Archives for July 2018

Are You Hungry? Deciphering the Clues for Weight Loss.

Don’t let them lie to you. You will be hungry if you are trying to lose weight. The thing is that it might not be physical hunger you feel. How you deal with this the the ABSOLUTE KEY to your weight loss journey.

In this video I go over:
– The 4 different kinds of hunger
– How to figure out which one you are experiencing
– How to deal with it so that you can reach your goal

Let me know what you think!

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness

July Members of the Month – Dave & Carol Yamane

Castro Valley Fitness Members of the Month – July 2018

Dave and Carol Yamane

It is our pleasure to recognize Dave and Carol Yamane as our Clients of the Month. They have been members for 8+ years and have the honor of being Mitch’s longest standing clients!

Since joining CV Fitness they both find they have more stamina, strength and just feel healthier.  Dave, especially, is much more aware of his posture. They like that sessions are scheduled to help keep them honest.  Carol appreciated the partnership to help with her rehab after knee surgery.

Workouts are tailored to their needs instead of being regimented where everyone does the same thing.  The workouts are challenging and they have evolved over time.  They also like the added cardio part of their workouts.

They like the encouraging, positive, environment with a nice group of people.  CV Fitness isn’t a judgmental place and there aren’t any “drill sergeants”.  One of the best features is they can bring their dog!

The three words that best describe their experience at CVF are “fun, encouragement, and accomplishment.”

I Hate Motivation

This may sound wierd but I hate motivation. Yes, you read that right.


I’m sure you’re asking yourself what the heck am I talking about? Well, here’s the truth:

Motivation is the main reason people don’t reach their goals.

Yes, you read that right.

Motivation is the main reason

people don’t reach their goals.

OK. Now I’m pretty sure you think I’m crazy. Well, let me explain by asking you a question.

How many times in your life have you really been motivated to do something? Let’s take losing weight for example. You were ready to go, you had the diet thought out. You were going to hit the gym a few times a week and do it hard. You were going to start Monday morning. You were MOTIVATED!!

Well, how many of those times did Monday come around and when that alarm went off at 5am you weren’t so motivated anymore? What did you do then? Well, the answer to this question is the answer to how successful you were at reaching any meaningful goal in your life.

Let’s put it like this: If you relied on motivation to get up at 5am on Monday morning, you turned off that alarm clock and went back to bed. More then likely you used a whole lot of “ifs” when you were setting that alarm clock the night before. “I’ll get up IF I feel good in the morning.” Who feels good at 5am?

Using an “if” in this way is you giving yourself an excuse not to do something.

The real gold lies in forgetting motivation. When that alarm goes off you don’t allow yourself to question it. You just get up. You do that because you know that you need to if you really want what you say you want. You don’t wait for motivation to strike because it will always be much easier to do nothing than to do something. You do it because you know you should. That’s the beginning and the end of it.

You can call it discipline, desire or whatever you want to call it, but that is the key. If you rely on motivation to get you through you will ultimately be disappointed.

Don’t rely on motivation like sad Dawson.

Here’s another quick thing. People who rely on motivation wind up being even less motivated because they see themselves as failures for not being motivated all the time. Funny how that works. If this is you, you have to understand that no one is motivated all the time.

You are not alone.


OK. Let’s finish up with a few tips to help you get over the lack of motivation.

  1. Be OK with not being perfect. I know it may seem like everyone else has it all together, but believe me, they don’t. Beating yourself up over your perceived lack of perfection is a sure-fire way to not only make no progress, but to pile on a dose of low self-esteem and depression as well.
  2. Do what you can. You don’t feel like working out? No problem. Just give yourself permission to come to the gym and do what you can do. No more. You don’t go all the way through your workout? No problem. Something is better than nothing. I have yet to have someone come in for a workout and regret it. Accept progress in whatever form it comes.
  3. Don’t take no for an answer. By the way, the “no” is almost always going to come from you!! Tell yourself to be quiet and just get on with it.
  4. Stop talking to yourself. What are the types of things you probably say to yourself at 5am? I’m guessing they’re not that positive or ultimately helpful. Just shut up and get moving before the voices have a chance to get too loud.

