This week’s guest is Allison Moyer Fahrenbach, she’s a fellow fitness competitor and a coach. She has been a well-known face in the fitness industry for over a decade since launching AFS (Alli-Fitness Systems) Training in 2007.
She has helped dozens of clients from around the world reach their fitness & health goals by way of her virtual coaching services. And she is also now diving into the world of functional medicine doing a certificate of training.
Today, we will get to know about her more.
Table of Contents
Allison Moyer’s Story
She has been a coach since 2007, even before the start of the trend of online coaching. What got her started in the field was her major, Wellness and Sport Science. Initially, right out of college, she started working as the director of personal training at health and fitness center. She then realized that she wanted to be able to offer more to the clients that she worked with than just an hour of personal training – so that’s what led her to explore online coaching and to open her own business.
Her first competition was when she was 18 in college. She fell in love with the experience of being on stage and the process of body-building. Competing brought a sense of discipline and consistency into her life.
Why do we have Food Cravings?
- Our body is seeking nourishment or nutrients – and when the body doesn’t get the nutrients that it needs, it elicits a craving.
- Sometime food cravings are not physiological, they’re more psychological. We have a craving for something because we are stressed, you might get a craving for a comfort food that soothed you when you were a kid, or something that makes you feel better.
- If you’re restricting too much and you’re not allowing yourself the foods that you love, you’re going to think about that food until you finally have it. You should honor your cravings, diving deeper into the reason behind the craving.
Foods cravings connected to nutrient deficiencies
A lot of people wouldn’t think that they eat diets that lead to a nutrient deficiencies, but in reality many people do. People tend to eat the same types of foods over and over again, limiting their food variety which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Magnesium, iron, and omega-3 deficiencies can lead to cravings for various things. Pinpointing and addressing these deficiencies is really important, which is why writing a food journal can be so important. If someone is eating a diet high in processed foods, even healthy processed foods, you could be missing a lot of nutrients.
Again, it is all relative to the individual. There could also be malabsorption issues where the person cannot actually absorb a certain nutrient, which can lead to deficiency. There is no one size fits all solution – it is all about finding and doing what works for you.
What can you do to help eliminate or conquer food cravings?
Understanding that everyone has cravings and that you’re not weak because you have them is really important. Allison finds that cravings often create feelings of defeat. Cravings tend to make her clients feel helpless, overwhelmed, or frustrated. But the thing is, don’t beat yourself up for having that craving. Cravings are natural. We all have it, it isn’t anything to feel guilty about. You’re not weak.
Finding out the reason you’re having the craving is the first step. It could be mental, like if you’re under a lot of stress. It could also be physiological, due to deficiency in your diet due to diet or malabsorption, or if there is an underlying health issue.
Sleep and its importance
Sleep is important for your overall sense of well-being. It’s for your sense of energy, muscle growth, tissue repair, brain rest and repair. It has impacts on your hormonal balance, causes hormonal dysregulation, on how you look, and on how you feel. Sleep is important for overall sense of wellbeing, sense of energy, muscle growth, tissue repair, brain rest and repair, formulates memories…
Sleep is actually your brain’s house cleaning service. It clears out free radicals and inflammation in the body, and controls insulin sensitivity and body composition. And it’s important to not just to optimize the amount of sleep you get, but also the quality because we all need deep REM sleep in order to feel our best, to make progress, and live life healthfully.
Sometimes you sleep 8 hours per night, but it’s not the recovery sleep that you need. When you start to monitor it, you may be restless, or your resting heart rate didn’t dip low enough to dip into deep REM sleep to get the recovery sleep that you really need.
Causes of trouble sleeping
- Lack of Sleep Routine. You don’t take any time to unplug and stop scrolling facebook. Your brain is engaged and wired up until the second you go to bed, and expect to turn off the lights and instantaneously fall asleep. We need to give our brains a bit to detach from the day.
- Eating big meals before bed time. An overly active digestive system can keep you up all night.
- Lack of hormones like Progesterone (for Women) and Serotonin. Progesterone is the calming hormone that creates GABA, and if you don’t have GABA, you won’t be able to fall asleep correctly. Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter, and is also important for sleep.
Things to do to help you fall asleep
- Cut out caffeine before 4-5 pm
- Unplug from electronics and blue light at least 30 minutes before bed
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Stick to sleep schedule to regulate your body’s clock and routine
- Avoid alcohol and big meals before bedtime
- If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and go do something relaxing until you’re tired – you don’t want to associate the bed with anxiety
Cardio is great when it is part of a balanced program that includes strength training. When taken to excess, like chronic cardio, it has the opposite effect and can end up being really counterproductive to somebody’s goals. Chronic cardio can decrease T3, your thyroid directly contributes to weight control and other metabolic functions. Prolonged, intense bouts of cardio disrupts healthy production of TSH and T3.
Excessive cardio can also decrease testosterone which is important for burning fat and building muscle. Long cardio sessions performed frequently increase your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol is high, it is linked to weight gain and the body stores more fat for emergency fuel and metabolizes muscle. Cardio can also decrease your growth hormone, which is needed to build muscle.
Allison really likes 2 types of cardio: LISS (low intensity steady state) and true HIIT (high intensity interval training). People who are new to training don’t understand how intense the intervals are supposed to be, or how long the rest is supposed to be. True HIIT is a 1:3 ratio or 1:2 ratio. Long restorative cardio, like walking, is also really great for health.
A lot of different classes for cardio can be fun and a great opportunity to have a good community. But sometimes they’re not what you need, and they’re detrimental to your physique and your health goals.
Biggest mistakes physique athletes make
- Not taking enough time off or doing too many shows back-to-back
- Gaining too much weight in the off-season
- Not gaining enough weight in the off-season
- Not properly reverse dieting
- Don’t train the same way an enhanced athlete trains if you are a natural athlete – you can and will hurt yourself!
Distribution, volume, and frequency of workouts
Allison thinks that it depends on the individual. The best workout is the best one you can progress from and recover from. It all boils down to the individual and what you like doing. What is going to get you into the gym and wanting to train?
Individual factors for your optimal performance:
- What is going to get you in the gym and wanting to be there?
- Can you recover properly from your training and then progress?
Allison Moyer’s Info: