315: How To Get On A Great Weight Loss Morning Routine, Mindset, Metabolism, and More - with Nagina Abdullah!
December 23, 2020
Welcome back to the podcast! In this episode, Chantel got to speak with Nagina Abdullah. She is a health & food coach for ambitious women. Thanks to her methods, she lost 40 pounds by eating delicious foods, and wore a bikini comfortably for the first time AFTER having two kids! Now, she helps successful women get control of their cravings, never feel deprived while they’re doing it, and get the body they dream of for life.
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Hey, guys, I want to introduce to you a special guest, and today we are talking all about fat burning routines.
We're talking about morning routines, we're talking about mind set metabolism burning and how to get fit after 40.
So Nagina Abdullah is joining us. Welcome, Nagina!
Thank you so much until I'm so excited to be here.
All right. Will you tell us a little bit about how you got into this and how I heard that you lost 40 pounds doing this routine?
Oh, my gosh, absolutely. Well, I had actually struggled my entire life in being able to lose weight and being able to feel healthy in my body and have control over my body. And I was the person that followed every single diet that knew exactly how many calories was in every morsel of food. And guess what? No matter what I did, I was never able to feel confident in my body. I was never able to feel like I was the size that I wanted to be, that I could fit into a bathing suit that I that I felt good in. And what happened is that I actually started working in my dream job in New York City and working as a management consultant. And I was traveling all around the country, jumping on trains and planes, living my dream life. But at that life, what happened was that we ate out at restaurants every night. We worked really long hours. And when I came home, all I wanted to do was sleep. I didn't want to go hiking. I wanted to go to sleep. And and so I actually soon after having that role, I got pregnant with my first child and then I had my second child. And so I was literally at the heaviest weight of my life while working 60 plus hours and having two children under the age of three. And so in that moment, I did not know what to do. I was extremely scared because my size was bigger than it had ever been before and I couldn't even fit into my pre pregnancy clothes. But but at the same time, I didn't even I wasn't even happy at pre pregnancy. So I was just trying to get back to pre pregnancy and then then then figure out what to do next.
But when you have two children, you're working that many hours. I just didn't have the time to keep gaining and losing the weight like I had been doing before, because I had tried all the diets from Weight Watchers to Atkins to South Beach to just eating less and exercising so much. And nothing ever got me to where I wanted to. And so I realized I needed to make a shift that was a lifestyle shift and that was no longer a diet because I didn't have time to gain and lose like ten to fifteen pounds and be uncomfortable in my body all the time. And it really hit me one day when when my my sister asked me, called me and my kids were younger, but we did have child care and my my sister called me and asked me to go to the city with my husband to meet her and her husband to go to dinner. And usually something that would have been my dream to go to my favorite city in the world, have an amazing dinner. I actually dreaded that thought because I thought about what would I wear. I had nothing in my closet that that would fit me. And even if I could find something that I could, like, tug over my body, I would feel such low confidence because I didn't feel like myself.
And and that moment when I turned down my family member and for for something that was the essence of who I was, I realized I needed to do something. I couldn't keep doing this. I couldn't keep living this lifestyle and feeling uncomfortable and not as confident as I could be in my body. And and so at that moment, I decided to utilize my background. I have a degree in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley. And I went and started doing all the scientific research I've been trained to do. But I started doing it for nutrition because I knew what I read is that 80 percent of losing weight is from what you eat. It is not from exercise. That's like the extra on the top, but to actually lose the weight you need to eat. Right. And I found that with all these weight loss companies are telling us are meant to keep us in the same hamster wheel of spinning around and around on this hamster wheel of just gaining and losing weight because they were they were teaching us to eat less portions of unhealthy processed foods. And what I started doing was using the research and adding natural foods, adding real foods and boosting my protein and using ingredients that I'm going to talk about in detail, like spices to increase my my metabolism. And I did that and Chantel to my extreme, like surprise. I couldn't even believe that this happened. I lost forty pounds in nine months. And and to put that in perspective, I got twenty pounds down twenty pounds losing twenty pounds, got me to my year pregnancy weight and then I lost 20 more and it was all through food. So after having two children I was finally at the most confident moment I had been in my life. And what happened from there is I started having energy. Go and take my kids on long walks. I have energy to run five KS, I have energy to go on hikes. I actually got a promotion in my job because I had so much confidence to put myself out there in front of clients. And I started a business on the side that's now become a multi six figure business. And I was able to quit my corporate job because of all the energy and focus that I have as a result of starting from no longer having to think about my weight and feeling amazing and comfortable and confident in my body. And so now I coach other women who are busy professional women physicians and high performing entrepreneurs to lose 20 to 40 pounds, create a lifestyle shift so that they keep this weight off and regain the confidence that that is the essence of who they are.
So let's say someone wants to do intermittent fasting and they want to do these morning routine. So tell us, like, what's a typical day for you and and how would they incorporate that?
OK, so so the so one of the so one of the key things that got me started was the morning routine that I started doing. And as a professional woman, my coffee in the morning was one of my favorite parts of my day and I didn't want to give it up. There was a lot of things that said that you're not supposed to have caffeine, but I just could not follow that. It just wasn't an option for me. And so what I started doing is something that I advise now that really creates a lot of changes is, number one, when you wake up in the morning to have a glass of what I call infused bloating water and and if you are doing intermittent fasting, this is absolutely fine to do because you're just drinking water. And then I'm going to teach you about caffeine afterwards if you have caffeine. And so this is all before you break your fast. And so this is so this is where you when you have an infused water, what you do is that you fill up a pitcher of water the night before you put in one lemon, you you cut one lemon into slices, keeping the peel on you put it in the water. And what lemon does is that it creates detoxes your body. So it helps you move. It helps you really, really just detox cleanse your body. And so by having that lemon in there, it's really amazing. The other thing that's happening is right now, because of Coronavirus, we definitely want to focus on keeping our immune systems high. And one lemon has 30 percent of your daily vitamin C. And so it's really, really great to have that. So you have one lemon in there, then you can do a variety of different things. I'm going to actually teach you right now my flat tummy water recipe, which literally women will tell me like two or three days afterwards. They're like, this is like magic. My tummy is flattening. And so what you do is you put lemon, then you put you also add in a mint, because what Mint does is that mint helps you decrease over eating and it decreases your sugar cravings. So right away in the morning you have that. And then the next thing that you put in the flat tummy water is that you also add you also add a little bit of a cucumber. So you put cucumber like you slice up one cucumber and cucumber actually decreases water retention. So when you're when you're drinking this water, it's helping you bloat your belly. That's why it's called infused body water. And that's why this recipe is a flat tummy water. And so when you drink this, all you have to do is put lemon, mint and cucumber, lemon, mint and cucumber. And the other thing about this is that when you wake up and you look in, you open your fridge because it's been infused all night. You get all of the flavors in there. You literally wake up and you feel like you're in a spa because you're like it tastes so good and you're like you're not depriving yourself, which is one of the core principles that I teach. When you create a lifestyle transformation, it's never about depriving yourself. It's actually about loving what you're doing and enjoying every moment of it. And so when you wake up to that beautiful water, you know that it's flattening your tummy. You know this all natural ingredients. All you can do is say, oh, my God, I want to do this every single morning. And you do. And so that is the start of the morning routine. The second part is if you are somebody that enjoys your caffeine like coffee or tea, one of the things that's very common is to add high levels or some levels of creamer or some level of sugar in there. And so something that could be totally good for losing weight can start to now prevent you and block you from losing weight, even if you feel like it's a little bit it starts to there's other things that are happening when you're adding even a little bit. And so but if we want that sweet flavor, there are so many other sweeteners that you could use in your coffee or tea that are not spiking your insulin like sugar does and causing us to store more fat. And the best sweetener by far, number one, is to add cinnamon to your coffee. And when you take a sprinkle of cinnamon, you sprinkle it and don't even have to measure it. If you really want to measure it, you could do an eight. But you really don't have to it's just adding a pinch of cinnamon, you drink it and what have what happens is that you get that sugar fix that you were wanting from sugar, but it's not spiking your insulin. So as a result, you're storing less fat. And secondly, you're getting your curbing your sweet cravings because you're fulfilling those sweet cravings with something natural, which is which is cinnamon. And so doing those two things in the morning before you break your fast or before you have breakfast or your first meal of the day are going to absolutely help boost your metabolism, lower your sugar, help you store less fat, detox your body, blow your belly, and you're going to feel amazing every moment of that. So that is two moments of the of the metabolism boosting morning routine. And and those were some of the first ways that I got started. And it helped me move into the other ways that I can talk about more, which were more about like transforming some of my meals and my mind sets as well.
