I’m excited to share my FASTer Way to Fat Loss Review with all of you today!
Back at the beginning of January, I was really feeling the aftermath of the holidays. I was sluggish, I felt super blah and moody, and was constantly craving sugary sweets, because…Christmas cookies.
I’m no stranger to tracking macros, and I had considered just simply going back to tracking a bit more consistently, as a way to help retrain my brain to make smarter food/nutrition choices and cut back on mindless snacking. It takes a little more effort than just simply eating without tracking, of course, but I honestly always feel better when I’m tracking.
The only problem I was running into was the fact that I had nothing/nobody to help hold me accountable. Most of the time, this isn’t an issue, but I had really gone down a rabbit hole of sugar and booze from the holidays and was having a HARD time rebooting.
I wound up messaging on Instagram a bit with SarahFit, who is a FWTFL certified coach, and also someone I’ve known and met a few times through blogging over the last almost 10 (!!!) years. She eventually convinced me and invited me to join her upcoming round. It was perfect timing!
I’m going to assume that a good amount of you reading this post have likely heard of The FASTer Way to Fat Loss program (FWTFL). Whether you have or you haven’t, it’s a 6-week program that combines intermittent fasting, carb cycling, macro counting, and strategically paired workouts so you’re “working smarter, not harder.”
I’m going to try to break down the program and my experience into the key components/questions I’ve been asked about most, but of course, you can always feel free to get in touch if you have more questions!
Okay, what IS the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?
Basically, it’s a fitness and nutrition program that focuses on the macro nutrients of your diet – specifically fat, carbs and protein. Each individual is guided on how to calculate a specific target of carbs, fats and protein to eat each day, based on your current height/weight and overall goals.
For me (and many others who follow the program), these were obtained (and tracked) using the MyFitnessPal app.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating schedule where you limit yourself to a shorter window of eating through out the day. With the FWTFL program, they follow a 16:8 protocol, meaning you only have an 8-hour period for eating, and a 16-hour period where you don’t eat. (i.e., you might start eating at 11am and stop eating for the day, thus beginning your “fast” at 7pm, etc.).
I will say, this was probably the hardest aspect of the program for me, and one that I admittedly did not follow to a T. Most days, I’ll have my coffee* in the morning while getting the boys ready for school, but won’t end up eating breakfast until anywhere between 9-11am, depending on how hungry I am. I also really like to eat a snack after dinner, once the boys are in bed, which typically doesn’t happen until around 8:30-9pm…
So for me, I’d say the majority of my fasting windows were closer to being 12:12 or 14:10 (i.e., 14 hours in a fasted state with a 10 hour eating window).
*With the program, you’re allowed to have 50 calories or under to still be compliant with fasting. Since I still like my coffee with a Truvia + some creamer, I did try to keep the creamer light, but I’m sure that there were days I technically went over the recommended 50 calories. Ah well. I love my coffee and I’m not about to give that up!
What is Carb Cycling?
Carbohydrate cycling is an intentional variation of carb intake each week. In the FWTFL, we cycled two “low carb” days (Mondays and Tuesdays) and 5 “regular carb” days (Wednesday-Sunday), and these were also strategically paired with specific workouts (see below) to “maximize fat burn and energy levels.”
On low carb days, it is recommended that your carb intake is 50 net carbs or fewer (net carbs = carbs-fiber) but you REALLY increase your fat intake (hello, eggs, avocado, nuts, nut butter!) to ensure that you’re still reaching your daily calorie goals.
I had already had some experience with carb cycling when I first worked with Emily back in 2018, and I love the idea of it. But I hadn’t ever attempted such a drastically low carb day (i.e., 50 net carbs). Honestly, I had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with low carb days, because while I loved being able to load up on the healthy fats, low carb days actually tended to leave me feeling a bit more hungry and lower on energy. I do <3 my carbs.
You can read more details about carb cycling and how it’s implemented in the FASTer Way HERE.
What do you eat? Are there restrictions?
While doing the FWTFL, it is recommended that you avoid gluten, dairy, and alcohol, with a focus on whole food nutrition. You’re provided with a really great, extensive meal plan which you’re welcome to follow during your 6-week cycle, which gives meal and snack options/recipes. There is also a vegan meal plan for those who follow a vegan lifestyle.
