5 Habits That Will Make You a Fat Burning Machine


Let’s cut to the chase.  How many failed efforts have you had when it comes to weight loss?  2?  10?  Too Many to count??  Are you ready to stop beating your head against the wall and learn what it really takes to maintain results?  Are you ready to stop wondering what you are doing wrong and FINALLY get it right?

I think we can all agree that the problem isn’t the fact that you can’t lose weight.  The problem is the fact that you can’t maintain the weight loss.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and freaking tired of watching people sabotage themselves because they are being fed false information and trying all the WRONG things.  Is that you?  Have you tried and tried and failed and failed?

Then keep reading because I’m going to tell you the truth.

I have seen many, many people lose weight.  That is the easy part.  Anyone can lose some scale weight.  But not just anyone can lose FAT WEIGHT, unless you know what you’re doing.

Then the really hard part is KEEPING that fat weight off.  It doesn’t come as a surprise when I tell you that in order to keep weight off, you have to maintain a certain lifestyle.  I am sure you have heard or read that somewhere by now.  But what does “lifestyle” mean?  What are these “lifestyle secrets” that all these trainers and “fit people” keep talking about?

A fitness lifestyle is NOT never eating carbs, or drinking a certain shake every single day for the rest of your natural born life; it isn’t 2 hour daily workouts, and it certainly isn’t wrapping yourself in plastic every month and popping pills.

As a matter of fact, there are 5 top habits that you will HAVE to start daily if you want to maintain weight loss and build the body of your dreams.  I am guaranteeing you, if you do these 5 things consistently, you will stop falling prey to diet “fads” making grossly false promises to you and finally start making the progress you’ve always wanted!


This bears repeating over and over.  Your body is an engine.  It can either run smoothly, optimally, with maximum fat-burning capacity, or it can be sluggish and slow.

Do you expect your car to run smoothly if you never change the oil?  Would you just keep hitting the gas pedal when your cars oil light is on?  Hopefully not.  You would add oil or get an oil change so your car would continue to run at maximum capacity.

Then why are you doing that with your body?  You’re running slow and sluggish everyday, battling the afternoon slump, feeling tired and rundown and you just keep hitting that gas pedal demanding more and more out of your body.

How can you expect your body to burn fat optimally if you feel like this?  It can’t.  It will burn fat super slowly and you’ll get frustrated and give up.

STOP IT!  Get up right now and drink some water.  I don’t want to hear the excuse “but I don’t like water”.  There is no way around this.  You HAVE to drink water – your body was DESIGNED to drink water.  Squeeze a lemon in it, buy a better water filter, invest in Ozarka, whatever it takes for you to start fueling your engine with the water it needs.  I don’t care HOW you do it, just do it.

Keep it simple.  If you urine is light yellow or clear, you’re hydrated.  If it’s yellow or dark colored, you need to drink more.

Simple, right?  Good.


Protein is essential to build and repair the tissues of your body and it is VITAL when you’re working out and on a weight loss plan.  It helps to keep you full longer and lean protein options are usually lower calorie than high carbohydrate snacks like chips and crackers.

Have you ever had a high carbohydrate snack and experienced the “low” that comes with it 30 minutes later?  Eating a piece of fruit alone, or crackers, pretzels, etc, causes your blood sugar to spike, then alternatively plummet, leaving you feeling weak, nauseous and hungry.  Some people are more sensitive to blood sugar spikes than others, but most people have experienced this before.

Pairing protein with your carbohydrate snack helps to keep you blood sugar more stable, preventing that huge plummet and decrease in energy.

Some great protein options are greek yogurt with your fruit, eggs at breakfast, chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, shrimp, pork chops, etc.

Again, keep it simple!  Don’t over complicate it.  Just include a protein source every time you eat.


Why vegetables?  There are so many reasons!  First, they are full of vital vitamins and minerals that you need for building and repairing cells, as well as cancer and disease prevention.

They are super low calorie and will help keep you full, which is extremely important while dieting.

They also help digestion and help alleviate constipation because they are an amazing fiber and water source.

The only veggies I recommend staying away from are the canned ones.  Fresh, frozen, sauteed and roasted vegetables are easy and inexpensive.

If you don’t like vegetables I recommend trying different ways to cook and season them. My personal favorite is roasted!


Negative thoughts will get in the way of your progress faster than anything else.  I guarantee THIS stands in your way even more than the first 3 habits we talked about.

