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How to end the crash and burn cycle of food addiction with Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson

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Like drugs and alcohol, food addiction is real and because we can't just not eat, we have to go about addressing it differently. Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson shows us how in her book, Rezoom: The Powerful Reframe to End the Crash-and Burn Cycle of Food Addiction.

You can find the full show notes at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/519.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:55.750] – Allan

Ras, how are you doing?

[00:03:58.400] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:04:00.970] – Allan

I'm doing all right. It's been a hectic little week. Last week, I had five interviews. This week, I had Santa Claus duty. Dressing up at Santa Claus at Lula's. And so the kids came in. I think I've got another one on the agenda to do for the Rotary Club. And then both of our daughters got proposed to this week.

[00:04:25.550] – Rachel

Is that right? Congratulations. How exciting.

[00:04:29.950] – Allan

Yeah. One of them just turned 29 and the other is 28, and she'll turn 29 in July. So, yeah, they were getting around that age where I guess you start saying I'm old enough that I'm not a kid anymore. And I'm young enough that I can have kids. So they're right. And I think the sweet spot they should at this point, know themselves pretty well. They seem to like the guys they're with.

[00:04:55.570] – Rachel

Good. That's important. Wow that's so exciting.

[00:05:01.910] – Allan

That'll change.

[00:05:04.850] – Rachel

That's so exciting. What a wonderful time then for both of them. Very exciting. Congratulations to them both.

[00:05:11.330] – Allan

How are you doing?

[00:05:12.680] – Rachel

Great. I'm doing good up here. Enjoying the up and down weather up here in Michigan. Sunny days, a little bit of snow, little bit of rain. You never know what you're going to get. But things are good. I just wrapped up a week of my marathon training plan, had a great week, good runs. It's really been a lot of fun.

[00:05:31.090] – Allan

Well, good. You know, this is also a time of the year where you kind of have to watch your health because the changing weather and everything else kind of beats up your immune system. You're inside a bit more than you normally would be. So we're exposed to a little bit more of this and that. Obviously when those the main virus Corona going around, but cold and flu season and a whole bit. So take care of yourself. Eat well, get plenty of rest and follow the basic protocols.

[00:05:58.820] – Allan

Wash your hands. Avoid sick people.

[00:06:02.270] – Rachel

Yes. Do the best you can.

[00:06:04.910] – Allan

Do the best you can with what you got. All right. Are you ready to have a talk with Susan?

[00:06:10.590] – Rachel



[00:06:50.830] – Allan

Susan, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:53.810] – Susan

Allan, so good to be here with you.

[00:06:56.010] – Allan

So your new book, Rezoom: The Powerful Reframe to End the Crash and Burn Cycle of Food Addiction. And while I scored a three out of your range of how really susceptible I am, just a three with food, there's other things that I wouldn't score as well on. I think this is a really important concept because so many people think of food as just eat better, just eat better, eat less. And for a lot of people, their brain just doesn't work that way. And that's what I thought was really cool about your book.

[00:07:34.540] – Allan

It's like, okay, now let's actually call it what it is, even though clinically, I guess the Association and all those folks, they don't want to call it that

[00:07:45.050] – Susan

Yet. They're going to have to because it is. Right.

[00:07:49.370] – Allan

But the whole point is if we don't treat it the way it needs to be treated. We don't get better.

[00:07:55.500] – Susan

That's right. You can't treat a condition that you don't know that you have or that you refuse to believe that you have. So food addiction is very real. And that's one of the big thrusts of this book it's actually the title of chapter two, food addiction is real. If we don't know that by now, sort of, Hello next live. Look around. Right. And the thing is that I think food addiction these days is an intuitive obvious thing for people, right? Either they experience it or they see people they know who experience cravings, who experience repeated attempts to cut back with no lasting success, who experience unintended use this slippery slope where you intended to eat a little bit, and then you find yourself eating more and more and more who experience real consequences.

[00:08:43.710] – Susan

I mean, 130,000 people in the United States this year prior year, right. Had their leg amputated because of the way they were eating 130,000 people. Now, if that's not shocking enough, 55% of them will have their second leg amputated within two years because having one leg amputated wasn't enough of a cue to cut back on sugar with their type two diabetes. Right. So if you don't think that that's sort of hazardous use or using beyond the beyond, it just it is right. Food is so addictive.

[00:09:17.430] – Susan

So that's what this book is about. And it's about a different approach to managing the treatment or the recovery. Or like, how do you lose weight and handle food addiction in a way that actually works and is actually sustainable? So that's what the book is about.

[00:09:33.380] – Allan

And this is not just some textbook. This is how you treat addiction. This is the way we've always treated addiction. You've lived and breathed addiction, not just food, but other things in your life. And that's where you're coming from in this book. And I really appreciate the opening up the vulnerability that you had to have a book like this where you're saying, no, I'm not some hottie taughty PhD that's going to tell you how to beat addiction. I talk from experience of successes and failure.

[00:10:04.850] – Susan

Yeah, totally. And that's I think why food addiction was so obvious to me. I mean, I knew food addiction was real when I was 21 because I had gotten clean from crack cocaine and Crystal meth. I got clean. Finally, at the age of 20, I spent my teenage years doing drugs and progressing to harder and harder and harder drugs, culminating in dropping out of high school, prostitution and just repeated cycles of going out to prostitute and then going into the Crack house to smoke cracks. So living like that without a place to live except the crack house.

[00:10:36.930] – Susan

Is that's a pretty serious case of addiction? And when I got clean, I never went back to drugs or alcohol after that moment, I just got clean. And yet within a year, my weight had started to pack on. And I was eating in a way that just looked felt and was just like my drug addiction. And food was harder to kick, Allan. That's the creepy thing. Food was harder to kick. I was not able to just kick food the way I had drugs. I mean, obviously you have to eat to live.

[00:11:10.210] – Susan

But there were a lot of things that made food harder. And before I knew it, I was obese and really struggling with food. And my weight has been the story of my life. I mean, I could say, in a way, I started using drugs at the age of 14 already to start to manage my food. I already had a weight problem. I already had a food problem, and that's why I turned to stimulants like Crystal meth to manage my food and my weight problem. So it went all the way back for me.

[00:11:34.530] – Susan

So, yeah, I don't come to this. I do have an academic background. I have the PhD and all that. But that's not the high mountain top from which I speak. I speak from the gutters of, like, here I am eating a pint of ice cream with tears streaming down my face. Why am I doing this again? Kind of place. So I get it at a visceral level.

[00:11:51.750] – Allan

Yeah. And as I said, I went through and I looked at your susceptibility chart and took the quiz and I said, okay, I scored a three, which for food

[00:12:03.380] – Allan

That makes sense for me because..

[00:12:05.120] – Susan

Just so people know on a scale from one to ten, ten is highly susceptible to food addiction. So it's a measure of how susceptible your brain is to food addiction. And, Allan, you're just a three, which means food isn't your thing.

[00:12:16.170] – Allan


[00:12:16.420] – Susan

It either means you're not susceptible to addiction at all, or it means you might be susceptible to other addictions. But food isn't your thing.

[00:12:22.660] – Allan

Right. And so, like I said for me, it was okay if I just say I'm not going to eat dessert. I don't eat dessert, and it's not like I leave that table after I said no to dessert and stop by the convenience store and buy some ice cream to eat at home in private. Because I really sugar. I wanted that sugar. I was addicted to that sugar. I just said no because that was the visual of me being at the dinner table and no one else wants dessert.

[00:12:53.150] – Allan

Why is it so hard for us to beat food addiction?

[00:12:57.230] – Susan

Food is the hardest addiction to kick. And I say that both as a hope to die addict in every way. But also clinically speaking, food has some very unique things about it. First of all, it is socially pushed, like no other drug, not just accepted, but pushed and pushed and pushed. Which means when you're trying to, let's say, abstain from sugar, right? Good luck getting through Thanksgiving or Valentine's Day or whatever without people actually pushing it on you. So that's one challenge you have to eat to live, which you have to eat to live.

[00:13:37.900] – Susan

But you don't have to eat Donuts to live, right? This is one of the things that bright line eating does well, is it helps people figure out the line between what you're eating and not eating, right? When you're an alcoholic. When you're a crack addict, the line is really clear. Don't drink, right? Don't smoke crack. It's not ambiguous. Generally speaking, I mean, with alcohol, Benadryl or whatever. There are some slight NyQuil, whatever. But generally speaking, the line is pretty clear with food. It's a minefield. And I spent eight and a half years after I got cleaned from drugs, trying to figure out where the first bite was.

[00:14:16.660] – Susan

I couldn't tell what I was eating. That was tripping me up, right? And finally I came to sugar and flour. That's what it seems to be. Sugar and flour. It's essentially the processed foods. But if you just abstain from sugar and flour, that's a good demarcation point. But, Allan, I could go on, and probably I should. I just don't want to soliloquise here for ten minutes on you. But there are a couple of other really fascinating reasons why food is harder than any other drug. It is the hardest.

[00:14:44.400] – Susan

It's the hardest.

[00:14:45.140] – Allan

Please do. I want to get into this topic because again, I think if you don't recognize the problem, you'll never find a solution. And if you think just forcing yourself to try something, another diet, another thing, and you don't get to the root cause of why this is so hard, then you're never going to solve the problem, particularly not solve it long term.

[00:15:09.960] – Susan

That's right. And here we are, early January, right. All these people have made resolutions to lose weight is always the number one resolution, and we probably have people listening who've made that resolution before. Right. So here's another reason why food is harder than anything else to kick, and it has to do with something that I think most people lump together with food addiction. But if you think about it, it's actually an entirely separate problem. And so to illustrate, I have an analogy that I like to give.

[00:15:43.470] – Susan

I call it the acne analogy. Imagine the universe, this is just a little thought experiment. Imagine a universe in which drinking alcohol over time caused acne to develop all over your skin and not just acne, but really bad disfiguring acne and not just really bad disfiguring acne, but fatal acne. Acne that research suddenly showed would kill you 10,15, maybe even 20 years before your time. So you learn this, you know this and like people will, because alcohol is fun to party with. Right and relax with, you start to drink, so you start to drink.

