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At Moxie Fitness & Nutrition, we focus on what we like to call “High-Impact Fundamentals” (a.k.a. our "Greatest Hits") These are everyday skills that, if learned and practiced consistently, will make a significant difference to nearly all clients’ results.

Whenever you set out to improve your skills, change your behavior, or better your life, beginning in small, manageable steps gives you a greater chance of long-term success. Remember, you do not have to make big changes all at once.


A tiny change adhered to consistently will be just as effective, if not more so, than a large one only practiced half-heartedly.

Doing too much too fast not only overwhelms you, but it can also doom the effort to failure – thereby reinforcing the belief that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to succeed. When you start with small, achievable steps you can easily master, it reinforces your belief that you can easily improve.

Until you realize that inactivity and inconsistency are your biggest hurdles to change you cannot move on. Behavior is an action. In other words, it's something we do.


This may seem self-evident, but it's important to clarify. In reality, many people mix up what they know, feel, think, or want, and what they do - especially what they do consistently.


For instance, someone who knows a lot about nutrition may say they "eat healthy". They believe this is true because of what they know. Yet if we actually tracked what they eat over the course of a month, we might find plenty of "unhealthy" food options.


One of the main lessons is this: Exercising and eating better isn't about what you know. And it's not about what you do occasionally. So, we focus primarily on helping people take meaningful action, repeatedly, in their daily lives. In other words, adjusting their behavior. Real results come when you find strategies for making great eating decisions and taking action consistently.​ 



While our fitness programs will provide guidance on enhancing overall health while focusing on movement quality, joint and core stabilization, muscular strength, injury avoidance, aesthetics, and body composition, the most significant changes in body composition (losing fat and gaining muscle) will happen with proper nutrition. Both diet and exercise are critical for weight loss. However, they have very different effects on the body. Diet is the primary tool for creating a deficit to lose body fat, (or a surplus to increase lean body mass) while resistance training (with weights) is the primary tool for maintaining lean body mass (muscle) during a deficit. 


Diet / nutrition accounts for at least 70% of the health-and-weight loss equation. Movement and regular exercise are important for many reasons, but they don't mean much if the foundation of your nutrition is full of holes. In other words, you cannot "out-exercise" a poor diet.

At Moxie, we believe that all good nutrition programs should do four things simultaneously:

  1. Improve your body composition

  2. Improve your health

  3. Improve your performance (inside and outside the gym)

  4. Be sustainable year-round


(For more information on our Nutrition Philosophy, check out my blog post: What Is Good Nutrition?)


Establish daily habits and practices that focus on the QUANTITY of what you are eating and drinking (i.e., consistely eating enough / hitting your recommended daily "macro" targets (without going over) for protein, carbs, veggies, fruit, and healthy fats, and calories... and hydrating properly, etc.).


Everything counts - even "bites, licks, and tastes". Even on weekends! People often underestimate portions. (For example, without precisely measuring "one tablespoon of peanut butter," it might actually be two, which adds 90 calories each time you do it). Even if you are existing on grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli, brown rice, and avocado, if you are taking in more calories than you are excreting, you will gain weight. Too much of a good thing is still too much.

Energy balance is a fundamental law of thermodynamics.

  • If we take in more energy (calories) than we use or excrete, we gain weight

  • If we take in less energy (calories) than we use or excrete, we lose weight

  • If we take in the same amount of energy (calories) than we use or excrete, our weight stays the same


This is true regardless of the macronutrient (protein, carbs, fats) composition of our diets, our specific food choices, what time of day we eat, or any other details of our nutritional plan.

You absolutely must consistently create a calorie deficit if you want to burn body fat. (That means everyday. Not two days on, one day of. Not just Monday through Friday. Every. Single. Day.). While you shouldn’t eat more calories than your body needs, you also need to make sure you are eating enough. Eating too few calories could slow down your metabolism and cause you to lose precious muscle tissue.

Your total daily calories should also fit into a specific ratio / amount (grams) of protein, carbs, and fats (these are your macronutrients, a.k.a. "macros"). Whether you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle, calories, macros and portion sizes matter.

How much you should eat depends on many factors. To come up with your personalized needs, the following factors are taken into consideration:

  • Your personal details (height, age, weight, sex)

  • Physical activity levels (both daily life movement and purposeful exercise)

  • The date you want to reach your goal by (within reason!)

  • The changing and adaptive nature of human metabolism (a major benefit)


Many people need more calories than they might think they “should” be eating. You'd be surprised how many calories you actually need to function, especially with added weight training. Please don't guess. The easiest way to do this consistently is to follow your Moxie Custom Nutrition Template.


There's no getting around it: If you aren't losing weight, you either need to decrease "energy in" or increase "energy out." But that may involve far more than just pushing away your plate or spending more time at the gym.

For instance, it may require you to:

  • Get more high-quality sleep to better regulate hunger hormones, improve recovery, and increase metabolic output

  • Try stress resilience techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and spending time in nature

  • Increase your daily non-exercise movement by parking the car a few blocks away from your destination, taking the stairs, and/or standing while you work

  • Trade some high-intensity exercise for lower-intensity activities, in order to aid recovery and reduce systemic stress

  • Improve the quality of what you're eating, as opposed to reducing the quantity. This can allow you to eat more food with fewer total calories

  • Tinker with the macronutrient makeup of what you eat. For example: eating more protein and fiber, or increasing fats and lowering carbs, or vice versa

  • Experiment with the frequency and timing of your meals and snacks, based on personal preferences and appetite cues

  • Consider temporarily tracking your food intake—via hand portions or weighing / measuring and entering into an app like MyFitnessPaal—to ensure you're eating what you think you're eating (as closely as reasonably possible). Everything counts towards your daily calorie intake: that 6-ounce glass of wine, the breadcrumbs / sauce you added to your chicken, the 1-2 bites of dessert, the 2-3 french fries you picked off your kid's plate, etc. Collecting data tracks your consistency. You can't manage (or improve) what you don't measure.

  • Evaluate and correct nutritional deficiencies, for more energy during workouts (and in everyday life)

  • Consult with your physician or specialists if consistent lifestyle changes aren't moving the needle


Sometimes the solutions are obvious; sometimes they aren't. But with CICO, the answers are there, if you keep your mind open and examine every factor.

Imagine yourself a "calorie conductor" who oversees and fine-tunes many actions to create metabolic harmony. You're looking for anything that could be out of sync.

This takes lots of practice.


Establish daily habits and practices that focus on the QUALITY of what you are eating.

What you eat and drink is one of the baseline determinants of your health which is why Habit #1 is aimed at improving your “fuel”. Just like an engine needs the correct fuel to function properly, your body also needs the correct fuel in the source of nutritious food and water to function optimally.
The type of fuel you use will affect how you look, your physical and mental energy levels, and your motivation and mood. When you decide to make smart fuel choices and build positive habits around what you eat and drink, you are giving your body the best chance at operating optimally. You are also setting yourself up to live a life with more energy and vitality.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with all the “new” health information, fad diets, and sensational headlines about food that we’re bombarded with daily. In addition, we’re also each driven by our own personal, cultural, and ethical factors which influence the kinds of foods we eat. Nevertheless, when you decide to improve your health by choosing better fuel, there is an immutable rule to bear in mind: decrease the amount of processed and refined foods in your diet and increase the amount of real whole foods which are as close to their natural state as possible.
  • Base your diet on real, fresh, natural, nutrient-dense foods like meats, eggs and poultry, fish (rich in protein and good quality essential fats) a variety of vegetables (rich in antioxidants and cancer-fighting substances), healthy fats (like olive oil, avocados, and coconut), and a small amount of fruit and nuts.
  • Avoid empty calories: high-calorie foods and drinks (hello alcohol) that offer little nutritional value. Eat foods that are natural - not processed.  Avoid added sugars and unhealthy fats.
  • Steer clear of anything that comes in a box or fancy packaging and is labeled “fat free,” “low fat,” “low carb”, “heart healthy,” "gluten free", etc. 
  • Pay attention to where your food comes from. Whenever possible, buy meat that is grass-fed, local, organic and pastured, poultry and eggs that are organic and pastured, and produce that is locally and organically grown and in season.


