If you’ve been looking for weight loss programs, you may have heard of “the FASTer way to Fat Loss” from Amanda Tress and wondered what it’s all about. I’m sharing everything I have learned so far from carb-cycling to counting macros, what I love and what I hope for in this ultimate guide!
If you’re new here, let me give you a little bit of my weight loss background and how I ended up finding the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. The short version is that I’m an exercise-resistant mom of two who loves to cook and eat and go out to eat and use food to celebrate, commiserate and congregate. Did I mention I don’t like exercise?
I also have no interest in diets that restrict me and while I have tried and had success with many programs like Atkins and Weight Watchers and even with a personal online trainer, I just haven’t been able to stick with them when life got crazy.
I’ve run half-marathons, even Disney ones like the Star Wars Half Marathon, committed to making health my priority, cut sugar to lose weight and gained it all back more times than I can count. I’m no success story. But I’m still here. Still trying.
Also, my weight fluctuates by crazy insane numbers. I don’t just go up and down by 5lbs. I go up and down 50. I am the eternal yo-yo but here I am trying again, determined to get it right eventually.
Will I stick with the FASTer way forever? I sure hope so, because I’ve never felt more like ME while on a structured eating and workout plan. If you’re looking for a first hand account of what this program is really about, buckle up buttercup, because I’m spilling it all.
This ultimate guide is pretty comprehensive because I wanted to touch on as many questions as possible. Feel free to skip to what’s relevant!
Post updated from 11/2018. I paid full price to use this program and was not paid to share my thoughts. That said, I do have affiliate links in this post which means I may earn money if you sign up or make a purchase using my links. All opinions are my own, as always.
Everything I’ve Learned on the FASTer Way to Fat Loss
All my life, I have longed to be one of those people who lives healthy, indulges sometimes but knows her limits, and exercises enough without spending hours in the gym. Truth be told, my appearance is not my top priority and while I do like looking nice, feeling nice is better.
It’s just that I’ve yet to really BE that person for an extended period of time. It seems to be all or nothing for me.
I’m either losing weight or I’m gaining and I’m SO over it. I dream of maintaining a healthy weight. It seems so out of reach sometimes.
I know my body with too much fat and it feels bad. I know my body lean and that feels good. So with that super scientific discovery, I’m trying real hard to steer the ship toward feeling good. This program is teaching me (finally at age 40!) how to have my cake and eat it too.
I am learning what balance truly looks like without deprivation. Here are some of my favorite Faster Way to Fat Loss meal ideas so far.
I don’t say that in an Oprah way where I “get” to have a prepackaged almost-brownie once in a while. I’m eating the same real food everyone else is eating and still losing inches.
Looking back through some of those posts I linked made me realize that I haven’t just been failing over and over. Each time I had a win, I had some things I liked and some things I didn’t. And what’s left really seems to be what I’m learning in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss.
What is the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?
I only learned about the FASTer Way to Fat Loss a few months ago, when my lifelong friend (and now coach) Haven started talking about it on Facebook. Haven has been a fitness coach for years in Florida where we grew up and I have always said I wished she had an online program for those of us who no longer live there.
Once she started talking about how she got certified through the FASTer Way program to coach online, I knew I had to put my money where my mouth is. Lord knows everything else was going in there!
The program sounded complicated to me but at the same time it made sense. Use a combination of intermittent fasting, carb-cycling and almost daily-workouts to burn fat and ultimately slim down.
I asked Haven all about each of these things and explained my disdain of diets and daily workouts ad nauseam. She was very patient with me. Ahem.
The FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6-week program initially. If you want to re-up for another six weeks the price is reduced and after that, you can go it alone or join the VIP group for a monthly fee. Those are the basics, but I know you want the details.
How does the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Work?
There is a bit of science and a bit of math, but what I love about this 6-week program is that there is actually a 7th week, which is entirely devoted to prep. This is SUPER important because I really needed that week to learn what I would be doing each day, take my measurements, grocery shop and mentally prepare for my new reality of intermittent fasting, carb-cycling and training.
Let’s talk about those things for a minute.
The word fasting is scary. Fasting = not eating right? Yes, but with intermittent fasting all you are really doing is eating your calories within a shorter window of time in order to give your body time to rest and digest. So we fast for 16 hours and eat during the other 8.
My eating window is between 11am and 7pm. How many times you eat and when you eat is entirely up to you as long as you are following the other two key components, carb-cycling and counting macros.
What is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling was a new term for me. I’m very familiar with cutting carbs a la Keto or Atkins, but what is carb cycling? Well, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Sometimes you eat carbs and sometimes you don’t.