[00:16:30.780] – Susan

And at first it's not a problem. You start to develop a little bit of acne, but it's not that bad. And over time you drank more, you develop alcoholism, and the acne comes on hard and fast. So years go on. Your body is now covered with really bad acne, and you know it's going to kill you before your time. You try quitting drinking over and over and over again. You finally succeed, you get sober, but the acne persists. You still have it. And now your job is to figure out what to do with this acne because it's terribly unsightly.

[00:17:06.270] – Susan

You don't want to live with it, and it's going to kill you 5, 10, 20 years before your time. So you go to search for a solution to the acne, and you find one. There actually is only one solution to the acne, and you start to adopt this solution. But the problem is, it's got a side effect, and the side effect is powerfully driving urges to drink alcohol. And so in your life, you get stuck in this loop of drinking alcohol, quitting drinking alcohol, trying to solve the acne problem being driven back to drink alcohol.

[00:17:46.110] – Susan

This is the relationship of food addiction and excess weight. The problem with excess weight is the brain fights prolonged weight loss by driving you to eat, even if you're still maintaining 100 or 200 extra pounds on your body. If you've lost weight over any significant period of time, your brain makes hormonal adjustments to force you to regain weight, and it drives you back to your food addiction. So this is the maddening loop that people get stuck in. And that is, in my opinion, the biggest reason that food is the hardest addiction to kick.

[00:18:25.970] – Allan

Yeah, the hormones are really a big part of this because if you're constantly hungry, then you're going to struggle to stay away from food and then staying away from food makes you constantly hungry. It's a bad cycle. Now, one of the things I really liked about your book was you didn't just jump into a diet or a program and say, this is what you eat. These are your because you did talk about lines, but we're going to get to that. But the first thing we have to get into and we're going to talk about this is that selfwork.

[00:18:57.430] – Allan

That self awareness and not just this casual self awareness of. Oh, great. I have a sugar addiction. It's a much deeper awareness of that at points in time. And I don't mean from a schizophrenia perspective, but we're different people in the fact that at some point in time, the voice in our head is telling us, Well, go ahead and have that doughnut. And then there's another voice in our head, it's the controller. It says, no, you shouldn't have that. And they might be going back and forth.

[00:19:30.630] – Allan

And when they are, we find ourselves now obsessed with thoughts of food because we told ourselves no. And we've also told ourselves, yes. Can we talk a little bit about this parts work and how there's different voices and then kind of go into a couple of examples, like the one I just started about how that works dynamically within our brain.

[00:19:50.450] – Susan

Yes. Totally. Well, just to say, first of all, this perspective on human beings is spreading rapidly because it's so effective. It's called internal family systems, or IFS and more easily called parts work. Like you just referred to it as. And what's so helpful about it is that it allows us to create change really rapidly by relating to these different sort of selves that we all seem to embody. And I'm not talking about dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder. I'm talking about every healthy psyche has multiple parts to it.

[00:20:33.330] – Susan

And this notion goes way back there's Egyptian hieroglyphs that have a parts dialogue on ancient tombs. Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato all talked about parts. Socrates said it best. And actually it pertains to the food idea like that you just mentioned Socrates said one mind cannot both want and not want at the same time. Therefore, we are all at least two. And so just bringing up this idea that there's different parts of us. So in bright line eating, we invoke this parts notion to help people heal at really, really deep levels.

[00:21:18.670] – Susan

Anyone really who wants to be healthy. I would wager even a three on the susceptibility scale of food addiction. Like you, Allan will have developed some version of these parts, the food indulger part and the food controller part. The food indulger says some version of, hey, why not? It's a special occasion. It's an important day or I deserve it. Or I feel like eating or whatever and gives us license to indulge a bit, right? Whatever that means to us.

[00:21:50.750] – Allan

It'S the devil on this shoulder and angel on this shoulder, and they're like, oh, come on. No. You said you were going to do this.

[00:21:59.050] – Susan

And the angel is the food controller that's trying to manage it, right? The food manager, and we have different versions of it. Some people just have a healthy version that's like, you don't want to do that because you'll feel a little yucky tomorrow morning. And, you know, you're getting up early for a run, and some people have a really perfectionistic and wickedly critical food controller that's really mean or really sets up a high standard that's almost impossible to live to, right? Super perfectionistic. But anyway, most of us have some version of that angel on the shoulder.

[00:22:36.990] – Susan

That's saying, no. And what we get into in the book Rezoom is we also introduce people to their authentic self, their highest self. I don't mean self like, ego, self. I mean self, as in grounded, centered self. You know, you're there when you're calm, clear, connected, curious, compassionate, like, in that kind of place, you can make decisions for yourself that are really empowered and not really driven by either of those voices. I think that's a really interesting awareness from this perspective is you're not actually trying to create a world where you're always siding with the angel, with the food controller, you're trying to settle into a truer version of yourself that is actually a step back from the control, right.

[00:23:28.230] – Susan

Anyway. Yeah. It's something we get into in the book a lot is what's the inner work you have to do in order to sort of transcend the war, the polarization between the food indulger and the food controller, because for people who are high on the food addiction susceptibility scale, it has become a full on war.

[00:23:46.990] – Allan

Yeah. And I think that's the key. If you do this self awareness work and you really think about it and it blends into your Rezoom process of okay, why did this happen? What were the voices? Who was I talking to when I did this? And why did I react the way then? You know, it's like, oh, well, I was just being a food rebel because I've been so strict on myself for so long and drill sergeanty, if you will. That okay. I just kind of popped a gasket and said, Damn it, I'm having a piece of pizza didn't kill me, didn't really throw me over the edge.

[00:24:18.800] – Allan

But just enough where I said, okay, maybe I just need to be kinder to myself instead of being so mean and rigid and thinking of myself as bad just for thinking about the pizza because it's creating that dynamic in yourself where either the rebel comes out and you have all these different characters

[00:24:37.430] – Susan

sort of archetypes. Yeah.

[00:24:41.090] – Allan

Who was I when I made this decision? Who was I when this happened? And every one of them and I think this is really important that you say in the book, every one of them is actually looking out for your best interests.

[00:24:53.940] – Allan

They're just doing it from their own paradigm.

[00:24:56.460] – Susan

Right. Totally. And Allan, this is the thing. So on the food addiction susceptibility scale, I'm a ten. And that's not surprising. Maybe hearing my addiction background. But here's the thing, Allan, is for people like me who are much higher on that scale, we're talking seven, eight, nine, tens. Once you get into certain territory on that scale, it might actually be true that the best path to peace to food neutrality, where food thoughts aren't dominating your day to physical health and weight loss. The best path to that might actually be a path that involves some form of abstinence.

[00:25:42.050] – Susan

Right. I abstained from sugar and flour, because when I include them in my diet at all, it's the sort of classic example of addiction. It's the same reason I don't try to smoke one cigarette. I tried that experiment again about four years ago and thus started about two years of trying to quit cigarettes. Quitting restarting again. I don't need to run the one cigarette experiment. It goes badly for me, right. And I just got to say the one cookie experiment goes just as badly. So I don't run that experiment anymore.

[00:26:11.790] – Susan

But the key is that I'm not doing it from a punishing food controller place. And so the Genesis of this book was really how do we present a reframe on food recovery for people who've gotten trapped in a Yoyo dieting cycle or in a food addiction recovery cycle? Because there's a lot of twelve step programs that talk about abstinence from certain foods as well. And people often get trapped in a relapse cycle. And I had gotten trapped in that cycle again myself, after many, many years of peace and being in my bright body, which is like what I call sort of a right sized body without carrying around all sorts of excess fat and stuff like that.

[00:26:53.350] – Susan

I've been there for a long time, and then I got trapped again in a relapse cycle. And coming out of that, I've been out of that for a few years now. Coming out of that, I got the awarenesses that I put into this book. It's a reframe on the perfectionistic tendencies that can naturally go along with an abstinence framework. But the kicker is, for some people, the abstinence is still necessary, right? It still doesn't mean that trying to eat the one piece of pizza for some people is going to be the right thing to do, because if you've run that experiment enough times, you know that for you, it might not work.

[00:27:27.500] – Susan

So this book is for people who are in that category and who need a reframe to get out of the crash and burn cycle because it's very painful.

[00:27:36.330] – Allan

Yeah. Because the quicker you get back on the road, the less damage you've done. I don't want to say the easier, but it just makes it you feel more in control because you didn't completely crash. You're sort of easing yourself back into traffic and moving forward.

[00:27:52.310] – Susan

Totally and this book helps people who have brains more like mine to actually avoid the crash before it happens. Coming from a place of more healing, more self compassion. It's really the shame and the self flagellation on the way to picking up the excess food, right? That accelerates the tragedy of it. And so this book is sort of the prescription of getting off of that horrible cycle altogether.

[00:28:23.570] – Allan

Now, one of the things you do in the book, which I think is really important. I'm a big fan of commitment. I would not have been successful in changing my health and fitness if it didn't start with a commitment to myself. You've done something, I think that's pretty special is you're looking at it from making a daily commitment. So when you wake up because you do have that structure, you do have that abstract mindset. You have these bright lines. And so right now, four, probably you have more because there are others.

[00:28:54.970] – Allan

We'll talk about those. But there are at least four base bright lines. And we're not talking about a line in the sand because a line in the sand you can easily miss over and not see you're talking about bright lines for a daily commitment, you actually write out exactly what you're going to eat the next day each day, and then you're able to report back to yourself on your commitment that I follow through with exactly what I told myself I should do today. Can you talk a little bit about bright lines eating and what the four core ones are and then go into some of the others because I think those can be equally as important.

[00:29:32.930] – Susan

Yeah. So in bright line eating, there are four essential bright lines with the food, and two of them have to do with the substance addiction, right? No sugar, no flour. That's keeping the alcohol, the nicotine, the crack cocaine out of our system, no sugar, no flour. The other two handle the process. Addiction, the behavioral addiction to just eating. And they are meals. So eating just meals, no grazing, no snacking. And typically we start people off three meals a day. There are some exceptions, like people who had bariatric surgery recently can't eat that much food at one meal and that sort of thing.

