TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: CURRENT INVOLVEMENT WITH FITNESS, TITLES, CREDENTIALS, ETC
I’m a writer and spokesmodel for Bodybuilding.com and BSN Supplements. I’m also a practicing dentist (DMD) in Toronto, Canada, and I hold a Bachelor in Science in Physiotherapy, along with certifications in personal training (ACE), Fitness Nutrition (NASM), spinning mad Dog), and Jump Rope (Buddy Lee Jump Rope Institute). I’m a retired professional fitness model and am most well-known for my jump rope skills and my “Dr. Sara Solomon Cross Speed” Jump Rope by Buddy Lee Jump Ropes.
I competed 9 times in fitness competitions with an approach to diet and training that ultimately slowed my metabolic rate and stalled my fat loss. In 2012, I finally overcame my 17-year history of yo-yo dieting and excessive cardio training. I know first-hand the challenges of juggling a busy schedule with a healthy lifestyle, which is why my “Fat Loss Fast System” focuses on endurable, maintainable, timesaving and metabolism-boosting approaches for fat loss. My system consists of intermittent fasting, flexible dieting, “cheat clean” recipes and HiiT home workouts. If you want to take the hell out of healthy, then visit DrSaraSolomon.com to get started today.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR career AS A DOCTOR AND FITNESS PERSONALITY? DO THE CAREERS CONFLICT?
Balancing 2 careers with a personal life can be tricky. Oftentimes, the only way to get everything done is by making sacrifices. I’ve had to pull many late nights and sacrifice “me time” to pull this off. But I wouldn’t have it any other way because I’m doing what I love.
My secret to success is being an efficient worker. I don’t waste time because time is finite.
The careers do not conflict because I keep them separate. When I’m in the operatory, I’m a dentist, and my patients’ concerns are the only topic of discussion.
That being said, dentistry has indirectly had a positive influence on my fitness career. Dentistry has taught me how to focus, work efficiently, handle challenging scenarios and think critically. The years of physiotherapy, medical and dental studies have facilitated my nutrition and fitness studies. The fine motor skills that I have developed from years of practicing dentistry have helped me immensely. Many dentists are extremely artistic, and this explains why I do all my own graphic design for DrSaraSolomon.com. I love using my hands!
YOU CURRENTLY HAVE AN EXCITING ROLE AS A SPONSORED ATHLETE FOR ONE OF THE LARGEST SUPPLEMENTS COMPANIES IN THE WORLD, BSN SUPPLEMENTS. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOB:
I am a huge fan of BSN Supplements for 2 major reasons:
I’m an intermittent faster and I love their grape AminoX
I love to bake with the tastiest protein powder EVER to touch my taste buds: Syntha-6!
So becoming sponsored by them was very exciting for me!
Working with the BSN crew has been a dream come true. Thanks to BSN, I have incredible opportunities to educate and help others all over the world. One of my most fun jobs to date has been filming protein dessert recipes in the BSN kitchen!
If it weren’t for BSN, I never would have met Scott and Erica! Life is truly about the people you meet, and I must say I get most excited to see Scott and Erica at the Olympia and Arnold every year.
DO YOU HAVE TIPS FOR ATHLETES LOOKING FOR A MAJOR SPONSORSHIP SUCH AS BSN?
Supplement companies aren't hung up on the titles you've won at shows. BSN doesn’t even care that Scott Herman and I are not IFBB pro athletes. They’re more interested in our personalities and the educational systems we offer. Companies really go for someone who has excellent content and a following of people. My advice is to create relevant content. That could be as simple as creating yummy protein powder recipes that feature the company’s product. Share this content online (i.e. via social media or a blog). The more targeted followers you have, the more appealing you will be. There are plenty of fish in the sea, so you need to constantly work if you want to stand out.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT SUPPLEMENT STACK?
BSN aminoX BCAAs for fasted training
BSN NO Xplode for fed state training
BSN Isoburn Protein for meal 1 prior to fed state training
BSN Syntha-6 for my “cheat clean” recipes
BSN Syntha-6 Isolate before bed (for the casein benefits).
YOU HAVE SOME OF THE MOST AMAZING FIT RECIPES ON YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL. WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE?
This one is to die for … not gonna tell you what it is. You have to watch.
HOW DO YOU GET IDEAS FOR YOUR RECIPES?
The answer to this question is DESPERATION! When I was competing, I was placed on a strict meal plan. So I had to get creative. I only had a few items I was permitted to eat, so I was forced to think outside the box.
I love the challenge of converting “nutrashional” food into “nutritional food”. I try to convert high calorie comfort foods into equally delicious, but also nutritious versions. Of course my versions are much lower in calories, fat and sugar.
YOU ARE THE QUEEN OF INTERMITENT FASTING. TELL US THE THEORY BEHIND IT.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet. You still eat your normal amount of food, you just eat it in a smaller time frame, referred to as your eating window. It is simply a plan telling you when you can eat and when you cannot eat. Since you spend more time fasting than you do eating, it gives your body a chance to tap into its stored fat for fuel.
