Oct. 13, 2021

How to Take the Guesswork Out of Your Diet with Award-Winning Chemical Engineer, Three-Time Champion Fitness Competitor, Christine Hronec

How to Take the Guesswork Out of Your Diet with Award-Winning Chemical Engineer, Three-Time Champion Fitness Competitor, Christine Hronec

Our guest is Award-Winning Chemical Engineer, Three-Time Champion Fitness Competitor, Christine Hronec

We all know that diet takes up more of the pie than work-out when it comes to building our ideal physique and health. But with the amount of complexity and misinformation we constantly face when it comes to managing the food we consume, how efficient can we be when taking our diet seriously? In this episode of The Fit Mess, Award-Winning Chemical Engineer, Three-Time Champion Fitness Competitor, Christine Hronec talks us through BMRs or Basal Metabolic Rates, weighing scales, how protein is calculated, her rule of thumb for calorie burning and the critical mindset to have when exploring weight loss.

Find out how to go past the complexity of health building in this episode of The Fit Mess with Christine Hronec!

Do Dietary Supplements Work? 

The answer is yes, of course, they do! The results are undeniable if we look at people who understand how they work and know how to use them. Although, Christine admits that there’s also a lot of nonsense going around in the dietary supplements industry. It’s common, and a lot are not reaping the benefits they need from it. This is due to good marketing. As somewhat of a tip, in the episode, Christine clarifies one idea that can help us move away from all the non-sense in the business of diet. When taking dietary supplements, it’s essential to understand that dietary supplements allow you to get the nutrients you need that are otherwise hard to receive from whole foods or from whatever is only available to you. Knowing this helps us make more informed decisions regarding what we need and do not need when it comes to the food and dietary supplements we take.

Listen to Christine Hronec as she talks more about the mindset of health building in this episode of The Fit Mess!

About Christine Hronec:

Christine Hronec is a food scientist, chemical engineer, fitness champion, and founder of Gauge Girl Training (25+ million views on YouTube and 40,000+ success stories). Christine has been featured in Forbes and Huffington Post, and on Extra, Fox News, and CBS. 

Outline of the Episode:

[01:54] Nutrition, for some, is just very complicated.

[04:02] There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the food we’re eating!

[08:20] We can be the experts of our own bodies.

[13:52] Why do we need dietary supplements?

[15:19] There are plenty of sources for plant-based protein.

[22:33] Are numbers the most important when it comes to weight loss?

[25:00] Is it 70% diet, 30% workout?

[28:55] The ‘100 Calories Per Mile’ Rule

[32:58] How important is the mindset to change?

[36:03] First step: Just show up!


Christine Hronec's Website

Gauge Girl Training on YouTube

Christine Hronec's Instagram

Calculate your macros in 10 easy steps! Download your FREE Macros Blueprint NOW!


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Christine Hronec Transcript

[00:00:00] Jeremy: Nutrition is way too complicated. What should I eat? How much do I, how much is too little? And do I need supplements? Or is that just making my P really expensive? 

[00:00:09] Zach: if you're trying to answer those questions, you can't do much better than talking with our guests this week. 

[00:00:14] we're joined by Christine Heran. She's an award winning chemist, three time champion 

[00:00:19] fitness competitor, and an all around expert in 

[00:00:21] nutrition and exercise. 

[00:00:23] Jeremy: We'll talk with her in just a moment to learn how to calculate your customized nutrition needs, why your wearable tracker may be lying to you. And when it makes sense to add supplements to your 

[00:00:31] routine, but first we want to thank our sponsor for this episode inside tracker.

[00:00:35] Zach: When you do what you love, like yoga, CrossFit, and lifting heavy things. You want to do it for life inside. Tracker can help. Inside tracker was founded in 2009 by leading scientists in aging, genetics, and biometrics inside tracker analyzes your body's data to provide you with a clear picture of what's going on inside you and to offer you science backed recommendations for positive diet and lifestyle change.

[00:00:59] And then inside tracker record your progress every day, every step of the way towards reaching your performance goals and living a longer, healthier life. For a limited time, you can get 25% off the entire inside tracker store. Just go to inside tracker.com/fit MES, or visit the link on our website, the fitness stuff.

[00:01:17] Jeremy: Thank you for listening to this episode of the fitness podcast and making us a part of your day and 

[00:01:50] whatever it is you're doing right now, we appreciate you taking us along for the ride. And 

[00:01:54] as we mentioned, we're talking about nutrition and exercise this week, which I'm really bad at both, but I'm working on it.

[00:02:01] I I've got to tell you, Zach nutrition has always been something that has just baffled me. It confused me. I don't know how to do it. 

[00:02:07] I don't know how to calculate it. I even took a nutrition class in college. 

[00:02:10] And had a conversation with 

[00:02:12] the, I think he was a professor or whatever he was, he, he was the one teaching the class. and, while he was, uh, eating out of his Tupperware container 

[00:02:19] full of fruit, that he chopped up every day 

[00:02:22] to have as a, as a snack or part of his lunch or whatever, he was telling me how, if I didn't, , learn 

[00:02:28] what he was teaching, I was going to be doomed because it's just such a 

[00:02:32] critical thing, essentially, a critical part of life to know.

[00:02:35] How nutrition works and in some ways he's right. Cause I've just for 40 years, I've been guessing and, and reading and sort of trying to implement what I 

[00:02:43] get from those books. And I still I'm as lost today 

[00:02:46] as I've ever been. 

