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How Your Diet Coach Is Ruining Your Metabolism


How Your Diet Coach Is Ruining Your Metabolism

It’s the same awful story over and over again:

Girl wants to lose fat and gain confidence.
Girl finds “Diet Guru” online and hires him.
Diet Guru practically starves girl to death, putting on her on some ridiculous 900 calorie per day diet, and cutting out all carbs and sometimes – yes sometimes – even all dietary fat.
Girl is dropping bodyfat and looks bangin’, but feels like total hell.
Diet Guru tells her “this is normal”, suck it up and stick with it.
Girl continues on the plan for a few months until she finally cannonballs off the deep end, directly into a multi-layered carrot cake and eats her way out.
Girl immediately gains back all of the weight she lost and then some, and still some more.
Girl tries dieting again on her own, but to no avail.
She is exhausted, freezing cold regardless of the temperature, foggy headed, and is still gaining weight.

The metabolic process is critical to health and life and the extremely aggressive nutrition protocols being pushed by some diet 'gurus' are doing serious damage to the system in many people.

The metabolic process is critical to health and life and the extremely aggressive nutrition protocols being pushed by some diet ‘gurus’ are doing serious damage to the system in many people.

Hello, metabolic damage.

My husband and I are nutrition coaches and we are horrified at what girls tell us – in great detail, and nearly weekly – what some of these “Diet coaches” are having them do.

“When I told him how tired I was he would tell me to pop more fat burners. I think I was taking 4 a day… on top of energy drinks… and was still a ZOMBIE.”

“I was absolutely frozen 24/7. Walking around in the 115 degree heat with a hoodie on. I was starving ALL THE TIME! I wasn’t myself.”

“… 1080 on a lifting day, and 980 on a non-lifting day. I remember commenting on how little food this felt and his response was, “It’s actually a lot compared to these fitness models”, and showed me sample diets which were around 600 calories.”

“For the next 12 weeks it was hell. I couldn’t focus in school. I gained 5lbs immediately, lost it, and then never got any leaner during those 12 weeks no matter how many times he tried doing weird things like just protein one day with no fats or carbs.

“The macros he gave me were 145g protein, 40 grams carbohydrate and 7 grams of fat.”

**I actually emailed this woman back, asking her if she had made a typo. No typo. Those were actually the macros she was expected to hit. 7 grams of fat?? I can surpass that just by licking off my homemade hemp oil lip balm! I should also mention that those whopping 7 grams of fat were supposed to come from fish oil. Because that makes everything better. Sarcasm.

Lets be clear about something. If you compete in physique competitions, there is inevitably going to be some discomfort that comes along with the stringent dieting that is required to get stage lean, however none of the snippets above are from competitors – they are from your everyday girl, looking to drop a few pounds to boost her confidence.

Furthermore, we have prepped plenty of girls for Figure, Fitness, and Bikini shows (very successfully, I might add) and not one of them has been taken down the scary paths that the girls mention above.

Listen up and write this down because this is important:

If your “coach” can’t get you lean without slashing out entire macronutrient groups, dropping your calories to downright scary levels, or having you hammer out hours and hours of cardio per day, they do not know what the hell they are doing. Period. No exceptions.

I don’t care what pics he posts on the internet, which fancy website he writes for, or how many ‘Likes’ his “trying-to-be-inspirational-but-is-really-total-bullshit quotes” gets on Facebook.

Of course his clients are getting lean. Anybody can get lean on 600-900 calories per day, or by consuming protein only. But here is an important question for his clients: how do they feel? Also, what happened to their body composition once they finally got lean, and tried to introduce more food because they felt like they might actually die subsisting on his ridiculous plan?
Get past his pretty pictures, it’s a very scary story, time and time again.

This subject is near and dear to my heart, because as you’ve probably heard, I was the victim of a coach that had me on far too of a restrictive diet, which resulted in some serious metabolic damage. It took me a long time to bounce back after rebounding with a vicious 30 pound weight gain. It was brutal on my body, and murder on my self- esteem.

Despite how great she looked at her competition, Jen's overly restrictive diet left her feeling terrible and still dealing with health repercussions today.

Despite how great she looked at her competition, Jen’s overly restrictive diet left her feeling terrible and still dealing with health repercussions today.