Intermittent fasting is a great strategy for people who always feel hungry following the 6-meal-a-day plan. Why? Because you will feel more full by trying to “cram in” all your calories during a 4 or 8 hour feeding window, rather than spreading them out over 17 waking hours. For example, if you are on a 1500-calorie a day diet and you eat 3 meals during your 8-hour window, this means you get to eat bigger portions (~500 calories) at each meal (promoting satiety and preventing dietary indiscretions). But if you eat those 1500 calories all day long as six 250-calorie meals, you will never achieve satiety. These small meals will tease you, leaving you hungrier than a hostage in a holdup situation.
There are many different IF protocols you can follow. I teach you how to implement numerous IF protocols in my Fat Loss Fast e-Books. I also teach you the science supporting many IF protocols and I explain why IF is beneficial for your health and lean muscle gains.
WHICH INTERMITTENT FASTING PROTOCOL DO YOU FOLLOW? HOW DO DIVIDE YOUR MEALS WITHIN THE EATING WINDOW?
There are many intermittent fasting protocols (16/8, 20/4, ADF, 5:2) and I have tried them all. My conclusion is that they are all based on the same concept: when to eat and when not to eat, as well as macronutrient and calorie cycling.
I have recently adopted a flexible approach to fasting. I listen to my body and take into consideration my schedule. I previously followed a very rigid approach to alternate-day fasting, but I realized there are too many life variables that make it impossible for me to follow ANY protocol rigidly.
I believe the only way to adhere to a protocol is to be a flexible thinker. I constantly change my approach to fasting to suit my constantly evolving needs. This prevents me from feeling like I’m failing the protocol. Rather, I adapt the protocol to suit my daily needs so I will have a better perception of my daily performance. At this point in my life, I refuse to beat myself up for not being perfect with my daily calories, macros and training.
Here is my current flexible approach to alternate-day fasting. Please note that this is constantly changing, depending on what is happening in my life.
I have 4 higher calorie days throughout the week. Typically Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The other 3 days (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) are lower calorie days. Why? Because I like to eat with my family on Saturdays and Sundays. I film multiple workouts with my video production team on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My work and personal life were the deciding factor for this alternate-day fasting schedule. This constantly changes as my schedule changes.
I ensure at least one time a week I have a refeed day. During the refeed, I eat my maintenance level of calories (focusing on carbs). I typically refeed on Saturdays, for social reasons. The other higher calorie days, I just listen to my body. If I need my maintenance levels, then I will eat that. But if I’m not that hungry, I don’t force myself to eat. I realize that I can compensate by eating more on one of my “Lite” calorie days. My “Lite” calorie days range from 0 and 800 calories, depending on my hunger. I listen to my body. One thing I’ve learned is that it is not pleasant to force myself into a rigid approach. My body naturally cycles calories (some days I’m hungrier than others), and with this flexible approach, I’m rarely tormented. I’ve also learned how to differentiate between appetite and hunger with this approach.
I never eat before 3pm. I listen to my body when it’s time to break my fast. If I’m not hungry until 5pm, then I will eat at 5pm. Depending on my bedtime and caloric limits, I will eat for 4 to 8 hours. I do not follow a meal plan. I’m a flexible dieter. I eat a high protein diet, and I follow a high carb diet on my higher calorie days, and a low carb diet on my “lite” days. I find that as long as I prioritize lean protein ingestion, then I am better able to achieve lean gains and satiety. I purposely carb back-load, not only to promote satiety during my fasts the following day, but also to facilitate my fasted strength training workouts the next morning.
Meal frequency during the eating window depends on personal preference. This may mean you eat 1 time, 2 times, 3 times or 4 times during your eating window. I just eat. I find that rules sabotage me.
I recommend you start with the daily 16/8 paradigm before diving into alternate-day fasting. Always start with a conservative approach … and stick with it if you are getting results.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR DIET AND TRAINING WITH YOUR SUPER BUSY SCHEDULE AND FASTING REGIMEN?
With my super busy schedule, it’s ideal for me to fast daily and not have to think about food or worry about eating or cooking. I’m dramatically more productive as a result.
Here are 2 of my philosophies:
Work Out as soon as you Wake Up.
If you find you lack motivation to work out after an exhausting day, then try working out first thing in the morning, preferably fasted. Fasted training boosts the physiological indicators of post-workout muscle growth. Both fasting and fasted high intensity resistance training significantly increase human growth hormone secretion. This is good news because growth hormone is your star fat-burning hormone.
Minimum Effective Dose to Get Results.
The only effective workout program is the one you will actually adhere to multiple times a week. So from a realistic standpoint, the program must be quick, fun, inexpensive, and portable. This is why I only exercise at home for 20–30 minutes a day using my High-Intensity Interval Resistance circuits. And research confirms this style of training is the most effective way to boost the metabolism and burn fat.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE.