[00:02:47] Zach: Well, I think the first mistake was you're not going to be doomed if you 

[00:02:51] don't figure out what's in that class, You're going to be doomed. 

[00:02:54] If you don't figure out what works best for your body. Right. but to me, like, I, I love the science part of this. When I first actually started getting into health and wellness, I read a book nutrition for dummies.

[00:03:06] I was like, oh, a dummy's book on nutrition. I can, I, 

[00:03:09] you know, with my third grade level of 

[00:03:11] understanding, I should be able to, to figure this out. And I thought it was 

[00:03:15] great. I actually, which led 

[00:03:17] me to more books and, and researching more to the, and experimenting with, you know, what does this do to my body? and, what does that do to my body? And where am I deficient here and there? 


[00:03:27] so I love the

[00:03:27] science of it. 

[00:03:29] It all makes sense. But as we will both admit, my brain works 

[00:03:34] different than most people, which sometimes has advantages. 

[00:03:37] and most other times puts me at a disadvantage, but I love it. But for the 

[00:03:43] masses, like it can definitely be a really 

[00:03:47] challenging topic. especially with. The truth. Isn't really apparent, right? All the commercials, you see, all the ads, all the process, 

[00:03:56] food companies, their goal is to 

[00:03:58] trick you into thinking that you're eating healthier, eating the right thing. So, I mean, there's a lot of misinformation out there. So knowing what's true, what's not true.

[00:04:07] It can be really confusing.

[00:04:08] Jeremy: Especially when that misinformation is on the package of the thing. 

[00:04:13] W when you're tricked with words like natural or, 

[00:04:16] you know, it says organic, but it doesn't necessarily 

[00:04:18] fit the standard to be organic or whatever. I mean, there's all these, these 

[00:04:21] things that you have to get over these hurdles of. And then even if it is even if the box isn't 

[00:04:25] lying to you and it actually is sort of good for you, but if it's more carbs than your body needs and or not 

[00:04:32] enough fiber or the other things, the other parts of the calculation that you've got to figure.

[00:04:37] It's just, it, it is terribly confusing. 

[00:04:39] And I don't know. I mean, clearly you're the data guy. You like to look at the 

[00:04:43] numbers you need to like to break it down and figure out exactly what is going on. I need the Ikea instructions. Show me the picture of the guy, the, the sorta flabby guy and what he's shoving in his face and in what order, that's what I need.

[00:04:55] Zach: Yeah, that's awesome. Well, do you know where to get that?

[00:05:00] Jeremy: I don't. I still don't. I, you know, I've been, I've been working on this forever. I mean, I have some tips and some tricks and, and there's some things that I do. And 

[00:05:07] when they work, I try and just repeat them every day 

[00:05:09] and I'll see the progress that I want for a while. And then it'll plateau. And I figured, okay, well, 

[00:05:14] it's time to go back to the drawing board, do something different. and 

[00:05:17] I know, I know a big part of it for me is that I don't get in enough of the strenuous 

[00:05:21] physical activity. I need to get into the gym. I need to lift heavy 

[00:05:23] things. I know that's a big missing piece of 

[00:05:26] the puzzle. But for the most part, I also know that any, weight management, 

[00:05:31] prospect is 80 to 90% nutrition. 

[00:05:35] Zach: But I would argue that you actually do have more knowledge than you really think, I mean, you said that you 

[00:05:41] limited your carbohydrate intake to a hundred grams at one point, which actually led to even lower. Right. So, I mean, you can read a basic 

[00:05:49] nutrition label. 

[00:05:50] Jeremy: But, but this is the 

[00:05:51] thing that was a really dumbed down version of starting keto for me is it was here's one number, 

[00:05:58] just focus on this one number and that worked for me, 

[00:06:02] but when it comes to, so, and, 

[00:06:04] and I don't, I don't know that keto is a, is a great long-term strategy. I 

[00:06:08] don't know that it's something that you want to try and stay on for life.

[00:06:12] So, so once you take that number away from. 

[00:06:15] Now I'm I'm lost. I don't know what to do. I'm just in no man's land floating around, just looking for the simple three-page instruction on what to eat 

[00:06:23] next. 

[00:06:23] Zach: Okay, well, how do you eat now? 

[00:06:26] Tell me your, tell me about your 

[00:06:27] day. 

[00:06:28] Jeremy: Well, here's what I've eaten so far. I've had, I've had my, my one meal 

[00:06:31] that I have, uh, kind of mid day to break my fast. And it is, uh, some Greek 

[00:06:35] yogurt with some, I always say it wrong, psyllium 

[00:06:38] husk, and some, uh, last time you said it was the other way.

[00:06:44] Zach: No, I don't think so. I'm just trying to

[00:06:46] Jeremy: whatever it is, whatever it is, it's in my yogurt.

[00:06:48] And I got some flax seed in there. Got some hemp hearts, a banana, 

[00:06:52] and a 

[00:06:53] protein supplement, dump it all in there, stir it up. That's my, my 

[00:06:56] breakfast that I have,

[00:06:58] Zach: so why are you eating all that stuff?

[00:07:00] Jeremy: most of it is recommendations from our 

[00:07:02] sponsor inside.

[00:07:04] Zach: Okay. So I, again, I asked, why are you eating this? 

[00:07:12] What does inside tracker tell you? 

