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Ep 32: 3 Tragic Mistakes I Made for Years
Episode 3211th June 2024 • The Holly Perkins Health Podcast • Holly Perkins, BS CSCS
00:00:00 00:36:59

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Here's the truth – you actually CAN have a big bowl of pasta tonight and wake up tomorrow feeling fantastic and looking even better! Going low-carb was one of the biggest mistakes I made for years into my fitness journey that had me suffering instead of succeeding. In this episode, I reveal 3 tragic (yes, tragic!) mistakes that were holding me back from seeing the results I wanted so you can avoid them. If your workout and diet plans aren't cutting it anymore and you're looking for effective strategies to start living the life you love, you're in the right place.

No matter your age or how long you've been unhappy with your health, you have the power to make the necessary changes to look and feel great every day. I talk about why it's crucial to find the right plan for you, the importance of consistency, and the truth about reducing carbs in your diet. Plus, I share my weekly workout strategy to keep you motivated and energized about hitting the gym. It’s time to see some real results! 

Want FREE access to my brand new four-week strength training plan, Strength Without Stress? Head over to where you can upload a screenshot of your review and gain immediate access. This is a limited-time offer before it sells for $197, so be sure to grab it now!

Topics Covered:

  • Why I repeated the same failed patterns over and over for years 
  • How to pick a program or a method that aligns with your goals
  • The importance of consistency 
  • The truth about going low-carb
  • Diet changes that actually lead to results
  • The acute chronic workload ratio
  • Making incremental increases in your workout intensity every week

Resources Mentioned:

  • Listen to the first 31 episodes of Holly Perkins Health Podcast HERE

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Find me on Instagram: @hollyperkins

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Disclaimer: Content and information as part of The Holly Perkins Health Podcast is for general interest, education, and entertainment purposes only. The use of information on this podcast or materials or products linked from this podcast or website is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical or mental health condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.


Holly Perkins:

If you're not getting the results you think you should be getting from your diet or exercise practices, there's usually a reason. And it's time to figure out why. Sometimes you might not see the mistakes that you're making. And sometimes you aren't making mistakes your programming is, if you want to save some time, and pain and suffering, consider learning from the biggest mistakes that troubled me for years. Keep listening.

Holly Perkins:

Hello, and welcome to episode 32 of The Holly Perkins Health Podcast. Thank you for being here. And if you are new around here, welcome. I believe that health is a big concept. And you can achieve health in a number of ways. And you get to define what it means. That being said, after 30 years in practice, I've landed on some core principles that are what I believe, define health. And to me, health is your birthright, to be able to enjoy your life every day, in a body that feels good and has the energy that you want and need. I also believe that when you're that kind of healthy, your mind, your mood and your spirit follow. Health is not just the absence of disease, health is feeling unrestrained by your body in any way. I help women create the body you need to keep up with the life that you love by helping you learn how to eat in order to stabilize blood sugar, a building block of health and how to strength train, right, so that your body composition is at least 70% lean muscle mass a great metric to reduce your risk of disease. The truth is, you don't have to suffer. You don't have to wake up each day feeling like crap and dragging. You don't have to dread your closet or the long day ahead of you. If you're taking action but not getting results, it doesn't mean that you're broken, it means that your strategy is broken, or that you haven't stayed the course long enough to see results.

Holly Perkins:

So in this episode, you'll learn the three tragic mistakes I made for years that kept me suffering instead of succeeding, what not to do. If you're not getting results from your workouts, the diet trend of the past three decades that isn't working, and some strategies to help you start seeing the results that you want. I don't care what age you are, or how long you've been unhealthy or unhappy with your health, you can make the necessary changes to look and feel great every day. Each week, I get updates from the women in my coaching programs telling me how they've been able to completely transform their health, and therefore their life. And each time I hear the good news and the surprise in their voice, I think to myself, yes, because that's the way that it should be. You should see results from your efforts each week. Keep in mind that there are many metrics to measure results. And the bathroom scale is at the bottom of the list. If you're taking action with the right strategy, and you give it enough time each week, you should be able to say yes to better energy, better sleep, less hunger and fewer cravings, better workouts, better digestion, more muscle tone, and less body fat, happier moods, fewer days of struggle, and just a general sense of improved health. So in light of this, I want to share some of the completely silly and totally tragic mistakes that I made for years, like over and over for years that prevented me from getting the results that I deserved that I should have been seeing.