All right, so let's talk about so OK, so I got how you started, I love that.
I kind of like the idea of that having that lemon. And just like when you when you think you're hungry, having some of that lemon mint and cucumber water. So the only thing you're putting in your coffee then is just the cinnamon, is that right?
So so that's a good question. Am I. So it is that if you're able to only put in cinnamon, it's great. But if you do like to have sugar and you just can imagine having it without sugar, you have a little more desire for sweetness. A natural way to to do this, to do this, Ed., is to just have half of the sugar that you were having. So if you were having like half a teaspoon or if you were having a teaspoon, have half a teaspoon of sugar and then sprinkle in cinnamon, if you were having half a teaspoon of sugar, have a fourth of a teaspoon and sprinkle in cinnamon. That way you're having less sugar, but you're still getting the sweetness and cinnamon like it tastes so amazing that it's going to make you feel really good.
And see, I disagree. I think I think that with the sugar, if you have to, I would do something like Monck Fruit or Esteva for you to do a little bit of that. And then but the people I see who have the best success, honestly, just mentally say I'm not doing it like I know so many people that can give testimony that said they would swear they could not have creamer in their coffee. And there's two different ways that you can do it. One person just did a little ice cream or a little less sugar, a little less every day and then kind of did OK after seven days. I'm not having it at all. But the people who I see who have the best success are the people who just say, I'm not doing it. I'm just going to have it black. It is what it is. I'm going to like it and mentally do it.
And those people like for me personally, I could never imagine having sweet tea or tea, a glass of tea without sugar in it. Now I could not have. So this is what I drink in the morning. It's actually hibiscus and green tea. There's not an ounce of sugar in there. There's no stevia. There's nothing in there. But I couldn't imagine having it having any sugar in there now, like I think it's absolutely delicious now.
But again, it goes back to that mindset because you you literally just train your body to go. I really love this.
I mean, I love that that's that's definitely a great way to do it. And so when you're talking about the sweeteners like Monck fruit and stevia, those are absolutely like we actually just did a study of the best, like the best of the worst sweeteners. And so cinnamon is the best. And then you get Monck fruit and then stevia is right after that very, very close to month fruit. So that's actually definitely, definitely better. So it's this like so I always focus on habit transformation and habit changes. And so if you're able to do something cold, of course, it's really amazing. Some people feel like they have an attachment to sugar and they're just not sure what to do. But if you at least can get started and step your foot in the door, then you're going to see if you're able to just do it cold. That's going to definitely get you the fastest, best results. Or if you're able to use Monck fruit or stevia as a replacement for sugar and then also add cinnamon. That works really, really great, too. So really taking some steps forward and getting off of the off of sugar is the key and will transform it will transform your body. It's literally the key that helped me lose 40 pounds.
I agree. I mean, I think for me it's sugar and sugar. And I used to have the mentality for me that if I didn't deprive myself and I can have some sugar for me, I've just gotten to the point that I say I've just trained my body to learn that I don't need it in my life anymore, because if I have it, the more I have it, the more I want.
And I'm so much I feel so much better without it.
Why would I want to add it back in? It just doesn't make sense for me. So let's talk about lunch. So what is your lunch look like? What is your dinner look like? And how are you kind of combining your food so that your metabolism is rocketing?
