Nutrition For Fat Loss

Over the past few days Certified Turbulence Trainer, Kate Vidulich shares with us  an exclusive interview with Rachel Cosgrove.

Rachel is devoted to helping others through personal fitness coaching, an author of The Female Body Breakthrough, an owner of Results Fitness and a columnist for Women’s Health Magazine.

Being a fitness enthusiast she still finds time to train for a verity of competitions. To read more about it click here for Part 3 of this interview series.

To listen to the call click here


Kate: Let’s just talk nutrition briefly. What do you advise for fat loss clients in your gym? Is there a difference between beginners and advanced folks, and obviously a difference between men and women.

Rachel: Yes. We actually have pretty basic guidelines. The majority of our clients, we do have a lot of women who come in, I’d say about 70% are women. Most of our stuff is built for women but a lot of what we do really does work for men as well. It’s really just simple, healthy nutrition guidelines.

We do use Precision Nutrition from John Berardi. It’s an excellent program and something that we’ve found to be really helpful for our clients. We run a course of Precision Nutrition every quarter, for eight weeks, and that’s something that’s offered to our clients if they want to get really specific with their nutrition. You really sit down with someone and learn really specifically for them what’s going to work.

For everyone who joins, they get a nutrition journal that has basic guidelines, very similar to what’s in my book, just getting them to fuel their body with good foods. Our goal with our clients is one change at a time and that’s something that we ask, “What’s one change that you can make this week that’s going to work?” Are they going to be able to start to eat breakfast, or whatever it is for them that’s going to be the thing they can do that week. We look for small changes over time.

The book is actually written like that. Literally, as a trainer, you could take this book, and I wrote notes as I was taking my clients through the 12 week program. This book is literally my coaching notes, so Day 1, what I said to my clients during their 12 week challenge. Then Day 2, Day 3, so it’s literally each day, what came up, what questions? It’s really pulling your clients along at their own pace.

I think as trainers, a lot of times we make the mistake of putting our agenda on our clients and really trying to stuff it down their throat. We see their potential so we really want to see them succeed. Right away, you want to get them on this awesome nutrition plan and get them all set up but they might not be ready for that yet.

Really, initially, getting them working out and then getting them some simple guidelines to follow. Then, if they’re ready to start writing a nutrition journal and that way we can take a look and make small tweaks each week and slowly progress them over time.

Kate: Cool. I think that was important to note that everyone should meet the client where they’re at when it comes to the nutrition.

Rachel:  Exactly.

Kate: We all have our great plans and we all know exactly what we need to eat to drop however many pounds in the shortest time possible, but I think what you said about clients not necessarily being ready to adopt our craziness yet is very important for us to remember.

Rachel:  Yes. If you just start asking that question, “What’s one thing that you can change this week, that you think will have the biggest impact on your results?” it surprises you what comes out.

I’ve had clients say, “You know what? I think I need to cut out sugar.” In the meantime, you’re trying to get them eating 10 servings of vegetables a day and they just are still having their Reese’s peanut butter cup and their bowl of ice cream before they go to bed at night. Okay, maybe we first need to work on that.

“Okay, I’m going to cut out sugar,” and then a week later you say, “How’d it go? How did cutting out sugar go?” My client, this one particular client, she said, “I did great, I cut out all the sugar. Except, do chocolate chips in my yogurt count?”

She’s done so well, she had done everything right, and, “So what? I threw a couple of chocolate chips in my yogurt. Does that count as sugar?” Well, yes, that does count as sugar, but it’s okay.

Kate:  I know, what can you say? “Oh, no, that’s terrible.”

Rachel:  Right. “You know, you did okay, let’s try again this week, and let’s try to cut those chocolate chips out, too, and see how that goes.” You never know where they’re at so you’ve got to meet them where they’re at. You might be giving them something that they’re not quite ready for yet.

Kate: Sure. I think you’ve also mentioned before something about someone eating potatoes for breakfast, or they ate home fries, or tater tots? People think they’re doing so great and that’s the other thing, I think, is education. Sometimes they just don’t know. They just don’t know that drinking a glass of orange juice is not good for breakfast.

Rachel: Yes. It’s just, the more you listen to your clients and the more you ask them questions, the more you find out and you figure out where you can help them.

Kate: You don’t give them any specific diets when they start with your program?

Rachel: No, it’s more basic guidelines. Tell them to eat breakfast, and tell them try to eat every three to four hours, and the goal is to get them up to ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but starting off, depending where they’re at, if they’re not eating any fruits and vegetables, let’s try to get two servings in a day. Then we gradually change their habits, so it’s not something that we hand them a menu or anything like that.

Kate: Cool. I think that works best for most people because some people who don’t like certain things substitute with whatever they think is right and most of the time it’s the wrong thing.

Rachel: Right.

Kate: You guys are always learning plenty of things over there at Results Fitness. What are the three books that you’re reading at the moment?

Rachel: What three books am I reading at the moment?

Kate: Yes. Reading one is just not enough.

Rachel: How do you know I’m reading three books?

Kate: This is Craig. He knows you’re reading 20, but he just wants to know what three you’re reading.

Rachel: I know, right? She’s reading three books at once. Yes, I do read a lot. I actually try to read a book a week and I usually do pretty good at that.

Currently, I’m reading Developing the Leader Within You from John Maxwell, which is a great book.

Then before that, the last book I read was Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. That was a really fantastic book for women, especially building your career and just how women tend to lean back and not lean in and take opportunities. I really enjoyed that book so I definitely recommend that.

What did I read before that? Let’s see. I think I read, actually I reread The Nordstrom Way. I read a lot of business books, I read a lot of leadership books, professional development books. Not so much training books as much.

We have a team at the gym, our program design team, they read most of the training stuff and they’re the ones in charge of really keeping us pushing on the edge with the training and the nutrition stuff.

Right now, my goal is to be the visionary for our company and to continue to grow our company. Leadership books, business books, is what the majority of my library is made up of at this point.

Kate: That’s fantastic. You have other people reading all of the training stuff for you. This is excellent. You get the best of both worlds.

Rachel: Yes, it’s great. I don’t have to. Like, maybe, Gray Cook’s book on Movement? I started trying to read that and I went, “Okay, Mike and Craig can read this.” I love Gray Cook, he’s awesome, it’s great information, but it’s tough to read. This is a tough read.

Kate: Some people are better at reading those types of books.

Rachel: Yes. I said, “You guys read this and tell me what you’ve got. Tell me what we need to work on.” Yes. It works great and they love it. We have people who are so passionate about what they do.

I do every once in a while pick up a training book or a nutrition book that I really am interested in, that I want to read about, so that’ll be something fun that I want to read, just depending on what it is.

Al and I get quite a lot of stuff sent to us, so when stuff does come across our desk that does interest me or pique my interest that I want to read, I will.

Kate: Cool. That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Rachel. You’ve really shared some amazing information with us.

I really liked when you described using the heart rate monitors to track progress and do metabolic training at the gym, and also using the thermometer jeans. It’s just easy and old school but it works perfectly. I thought that was really great.

I’m sure everyone is taking all the great tips that they can implement with their clients straight away. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. Now, where can people find more information about you and get in contact?

Rachel: First, check out my website at and everything is on there.

Kate: Wonderful. Awesome. Thank you and thank everyone for being on the call. We’ll be back next month with another great one. Have an awesome month and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

Stay awesome and train safe!

Kate Vidulich
Certified Turbulence Trainer