Let me let you in on a little secret.  Your mind believes what you tell it.  It believes your self-talk so strongly that there is absolutely NO WAY to act oppositely of what you tell yourself.

“I just don’t have enough motivation, so I can’t lose weight”.  This is what I’m talking about.  How do expect to talk to yourself like that while creating the essential habits that lead to weight loss?  It’s NOT going to happen.

Another little-known mind trick – your subconscious can not process a “negative” when you’re trying to change your behavior.  Negatives are “no” and “not”.

This means when you tell yourself, “I am NOT going to eat that cake”, your subconscious mind actually hears “I AM going to eat that cake.”  This explains why you get so fixated on doing whatever it is that you’re trying NOT to do, and you finally give in.

The trick is to change the dialogue in your head to think only about what you DO want to do, rather than what you DO NOT want to do.

“I am going to have greek yogurt and fruit for snack today” instead of “Don’t eat that cake, don’t eat that cake!”

Try it!  I promise you this trick will change your life if you let it.


Our bodies were DESIGNED to move!  We weren’t made to sit in front of a television, video game, or desk all the time.

I call it the “zombie look”.  People who don’t move have this look.  They have blank stares in their eyes, no excitement and a general frustration with their life.

Again, I’m going to tell you to keep it simple.  JUST MOVE.  Walk, jog or play baseball outside with your kids.

If you don’t move now, someday you are going to WANT to move and you won’t be able to. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.  This is 100% true when it comes to the agility of your body.

Join a gym, boot camp, fitness class – anything that will keep you moving and having fun while doing it.  You simply can’t put a price on the benefits of moving your body!

These 5 strategies are your goldmine for maintaining your weight loss for the long term.  So what do you do now?  Write these lifestyle down and keep them in plain sight so you remember them.  Practice them DAILY until they are habits.

Don’t give up!  Remember – it is what you do MOST of the time that determines your results.  I KNOW you can start these today no matter where you are!





The Truth About “Toning”

The million dollar question I get asked daily….

But Coach Amanda, all I really want is to get “toned”.  I don’t want to be bulky, but can you help me tone my belly and legs?  OR…it’s just this part that jiggles on the back of my arm…how do I tone this up?

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked this, I would be living on a private island somewhere.  And if you had all the money you’ve spent over the years on bogus crap chasing this elusive “toned” look, you would be, too.

I am going to break down the incredibly SIMPLE truth about how to get the toned look you’ve been seeking for years.  So stop beating your head against the wall and wasting your hard earned money.  Here’s the simple truth….

The difference between muscle and fat….

First, you have to understand the difference in MUSCLE tissue and FAT tissue.

MUSCLE is a band or (dense) bundle of fibrous tissue that has the ability to contract, producing movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body.

FAT is a normal constituent of the human body that serves the important function of storing energy as fat for metabolic demands.

Simply put, muscle is the dense tissue you feel when you straighten your leg and feel it harden and flex.  Fat is the jiggly stuff that sits on top of your muscle.

So it would make perfect sense that to look “toned”, or rather to see the dense muscle tissue through the skin, you HAVE to lose the fat layer on top of it.  THAT’S IT.  Simply maintain that beautiful muscle (because that is what is “toned”), while losing that extra layer of fat that is keeping your muscle hidden.  

You can’t tone fat, you can only lose it or gain it.  But it is going to jiggle and stand in the way of your gorgeous muscle tone unless you lose it.

But Coach Amanda…I’ve tried everything!

I’m sure you have.  Lots of leg lifts?  Creams?  Hours and hours of cardio?  Starvation dieting?  Grapefruit diet?  That Noni juice your neighbor sold you?

And there’s the problem.  Stop being insane and repeating the exact same behaviors thinking magically your results will change.  They WON’T.

So…how do I lose it?

It’s simple, but it’s not easy.  It is simple because IF you employ these nutrition strategies, you will lose fat and begin to look “toned”.

My top 3 fat loss strategies are –

  • eat lean protein with every single meal and snack
  • eat veggies with every single meal and snack
  • and drink A TON of water.

If that doesn’t work, simply lower your portion sizes a little and continue.

That’s it.  Simple.

However, it isn’t easy because you HAVE to change your habits.  Fast food, binge drinking at happy hour, office snacks every day…those things will never give you a toned body.

