INGRID IS BACK!
If you don’t follow Ingrid, you have to because she is FAB. If you remember correctly, I stalked her on Instagram for years & then we finally met in Morocco. You can read about that whole dance here. When we finally met in Morocco, we connected instantly.
Ingrid, Gil ( her husband ), Michael & I met in this tiny, hip joint in Morocco. It’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s favorite restaurant so we felt very glamorous. Ingrid recommended we order white wine because “it’s a skinny drink- easy to sip, not easy to chug like rosé, so you don’t get too buzzed.” Then she ordered apps for the table- veggies with a small side of pasta because she’s all about balance.
Anyway, I invited her back on The Skinny Confidential for a few reasons: 1.) I think she provides a lot of value- she is always sharing ( not hiding!!! ) her tips, tricks, & secrets. 2.) Most importantly: the French way is JUST different- there’s something effortless & chic about how they eat, drink, & workout- and I want in on it. If I want in on it, I’m sure a bunch of you guys do too.
SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, WELCOME BACK INGRID TO THE BLOG:
Ingrid is the founder and creator of THE METHOD®. More than a workout, it’s a lifestyle based on the principles that THE MIND controls THE BODY. Strength, health & well-being start in your POWERHOUSE – THE METHOD® builds your core as your foundation with a cognitive brain to body technique called CONTROLOGY™ Integration. This innovative system induces seamless advanced execution of elaborate, complex, uniquely modified movements, and a different approach to weight-loss and weight-management, departing from the word DIET and focusing on managing! Cortisol (stress hormone) levels, negotiating with the right hormones and taking control of your weight and health is at its root, rather than relying on food restrictions or jumping on diet or cleanse band-wagons. Ingrid got this figured out all the way from Monaco, and if following her hacks can get you to live the stress-free dolce vita she has in France, then listen up:
10 HACKS & TIPS to YOUR BODY
1 – Always workout on an empty stomach
This allows you to tap into your reserves rather than burning what you just ate. Being on an empty stomach also keeps your energy level high and prevents that morning fogginess. My athletes ( and I work with a few professional athletes ) for the most part, enjoy working out on an empty stomach at least an hour or two before training.
If you’re working out on an empty stomach, your muscles rely on stored glycogen or reservoirs of fat. Besides, by training on an empty stomach or after a light meal, it means that your body is not preoccupied with digesting huge amounts of food, but instead is able to deliver large amounts of oxygen to your muscles and potentially burn more fat!
2 – Pre-workout with COFFEE
What I usually do ( and I got this tip from one of my famous, pro tennis players ) is fuel up with coffee. Coffee gets a bad rep, but for people like me that really need to be performing during workouts ( especially because I line them up with clients every day ) coffee enhances your athletic performance:
a- Coffee is an effective pre-workout drink
b- Coffee boosts metabolism. It contains caffeine, a stimulant shown to enhance our metabolic rate.
c- Coffee enhances athletic performance.
d- Coffee gives better concentration during workouts.
e- Coffee reduces muscle pain.
I added my own little twist to make it even more of an effective pre-workout drink by adding INULIN powder to it. It’s natural FIBER, so it fills me up and keeps me satiated for hours during workouts, and helps keep my cortisol level down by relaxing my digestive system even though I feel full.
3 – Use a trainer whose body shape you admire
Never ever train with a trainer whose body shape you don’t like. Chances are if he or she has big bulky muscles, this is what he/she knows how to build on others, and will only give you the wrong nutritional advice along with the wrong sets of exercises. If you want long lean muscles, your trainer has to have them too. You shouldn’t work with someone who doesn’t practice the same as what they preach.
4 – Skip the weights
If you are trying to lose weight or you are trying to lean out, don’t do weights at the gym. This will not lengthen your muscles into long graceful curves. You certainly need to firm up and get strong, but you don’t need to take on INCHES of muscle and lose your feminine curves. Instead, use resistance bands and weights no more than 4lbs.
5 – Don’t eat fiber to squash carbs
Everyone has been so flooded with information about the goodness of fiber and how it flushes carbs out of your system ( which is true by the way ), but operate with caution here. Eating GG crackers isn’t a license to eat excess protein. I’ve been eating GG crackers for a long time, but when I started recommending it to clients, I realized many of them were hitting a plateau in their weight-loss journey.
I realized that advising eating 8 GG crackers per day meant topping your GGs with proteins x 8 because not too many of us like their GGs without a topping. Adding that to 3 regular meals per day causes excess protein intake. We are already protein-likers, we like our protein, and often we don’t associate it with carbs, but a deficiency or excess in protein will cause your metabolism to go out of wack. With GGs, you heard that the gram Amount of Fiber can be deducted from the gram amount of carbs = total carbs eaten. Automatically, the majority of us will think it is a license to eat more carbs, and I’ve seen this behavior of entitlement cause the plateau in weight-loss with so many of my clients and followers.
I myself realized eating too much fiber to flush the carbs out of my body got my digestive system to work overtime, which is stressful for the metabolism and ultimately raises cortisol levels to unhealthy highs that also cause weight-gain or plateauing.
6 – DON’T use protein powder EVER, unless you have a nutritional deficiency
Let’s say as a vegetarian you don’t get much protein from your food because you don’t eat meat or poultry and even then you can still rely on protein rich real food like eggs, dairy, and legumes. Protein powder is not for regular people, it was originally used for meal replacements like slim fast and for body builders to build bigger muscles.
