I’m letting go of a dream

Dear Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp Fans!
I’ve decided to let go of a dream.
I founded the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp in 2008, after I had quit my job in the pharmaceutical industry.  I wanted to improve people’s health, not push medications on them. I had hit rock-bottom and needed change in a big way. I was at a point in my life where the pain of staying in place was greater than my fear of change and failure. I ended a dead-end relationship and went back to grad school, while training clients full-time.  I learned to be honest with myself and finally pursue my passion for fitness and nutrition.
The first few weeks without a structured job and regular income were a little bit anxiety provoking. There was nobody paying for my health insurance and regular salary. However, the lack of structure was something that I thrived on. I felt so excited that my future was entirely up to me (not that it hadn’t been before, but I hadn’t felt so badass before). For the first time in my life, I felt free to try myself out. I wanted to see how much I had in me.
I had played with the idea of creating a boot camp workout for New Yorkers on the Brooklyn Bridge for close to a year before I quit my job. The Brooklyn Bridge had always been my favorite place from which I could gain perspective of the city and my life. When I introduced the idea to friends and clients the response wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but instead i heard words such as ‘interesting’, and “that’s different…”, but the undertone sounded more like “weird idea – how’s that ever going to work…”. However, other people’s opinions weren’t as strong as my intuition pushing me to pursue it regardless. I gave a private client a workout on the bridge to introduce her to my idea and ask for her take. She was enthusiastic and beat at the same time.
To start the boot camp, I invested $1,000 to have a website built and to subscribe to an online class booking service. I was ready to kick it off in April 2008. I put 3 classes per week on the schedule and excitedly started to spread the word via email to friends and clients. I was incredibly nervous and excited before my first class. I waited at the bottom of the bridge and 6.30am rolled around. 6.35…. 6.45 – not a single person showed up. I was disappointed, sure. But, it’s New York and people have unforeseen issues with transportation, child care, work schedules.
I didn’t give up right then and there. To the second class, two people showed up. Within 2 months, my weekend morning classes on the Brooklyn Bridge were already filling up with 15 people each. Within 2 months I hired my first trainer to teach for me – the client I had taken across the Brooklyn Bridge in a trial workout! She had decided to become a personal trainer and so I hired her on the spot. Within 4 months, I had 8 weekly classes on the schedule and the word of mouth grew fast. Participants told their friends and coworkers about the workout and they then would tell their friends.
Not long after the first few classes, I received a call from a producer for Fox News, who wanted to send his reporter to our class to broadcast from the workout. You can imagine the excitement I felt. The support, encouragement and outside validation I felt gave me the feeling that I had done the right thing to quit my job, end my relationship and leave behind the Ariane that was slightly fearful of the unknown. Since 2008, Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp has been featured by more than 250 media outlets, ranging from the New York Times, Shape Magazine, Self Magazine, Women’s Health, NBC, ABC, CBS News and local TV channels to International features ranging from German to Japanese TV and newspaper outlets.
When the New York Times reporter called me to ask if she could attend one of my classes, I felt as if I was dreaming. All these media inquiries came without me even reaching out to anyone.
The selling point? The media loved the story behind Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp. Work your butt off on an iconic landmark that the entire World knows. The media outlets in Germany also picked up the story, but mostly for the story of a German woman living the American Dream in New York. Since I had left Germany at the age of 21 to pursue my life in the States, I had suddenly become the woman who ‘had made it’.
However, what they didn’t like to tell was that New York is a hard-working city and I worked 18 hours most days to create BBBC, develop it, and build it up.
In 2010 I decided to produce a workout DVD since the requests from overseas were increasing. People had heard about our workout and wanted to do join in, but without getting on a plane to New York. The production took a good year and was the most time-consuming project I have ever worked on.
The highlights of our 9 years were many, but the biggest highlights were and are still today our clients. They have always ranged from those who got their health back and lost loads of weight, to those that trained towards impressive events, such as marathons, triathlons and Ironman. What’s very special is the energy of our community we have created that has allowed like-minded people to come together to achieve their goals, and the many many opportunities we’ve had along the way to help make people healthier, fitter and happier and create countless friendships in the process.
So, here I am, telling you that I will no longer be offering Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp classes on the Brooklyn Bridge or in Central Park. I’m letting go of my dream because while it was an amazing run, the truth is there are other dreams I want to pursue because BBBC ruled my life for many years.
I’m in the business of helping my clients realize their dreams of health, fitness and success and I want to and have to walk the talk. And, to be honest with you, the fitness industry has changed so much in recent years. I don’t want to offer ‘just a workout’ when I know that what my clients need is education, motivation, an understanding of their own potential, so I will focus my time and energy on continuing my Slim & Strong programs, my fitness retreats and on my private Nutrition Coaching Practice that has been growing into a full-time job.
Trust me, I’ve struggled with this decision for more than a year and the option was to sell it or have someone else run it, but neither panned out the way I had envisioned. I struggled with simply shutting it down because a big part of who I am was attached to the business and I was afraid of who I would be without it. But, unless one door closes, another one can’t open and I’m really excited to see what’s behind the next door.
I want to thank you for having been part of our journey with your openness and enthusiasm for what we offered over the past few years. It’s been a wild ride.
As a very next step I’m excited to announce that I’m launching an online Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp Instructor Training Program in April. This comprehensive program allows trainers to get an in-depth understanding of program creation, along with business advice on starting their own boot camp in the US and in Germany. Please feel free to share with your friends who may be interested.
I look forward to seeing you for indoor classes, workshops and my retreats!
Cheers, Ariane