[00:07:14] Jeremy: Here's the great thing. And this is not part of the ad. This is just bonus material because 

[00:07:17] we're, uh, we happen to be talking about this 

[00:07:20] within the app and inside tracker, it breaks down each of 

[00:07:23] the 

[00:07:23] like 35 recommendations and it's got a clear, scientific explanation of why and how much and all of the things, 

[00:07:29] again, that's where Zach's data brain comes in.

[00:07:32] My dumb guy brain goes, do that. 

[00:07:34] Okay. Check. So that's what I'm doing. 

[00:07:37] Zach: Your comment earlier in the 

[00:07:39] show of, I just need somebody to tell me what to do. It's already there. 

[00:07:44] Jeremy: yeah, that's a great, that's a great first place to start. I've got sort of a building block 

[00:07:48] and it's been working. I've been seeing the scale move in the direction that I want. I've been feeling the way that I, that I want to feel. And I know that I need to 

[00:07:54] get in more physical activity.

[00:07:55] I can feel it. My body's telling me do more. This isn't 

[00:07:58] enough, but not everybody's going to do this. I hope they do. I think it's a 

[00:08:02] great product, but there, this is a very confusing. 

[00:08:05] And difficult thing to navigate. I think for most people who have normal busy lives, 

[00:08:10] just trying to feed their kids, feed themselves, 

[00:08:13] go to work, do all the.

[00:08:15] Zach: Yeah. And while I

[00:08:17] would highly support everyone, you know, using 

[00:08:19] inside tracker, there are other resources that you can use. 

[00:08:23] Like, I mean, there's definitely some web pages that you 

[00:08:25] can find some basic information on what everyone should 

[00:08:28] be eating right. There is a baseline. And if you just 

[00:08:30] focus on how you feel when you eat this. You can figure some of 

[00:08:35] this stuff out yourself, but we are not the experts. We are the experts of our own 

[00:08:40] bodies. That's it. I would, uh, I would even argue, I am not the expert in my 

[00:08:45] own body on some days. Cause my anxiety takes me 

[00:08:49] over hard sometimes. 

[00:08:51] Jeremy: To where 

[00:08:51] it finds you facing the freezer, looking for more ice cream. 

[00:08:55] Zach: No, no ice 

[00:08:56] cream. I've completely eliminated that from my diet. but mixed nuts.

[00:09:01] Jeremy: Oh yeah. 

[00:09:01] Zach: Somehow I got mixed 

[00:09:02] nuts on my, subscribe and save on Amazon.

[00:09:05] And there was some 

[00:09:06] deal where it was. Ridiculous. It was like 75% 

[00:09:11] off, like mixed nuts. So I was like, well, oh, but you have to do subscribe and save. And I forgot to unsubscribe. So for like six months we got like six cans and we weren't eating them. So we have like an entire 

[00:09:23] shelf devoted to mixed nuts. So they're actually been my go-to 

[00:09:27] lately.

[00:09:27] Cause there's no cholesterol and there's no saturated 

[00:09:29] fat. 

[00:09:30] Jeremy: Well, that's, that's one that I go. So normally my day we were talking about my day there's there's the yogurt concoction with all the things mixed in, and then typically I'll grab a 

[00:09:39] handful of nuts later in the day. And then dinner at night is, is whatever. Uh, my lovely wife worked so hard to 

[00:09:46] prepare, to feed our family.

[00:09:49] Zach: Nice nicely done. 

[00:09:53] Jeremy: She's within earshot. That's why I had to make sure 

[00:09:55] she could hear that whatever she works so hard to make sure loving family consumes. 

[00:10:02] Zach: So, you know, but you do know what you need to do you know what the, the equations are for? 

[00:10:10] Jeremy: I'm getting a better idea, but you 

[00:10:12] mentioned the equations and they're difficult to figure out they're difficult to know what's 

[00:10:16] going to work best for you Our guest has a lot of the answers. Her name is 

[00:10:19] Christine harmonic. Uh, as we said, she's an award-winning chemist and a three-time champion fitness competitors. If you want somebody who knows what to put in your body to make it work 

[00:10:27] well, I don't know that you can, that you can do much better. So we talked to her about her journey that took her from the chemistry lab to the stage of fitness 

[00:10:33] competitions and eventually to the internet where she's sharing what she's learned. that is quite a list of accomplishments. How did you pull all of that off? Tell us how you became, who you are today.

[00:10:46] Christine Hronic: Well, I actually got into the health and fitness space, , backwards, I'm a chemical engineer by training. I have a bachelor's and master's in chemical and biological engineering from Drexel university. And I started my career off. It chemical engineer working for DuPont. I worked for biotech company, so I'm a scientist.

[00:11:06] And after I started working in the biotech field, I started consulting with people in product development and whatnot. , I had a really interesting offer to help build the manufacturing plant and the dietary supplement space. This was around 2009 and I built a plant, , from the ground up, , got an FDA registered CGMP and was formulating dietary supplements.

[00:11:28] So I was building these products. , For a very long time. And as I was building them and just got more around the industry, the protein, the bodybuilding, 

[00:11:38] I started drinking the Kool-Aid. I got really interested and I had my own little personal struggles with weight loss. I've always wanted to, , have abs like Janet Jackson, , when I was in college and I could never get there and it pissed me off that I couldn't figure it out because I'm like,, this is science.

[00:11:55] There has to be a very methodical way to do this and whatever I was doing. It was wrong and I'm like, that's just not acceptable to me. So I'm like, what am I doing wrong? 

[00:12:06] There has to be something I'm doing incorrectly. And I was doing a ton of cardio. I was eating too many carbs, not eating enough protein.