Oh, absolutely. OK, so so now I have created what's called the tested and perfected fat burning food framework. And this comes from testing and and working with over seven hundred and fifty professional women and also myself. And so seeing what has really been working and what is what is a good framework, that's simple enough so that you can you don't have to count points. You don't have to count calories. You don't have to act like food is such a transaction when it's actually part of our our life and our love. It's more about just understanding what are the foods to put on your plate and how do you combine them so that you boost your metabolism and you activate fat burning. And so it is called the tested and perfected fat burning food framework. And it works exceptionally well. It's very straightforward and it's very delicious when you start using the metabolism, boosting spices that I'll talk about as well. So what what you do for lunch is that you have 40 percent of your plate is vegetables, then 40 percent is protein and 20 percent is healthy carbs. So I'll go into what each of those are.
But they that one more time.
OK, so 40 percent of your plate is is protein, 40 percent is is veggies and then 20 percent is healthy carbs. So so one of the key things to note here is that I'm not advocating no carbs because you can have carbs, but when you learn the types of carbs that actually help you lose weight, instead of making it so that you have to go and work out or go running or you're going to gain weight, you have to go immediately, then then things change. Things start to become so easy you could literally be working ten hours a day and be boosting your metabolism, burning fat as you're sitting in your desk or as you're watching Netflix. That's what changes when you boost your metabolism. And so protein is very self-explanatory. It's definitely things. If you eat meat, then it's things like like animal animal protein. It could also mean fish. It can also mean eggs. Now, if you're a vegetarian or vegan, which I specialize in vegan and vegetarians also, because I have there's a lot of options. There's a lot of vegan vegetarians out there that are being told that they can't lose weight unless they eat animal protein. And it's completely false. It's a complete lie. You can absolutely lose weight without animal protein. And some of the options are things like using more beans and lentils. But but but improving the protein to carb ratio by adding protein boosts such as flax seed, hemp seed or chia seed to those lentils and beans. That's very key. Also doing using using things like like cheeses, especially there's an Indian cheese called pannier, which is very high in protein and is lower in everything else. So that's really, really a great option. And then also things like chickpea flour is really good or millet is a really great grain. So high fiber grains and high protein grains are really excellent for vegetarians and vegans. So that's the protein option now. The veggies, a veggie option, is really any non starchy vegetables or mostly green vegetables or for fruit, low sugar fruit like fruit, like berries, half an apple, a tangerine or a mandarin. Those are those are some examples.
Hey, guys, I wanted to tell you, I'm offering a free weight loss virtual Bible study. Now is the perfect time to focus on understanding true hunger and fullness and learn what the Bible has to say about it. All you have to do is go to Chantel Ray dot com slash Bible study. After you sign up, you'll receive a six week Bible study, video that you can watch on your own, or you can get a small group of people and do it together. That's Chantel Ray dot com slash Bible study for your free six week Bible study course.
And and then when we're talking about healthy carbs, what healthy carbs means, this is really key because what healthy carbs are, these are carbs that don't break down as quickly in your bloodstream and convert to fat. And usually typical white breads will do that. Even whole wheat breads will do that. Pasta will do that. There's multiple things that we don't that we think we're not allowed to have. You can still have them, just not on an everyday basis. But healthier carbs are beans and lentils, and the key is to learn to cook them using metabolism, boosting spices, because when you use those, it tastes incredible. Your whole family will love them. It's that good. You just have to learn the right recipe. So beans and lentils, the other thing is to eat a high fiber bread. And I do advocate eating bread, just the right type. And so what that means is Ezekiel bread is really great or Dave's killer bread or any other high fiber bread. So those are some examples of healthy carbs and then also high fiber and high protein grains, like I mentioned for vegetarians are in the protein category. For everybody else, it is a healthy carb. Millet is really amazing. And I actually have millet porridge recipes where you eat it in the morning and it tastes so, so delicious. And then also using other things like Buckwheat or other types of grains that are high fiber. Also quinoa is another option. So those are really the healthy carbs.
