Ask Me Anything about Weight Loss, Diets, Keto, Intermittent Fasting or Exercise.

Erin Boardman Wathen
Jul 9, 2018

Hi, I am Erin Wathen, Life and Wellness Coach, Food Addiction Counselor and author of “Why Can’t I Stick To My Diet?” to be in bookstores this fall.

I was never “fat” by most people’s standards but I had three different sizes of clothes in my closet as my weight was constantly fluctuating. I was either on a diet, coming off a diet, needing to go on a diet or having the Last Supper before the diet. I wasn’t ever LIVING. I had a constant stream of obsessive thoughts about my diet, my body, and my weight, I couldn’t turn it off.

For over 10 years, I was teaching Spin, Pilates, and Yoga and working out on my own and yet I still wasn’t looking like I wanted. I grew up in the 1990s where the terms “diet and exercise” had equal importance, it wasn’t until I realized that what we consume contributes to 75% of how we currently look and exercise only counts for around 25% of our present body. In short, we can not outrun the fork. I tried and tried, it never worked- the fork always won. I would find my mind wandering over to thinking of how many indulgences “I deserved” after a double spin class instead of fueling my body to perform at its highest level.

I took my lifetime of failed diets, obsession with food and sugar addiction and fixed it for once and for all. Then I doubled down turning my technique which has been called “the winning combination of 12 step knowledge, a lot of Science and Life Coaching” into a calling, I am able to help my clients end their own food obsession and get on with their freakin life- which is all I wanted to do for decades. My clients have seen amazing results, some are thinner than they were in High School and use my methods every day to keep their minds and their bodies in check.

I am now considered an Emotional Eating Expert, I have been on numerous podcasts, been featured as a Wellness Expert in publications such as Health Bloggers Community, Readers Digest, The Huffington Post, US News and World Reports and The Mighty. I write a daily blog and make a daily VLOG with a pop culture song of the day, you can’t take the Spin teacher out of me even when I am not in the studio. 

Feel free to check out my site ahead of time. I have tons of content, pictures, and videos so you can get a sense of who I am before Monday. Can't wait to answer all of your questions. So feel free to Ask Me Anything!


What is the Vibe of this AMA? What is AMA Vibe?

This AMA has finished, no more comments and questions can be posted and votes submitted to those. Check other similar AMAs here or host your own AMA!

Conversation (57)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

What would you tell people who are skeptical about the keto diet?
Jul 16, 4:23PM EDT0
What are the draw backs of the ketogenic diet?
Jul 16, 3:07PM EDT0
How soon should one expect to start losing weight when using the keto diet?
Jul 16, 1:38PM EDT0
What are the common myths on the keto diet that are not true?
Jul 16, 1:00PM EDT0
Do you think one of the reasons why eating healthy is difficult in because it is expensive?
Jul 16, 6:52AM EDT0
How can someone working too many hours with little sleep maintain a healthy diet?
Jul 15, 10:52PM EDT0
Eating healthy means lower health expenses. The mind knows this but the body just refuses to forego the junk it demands. How can one resist unhealthy food cravings?
Jul 15, 7:35PM EDT0
Why do people gain weight the older they get?
Jul 15, 3:51PM EDT0
Is there any evidence that supports the effectiveness of your coaching methods? Why would it work better than other diets or exercise regimens?
Jul 10, 10:32AM EDT0
How do you supplement for all the substances that are lacking in a keto diet?
Jul 10, 5:35AM EDT0

This is a common question with Keto, thank you for asking it. 

I am not a huge supplement person, because if your diet is on point, you really don't need them. There is an exception and I will get to it at the end. 

The three main deficiencies resulting from Keto are Sodium, Magnesium and Potassium, all of which can be found in whole foods. In addition Calcium can be an issue. 

Sodium- bone broth, bouillon and salt

Magnesium-Swiss Chards, Oysters and Spinach

Potassium- Avocados, Kale and Mushrooms

Calcium- Almonds, Broccoli and Kale

While consuming natural, whole foods is the best way to ensure you have optimal amounts of micronutrients in your body, supplements can still play a role in your diet.

I recommend supplements if you fall into one of the following situations:

  • Preganancy
  • You are an adult age 50 or older (any older adults need to supplement with B vitamins)
  • You don’t get enough sun. Vitamin D is required
  • You aren’t eating enough calories
  • You aren’t eating a wide variety of foods including vegetables, meats, and fish
  • You are a vegetarian or vegan 
  • You have a medical condition that affects how your body absorbs nutrients
Jul 10, 7:50AM EDT0
Why do you think many people struggle with keeping the weight off after losing it?
Jul 10, 4:52AM EDT0

The lack of a true lifestyle change and the emotional component was not ever addressed and resolved. 

Sure, there is a metabolic resistance to lose weight at a certain point, but that isn't what the problem is most of the time. It tends to be that we never intended to stick to eating the new way, we just wanted to starve ourselves until we got to the magic number where we could eat what we wanted, which is illogical, but I used to think this as well. 

In addition, why did we gain the weight in the first place. What was not working in our lives that we went to food when were not hungry? or ate past feeling full. Yes, carbs and exercise matter but let's get to the root cause once and for all. 

Jul 10, 7:41AM EDT0
Do you only deal with people who have food addiction or do you have clients with other food disorders as well? How different is your coaching approach in both?
Jul 9, 10:49PM EDT0

With end stage food addictions, I will refer to colleagues who specialize in the condition. As it usually requires medical intervention, same with eating disorders. 