The "hard" part about eating healthy is not so much the eating itself, it's the preparation that goes into it. With  your Moxie Members Online subscription, you'll gain exclusive access to content on:

  • Planning, Prioritizaion & Preparation

  • Meal Planning & Prep

  • Lifestyle Strategies (Smart Strategies for Busy Lives)

  • Grocery Shopping Lists

  • Eating Well On-the-Go

  • ...and MORE!!!

Looking for personal coaching? Check out our 1:1 Nutrition & LIfestyle Coaching



Establish daily and weekly habits and practices that focus on more external regulation factors of maintaining a consistent movement routine: i.e., systems, scheduling, and structure).




    • Beginning or novice: 2-3 sessions per week (8-12 per month) with exercises for all the major muscle groups (legs, chest, back; minimum of 1 set of 8-12 reps for each muscle group)

    • Intermediate: 3 sessions per week (12 per month) if using total body training sessions OR 4 sessions per week (16 per month) if using a split routine (i.e. training different muscle groups each session). This is especially important  if you are in menopause / peri-menopausal -

    • ​Advanced: 4-6 sessions per week (16-24 per month); these individuals may perform many sessions in a single day.

    • Moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e. brisk walking) - At least 5 days per week / 150 minutes per week​

    • Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e. jogging or running) - At least 3 days per week / 75 minutes per week

    • Any combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activities - 3-5 days per week


    • Flexibility and neuromotor (balance, agility, coordination) are also recommended at least twice per week.

I"ve said it before but I think it bears repeating: Diet / nutrition accounts for at least 70 percent of the health-and-weight loss equation. Movement and regular exercise are important for many reasons, but they don't mean much if the foundation of your nutrition is full of holes. "Cardio" has modest effects on body composition without concomitant dietary modifications. You absolutely must create a calorie deficit if you want to burn body fat. Again, you cannot "out-exercise" a poor diet.


In industrialized countries, we're doing less daily-life movement. Most of us no longer run, throw, haul, carry, climb, dance, dig, or do other complex full-body movements as part of our daily routine. As a result we've lost not only the energy expenditure and health benefits of regular activity but also the skill of quality movement itself. 


A common belief among athletes/exercisers is that their regular participation in structured exercise renders them insusceptible to the detrimental health effects of a sedentary lifestyle. One might speculate that regularly completing structured exercise might fully offset the negative effects of excessive sedentary time outside of training, but there is evidence suggesting that sedentary time may promote unfavorable outcomes, specifically within athletic populations.

As humans, we need to move. We evolved to move – as often as possible, in as many ways as possible. When we stop moving, we stop living, repairing, healing, and functioning well. Recent research in neuroscience shows that we think and feel through movement, and vice versa.


Activity changes the way our body processes nutrients. Movement prepares our body to handle incoming food properly – for instance, directing nutrients to be stored as lean mass (muscle) instead of fat.

After your workout at the gym, you probably feel like your activity is done for the day. In reality, what you do outside of the gym also has a big impact on your fat-loss success. Physical activity (versus structured exercise) refers to movement that expends energy, such as walking, yardwork, recreational sports, or playtime.


Physical activity can be categorized as continuous or intermittent and can be performed across a wide range of intensity levels, from walking a dog to vigorously shoveling snow after a storm. Physical activity is not typically structured or planned, rather it represents natural movement throughout a person's day.

Because it is very difficult to expend 1200 calories or more per week through structured exercise, experts suggest including nonstructured physical activity into one's daily routine. Recent research has demonstrated that expending calories throughout the day through unstructured physical activity is important for health and weight loss efforts. This has shifted some attention away from structured, planned exercise a few times per week as a standalone to including nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT represents all the energy expended throuoghout the day that does not include eating, sleeping, or structured exercise. This energly includes calories expended through fidgeting, standing and moving around, and performing basic tasks of daily living (i.e. chores, grooming) and most often represents a greater quantity of expended calories in a day than what is accumulated through a single exercise session.

