CASE STUDY: How Kelli avoided the yo-yo diet cycle, lost 25lbs, skyrocketed her confidence, and re-created herself through fitness

Written By: Erin Dimond – Co-Creator Transform 2Gether

It’s not often that a beginner starts their fitness journey and is prepared to do what’s right from the get go. The narrative is usually more along the lines of…

Person decides they want to lose weight so they look to someone else who has had success or a calculator and follows a “meal plan” or “cookie cutter macros.”

They have some success so they stick with that until they burn out (because they always do.) 

They use up every ounce of willpower but didn’t actually LEARN anything so they gain everything back. (The really unlucky ones develop food intolerances to the foods that they ate during that time period because they ate too much of it so not only are they back at their starting weight but they now have uncomfortable digestion issues and bloating that makes them feel way worse about themselves.) 

Some people do this once. The really stubborn ones repeat this cycle 2-4 times before they’re actually ready to do things right. These are the majority of the clients that we work with.

But Kelli is kind of a unicorn.

And my goal in writing this case study is so that I can capture more of these majestic unicorns, and help you to avoid the common mistakes that so many like you suffer.

I took her initial call to see if Transform was a good fit and as you’ll see by the text below I didn’t try to talk her into it and promise magic and an easy ride. Anything worth having isn’t easy. 😉

Here is what Kelli did differently… SHE DID HER RESEARCH. 

In fact here is a quote from Kelli’s full blog article on her experience with Transform 2gether…

 “ sidebar: if there is one thing you take away from this it’s for you to do your dang research because when i tell you a lot of people i have come to know through this experience have been ruined by others in this industry by the “quick fix” or extreme dieting or keto etc. it’s mind-blowing & makes me scared for all the people who don’t take the time to do so…”  You can view Kelli’s full article *click here*.

There are 3 types of people attempting to climb a mountain.

Person 1 – watches everyone from the bottom and criticizes. They never climb themselves.

Person 2- they climb without having a plan. No idea if what they’re doing is correct and most of the time they’re climbing up the steepest part without any gear.

Person 3- They find someone who has climbed it. They ask them how. Through question asking they learn that this person has actually built a lift and they purchase a lift ticket. 

Kelli is Person 3. 

Person 3 doesn’t always have an abundance of money to spend on that lift ticket either. (Kelli sure didn’t and she touched on that in her article as well.)  Let’s be real though, nobody ever has “extra” money. I know I’ve never thought… I have this money that is “extra” and I wish some opportunity would present itself for me to spend it. Even if we have it “saved” it’s already spent in our heads on a vacation,an investment, bills, etc.

But tracing back to the analogy…deciding you don’t have the money for the lift ticket is deciding that instead you’ll spend 3 days climbing the mountain, fighting through struggle, pain, cold etc and having no idea if you can even make it to the top. Or worse it is deciding to be Person one. And don’t fool yourself.. “Indecision is the decision to fail.”

Okay now that I’ve got you all motivated and excited to be like Kelli let me tell ya what exactly we did to lose 20 pounds with EASE and maintain that loss all while traveling almost EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK.

The ultimate “goal” for so many people, including a few key ingredients. 

“Fat Loss” 

“Confidence” 

“Muscle Gain, or Toning”

“Flexibility, and Balance”

“Feeling free, and comfortable around food, and social settings”

It’s safe to say that Kelli has checked off ALL of these marks, and continues to live the way she wants while eating how she wants, and not sacrificing the results she desires. 

This didn’t come overnight, as so many sustainable transformations have in common. So let’s start at the beginning. 

Kelli came to us frustrated, but not beaten. She had been someone who was active most of her life, and always tried to “eat healthily”. 

Like many who come to us, there is a huge misconception around the term “eating healthy”. Most try to label food, as good (healthy), or bad (not healthy), whereas anyone who has any fundamental understanding of nutrition, knows this is a misnomer. 

I can eat nothing but kale, blueberries, and tuna, and if I eat in a surplus, I will gain body fat, and excess body fat will lead to negative health outcomes. This is a scientific consensus. 

That’s good news! As we know we don’t have to live within these confines of “boring foods” to reach our goals. 

As a matter of fact, its probably more negative for us in the long run, as compared to having more “balance”, and including foods which we enjoy, and crave, just in moderation. 

Like we’ve talked about, most programs, or “diets” set a person up for failure. Anyone can send a client a 1200 calorie plan, watch someone overweight drop 10lbs in water, glycogen, and some fat, and cause a tremendous amount of stress on the endocrine system, causing the client to stall out.

We must be methodical to obtain long term results and adherence.

Generally, we want to aim for between .5-.7% of weight loss per week. This is a sustainable rate of loss which should minimize the chances of stalls, and muscle loss. 