You’re invited to our Mindful Reboot Retreat, April 7-9, 2017

I’m excited to invite you to my

Mindful Reboot Retreat 

 April 7-9, 2017 SOLD OUT!

This weekend retreat is ideal for you if you want to:
  • recharge your batteries and reset your metabolism
  • understand the deep connection between stress and disease
  • detox your body and mind
  • kickstart your life’s purpose
  • reboot a healthy and fit lifestyle
  • make new friends who inspire and share your journey

We will be staying at the beautiful Menla Mountain Tibetan Retreat Center.
Your weekend includes:
  • 2 nights of accommodations (Friday through Sunday)
  • 2 full breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners (delicious vegetarian detox meals)
  • Daily workouts with Ariane
  • Daily stretching
  • Daily guided meditation
  • 2 Yoga classes with Laura Weiss
  • Daily nature hikes
  • Workshops: Vision Boards, Resetting your metabolism through nutrition, exercise and simple lifestyle hacks, Remove roadblocks to success.
  • Cooking demonstration
  • Not included: transportation and spa treatments

The registration opens today, Wednesday at 11.30am.
I’ve put together a very special offer for the first 5 to register:

SAVE $75 off your registration! 

Do as little or as much as you like
Friday April 7
10.30am – 12.45pm Check in
12.45pm Lunch
1.30pm 2.5 Hour Hike and mountain top meditation
4.30pm Workshop: How to reboot your body and mind
6pm Dinner
7pm Yoga & Meditation with Laura
Saturday, April 8
7am: Morning Workout & Hike
8am Breakfast
9am Workshop: Removing road blocks to success
12pm Lunch
12.30pm – 5.30pm Spa Treatments/ Massages/Sauna/ Hiking/Workout
5.30pm Meditation
6pm Dinner
7pm Workshop: Vision boards & Surprise
Sunday, April 9
6.45-7.45am Morning Hike, Workout and Meditation
8am Breakfast (eat light before yoga!)
9.30-10.45am YOGA
11-11.45am Workshop
12pm Lunch
12-1.30pm Spa treatments
1.30 pm Departure & free-time to enjoy in Woodstock (20 minutes away) or Phoenicia
Pricing per person:
Standard Accommodations with shared bathrooms
Single Occupancy: $750
Double Occupancy: $625
Triple Occupancy: $550
Quad Occupancy: $475
Deluxe Accommodations with private bathroom, Wi-Fi, Telephone.
Single $950
Double $875
Triple $800
By placing your $400 deposit, you are agreeing to this policy:
If cancelation takes place more than 40 days prior to your departure date, any payments made, will be refunded minus your deposit. If cancellation takes place between 20-40 days prior to your departure, 50% of the trip price will be forfeited. If cancellation takes place less than 20 days prior to your departure date, 100% of the trip price will be forfeited. All prices are per/person and include a non-refundable deposit. Final payments for full fee are due on February 20th, 2017.
Transportation options:
Adirondack Trailways BUS (from Port Authority to Phoenicia about 2.5 hours): $66.50 R/T plus $5 shuttle pick-up by Menla
Amtrak NYC to Rhinecliff (1.45 hours): Prices starting at $80 R/T. Take 50-minute Taxi to Phoenicia for about $60.
Or use your own car.
Check out all details here.
Pay your deposit here at 11.30am today!
Use code ‘Menla’ at checkout to save $75 off your registration if you’re one of the first 5 to register!

I can’t wait to spend a very special weekend with you in April! (No worries, he’s staying home :-)

Slim & Strong December: Brittany won by losing 6.4 lbs, 3.5% body fat and 6 inches in only 3 weeks!

December is always a challenging month. Parties over parties and the holiday foods can be a challenge for many. After all, this time of year rolls around only once a year and you want to enjoy it. However, my definition of enjoyment is when you can have fun while doing it AND afterwards. So, I’ve learned over the years to have a little something of things I really want, such as a hot dog from the German Holiday booth in Columbus Circle or my mom’s x-mas cookies (a few and I’m happy), but I no longer have blow-outs that I later retreat and spend months on working off.

My December Slim & Strong participants were incredibly focused. They liked the accountability of being in the program and it made it easier for them to say no at parties. Some used the program as an excuse not to indulge when their friends asked them to join in. The results were amazing. Not only did people feel great at the end of the year, looked better in their ugly x-mas sweaters :-) but they also felt empowered by feeling in charge of their food choices, their bodies and metabolism.

