I get a lot of questions from readers about what I do for fitness and how I’ve recently lost weight and inches. And so I thought I’d share a little about the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® program that set the trajectory for my new fitness lifestyle. I also receive questions about how appropriate the FASTer Way program is for older women…such as myself. So I want to offer my thoughts on that.
What is the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®?
Amanda Tress is the smart, beautiful and very gracious woman behind the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. She is personable and knowledgeable, and practices amazingly generous business.
The FASTer Way to Fat Loss® program combines scientifically proven nutrition management with optimal exercise formats to help you to train your body to burn fat at a faster rate. That’s it in a nutshell.
There are no pills, diet foods or medical procedures involved. It’s purely you changing how and what you eat along with exercising in a way that builds more lean muscle mass so that your body can do what it’s supposed to do.
Bottom line, the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® consists of:
- Intermittent fasting. Essentially, participants eat for only an 8 hour window. For me, that means I don’t eat each day until 11:00 a.m. and then I stop eating by 7:00 p.m. This component seems to give some people pause, but there is quantitative science behind this approach. I’m a lifelong breakfast eater, but the shortened eating window has not been hard for me. And you could even shift your feeding window in the other direction, breaking your fast at, say, 8:00 a.m. and finishing by 4:00 p.m.
- Macro management. You learn to chart your macro-nutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates) daily so that you eat a well balanced diet. While on the program you learn to manipulate your macros on certain days for optimal fat burn, but the program is built around the idea that on normal days you need to consume a diet of 20% protein, 30% fat and 50% carbohydrates. That’s a perfectly healthy diet.
- Carb cycling. This is not a “low carb” or keto (ketogenic) diet. And I’m glad. But on the FASTer Way you do learn to limit your carbs strategically so that your body learns to burn fat more effectively. Most days you eat plenty of good carbs, more than I can usually fit in. And, by the way, on this plan I get to consume in excess of 1,400 calories most days.
- Strategic cardio workouts. Amanda’s research indicates that most women are doing too much cardio. And I believe it. I was either walking about 5 miles or running 3 most every day of the week and gaining weight instead of losing it. The FASTer Way allows you to do less cardio, but do it smarter.
- Full body weight training. Amanda provides a variety of highly effective weight training exercises that work muscles you’ve probably been neglecting. At least, I had. I’ve been lifting weights several times a week for probably 30 years, but I hadn’t been working my body the way I am now. The program encourages three weight training days per week. Participants are able to choose daily from gym, home or beginner workout options. All three are effective.
Here’s what I like about the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®
Mainly I appreciate that the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® is not so much a program that you do as it is a lifestyle that you learn and live. I’ve learned to eat healthier and it has become my new normal. I’ve also learned a smarter, more effective way to exercise my body that doesn’t exhaust me but instead gives me energy, so it’s practical and feasible…and fun!
I also like that…
- you are held accountable in a friendly, positive environment. You are placed in a private Facebook group with about 70 other women and several trainers. The group is your accountability platform. Everyone is so supportive and real.
- Amanda is personally involved and accessible, responding to your Facebook posts and posting daily encouragements. She also hosts three live video conferences for participants in which she answers questions and provides educational information and reinforcement.
- the program is advertised as 6 weeks, but actually includes a prep week that helps you adjust to the system, so you get 7 weeks of interaction, workouts and accountability.
- you get to eat real food all the time, and it works well with your family meal planning, too.
- you get to have a no-holds-barred treat day on Saturday when you do your leg workout. It’s not a full cheat day, but a treat day. You still stay within your calorie allotment and macros, but you can have something fattening and yummy. Amanda has donuts. I have a McDonald’s Bacon Egg ‘n Cheese Biscuit…every…single…Saturday. Because that’s what I want!
But can an older woman really do this?
Yes. Amanda is very forthright about participants having the ability to make adaptations to the exercises. She doesn’t tell you exactly what adaptations to make, so that may frustrate some people who are looking for a step-by-step plan. But I just use my common sense, and I don’t do what I can’t do.
I don’t have any real disabilities, but I do get some aches and pains in my joints if I don’t take care of them. So I don’t do anything where you have to throw yourself to the ground. Know what I mean? No burpees for this gal. Yes, I did them for a while, and I tried the modifications. But when I realized it just wasn’t working for me and that I was getting frustrated, I stopped. That is, I didn’t quit the program; I just no longer do that particular exercise.