I hope that helped. These are pretty common issues that don’t necessarily feel that way. Please let me know if you’d like to talk it through. That can really be a huge help.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way



5 Ways To Combat Emotional Eating

If I had to pick one thing that it seems gets in people’s way the most when it comes to their diet, it is definitely emotional eating. You can call it stress eating, too. I found a great definition of emotional eating at It says:

“Emotional Eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” or junk foods — in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.”

I don’t want to get super deep today but I do want you to notice the last sentence of that definition:

“Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.”

emotional eating

I’ve said many times that emotional regulation is actually the most important part of weight loss.

What I’d like to do today is just give you a few different strategies you can use when you feel like the emotional and stress eating bug is about to bite you.

  1. Know that you are not alone. I’ve talked to many people that swear that they are the only ones who have this problem and that everyone else has it all together. Let me assure you, this is not the case. This is a huge issue for so many people. I refer again to the above sentence: “Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.”
  2. Where does this happen? Try to figure out where these issues occur and get your trigger foods out of there. The old rule is this: If it’s there, you will eventually eat it.
  3. Be honest and prepare. A common version of this is when your schedule just gets in the way and you wind up eating whatever is easy and quick instead of something healthy and nourishing. Take an honest look at your schedule, figure out when eating good meals will be a problem and take some time to make something healthy that will be ready for you.
  4. Take a step back. I know this is hard. If it wasn’t this wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. Having said that, if you don’t take a step back when things are going a little crazy this is just not going to get better. I know that emotional eating feels good when you’re doing it. That’s why people do it. I also know that most people don’t feel very good physically or emotionally when they’re done.
  5. Understand that it’s OK. One piece of cake or one bowl of ice cream is never the reason someone is overweight. Just like one apple or piece of broccoli is never the reason someone is in shape. The worst thing about emotional eating is that for some people it triggers a whole host of negativity. These thoughts usually go something like, “I just blew it. I might as well eat the rest of the carton” or “I knew it. I can’t do this. I might as well give up.” No, emotional eating isn’t good, but it’s understandable. What’s a whole lot worse is letting one episode extend to an emotional black hole that takes days or weeks to escape from.

emotional eating

I know that this is a pretty simplistic view of this. I also know that this is incredibly hard for so many people (again, you are not alone). I just want to try and get you thinking a little bit about some ways that you might be able to combat this a little bit. Also, I want you to notice that I didn’t say defeat this or beat it.

It is incredibly important that you understand that this is a process. This is not about winning or losing, it’s about getting better. I know that doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as “Lose 20 Pounds In 4 Weeks” but getting your mind around this process is the only way to make this really work in a way to make your life better, and that’s what we are all really looking for. Right?

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
We Help People Discover Their Strength

The CV Fitness Diet Guide

Diets are confusing. I know it and you know it. Amazon currently lists over 50,000 diet books! Just on the first page alone you can get books that promise you solutions in 30 days, 17 days, 14 days, 7 days and 20 days! It’s no wonder everyone is so confused!!

Well, I’m here to help sort a few things out. Today I’m going to break down a few of the diets that seem to be getting a lot of attention these days. I’m going to let you know the positives and negatives and I’m going to talk about the things you need to understand to get the most out of each diet.

Here’s the first thing you need to know. All of these diets work. Every one of them.

Yes. That’s right. All of the books that tell you that their diet is the best one are simultaneously right and wrong. The truth is that it very well may be the best diet for you. It might contain the foods you like. Whatever meal timing it promotes might fit perfectly into your schedule. The preparation for the meals might be easy for you. It might fit into your life in a very workable and sustainable way.

On the other hand, the opposite of all those things may be true.

Here are some very important facts to know.