The winner of the Slim & Strong Session was Brittany. Keep in mind that she achieved these changes in only 3 weeks!

Brittany lost 6.4 lbs, 3.5% body fat and 6 inches!  

You can see the great changes in her abs, shoulders and improved posture.

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The winner of Slim & Strong is always determined by most body fat lost AND most muscle gained. It’s a hard feat and requires a well-balanced exercise, nutrition and rest approach.  I checked in with her a few days ago and was glad to hear she’s been doing great.
Here’s her update:

Hi Ariane,
You read my mind – I was about to contact you. Thank you for the update on the classes, definitely need to get back on track. I have not been the best with my workouts/cooking lately, but have been focusing on interviewing/making a job change which I realized I need to do for my overall happiness. Thanks for making me realize what changes I need to be making in 2017 for a happier, less stressful life!
Can’t wait to start using my classes over the next week or so! Thank you again for everything. I have made it a habit to stick to as much protein as possible – especially for breakfast, cut out all sweeteners (only using stevia in my coffee), and keeping dark chocolate at my desk if I crave a sweet midday. – Brittany
See, sometimes you get more than better fitness, a better body and better health. Many people realize the issues that prevent them from putting their health first.
Hope to see you in February. We’re starting on the 2nd. Here are the details:
Slim & Strong
The Basics of Fatloss
February 2-28, 2017
Join our 4-Week Slim & Strong program and win $200 for dropping the most weight and body fat percentage. Get the attention of a personal coach at the price of group sessions.
Slim & Strong is not for the uncommitted. It delivers the blueprint program for you to achieve a lean, fit and strong body. It teaches you how to create fatloss through nutrition and exercise, how to develop the mindset of an athlete, and helps you to move from constant dieting to feeling in charge of yourself.
It’s designed to help you drop significant body fat, gain lean muscle, lose at least 10 pounds. This program is designed for everyone who has been dieting without lasting results, wants to get out of diet prison, learn what really works and get over food and body obsession to find lasting balance in a kickass body.
What do you get? 
• 12 Slim & Strong workouts (2-3 per week)
• 4 Yoga Classes (1x a week)
• ‘Before’ and ‘after’ measurements (Body fat, lean mass, inches)
• Before and after pictures
• Daily emails with fat loss nutrition hacks
• A fat loss nutrition plan
• A fatloss nutrition workshop
• Goodie bag with our favorite fat loss snacks, tank top and resistance bands
• Your teammate will keep you accountable as much as Ariane’s regular check-ins.
Locations (showers and lockers available):
• Stepping Out Studios, 37 W. 26th Street (6th Ave) Mondays 6.30pm, Thursdays 7am, 6.30pm, every other Saturday 10am
• Complete Body & Spa, 301 E. 57th Street (2nd Ave) Tuesdays & Fridays 6.30am
Price: $325
I look forward to working with you to feel your absolute best!



Join our 21-Day NutriBullet Detox!

Starts January 1, 2017
Join our 21-Day Nutribullet Detox and create a healthy, lean and fit you in just 3 weeks.
In this guided online program, you will give your body the kickstart it needs to feel light, healthy and energized.
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The program is designed to help you understand your body better and make lasting changes long after the Detox program is over. The first weekwill focus on educating you on the foods that help create a lean, fit and healthy body. You will get recipes for clean meals and suggestions for Smoothies that will boost your health, digestion and detox organs. We will be using the NutriBullet (or any other powerful blender Vitamix, Ninja, etc) to create healthy and delicious detox shakes. This will help your digestive system relax, your body burn body fat fast, stimulate the release of stored toxins in your fat cells, and leave you feeling energized, focused, light and strong.
Clearer skin, regular digestion, improved sleep and focus, more balanced mood and several pounds of water loss are just a few of the immediate effects. You will get a workout schedule with workouts to do at home, designed to help you burn body fat, feel energized and lean, while at the same time helping you sculpt a strong and defined body. To take your detoxification a few notches deeper, we will add guided meditations, hypnosis sessions and goal setting sessions to detox not just your body, but your mind, so there is nothing in the way of you being your best self.
What do you get?
• 49 NutriBullet recipes (dessert shakes, chia pudding desserts, green smoothies)
• Daily emails with inspiration, specific instructions on what to eat, and health education on what is happening with your body during a detox program.
• Recipes for clean meals
• Guided meditations and hypnosis sessions
• Goal setting session to help you identify and remove roadblocks.
• A Workout Plan to boost fat loss and to shape your body
Among the issues covered in your daily emails are:
* Fruit – detox friend or foe?
* How do you stimulate both phases of detoxification?
* How to incorporate foods back into your diet?
* How to identify what you’re allergic to.
* What foods stimulate healing? Which create disease?
* How your blood type determines food allergies,
* How to create lasting lifestyle changes by changing just one thing
* What veggies reduce toxins in your body?
* How should you time your nutrients?
* How to minimize the impact of stress on your body
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes that meet detox guidelines
Your commitment: 
• Eliminate alcohol
• Eliminate all sugar (white, artificial, juices, processed, junk, soda)
• Eat 2-3 clean meals (protein and veggies) a day and drink 2 smoothies daily
• Commit to 3 hours of exercise a week
• Take good care of your body by incorporating clean foods designed to detoxify your entire system – instructions emailed daily
• Drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day
Price: $97
Questions? Please email Ariane at Ariane@arianehundt.com

Losing Weight After 30: The 5 Best Tips!