Kelli began her fat loss phase at 145 lbs (not by any means “fat” and she also touched on this in her blog article- can you tell by now that it’s worth the read.) 1750 kcals, with macros being 140g protein, 190g carbs and 45g fat with refeeds weekly (140g protein 250g carbs and 40g fat 1920 calories

The cyclical refeeds were a huge reason for Kelli’s sustained fat loss both mentally, and physically across the 20 weeks. 

See, most people just dig themselves into a hole and think that the only way to lose fat is to continue slashing calories, increasing cardio, and working “harder”, rather than “smarter”.

When we first started with Kelli, we looked at her lifestyle to determine what would work the best. When looking at these factors, we consider a multitude of variables.

This is where the sustainability part comes in. Very few people can sustain on a restricted “meal plan”, or super strict regimen for long. 

Kelli also had experience tracking calories. Which for some, it can lead to some initial results, but we need to eventually get to a point where we’re differentiating macronutrients.

The issue with a traditional “counting calorie diet” is that it doesn’t take into effect the different roles, and effects each macronutrient has on the body.

FOR EXAMPLE, protein has a 20-35% thermic effect (energy required for digestion, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients) as compared to carbs/fats at 5-15%. Protein also is the only macro-nutrient with a nitrogen bond and amino acids. So each macro needs to be specifically identified within a diet.

The biggest advantage from a lifestyle perspective that helped Kelli was implementing weekend re-feeds. 

This non-linear approach to dieting allowed her to have weekends where her macros were significantly higher, while “griding” harder during the week. This allowed her to have a social life, enjoy a glass of wine, or whatever her body was craving at that time. 


Calorie cycling is more relative to refeeds. Where you’ll be in a lower caloric state for 4-5 days of the week, to make up for the net deficit that will be reduced because we’ll be giving clients 2-3 day refeeds. This is where calorie intake is raised to either maintenance or even a slight surplus. – Refeeds

Metabolically speaking, not a ton. As studies have shown within a 72 hour refeed models, only a 7% increase in metabolic rate. However, circulating Leptin is increased significantly.

Leptin is a hormone produced in fat cells that mainly functions to reduce hunger. Greater body fat results in more circulating Leptin, but in periods of starvation, and energy deficits, Leptin greatly decreases.

Even with the calorie cycling approach her metabolic rate slowed throughout 20 weeks, which is normal, so we lowered macros accordingly. At the end of her cut she had been brought down to 140g protein, 135g carbs & 50 fat : 1550 calories. The entire cut we never had her doing more than 3 30 min sessions of cardio. Her lowest weight reached was 124 lbs.

Phase 2: Reverse Dieting

The next phase was difficult even for someone as strong minded as Kelly! We REALLY had to educate her on the importance of why we reverse diet. This is something that we take seriously within Transform 2gether.

We understand exactly how hard our clients worked to lose the fat and how fearful they are to gain it all back. Instead of just saying “Well it’s time… here are your new macros, we are going to now eat more every week.”, we do daily live trainings around reverse dieting, refer podcasts and youtube videos and really make sure we have their buy in. 

After we got Kelli’s full buy in and understanding of the process we were able to eventually increase macros to 135 g protein , 310g carbs and 65 g fat!

Kelli works as a full-time athletic trainer for a University, so she had a TON of understanding around movement, and exercise biomechanics, but really lacked the understanding of nutrition. 

Her job also meant that she travels A TON. She was on the road pretty much every week with a bus full of college kids who’s pit stops were at Subway and McDonalds. 

She would join our weekly calls from the bus most of the time. 

Weeks 1-5 I’ll be honest… I didn’t think she was going to make it. Ha. She actually touched on that in her own article. But man am I glad that Kelli decided that she made this investment in herself and that she was DETERMINED to make sure it was worth it. 

Week after week on those calls we watched her slowly get in her flow with eating on the road, putting together the macro puzzle and eventually making it seem SO EASY. 

Throughout the past year in Transform we’ve gone from spending time on our group calls brainstorming with how she could make her situation work to now calling on her for help with other clients who have nagging injuries. 

The immense mindset shifts we’ve seen in Kelli have made the 20 lbs loss completely arbitrary. 

I wanna share it with you in Kelli’s own words (because damn she’s a beautiful writer and it’s been cool to see her physical change also spark starting this blog and helping others. Fitness is funny like that. Jordan and I attribute our fitness journeys to everything that we are.)

“I started to evaluate everything & i started to fully commit to myself & living a life that required such immense balance I cut a lot of things out – if you weren’t partaking in my growth, then there was no room for you – I started setting boundaries, I started establishing my standards, I started caring less (which sounds counterintuitive but when you pour, pour & pour some more without re-filling…you hafta care less in order to function), & more importantly I started loving myself again & then & only then did i find myself again.”

If you want to learn more about Transform 2Gether, do so by *CLICKING HERE * (enrollment is only open through January 2, 2019. 

If you are reading this after that date, we’d love to give you a free resource to help you create results like this on your own, for FREE. 


All you have to do is *CLICK HERE *

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