[00:30:10.590] – Susan

But generally speaking, it's three meals a day and then quantities. So we actually bound our food with a digital food scale. Yes. I weigh my food. And it's so funny because I just had a visitor who is a one on the susceptibility scale, literally a one. And he was visiting my house and we ate all our meals together for a few days. And he just kept talking about how he's like, okay, you told me you weighed your food, but you eat more than I do at every meal.

[00:30:38.340] – Susan

This is like a full grown man. Right. So we're weighing our food not to make for tiny quantities, but actually to make sure that we eat enough of a lot of foods, because people who have a history of dieting typically will not eat enough at each meal unless you make them actually account for it. Those are the four bright lines. A bright line is a legal term. Originally, it just means a clear, unambiguous boundary that you just don't cross. Right. So this is like the bright line that the alcoholic puts up for alcohol, right?

[00:31:09.760] – Susan

I'm just not going to drink no matter what. And then the other things I would count more as habits or behaviors or tools or whatever, like writing down your food the night before. That is a practice that people start when they start doing bright line eating. And, yes, committing it right. In some kind of way. I often recommend people even commit it to someone else, which can be very powerful. Like, this is what I'm eating and then circle around the next 24 hours and say, yes, I ate only in exactly that.

[00:31:35.080] – Susan

And here's what I'm eating tomorrow.

[00:31:38.570] – Allan

Well, that's why we have a ceremony. When we get married, we wear a ring when we get married. That's the public commitment. And you're like, okay, here I am. I'm committed to this relationship, and that's deeper meaning than you just saying to yourself before you go to bed. This is all I'm going to eat tomorrow, and no one else on Earth knows. So it does hold you a little bit more accountable to what you're doing, which again, if you need that support is really important.

[00:32:05.210] – Allan

Now, doctor, I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:32:16.910] – Susan

Oh, my gosh. Say it again. You define wellness as being the healthiest,  fittest

[00:32:23.570] – Allan

healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be

[00:32:25.990] – Susan

Healthiest, fittest, happiest.

[00:32:28.170] – Allan

In my mind, you have to have all three.

[00:32:30.710] – Susan

All right. Healthiest, fittest, happiest. So I'll just share from my expertise, right. Because I'm sure people come on here and can say all kinds of things. Anyone can sort of spout off on that. But from my vantage point, one of the big ones is going to be look at and honestly face the amount of food addiction that you actually have on board with the brain you've got right now. Like, assess it like, Allan, you took the quiz, right? People should take the quiz, find out what kind of brain they've got, because if you're a one, two or three, it's a whole different ballgame.

[00:33:08.270] – Susan

Right? You don't need to worry about a little bit of sugar. You can have that recover really quickly. And absolutely. Research shows that being 90% to 95% true to a food plan is enough, right? When you're higher on the scale, that little bit of sugar turns into more and more, and also creates a lot of psychological chatter where you're thinking about what you've eaten or not eating, whether you're on your plan or off your plan, how many miles, how many calories, how many pounds to burn off that thing that you just ate in?

[00:33:37.080] – Susan

That's a state of mind that is not. Well, that's not healthy, right? That's not happy. It may or may not be fit, but it's definitely not healthy and it's not happy. So there's one right there. Like take a look. And if people want to take the quiz, they can go to Foodaddictionquiz.com. Foodaddictionquiz.com. So acknowledge however much food addiction you have on board, because it really does change the landscape of the type of food approach that will work for you. If you're trying to be well, you're trying to be fit and you're trying to be healthy.

[00:34:09.320] – Susan

Everyone who's trying to be fit knows that you can't out exercise a bad diet. Right. And if the diet piece is the piece that keeps slipping in your wellness regimen, take a look at that. And Allan, I don't know if we're going to have time to talk about it, but I just want to say because this is a podcast for people over a certain age, right? Is that sort of theme?

[00:34:29.640] – Allan

over 40. Yes.

[00:34:31.080] – Susan

All right. Well, maybe let me just mention it now, if I may. When you're over 40 and especially over 50, your diet impacts your body differently. And this is true whether you're male or female. And the reason is lowering estrogen. And as your estrogen becomes more probabilistic and lower, this is true for men, too. Don't be fooled. It's not just men have testosterone, women have estrogen, men and women have both. And as your estrogen goes down, you stop getting the synergistic and protective effects it has on your insulin response.

[00:35:10.630] – Susan

And that means that your body now responds very differently to the junk food that you might be eating. You don't get away with it anymore, and that is the source of the weight creep in the middle that people experience past a certain age. Now, we did a research study that we published in a peer reviewed scientific outlet that showed that doing bright line eating, which means eliminating sugar and flour on our program. In the first two months, people at every age category lost an equivalent amount of weight, which means that this type of approach to eating turned a 60 year old woman's body into a 30 or 20 year old woman's body.

[00:35:48.300] – Susan

Which is shocking, but just saying the older you get, the more you need to acknowledge the amount that the degree to which addiction to certain processed foods might be playing. Right. So there's that.

[00:36:02.510] – Susan

The second thing I would say is really note your meal timing in relation to your circadian rhythm. So here's something that I used to experience. I'm a night owl by Constitution like wickedly so. Like, left to my own devices. I'm up till three, four or five in the morning and I'm sleeping past noon every day since I started eating this way, which I did 18 years ago.

[00:36:26.660] – Susan

I've been eating this way now since I was 28 years old. I'm 47 now it's 18 years that I've been eating this way. I now go to bed and I'm like eyes drooping full melatonin at 09:00 p.m. Like last night I went to bed, I went to sleep at 08:39 p.m. And I was up easily at five. But I'm not that way constitutionally. The difference is I started changing my meal time since I started eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. It turns out that the timing of your meal has as big or a bigger impact on your circadian rhythm as light exposure.

[00:37:05.430] – Susan

So don't be fooled. Any calories you're putting into your system after dinner, they're mucking up your circadian rhythm. So really consider returning to breakfast, lunch and dinner, or at least watching your meal timing as it relates to your circadian rhythm. That also had a huge impact on my mood by giving up sugar and flour and changing my meal times the way I have. I used to have clinical depression really badly and I don't have it anymore. And then the third thing I think is make sure that you feel deeply supported and connected in life.

[00:37:43.370] – Susan

I used to teach, so I'm still a professor at the University of Rochester, but I don't teach as much anymore because I do so much research and with this bright line eating thing. But I used to teach positive psychology at the College level. And a few years ago researchers discovered that human connection is more potent for well being than the combination of diet and exercise put together. That's how important it is to not feel lonely. It's so important to be well supported and connected. And if you think you're an introvert, just saying in the book Rezoom, we've got a category or a part called the Isolator, right?

[00:38:23.980] – Susan

Which is different than healthy alone time. Introverts and all people really need a healthy amount of alone time. Isolation is a different thing. Isolation is keeping yourself from support that would actually be helpful. And research shows that introverts and extroverts alike experience the same degree of uplift when they add something to their schedule, like lunch with a good friend once a week. Right. So introverts just need fewer people and fewer superficial connections, but a few deep ones are absolutely necessary. So however you roll, just make sure that you would answer, oh heck yeah.

[00:39:02.010] – Susan

To a question like right now in your life, are you feeling deeply supported and connected? Those are my three.

[00:39:09.510] – Allan

Thank you, Doctor. If someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about the book, Rezoom or your program bright lines Eating, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:39:20.690] – Susan

I would say probably the first step would be to take that quiz, go to foodaddictionquiz.com, but also Bright Line eating (brightlineeating.com) and you can get started with Bright Line eating for just $20 a month. So if you just want to give it a try and see, you were mentioning hunger earlier. We publish findings in the Journal of Nutrition and Weight Loss. Two years out, people haven't regained any of their weight. It's shocking the results that we're getting around here.

[00:39:54.070] – Susan

But also within the first two months, people's hunger and food cravings have gone away completely on our program. On average, literally hunger and craving levels down to below one and a half out of five. Like little to no hunger or cravings anymore ever. So. Yeah, brightlineeating.com people can give it a try for just $20 a month. It's probably the best deal in weight loss.

[00:40:15.270] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/519. And I'll be sure to have the links there. So, Dr. Thompson, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:40:26.190] – Susan

Thank you so much, Allan. It's been a pleasure.

Post Show/Recap

[00:40:35.950] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:40:37.580] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, what a really fascinating interview you had with Susan. I'm really excited to get the chance to talk about food addiction because it's something a little bit different than your standard dieting type situation.

[00:40:51.850] – Allan

Yeah, I've had people on we've talked about how food can be used as kind of this emotional bridge, if you will, a best friend, something that takes the pain away. And I've never felt that compulsion with food as using food to do that adrenaline absolutely. I'll do something crazy, like jump off a building or something like that.

[00:41:23.050] – Rachel

No, thank you.

[00:41:28.370] – Allan

Select certain number of people that are susceptible to food actually becoming a problem if they're using it for the wrong reasons. And you and I were talking before we got on here, you took the quiz that I took and encouraged people to get out there and try it. I was a three. You were a two, and it's this self awareness thing. What is your relationship with food? And you really have to break that down to a core component of what does food mean to me. Now, I know you and I, we think it's fuel.

[00:42:10.140] – Allan

We're going to go for a run. It's fuel. And there's food that I just love that I know I'll eat more of than I should or that I need, especially when I can't get them all the time and then they're available. I kind of go a little bit overboard on it, but it's not that kind of food. It's pretty much moved away from the sugars and that. But I never really was. I would say I might have been addicted to bread, but the only reason I say that is when I went paleo the first time I would have dreams about bread.

[00:42:54.670] – Rachel

Wow, that's interesting.

[00:42:56.580] – Allan

Like smelling it, like in my sleep someone was cooking bread and I could smell it in the oven and just dreaming about bread. And I thought, this is so weird. I quit bread a week ago and I'm dreaming about bread. So maybe there was a little something there with bread. I don't know, but talk a little bit about from your experience, because again, you're too. So that's not how you look at food?

[00:43:23.980] – Rachel

No. Like you said, I definitely look at food as fuel. And I'm aware of the addictive nature of my personality, and I say potential addictive nature. When I was a kid, my grandmother, who I love and adore and respect and was crushed when she died from breast cancer. She was a smoker. And whenever we went to her house, her curtains and her couches and the blankets on her couch, everything reeked of cigarette smoke. When we drove in a car, she would smoke in the car. And even in the dead of winter, it could be 20 below.