This article was first posted on Verywell.com by Malia Frey. 


Losing weight at any age is a huge challenge. But losing weight after 30 is especially hard. Why? Because it takes a lot of time to create weight loss for women over 30. And it’s nearly impossible to find extra time during a stage of life when career and family are top priorities.

So is it impossible for a woman in her 30s to lose weight? Absolutely not! It just takes smart planning and organization.

Use these tips specifically tailored to address the unique challenges you face when you try to slim down at 30 and beyond.

Losing Weight After 30: The 5 Best Tips
 1. Identify and eliminate barriers. Everyone faces a few roadblocks during the weight loss process, but when you’re in your 30s the challenges are likely to be time-related.  Lack of time due to work and family obligations are likely to get in the way of your best weight loss efforts.

To win the weight loss battle, you need to know what you’re up against. Almost any barrier  - including lack of time – is manageable. But you have to know what it is before you can develop a plan of action. At the start of your weight loss process, take at least 20 minutes to identify your weight loss barriers. This simple step will save you time and energy from setbacks later.
Once you identify barriers, it becomes easier to overcome them. If lack of time is a problem, ask your spouse for help managing childcare or chores so you have time for healthy meal preparation and a regular home exercise program.

2. Understand muscle and metabolism. If you want to keep a healthy metabolism to lose weight in your 30s, you need to maintain muscle.  Ariane Hundt, M.S. trains 30-something women as part of her Slim & Strong 4 Week Fat Loss Program in New York City.  She says that women in their 30s need to be especially careful about building and keeping muscle mass to support a healthy metabolism.  “Women start losing muscle in their 30s and unless that muscle is challenged and maintained with regular workouts, muscle loss will slow the metabolism.”
So how does a woman with a busy life work out to keep her calorie burning fires from fizzling?  If you can’t get to the gym, there are simple strength workouts you can do at home.  Short, intense exercise sessions will also help you burn more fat.

3. Get organized. It might seem like life will settle down when the kids are older or when you career is more established, but trust me, it won’t.  Now is the time when you need to set up healthy lifestyle habits that will help you lose weight and keep it off for life.
Meal planning for weight loss is one of those routines that you need to learn when you are losing weight after 30.  Set aside one day each week to shop for healthy food, prepare diet-friendly meals for the whole week and set up your refrigerator with healthy snacks. You can even schedule your workout sessions. Ask your spouse or family members to help if necessary to make this habit a priority.

4.Stop falling for fad diets. Women in their 30s are too smart and too sophisticated to fall for the popular diet trends that younger women fall for. Ariane explains why these fads can cause harm. “If you’ve dieted on and off until your 30s, chances are your metabolism is confused. With every new diet attempt, you may put your body into starvation mode and weight loss is harder and harder, ” she says.
Your first step to healthy eating is to evaluate your daily caloric intake.  You should also keep a pre-diet food journal.  Then make sure you eat enough protein to maintain a healthy metabolism, limit your sugar intake, and monitor your carbohydrate intake to stay energized and satiated throughout the day.

5. Learn to manage stress.  Your 30s may be the most stressful time in your life.  Babies, job stress, and relationship issues can keep you awake at night.  Even the simple act of dieting can cause stress.  But those challenges can cause problems if they are not addressed.  “Life stress can challenge your metabolism by activating the stress response and in turn fat storage,” says Ariane, “so balance in lifestyle is key.”  Get support from friends and family or reach out to a certified professional if you think that stress is preventing you from losing weight.

If you are a busy woman trying to lose weight after 30, you might be tempted to back burner your health and your weight. Or worse yet, you might go on the first diet you see in a fashion magazine.  Don’t make those mistakes.  Now is the time when your decisions have real long-term consequences.  Make the best choices for lifelong health and well-being. Weight loss for women after 30 is possible with smart organization, support and a healthy dose of common sense.

How to de-bloat by the weekend!

