The holidays can be hard when it comes to weight management. Many of us work hard all year to keep our weight and fitness in check only to struggle now during the holidays. We had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Doehla, founder of Stronger U Nutrition, about these very issues.
What is Stronger U?
Stronger U is a program that provides the solutions to many people’s diet and nutrition struggles. Each member is assigned a personal coach who is not only a nutrition expert but also an awesome human who will develop a plan just for you.
We use a method we call Structured Flexibility that allows us to be true problem solvers while giving you the flexibility to eat the foods you enjoy while staying on track. No matter your eating preference, goals, or location, this can work.
Plus, you’ll have access to your coach when you need support, weekly check-ins to review data and progress, a community of thousands, recipes, educational series and more. Our goal is to help you improve inside and out for good, and we do that with coaching, community, and education.
We are thankful so many give us the opportunity to help. In less than 5 years, we’ve helped more than 30,000 people in more than 50 countries.
How is Stronger U different from similar programs?
It’s always hard to answer this since it seems a little braggadocious, but I’ll try my best. I don’t think there’s a team in the world that has worked with this many people at this level. Our team is led by a Ph.D. and we have registered dietitians and coaches who are truly experts in not only nutrition but in being awesome humans.
We have truly seen it all and anyone anywhere can use our services. In addition to that, we continuously have world-class customer service ratings, and I’m so proud of that. We’ve recently hired a Chief Experience Officer to do an even better job for our members, too. My goal is to be their favorite brand and be transparent about what we do and why.
Lastly, we’re more than a weight loss company. We change people. We give them the education to eat better and ultimately live, look, and feel their best. What we sell isn’t nutrition. It’s happiness, and food is simply our weapon of choice.
What are the most common dietary pitfalls over the holiday season?
Everything! Just kidding! The holidays are difficult for our diets, but if you know what’s coming, and plan your enjoyment ahead of time, you can come out unscathed.
The mistake most people make is not only waiting to improve their eating until Jan 1st, but also going a bit overboard leading up to it.
I’m a fan of enjoying with friends and family but also paying attention and going through this time of year with eyes wide-open.
Don’t feel bad about indulging a bit but beware of the cookies, cakes, snacks, and parties that come with the season. The biggest thing to look out for is the opportunity to indulge. The proximity of many of these treats is what affects most of us. It’s not that they’re necessarily bad food in moderation, it’s that many of these holiday treats are easy to over-consume.
It’s also important to remember if you do indulge, you should get right back on course the next meal. Don’t let overeating at one event or party turn into a 2-month feast. I promise you’ll be happy you didn’t wait.
What percentage of people gain weight over the holidays? Is there an average gain?
This is where things get a little too real. It’s no secret that as many people age, they gain weight. But it’s hardly the age itself or slow metabolism that is adding weight. It’s the time around the holidays and our decisions around food over the course of many years. The harsh reality is the holiday weight we gain almost never leaves. Many people think they’ll lose weight at the new year, and many do temporarily, but it often comes right back and even higher amounts. That’s why we need a slight tweak to our behaviors, not necessarily another diet.
The Stronger U program is extremely effective at weight loss, but we take the most pride in weight loss maintenance.
How can people set themselves up for success?
I’m known for saying this about 10 times a day, but we succeed through planning. As long as you are anticipating what might happen and have the right mindset, you’ll be OK. A real-world example might be anticipating a post-work holiday party. If you know the food won’t be the most nutritious, you can save some calories. It’s similar to spending money for a later purchase. Don’t eat too much too early or you’ll go over your calorie goals for the day. This also allows you to enjoy a bit and not be the only one sitting in the corner with a plate of pickles!
You also might want to give yourself permission to mess up. What I mean is that, and especially during this time of year, you will mess up and worrying about perfection can backfire and lead to an all or nothing attitude. A little slip doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you human.
Can you share some nutrition quick tips with us?
Plan the day ahead of time.
Anticipate the challenges.
Focus on the protein (this will keep you full).
If you don’t plate it, don’t eat it.
Work in SOME treats, just not ALL of the treats.
Sleep well – decision making, hunger, and recovery all start here.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you slip, reflect and move on.
Anticipate a scale increase but understand it’s mostly water weight.
How can Stronger U keep people accountable and successful during this time?
I like to say when you’re a member of SU, you have a coach in your pocket. The coaches and community are there whenever you need them. That might be before a night out, a big meal, or celebration. It might also mean you need someone to talk to about how you’re feeling around food.
As we know, this time of year is when most adults gain weight. Having a team help you through it is a no brainer. Sure, I’m biased as the CEO, but it’s the same reason most of us work with one another as well. We’re simply better together.
Are you interested in trying Stronger U?
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