[00:44:03.840] – Rachel

I just needed that little bit of window down so I could get some fresh air to get some relief. That smell was just so overpowering and influential to me that I knew I would never want to smoke ever in all of my life. And to this day, I've never even tried cigarettes or any other thing that you might smoke. I've never done it because I was so repulsed by that. But people who smoke it's an addiction. It's like Susan mentioned, she had a more serious drug addiction than cigarettes, but there is an addictive part to that whole thing.

[00:44:40.170] – Rachel

And I can see how food can become similar, whether you're physically in need of having that sugar rush, because, you know, carbs and sugar can be very addicting. Or is it more of her personality? Like Susan mentioned, she had a drug addiction. She replaced that compulsion with food. So there's something to that personality component as well. But being aware of that, having that self awareness like you mentioned, food never crossed my radar as being something that I was compelled to have. I don't hide food in my pantry and eat it later in the closet.

[00:45:18.560] – Rachel

Although the one thing I will admit to is coffee. If anybody knows me, I am a definite coffee addict. I have it every day. But even with that, I know that I don't have to have it to live. If I woke up tomorrow and was camping, like when I go to Isle Royal next year and I can't have my pureed coffee pot with me. I know I could go a couple of days without having it. I know I'll have some consequences, but it's a different type of addiction than I think sugar or flour is, like Susan had mentioned.

[00:45:52.990] – Allan

And we've had guests on Rosie was on, and the woman Cheryl was Sharon. I've had a couple of guests on that really had emotional, deep issues with food and the way they thought about their body, the way they thought about their food. And it was that relationship with food that was the problem. And so as you go through self awareness of your journey in health and fitness, it's critical for you to have that conversation with yourself and say, what kind of relationship do I have with food?

[00:46:35.010] – Allan

And why would I feel compelled if I went to the grocery store to go down the cookie aisle when I know that the cookie aisle is just not going to serve me in what I need for what I'm trying to do? And so as you look at that, if you feel compelled or take the test to probably give you some information there. But most of us, if we take a moment and we're honest, we can say I am a moderation person or I'm an all or none person.

[00:47:05.760] – Allan

And I can tell you I am an all or none person. Even though I scored very low on that test, it was really because it was just related to food. And I can say no to any food, and I can have a little of something and then not have any more. But there are other things that I'm all or none. And when it's all, I mean all until it's all gone, that kind of thing. And maybe I used to be with that. Like I talked about Girl Scout cookies, and I'd buy the thin ments, and the box would be gone the first day.

[00:47:43.690] – Allan

even if I was trying to be good, I'd go to the grocery store and go to the freezer because we'd put them in the freezer and I would take a serving, which I think was like three cookies and I'd eat a serving. And then I'd go sit down. I'd eat the three cookies. I'd get back up. I'd walk there, I'd get another three cookies and go sit down. And then I'm just standing in the freezer eating the rest of the cookies.

[00:48:05.630] – Rachel

Wrap them up, finish off, can't eat any if they're not there.

[00:48:09.800] – Allan

Yeah. And so I had to come up with some strategies that worked for Girl Scout cookies until it was just a point where I no longer thought of Girl Scout cookies as something that I needed. I actually would give the Girl Scout money and not take the cookies.

[00:48:25.170] – Rachel

Sure, that's wonderful.

[00:48:26.380] – Allan

I just say, okay, you're trying to raise money. I get it. Back then, okay. Again, to kind of date. This is a box of cookies was like 250. Someone's telling me that they're like $5 because I don't stop by the booth anymore if I came out of a grocery store in the United States in February, which I haven't done in three years. But you walk by. They're there and wants cookies here's 250. No, just buy yourself a box or give a box away or whatever. And then I just move on.

[00:48:58.470] – Allan

So this is a very important concept, and that self awareness is critical. Otherwise you're setting yourself up to fail because this stuff is everywhere. It is the flour and the sugar is in every single thing out there. It's just almost impossible to avoid. And there are going to be times when you go in and you're like, okay, I want something to eat. And what's this? How is it prepared? It's breaded. It's like, okay, can you make it not breaded? And sometimes they can. Sometimes they can't.

[00:49:31.030] – Allan

But then even then, there's sugar in the sauce or there's this and that. It's really hard to avoid these foods. And if they trigger you, like, Susan said she tried to smoke a cigarette, just one. And then, boom, she was right back to smoking, and it was just really she knows she can't even have a little bit or she's going to go off. And if that's you, then you have to be honest with yourself. And yes, cold Turkey, you're out. There is no moderation. There is no trying it. There is no detour with this stuff.

[00:50:08.980] – Allan

It's all or none. And you have to get that into your head if you care about your health and fitness.

[00:50:17.230] – Rachel

Susan mentioned the word abstinence, and I just want to keep that word in bold prints right front and center, because for some people, abstinence is absolutely necessary. And for her, with her type of an addiction, personality or physical addiction to food, she cannot allow herself a bite of sugar or a bite of flour because that could send her back down the spiral to where she was overweight and unhappy. And I think that there are a lot of people out there that need to come to terms with that word abstinence.

[00:50:49.870] – Rachel

For people like you or me moderation, we can live with that. We can have a couple of Girl Scout cookies and then wait until next season when Girl Scout cookies are sold again. But for people who have more of an addictive personality or that physical need for food, chips are in the grocery store every day. Cookies are in the grocery store every day. And sometimes abstinence would be the tool, the main tool to break that habit. I just want to keep that front and center.

[00:51:19.770] – Allan

And there's a reason in these grocery stores in these convenience stores that things are where they are. If you want to walk down to the milk aisle, you're probably going to have to walk through an aisle that's going to have sugar laden foods or chips or something. And you're going to turn around when you stop to buy something like bottled water. And there's the chips. And it's literally set up that way you get up to the counter and there's on both sides, candy lining both rows. But it's done on purpose.

[00:51:51.850] – Allan

They study that stuff. They literally studied the traffic flow and optimize their sales. They're putting that stuff in your way. So you see it, and then you buy it. Yeah. So you have to know yourself. You have to go back to your commitment. And if you do that, then yes, abstinence. And it's that point of saying abstinence is the only way. And then you have that relationship with yourself, and you have to say, okay, I'm not going to cheat. And you wouldn't cheat on your relationship and say, oh, that person looks really fine.

[00:52:27.400] – Allan

I'm going to go do that. No, you don't. But you have to have the same self love. You have to have the same self awareness and not put yourself in those situations if you don't need to be. And most of us, if we're trying to lose weight, trying to get more fit, we don't need that stuff.

[00:52:46.150] – Rachel

Absolutely. Yeah. You said the other word that I would like to highlight and bold. And that's commitment. And whether you're committed to moderation or committed to abstinence or whatever it is, just be committed to yourself for sure and make the best choices for you.

[00:53:01.420] – Allan

All right, Rach, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:53:03.750] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:53:04.700] – Allan


[00:53:05.320] – Rachel

Bye now.


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Another episode you may enjoy


December 13, 2021

Why calories don’t count – Dr. Giles Yeo

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

If you're trying to count calories as a way to lose weight, you'll want to hear why calories don't count and how to lose weight the right way with Dr. Giles Yeo.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

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Let's Say Hello

[00:03:46.920] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things going?

[00:03:49.030] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:50.980] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Sort of. I did the requisite face plant that you did earlier.

[00:03:56.930] – Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:04:00.270] – Allan

Yeah. We were celebrating Thanksgiving, and then at night, I was like, okay, I've had a few glasses of wine, and I know I'm not going to want to get up at 6:00 in the morning and take these dogs out, so I'm going to take them out right before I go to bed, which means they might just let me sleep till seven. And I went to take them out and it was raining and it had been raining. And so I walked in this field, and it's sort of like someone jerking your hands when you're standing on an ice skate on ice.

[00:04:28.500] – Allan

And so my feet went completely out from under me when the dog decided he wanted to go in a direction, and I wasn't quite positioned for it. And when you have two leashes in your hand and you're falling, there's no breakage except the face. So I did a really good face plant, and Tammy was nice enough to patch me up with some bandage and stuff. So, yeah, just a kind of a face plant. There's no other way to say it, because it was just that, but I'm recovering.

[00:05:02.190] – Allan

It's fine. It's just some scrapes and scars and scrapes and stuff, and I'm probably going to have a nice little scar above my eyebrow for a little while, maybe for a long while, but it's just one of the kind of those things you say. Okay, I need to work on my balance. I need to work on my strength. I need to make sure that I'm not put in that position again as I get older. So it's just kind of one of those reminders of being aware of your environment, doing the right things so that we don't take those bills as often.

[00:05:36.170] – Allan

And if we do, our body has the resilience to get through it and protect us.

[00:05:41.460] – Rachel

Yes, absolutely. Just like you mentioned, I did the same thing a couple of weeks ago, and I'm recovering. I still have a tiny little bruise on my cheek, but it seems to be going away. But I was just mentioning with one of my running partners, like, I think this winter I'll be practicing my gait and learning how to lift my feet up a little bit better, making sure that I pay closer attention and do all those same things, too. Yes, it's a reminder and not a fun reminder to take care.

[00:06:13.830] – Allan

And actually, I kind of follows along with that method I put out there that slip to success, which is okay something happened in our cases, face plant and forgive yourself.

[00:06:26.380] – Allan

It happened. It happened. The circumstances were what they were. And then the second stage is learn from it and then apply it. And so you're going to be training your gait. I'm going to be working a lot more on balance and continue to work on strength. And then we'll hopefully not have to deal with another face plant.

[00:06:46.350] – Rachel

Absolutely. Fingers crossed. Absolutely.

[00:06:49.830] – Allan

All right. Well, you're ready to get into this discussion with Dr. Yeo?

[00:06:52.970] – Rachel

Sure. Let's do this.


[00:07:21.280] – Allan

Dr. Yeo, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:23.850] – Dr. Yeo

Thank you so much for having me, Allan.

[00:07:25.930] – Allan

Now the book you have very compelling title, I might add, Why Calories Don't Count: How We Got the Science of Weight Loss Wrong. And that's a very compelling title.