On low-carb days, you’ll eat a small number of net carbs (after subtracting grams of fiber) and pair that with cardio workouts. Then on regular and low macro days, you are in carb heaven!
One thing I have learned over the past few weeks is how little I crave carbs anymore. Because I’m not in fear of losing them! My low carb days are actually very satisfying and then I am ready to dig in on my regular days. And on my regular day I LOVE my carbs!
I’m especially digging these healthy oatmeal recipes because even though I don’t eat till 11am, I still like breakfast food. The point is you get to choose what you like when breaking your fast. There’s a lot of versatility.
I am pretty much gluten and dairy free for now, but that’s not a requirement. Just something I’ve been wanting to do to see if I’m affected.
Potatoes are in. Rice is in. Spring vegetables are delicious. Life is good.
Counting Macros for Weight Loss
Macros. Stay with me here. This word almost did me in at first. I didn’t want to know about macros. The word macro made me roll my eyes.
But the word macro is just a fancy way of saying percentage. You’ll eat a certain percentage of Carbs, Fat and Protein each day based on your personal information and that is what you need to track.
But here’s the thing. There is a secret weapon and you probably already use it. It’s probably just a swipe away on the phone you’re holding in your hand right now.
Did you know that if you upgrade MyFitnessPal to the paid version, you can calculate different goals for each day and set them to repeat forever? True. Story.
I could not do this program without the premium version of MFP and I think it’s fair to say that up front. I think it’s about $9.99/month but you can that monthly cost down if you pay for a year at a time.
Because you change your goals several times over the course of the week, you have to set yourself up for success. You will be asked to track your food using MFP so your online coach can stay involved with your progress, so trust me and get the upgrade.
The above screenshot is of part of a regular macro day. You can see that I am counting by macros instead of calories, but the calories are still up there. This helps immensely because it’s all about the big picture.
Boom. Macro problem solved.
FASTer Way to Fat Loss Meal Plan
My biggest obstacle to weight loss really boils down to nutrition. When I stop honestly tracking what I eat the wheels fall off in a hurry. And it’s not all from snacking.
I get lazy with the way I cook, the way I shop. And everything just FEELS so much harder.
But the truth is, I can make a healthy meal or an unhealthy meal, but it’s still me in the kitchen making dinner. It still takes about 20-30 minutes and there are still dishes to wash. I truly enjoy healthy food so lazy cooking is simply a habit I am still trying to break.
One thing that really helps is meal planning and prepping a little in advance. Check out some of the best food storage containers for meal planning to make this process a little easier.
On my low carb days, I eat stuff like eggs with avocado for breakfast, pre-cooked grilled chicken and salad for lunch, and sausage kale soup for dinner. Maybe even a slice of gluten-free bread. I also can’t wait to try these coconut chocolate chip fat bombs.
On regular or low macro days, I start with oatmeal, maybe I’ll have some tacos on corn tortillas for lunch and spaghetti with veggie noodles for dinner. I drink alcohol if I have room for it. I even have a stash of candy corn! My point is, I’m only slightly changing the foods we eat.
These alternatives to potato salad are great to make in summer and munch on all week.
It’s not the food. It was the way I was eating it.
The biggest hurdle for me and others on the FASTer Way when it comes to the food is the planning. I’m getting better at making good choices on the fly these days, but in the first few weeks it was a real challenge.
My tip for food success is to meal plan and shop on the weekend with a general idea of what you will eat on your different types of days. Then before you go to bed, enter what you plan to eat into the My Fitness Pal app for the following day. If you’re going out to eat, look at the menu ahead of time.
Gretchen Ruben says in her book, Better Than Before, that if you want to change your habits you should, “Decide then don’t decide”. In other words, make the tough choices when it doesn’t matter to you emotionally, then when the time comes, you just do what you already decided to do.
FASTer Way to Fat Loss Workouts
OK it’s confession time. I’ve mentioned in my Instagram stories a few times that I haven’t been so good with the working out part, but hear me out. When I started the program, I worked out the entire first week, a little less the second week and then things really slowed down for me. But, I was really getting a hang of the nutrition aspect and I knew I wanted to sign up for another round.
I made a conscious decision to focus on the nutrition and it paid off in a big way. I’ll share my results so far in a minute but I wanted to tell you that now because I know exercise isn’t for everyone.
If you are like me and the idea of exercising 5 days a week really makes you want to cry, don’t give up. There are so many benefits to following just the eating, I think it’s still worth it at least for one round.