[00:12:12] And once I started to realize, okay, you need more protein, you need to weight, train. You don't need to do that much. You need to really track what you eat. That's the key. And I'm like, I wish I knew this because , like , the nineties and like early, most of the 2000, it's like just trying to figure it out and failing and feeling like there was something wrong with me.

[00:12:31] I have the wrong approach. And then it kind of 

[00:12:34] married the two of those together, just, , my science background and just, , my own attempts with wanting to change my own body. And as I became successful at that, so many people just started asking me for advice and I loved helping people. It was so rewarding, so fulfilling and people ask me more and more questions.

[00:12:53] And I started making YouTube videos. Answer these questions, 

[00:12:57] but it just never stopped. And , now I have, , my own online meal planning and coaching service gateway training, which I've been doing for eight years now, going on my ninth. , I have a dietary supplement company of 

[00:13:08] my own, and I actually just got, , my first book deal and my book is coming out next year.

[00:13:14] I'm really excited. So my first nutrition book and I just I'm in love with what I do and absolutely in love with what I do. 

[00:13:21] Zach: That's awesome. I have so many questions about all of those things that you just said. going to start with the supplements though. , I want to hear a little more about that.

[00:13:28] I, I have been known to be a supplement junkie on occasion and like, you know, handfuls of, of supplements. Get rid of them and figure out which ones actually, , are good for me. So I would love to just hear your take on,, on supplements in general, and then,, specifically what supplements you recommend or you have.

[00:13:47] , and , why do we need supplements if we do need them at all? , 

[00:13:50] Christine Hronic: it's a great question because the dietary supplement space, , there's a lot of nonsense in this space. There's a lot of white noise , but a lot of brilliant marketing and,, good for the folks who are able to hook people through their good marketing.

[00:14:04] But the reality is. , there's a lot of products out there you don't need. I think that the benefit at the end of the day of supplements is to allow people to get nutrients they need and larger quantities that are more challenging to get in real whole foods, proteins. A perfect example of that. Do you need to take a protein supplement?

[00:14:22] No, you don't. You could eat eggs. Chicken fish, whatever protein source of your choice that works for you, your dietary needs and whatnot, but it's a lot 

[00:14:32] more convenient and economical option to get these things from real whole food. You're trying to gain muscle. , do you need settlements? No, you could work out in the gym, but there are some amino acids.

[00:14:42] There are some ergogenic aids that are scientifically proven to help benefit that. Is it going to, you know, is it going to be the end all be all? No, you still have to show up so that to do the work, but is it going to give you a slight edge? Absolutely.

[00:14:54] Jeremy: You mentioned protein and, uh, as a couple decade long vegetarian, this is something that is always a challenge. Whenever anybody considers a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. So where can vegetarians and vegans people that don't want to consume meat products? Where can they get protein, get the most bang , for their buck.

[00:15:11] And, uh, in, in the most, uh, I guess pure way, rather than from a supplement, like, like you suggested.

[00:15:18] Christine Hronic: Yeah. So, 

[00:15:18] um, for plant-based 

[00:15:20] sources, especially like vegan, vegetarian, Plenty of food. you just need to be a little bit more creative And really understanding the macronutrient profile of different foods. So I'm one of my favorite protein sources for my plant-based clients is hemp tofu. Um, I've been moving away from like traditional soy tofu.

[00:15:39] A lot of people are kind of moving away from it from the estrogenic. , compounds in soy, but hemp tofu is wonderful. It's a little bit higher in fat, but still a great protein source. , lentils are fantastic. I also think being strategic with your vegetables because you know, is going to have more protein per gram.

[00:15:57] , mushrooms are going to have more protein program. Chia seeds, flax seeds, avocado, and, utilizing a variety of means. And because you can't, when you're a plant based, you can't just think of it like a piece of chicken, the way you would, if you're not because a lot of these foods are going to be higher in fiber, or some of them are going to be higher in carbs. and as a result of that, you're going to need to kind of look at your plate differently and not think of your plate, like protein carbs, fat. You want to look at your plate and think, okay, Of all the things I need to put on my plate, let me make sure the vegetables I'm consuming are the highest protein.

[00:16:30] The fats I'm consuming are the highest protein. And obviously the main protein, the thing that's the highest amount is going to be the high percentage of the protein, because I think I'm not sure, you know, as a being vegetarian that just because something like lentils, it has protein, but it's also, I don't know, 30, 40% carbs.

[00:16:50] So you just have to be strategic with it, but it can be done. It absolutely can be. 

[00:16:55] Zach: So with,, trying to track carbs and protein and, , the way we all live differently. Right. There's no one number that's gonna work for everyone. , I know I'm a bit of a data nerd, so like I love going and trying to figure that out based on my activity level and, and what I need, but.

[00:17:13] Definitely not So easy for everyone. it's, it's something that's hard for them to do. So I'd love to hear your take on, , how do you calculate what kind of work, how much protein you need and, the level of macronutrients that you need to be consuming for your lifestyle? like how do you make that easy for the masses or, or.

[00:17:31] Christine Hronic: Um, the, the answer is you absolutely can. And I actually have a really simple, , free macro blueprint that anyone could download at go dot gage, 

[00:17:39] life.com. It's a free 10 step blueprint planning. , one of the most prominent approaches, which I call the bodybuilder approach. that higher protein lower fat, moderate carb approach.