So you put in the typical lunch for you what would be items that you really love to have?
Yeah, so a really, really absolutely great lunch would be something like, for example. It would be. So if you if you do eat fish, I'll say an example for that. So it would be something like amazing salmon, which is just quickly cooked in the oven or on a pan. You'd have asparagus on the side. So you'd have mostly your plate is salmon and asparagus and then you have a side of curried chickpeas or curried kidney beans or just like black beans that you just combine with salsa. And so you have a hot meal, salmon, asparagus and some black beans or any other kinds of chickpeas or any other kinds of beans. That's a straightforward meal. And I love to add spicy mustard on the side, which is a low sugar dipping sauce. So that's really great. Another idea for a lunch is doing like a Southwest salad. So you would have on romaine lettuce or any other leafy greens, then you would add black beans as your healthy carb and then as your protein, you would have you could have like shredded chicken, you could have eggs, you could have whatever protein you like. Or if you're a vegetarian or vegan, you don't eat eggs. You could also do two tablespoons of hemp seed on that, which is going to give you a good boost of protein. And then you want to layer it up with veggies, like some cucumbers, some tomatoes, and you salsa as you're dressing because it's low sugar. And so you eat that and you're full and you're satisfied. That's the thing. You feel amazing and you don't get that 2:00 p.m. or three p.m. slump, which can often take us completely off track for the rest of the day. And so that's the so those are two kind of typical lunches that I had.
What would be a dinner that you would be eating?
OK, so for dinner, the framework shifts a bit and just a bit. And what we do is what we do is still protein, still veggies, but it's 50 percent protein, 50 percent veggies. And then instead of a healthy carb at night, you have a healthy fats. And so what we're doing here is we are not taking any of the other groups of the food groups out. But when you have fat at night, healthy fats, which I'll explain what those are, they keep you satiated through your sleeping time. So you actually have amazing sleep and you're not craving any foods late night when you're watching Netflix or you're just chilling out with your spouse or your family or on your own and you know, and so you are. So what happens is when you have the healthy fat, you usually use either a fatty or meat, like you would use something like chicken thighs or beef, or you would do a leaner meat and then you would add half an avocado or you would add like a nut butter nuts, or you use a tablespoon of coconut oil. And coconut oil is the one that I advise I. The most, because when you use coconut oil, it is full of meaty and key oils and what that does is it's really excellent for weight loss. It burns off your body while you're sleeping, but yet it still satiates you. So when you actually use a tablespoon of coconut oil, you put it on top of your your maybe whether you're eating chicken, whether you're eating fish, whether you were eating lentils, you put that on top of it and it actually brings out it feels creamy and luxurious and you feel very satisfied and just the right amount of people. So you don't you don't crave anything else. So, so. So, yeah.
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Let's talk about how to mentally get past eating sugar, so someone says, like, I'm just really craving it. What are they doing mindset wise to get themselves to say, no, I'm not caving in to eating any sugar right now?
OK, so the thing is that a lot of times we rely on willpower and we say I'm going to try really hard. Like, often this is something that so many, so many women and so many of my clients will say, and this is what I personally used to say to, is where I would wake up in the morning and I would say today I'm going to be healthy. Today's the day. I'm going to do it. I have to do what I feel so awful and I feel so bloated in my body. And I can't even look at myself in the mirror. I feel so fat I can't do this. And so I would start off with a great breakfast or a great morning or great lunch. And then when it would hit afternoon, I would start getting those sugar cravings. And even though I had tried and I had the intention, I'd set the intention, I couldn't get myself to not eat the sugar. And this is where things change. This is where Sugar Cravings is not about trying hard and telling yourself not to do it. It's actually 90 percent of the reason we have sugar cravings is because we're not eating enough at the meal before, because we're not full and satiated at lunch. We're having sugar cravings in the in the afternoon. But when you eat, like according to the fat burning food framework or you eat according to your own way of eating and you feel full and satiated, you will not have the level of sugar cravings that you have. Now, there's still a 10 percent that's left over. If you feed yourself in the nutritional nutritionally correct way where it's all about stress, you may be feeling stressed. You may be feeling emotionally like you need something or you may be feeling bored or you may be feeling like you need comfort. There's a number of different things that happen at different points of our day. And so in that moment, what it is, is about understanding yourself and not getting mad at yourself and saying what do I really need in this moment? Am I hungry or do I need to shake up the day because I'm so bored from being on Zoome calls or I'm so I'm so I need to do something different because I've been it's feels monotonous to be doing the same day, to doing the same thing. And when you start asking yourself what you really need, then you start realizing that food is a Band-Aid and you still need something, but you just don't have to go to food for that. But you do need to go to something.