Alll types of eating is on a spectrum, even overeating. Any extreme, I will send to the doctors and those who can prescribe medications. 

Lately, I have been seeing clients in my practice who want to deal with their Sugar addiction, emotional eating, helping getting started with Intermittent Fasting or losing the last 10 pounds. It comes in waves. 

Jul 10, 7:36AM EDT0
When someone loses weight, what are the reasons that they may have trouble keeping it off?
Jul 9, 9:50PM EDT0

They have not made a lifestyle change, they simply went on a diet ie counted points, drank shake mix or fasted for a period of time.


The emotional component was not addressed and resolved. Why did they get to the weight where they felt uncomfortable in the first place? Why did they stay there? What was it about that weight that served them at a certain level? This is the work that many of us do not want to do, and once we do it, we need to have a plan B. Life is not going to get any easier just because we got to out goal weight. We will need to develop new ways to manage life that do not involve eating our feelings. 

Jul 10, 7:32AM EDT0
Why do you think so many people have trouble keeping the weight off after losing it?
Jul 9, 5:24PM EDT0

The biggest reasons are two fold. 

1) the emotional component of why they gained weight in the first place was never dealt with and resolved. It is so much easier to count points, or cut out fat or drink smoothies than to tackle why we eat when we aren't hungry and to create new ways to manage life. 

2) a true lifestyle change wasn't made. How often do you hear someone say they are going to go on a diet for the reunion/the wedding/the summer? I have heard it a million times and the diet was always gone on with the intention of going off of it. While a lifestyle change, is for good.

When I gave up sugar and dieting, I told myself I didnt care if I lost weight, I needed to stop all the craziness. I wanted to just live, to not alwyas be about to go on a diet, about to go on one, obsessing how I needed to go on one, or eating a ton because the new one was starting on Monday. I wanted to just live. I had to shift my thinking into that of the person who did not have candy in their car. 

Jul 9, 6:08PM EDT0
Do calories matter on Intermittent Fasting? If so, how?
Jul 7, 10:00PM EDT0

Calories always matter, but the quality of food and how often we are eating should be a priority as well. Giving our body a break from having to process food and our mind to not worry about food constantly is also important in Intermittent Fasting. 

Jul 9, 1:49PM EDT0
What are the bare basic principals of your approach to Intermittent Fasting?
Jul 7, 7:11PM EDT0

Intermittent fasting is to limit how many times we eat in a 24 hour time periodt.

The benefits are to reduce the number of opportunities we eat so our body is not constantly having to process food.

This is a huge plus for our GI track, appetite control, sleeping and even our teeth will benefit from reducing how often we ask our bodies to metabolize food.

We are fasting when we are sleeping, so to add hours on either side is a good place to start. Ways this can be done is to limit food three hours before we sleep and then delay breakfast or any sort of food over time. I find 12 hours to be accommodating to most people in a few weeks. Finding a window that works for the individual is important, as everyone has a different lifestyle and family needs.

Jul 9, 2:05PM EDT0
What do you feel Intermittent Fasting offers that sets it apart from other methods of dieting? Where do you think it really shines?
Jul 7, 11:03AM EDT0

I don't see it is dieting more as a way of life. 

Reducing the amount of times a day we eat, stopping snacking and reprioritizing food are the 3 places I feel Intermittent Fasting shine. 

Jul 9, 2:07PM EDT0
During your fluctuating weight issues and dieting, which were the people that were the most supportive and helpful and why is a support system so important to successfully achieving one's wellness goals?
Jul 7, 9:42AM EDT0

My aunt (who struggled with similar issues) and a few close friends.

There can be a lot shame involved or some can think you are looking for compliments if you say you did not want to go somewhere because you didn't feel good about yourself- to them you look fine. It is all a matter of perspective. 

A support system is key because it takes a village right? everyone you see is struggling with something, even the nice housewife at pick up. 

Jul 9, 2:10PM EDT0
Is there a specific recommendation you have for pre and post workout meals? Do you stick to any sort of carb and protein ratio?
Jul 7, 8:08AM EDT0

The average person going to the gym doesn't need to worry about pre and post workout meals. Unless you are doing endurance training such as a 3 hour distance run for a marathon, your eating plan doesn't really need to be modified. 

I shoot for 40% fat, 40% protein and 20% carbs.  Counting macros alone don't tell the whole story-as 20% carbs should be coming from leafy greens and not cheetos. 

Jul 9, 2:13PM EDT0
How has becoming a wellness coach helped you to empower others?
Jul 7, 4:51AM EDT0

To help prioritize their own health. I have yet to meet the person living in the modern world who couldn't use less screen time, more connection with humans, sleep and green leafy vegetables.

Remember all it takes is one decision followed up by another and another in the right direction 

Jul 9, 2:16PM EDT0
About #HealthAMA

Welcome to #HealthAMA, an "all things health" channel where you will encounter a far-reaching collection of AMA's gleaned from our caring community of approachable and informed hosts. In addition, we also cherry pick Health related AMA's from around the web for your viewing pleasure.

Interested in participating? Our user-friendly channel makes it possible for anyone to create an AMA on just about any imaginable topic that’s relevant to health, wellness--and you.

The #HealthAMA channel is owned and operated by AMAfeed, LLC.

Top Contributor
Sensei of wellness