Because I went into the program with the mindset of needing a reset, as opposed to needing to “lose weight” or overhaul my eating habits, I did not cut out gluten, dairy, or alcohol. I’ve never done well with cutting out certain foods/food groups, and I’m of the mindset that if I’m not going to do it as a lifestyle change, it’s not worth it. So during my time on the program, I did try to cut back on those things, but I also enjoyed them when I wanted to, while still working them into my macros.
An evening snack: Two Good Vanilla Greek Yogurt + strawberries + graham crackers + mini chocolate chips + nut butter = a balanced mix of carbs, protein, and fat!
For me, there were a few recipes that I found and really enjoyed in the meal plans, but for the most part, I just cooked/prepared meals and recipes as I typically would. I found a few low carb favorites (like this Egg Roll in a Bowl, Garlic Butter Flank Steak, and Air Fryer Salmon).
I’ll share a few other favorite meals/snacks in an upcoming post!
What are the workouts like?
Each week, you’re provided with a new set of workouts via the portal/app. Monday and Tuesday are HIIT workouts, which are strategically combined with low carb days. Wednesday (full body), Thursday (upper body), and Saturday (legs!), are strength training days, while Friday and Sunday are considered rest/yoga days. Most of the workouts averaged about 30-40 minutes, which was absolutely perfect for me. And there are various versions of each day’s workouts (i.e., At Home, Gym, Low Impact).
While the focus of the program really is on on whole food nutrition, I honestly LOVED the workouts, so SO much. I always followed the At Home options, and not only was the length of time perfect, but they were seriously effective, and I loved the trainers (especially Hayden!). I also found that I was able to increase the amount of weight I had been using for a few different exercises, which was super exciting!
Do I really need a coach?
I think the level of dependency on a coach really varies from person to person. For me, I didn’t rely much on Sarah to help walk me through how to track macros, because I was already familiar with that. For someone who has no experience with tracking, then that coaching piece is super crucial!
I DID, however, really thrive on just the idea of being held accountable. Each day, Sarah assigned us with certain tasks, with a daily task of sharing a screenshot of our macros in MFP. As someone who very much considers herself a “rule follower” when it comes to this kind of stuff, knowing that I had to share my progress each day really helped keep me on track…especially on the days where I was really off.
An example of my macros on a low carb day.
Sarah was an amazing coach, and really did a wonderful job of providing the guidance and information needed for you to truly be successful in the program. I also love the fact that she’s a certified personal trainer through the ACSM and holistic health coach, in addition to being a certified FWTFL coach. I would 100% recommend working with her!
How did/do you feel on the program? Did you lose weight?
I felt really great on the program, with one caveat, which I’ll get to in a second. First, like I mentioned before, I always feel better when I’m tracking my macros. This is mainly because it keeps me in check and ensures that I’m eating enough of the right foods for me (aka, not all the sugar), and also getting an adequate amount of protein everyday.
I really don’t know if I lost weight on the program, but that wasn’t necessarily the goal so I didn’t track that (and it’s actually not recommended to use a scale while on the FWTFL program!). I did, however, notice my pants fitting a bit more comfortably, my sugar cravings drastically reduced, and a decrease in some of my measurements that were taken from the beginning of the program.
Towards the end of the program, I did notice my hunger was a bit more substantial, and I started to question whether or not my macros needed an adjustment. It’s not ideal to be in a calorie deficit for too long, and I started thinking maybe between the cleaned up eating and really pushing it hard in my workouts, that I was really in need of an increase to my macros.
This is, of course, at no fault of the program, and really just something that I experienced personally and was able to identify. I actually reached out again to Emily, my former nutrition/macro coach, to see if she could help me out with figuring out exactly where my macros should be at this point, since my goal is to make sure I’m eating enough to keep up with my workouts, and not hindering any progress! So stay tuned for more details on that.
How much does it cost?
The cost for the 6-week program is $199. This includes your access to the portal/app and coaching. If you want to join in for another six week round, the price is reduced. And after that, you can go it alone or join their VIP group for a monthly fee.
Okay, I’m super interested. How do I get started??
Awesome!! I know that Sarah’s next round is starting Monday, March 2nd, and you can easily sign up using my affiliate link HERE! The first week is considered “prep week,” which allows you to really get a better feel for the program and what you’ll need to prepare and be successful throughout the program. Sarah will ask you to fill out some information about yourself, so she has a better idea of your past experiences, goals, etc.
Any other questions I didn’t address? Anything else you’d like to see put together in a post? Comment below and let me know! <3