Holly Perkins:

Now I realize that the word tragic may sound a bit dramatic. But you know what? It is tragic that I lived out my 20s feeling like crap. And I lived my 30s in both physical and emotional pain. I never felt good and I never felt good enough and that is tragic. I look back on it was some real deep sadness. And regardless of where you are in your journey, I know these three mistakes are going to help guide you in the right direction. We all deserve to live our lives to the fullest. You really do. And in order to do that, you have to feel good every day. And yes, it's possible. So let me share with you the mistakes that I made, because there's a good chance that you're making them too. But first, a bit of foreshadowing.

Holly Perkins:

So I was in my 20s, in the mid 90s. I know I don't look a day over 30. And the 90s was the time when the low carb ideologies surfaced. Back then, if you can believe this, we did not have the internet like we do. Now. It was just emerging. There was no Google. Can you imagine, I can literally remember the day when my client Fred told me about this thing called the Google. And I was like, what? It's crazy. Back then we were limited to bookstores and new book releases and magazines and newspaper headlines that you actually have to walk to the corner and buy. That's how we got our information. And in other words, there wasn't this daily data lose of ideas like we have now. And back then you had to be a bonafide expert to write a book or get your name in a magazine. So back then, if it was a headline, there was a pretty good chance it was legit. That is not the case today, at all. And back then, low carb ruled them all. A few best selling books was all it took. And still today, 30 years later, we're experiencing the reverberation of the low carb movement around the age of 40. Yes, 40, I realized that I had been bashing my head against the wall in a cycle of starts and stops and ups and downs where I would go low carb for like seven to 10 days, I felt so virtuous in those days when I was on the path, and I knew that I was going to get the results that I wanted. And then boom, at a nowhere for no reason I would crash hard with hunger and cravings and exhaustion and emotionality. And it didn't make sense. It would take me a week or two of what I now know was refueling my muscle and liver glycogen. And then I would take another week to lick my wounds, because I felt like a failure, pick myself back up again and start again. And the cycle would begin. So finally, one day in a moment of clarity, I woke up and I was like, This is nuts. I saw the pattern. Clearly, I have been doing the same stinking thing for 10 to 15 years. And it is not working. Why am i Repeating the same pattern, when all it's doing is making me crazy. It kept me in this cycle of never getting to where I wanted to be, I was always trying to get somewhere. So maybe I should try something else. And back then was when I really kind of coined one of my core tenants now, which is when something's not working, I look for the extreme opposite the 180 degrees to what I'm doing. And it's kind of become like a trick that I use for myself. And it works every time. What's the opposite of what I've been doing. And guess what that opposite was to throw this notion of low carb out the window and actually start eating some carbs. Imagine that, guess what? It worked like? Miracles, it worked. At one point, when everything was dialed in, the more carbs I ate, the better I looked, the leaner I got, the better I performed, the better my muscles were. Everything fell into place. At one point I was eating upwards to 60% of my daily calories coming from carbohydrates. I transformed my body in massive ways. And I have not looked back and oh yes, I've got the photos to prove it.

Holly Perkins:

So I asked you like this? What ideas are you holding on to that are keeping you in this cycle of no results? Because if you're following something like let's say an intermittent fasting methodology, it better be working for you. And if you too, are like I was, and you're restricting those delicious and nutritious carbs, it better be paying off, right? Otherwise, why are you doing it? Let's continue so that I can share with you the three tragic mistakes I made for years that kept me soft, tired and frustrated.

Holly Perkins:

The first mistake that I made for years was doing the same thing over and over without results. I just alluded to that. Or as the internet did emerge, and here comes Facebook, I would often bounce between methodologies every few weeks, because of either the media headlines, or the social media posts or hearing from some person that some program was all the rage. It was as if I clung to this idea that because someone said it was the best, therefore it was, and that it should work for me, this is what you hear oh, so and so at work said she's been doing this program, and it's working great for her. And there's this essence, where we take that to mean that it's the Holy Grail. And thats the program. That's the magic pill that we're looking for. And if it worked for my friend, then it must be what I should be doing, too. So if this is you, and you can relate, the first thing is, it's understandable, We are all searching for a solution to our struggle. And a lot of times, you have an idea of what's supposed to work, right, the program that your friend told you about, that she was finding success with, you believe well, it's supposed to work. So it should work for me too. So you keep banging your head against the wall, trying to make it work. But in the end, it's not working for you, you hear that this new workout plan or diet program or method is supposed to be all the rage and the new thing. And then if it's not working for you, I think it makes sense that you then start to think that you must be the problem, right? If it's working for everyone else, and it must be because it's in the headlines, right? Well, then it should work for me. And if it doesn't, then there's something wrong with me. And the truth is that is so far from the truth. And here's the thing, what happens most is that you adopt a strategy, you put it into action, you wait seven to 10 days. And if you're not getting these Wow results, there's a tendency to think that it's not working. That's normal. We're human. And we love instant gratification. But the problem is, it takes time for your body to change seven to 14 days, it's just beginning to make a transition to show you the value or the benefit of the program that you've adopted. And technically, this delay is a good thing. Because of homeostasis. Change happens slowly. And really, that's what we want. Now, I know you don't want to hear that you want to hear that my program or that program is going to make you look completely different in eight weeks. But it's just not true. Real progress happens slowly. And slow change tends to stick around. So instead, identify a program or a method that aligns with your goals. Rather than my friend said this was good. What does good even mean? You have specific goals, identify those, and then go out and find the methodology that matches your goal. And that is important. You need to be clear about what your specific goals are. And make sure that you select a program that's vetted, legit rooted in science and proven it should not be because I'm an influencer and this is what I did to lose x pounds last year that isn't rooted in science that's rooted in someone's personal experience. Please scrutinize the influencers that you follow on social media. Many of them are legit, many of them are not, thanks to the media cycle that we have and social media. Anyone, anyone can claim to be an expert in a field. There is no certification or application that you have to apply for. That proves you're a bonafide expert. So make sure or you're truly doing the research on where you're getting your ideas, then, once you do adopt a program, whether it's nutrition or diet, whatever it may be, you've got to stick to it for at least eight to 12 weeks or longer. And this is more so true. If you're trying to improve your body composition, where you are more muscle and less fat. If you're talking about a fitness program, or a muscle building program, it's got to be at least 12 weeks in my opinion, diet plans, you can see changes faster, if you're really nailing it, and if it's sustainable, and realistic. So while you do that, you should be seeing some results every single week. And as I mentioned, at the top of this episode, there's a lot of different results that you can look for. The result isn't just your end goal, there's a whole bunch of little glimpses of progress that happened in the middle, that all add up to your end story. So even if you haven't succeeded yet, that doesn't mean the game's over. And it doesn't mean it's not working. If you are seeing signs of progress, and you're going in the right direction every week, you'll eventually get to where you want to be. And if you're not getting the results, every single week or every two weeks, take a good look at why are you actually following the program? And are you staying consistent. Up next, you'll hear more about my low carb era. And what I do now, that works so much better.

Holly Perkins:

But first, the second tragic mistake I made for years and years, as I mentioned, was trying to go low carb now, I say trying to go low carb, because what I was doing was actually restricting carbs. Without really tracking or having a real strategy. I just simply cut out things like fruit, bread, pasta, God forbid, rice, even carrots at times, I heard these notions that if something was high in sugar, then you should not eat it. And I just cut those things out. But there wasn't a real strategy. Therefore I was somewhat blindly just eliminating certain foods or food groups. And I say blindly because I actually didn't know how many carbs that I was eating. And therefore just choosing to demonize foods and cutting them out. Wasn't really right. In truth, as I look back on it now, I suspect that I actually wasn't eating a lot of carbohydrates. And so then I was trying to go low carb against the reality of where I was already pretty much low carb. Now, I don't know because I wasn't tracking. But I bet you can relate to this. And here's the thing. You are so not alone. I cannot tell you pretty much every single phone call I get from new clients, or women coming into my programs. Every single one of them nine and a half out of 10. People that come to me are trying to keep their carbs in check or going low carbs, or they're not eating pasta. And guess what? If you want to eat pasta, you actually can. It just needs to be part of a strategy. I just ate a big ol bowl of pasta last night. Now it was balanced with protein, and it was gluten free. But it was delicious. And I woke up today feeling awesome and looking even better. The truth is, the world is still telling us that carbs are a problem. And they're not. I know you keep hearing messages to reduce your carbs in order to lose weight. You are so right to think that carbs are the problem. You have been told it now for 10 or 20 or 30 years depending on how old you are. Every single day. Some expert bonafide expert demonizes carbs on some level, either overtly or subtly by saying, don't eat bananas because they have an anti nutrient in it. Have you heard that? Whether it's true or not? Whether we're talking about anti nutrients, the subtle message there is don't eat bananas and don't eat fruit. What makes it even more confusing is that many of these voices are experts and they are respectable and they are knowledgeable. Many of them have an MD or a PhD after their name. So of course you trust them. But here's the thing through a very specific lens It's easy to believe the carbs are a problem. And to some degree, this conversation needs clarity. For example, when you hear a doctor or an expert promote low carb eating, it's usually in response to two things, they're usually speaking through a very specific filter that is, in reference to number one, the obesity epidemic. And number two diagnosed health conditions where low quality carbohydrates are a problem, ie diabetes. And so often people are commenting on these strategies, because of these issues. Now, if you're not obese, if you don't have diabetes, if you are not in this demographic of poor health, a lot of times these sound bites don't apply. Carbs are essential. They are our powerhouse for fuel and energy. And it's from carbohydrates that we get the disease fighting compounds that we need. Have you ever heard of fiber? You get it from carbs? Have you ever heard of phytochemicals or antioxidants? Yep, comes from carbs. Carbs are not a problem. Carbs are an important part of keeping your muscle and liver glycogen stocked up, and they are the gasoline to your brain. And they are the other half of protein for building muscle. Now, yes, poor quality carbohydrates are a problem, as is getting too much of them. But I've never met someone who developed at real health issue, because they were eating too many vegetables. Or they develop diabetes, because they were eating too much quinoa, or fresh fruit. Usually, the problem with carbs is refined grains and processed sugars. And yes, those are a problem. But that doesn't mean that carbs themselves are a problem. And it also doesn't mean you can never eat them, it needs to be put into perspective.