When I can’t do a certain exercise, I just substitute in something I can do. Easy-peasy. You don’t have to ask for permission; you just make an executive decision about your own health and well-being, and you move on.
As far as the eating plan, you get to eat more calories than you’re probably used to. And that’s the ticket. Some women participating in the program don’t eat enough and then they don’t lose weight or inches. Amanda stays on you throughout the program to get your calories and your macros in each day. It may feel counter-intuitive, but you have to eat your food to burn it.
What if you have to take medication in the morning that requires food? I suggest you talk to your doctor or pharmacist and make sure you have the facts straight first. And if indeed you do have to take the medication in the morning and it requires food, then by all means do so. But the program can still work for you. Just move your 8-hour feeding window to earlier in the day. (By the way, you may find that after successfully changing your body through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® you are able to go off some medications, with your doctor’s approval of course. I plan to have my doctor re-assess my need for some of my blood pressure medicine and the low dose of thyroid medication I take.)
Isn’t this program mostly for younger women? No. I was amazed and pleased to find that many of the women in my Facebook community group were around my age or older. In a group of 50 there were probably a large number of younger women, too, but I think the older women were more prone to post and stay engaged with the group. I actually met some beautiful, gracious and smart women around my age who have become Facebook friends now. With adaptations as needed, this program is beautifully suited for women in their 50s-70s for sure. And my mom, who is in her 80s and has not participated in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®, actually already does many of the weight training exercises suggested in the program.
Do I have to lift a lot of weight? Or run really fast? No. You lift what you can. You run or walk as fast as you can. Definitely push yourself a little, but know your realistic limits and observe them. Actually, the program never once specifies how much weight you should lift for any exercise or how fast you should run for any workout. So that’s really up to your judgment and ability. And no one in my Facebook feed ever posted how much they were lifting, so there’s no shaming involved.
Do I have to be on Facebook? No. Some of the women in my Facebook community group did sign up for Facebook just to interact on the program, and I think they were glad they did. You don’t have to be fully immersed in Facebook to use it for the program, so consider signing up so you can participate in a community group. But Amanda does offer some sort of modification for those who are not on Facebook.
Any more suggestions for how I can protect my older body? Yes. While Amanda does encourage you to stretch after your exercise sessions, she doesn’t supply specific stretches each day. So I suggest you do take the time to stretch your warmed up muscles long and for a count of at least 16 seconds each. These are static stretches and it’s important that you do them before your muscles have cooled down. As we age, it is even more important that we stretch in order to maintain flexibility and balance. I looked for a set of static stretches on YouTube that I could recommend and link you to, but I just didn’t find any I wholly approve of. I think I’ll create my own video soon and provide that for you. Before the exercise sessions, Amanda has you do warm-up exercises. This is basically dynamic stretching. But if you feel you need more, do more. Do not do static stretches before working out.
One more tip for the older woman. Part of the cardio workouts is sprinting. It’s actually my favorite workout. But I do recommend that if you do the sprints outside (like I do) that you find a good level surface with as few rocks or other surface issues as possible. I run in a nearby church parking lot. But you could also run on a running path, an athletic field, a gym floor or a track. Amanda recommends you do not do the sprints on a treadmill. That just isn’t safe.
If you have questions or concerns…
Look, I’m not a doctor or even a certified trainer. My advice here isn’t based on those credentials. But as someone who has been through two rounds of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® with tremendous results and a resolve to stick with it, I highly recommend this program…even to women who are 50 and above.
If you have questions or would simply like to know more of the science behind the program, visit the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® website. You can also contact Amanda on the website and ask any questions you have. But I’d also be glad to respond to your comments or questions that I’m qualified to answer.
One more thing. If you click on the links to the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® in this post and then register for the program or purchase any of its cookbooks, I do receive a commission. It doesn’t affect the price you pay, but I do benefit from telling you about my experience with the program. That’s just another wonderful thing about the FASTer Way!
Blessed for My Day
Staying fit really boils down to self-control, doesn’t it? And it’s hard to exercise that, too! Ha! But I’ve learned that if I am struggling to control my eating habits or exercise consistently it helps to pray about my lack of self-discipline. The Lord desires to help me live a self-controlled life. In fact, the Holy Spirit can produce self-control in me, if I cooperate and yield to Him. So if you’re struggling with self-control why not talk to God about it?
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.