[00:07:37.350] – Dr. Yeo

Thank you. Some people might even call it controversial. I don't think it is. I don't think it's a controversial title.

[00:07:43.380] – Allan

I don't either, especially when you go through the book several times saying, I'm not saying Calories don't entirely count. They do. If you eat in excess of the energy output, you are going to gain weight. And if you eat less than the energy output, you are going to lose weight. It's just really on how we kind of put this all together. But you had one statement in a book that it was towards the end. But I have to see this out front because this was probably the best sentence I've read a long, long time and it said, Rather than wasting our lives obsessing about our weight and how we look, we should instead focus on our health. If you focus on your health, your weight will take care of itself.

[00:08:22.830] – Dr. Yeo


[00:08:24.390] – Allan

And I just love that. I'm going to use that over and over. I'm going to take that quote. And Dr. Yeo, and I'm going to post that everywhere because I think that's really the important thing of what we're after here. We take weight and we consider it some proxy for being healthy and fit and everything else is great in our lives. When it's usually just a side effect.

[00:08:47.910] – Dr. Yeo

It'S not only is it just a side effect, it's also, sadly, what we create to with beauty. And so people are going to say, Well, no, that's rubbish. I can lose a lot more weight. I don't look like how I look, but there's a difference between wanting to look like what you look in a mirror. Look, I want to look like Brad Pitt, but there are any number of reasons why I can't look like Brad Pitt. But if you actually get to the point where you're healthy, you can carry your kids.

[00:09:13.870] – Dr. Yeo

You can go up and down the stairs without getting out of breath. You can cycle to whatever you want to do and you can live your life and not feel that something is holding you back. So what if you're a little larger? I guess that's the point. Can you live your life? Can you do what you want to do and you need help for that rather than looks per se?

[00:09:30.770] – Allan

Absolutely. Now to start this off, you start off the book and you have a supposition here that talks about calories. And this is really kind of the principle of the book, and it's A does not equal B does not equal C, and I'll go through that. A is the number of calories actually in the food that does not equal the number of calories on the side of the pack, which does not equal the number of usable calories we finally get out of the food. So the trouble is this is if I'm going to look at the input, the calories that I'm eating and none of those numbers line up, then it's an impossible math for me to do, even if I have the information on the pack, even if I had a bomb called Kilometer in my house to burn everything I want to burn to figure it out, which I don't, and I'm not going to invest in one of those anyway.

[00:10:26.360] – Allan

But doesn't that create this complication to the calories in calories out model that we really can't overcome with math?

[00:10:34.560] – Dr. Yeo

I think so, at least not with the math that we're using right now. And I think that's the critical thing, as you said in the very beginning. Clearly, they count in some description to 200 calories of French fries is twice the portion of 100 calories of French fries. Clearly, obviously that's the case, but I guess so is 200 grams of French fries greater than twice the portion of 100 grams of French fries. And no one's out here trying to compare 200 grams of French fries to 200 grams of carrots.

[00:11:05.030] – Dr. Yeo

So I think there is this thing we got to get around where we need to be thinking about, sort of like the food we're eating. And while the calories have their use, I think they're complicating matters, because now you talk about people equating their weight to their health. People are equating the number of calories in a food to how good a food is. That is just not the case.

[00:11:30.270] – Allan

Because I can get a little packet of snacks and it's 100 calories, or I could eat 100 calories of chicken breasts.

[00:11:37.290] – Dr. Yeo


[00:11:38.110] – Allan

And it's a whole different dynamic. It's a whole different dynamic.

[00:11:40.680] – Dr. Yeo

It's absolutely different dynamic because of the amount of protein because chicken breast hasn't been processed, it's been cooked, it's been processed by being cooked. So I guess that equation, which I actually put out what it does mean is that the calories everywhere are wrong. That's the first piece of information that everyone gets out. But the issue is we eat food and we don't eat calories, and this is absolutely critically important. And our body has to work to differing degrees in order to pull the calories out after the food.

[00:12:15.730] – Dr. Yeo

And so when you actually eat something like a chicken breast, a piece of steak, a piece of fish. Ok. Like a whole food, you have to chew through it. It's either got a lot of protein or a lot of fiber depending on what you're eating. And so you have to kind of make your way through and your body takes time and takes energy. It takes energy to break down food. Whereas if you have something that's ultra processed, that's out of a pack and that has a shelf life of a million years.

[00:12:42.960] – Dr. Yeo

All right. It's been so ultra processed. And remember when I say ultra process, I'm not talking about fermenting. I'm not talking about the stuff you do in your kitchen. This is stuff that's done in a factory that we cannot replicate at home. Then, in effect, this procedure of auto processing is like an external stomach. So a lot of energy has already been in to the food and made the calories more available. So if you have 100 calories of chicken breast, as you said, versus 100 calories of an ultra processed foods, you will end up with a lot more calories from 100 calories of an ultra processed food.

[00:13:18.640] – Dr. Yeo

And naturally, an ultra processed food because of what's been happening to it has less protein and or less fiber, and it's higher in salt, sugar and fat. So this is the problem. Whereas if you have a chicken breast, you have a chicken breast, you can put salt on it if you wish. Pepper, soy sauce, whatever you want, you control what you add to it because you see the chicken breasts, you're doing something to it. Whereas when you get something out of a pack, we don't know what's in it.

[00:13:44.560] – Dr. Yeo

We just don't. And I think it's important to understand this fact.

[00:13:50.970] – Allan

Because in the key of what you just said there was we're eating food, we're not eating calories.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

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[00:15:40.310] – Allan

Our ancestors before they invented calories in the I guess the late 1800 started talking about them. They didn't have calorie counts on their food. They ate till they were satiated, and then they stopped eating. And then they went back to work.

[00:15:56.320] – Dr. Yeo

So the whole concept of the calorie actually was not originally invented. It eventually became to look at human food, but was originally put together for farmers because what farmers were interested in was how much would you feed a cow or your chicken or your sheep and get good quality meat or eggs or milk or what have you that's a product. And so you could see why the farmers really cared. They really would care the calorie content of the food, what was coming out the other side of the animal.

[00:16:29.390] – Dr. Yeo

And so they could say, Well, we're going to change the food. We're going to make better investments in the food. It was only laterally that people said we can do this to human food, too. And that is when it became weaponized. Suddenly the calorie became not something about agriculture and talking about the food supply, but suddenly becoming equated to human beings. And then we worry about our health. And there we go.

[00:16:53.490] – Allan

Yeah, and all of it seems to get weaponized. I think that's what's actually kind of scary here is they'll say, okay, calories are weaponized and then, okay, fat, because fat has more grams more calories per gram than the other two. Then we've got to demonize fat. And then it's like, Well, no fat helps a little bit. But now we've got a demonized cholesterol. It's not the fast cholesterol. And then we got to demonize sugar. And then we got to demonize salt. And that's all the stuff that actually makes the food palatable in the first place, but in the right proportion in the right way.

[00:17:28.610] – Allan

The key of it to me, and you talked about this in the book was, can I eat less actual calories and be satiated? And there are certain foods that do that. And there are other foods that don't. And the first one I want to bring up is protein. Why is protein so important for weight loss?

[00:17:50.990] – Dr. Yeo

Okay, there are two different reasons, two broad reasons why, clearly, they're going to be associated. Famously, a calorie of protein makes you feel fuller, more satiated than a calorie of fat than a calorie of carb in that order. All right. And there are two different reasons why. Sorry. Like I said, we need food and not calorie. Freudian slip. And there are two stages your body goes through to extract calories from food. The first stage is digestion, which we talk about chewing, autochemical digestion. And there is a golden rule here, really quite a good golden rule, which works not only for protein, but also for fiber, but the longer something takes to digest, the farther down your gut it will go.

[00:18:41.240] – Dr. Yeo

And the farther down it goes, different hormones are released and you feel fuller. Okay. And so protein just happens to take longer to digest. It's more complicated. It's just more difficult to take it apart and something else. And so it tends to travel further down the gut, different hormones are released and you feel fuller. So that's the first thing. Now, protein is broken down into amino acids, the building blocks within your gut. And then that gets transported across the gut wall into your blood. And amino acids and sugar and fatty acids are themselves, not energy.

[00:19:16.890] – Dr. Yeo

They're few still. So they then transported to your organs, your cells, wherever you need them. They're then metabolized. And this is the second part of how we actually get the energy, digestion and metabolism. What happens with the metabolism is it takes a lot of energy to metabolize protein. For every 100 calories of protein that you eat, this is unusual. You don't normally do this. I'm just using it as an example, so that we understand. But for every 100 calories of protein we eat, we only ever use, on average, 70 calories.

[00:19:57.470] – Dr. Yeo

So it takes 30% of the protein calories you eat to handle protein. So just out of the blocks, all the protein calorie counts everywhere are 30% out because they don't take into account the 30% of energy it takes to actually deal with protein. And so it's a mix of the fact that protein takes longer to digest and more energy to metabolize together. It makes protein more satiating for us. It makes us feel fuller, even though we need exactly the same number of calories of protein and fats or carbs.

[00:20:31.210] – Allan

Yeah. Now the satiation is the important part. The 30% doesn't mean you get to eat 30% more.

[00:20:39.570] – Dr. Yeo

That's not what I mean. That's the wrong message.

[00:20:42.750] – Allan

Yeah. So just realizing that, yes. If you're looking at your macros and you're saying, okay, this meal is giving me a certain amount of protein. I think you said optimal is probably about 16%. And then I'm getting good carbs. And we'll talk about the good carbs in a minute and some fat. Then each of those is going to digest at their own pace. And because the protein takes longer to digest and uses more energy in the digestion, it makes it easier for you to stay satiated longer, eat less and lose weight.

[00:21:16.170] – Dr. Yeo

Now, that is absolutely right. But there is one thing. So if you happen to be trying to build your muscle and this could be because you're older or it could be because you are actually lifting and trying to bulk up, then there is a case to be made for thinking about how much protein you're actually getting in terms of protein calories and whether or not you need to alter whether or not you need to alter that. Now, this is not the case for everything, but I think there is a case to be made for.

[00:21:43.540] – Dr. Yeo

Maybe I need to up my protein a little bit more if I'm trying to bulk up.