Holly Perkins:

So instead, once I invested the time to record what I was actually eating, I was then able to adopt a real strategy for getting the right amount of carbs based according to a balanced macronutrient approach, which oh by the way, is how the human body is meant to operate. I started looking at where my carbs were coming from. And I started prioritizing my carbs from vegetables, potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole oats, brown rice, and definitely one to two servings of fruit a day. If I wanted some days, I didn't want it. Often days I did. Think of it this way. You don't know where you are. If you don't examine what you're eating, how do you know where you are? Why cut out carbs. If you don't have to, maybe you just need to reduce some poor quality carbs like sugar, refined grains and alcohol. And maybe you just need to get more nutritious options. Most of the time, my clients find out that their dominant macronutrient is fat once they've done a diet audit. These days, I'm seeing many people eating predominantly fat, where if they're just eating without a strategy, and they're kind of following the sound bites, when they start to record and do a diet audit seven to 10 days, they find out that their diet is predominantly fat, protein second, and carbs last, in some ways they are low carb, this type of macronutrient distribution, though, is kind of like what I call no man's land, because number one, it's not high fat, which would mean you're eating less protein. And number two, it's not high protein, because it's actually high fat. And in order to get the benefits from a high fat ketogenic diet, or a high protein diet, you really need to eat very little carb under a certain number of grams per day. And if your current carb intake is above that threshold, then you're really just in this mishmash of no man's land. You're not keto, you're not high protein, and you're really not low carb. The thing that's working great for my clients is to get 40 to 50% of their daily calories each day, coming from super nutritious high quality carbs, then 25 to 30% of their daily calories are coming from protein and fat. And this works brilliantly for every single client provided they're doing it this way. So inside of my program, the body composition project, I do a diet audit every month I go in I look I see what they're eating. We make tweaks to it, so that I can make sure they're actually doing what I'm saying. Be It's one thing to hear me say it, it's another thing to apply it. And once they get it right, it's pretty darn shocking. Every two weeks, I see their progress photos. And change happens in great strides. And sometimes they're not even getting enough vegetables like they should be. And yet, they're getting incredible results every two weeks.

Holly Perkins:

The third tragic mistake that I made for years that cost me years was pushing harder or longer in my workouts, instead of making incremental improvements each week, I believed that if my body didn't look or perform the way that I wanted, then I must not be working hard enough. So I would push harder, or I would extend my workout sometimes working out for like, two, two and a half hours, or I would work out more frequently. So in a way, when I look back now, it's it's really kind of sad, because the essence that I get is that it was really punishing. It was like, I'm working out hard, but I don't look like it. So I'm gonna work out harder. I'm gonna push myself more. It makes sense, right? I know, you might be making the same mistake, because I hear it every day. And that makes sense. You see images of fit people. And often when you see fit people, they are pushing hard. They are doing grueling workouts. And so it would make sense that to get what they have, you should do what they do. Right? You may have experienced a similar thing. And it's totally understandable. I see this a ton. The notion is if you're not getting results, work out harder, right? I see this, especially for women 45. And up as their hormones start to change, do more, right. Most of the time, that's the message that you're getting in the media, whether you realize it or not. How often do you see a headline that says not getting results start doing less? Now there are a few of us out there saying that, but not many. It's maybe one in 10. The problem with this is there's something called the acute chronic workload ratio, and nobody is talking about it. Some physical therapists, some athletic trainers, that very few, certainly not your personal trainer down at the gym, and certainly not your influencer on Instagram. And what the acute chronic workload ratio means is that the human body can really only withstand a certain amount of more each given training cycle, or even each day of your workout or each week of a workout. It's a model