It's not really body retraining your mind that any time you want that sugar, you're doing another activity. I think for me, walking is the great elixir for me because I really want something. If I, I have my walking shoes at work and I will literally go out for a walk and when I come back, I don't want it anymore.
That's amazing. Any other tips like that where you say because are you eating any sugar at all.
Am I eating any sugar at all. Actually, I don't have. I do. I do eat sugar on the weekends. I have a cheat day every single weekend and that is what has helped me stay. That is actually the strategy that has helped me and a number of people that I've worked with to keep us to keep us really satisfied and to know that we're not feeling deprived is that I know that I have a day on Saturday where let me tell you a quick story. I used to live right next door to the best bakery in our city. And imagine that I worked at home and I lived right next door to the best bakery. And it was definitely a good thing and also a bad thing because it was right there. But it was like the best the best baked goods. And so we created a tradition in our family where every Saturday morning we would go and get our favorite baked goods from the bakery and bring it home and eat it. And my favorite baked good is a chocolate present and the one in this bakery was out of this world. It's amazing. And so every Saturday morning, I would look forward to that and it would have my chocolate croissants or it would have it when I was ready to have it. And I knew and that satisfied me. And the moment I had it, I was like, OK, I'm good. If I keep eating more sugar, I'm going to go down a spiral and I'm gonna feel tired for the rest of the day. So so allowing myself to have it versus completely cutting myself off has has really, really allowed that that that to happen as has allowed that balance to happen. But really having a couple of things, like you said, walking like other activities, understanding that you really need something, but it's something else. So just the habit of going to food doesn't have to be the only habit you could break the habit by creating a new habit. And and so having going for a walk, it could be if you have the time taking a bath or a shower, taking care of ourselves, that's really what we're looking at, taking care of ourselves. It could be that if you call somebody that means something to you, it's sometimes could mean that you look at photos in your folder, in your phone, because it brings joy to you and it gives you these positive ways of thinking. And it could also mean that you have a healthy snack that's already available and it has a little bit of healthier sugars, like it could be berries with Greek yogurt or could be almonds or an apple with peanut butter. Those are two excellent snack or carrots and hummus. And you have some really great go tos that, you know, will will keep. You satisfied and so you're able to make that transition from going straight to all sugar to to doing something healthier or to completely getting off of food and doing something different.
Awesome. Well, this has been great to tell listeners where they can find you and where they can follow you.
Oh, my gosh, absolutely. Well, I have the best place to find me is on my website, which is MarsalaBody.com. And that's spelled M like merry, marsalabody.com.
And that's where when you put your name in your email into my Web site, I will immediately send you my free recipe book, which is called Seven Spicy Recipes to Melt Away Your First Seven Pounds. And these are very delicious. Easy to make the recipes, including my metabolism, boosting Minchinbury smoothie, which is really, really delicious and easy. And then the other place to find me is on Instagram. Outmuscle, ABody and I post daily stories. And I also have a very active Facebook group which is called Healthy Professionals Healthy Lifestyle for Female Professionals. And you'll find that once you come to my website. I'll tell you all about that in my first email when I send you the book.
Awesome. Well, thanks again for being with us. And you guys stay tuned. We have another episode coming up in just a few, bye for now.