Are you tired of feeling bloated and gassy? Let’s get you back to enjoying a flat stomach with regular digestion. Here are the reasons why you bloat and how to de-bloat by the weekend:
  • Too much sugar, fruit and starches: Skip all sugar, including that from fruits. Every gram of sugar makes you retain about 3g of water.  As you focus on veggies and protein and forgo the sugar, you’ll notice a flatter stomach quickly. You’ll go to the bathroom to pee a lot more as your body releases excess bloat, and you’ll notice your face and bags under your eyes disappear within 2-3 days. Your rings fit better and your pants feel looser instantly.
  • Too much stress: Bloat isn’t just about food, but also affected by stress. High cortisol levels and make you retain lots of water because the hormone can affect your adrenal glands, which also control your body’s water household. Sleep more, walk instead of killing yourself in a super-intense spin class if you’re stressed.
  • You over-exercised: If you’re bloated and puffy from over-exercising or too many starches, an Epsom salt works wonders. Body builders swear by it in the days before competition as it draws out excess fluid from the tissue and helps them create that ripped and lean look. Soak in a tub for 20 minutes and step out feeling more relaxed and with a tighter, leaner feeling body.
  • You eat too fast. Make sure you chew your food well. The digestion of starches starts in the mouth, where the digestive enzyme amylase is released. Furthermore, high stress levels reduce stomach acid and that reduces the ability to digest foods properly, leaving you with undigested food particles that can irritate your small intestines and then in the large intestines cause gas and bloating.
  • Cook your veggies if you react to raw veggies with bloat. Cooking will help digest the veggies’ fiber better and will reduce the chance of bloating.
  • An imbalance of bacteria in your gut: If the bloat is related to digestive issues, such as food sensitivities or a recent course of antibiotics, or due to an imbalance in the gut, go on a week-long course of probiotics. These friendly bacteria are sure to rebalance the bacterial household in the large intestines and ensures proper elimination, absorption of vitamins and minerals and proper breakdown. An overabundance of bad bacteria will create more gas and bloating and probiotics will balance the bad bacteria with good bacteria and in turn reduce bloating and gas. My favorite probiotic is Bio-K original. Choose the rice version if you don’t do dairy.

How to stop the binge

As Nutrition Coach my job isn’t just about telling you what to eat to reach your goals. My goal is much bigger: to help you create the body and health that makes you absolutely psyched. The idea is that we create a lifestyle that is easy, doable, and gets you to where you are happiest. Naturally this involves more than nutrition and exercise recommendations. In fact, after the first week of figuring out food choices and workouts, we dig deep into old patterns that get in the way because, let’s be realistic: If you know all you need to know about food, exercise and a healthy lifestyle, why aren’t you already at your goal? Well, the simple answer is that we tend to repeat behaviors and patterns even though they no longer get us the desired effect.

Take for example the issue of one of my nutrition clients, who had been dealing with binge eating for years. She’s dropped an easy 7 pounds by eliminating her binge eating episodes and she won’t go back to this destructive beahvior because she a) recognizes they no longer create the same positive effect she got when she first started bingeing and b) she’s found many alternative options to create the desired effect and c) she now understand the underlying causes and knows how to tackle them effectively.

Her biggest issue were here sugar cravings. They would show up seemingly out of nowhere and she’d go for anything within sight: the ice cream in the freezer, cookies at the office vending machine, or her ‘protein bars’ that were loaded with 40g of carbs. You can imagine how just ONE sugar binge undid an entire week of clean eating. Naturally she wasn’t making any progress, struggled with guilt, was upset about her lack of willpower and felt she had to work out even harder and eat even less. That kept her in this vicious diet cycle of bingeing and dieting, which is exhausting mentally, messes with your health, slows the metabolism and is simply just a big waste of her time and energy that should go into taking good care of herself.


Obviously, unless the binge-eating stopped, she wasn’t going to see lasting changes. Sure, she could drop a few pounds in 3 weeks and then when the next binge happens, put them all back on, only to do it all over again. Not an option.

So, there were several challenges to tackle:

1) Figure out what triggers the cravings
2) Address the cravings without sugary foods so she can start making lasting progress
3) Eliminate the guilt, which leads to more obsessive dieting and insane workout schedules
4) Create progress by aligning effective workouts with proper fat loss nutrition, rest/relaxation and supplementation

5) Associate so much pain and discomfort with repeating the same pattern of bingeing that she no longer wanted to do it

6) Associate so much pleasure, progress, well-being, success and health with her new choices that she’d never want to have it any other way

1) What triggers the cravings? The reason for her sugar cravings were 3-fold: She was triggered by the availability of sugar at home and in the office. If it’s around, you’ll want it and we’re very much all easily tempted that way. She was also triggered by hormonal cravings (the week before her period when estrogen and serotonin drop, our cravings are usually worst), and she had cravings because she ate too few carbs and worked out too much.

2) Address the cravings without sugar: We addressed the cravings by removing the sugar at home and in the office. She made sure to have something sweet available when a craving strikes, so she started drinking a Branched-Chain-Amino-Acid drink when a craving strikes, which blunts her appetite, boosts her brain chemistry, and gives her a sweet sensation from the stevia (zero sugar here, but all the soothing effect on the neurotransmitters in the brain). We also rebalanced her diet by adding more fiber and protein so she’d be full and never experience the drop in blood sugar that creates sugar cravings. I taught her how to make a chocolate drink with zero sugar and other ‘treats’ that tell your brain you got what it wanted, but without any negative setbacks.