With the prevalence of social media, “Diet gurus” are on the hunt, just waiting to prey on innocent people (mostly women) that want to shed a few pounds for bikini season.
Lets go through a list of what is not normal when hiring or working with a nutrition coach:

• If they want to take your money or invoice you before they know anything about you or your goals – MAYDAY! Run the other direction!

  • Cutting out entire macronutrients, which will likely be all carbs or dietary fat, or (God forbid) both.
  • Disregarding or brushing off any concerns you have. This includes, but is not limited to, concerns over energy levels, hunger, simply feeling terrible, digestive issues, performance issues in the gym, ability to sleep, body temperature problems such as being cold all of the time, libido problems.
  • Getting annoyed that you are asking questions or that you are concerned.
  • Making you feel bad about your inability to stick to their ridiculous starvation plan.Beware: Don’t hire a nutrition coach without conducting an extensive interview.

Yes, you are going to interview them, and if they don’t like it, well, as my father-in-law says, “NEXT!!” After all, you are hiring them to do a job, not the other way around. As a nutrition coach myself, it is an honor to have a prospective client want to work with us and we will answer all of the questions that they have, and do so happily and with full disclosure! In addition to us answering all of their questions, every client that we bring on board has to fill out an extensive questionnaire, because we want to make sure that we understand the individual’s goals and feel confident that we can get them there, along with being the right fit for each other.
We do not take just any client that approaches us! We’ve had people reach out to us that, while I’m sure they are wonderful people, simply aren’t the right fit for our services, and it’s only fair that we tell them that. “You want to lose 45 pounds in 6 weeks? Well, that is great, but I’m not the coach for you, because I can’t get you there in a safe and healthy way.”
We will not compromise our integrity – ever, with anything – just to make a buck, and your coach shouldn’t either.

Be prepared for a good nutrition coach to ask you about:

• Your goals and the timeline in which you’d like to achieve them • Specifics on your current food intake and activity levels
• Supplements you are taking
• Medication you are taking

• Your stress levels

• Your sleep quality

• Food preferences and allergies

If a nutrition coach wants to take your money before they do any due diligence on who you are or what your goals are, you need to run the other direction – I don’t care who they are!

What should you ask a nutrition coach that you are thinking of working with?

  • How long will their program run?
  • Will they provide references of both current clients and past clients? (Past clients are important, because they don’t have any ties to the coach any longer!)
  • Are their programs customized to each person?
  • Will they give you specific meals to eat or just recommend macros to hit?
  • How often is the diet adjusted?
  • How often is the coach available for communication? Phone, email, or Skype?
  • If they are only available through email, what is the turnaround time on their correspondence?

Ask all of the questions that your heart desires, and if the coach doesn’t answer them all thoroughly and enthusiastically then find somebody else.

Losing bodyfat isn’t always a walk in the park, but it doesn’t have to be extremely restrictive or downright miserable. As a nutrition coach, I have the responsibility of my client’s health in my hands and that is something I take very seriously – something I can’t say for some of these other “coaches”.
Listen to your gut.

If you think something is wrong with the way your coach is having you eat, then you’re probably right. Our intuition rarely leads us astray.

Your health is more important than a quick fix or a crash diet. You can get results without starving or being relegated to egg whites, oats and broccoli, with your only dietary fat coming from a measly few fish oil pills. I promise!

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Jen Comas Keck is a nutrition expert and NASM certified trainer. Keck has a very diverse fitness journey, from cardio queen, group fitness instructor to figure competitor. This range of experience allows her to speak on a variety of topics facing people. In addtion to the mergers and acquisitions company Jen owns with her husband, she also operates a successful nutrition coaching business.

50 Responses to “How Your Diet Coach Is Ruining Your Metabolism”

May 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm, Matt said:

Great great article. I’m wondering if you essentially “break your metabolism”, can you get it back to a “normal” level and how long does this take? Weeks? Months? Years?


May 30, 2013 at 11:14 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Hi Matt,

That is a very tough question to answer and depends on many, many factors, such as how long was the person dieting, how hard, what their activity level is like, age, etc etc.