[00:17:51] But the reality is, there are a lot of different approaches to macronutrients and kind of ketogenic approach. Some people go low carb, high fat, I think before I would recommend what type, how much protein anybody would go on. I would scream a few screening questions first. Well, making sure that nobody is pre-diabetic diabetic, , thyroid hormone issues.

[00:18:12] You want to kind of filter those issues out. Those things need to be treated differently, but for the average healthy adult, I think a decent rule of thumb for somebody who was just looking to. And gain lean muscle mass, someone who's going to be working out three to five times a week is around,, 0.8 to one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

[00:18:32] I'd say, I don't think any active adult, when I say active, meaning, you know, going for a walk, walking your dog like recreational. I think even at that level, we should be aiming for at least 0.7 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. And the thing is this is drastically different than. The the labels say on protein products.

[00:18:53] If I pull any label right now, according to the USDA, we should be consuming 50 grams of protein based off of a 2000 calories per day diet. That's 10 that's, 10%, I believe. And that's very low compared to what most bodybuilders eat and just healthy, active individuals. So the reason for that is. Data right there.

[00:19:14] That's based off of the amount of 

[00:19:16] protein. The body needs to support DNA. Resynthesis that doesn't account for muscle recovery, that doesn't account for people who want to have a leaner fitter look. So I think we need to keep that in context, that those labels are saying the average person needs 60% carbs, you know, 30% fat, which I'm in agreement with, but 10% protein is pretty low. um, for the average person. You know what this translates into? I'd say the average person. I think we shouldn't be getting a bare minimum for women. They're minimum of like a hundred grams per day. Obviously if you're training maybe closer to one 50 for men, I think minimum hundred, 150. But if you're active in the gym, I'd say closer to 200, just 

[00:19:58] NA: for a ballpark.

[00:19:59] Jeremy: And you mentioned the evil C-word carbs. How do we, how do we know we're getting too many? How many are too many? Should we eat them at all? They, you know, they, they get a pretty bad rap, uh, from a lot of diets that are out there. So how do we navigate the carbohydrate, uh, 

[00:20:15] Christine Hronic: So

[00:20:16] there 

[00:20:16] are several types of carbohydrates. Obviously there's insoluble fiber, there's soluble fiber and there's sugar. And I think that when you break carbohydrates down into the different chemical forms, it's really easy to delineate. The appropriate amount that, you actually should be taking. And in 2008, , a Michelle Obama actually implemented some changes to the 

[00:20:38] , labeling and one of those major changes.

[00:20:42] The fact that there is now a dietary requirement on the amount of sugar you can consume in a day. And I didn't used to exist before. And they are stating that you know, of your total carbohydrates, it shouldn't be any more than 10 to 20% of your total carbs coming from sugar. So that provides some very clear cut boundaries for how much sugar we can be consuming. And what that means is ultimately, , consume cards, you know, fruit, vegetable, They're wonderful, but it's just, you want to be more mindful of not overdoing it with the starches, the refined sugars And not going too high in those levels, but also just to counter that you got to look at the fiber because fiber is so essential and I'm telling you that. I think that it's going to be like a huge wave of fiber supplements coming really soon because you know how people struggled to hit their protein. I feel like fiber is something else. People really struggle to hit because it's the average woman should be getting a minimum of 17 grams of fiber per day.

[00:21:44] Average man, minimum of 25. That's just bare minimum. So one cup of spinach is one gram of fiber. Now, obviously there's fiber in oatmeal, there's fiber and other things, but you have to make a really concerted effort just to hit those bare minimums in the day. So I think that back to , Zach's question on supplements.

[00:22:03] When do you need them? I think you need them anytime. It's almost like a tedious and just more challenging to get that amount of nutrients from real whole food. That's when it makes more sense to shift to a supplement, um, in my opinion, and, you know, making sure you're hitting the right amount of fiber is going to be essential just for digestive health.

[00:22:25] , and making sure your cholesterol is in check estrogen levels. Aren't checks for men and women because fiber helps detox, excess estrogen. , both are going to be fantastic.

[00:22:33] Zach: I'd love to ask you about we lost now because , I guess when I was growing up, it was all about the number on the scale.

[00:22:40] And, you know, in, in the last month,, I've actually gained five pounds, but my belt is actually looser. Like my pants are looser. Um, and that's been because I've been lifting weights and building muscle. Hopefully eating as much protein as , your recommended. , tell me about, the number on the scale 

[00:22:58] and, is it actually important or are we looking at the wrong data , and you know what we should be doing instead, if It's not something you want to look.

[00:23:06] Christine Hronic: It matters to a certain extent, obviously. , if you're carrying like excess amounts of weight, it's not going to be healthy, but, , I've been experiencing something very similar, , Zack, and that is,, gaining weight, 

[00:23:17] but, , looking better, look in the mirror and clothes fitting better in your, measurements being better. And I come down to body composition, it's going to come down to your body fat percentage. And this is all hard for so many women to just digest that fact, because we've been 

[00:23:32] told our whole lives that weighing less is better. And, , I had these little things here, like the fat and like the muscle.

[00:23:39] It's 

[00:23:39] just the way your body stores 

[00:23:41] muscle is so drastically different from where it's going to store fat. Like this is not the fat on the body. 

[00:23:47] This is not going to look attractive. It's not going to 

[00:23:50] concentrate an aggregator on the places where it's going to give you a more 

[00:23:54] visually , pleasing 

[00:23:56] aesthetic. So the thing is if you're 

[00:23:58] dropping inches and gaining weight, 

[00:24:01] It doesn't really matter. As long as,, as long as your 

[00:24:03] heart is healthy, as long as you are eating right. As long as your, your major labs have markers of health, they're good. I don't see any issue with that. and I think it's something that is so liberating to so many people to know that the number on the scale is not the end all be all.