[00:21:47.420] – Allan

And as a trainer, I would tell you if you feel like you're losing muscle mass due to sarcopenia because you're older, yes, you probably need more protein. And if you decide you want to take on a resistance training program for the sake of building muscle, you definitely need more protein. But as a basic, getting by 16% is probably a good number to start with. And then just see how you recover from your workouts, whether you are building muscle, losing muscle and change it out from there. Now the next one,

[00:22:18.250] – Allan

And we talked about carbs because there's different types of carbs. And I think many of us get conflated and saying, Well, okay, this is obviously a healthy carb because it grew in the ground. It's a plant. But then, of course, we dice it up and Fry it or batter it and Fry it.

[00:22:33.520] – Dr. Yeo

That's right.

[00:22:35.310] – Allan

Like in San Francisco, you talked about the baseball games, the garlic fries, where there's as much garlic as there are fries. We ruin good things all the time. But fiber and fiber, similar to protein, has a compelling path through our digestive tract that changes the way we digest it, which also metabolize it, which also again helps us with satiation.

[00:23:05.200] – Dr. Yeo

So yes, the first thing is it's quite clear we don't digest most fiber, so some fiber we're able to digest. We'll do that in a second. But the vast majority of fiber that's the stringy stuff we see in the pulp and Orange juice and celery. And what have you we don't digest. It comes out sweet corn, corn on the cob, it comes out the other side. And so as we were discussing with the protein, because the fiber, therefore slows down the digestion of everything it takes longer to digest, it makes you feel fuller.

[00:23:32.990] – Dr. Yeo

The other thing about fiber that is very useful is fiber tends to be found almost exclusively in plants, almost exclusively. The type of macros you'll find in a plant tends to be largely carbohydrates, and maybe a little bit of fat, depending on what kind of plant we're actually dealing with. And the crucial thing is the fiber slows down the extraction of the carbohydrates and therefore the absorption of the sugar. And so you'll have exactly. This is the equivalent of drinking Orange juice versus eating an Orange.

[00:24:06.290] – Dr. Yeo

Right. It's the same kind of comparison where you're getting exactly the same amount of sugar, exactly the same amount of sugar. But if you drink Orange juice, it just gets absorbed the moment it hits a small intestine, whereas the fiber takes time. And so you then have a different glucose profile. Blood sugar profile after you eat something with fiber versus not. And that plays a very big role in terms of not only satiation, but also the eventual feeling of hunger again later as well.

[00:24:36.040] – Allan

Yeah. We call that the roller coaster where basically blood sugar spikes up, insulin kicks in. It sucks that sugar sometimes sending it to the muscles and sometimes sending it to the liver. But most of the time storing it as fat. And then your sugar crashes. And now you want some more Orange juice.

[00:24:54.100] – Dr. Yeo

That's right. And the fiber, evens this whole thing out, even though you get exactly the same. And this is the thing. This is the thing you try and explain to someone says, look, I'm not saying the foods are different. I'm not saying that they are magic, and I'm not saying the different types of sugars, the actual rate and speed and kinetics. Shall we say it is everything. It's absolutely everything to how your body manages its energy.

[00:25:18.770] – Allan

Yeah. And then the fiber goes further because we're not going to be able to digest most of it into our system. So it's ending up all the way down in the large intestine and some magical things happened down there.

[00:25:30.340] – Dr. Yeo

Some magical things happened down there because fiber, as we know, keeps you regular. And that's a good thing we don't want to be storing in us unnecessarily, but more crucially or equally crucially rather. It is very important for your gut microbiome, for the bugs in your gut that actually live there, and it keeps them happy. It keeps them happy. And what do I mean by happy? It means it keeps a nice variety of bugs. That pretty much is what healthy means. When people say, What's a healthy gut microbiome, the bugs variety.

[00:26:03.330] – Dr. Yeo

You only end up with one mono, very few varieties that tends to be meaning that you eat a very boring and very uniform type of diet, which is not great for you. So variety is the spice of life, and fiber is the spice for these bugs. And it's very important for your overall health, for your gut health. For your immune system, there is hardly any body system because, look, if you have bad guts, you feel awful. You're not having a good day. So having healthy guts is important to your overall health.

[00:26:41.910] – Allan

Now, one of the fundamental problems with nutrition. And I wish we could fix this is that there are labels on processed food, and there's seldom labels on the foods that are high in protein and fiber. Because you're picking those up at a farmer's market. You're picking those up in a produce stand in a meat market, and they're not wrapped and packaged the way that's required, particularly in the United States, for them to be labeled. And so if you find yourself eating more processed food, sometimes, I don't think I'm not even sure we recognize how processed our foods are.

[00:27:17.140] – Allan

There's a scale you talk about. It's not your scale. It's a scale that's been out there for us called the Nova scales, Nova classifications. And there's four of them. Could you go through those four real quick? So we would have an understanding, because in my opinion. And again, I'm just a guy that eats and try to get choice to take care of myself is I'm always trying to eat in that number one category, most of my foods. And then if there's a two or three, it's a little bit or it's a way to flavor the one or two.

[00:27:47.650] – Allan

And then I try my best to stay away from the four as much as possible. But could you go through that scale of what that actually means?

[00:27:54.250] – Dr. Yeo

Okay. So this was actually come up from a Brazilian scientist. Oh, gosh, I'm going to have to remember his name. That's terrible. I'm going to forget it, but I'll come up with it in a second. Brazilian scientist actually came up with this Nova system of one to four relatively recently. Actually, we're probably only looking at something like 2011 to 2016 year. So what are the four Nova categories? And this is to talk about how processed the food is. So Nova one, these are what we would recognize fruit, what we recognize as whole food, a piece of steak, a chicken wing.

[00:28:29.510] – Dr. Yeo

All right. So these are just food, whole foods that we would actually go and buy from a market. And what have you now? Nova two are flavorings ingredients. Okay. So, for example, this could be ground black pepper because the pepper has been toasted. It could be oil. It could be, for example, olive oil. It could be purified salt. It could be sugar from sugar cane or otherwise. And these are there for Nova type two. Now, what happens when you mix Nova type one and two together?

[00:29:09.810] – Dr. Yeo

You get a Nova type three. So three are the processed foods that we recognize as processed, for example, bread. Because bread has gone through the process of you put yeast, some fermentation, it goes up, you do things you can drink, beer. Okay. Now beer has gone through the fermentation process. So those are Nova group three and other foods that you might Cook. So pickling. Okay. So Kimchi or Sauerkraut, that would be a Nova group three. So that is the vast majority of food. And actually Nova groups one to three are all pretty much fine, because together they form what we would call whole foods to just minimally processed foods.

[00:29:54.780] – Dr. Yeo

Then there's no group four. And the problem with Nova group four is that that is where in North America, in Europe, in the high income countries, we get more than 50% of our calories from. And these are pretty much every prepackaged foods that are out there that have gone through a process that we cannot replicate in a domestic kitchen or even a restaurant. When you go to a restaurant, you're not getting a proper restaurant, not a fast food restaurant. If you go to a proper restaurant where there's a chef and kitchen and cooking your food, those are never going to be Nova group four.

[00:30:29.590] – Dr. Yeo

Okay. Whereas if you actually have to go through a factory process, it's everything that is in there. And so that's a lot of things. Just to be clear, I'm not demonizing them per se. We eat too much of them. Ice cream is going to be nova group four, croissants are going to be Nova group Four. Pastries are going to be Nova group Four. So there are those, but they at least look something resembling sorts of Nova group four. But then you can go really extreme.

[00:31:01.050] – Dr. Yeo

Right. And you can get these cheaper Nuggets where, for example, the meat is not really meat. Meat is even a strong word.

[00:31:12.970] – Allan

I will never eat another chicken McNugget, as long as I live.

[00:31:18.250] – Dr. Yeo

I don't want to get sued by them, but it's true, but that's the way they actually make it. So those are the four Nova groups. What we've got to do. Why does the Nova group four exist? This is a question to ask. I think it's helped keep 7 billion people in the world alive. Okay. There was a reason why it came about because of the industrial processes. They have economies of scale to make. They typically have very long shelf lives and they're very easily movable, and they're very cheap calories.

[00:31:51.340] – Dr. Yeo

And so as a result, we can actually survive on food. Certainly in the UK, you can now get up to 900 calories in the old school for less than a pound, depending on where you're getting. And a pound is a dollar 20 or one dollar 30 something like that. Yeah, really cheap calories. The problem is the amount we're eating now, that's the first thing. And the second problem is that because it's cheap, the poorer among society, people in the lower socio economic classes end up eating the cheaper food.

[00:32:26.440] – Dr. Yeo

Why? Because that is what's available in their food that they happen to be living in, for example. And it is also what they happen to be able to afford. And so I think it's a double tragedy. It's a tragedy, in a sense, where it is bad for us to eat too much of it and actually the poorest amongst us who are already at risk of diseases and things anywhere also end up eating it the most. So I think there's a double tragedy that we need to try and fix.

[00:32:51.600] – Allan

Well, I think there's a third piece in there that the food companies are responsible for. They're hiring scientists to make the food hyper palatable to make it addictive. I'm going to be talking to someone in a week or so about food addiction and how we deal with that. But the reality is if you find yourself there's just this food, and I like to term it as kryptonite, like your Superman, it's going to kill you. But you can't stay away from it. You can't do anything about it.

[00:33:18.450] – Allan

They make these foods like Kryptonite, they're so delicious. Even they advertise it. You can't eat just one, stack your chips, eat three of them because different flavors, and you're going to eat a whole two of them. And that's more calories than you should have had for your dinner. And they're hyperpatable. They're going to basically become blood sugar as soon as they hit your system. I think that there's a third piece there.

[00:33:46.210] – Dr. Yeo

And it's an arms war, because what's interesting is obviously there is no Advertisement campaign for strawberries. Not that I know. Or the Advertisement, maybe sometimes the Orange juice company, but even that. But then the Advertisement campaigns that go out to support these foods are incredible. And it's weapons grade. We talk about weaponization. It's weapons grade. And so you're someone selling from the local farm because there is no way you can compete against that. Certainly when it comes to kids, I think a lot of it is adults.