Short of having such deficiency, having protein powder while eating normal protein portions of chicken, meat, fish or our 2-3 egg omelette will bring you into excess protein intake which will affect your hormones, and either cause weight gain or hitting a plateau in your WEIGHT-LOSS process. You are not a professional athlete working out 6 hours a day, you don’t need protein powder to build muscles. You need to work out and work out smart.
7 – STOP JUMPING on diet trends
In the majority of cases, weight gain is not due to eating huge quantities of food, eating too many carbs or too many calories, it’s due to wrong diets for your hormonal profile. DIETS aren’t one size fits all. Yes you need fiber in your daily nutrition, yes you need to be mindful of your carbs and your sugar intake, but for many of us, even eating “the right way” sometimes just doesn’t work as we wish. That’s because we have to approach this from a hormonal stand point.
The promise of a high fiber diet for example, ( which is one I swear by ) didn’t work for all my clients. Some experienced more bloating, water retention and overall only lost weight the first month in. There are so many factors to think about when it comes to hormones and dieting, the first one being your cortisol level ( which is your STRESS HORMONE ): triggering a high cortisol level can be caused by very straining workouts, difficult digestion, or stressing out in traffic jams. All this to say, if your cortisol level is constantly skyrocketing, your GHRELIN hormone rises ( hunger hormone ) and makes you crave high-carb foods. Refusing to satisfy the GHRELIN hormone will eventually get your insulin level to rise on its own and BAM: weight gain ensues while you actually didn’t even give in to the craving.
YOU need to stop jumping on all these diet bandwagons and simply find a balanced-nutritional habit that will negotiate kindly with your hormones and with your cortisol level.
Getting on diets is stressful, being worried about whether you will be able to eat what the diet prescribes when you go out will raise your cortisol level and the vicious circle starts again. Diets are not sustainable.
8 – Don’t juice
Just don’t do it- the nutrients are stripped out of your veggies and fruits. The satiation signals only last a few hours at best. You need to chew to feel satisfied and to feel at peace. If you are juicing you are again sending signals of dissatisfaction to your hormones, which will eventually make you more irritable, make your mind more clouded and raise cortisol levels up, leading again to weight-gain. Juicing is not a sustainable solution. You might lose some weight first but the deficiencies it causes will cause weight-gain the minute you get back to real food.
9 – STOP doing CARDIO!
You aren’t sculpting your body lean, you aren’t building muscles and you certainly aren’t burning fat this way. This is such a myth. Cardio and especially sprints & intervals bring your cortisol levels to the roof.
Wait!!! I thought cardio burns more calories. Not necessarily. In fact, when we do too much cardio for our bodies or do the same cardio most days, we burn less calories. When you’re body gets stressed from repetitive movement, it fights with all its might to hold on to what you got and a shift in your metabolism also can happen. It burns fuel less efficiently.
In addition, when we do the same 30-60 minute StairMaster or Elliptical routine most days, your body goes into “auto-pilot” mode—lacking variety and intensity. Lastly, when we do too much intensity, your body goes into “I am running from a bear at all times” mode ( i.e. stress )—leading back to point 1 ( elevated cortisol )—which works against you. Geez! It is a fine line.
Those two conditions in your muscle fibers are the reason you may gain some weight. Your body responds to the micro tears and inflammation in two ways that cause temporary water weight gain…. You will also most likely experience delayed onset muscle soreness in the 24 to 36 hours after exercising.
So instead, rely on high density resistance and strength training. Think power Pilates (something SIMILAR to THE METHOD® ) is great because those programs include cardio sculpt sets. And while the word cardio is in it, because you are not using intervals or spinning ranges of motion, your cortisol level rises only to a healthy level necessary to weight loss.
10 – Intermittent fasting
Cut off dinner time at 8:30 pm to the next day at 1pm. Why? Because 3 to 4 meals a day is a lot of stress on your digestive system. Even if you are a fiber freak, and actually especially if you are a fiber freak.
All the digestive efforts we put our bodies thru elevates cortisol levels and leads to weight gain. I find that intermittent fasting works great as a way to rest your body and get hormones in check. Now, I am also very careful to advise this because many “all or nothing” kind of personalities are assholes about it and push their fasting limits longer in an effort to be “EXTRA EXTRA” and end up fainting and being unhealthy.
I. F. is not a calorie cutting system, it is a resting system meant to cause less stress to the body. You aren’t supposed to run yourself dry and exhausted on it; on the contrary. So by being “extra” you are just being an asshole! Don’t be one of those! INTERMITTENT FASTING must be done intelligently for the benefits to kick in:
Start your day with coffee and inulin powder ( its natural fiber powder made out of chickoree or artichoke root), and cashew or almond milk ( no sugar added of course ). If you like your coffee sweet add SUKRIN GOLD ( I hate Truvia or Stevia so Sukrin is great ), and drink it in calm and quiet to keep your cortisol low. Go workout and elect a smart workout as discussed here above.
The INULIN will provide you with all the benefits of FIBER without the digesting process of eating GG crackers or all bran cereals. Fiber is indigestible and makes you feel satiated for hours.
Once lunch time comes, don’t let the “entitlement to eat” feeling take over. It’s not because you fasted that you can eat a cow- eat what you would normally eat, had you had breakfast. You will not be more hungry. You will find yourself calmer, and having more clarity, you will feel less bloat, less water retention and will definitely feel and see the benefits of your workouts much faster and better.
THANK YOU INGRID for coming on the The Skinny Confidential. Hope you guys loved her tips! – lauryn x
+ another post on Ingrid here.
++ more health & wellness tips here.
INGRID’S FRENCH ESSENTIALS