[00:24:22] Jeremy: , I want to be more like the two of you that my scale is going up. , but it's not, uh, my pants are not fitting better. My clothes are not fitting. , so what I I've always heard that diet is anywhere from 70 to 90% of it. I know I don't get enough protein. I know I don't get enough veggies. These are things that I'm actively doing now.

[00:24:39] So walk me through , the 70 to 90%, which is true. And what are some common ones? And then when I do want to burn it off, can I just go for a walk? Can I just do yoga? Can I just go for a run? Do I need to mix all of that up? How do you battle the fat loss , and burn it off efficiently? 

[00:24:59] Christine Hronic: So nutrition is going to be like 90% of the battle. , It's so crazy. The beginning of this year, I actually had a knee injury and I wasn't cleared 

[00:25:08] to do anything. I, I physically couldn't. And, , for the first three months of this year, and you know, like a lot of us over the holidays gain a little bit of weight And I was able to get myself back on 

[00:25:18] track, just nutrition alone. and the key here is going to be cutting out the whole. No one wants to hear that we got to cut out. And the reality is when you consume alcohol, alcohol is a toxin, your body can't store alcohol. Can't do anything useful. 

[00:25:34] Jeremy: Yeah. 

[00:25:35] Christine Hronic: And as a result, your body will pause that loss. So you're pausing your ability to lose fat for 48 to 72 hours.

[00:25:43] When you consume alcohol due to the alcohol metabolism process, actually have a whole YouTube. On that process in several videos. , so that's one thing we want to drink plenty of water. you want to make sure that you're tracking your food and , obviously macros matter and we're talking about protein. don't have not cards, but your calories still mattered. So if you are not eating in a caloric deficit, if you are eating, so here's the here's the way it works. Really simple. There's something called your BMR. Your basal metabolic rate is how

[00:26:13] many calories you need to consume to just. for 24 hours, right?

[00:26:18] So you take that value. It's a certain number of calories. Then you add whatever amount of calories you are doing for activity 

[00:26:25] working out. And then you take the sum of those two. That's your total daily energy expenditure. We take this number and then we apply a caloric 

[00:26:32] deficit. So if you want to lose one pound. 

[00:26:35] That per week, you need to be in a deficit of 500 

[00:26:38] calories per day because to burn one pound of body fat in a week 3,500 calories, over seven days, 3,500 by by seven, 500. So the numbers don't lie and it. 

[00:26:49] pisses me off so bad. You guys, cause I'll be checking my macros. I'm thinking I'm eating kale, I'm eating brown rice.

[00:26:56] Like this is healthy, right. 

[00:26:58] But like the calories don't lie. It doesn't lie. So If you're over, you're over, you're not in a deficit and we have to move away from thinking. Just arbitrarily eating healthy is good enough. It's worth it to track your food, at least for a couple of weeks, get dialed in So you really are mindful of your portions, Jeremy, because if you're not, nothing's going to happen.

[00:27:22] And then once you get in a groove and you have an idea, okay, this is the portion size I should be eating. This is how much, and you probably don't need to be , tracking as strictly, but you're going to have to go through that rude awakening. Correct. That's what that's how much I'm supposed to have, you know. ,

[00:27:39] Jeremy: Totally totally. 

[00:27:41] Zach: so , eating too many calories is obviously an issue, but there is a sweet spot in there,

[00:27:45] right? Where you have to eat a certain amount. If you too few, that's also an issue. We 

[00:27:50] Christine Hronic: absolutely under eating is definitely a problem. It's not going to allow your body to have the metabolic capacity that it needs its hormone.

[00:28:00] Finally, it will lower your leptin levels, which is a hormone that tells your body that it's okay to part with stored body fat. So under eating is definitely not something that's beneficial, either it's being targeted. And that's why if tracking the food is a little too overwhelming for some folks, which it is, if you're at the beginning of.

[00:28:18] Following a detailed meal plan. It's maybe it may not be the most fun thing, but it's going to at least get you dialed in. That's where you need to be. And then you can make substitutions from 

[00:28:30] NA: that point.

[00:28:31] Zach: So you mentioned BMR that is again, that's a number that changes based on who you are. How do you figure that out? I would love to say that my BMR is like 4,000 calories a day, but, um, you know, it, or I could eat 4,000 a day just to maintain, but I know that's not true. How do you figure out your BMR and what that number is for you?

[00:28:49] Because it, it can vary vast. From person to person, right? 

[00:28:54] Christine Hronic: Absolutely. And we can run your BMR right now. If you're not shy to share your information, um, how tall are you? Six 

[00:29:03] Zach: foot even. 

[00:29:03] Christine Hronic: Okay. So he's six foot and I actually have an online calculator and I am using the Harris Benedict equation. How much do you currently weigh 

[00:29:12] Zach: a last check?

[00:29:13] I am two 18 

[00:29:15] Christine Hronic: to 18. And how old are you? 

[00:29:18] Zach: 42 really old 

[00:29:20] Christine Hronic: you're young. Oh my goodness. All right. So your BMR is 2052 calories, 2050 2.94. So let's just say roughly 2050, that's not bad just to maintain. That's assuming you did nothing in 24 hours. And if you I'm sorry, I made you six, four, let me rerun it. 

[00:29:42] You're not six.