I can tell you from personal experience that I had a rebound gain of about 30 pounds and had to sit there for about 10 months or so before things finally started to creep back down. The problem with most people is that they REFUSE to slowly increase their cals or back their training down, so the situation gets worse and worse.
The quicker somebody can head things off at the pass and start making changes, the better.

I’ve dealt with numerous clients going through this and every single case has been completely unique, but it’s always a challenge. Bumping calories/carbs up for a couple of weeks after each dieting phase of 6-8 weeks can really do wonders to prevent this kind of thing from happening!


May 31, 2013 at 12:03 am, Christina Tondora said:

Hi Matt & Meg,
First of all, this is a wonderful article. Second of all, the answer to your question is yes, you can get your metabolism back to functioning properly, (I don’t want to say “normal.”) Depending on the level of dysfunction, I usually find in my practice that it takes 4 months to a year to correct metabolic imbalances. With the competitors, it takes them 16 weeks to get to this dysfunctional state, it’s going to take at least that long to restore health.
As a Naturopathic Medical Doctor, I have many options available to get your metabolism back on track. First, we have to determine where the metabolic imbalances are occurring. We do this by performing functional metabolic testing, which include IgE/IgG food allergy tests, adrenal stress profiles, salivary hormone testing, and comprehensive metabolic testing which looks at everything from brain neurotransmitters, B Vitamin status, essential fatty acids, detoxification markers and everything in between. Once we determine where the dysfunction is occurring, we can then correct them through individualized nutrition plans, supplementation protocols, exercise programs and lifestyle changes. Treatments can range from acupuncture to B12 injections to bio-identical HRT to IV vitamin therapy.
I’ve been practicing in Scottsdale, AZ since 1999, and working with figure, bikini and physique competitors since 2008. I can’t tell you how many female competitors I’ve seen in my practice come in looking great on the outside, but are an utter mess on the inside! It doesn’t have to be this way! This is the main reason I became more involved with treating, managing and sponsoring competitors. None of the competitors I’ve worked with have ever gone into a metabolic crisis, nor will they. I work closely with knowledgeable personal trainers and coaches, like Jen, the author, who understand health and nutrition, and who would never sacrifice a patient’s health for the sake of looking good, or winning a trophy.
The bad news is, you can have a metabolic crisis by following improper advice. The good news is, you can correct metabolic imbalances by determining the cause, giving the body the nutrients it needs, and allowing the body to heal itself.
Thanks again to Jen for writing this great article and bringing this subject to light. Licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors are experts in nutrition and natural healthcare, and can help you get your metabolism back in balance. Some of us, including me, are licensed to write for prescription medications (when necessary). You can find a licensed naturopathic medical doctor in your area by visiting http://www.naturopathic.org. I hope this helps.
Dr. T


May 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm, meg said:

I would like to know the same thing that Matt asked. If you already have a “broken” metabolism. What, if anything, can be done to help it? Are there reputable/recommended people to contact, etc?


May 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Hi Meg!
Please see above for my reply to Matt.

As for people to help with metabolic damage, Layne Norton is a great one (although could be quite challenging to get into). I also really like Jade Teta from Metabolic Effect for this! They have both done numerous articles and/or YouTube videos on this stuff and how to fix it. I definitely recommend checking them out!


May 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm, Jacob Behara said:

Sounds very similar to Layne Norton’s video blogs on muscle college radio……..but still a very good article!


May 31, 2013 at 2:59 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Hi Jacob,
Yes, while I have never met Layne, I know he and I share many of the same concerns on this topic!


May 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm, Jacob Behara said:

I mean on his website biolayne.com not muscle college radio


May 31, 2013 at 12:25 am, B said:

I’m glad to see people opening up about this so much recently and shedding light on the situation. One thing they all seem to have in common, is they all refer to “my coach”

Why allow these “coaches” to hide only to hurt more girls in the future. Why can’t anyone call a spade a spade. I’ve yet to see one person mention the name of said coach that put them on a 800cal diet and 2 hours of cardio.

What is it about this industry that has everyone so scarred to call these people out?


May 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Great point and that is tough to know exactly how to handle it. Part of me thinks I should start naming names, while the other part of me knows that these immoral people will take it as a personal attack and try to harm my business just to retaliate, even though they have no ground to stand on.

My hope is that by warning people what to watch for, we can enable them with the proper knowledge to make wise decisions without starting an Internet war.
I definitely understand where you are coming from though!


May 31, 2013 at 4:28 am, Ulrich said:

Great article! I am a big fan of layne norton and all the other supporters of what you guys do. Been dieting flexibly and increased calories (actually doubled calories) for the last 2 months and have only gained a pound or two since then. My body recovered rather quickly but I can only imagine how it was for those that approached you at such low calorie levels. I for one started my increase at 1700 calories and now am consuming a little over 3000 calories a day holding weight and doing heavy lifting with little to no cardio! The wonders a strong metabolism can do for your fitness and results!


May 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

That is wonderful Ulrich! Sounds like you are on a great path!


May 31, 2013 at 4:36 am, Jenae said:

I’m wondering your thoughts on carb cycling? My coach has me not eating carbs during the week, but I eat 450g each weekend day (total 900). I haven’t seen anything about damage relating to carb cycling.. And coming out of contest prep, is it best to keep the cycle while slowly adding back in carbs and reducing cardio, or spreading out the carbs through out the week?


May 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

There are a lot of people that use an approach like that, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. I’m surprised that they’d push carbs that high two days in a row, but if it works for you then great! 🙂


May 31, 2013 at 5:22 am, Michelle said:

hi, great article!

I wanted to ask if you do distant consultation for nutrition plans. Because i am having a real hard time finding a good nutritionist;

Thank you Michelle


May 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

My husband and I both do. You can get more info on my website at JenComasKeck.com or shoot me an email. Our rosters are currently quite full but we can plan ahead!


May 31, 2013 at 6:54 am, Harry said:

Can SOMEONE “ANYONE” PLEASE name at the very least ONE such coach???? I’m soooooo tired of seeing an article after article about this in the last 6 months since Layne first wrote about this!!!
It’s extraordinary..that why NO ONE would name anyone, and yet continue to hammer these, as I like to call them, “GHOST” diet/prep coaches!!!! Far out… Where’s the integrity or the conviction?????
I have been in the industry for well over 15 years, and I can not recall seeing annnnymore then one or two such coaches in the last 3-5 years! Prior to that, yes, but not in the last 3 to 5 years! If u r still following this kinda dumb advice..then u r just bloody stupid! And I have no sympathy for stupidity!!!


May 31, 2013 at 3:23 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Hi Harry,
I can tell that this is very frustrating to you and I can understand that.

Like I said above, it’s a fine line between educating people to make their own wise decisions and naming names that will inevitably do nothing more than start an Internet war based on emotion, which doesn’t help anybody and is a monumental waste of time.

The reason you probably don’t hear about these very real diet coaches as much as people like Layne and I do is because we work with female competitors and we are the ones cleaning up the messes time and time again.

Putting the word out and helping people make wise choices is my objective.

Also, it’s only fair to remind you that all of us, at one time or another iin our health and fitness journeys, have done some stupid things. It’s a learning process.


May 31, 2013 at 9:49 am, Jason Alwardt said:

This article is awesome. I love your bluntness and your show of hatred for the failing “diet” society we have going on. It is also nice to hear it from not only a woman but, a woman who has also had experience with these horrible situations. Ive shared this with many of the women in my life who are involved in the fitness world with me and hope that it sheds some light… thank you.


May 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Thank you for helping to shed some much-needed light on this topic Jason!


May 31, 2013 at 11:34 am, Babs Doherty said:

How does your age affect the results? I’m 50 and in great shape but my diet could really dial it in for me. I am not fully educated on the macro approach and would live to learn more about it.


May 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Age can certainly be a factor, however proper nutrition and lifestyle choices will do wonders!


May 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm, Maria Kovalovsky said:

Not all coaches are the same..I’m a 5’10” NPC Bikini competitor and my coach (Glenn Nowland of G-force Prep Team) never starves me! My calories are a bit over 2000 a day, all my macros are taken into account, fats/sugars/carbs and esp my proteins…my coach Knows the importance of keeping in fats, sugars, etc while traing for competition..it is Only peak week (week of competition day) that he strips me of shakes, sodium and anything w artificial sweeteners, preworkout…shakes have artificial sweeteners (sucralos, ect)..these things can and most times cause Bloating (hence the joke of shakes making one fart all the time)…there is a safe way to lose weight and gain muscle, you just need the Right guidance…hope this puts Some light on a not so light subject


May 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Hi Maria,
I agree with you completely. My husband and I have prepped numerous competitors and they do NOT starve. Some are a bit more restricted than others but that is because everybody’s body is different.

So glad you have a great coach! Good luck at your show!


May 31, 2013 at 2:23 pm, Felix Guerin said:

You said that cutting an entire macronutrient is a good cue to run from a coach, but a lot of people have benefited from a low-carb/high fat diet, or ketogenic diet (Carbnite from DH Kiefer comes to mind). Besides the fat loss, the energy levels go up and a lot of the metabolic diseases go away. What do you think of these types of diet?


May 31, 2013 at 3:37 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Hi Felix,
I’m not a fan of Keto diets at all. In my opinion, carbohydrates are very important for the metabolism, and that seems especially so for women. Men seem to be able to, for the most part, get away with a low/no carb approach easier than women.

While I don’t think flooding the body with carbs is the right approach for body composition or overall health, they do have their benefits.

I’ve had numerous women come to me that couldn’t lose weight but were on a low carb (<50g/day), high protein, high fat diet. We slowly introduce carbs and they slowly lose body fat and perform better in the gym.

I'd recommend checking out FitnessBaddies.com and reading the most recent article "All About Carbs and Metabolism". Joy digs deep into this exact topic and does so beautifully.


May 31, 2013 at 4:01 pm, Felix Guerin said:

I’d like very much to read the article but I can’t find it!


May 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm, Chandra said:

This is really good stuff! I have heard of these low carb fat cutting scary low calorie diets throughout my time training. I always knew that eating the right foods (and plenty of them) was the only way to increase metabolism, gain healthy muscle weight and lose body fat. I love this! Thank you so much!


May 31, 2013 at 3:38 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Thanks for the kind words Chandra!


May 31, 2013 at 7:01 pm, Tara @ Sweat like a Pig said:

This is a great article, Jen. I love that more and more people are speaking out against the bad coaches out there. The sad part is that many women under their guidance do not realise anything is wrong, and if they dare to ask questions, they are usually dismissed.

Every single woman I’ve ever worked with was undereating before they started training with me. They were all surprised that they could add more food, especially carbs, and actually lose weight. It’s sad that most women think they don’t “deserve” to eat high levels of carbohydrates, and that it’s normal to eat 1200-1300 calories a day. I hope lots of people read this article before handing over their cash to unqualified coaches!


June 03, 2013 at 1:32 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Thanks Tara!
It’s always a pleasure to get your feedback!

Absolutely – I have had numerous women email me since this article came out and they tell me that it described their current coach and told me that when they ask their coach questions, the coach just gets frustrated and upset with them for asking. That is insane!

I’m really hoping that the more light we can shed on to this topic, the more we can empower women with the proper knowledge when it comes to nutrition.


June 01, 2013 at 12:50 am, Brandon said:

Great article, Jen. More women and even some men need to be more aware of this and ‘shady’ coaching practices.


June 03, 2013 at 1:33 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

Thank you – I agree! Lets continue to spread the word!


June 01, 2013 at 3:30 pm, Adam Kitchen said:

Good article. I’ll admit, I’ve been a proponent of big deficits in the short-term for some clients, but what these “experts” are doing is just irresponsible and abuse. Most of my big, prescribed deficits are nowhere near as extreme, and always have a purpose behind them.

Undoubtedly, anyone involved in prep for a contest should take things a lot slower from all angles.

Metabolic damage is real people. Don’t succumb to short-term gains.


June 02, 2013 at 6:03 pm, Lean Bulk said:

“Metabolic damage” is an improperly used term. It’s really called metabolic adaptation. And overall it accounts for very little in terms of slowing down “metabolism”. What these people are more likely doing is overeating, cutting down volume, intensity, and cardio too quickly post diet. But ya know…people like to try and blame other things rather then themselves.


June 03, 2013 at 1:40 pm, Jen Comas Keck said:

I understand how metabolic adaptation works, but metabolic damage far surpasses adaptation.

As somebody that has dealt with metabolic damage myself, I can assure you that it’s not a matter of just overeating and lowering training volume. It means gaining an obscene amount of weight when only adding a mere 200 calories per day to an obscenely low daily caloric intake (to the tune of 1000 cals/day at 5’10”).

I can understand how it may seem like it’s “made up” if you aren’t immersed in the health and fitness industry, but I can assure you from working with countless women that it’s very, very real.


June 04, 2013 at 2:22 am, Lean Bulk said:

I’m quite immersed in the health and fitness industry. Enough so that I can interpret actual research to understand that metabolic “damage” is something that occurs in disease states, not in otherwise healthy individuals. Adding 200 calories per day to an individual who has adapted to consuming 1000 calories per day is a lot of calories to add. Especially if you are tapering down cardio, training, etc at the same time. Think about the daily energy expenditure shift that could occur while doing both at the same time. It would likely account for anywhere from 200 to 1000+ additional calories per day. This is why people rebound. Metabolic adaptation takes at least a year to overcome. If you don’t believe me read (especially the last one):

S. G. Camps, S. P. Verhoef, and K. R. Westerterp, “Weight loss, weight maintenance, and adaptive thermogenesis,” Am. J. Clin. Nutr., vol. 97, no. 5, pp. 990–994, May 2013.

R. L. Leibel, M. Rosenbaum, and J. Hirsch, “Changes in energy expenditure resulting from altered body weight,” N. Engl. J. Med., vol. 332, no. 10, pp. 621–628, Mar. 1995.

E. Doucet, S. St-Pierre, N. Alméras, J. P. Després, C. Bouchard, and A. Tremblay, “Evidence for the existence of adaptive thermogenesis during weight loss,” Br. J. Nutr., vol. 85, no. 6, pp. 715–723, Jun. 2001.

M. J. Müller and A. Bosy-Westphal, “Adaptive thermogenesis with weight loss in humans,” Obesity (Silver Spring), vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 218–228, Feb. 2013.


June 04, 2013 at 2:25 am, Lean Bulk said:

By the way I wasn’t intending to argue with you on the topic. People have done that enough. I think your advice on choosing a proper coach is spot on. Dieting is still about progression (both to get leaner and add LBM) no matter what the mechanisms are behind our success.


June 06, 2013 at 11:58 am, Hanna Pietilä said:

I don’t know anybody actual professional coach in Finland recommending under 1200 kcal/day diets. Seriously! I wouldn’t go easily even under 1500 kcal. People should be realistic too if they have families, jobs, kids to play with, they can’t just starve theirselves – it is not going to work!


June 06, 2013 at 12:28 pm, Katie said:

I was wondering what your thoughts are on the Ideal Protein diet? I saw you mentioned you are not a fan of Keto diets. I know a few women who have done IP over the past few years, and obviously looked great, but at what expense? Meals out are uncomfortable because they are constantly analyzing every single ingredient and making comments like “well that’s going right to your hips”. Now these ladies haven’t been the smallest, and while I could stand to lose a few pounds of fat, I’m in great shape. Have you come across any clients or others who’ve done IP? and what has their experience been?


June 06, 2013 at 2:01 pm, Brittany said:

Hey Jen! Are you able to give an example of what your macros look like on both on and off days? Thank you! 🙂



June 06, 2013 at 2:38 pm, Erica said:

I really enjoyed this article. I have struggled with my weight since my son was born. I would lose then gain and do it all over again. I went from 125lbs to 265lbs over the past 4 years. I never knew my tiny body could be that big. I am only 5’3″. I use to be a triathlete. I have done extensive research on nutrition but always felt confused because there is so much conflicting information. One site says to aim for 1500 calories then one would say 1200 calories. I found that it is definitely a science unique to my body. I admit when I started back training this year I was still amiss as to what my calorie intake should be. On some days when I felt drained I knew I had not ate enough. I slowly added 100 calories here and there, but one thing I have kept to is my clean eating. People keep telling me it will back fire on me and I will binge eat but I actually love to eat clean. It makes me feel great! I found that there is always a healthier alternative to just about everything I would crave. As of this morning I have lost 36lbs (my goal is to be around 125) since March 1st. I am extremely proud. I have learned which excercises I benefit the most from and how to switch it up when I plateau. My only issue is I am afraid I am still falling short on my calories. ie. yesterday I consumed 1496 but only netted 835 because I burned 661. Should I try to eat back more of my calories? Also my elliptical tells me I burn like 200 less calories than most online calculators and fitness apps…why is that? Again thank you for this article!


June 06, 2013 at 2:52 pm, Toni Colombo said:

Great article! Thank you for this information! I have adopted a fit lifestyle for the last year and have lost 50 lbs. I feel so much better about myself and my back problems and pain are now manageable. My fitness coach meets with me bi-weekly (or as needed)to adjust my diet, workout and posture program. My trainer also keeps tabs on all of these. I’m telling you all this so that you know that I am happy with my results so far, but have a question that they haven’t been able to answer – when can I add more variety to my food plan, without gaining weight? I am close to my goal weight now and working hard on losing these last, oh so tough lbs! I don’t plan to ever go back to the way I used to eat, but adding more variety of fruit and healthy carbs is also a goal. It seems more realistic for a lifelong change.


June 06, 2013 at 3:54 pm, Anonymous said:

Excellent article! I was never a fitness competitor, but often cut calories down to 1300-1400 calories a day (and still sometimes end up doing it, without even thinking…) despite still riding my bike several miles a week and lifting heavy weights in the gym 2-3x a week. I’d eat fairly low-carb (at least under 70g a day,) although some days I’d get up to 1700-1800 calories a day (which seemed like a LOT!) I now suffer from extremely low free T3 levels, which I feel is strongly contributing to the very uncomfortable belly fat I put on, the fatigue (can barely workout most days!), and feeling cold ALL the time! I feel weak, tired and sluggish. It’s amazing how your body can go, go, go on the bare minimum for quite awhile, but eventually, we all crash and burn with that sort of lifestyle. I’m horribly dissapointed in myself for sacrificing my health for aesthetics, and prided myself on “eating less”. I should be going on thyroid medication soon, but I’m wondering if you have experience boosting ladies’ thyroid levels just by eating more, and specifically more carbs? I’m VERY nervous about eating more and exercising less, since I’m already getting quite uncomfortable in my clothes and can’t afford a whole new wardrobe at this point!

Thanks so much. 🙂


June 06, 2013 at 5:22 pm, Be Careful When Selecting a Nutrition Coach | Eclectic Kettlebell said:

[…] How Your Diet Coach is Ruining Your Metabolism by Jen Keck on http://www.jtsstrength.com […]


June 11, 2013 at 11:37 am, Becky said:

I know this may sound redundant, but I paid a lot of money for a top level coach to put together an off-season nutrition plan to help get my metabolism back on track after my last contest prep. I ended up not competing because at 8 weeks out, I was told to go Keto and do 3 hours of cardio a day. I of course, followed my advice, but after 2 weeks realized the error in this. My body rebounded and I wanted a professional to help me fix my metabolism in the hopes of competing one day in the future.

This coach has had me at under 1000 calories for the last 10 weeks. I’ve increased cardio from 30 minutes of either SS or HIT 3-4 days/wk to every day. My macros are 150/175g protein, 40/75g carbs and only 7g of fat each day. I cycle between low and medium carb days. Oh and I started this program weighing 183# and am currently 175#. Everything I know and have read tells me this isn’t healthy and I didn’t question it because he is so well-known, but when I started asking him why I was so extremely low on calories and especially fat, he just dodges the question.

It’s sickening and frustrating to know that there are top-level coaches out there that just don’t care about their clients. I feel like I’m just a paycheck for him and he threw a program at me without even thinking about how absolutely ridiculously low the calories and macros are. I thought I had done my research to find the right coach, but I was wrong.


June 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm, 22 “LOCO” Good Articles and Videos | Dynamic Duo Blog Site said:

[…] How Your Diet Coach is Ruining Your Metabolism by Jen Keck […]


July 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm, Extreme Leanness: Part 3 – The Do’s and Don’ts | Molly Galbraith said:

[…] –  Do your research.  This is where the “great” coach part comes in.  There are thousands of coaches out there ready to take your money, and many of them are bogus.  Do as much research as you can, find one that offers exactly what you’re looking for, and don’t settle.  Jen Comas Keck wrote a great article about that here. […]


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