4 Reasons to Simplify Your Nutrition & Workout Habits

photo: some rights reserved by Chris Potter
photo: some rights reserved by Chris Potter

I’m a fan of minimalism.

Whether it’s being a minimalist when it comes to material possessions, having a website without ads or sidebars to put the entire focus on the articles, and definitely when it comes to building and sustaining a health and fitness regimen – I’m all about minimalism and keeping things simple.

Minimalism, in regards to fitness, allows you to keep things simple because you’ll only focus on the few, important things that truly matter and provide the majority of the results.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” as Leonardo da Vinci said.

There are several reasons you see a “sane and simple” theme in the articles on Lift Like a Girl – because keeping things simple . . . works.

Why Simplify?

Here are four reasons why you should simplify your health and fitness regimen.

1) Less stress. Your health and fitness regimen should enhance your life. It’s something that should REDUCE stress, and not increase it.

When you keep things simple you won’t be overwhelmed or stressed out as is common when trying to revolve your life around a rigid diet and complicated routine.

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Stop Binge Eating – 33 Ways to Break Free

33 Ways to Break Free from Binge EatingLast year the article 20 Tips for Breaking Free from Binge Eating was posted to Lift Like a Girl.

And the response has been huge. Since that article was posted I’ve received a LOT of emails, oftentimes several per day.

While I’m honored that sharing my story has helped a lot of people, it deeply saddens me that so many can relate to my experience with binge eating and disordered eating habits.

Why do some many people fall into binge eating habits?

I believe part of the reason is because many of us get off track. We began a health and fitness lifestyle with the intentions of improving our health, losing body fat, and just become better versions of ourselves.

But somewhere along the way, we started dieting harder, working out longer, and before we knew it, we were constantly obsessing over food and hating our bodies. Then we got trapped in a vicious cycle of binge eating, restricting, and guilt with no end in sight.

That’s why I wrote 33 Ways to Break Free from Binge Eating. It’s a book written from the heart that shares in more detail my own experience with binge eating and the things I did (and others have done) to break free once and for all.

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One (Not Weird or Secret) Tip for Fat Loss

Heck Yeah, EatingI have a confession, and I’m ready to share it with you.

Hello. My name is Nia Shanks and I, am a very fast eater.

Sometimes I eat so fast it’s comparable to a rottweiler scarfing down its dinner. Let that mental image sink in for a moment. (Aren’t you glad you’re reading this article?)

For as long as I can recall I’ve always eaten quickly, so I made it a goal a couple of years ago to . . .

Eat. Slower.

It’s something I’ve been working on for a while and still have to make a mental effort to do, but I’m getting better at it.

Why am I making it a goal to eat slower and why do I think you should do the same thing?

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How to Correctly Perform Band Assisted Pull-ups AND An Advanced Variation

Band Assisted Pull-upWant to do bodyweight pull-ups but haven’t quite got there?

Currently at a sticking point with your training and not progressing as quickly as you’d like? Let’s change that.

Band assisted pull-ups are one of my favorite exercises for progressing to unassisted bodyweight pull-ups.

Unfortunately, many trainees are not getting the greatest reward possible from this seemingly simple exercise. There are a couple important training cues you want to apply to get the most from this excellent exercise. Doing so will have to progressing quicker to a good ole bodyweight, unassisted pull-up (or chin-up, if you prefer).

In addition to seeing how to correctly perform a band assisted pull-up, you’ll also see how to make the exercise a bit more advanced so you can progress even quicker to unassisted pull-up variations.

First up . . .

How to Correctly Perform Band Assisted Pull-ups

In some training circles the band assisted pull-up isn’t a favorite method for working toward an unassisted pull-up. Now, I will say that some trainees would be better off starting with a cable pull-down variation before switching to band assisted pull-ups. For example, trainees who have a good amount of excess fat to lose would likely be much more comfortable, and be able to make greater initial progress, using a cable pull-down variation.

The next time you perform a band assisted pull-up (or chin-up, neutral grip, etc), please be sure to apply . . .

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Is Your Fitness Regimen Making You Awesome?

awesome“Become the strongest, most awesome version of yourself.”

Train to be awesome.”

“Live an awesome life.”

These are all phrases I say frequently, and it clearly demonstrates that I need to expand my vocabulary. But, nonetheless, today’s post is all about discovering your level of awesomeness.

So . . .

Are you awesome? Let’s see how you measure up. Which of these statements best describes you?

You work out twice per week. You’re awesome.

You work out seven days per week. You’re awesome.

You compete in powerlifting. You’re awesome.