[00:29:44] Yeah. Um, it is going down. Sorry about that. Why does it keep trying to make you six, four? 

[00:29:52] Zach: You know, I'll, I'll take it I will take 

[00:29:54] Jeremy: I think it's measuring his ego. 

[00:29:59] Christine Hronic: Well, let's just say roughly 2000 calories and in that case. So, um, yeah, with that being said, roughly 2000 calories and that that's plenty of food, that's just for you to maintain, I'm sure you're active until you're working out. So, you know, you'll probably need to be closer to, I dunno, somewhere between 2000 and 3000 calories, and obviously that number can be dialed in according to your activity level.

[00:30:20] Jeremy: So that's interesting because my numbers would be similar. I'm a couple inches taller, but around the same number and you know, my, my ring and my watch and the 14 trackers I've got on my body, tell me that I burn about 3000 calories. Every. So, I guess maybe where I'm falling short is,. I must be eating more than that and that's why the weight's not coming off. 

[00:30:39] Christine Hronic: I think it's two things. So it's, it's common that people under. Underestimate how much we're actually eating. It's very common, but those trackers, they overestimate how many calories people are burning. I think it's good. Like the steps. I love it. It keeps people active. but like, if you were actually burning 3000 calories a day, like 3000, right times, seven days in a week, that's 21,000 calories a week.

[00:31:06] Like you probably be burning with like six, seven pounds a week. Like we know that's not happening. No offense. I'm not 

[00:31:13] NA: trying to. 

[00:31:13] Jeremy: that's where I'm, I'm baffled constantly. I'm like, I the numbers from my magical robots, tell me I'm doing fine. Why does the scale lie to me? 

[00:31:21] Christine Hronic: I don't know why these things tend to overestimate. I think that, I think they're fantastic at telling you your heart rate. I think it's good. You know, people who have daily step goals, I love it. It's good to just to promote activity. I don't think it's an accurate gauge. So I like to use activity factor.

[00:31:37] , just general rules of thumb. I would rather assume that you're burning less than more, and my general rule of thumb for calories. 

[00:31:46] I like to use the hundred calories per mile rule. So, um, I'm a former distance runner. I used to run marathons. this was like all in my days before I found the light and learn that, you know, it didn't matter if I ran a marathon, I still, I'm not going to get abs unless I'm eating in a deficit and weight 

[00:32:02] training. Um, The rule of thumb I like to use is a hundred calories per mile. So whether you walk a mile, whether you run a mile, you're going to burn roughly a hundred calories per mile. And it's a very conservative estimate. I think that we can accurately track how far we've moved in a day distance wise. And it's going to be way more conservative of an estimate.

[00:32:23] If you hit, let's say 10,000 steps in a day for most people that's roughly four miles or so. So you're saying, okay, was an extra four or 500 calories. That's, that's a lot more realistic than 3000 in a day.

[00:32:37] Jeremy: Sure. Sure. Uh, one of the videos I watched, uh, from your YouTube channel, which is a lot of, a lot of fun and a lot of great information there, you talked about the mindset going into any sort of change, whether it's nutrition or exercise, how important is mindset to making a change in whatever aspect of our life it is that we're trying to. 

[00:32:58] Christine Hronic: It's everything. It's absolutely everything. I mean, I think sometimes people. They already go into something with all these self-limiting doubts and all this. Baggage from everything they've done in the past, that didn't work. Like I was one of those people and you have to go into these things.

[00:33:17] With the mindset, just to take it a day at a time, to do your very best. And , it's one of those things where it's always a work in progress. If you get too far ahead of yourself, sometimes mentally, you can really mentally , mind "F" yourself. And It's just not. good. I think that being gracious, being patient.

[00:33:36] Believing that you can, but also being sober, realistic and patient in that process because you start getting, I like my clients who get a little too hype too soon, or the people who end up falling. 

[00:33:49] Right away. You just need to take a slow and steady sober mindset to it. Like, no, it's going to take a minute, but no, you can do it.

[00:33:57] No, that if you mess up, you just reset early reset often and keep going. And I think we can't expect perfection. I think we just need to do our best, but then you also at the same time, Can't cut yourself too much slack where you have to be like, all right. Do I want this goal or do I want to bullshit with my friends this weekend and have margaritas and nachos?

[00:34:19] Or do I really want this goal? So it's a combination of both.

[00:34:23] Jeremy: Lots of great information there. Thank you So much for being on the show. Where can we learn more about you and your. 

[00:34:28] Christine Hronic: So you guys can check me out on engage girl training.com. , I have a YouTube channel gage, gold training. There's over 800 videos there. One of the best ways to connect with me directly as on Instagram Gainesville training, shoot me a DM over there. Or, um, if you guys want to see my free macros blueprint, you guys can visit G O dot gage life.com.

[00:34:47] Go to hf.com from a free blueprint desk and check it. 

[00:34:49] out there.

[00:34:50] Jeremy: And we will put all those links on our website as well. And, uh, when the book comes out, we'd love to have you on 

[00:34:56] Christine Hronic: Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure guys. 

[00:34:58] Jeremy: Thanks so much. 


[00:35:00] Zach: All right. Our thanks to Christine hydronic. All of the links that were mentioned in the interview can be found on our website, the fitness.com, so, Jeremy, I think that after having done the show for, I don't know, 90 plus episodes , I think we've probably heard like 80 times that mindset's important. 