Holly Perkins:

that compares your current training load today's workout, which is the acute part of the equation to your training load over a longer period of time, which is known as the chronic. So what you've been doing over the past two weeks, three weeks, three months, is your chronic. And then what you're stepping into today in today's workout is your acute. And we use this acute to chronic workload ratio to determine and predict your injury, your risk of injury. And we can also use it for planning your activity levels, your mileage, your time your intensity levels, so that you adapt optimally after each workout and week to week to week, another way of thinking of it is so if you can look back over the past two or four weeks or four months, and sort of collectively quantify the workload that represents that is your chronic workload. So then if I brought you into my gym, and I kicked your butt and made you sprint 10 miles and do bodyweight deadlifts and 10 sets of 50 It's way too much the acute is way too much than what your body is chronically trained for. That's when we get into overtraining. That's when we get into glycogen depletion. That's when we get in tons of muscle soreness, hunger, craving, mood changes. So if you wake up one day, and you're like, I'm gonna go attack this new workout program, and you start working out hard for seven to 10 days, and you're in it and you love it. And you are inspired and you're feeling good and you're looking forward to your workouts and then all of a sudden on day 11 You're like, I do not want to go to the gym. I am so not inspired. I just want to go to bed. I feel depressed. I'm hungry, I'm tired, and you crash. That's usually why this my friend is the due to chronic workload ratio, so instead, rather than haphazardly working hard, when I had energy, I would wake up on a Monday and feel awesome from a weekend off, and I'd go in and I'd crush it on Monday. And then I would be so tired that I would either do nothing or skip workouts, and I was inconsistent. Rather than doing that, I started committing to a program a real program and stayed consistent for four months. This allows your body to adapt each week without having to recover from too much stress from Monday's workout that was too hard in relation to what your current, your current chronic training load reflects the name of the game, really, and this is going to shock you is to do the same workouts week after week after week for four to six months. And make incremental increases in workload intensity, duration, frequency, wait loads, make incremental increases every week. And that is how you'll get there. And while it might sound a bit conceptual, this acute to chronic workload ratio, the way I explain it to my clients without having to sit down mathematically and figure out your volume, is simply challenge yourself about 20% Each week, that's the safe ratio, about 20%. So for example, if you're a runner, this, this makes it super easy. If you're a runner, this would be 20% more miles this week than you did last week, or 20% more minutes than what you did last week. If you're lifting weights, this would mean increase your volume, which is the total number of sets and reps, quantify it against your rest, increase your volume or increase the intensity, your weight load by 20%. Each week, this moderate, consistent incremental stimulus each week, allows your body to recover productively from the reasonable overloading of your current ability get it more is not always better and harder is relative, the best thing you can do is get on a program created by a proven authority that maps out that incremental progression, and then stick with it for four to six weeks and just follow the program. Wow, what a concept, right.

Holly Perkins:

And these are the three tragic mistakes I made for years that sadly prevented me from getting the results that I wanted, and that I deserved. Don't be like I was instead of reacting to the media in front of you every morning. Be proactive, be smart, and commit to some real strategies that are aligned with your goals. It doesn't matter how long you've been struggling, you are not the problem. There is always another path. And there is always someone who is succeeding. Often, you're not as far away from where you want to be as you think you are, you think you're so far away, and you're not. Most of the time. All it takes is a few adjustments to your habits in order to tip you over the edge and into progress. I hope you enjoyed this episode. And remember, if you feel like you keep hitting your head against the wall with your workouts or your nutrition, or you feel like your current programming isn't working the way that it should be. Maybe my strength without stress program will help. It's totally free for a limited period of time. And it gives you a very special four week plan to help you to become better and stronger without the fatigue without the soreness and without general fallout that you see from other workout plans that are too intense or just too much in general. To get free access. Simply post a review of this podcast wherever you're listening right now, and then grab a screenshot of that review. Come over to Holly forward slash review and upload it you'll get immediate, totally free I swear to goodness, lifetime access to strength without stress again, post a review, grab a screenshot come to Holly forward slash review. And stay tuned for another brand new episode on Tuesday of next week. Stay strong my friend




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