3) Eliminate the guilt and 5) Associate pain and discomfort with continuing a harmful pattern: Once she stopped the binge eating episodes because there was no more physiological need or hormonal reason, she was able to eliminate the guilt over having ‘messed up’, or ‘having been bad’, or ‘blown it.” That’s where our 6th goal comes in and I taught her how to associate joy, success, a sense of control and progress with eating these nourishing foods. The new choices in behavior and food made her feel in control, balanced, energized and allowed her to change her body without struggles. She learned that when she made good choices for herself, she felt and looked good. She also learned that when she chose sugary foods, she’d feel bad mentally, emotionally and physically. Over time this became something she no longer wanted to experience because she learned to associate a lot of pain with this pattern.

4) Aligning workouts with proper fat loss nutrition, rest/relaxation/supplementation: We created an effective workout and a schedule that allowed her 4 extra hours in her week (!!!!), and I taught her how to work in line with her menstrual cycle to make progress when fat burning is at its max and relax when fat burning is slowed down.

Yes, fat loss is not about calories entirely. It’s about creating the proper hormonal balance, so that your hunger is controlled, your cravings turned off and you have good energy. It is also about becoming aware of old subconscious patterns that drive your actions.

For this client the real change happened when she recognized that her binge eating was driven by old subconscious patterns. She learned a long time ago that when she ate sugar, she’d feel better. However, in recent years that was no longer the case and even with really terrible after effects, she was unable to stop it from happening.

When we started working with each other, she was able to create a change  because she was finally ready to evaluate her patterns and change them. By identifying all that played into her binge eating episodes, she was able to gain a better understanding of her triggers, her physical and emotional effects and understand how she can control and manage them with ease.

My body isn’t changing fast enough!

One of my Slim & Strong ladies signed up again last month after I hadn’t seen her in over two years. She had been under a lot of stress. Work was so busy and as a result she put all her energy into getting through it. However, once all was done, she had put on more than 15 lbs and felt very unhappy in her skin. She realized she had pretty much stopped doing all the things that had made her feel great in the past. Clean eating, enough sleep, exercise, and having fun with friends.  She thought that by buckling down and just getting work done – somehow – she’d make it through. What she didn’t realize is that in the process of letting stress get to her, she gave up on her health, her well-being and ended up heavier, tired, lethargic and exhausted.

We’ve all had stress in our lives. We’ve all been there, but you always have choices when stressful events happen:

Choice 1: “Screw it. I don’t have time. Might as well just eat whatever is easy, so I can get ABC done and get through this.
Choice 2: “This is going to be a tough time, so I better make sure I stay healthy and energized and don’t end up feeling worse once all is done and over with.”
Two choices. Two completely different mindsets. Which one is yours?
My client realized that she had to make some drastic changes to get back to her healthy self, but this time around her body didn’t respond as fast as she thought it would. The stress was still sitting deep in her body. When the body is stressed,  it will slow fat loss, impact digestion, thyroid function, your brain chemistry (which affects mood, appetite and cravings), hormones (changes in menstrual cycle and fat storage in areas you hadn’t stored fat before) and adrenal issues (water retention, exhaustion, sleep disturbances). Needless to say, she wanted changes fast, but her body had other things in mind. It didn’t want to be pushed more in hard workouts or feel more restricted through intense dieting. It craved what it was missing: Balance.
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When she emailed me, disappointed that her body wasn’t responding as fast as it had in past Slim & Strong programs, I had to explain to her that this wasn’t going to be as easy as: Eat less and exercise more. I needed her to understand that this time she had to work WITH her body, no longer against it.  Here’s my response:

“Keep in mind that this program isn’t about perfection. There is no such thing anyways – unless you want to move into a plastic bubble and live on pills… The goal of changing your diet and lifestyle is to make yourself feel good, to be in charge of your body, your choices and that you can direct how you feel and look with your choices. That means that there will be times when all you can do is your very best and other times when your choices happen more easily. Ultimately it’s about you finding a lifestyle that suits you and makes you feel good. Anything else would just be another short-term diet that doesn’t last.

Even if you’re not yet seeing the changes fast, your body IS changing on the inside. You’re getting stronger, your blood sugar is more balanced, your hormones are balanced, your thyroid function normalizes, your fat burning hormones kick up, your fat loss hormones increase, and your stress hormones reduce. As a result you will first experience the symptoms of health and then later on, see the evidence of health your body. Sometimes the results don’t happen suddenly in people who have done a lot of yo-yo dieting. Every time you start something new that feels like restriction to the body at some level, it can be that your body holds on to body fat rather than releasing it. Once the stress lifts, usually the fat just melts off. So, be patient and stay balanced because this is about the rest of your life and not just the next big deadline. This is about YOU finding what works for YOU and that is actually a life-long process. There will always be new demands, stress, happy times, new challenges that will demand that you adapt your food choices, workouts and lifestyle. Just as long as you can accept that your body will always be a work in progress, you’re not going to go into diet mode anymore, but focus on how you want to look and feel for the rest of your life. – Ariane”