I work out 6 to 7 days a week at home, first thing in the morning, fasted, with my BSN aminoX BCAAs. My workouts are approximately 30 minutes in duration. If I’m rushing to catch a flight at 6am, then I will do a 4-minute tabata workout.
On my lower calorie “Lite” days, I prefer to train fasted (High Intensity Resistance Training) first thing in the morning (at home) for 20-30 minutes. I use BSN aminoX.
On my higher calorie “Feast” days, I train fasted in the morning (20 minutes of jump rope and core training), and if (and only if) my schedule permits, I train in a fed state after my first meal (20 minutes of heavy resistance training), which consists of a BSN Isoburn Protein Shake. With this approach, I have been able to put on more muscle.
My home workouts are extremely fun, effective, intense and time-saving. By cutting the length of my rest periods, cranking the intensity, and lifting heavy, I get both my strength and cardiovascular training in one 20-minute workout. I do it all with minimal equipment: just my own bodyweight, a few dumbbells, resistance bands
Find all my FREE video workouts at www.50DayHomeWorkoutChallenge.com
HOW OFTEN DO YOU DO CARDIO, FOR HOW LONG AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CARDIO EXERCISE?
I used to spend 1 to 2 hours a day counting calories on the stair mill. The only problem was that I was not losing fat. In fact, I was getting fatter. The problem with repetitive aerobic exercise is that your body quickly adapts to ensure you use the least amount of oxygen and energy to perform the greatest amount of work. The decrease in resting energy expenditure that ensues will mean you have to either eat less or exercise longer just to maintain your fat loss. I finally put an end to that hellacious regimen.
The only cardio I do is 10 minutes of intense jump rope interval training every morning. Why? Because I LOVE it!
YOU HAVE INCREDIBLE ABS. WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN TIPS FOR ATHLETES LOOKING TO GET A SHREDDED CORE?
Contrary to popular belief, abs are not made in the kitchen or gym. Abs are revealed when you shed the layer of fat hiding them. Fat is shed when you stop eating all the time (i.e. when you fast). When you fast, your body can finally enter into fat oxidation mode.
I made a brilliant video tutorial on this at https://drsarasolomon.leadpages.net/abs-are-not-made-in-the-kitchen/
AS FAR AS FOOD GOES, WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? HOW OFTEN DO YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO EAT IT?
Because my flexible approach to dieting allows for 10-20% of my total daily calories to be discretionary, I am able to enjoy guilty pleasures all the time. Some of my guilty pleasures include Panda Licorice, Popcorn and Cereal.
DO YOU HAVE A BODYPART THAT YOU HAVE TO WORK HARDER OR FOCUS ON MORE? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE CHALLENGE?
Now that I’m approaching my 40’s, my priorities and tastes have changed. I no longer desire a huge pair of VMOs or biceps. Looking like a figure competitor is not a prerequisite for feeling strong, happy and healthy. It’s important to look the way YOU want to look. There is tremendous pressure to conform to “industry standards”, but the reality is that what you see is not even real. Most of it is achieved via steroids, photo shop, plastic surgery or non-maintainable regimens.
That being said, my lagging body part is my deltoids. I train them 2 to 3 times a week. Does it bother me that they lag behind? No. My legacy is not about hypertrophying people’s lagging muscles. My legacy is about helping people put the fun and joy back into fitness and nutrition. It’s more important to be healthy than to fixate on appearances because the latter is ephemeral.
GLUTES ARE USUALLY A HIGH PRIORITY FOR WOMEN IN GENERAL. HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAIN GLUTES AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE EXERCISE?
This may seem limiting, but it turns out there are many ways to train glutes without having to squat or lunge! I focus on straight-legged deadlifts (and single leg deadlits), glute bridges, swiss ball hamstring curls, and I use my heavy resistance bands for X-band walking and Donkey Kicks. The key is to focus on what you can do (and do it well), rather than focus on what you cannot do. The good news is that it’s working!
WHAT IS YOUR GYM PET PEEVE?
Waiting for equipment. That’s why I train at home. This is especially important for me because my workouts are timed.
AS FAR AS A GUY’S PHYSIQUE GOES, WHAT IS THE BODYPART THAT YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?
I immediately focus on a man’s eyes, and his ability to engage my eyes when we communicate. That being said, I prefer a fit, lean and natural build. I’m not a big fan of big muscles. I like a more mainstream look.
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE FITNESS/CAREER GOAL?
To make health, nutrition and fitness fun, maintainable and endurable for anyone who is fed up or frustrated. I’d love to see my system go mainstream.
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WHERE SHOULD OUR MEMBERS GO IF THEY WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR INTERMITTENT FASTING PROGRAM, RECIPES AND WORKOUTS?
www.StartFastingToday.com (free intermittent fasting tutorials)
www.50DayHomeWorkoutChallenge.com (free home workout videos)
www.YourNextFeast.com (free recipes)