That said, I actually don’t hate the workouts! Well, not all of them. I still loathe cardio but the amazing news is, you only do cardio on two of the days and while the moves change, it’s typically some form of HIIT (high intensity interval training) and rarely lasts more than 30-45 minutes.
On the other days, you’ll be doing some form of weightlifting whether it’s using weights or your own body for resistance. These days I love! I never would have guessed it but a few years ago I tried another fitness program and while I found I wasn’t compatible with the nutrition side of things, I fell in love with weight-training. And even though I got lazy for a while, I still like it and I’ve really enjoyed being back in the gym.
TL;DR The exercise is less than an hour for 5 days a week, different each day and either HIIT or lifting.
My FASTer Way to Fat Loss Review
My short journey with this program has gone from completely skeptical to desperate and hopeful that something would finally stick, to surprised that it was working and I could eat the way I wanted to.
I’ve been open about my shortcomings and my successes and all I can say is, the FASTer Way, despite the catchy name, is a long game. And it should be. Doing a fat loss program with real results takes work and it takes time.
Yes we all want to lose weight fast, but don’t we also want to keep it off for a long time? I know I do.
I am not in a hurry with this program because I’m not devising ways to get out of it or counting down til I’m finally my goal weight so I can stop. I finished the first 6 weeks 12lbs lighter and more than 20inches smaller (overall). I can’t complain about that!
Now, I’m not promising that kind of success to anyone because we are all different. I have a lot of fat to lose and you might not have as much. I am also really prone to major bloating so eating differently is allowing my body to release some of that.
All I can say is I had gotten so beaten down from regaining so much of the weight I have lost time and time again that I was depressed about it. I had all but given up on even trying.
I turned 40 this year and the whole process just seemed exhausting. But I decided to try one last time. And so far, I feel great.
Take FASTer Way to Fat Loss Before and After Photos
I can’t stress this enough. You don’t have to share your before and after photos with anyone, but take them. Take a full body front, side and back view of yourself wearing as little as possible (I chose biker shorts and a sports bra). Take them at the beginning, half-way through and at the end of the 6 weeks.
After the first round I knew I was smaller. I knew because I had been measuring myself but I couldn’t see it. I didn’t even see it much in my pictures! It was frustrating.
But then I looked at the photos of my back and it was completely different! All the weight I was losing was coming off my back and I couldn’t even see it!
Take the photos.
I’m not ready to share my own photos yet. Maybe one day. But here are my results after my first round of 6 weeks. I’m not mad about it.
Is the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Worth the Money?
Guys, this program is a bit pricey. The first 6-week round will cost you $199. That fee includes access to a private Facebook group with everyone else in your round that’s run by your coach, instruction on how to set up your macros and calories for each day and how to use My Fitness Pal and access to the the online portal with daily workouts for each week.
When you add the cost of upgrading My Fitness Pal (which really is a must if you ask me) and changing your grocery shopping habits, you may be spending more for a bit.
Or maybe you’ve been eating in restaurants and you cut down on your spending. The overall cost varies by person, but to me it felt steep. If it comes down to paying your bills or doing this program? Pay the bills.
But if you can spare the money, I do think it’s worthwhile if you commit to the six weeks and really dig in to see if it will work for you.
I was at my wits end. I felt terrible and I didn’t want to try anything. So tired of the yo-yo weight loss and gain cycle. But the more I learned about the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, the more hope I had.
The cost kept me honest because I couldn’t let myself spend $200 and flake out. I just couldn’t. So for me, not only was it worth it, the cost motivated me to try harder.
After that first six weeks, you’ll have the option to do another round for a lower rate of $140 and beyond that you can join a private group for a monthly fee (I believe it’s $99).
At the moment, I am planning to finish the second round and continue on my own with what I have learned. I may decide to join the group at another time, but it’s not in the budget for now.
After 8 weeks, I can say I am smitten with this program. I can’t make you any promises. I might fail this too. But I might not.
Grab the Faster Way to Fat Loss Book
If you’re like me and like to learn everything you possibly can before starting a new eating plan, you may want to get your hands on the new Faster Way to Fat Loss book from Amanda Tress that was published in 2019.
This is a brand new book that explains the program and why it works so well! You can get it on paperback or Kindle through Amazon.
How to Join FASTer Way to Fat Loss
If you’re interested in trying the FASTer Way and you need a coach, be sure to sign up for the next round!
I’d love to know if you have any questions or need clarification on anything. This was a novel but I know I was googling everything I could get my hands on before I joined so I wanted to be as thorough as possible. I hope this was helpful and if you do join, I wish you all the best!
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