop of these collagen peptides are only 40 calories (which don’t break my fast!) and provide a good source of protein!
Most people actually find the intermittent fasting to be their favorite part of the program and that it gives them so much so much time back in their schedule! Truth be told though, intermittent fasting has been the hardest part for me. There are days when I’m up late past midnight or up early trying to get work done that I find myself hungry before my fasting window is up. Thankfully, Coach Loren gave me so many helpful tips when it came to stretching out my fasting, and I have to say that I’m finally making good progress with this aspect of the program as well!
]The foundation of the program is actually in the nutrition and while working out is encouraged, it is not a critical piece of the program! This was a huge shift for me as I’m someone who loves to work out but doesn’t always prioritize things like rest and intermittent fasting. Cardio is actually prioritized as the last thing you need to do! Weekly exercises are provided as part of the program and I actually really enjoyed learning about how different workouts are programmed based on the macro recommendation for that day.
I’ve been an OrangeTheory regular for a couple of years now and was also happy to see those HIIT-style workouts were the perfect complement for the low-carb days! Similarly, there is a heavy leg day that coincides with the “treat day” on the weekends! I also really appreciated that the exercises are geared especially towards women to ensure that you develop long, lean muscles and targets a lot of the core as well as lower body (probably another reason why my thighs slimmed down so much!).
My Before / After:
The biggest difference I noticed is in my midsection and have come such a long way when it comes to abs! My waist alone dropped by 1.5″, my hips by another 0.5″, and my thighs by another 1″ (although I measured at my mid-thigh and actually feel like the biggest difference is in my upper thigh near my crotch! 😂). I wanted to keep the pictures consistent so you can see that I even placed a pen in between my feet to make sure that I was separating my legs exactly the same distance apart in all my photos! My arms actually didn’t have any difference when it came to measurements, but it’s consistently been one of the most stubborn areas to slim down for me — it is my new focus though for the next few weeks so let’s see how that goes!
By week 3 of my first round I actually already found that I was so much less bloated and had so much more definition in my abs. But now at week 9, halfway through my second round of FWTFL, I’m legit seeing my core just tighten up like never before! I met with my personal trainer at Equinox last week and we had my monthly Equifit InBody scan using their machine and was so happy to see that my body fat percentage dropped 4% (I’m finally below 20% body fat!) and my lean muscle mass even increased by 2 lbs! Even my personal trainer was impressed as she mentioned many women get stuck around the 22% body fat percentage mark!
I will be the first to admit that there are many aspects of this program, but what I’ve realized is that you don’t have to get it all right to get the benefits! I had so many times where I slipped up here and there but still, I have some incredible results to show for it and am constantly working towards my goal everyday. The mantra of the program is “Progress Over Perfection”. They encourage you NOT to step on the scale and instead celebrate non-scale victories (NSV) such as making better food choices, hitting your protein goals, or just extending your fasting window just a little bit longer!
How Do You Join?
The next round of FASTer Way To Fat Loss starts on April 8 with Loren! The best part of the program is that you are part of an amazing community and have a coach who is there to help you every step of the way. This is a program which I have whole-heartedly adopted as my lifestyle so I am right here with you EVERY. DAY. Sign up with my referral link and I’ll be sending over some sample meals that I’ve loved as well to help you while on the program if you like!
Finally, because I’m so happy for you to be following along on my FASTer Way To Fat Loss journey, I wanted to offer a giveaway for a pair of my favorite workout leggings, the Lululemon Align (you can also choose to just receive a Lululemon gift card)!