[00:35:19] Jeremy: It seems to be a big deal 

[00:35:21] Zach: I'm not, you know, I'm still not quite there yet. I don't know. Maybe I, we might need another 90 people to tell me, but you know, we, we hear that a 

[00:35:29] Jeremy: Just listening to that reminds me, I mean, you know, I was whining and complaining at the beginning of the show about how nutrition is hard and I can't figure these things out. I also know. Part of that is my mindset that I haven't made it a priority. I haven't made it a priority to put everything aside and figure out exactly what works.

[00:35:46] I haven't made it a priority to actually go to the gym. That is like a 10 minute walk from my house and use the heavy things that are there to lift them up and put them down. 

[00:35:53] Zach: Oh, you haven't told me that the gym is only 10 minutes 

[00:35:56] Jeremy: Oh, it's it's in this community. I could literally walk there in 10 minutes. Like not even 10 minutes, five. 

[00:36:00] Zach: that's it. I'm going to start giving you shit about 

[00:36:02] Jeremy: Yeah, I have no excuse.

[00:36:03] And so I know that it's a big part of it is just the mindset. I don't make it a priority. And so before we hit record here, I was thinking about what is it going to take to get me in the gym? And I thought back to the interview we did with your trainer, Kayla. And she talked about, , when someone joins a CrossFit gym, like first step, just show up, just walk in the door.

[00:36:22] And so part of me was thinking, maybe I'll do that. Maybe I'll walk out. I literally just walked in. Just so that I can sort of get over that hurdle of, oh God, it seems like I got to put on shoes and walk all the way over there. It's going to be a thing. And then it got lifted the things. And then I got to come back and get cleaned up.

[00:36:38] Like I've played out in my head what an ordeal it's going to be. And it's going to take like 30 minutes tops. I have no excuse. It's literally a mindset shift that I needed to make for myself to get on.

[00:36:50] Zach: This morning, It was one of those weird mornings where like my alarm went off, I was in the middle of a dream and I dunno, I think it's everyone. But like when I wake up in the middle of a dream, I'm super groggy. Like going back to sleep is a real option, but I got out of bed. I was like, just get up.

[00:37:09] That's your first step? Just get up, like stand up. I was like, okay, I've stood up. I still want to go back to that. Nope. Go put some clothes on. I still want to go back to bed. Getting your car. I still want to go back to bed, get to the gym. And that was it. Once I made it there, I was still tired, but like, you're there.

[00:37:29] What are you going to do? 

[00:37:30] Jeremy: Well, let's, uh, our guests just the other day she posted on Instagram. , it was something to the effect of , workout. First thing in the morning before your body figures out, what's going on? I think that's brilliant. That's a great. 

[00:37:40] Zach: so all you have to do go back and listen to 85 plus shows that talk about mindset that we've done and just commit, 

[00:37:49] Jeremy: Right, 

[00:37:50] Zach: it out. Do it. , 

[00:37:52] Jeremy: sometimes it is that simple. It is just a matter of just quit thinking about it. Quit worrying, quit wondering what's going to happen if and oh God, what if I hurt him? It 

[00:38:00] just, just shut up and go. Just go do it.

[00:38:02] Zach: Yeah, but, with the right mindset, right? We know, that's harder than it sounds , but you do have to make a commitment. You have to shift your mindset to completing that task, to doing whatever it is that.

[00:38:14] you want to do. If it's learning about nutrition, which I'm going to ask you about nutrition next. 

[00:38:20] Jeremy: I still know as much as I know today. 

[00:38:23] Zach: What happens when we eat too much protein,

[00:38:26] Jeremy: I don't know.

[00:38:27] Zach: seriously, You Aikido for that long. And you don't know what happens when we eat too much.

[00:38:32] Jeremy: 100. That was all I had to think about 

[00:38:34] 100 real simple

[00:38:36] Zach: Uh, if you eat too much protein, it converts into a no sugar. See, come on you knew that 

[00:38:44] Jeremy: All right. We'll find maybe I will put on some shoes and walk over to the gym and just, , be there and then 

[00:38:48] I'll come back. of course. Cause I'm not going to go lift anything heavy today. That's ridiculous. But. I'll do my best and we'll update you next 

[00:38:56] week when we post a brand new episode. Thanks so much for listening.

[00:38:59] Quick 

[00:38:59] reminder, we do have a brand new 

[00:39:01] Facebook group that we're opening and inviting followers on our Facebook page to participate this month. Our challenge is meditation, trying to get yourself to meditate three to four times a week, five minutes. We will talk about how that's going so far and we have not only a 50% off code for Headspace for you to 

[00:39:19] join in that Facebook group, but there's a new app that I'm using. It's very cool. It's called balance and they are giving away a free year right now. So we'll have a link to that. And some other resources for You to experiment with your meditation practice.

[00:39:31] We'll talk about all.

[00:39:32] of that and our progress as well. Over the next few.

[00:39:35] But make sure to come back next week to the fitness.com where we will have a brand new episode on Wednesday as we do every week. Thanks so much for listening 

Christine HronecProfile Photo

Christine Hronec

Three-time champion fitness competitor and founder of Gauge Life

Christine Hronec is an award-winning chemist and three-time champion fitness competitor, nutrition, and exercise expert. Since founding her company Gauge Life in 2013, Christine has helped approximately 40,000 women transform their bodies and switch to a body-positive self-image. Her YouTube channel has over 25 million views. Christine has received awards from the American Chemical Society and was published in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Christine was part of the team that created Time magazine’s “Invention of the Year” for her work in the biotech field.