One way to increase your daily activity is by walking at least 10,000 steps a day. This little addition will rapidly boost the total amount of calories burned throughout the day. Other ways to increase daily activity outside the gym include gardening, doing chores, and playing with your kids.



As mentioned previously, the weekly physical activity requirements for fitness for resistance training are as follows: 

  • Beginning or novice: 2-3 sessions per week (8-12 per month), possibly 3-5 sessions per week (12-20 per month) if you are in menopause with exercises for all the major muscle groups (legs, chest, back; minimum of 1 set of 8-12 reps for each muscle group)

  • Intermediate: 3 sessions per week (12 per month) if using total body training sessions OR 4 sessions per week (16 per month) if using a split routine (i.e. training different muscle groups each session)

  • Advanced: 4-6 sessions per week (16-24 per month); these individuals may perform many sessions in a single day.


During your gym time, you should focus on weight training. (If you are a 1-on-1 personal training client, this is what we will be doing together during your sessions). While cardio can help you burn calories and put you in an overall calorie deficit (assuming you're not eating more calories than you are expending), strength training and lifting weights will help you lose fat long-term because strength training helps you build muscle, and more muscle mass means your body burns more calories at rest. 

It's important to first build a solid foundation that includes appropriate levels of aerobic and muscular endurance, joint mobility and stability, and core strength. This is best accomplished by using a systematic and progressive approach to program design. If an exercise program is progressive and systematic, using a progressive overload approach, the body sufficiently adapts to the new demands placed on it and consequently becomes stronger and more resilient. Conversely, skipping steps may do more harm than good. 

This is where good programming comes into play. Progressively and systematically manipulating acute variables (i.e., repetititions, sets, training intensity, repetition tempo, rest intervals, training volume, training frequency, training duration, exercise selection, and exercise order) will help elicit optimal performance while reducing the risk of injury. I highly suggest doing research or talking to a coach! 

If you are training less than three times per week at Moxie, you'll want to supplement your training sessions with our Moxie Members Online "DIY" Home Workouts (Interval Training). Things like yoga, pilates, etc. would be considered "active recovery" (and therefore do not replace a weight / resistance training workout) and can be done on your rest days / between training sessions. 



“Recovery” is a broad concept. In general, it refers to being able to:

  1. Bounce back from stressful and traumatic events (whether large or small)

  2. Effectively and repeatedly meet physiological and psychological demands; and

  3. Repair and rebuild after damage to be more robust and resilient than before.


As a coach, of course I want my clients to rebound physically, mentally, and emotionally from whatever life throws at them… and get even stronger afterwards.

You may have been able to get away with eating a lot of sugary junk when you were in your teens and 20s, but after that, seemingly every guilty pleasure heads directly to your stomach and respective derriere. Why is that? Well, as we grow older, our metabolism slows down quite a bit. To make matters worse, the body loses its capacity to oxidize ("burn") fat for energy.

Intuitively, that means your nutrition and sleep cycles need to be dialed in for optimal recovery and muscle gain. Older adults typically require a little extra protein, so taking whey protein powder after training is wise if your goal is to build muscle mass.


Sleep is a master regulator, not only of recovery, but of metabolism in general, which includes hormones, immunity, and energy balance (including appetite and hunger cues). A lack of sleep could increase the production of stress hormones that cause your body to store fat, and can also cause increased food cravings, mental fog, and lower energy. All of these will impact your effectiveness in the gym and impair your ability to stick to your eating plan.

Many clients may be struggling with physiological factors that actively hinder their rest and recovery, such as:

  • sleep apnea or other breathing difficulties (which increase as body fat and weight increase);

  • perimenopause, menopause, and andropause (male menopause);

  • pain or discomfort from chronic illness and / or injuries;

  • medication use (including stimulants such as caffeine);

  • insomnia related to anxiety or other mental health issues; and / or

  • poor immune function and / or inflammation.

Recovery and its components, like good sleep, are outcomes. You can't control outcomes. But you can control behaviors.

Establish daily habits that focus on improving sleep quality and / or amount of sleep (i.e., improving your sleep environment, creating and using a sleep ritual, setting sleep targets and planning bedtimes, etc.) 

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