So you’re telling me no more hours and hours of cardio?


That’s right.  Lift weights.

I am a no-fluff trainer.  I have zero problem telling you that you aren’t seeing results because your diet is crap and you won’t get off the cardio machines.  There is a place for cardio, and that place is AFTER your weight training.

If you don’t know where to start or how to weight train, hire a trainer or coach.  I am more than happy to help and there are plenty of well-educated no-fluff trainers out there who won’t try to sell you useless stuff and will make sure you get the results you’ve always wanted.

My guarantee…

I guarantee you, if you employ these strategies and stick to it, you’ll see results faster than you’ve ever seen.  In order of importance, nutrition, weights, cardio.  That’s the simple truth about “toning”.





Goal Setting – The Missing Piece

Have you set a goal to finally “lose 20 lbs” or “wear a bikini this summer”?  Have you written down this goal, read it daily, and taken action steps to make this goal a reality?  You are still overlooking one crucial step –  the “MISSING PIECE” to reaching your goals.

I’m sure you’ve heard and read all the familiar tips – write your goals down, set a deadline, enlist a buddy, etc.  How many times have we done this?  And how many times have we failed?
Why do we keep failing and not actually reaching our goals?  Is it because we don’t REALLY want it?  Is it because we don’t have the money, time, or other resources?
Nope. Not a chance. Listen to what I’m going to say next – because this will change the way you set goals for the rest of your life.


Before you even set a goal, you have to know what you’re willing to compromise, as well as what you will never compromise.  What are your non-negotiables?

If you set a goal to see your abs, for instance,  but are unwilling to give up Friday night Mexican and margaritas, you will never obtain that goal.

Be honest with yourself. Maybe you’re willing to give up happy hours but not willing to give up biweekly date night with your spouse.  There’s nothing at all wrong with that, just make sure your goals line up with what you are willing to give up.

Remember,  there is always a trade off.  When you decide what you’re willing and unwilling to compromise,  you are taking complete ownership of your life, your decisions, and reaching your goals can actually become fun and attainable!

I’ve Just Signed Up To The Gym…Now What?

Guest Blogger – Matt Smith

So you’ve taken the plunge and signed up, congrats! Most people don’t even manage that, so you’re ahead of the curve. The first thing you need to do is look around and familiarise yourself with your surroundings.

Don’t worry, I can wait ….

Okay, hope you like the view because if you want to look like a Men’s Health Model then you’re going to be living here!

Okay so that was a little hyperbolic, but the truth is aiming for Men’s Health is a bit of a fanciful goal. Most Men’s Health models don’t even look like a Men’s Health model most of the time (get your head around that if you can).

What they do, is peak for certain occasions. A photo shoot or fitness competition. So if you do want a six-pack, I suggest you pick an occasion where having a six pack would be useful and aim to peak in time for that. For example; Holiday, Wedding, Birthday, or any even involving 300 Spartans.

Depending on where you are now, this goal may take some time. If you’re out of breath from reading this sentence then getting a 6 pack in the next 6 weeks is probably out of the question. That may sound harsh but setting unrealistic targets is the quickest route to frustration and then failure.

You need to change your mindset, realise that in 6 weeks you might not look perfect but you CAN look a heck of a lot better than now by working hard and being consistent with your diet.

So I am going to give you the quickest crash course in diet and exercise ever.

Simple, easy to do steps that you can do to get in better shape over the next 6 weeks.


Step One: Find yourself a good program

You want to involve a lot of weight lifting and some form of cardio. Depending on your current level. If you have never been in a gym before then I would honestly recommend trying some of the easier free-weight exercises: Dumbbell bench press, goblet squat, dumbbell push press, sumo squat. With some resistance machines: Lat pulldown, leg press, leg extension, etc ….

If you are a gym regular and know what you’re doing, try to incorporate the following exercises into your program: Deadlifts, Front squats, back squats, bench press, bent over row, pull ups, push press, lunges.

Bonus: Sign up for a personal trainer, and get the perfect program set up for you. This will really help if you aren’t aware of any of the exercises that I’ve mentioned above.

Step Two: Start tracking your calories

You do not need to go on a crazy diet! Please understand this, you don’t need to do intermittent fasting, or get rid of carbs, or drink Juice+/Herbalife. Al l you need to do to lose weight is analyse your current diet, work out your average calories (this will only work if you are completely honest with yourself) and try to lower calories. So if you are hitting 1800 calories Monday to Friday but 2600 on Saturdays and Sunday, your average calories per day are 2028. Lower your daily calories to 1900 per day (including weekends) and over 6 weeks you will lose weight. Add regular exercise to this equation and you’ll be laughing!