[00:34:21.950] – Dr. Yeo

We are obviously impressionable, but it's the kids. It's the kids that they're looking at and watch the cartoons. And they buy the happy meals. And they do the thing.

[00:34:31.550] – Allan

And the Super Bowl, which is coming up, which Congratulations on San Francisco's win this week.

[00:34:37.190] – Dr. Yeo

Thank you.

[00:34:38.300] – Allan

Super bowl. They'll spend millions of dollars. And you think, how many bags of potato chips do they have to sell? But they obviously are because they've been doing these commercials forever. So it obviously sells more potato chips.

[00:34:56.850] – Dr. Yeo

Otherwise they won't do it right. These guys are mercenary. Of course they are. They're not going to be spending the money if they're not getting a return from this.

[00:35:04.870] – Allan

Yeah. So that's the other side of just recognizing that these ultra processed foods are food stuff. They're built to be hyperpatable. They're built to be addictive. And, yes, they are low cost. They're easy to transport. They're self stable for a long, long time. So there are benefits from a feeding the world perspective to having this technology. But I kind of think it's gone a little on the other direction. And that's part of why we're in the problems we're at. And if we can flip back and we can start thinking about this scale of how processes my food and the less processing for the most part, the better.

[00:35:43.540] – Allan

One, two, three and trying to weigh your food and think of your food in that order, the more I have in category one, the better category two is next and then three. And then occasionally, if you want that Mars bar, have a Mars bar, but recognize where you are and what you're doing and enjoy the heck out of it and then be done. Get back to protein and fiber and your weight loss goals.

[00:36:11.070] – Dr. Yeo

I mean, there is another which I do raise in the book and sort of middle ground because I do think we need somehow a society to reformulate our food system. I think somehow we've managed to in trying to keep 7 billion people alive. I do think we've broken significant elements of our food system. Okay. And we're not here to necessarily discuss that. So we need to fix that. But in the meantime, however, in the meantime, how do we try and be pragmatic? And so what I do say is yes, if we want a Mars bar, we can have a Mars bar, but can we make a better Mars bar?

[00:36:46.380] – Dr. Yeo

I think that's the question, right? Can we convince at least in the interim. So this is not the be all and end all. But can we get the companies to put in more nuts, more dates and figs to try and up the fiber and protein content of a chocolate bar or a frozen lasagna or something? And every time I say this, what's interesting is I'm not trying to countenance all of us moving to Nova four as. It's just not my point. But my point is, how do we help the people who through no fault of their own, are almost forced to live on Nova Four Foods?

[00:37:23.210] – Dr. Yeo

Can we get the companies to improve their Nova Four foods? And that's another thing I'm quite passionate about in trying to. And whenever a company, a food manufacturer, for example, speaks to me, okay. I never take money from food companies for the reason, so that I can go in and speak to the food companies and be honest with them. They can listen to me or not listen to me, but I can say, look, you guys can continue making your chocolate bars or lasagna, what have you but can you make it better?

[00:37:52.930] – Dr. Yeo

Can you up the protein? Can you up the fiber? Can you do that? Surely you can. Surely you can do it without really that much of a significant rise in cost.

[00:38:01.570] – Allan

I suppose they can, especially when you think about it. We have a tendency to think of protein as being meat coming from an animal. And we think of fiber as coming from a plant and more of this could be plant based, and you can get there. Fiber is easy. It's practically nothing from a density perspective and almost no flavor from a cost perspective.

[00:38:25.970] – Dr. Yeo

It doesn't cost anything, right?

[00:38:28.710] – Allan

Because they stripped it off of something else. It's sitting there. It's sitting there. It's ready so they can. I know they can. And hopefully they will. They'll see the problem and realize, okay, if I want my clients, my customers to live longer and eat more, I actually have to not kill them.

[00:38:45.660] – Dr. Yeo

Keep them alive. Don't kill your customer.

[00:38:52.170] – Allan

Dr. Yeo, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:39:00.240] – Dr. Yeo

Well, oh, my goodness. That's a very good question. Actually, I'm not going to start with nutrition. Obviously, nutrition is one of them. The first is moving and literally moving. Now the interesting thing. And this could be if you are able, going long distances running or cycling or pumping. It could be that. Or it could be going in your garden, walking your dog, mowing the lawn. They're doing something like that. And while moving per se. And maybe sometimes people don't notice. Moving per se is not a great way of losing weight per se, but it is fabulous for you.

[00:39:40.760] – Dr. Yeo

You will never, ever be able to replace the goodness of moving. And so we don't move enough. And so we got to move. So that's the first thing I would say, move. And then the second thing is really think about nutrition, not in an evangelical and puritanical fashion. You talk about it. You sound just from our conversation here. You have the right approach. Look, sometimes you want a Mars bar. Sometimes your kid has a birthday party, you want to have a slice of cake, but we have too much of that.

[00:40:08.770] – Dr. Yeo

So I think thinking about the nutrition and simply if you consider protein and fiber in the diet that you eating, even as a shorthand as a proxy. Obviously the other thing. But even if we consider protein and fiber and moving, I think those three things would actually get you a long way to getting healthier.

[00:40:31.530] – Allan

If someone wanted to learn more about you and your book, Why Calories Don't Count. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:40:38.820] – Dr. Yeo

They can send all good bookshops. I know some people don't like Amazon, and I don't want to push people there, but all good bookshops should sell the book, Why Calories Don't Count. There's also one. And if you want to hear anything more, just me bibling on and interviewing various people. I also have a podcast called Dr. Giles Yeo, Choose the Fat and it's available at Apple and Spotify and all your favorite places.

[00:41:07.690] – Allan

Okay, well, this is Episode 516, so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/516, and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Yeo, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:41:20.730] – Dr. Yeo

Allan, this has been a pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.

Post Show/Recap

[00:41:27.970] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:41:30.030] – Rachel

Allan, oh, my gosh. I don't even know where to start. There's a lot we can talk about. But I do want to mention that back when I started my weight loss journey a long time ago, pre Internet days, counting calories was a nightmare. It was just something I never wanted to do, and it's just difficult. It's just a pain to do, especially before smartphones and apps that are so helpful today. But just like a lot of people who start their weight loss journey, that's the only thing I knew about at that time.

[00:42:00.700] – Allan

Yeah, I've been on my fitness pal and some of the others, and I've talked to different people over the years that are tracking and some of them, it's quite literally, like they're doing the accounting for General Electric. I mean, it's just crazy measure every calorie, calculate these numbers, and then you're looking at your weight and they're trying to evaluate and you're like, okay, well, maybe I was off by a pecan the other day. If you find that doing the calorie counting is stressing you out. You're doing it wrong.

[00:42:38.120] – Allan

Now, full disclosure or Disclaimer, or however you want to look at it. If you have a food addiction, if you have an eating disorder or you just find that the gamification of this actually is helping you stick with it, that's great. There are a lot of people that are like that, and that's cool that the whole world is made up of different people. So I'm not going to say there's one way fits all. That'll never be the case. But if you're stressing over the calories, oh, I can't eat this.

[00:43:09.220] – Allan

It has too many calories in it. It's chicken breasts.

[00:43:17.290] – Rachel

Well, that's a good point. I mean, think about what you're eating. I think one light bulb moment that I had many years ago when I did have my fitness pal was one of the foods I did like to eat after a half marathon. I used to go to McDonald's and get the Quarter Pounder meal because I craved the salt and the fat in that meal. And one day I realized that the calorie count for the Quarter Pounder with cheese meal was the equivalent of my total calorie intake for that day.

[00:43:49.700] – Rachel

And it was a big light bulb moment for me because obviously, I can't live on one meal per day, especially running half marathons. But that probably wasn't the most healthy choice that I could have picked for that time.

[00:44:05.750] – Allan

Yeah, one, I think if you read Doctor Yeo's book, you're not going to eat fast food ever again.

[00:44:18.170] – Allan

he actually taught you a lot of people don't want to know how they make the sausage. And I'll just say, you don't want to know how they make the burgers, and you don't want to know how they make the chicken McNuggets. So sue me, McDonald's if you have to. But I'm just going to say, okay, no. Just no.

[00:44:41.470] – Allan

It's okay to have those kinds of things if you start assessing about things and get granted if you have a food issue or things like that, then yeah, I'm going to have Dr. Susan on in a few weeks, probably right around the beginning of the year. And we're going to talk about that because she has these very strict rules in her life. And everybody she coaches very strict rules and those work. But she also has this resume process, which is when you go off kilter, you understand it, you learn from it, and you kind of get yourself back into your box.

[00:45:19.930] – Rachel


[00:45:21.950] – Allan

That approach works. Now most of us can't live in a calorie counting box. We have jobs, we have children, we have friends and family, and we have things that pop up. Like you said, I finished this run. I'm hungry.

[00:45:38.060] – Allan

What's there? McDonald's. Okay. Is it McDonald's or banana? And I'm sorry, but back in the day, McDonald's tastes better than the banana. You need the potassium. Okay, great. But I'm going to go for the burger, too, back in the day. But I think what we're trying to come out with this is number one. Look for the foods that serve you. And we talked with Dr. Yeo about how protein and fiber are going to be your friends in this pursuit. And if you're eating the foods that provide the best quality of that, then you're not necessarily eating a whole lot of meat to get your protein, because you can get that from a vegetable source, which is another thing he talks about in the book.

[00:46:28.330] – Allan

But you look at getting protein because it takes longer to digest and it's more energy burning as you do that. So you're getting less calories out of what appears to be a lot of calories, and it's going to keep you fuller longer. The other side is the fiber. And whether you want to go keto or you want to go as far as carnivore, he doesn't like those ways of eating. From the perspective, you're not getting the fiber. And so if you find that you try keto and you're just not pooping and taking a little bit of magnesium, which we're going to have Thomas DeLauer on the show in a week or so.

[00:47:03.090] – Allan

And we're going to talk about mineral deficiencies. So if you're having trouble at the loo, as Dr. Yeo would say, then you might want to try some magnesium. But if those things aren't working, what you're doing is not serving your body and you're not feeling good and healthy, then we're missing the point. The point is to try to get healthy. The weight loss is the side effect.