Why your workouts might actually be sabotaging your metabolism

I’m so happy that Well & Good wrote about a topic that is near and dear to me. In the recent year and a half I have seen more people dealing with this issue than ever before. Metabolic Damage. These are mostly women who try to lose weight but experience the complete opposite of health and a lean body. Among their many symptoms are the following: sleep issues, feeling exhausted physically and mentally like on 10 cups of caffeine, digestive issues (gas, bloating, diarrhea), fat storage around the hips, thighs, butt (a bloated kind of weight gain), bloated face and stomach, water retention, thyroid disturbances, intense sugar cravings, intense appetite that’s not satiated with a regular meal, hormonal fluctuations as evident by changes in their cycle. The cause? Intense stress that has made itself at home in the nervous system. This stress can be caused by emotional events or ongoing physiological stress from over-exercising, underrating, extreme dieting, extreme physical exhaustion.Yes, more is not better. More can make it worse. Below is more about the issue and what not to do.If you’re dealing with a number of the above symptoms and want to understand how to heal your body and get back to feeling like yourself again, contact me to set up a one-on-one session. Here’s more about what I do: www. arianehundt.com




Listen to your body
Photo: Paff/Stocksy

Metabolism—the complex biochemical process by which your body converts everything you eat and drink into energy—is a hot topic among exercise and weight loss experts, especially after the recent viral news that contestants on The Biggest Loser almost universally gained back the weight they’d lost. The primary culprit? Their respective metabolisms, which slowed down for years—years!after competing on the show.

That news didn’t shock Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp founder and clinical nutritionist Ariane Hundt, though. “They took their metabolism to the absolute max, were stressed, malnourished, and completely wrecked their hormonal balance,” Hundt says. “The general approach is ‘the more we exercise and the less we eat, the better we’ll look,’ but that model is going to create serious damage.”

So what does work when it comes to revving up your metabolism? And how can you make sure your exercise regimen isn’t backfiring?

Here are five ways to make your workout actually work for your metabolism.




Intense workout

Photo: Daxiao Productions/Stocksy

1. Aim for intensity and variety

Your body gets conditioned to exercise pretty quickly. If you keep up a steady schedule of, say, 60 minutes of moderate-intensity running a few times a week, you’ll soon start to burn fewer calories within that time. “You have to challenge the body to need more from its energy pathways,” explains Jaime Schehr, RD, ND, who’s also the founder of XFitLab, a service that does metabolic and other performance testing for athletes. Schehr recommends incorporating High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your routine, and regularly changing up your workouts so your body doesn’t recognize and adapt to the work you’re doing.

Avoid Overdoing it

Photo: Lumina/Stocksy

2. But avoid overdoing it

Hundt agrees that HIIT training is awesome when it comes to boosting metabolism—but within reason. Intense exercise puts a lot of stress on the body, so she recommends restricting it to three days a week, with lower-intensity workouts like yoga and Pilates as well as plenty of recovery in between. Otherwise, you’re going to get into a Biggest Loser situation where the nonstop pressure of the program affects your hormonal balance and leads to exhaustion and cravings. Plus, chronic stress messes with your nervous system, which regulates metabolism. Hundt’s rule of thumb? “Work hard if you’re well-rested and have energy,” she advises. “If you’re stressed, go easy.” Simple, but so easy to forget.

Strength Training

Photo: Jacob Lund/Stocksy

3. Think less cardio, more strength training

Because your body requires a lot of energy to maintain muscle, building muscle can raise your resting metabolic rate. And that means you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not sweating. On the other hand, with intense, sustained cardio, like marathon training, “your body no longer just burns sugar or fat; it’ll burn muscle as fuel,” Hundt warns. “When you’re done with the race, you have less muscle and a slower metabolism than when you started.” That’s not to say you shouldn’t run marathons; just stay on top of your cross-training, too.


Workout fuel

Photo: Ina Peters/Stocksy

4. When you work out (and what you eat after) matter

Schehr tell clients who are looking to boost their metabolism to work out in the morning on a relatively empty stomach, then eat or drink something with lots of protein right after. “What we know is that when you exercise in the morning, you speed up your metabolism throughout the day by having more of a caloric burn,” she says—and the protein will help your body repair muscle efficiently. Of course, if after trying (and trying) you’ve come to realize that early workouts just aren’t for you, or going to the gym on a relatively empty stomach makes you totally hangry, this strategy’s not going to work for you. Which brings us to…

Photo: Paff/Stocksy

Photo: Paff/Stocksy

5. Listen to your body

Hundt says your body is constantly letting you know how it’s doing, via your appetite, cravings, and energy level. If any of those are out of whack, your metabolism likely isn’t performing well either. “There is something to be said about working with your body to find the tipping point where you continue to see progress and keep your metabolism in check,” she says. Ditch the “more is more” mindset and really tune into your body, then give yourself permission to adjust and meet its unique demands. Your metabolism will thank you.

Is your approach to fat loss customized or one size-fits-all?