Just a quick note, some of you will be thinking “If I lower my calories by 100 calories and get results will I get better results by lowering my calories by 300 or 500?”. Technically you will lose more weight, but you won’t be able to exercise to the same intensity which will negatively affect your results. Trust me, follow my advice on this and you will see a noticeable difference over the next 6 weeks whilst still being able to eat the foods you love.

Bonus: If you have the funds, hiring an online coach to give you an in-depth nutrition goal will make a huge difference to your results

Step Three: Holding yourself accountable

Creating a program, and setting yourself a calorie target are easy! Really easy. Following through with them is difficult. You need to do this consistently for 6 weeks (minimum) if you want to start seeing some results. Get a friend to do it with you, get somebody at home to hold you accountable, or hire a trainer/coach who will MAKE you turn up to the gym every week.

This step is the most important, because it doesn’t matter how good your training program is, or how well you’ve calculated your calories. If you don’t stick to it you won’t succeed.

If that sounds like you, then you’ll be reading this article again in 6 weeks time!

Website  –  http://www.personaltrainingbymatt.com/


Lifestyle Change

One of my favorite things as a trainer is when a client approaches me and says they are looking for a lifestyle change and NOT a quick fix.  Yes, I can give quick fixes.  But I would rather help and assist you in CHANGING YOUR LIFE!

But what does “Lifestyle Change” really mean?  Are you REALLY prepared?  Because making a “lifestyle change” really means “CHANGING YOUR LIFE”.  Read that….then read it again.

Changing your life is no joke.  It’s hard, there will be pitfalls and bumps in the road…but IT’S WORTH IT.

To be your healthiest, you have to make healthy choices MOST of the time.  There’s no way around it.  You need to exercise MOST days of the week.  You need to choose healthy foods at MOST of your meals.  You need to drink MOSTLY water and stay MOSTLY unstressed.

Changing your life may mean reducing triggers that cause you to make unhealthy choices.  For example, happy hours, lunches with coworkers where you are constantly encouraged to stray off track, etc. may be big pitfalls to your health.

In the short term, these things seem like huge sacrifices and this is why most people give up and don’t follow through.  Instant gratification can be a very tough thing to give up.

The key is to REMEMBER why you started to CHANGE YOUR LIFE in the first place.  Do you want to be able to play with your kids without getting winded in just a few minutes?  Do you want to be able to enjoy your grand kids?  Are you combating diabetes, family history of heart disease or osteoporosis?  Do you simply want to feel what it is to SUCCEED at something you decided to do??

DON’T GIVE UP.  Make small changes in the short term to realize your goals in the long term.  And I promise it will be worth it.

Muscle Confusion – I’m CONFUSED!

How many times have you heard it?

“You have “confuse” your muscles in order to get them to grow”

“Your body won’t change unless you are always changing up your workouts to keep your muscles “confused”

“You have to shock your muscles so they don’t plateau”

Ummmm….no, no and NO.  Let me explain.

Yes, your body WILL adapt to your workout over time.  However, what your body is getting used to is the volume load of your workouts and NOT the exercise selection or workout sequencing.

What does this mean?  It means if you always bicep curl with 15lb dumbbells for 10 reps, your biceps will get used to it and your body will stop making changes.  So what do you do instead

?  It’s simple – on your next workout, bicep curl 15lbs for 12 reps instead of 10.  Then, your next workout try to increase the weight so maybe you’re using 17.5lb dumbbells for 8-10 reps.  And so on and so on….

You won’t be able to increase every single time, but if you’re new to lifting weights, you WILL increase pretty quickly.

Your muscles are completely incapable of being “confused”, any more than you can “confuse” your fat cells to disappear or “confuse” your lungs to increase oxygen uptake.  That’s the simple truth.

SO – I always recommend following the EXACT same weight training routine for 4-8 solid weeks while trying to increase reps and weights as you are able.   Changing your workouts more frequently will result in a remaining in a plateau – not the other way around.

Remember to give yourself adequate rest between sessions for recovery!

For a personalized program visit my training website at http://www.thebodyshop.trainerize.com