You do crossfit and love it. You’re awesome.

You work out for the sole purpose of getting stronger and improving your performance. You’re awesome.

You don’t give a damn about getting stronger and work out for the sole purpose of looking great. You’re awesome.

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4 Ingredient Oatmeal French Toast-Cake

IMG_1439I have a confession.

During the week my breakfasts have one major requirement – they must be super simple to prepare. I don’t mind taking the time to cook a delicious meal, but during the week I demand something fast and easy.

Well, actually, I have two major requirements and the second is that is must taste good.

This four ingredient oatmeal French toast-cake fits the bill perfectly AND it’s incredibly versatile. First I’ll show you the base French-toast cake and then a whole bunch of different variations you can try. And I must give a shout out to Scott Tousignant of Metabolic Masterpiece because it was his picture of an oatmeal cake that made me remember this quick and tasty breakfast.

Oh, and if you’re not already convinced to give this recipe a try, here’s another great reason: you probably already have all of these ingredients on hand.

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This May be More Important Than How You Eat or Work Out

all rights reserved by David Millican

Brace yourself.

The topic of this article, mindfulness, is an excruciatingly boring topic of conversation to some people but DON’T CLICK AWAY JUST YET!

Years ago it was something I had no interest in learning about, let alone discussing. The moment someone said, “Mindfulness is important and beneficial” my eyes would glaze over in immediate boredom. I would start playing reruns of Family Guy (giggity, giggity) in my head or think about my favorite song. Anything to drown out the self-help non-sense that was being blabbered about.

After all, if you want to build a strong, healthy, and good looking body, all you need to do is eat well and work out consistently. The mindset stuff, I thought, was for people that just couldn’t do the work that needed to be done.

Thankfully, I eventually realized I was very wrong. Neglecting to embrace and ultimately discuss the power of mindfulness was a huge mistake on my part. It wasn’t until I finally gave in and made mindfulness a priority by intently focusing on individual components of my health and fitness regimen (which we’ll discuss in a moment) that I had a huge “aha!” moment.

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High Rep Squat Workouts and Variations

Double kettlebell squatWant to get stronger?

Want to boost fat loss?

Want to build some muscle?

Want to improve your conditioning?

Want a crazy physical and mental challenge?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you may want to include some high rep squats in your strength training program.

It doesn’t really matter what goal you have – high rep squats can help you get there.

Truth be told, I have a love-hate relationship with high rep squats. They’re incredibly tough and demand your utmost focus and concentration, and they can leave you huffing and puffing like a locomotive. Despite their difficulty, they’re one of my favorite strength training tools and can be done in a variety of ways with various equipment (as you’ll see below).

High rep squats are also a terrific way to work your legs (hard!) without putting too much stress on your back. So for those who may be a bit intimidated to lift very heavy weights while squatting but still want a challenge, then high rep squats are a terrific solution.

Below you’ll see some of my favorite high rep squat workouts and progressions and squat variations you can use for your high-rep-squatting-adventures.

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10 Week Minimalist Strength Training Program


On Lift Like a Girl you commonly see phrases such as:

  • Sane and simple
  • Achieve more with less
  • Maximum results in minimum time

So it should come as no surprise that I love minimalism, especially in regards to health and fitness.

That’s why I’m very happy to announce the release of the newest Lift Like a Girl strength training program, 3x3x3.

If you too prefer the minimalist approach when it comes to strength training, then you may want to check this out.

As the title 3x3x3 implies, three is the “magic” number for this program. This 10 week program calls for:

  • 3 total body strength training workouts per week
  • 3 exercises per workout
  • 3 different rep ranges per exercise

That gives you 3x3x3.

The other great thing about this program is that it can be tailored to suit your personal preferences. For example, if you want to boost fat loss there is additional (optional!) fat burning work that can be performed after each strength training workout.

There’s also an optional fourth bodyweight-only workout that you can perform. This fourth optional workout is great if you prefer to work out four times per week, want to boost fat loss, or build muscle.

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One Powerful Tip for Better Workouts and More Results

Handstand push-upStrength training can be a bit overwhelming at times.

After all, you want to do everything correctly so you get the best results possible in the least amount of time.

So you look for:

As you can see, there are many details to nit-pick over, if you choose.

But oftentimes it’s the small, simple things that can make the biggest difference and have the most profound effect.

Below is insider-only information shared recently in the Lift Like a Girl newsletter. It received such a great response that I wanted to share it with everyone. (And this will also give you a glimpse of the stuff shared on the inside so you may want to sign up if you haven’t yet done so).

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