food cycling, myths, craving hacks & some science bro

Today, in my #LevelUP lean muscle building program for women aged 30+, I discussed food cycling based upon a hormonal approach published by Dr. Jade Teta and Dr. Keoni Teta in their book, Lose Weight Here.

Food cycling includes periods of time where you EAT LESS AND EXERCISE LESS in order to stave your body fat and periods of time where you EAT MORE AND EXERCISE MORE in order to feed your lean muscle tissue.

Why would you do this?

Cycling the diet in a way that starves the fat (by eating less and exercising less) and feeds the lean (by eating more and exercising more) is the solution to the yo-yo diet craze that preaches that in order to lose weight you need to Eat Less AND Exercise More. With the diet failure rate of about 95%, this method (Eat less, Exercise More) doesn’t work. Maybe it will in the short term, but the long term success and affect this method has on your hormones leaves your body in a worse off state.

By cycling the EAT LESS AND EXERCISE LESS and the EAT MORE AND EXERCISE MORE, each of these approaches creates a unique hormonal state that, in combination with the other, balances calories and hormones in a way that enhances fat loss and muscle shaping. Understanding your hormonal interactions and how they influence things like hunger, energy, and cravings is critical to understanding this new approach to body change.

Most women think that losing fat is simple; eat less, exercise more, lose weight. However, there is quite some science to losing body fat. Losing scale weight is easy, but as we all know by now, that scale weight lost doesn’t necessarily mean that body FAT was lost; scale weight includes water weight, your muscle weight, you bone density weight not to mention your hormonal cycle, what you are the day before, if you used the bathroom, or under stress or sleep deprived -SO MANY variables with scale weight!


In order for fat to be lost from a particular area, the following events need to occur: Step #1) Fat needs to be released from a fat cell. This process of fat breakdown and release is called lipolysis. Step #2) Fat needs to be carried through the bloodstream to another cell. But sometimes, poor blood flow to an area means slow fat loss from that area. Step #3) While traveling through the bloodstream, the fat then needs to enter another cell to be burned. This process of fat actually being burned is called lipid oxidation. As you can read, losing body fat isn’t as simple as Eat Less and Exercise More. It requires a delicate balance of your hormones and your HEC – a Hunger-Energy-Cravings cycle I discussed in last week’s blog post and in last week’s live video.

Here are the TOP 4 most common food & fitness myths:

  1. Carbs are the devil.
  2. You must always eat breakfast. 
  3. You should only eat certain foods at certain times. 
  4. Eating less and exercising more is the route to weight loss.

CARB’S ARE NOT THE DEVIL: Carbs, also known as carbohydrates, are one of the three macronutrients that our bodies use for energy.  The other two are protein and fat.  Each macronutrient is used in different ways for important functions in our body.  There is no reason to completely avoid or fear any of them. Carbs are NOT bad!

BREAKFAST IS OPTIONAL: There’s not much proof that breakfast is any more important than other meals. What is important, experts say: choosing healthy foods, eating mindfully, and planning smart meals when you do eat.

ANY FOOD CAN BE EATEN AT ANY TIME: Food is just food. It is not breakfast food, or lunch food, or dinner food, or snack food, or junk food. Food is either a protein, a carbohydrate or a fat. While some foods do have more nutritional value than others, labeling foods as “good” or “bad” or “only to be eaten at X meal”, is not helpful for mindful eating and listening to your body’s instinctual hunger cues.

EATING LESS AND EXERCISE MORE DOESN’T WORK: If you just try to eat less and exercise more, most people will lose that battle. Your metabolism will win in the long run. Simply looking at calories is misguided at best and potentially harmful because it disregards how those calories are affecting our hormones and metabolism—and ultimately our ability to stick to a diet. Weight regulation is about so much more than the quantity of calories we take in or exercise off! Think hormones NOT calories. Over-fat individuals get hungry while carrying around hundreds of thousands of calories for the same reason eating less and exercising more almost always fails…it’s not about calories!


  1. Add more protein, fiber, and water (such as lean protein and veggies)
  2. Add fat (about 10 grams worth)
  3. Add starch and subtract fat (add about 30-50 grams of carbs, with minimal fat)
  4. Add starch and fat (add both #2 and #3 if cravings persist)
  5. Add one or two snacks between meals (add 150-250 calorie snacks between meals

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