Whenever I get a phone call from someone inquiring about one-on-one nutrition coaching who used to go to Weight Watchers, I have the following thoughts

  • She’ll likely have really high body fat (Weight Watchers people lose a lot of muscle due to too little protein, low calorie intake and lack of strength training)
  • She will likely have a bigger bottom and skinny top (because with that diet model she will switch on fat storage in her lower body and speed up fat loss in the upper body)
  • She will likely be focused on the number of the scale and into counting mode (points, calories)
  • She will measure her progress solely on the scale (that’s how WW measures progress)

I’ve come to have these expectations based on hundreds of WW people I’ve counseled and worked with in my Slim & Strong program. It’s not their fault that they think that way and have those results, but I feel bad for them for having worked so hard to still not be happy with their bodies and have to continue the search with a slowed-down metabolism. The accountability portion of the program is a smart idea, but there are so many things that are just wrong about their approach. They sell foods that are loaded with chemicals and no nutritional value to make money. They teach you restriction and dieting, which doesn’t work for someone whose hormones are out of balance from too much dieting, stress, and wrong food choices. Unfortunately 95% of Weight Watchers people gain the weight back. Bam! 95%! Doesn’t that tell you that something’s not adding up?

There are so many things I want my clients to understand so that they don’t have to rely on a diet program, a diet book or jump on the next juice cleanse or ever feel out of control in their own bodies again. When I started working with this woman whose goal was to get back into her pre-baby shape, it became clear she was following diet rules that just didn’t work for her body type, metabolic type, her lifestyle, her genetics and her hormonal issues. I taught her how to eat a clean diet to sensitize herself to the foods she used to consider ‘treats’. Once she cut out the sugar, alcohol and processed foods, she felt immediately lighter, lost several pounds of water weight and started to sleep through the night. She also noticed that she was reacting to grains with lethargy, got congested when she had dairy (out went the Greek yogurt) and realized that her sugar addiction was in large part driven by her massive stress.

After the first 2 weeks she had lost 8 lbs already and felt like a different person. Her clothes started to fit better and she had enough energy to start working out. She hadn’t lifted a weight for over 2 years. As a result of low-protein dieting and high stress she had lost a lot of muscle mass, which only slowed down her metabolism even more. Once we added a simple 20-minute strength routine 3x a week to her schedule, she started to feel more energized and saw her shape changing. Her lower body (hips, thighs, butt) was more resistant to change and so I taught her how to work with her menstrual cycle. She was surprised to hear that there are two weeks in the month when fat burning in the lower body is more active and where her butt, thighs and hips will respond better to a special type of training. And, there are two weeks where muscle building is easier, so during those weeks we upped the weights and focused on high intensity interval training.  We discussed how to eat before and after her workouts and how to eat on days she didn’t work out (you wan to eat more and differently on workout days than on rest days). We also discussed supplements called adaptogens that helped her adapt to stress better so that she reduces her output of adrenaline, cortisol and insulin.

During the entire month she never even counted a single calorie, but learned to choose food based on her appetite, her energy and her activity level. She also learned how to combat sweet cravings and what they mean (high stress, lack of sleep, low estrogen, serotonin and dopamine levels). Ultimately, she learned how to trust her body’s signals again and not blindly follow the latest diet trend without any regard for how she feels.

A month later for our follow-up meeting she had lost 11 lbs, 5 inches off her waist and 3 inches around her hips – a sure sign that her hormones were well-balanced, her appetite controlled and the workouts targeting the right body parts to shed body fat. Her loss of weight and inches wasn’t the most important thing to her, however. Her great skin, improved sleep, balanced mood, improved digestion and the reduction of her sugar cravings, along with the fact that she could make decent choices anywhere and still was able to have her indulgences once in a while,  were so much of a reward that she realized that no amount of candy can create the sense of joy she feels by working with her body.

Here are a few tips on how to make your diet and workout work for you:

  • Your diet is the single most important factor in shaping your body. How you control your insulin levels determines whether you store fat, lose fat, gain muscle or lose muscle.
  • Eat slightly more on workout days (right before or after your workout) and stick to protein and veggies only on rest days. That way you’ll keep your metabolism guessing.
  • Ongoing stress can diminish the effects of even the cleanest diet and most effective workout. If your adrenaline and cortisol are high, so will be  your insulin and that means you’re storing fat even while kicking ass in the gym. Reduce your stress and that means alternate your intense workout days with rest or relaxation days. Sleep at least 7-8 hours. Add R&R, such as meditation, yoga, walking, hiking, nature time, relaxing baths, massages or sauna sessions to your week.
  • Make sure your workout works for you. Not all workouts are for everyone. For example, if you are super-stressed, then long-distance running will only create a bigger stress response . Your HIIT workouts may be overkill when you’re stressed as well. The more stress, the more you need yoga, pilates, walking, restful workouts and heavy lifting workouts as balance to reduce the amount of stress hormones (remember, stress hormones create fat storage). You can go for a hard and tough workout if you’re well rested, slept well and your stress is balanced. Then you can create muscle growth and a fat burning effect. If you haven’t seen your body change, it’s time to change course!