  1. Weight loss diets work because they cause a calorie defecit. That’s it. They may cause the defecit in a number of different ways but that is why they work. Not because of insulin, not because of hormonal reactions to their specific combination of foods. Not because of blood types. Because they cause a calorie defecit.
  2. There have been a number of studies that show that over time there is virtually no difference between any type of diet.
  3. Those same studies have shown that the most important aspect of a diet is that a person will stick with it.
  4. The ability to stick with a diet is a very individual thing and takes many different forms.

I’m going to break things in a bit of a general way but I think I’ll be able to get the point across.

OK. Let’s talk diets.

Low-Carb Diets

Common diets: Atkins, Ketogenic, Paleo

What is it? Low carb diets are diets that contain a minimal amount of carbohydrates. That can run from as little as 20 grams per day to as many as 150 grams depending on the exact diet. These diets focus mainly on lean protein and varying amounts of healthy fats, again, depending on the exact diet.

How it works: Since carbohydrates, particularly processed ones, can contain lots of calories for the amount of food they contain, cutting them out may be a relatively easy way to get in a calorie defecit.

The Good:

  • There’s not much to think about. Other than vegetables and a little fruit just don’t eat any carbs.
  • These diets can also be a good way to change some general meal planning habits from starch-based (noodles and bread) meals to protein-based (lean meats or eggs).
  • It can bring some good initial weight loss (even though most of the initial weight is going to be due to less water and glycogen in your body, not fat loss).
  • This diet can lower systemic inflammation in some people although that may be the case mostly in people that tend to eat a lot of the processed carbs this diet eliminates, not due to any magical food combinations. In other words, if you stop eating the junk the inflammation goes down no matter what diet you’re on.

The Bad:

  • The adjustment to this kind of diet can be extremely hard for people. It can cause headaches, a lack of energy, general mental fatigue, and like any extreme diet it forces someone to make very big changes all at once. Because of these and some other factors,
  • ]most studies have shown that this diet is just not sustainable for most people.
  • Over time the lack of carbs can lead to some vitamin and mineral defiencies in some people.
  • It may cause a real lack of energy. Particularly among those that exercise on a regular basis.

Who is the diet good for?

  • Someone who is OK with the initial adjustment period. It can effect some people more than others.
  • Someone who is not emotional about food.
  • Someone who doesn’t mind eating pretty much the same food on a daily basis.

Who is the diet not good for?

  • Some people seemingly have a tougher time converting fat to energy. This diet would be problematic for them.
  • People who tend to emotional or stress eat usually eat the kinds of foods this diet prohibits. While this may sound good initially, the reality is that this diet sets up a feeling of denial which will inevitably lead to someone falling off the diet and usually in a very dramatic way. Again, for most people this diet is just not sustainable.

Intermittent Fasting

Common Diets: Eat Stop Eat, Warrior Diet

What is it? Intermittent Fasting diets alternate long periods of not eating with shorter periods of eating. Common fasting periods can range from as long as 23 hours (dinner from one night until dinner the next) down to 16 hours (this usually takes the form of either skipping breakfast or dinner each day)

How it works. It’s pretty simple, really. If you restrict when you eat, and not go crazy when you do eat, it can be easy to cut calories.

The Good:

  • It’s very simple. Just skip the meals you are supposed to skip and eat sensibly to rest of the time.
  • Many people find that not having to worry about certain meals can relieve stress.
  • Many people find that this diet allows them to realize that they’re just not as hungry as much as they think.

The Bad:

  • This kind of diet may lead to overcompensation during your eating periods, which can eliminate any caloric deficit, or even cause a caloric surplus.
  • Similar to the last point, this diet could lead could lead to the “if not eating for a little bit is good, then not eating for long time is better!” type mindset. That is NOT a good thing and could easily pave the way for problems.

Who is this diet good for?

  • People looking for an easy way to cut calories without a lot of prep work.
  • People who don’t mind feeling a little hungry.
  • People who don’t mind skipping breakfast.

Who is this diet not good for?

  • People who have difficulty when they feel a little hungry.
  • People who tend towards disordered eating patterns.

Calorie Counting Diets

Common Diets: Pretty much any diet that tells you eat specific amounts of food. Zone, South Beach, If It Fits Your Macros and a million others.

What is it? Any diet that gives you specific quantities or recipes to eat that require you to weigh out your food.

How it works: By weighing and measuring what you eat it can be easy to figure out where your calories need to be to get the desired results and make the necessary adjustments.

The Good:

  • It can be pretty easy to make adjustments on this diet as long as your are accurate with your measurements.
  • There’s not any guess work here.
  • Seeing what an accurately weighed out serving size really is can be pretty enlightening. I’m looking at you peanut butter!!!

The Bad:

  • Requires a lot of time to get used to weighing everything.
  • Raise your hand if you enjoy weighing out all your food. I didn’t think so.
  • Requires a lot of prep time, especially at the beginning.
  • If you are not accurate with your weighing (many people are not) these diets will simply not work.
  • These types of diets may not give the dieter an internal sense of what they should or shouldn’t be eating, which can crucial for long term success

Who is the diet good for?

  • Someone who is very disciplined about their eating and doesn’t mind doing the prep work.
  • Physique competitors.
  • Someone who already has a pretty good idea about their diet but wants to take things up another step.
  • People who don’t mind eating the same foods most days.

Who is the diet not good for?

  • Beginning dieters often think this is the approach they need but quickly find out that it simply requires too much change, too soon.
  • Busy, stressed people may find that the prep these diets require is a big problem.
  • People who need variety in their diet.
  • Emotional and stress eaters.

Habit Based Diets

Common diets: Precision Nutrition, this is our approach at CV Fitness

What is it? Diets that focus on specific habits and skills based around eating as opposed to specific meal planning. These diets are meant to establish good long-term habits to change or replace problematic ones. The idea being, that for sustained results a behavioral approach is more effective for the long term.

How it works: The dieter is to focus on one thing to work on. An common example would be taking 5 more minutes than usual to eat a meal. The idea is that we all have good habits and bad ones when it comes to eating. By working on good ones we can replace the bad ones.  Also, much research on behavior change has shown that a “one habit at a time” approach has shown a much greater long-term success rate than an approach where many things must be worked on at once.

The Good:

  • These diets tend to be dieter-driven. Meaning that the dieter themselves has more of a say in the approach than just doing what someone else says. This can lead to a greater feeling of autonomy and greater adherence.
  • Can start to really get to the issues around food that are the real root of the problem.
  • These diets take a gentler approach, for the most part, which can eliminate the intimidation factor that many people feel when starting a diet.

The Bad:

  • The dieter must be patient. These are not 20 pounds lost in two weeks kind of diets.
  • The dieter must be OK with trying to figure out what their real issues around food are.

Who is the diet good for?

  • People that may have tried to diet many times without success.
  • People who are good with a long-term approach to things.
  • People who want to be a part of the process as opposed to just being told what to do.

What is the diet not good for?

  • People who want dramatic fast results.
  • People who just want to be told what to do.
  • People who may have trouble being honest about what their issues around food really are.

Well, that’s all I have for today. I just wanted to give you a relatively quick rundown of some of these common and popular diets. You may have more questions now than you did before you started reading and if you do, please shoot me an email and let me know what they are.

I just wanted to touch on the very basics of these different approaches. Obviously there is much more to learn.

Please keep in mind what I said at the beginning of the post. All of these diets can work but what is most important is how they work for you! We all have different lives so it’s very important to understand that just because something works for someone else does not mean it will work for you.

That being said, let me leave you with this short list of things (in no particular order) to look for and think about when you start on a diet.

  • Is this sustainable for me?
  • What are the changes I have to make to do this?
  • Am I able to make these changes?
  • Am I willing to make these changes?
  • Do I need any additional support to do this?
  • How will this fit into my life?
  • What are my goals and why are they important to me?

There are, of course, many other questions you can and should ask and those will be individual to you. At times it can also be a huge help to have someone to talk through these things with you, as well. If you need that, please drop me a line and we will set up a time to do it.

Thanks for reading this fairly long post. I hope I was able to clear a few things up for you. Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way