[00:47:26.110] – Rachel

I love that part when you and Dr. Yeo mentioned the weight losses, the side effect and also not obsessing. If counting calories becomes too much of an obsession, if it's distracting you, then it's really not the greatest tool in the toolbox. But also, I think focusing on the protein and the fiber and the healthy vegetables that'll give you the nutrients that you need to feel energetic throughout the day and satisfy whatever activities you do as well.

[00:47:56.510] – Allan

I couldn't even imagine sitting down at, like, a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and there being like, pumpkin pie there. And you're on my fitness pal trying to figure out how much is a slice to get the 100 grams and you're like, mom, do you have a scale so I can weigh this pumpkin pie? If you want some of the pumpkin pie, heat the pumpkin pie.

[00:48:22.560] – Rachel

Well, that's perfectly acceptable, especially during these holiday times when all these wonderful family traditional foods are coming out and you want to try your mom's recipe or your grandma's recipe or something important. I mean, there's so much meaning to that, and if you just enjoy it and have a taste of it and not overdo it, you're less likely to feel those after effects. Thanksgiving is my favorite meal. I tend to eat a little bit more than I normally do, and I feel the after effects later, so enjoy what you can and then get back to your normal eating and you'll feel much better in the days ahead.

[00:49:01.280] – Allan

Now, one of the cool things about Doctor Yeo's book is that when he gets into this, it is a lot of biochemistry, but he says it in a way that is actually follow able. Okay, he still has to use the words mitochondria, Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle and all the words because the words are the words. It's not like he can come up. But he comes up with a lot of ways to think about how that works and why things work the way they work. And then in the end, when he's explaining why protein is a better choice, why fiber is a better choice and those types of things, it clicks, you're like, oh, of course.

[00:49:45.750] – Allan

Why is it that you can eat sugar and your blood sugar shoots up and you can eat protein and it doesn't. Or you can eat sugar with fiber. And it doesn't like he was talking about the Orange juice and the Orange. And so he gives you all the background to understand. He didn't just make this up and say he doesn't want you drinking Orange juice. He's just trying to explain to you, if you're trying to lose weight, the Orange is the better deal.

[00:50:13.480] – Rachel

Sure, it makes total sense. That's so helpful, too. It's hard to imagine the glass of Orange juice being so much different than the actual Orange itself. But it does make sense when you discuss that in your interview.

[00:50:25.750] – Allan

It's not as convenient. And honestly to me, if you're trying to lose weight, drinking your calories is the worst way to do it, because again, if it's a liquid, your body is going to digest it very quickly. It's going to be out of your system and in your blood, and therefore it's not going to satiate you. It just won't. Whereas if you have to go through your system and you have to digest. Actually, physically digest that you're burning calories. Doing that digestion. If it's liquid, the digestion is over.

[00:50:55.060] – Allan

It's just flowing through and saying, okay, ha ladi da and then sugar. And it's in your system. So good. Pick me up in the morning, Orange juice and coffee. But then you're going to be hungry by 10:00am if you ate at seven because you didn't give your body that long term full feeling that it's going to get with the fiber and protein.

[00:51:20.130] – Rachel

It's important that we pay attention to how we feel after we eat these different foods. Because I think that once you find what you enjoy eating and you get a good feeling afterwards, you feel full. It's a better way to plan your meals, especially if you plan them around protein.

[00:51:39.830] – Allan

Yes. Absolutely. All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you and I'll talk to everybody else next week.

[00:51:46.540] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:51:47.450] – Allan

You too.

[00:51:48.320] – Rachel



The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– Judy Murphy– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


November 29, 2021

How to restart your weight loss and fitness journey when you feel stuck

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

From time to time, you might find yourself stuck, flat-footed. Getting restarted seems impossible. On episode 514 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to restart your weight loss and fitness journey.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving. They won’t take you out of ketosis, if that’s your way of eating.

Your body is an amazing organic machine. The food we eat and drink is information for that machine. This includes adaptagens. These are compounds that balance hormones and help you deal with stress in a healthier way. If you’re feeling tired, these compounds give you a boost of energy. If you’re stressed, they help you return to a natural state of calm. They literally help you adapt to the stress of life.

This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Green juice with essential superfoods and a clinical dose of Ashwaganda. It helps reduce stress and support healthy cortisol levels. It mixes well with water or your beverage of choice and it tastes awesome! This has become a part of my morning ritual.

Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Unidragon.

As the holidays approach, you might be looking for a unique gift that will entertain and delight. Unidragon has you covered. They make high-quality wooden puzzles. But these aren’t like regular puzzles with the standard style pieces. Their unique design is something I’ve never seen before. They’re works of art.

We all know that as we age, we risk a loss of cognitive strength. But with neuroplasticity, we can train our brain and slow decline. Puzzles do just that. Plus these beautiful puzzles are something you can do with the whole family, be it your significant other or your grandchildren.

Each month, Unidragon comes out with a new design. And most of them have multiple levels of depth and difficulty. These make great gifts, but you might just enjoy buying them for yourself.

I received the medium-sized Playful Parrots puzzle. It came a beautiful wooden box. You should have seen my wife’s eyes light up when she saw it. I fully expect to buy more of the Unidragon puzzles for ourselves and our guests.

You have to check them out at unidragon.com and use the promo code 40plus to get 10% off your order. Gift giving problem solved. That’s U N I D R A G O N dot COM and 4 0 P L U S for 10% off.

Let's Say Hello

Rachel was out this week, so we don't have a pre-show hello. She will be back next week.


Every once in a while, you might find yourself flat-footed without intending to. You've stopped moving. In fact, you might be letting some old habits return. Now this is a little different than a plateau. In a plateau, you're still doing the things that were working. They've just stopped working. But now you're standing there flat-footed and maybe not doing everything that you were doing. And it becomes sort of this feeling of inertia. It seems really hard to push forward and you just feel stuck.

So now this term inertia that I'm using is a kind of a term out of motion. It means motion, and it means no motion. So it's Newton's first law, and it basically says an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. And you probably feel this when you're in a car. If you hit the brakes in the car, you don't just stop there's. This tendency for the car to go forward a little bit further until it finally comes to a stop.

And the same is true. If you're sitting still, you have to give it a little more gas, a little bit more RPMs revolutions per minute to get the car moving. Now, once it gets up to a cruising speed, the rpm is dropped back down and you find a comfortable thing because you're not trying to accelerate with the gas and you're not trying to decelerate with the brakes. So realize the braking and the accelerating are kind of giving you the concepts of inertia. And then there's just sometimes you just feel like you're just parked.

You may not put your car in park. You may not think you're in park, but you're basically either in neutral sitting there or you're in park. In either case, you're not going anywhere. So I want to talk about today three things that you can do to get moving again to get going again. These are don't wait, start small and then lean into your strengths. So let's start with the first one. Don't wait. So I want to show of hands who's ever said I will start my diet or I will start my workout program on Monday, or I'll start my program on the first of next month.

It's a fairly common thing, and we see people doing it with New Year's resolutions all the time. I'll start my diet on January 1. I'll start getting in shape on January 1. It's a very common thing. So how many days are there between now and then? What you may be doing is not only that you're going to be sitting still for those number of days you might actually be creating inertia because you start moving backwards, and it's the same problem. An object in motion going backwards tends to stay in motion.

So the longer you wait, the less likely you are to be successful waiting till Monday. Waiting till the first never a good strategy. Now, a lot of times we do this because we think we need to go big. We think I'm going to have to completely cut out everything and do everything at once and that holds us back. That puts that procrastination in there because we want to steal ourselves and it will be easier for me to steal myself on Monday and do this. It will be easier for me to motivate myself over the weekend and through the rest of the month and then start on the first.

We approach them that way because we think we need this huge change, which takes me to the second point.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving.

In our 24/7 always on world, going without sleep seems to carry a badge of honor. But that’s not how your body sees it. Sleep is when all the wonderful things happen inside your body. Hormones reset, and healing and restoration happens. You know how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep. Getting good quality sleep is a priority for me

This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Gold juice with ingredients like Tumeric, Reishi Mushroom, and ginger, it’s designed to support rest, relaxation, recovery, and repair. It’s a delicious and nutritious warm, golden tea. I use water, but you can also use milk or a milk alternative. This has become a part of my evening wind-down.

Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item.

Okay. The same works for rock slides. One single rock moves and that one single rock starts the rock slide. That can be huge. So which rock is it for you? What is one small thing that you can do today? Or better yet, right now that will get things moving. Perhaps you just need to stand up and walk around for a few minutes right now. If you can do it, you're listening to this and you're not already moving. Consider it. Stand up and walk around. It's one small thing.

Maybe you can get yourself a glass of water next time you want to go for a soft drink. So you go to the machine. You're like, I should really just get a glass of water and you get a glass of water and you cut out one small thing, that's soft drink, which was probably 39 grams of sugar and calories you didn't need because they're not nutritious. They're not helping you. Or maybe when you go out instead of going out to eat or getting your lunch, you can pick up at the grocery store.

So you give them a call and say, okay, I want to order a rotisserie chicken, some veggies, a prerossed salad. And rather than doing pizza night or calling a restaurant or going to a restaurant, I'm going to go buy the grocery store and pick up those things. And that's going to be our dinner. This is not like you're trying to completely change the world at once. You're just trying to make one small movement. That small movement, though, creates the next movement. That glass of water becomes the habit of drinking enough water every day where you stay hydrated and you're not always maybe confusing thirst with hunger.

Perhaps that getting up and walking around gets you more comfortable to say, I can walk a lot more while I'm trying to do other things like listen to a podcast or take a phone call or whatever, and then the picking the food and saying, no, I'm not going to go to the restaurant because it's easy because I didn't do what I needed to do. I'm going to go do a better choice. When I go in, I'm going to go to the deli. I'm going to find better food.

I'm going to go to the produce section, find better food, and I'm going to make better decisions as I go so that I'm not backtracking so that I'm not stuck. So it's this little small thing that can get the ball rolling or the rock sliding that's going to have a big payoff later. So look for the little things just to get the ball rolling later on. You can take that big leap of your big rocks and say, okay, now we're moving now. I can take on a big rock.

Okay. And then the third thing that I want to talk about here is leaning into your strengths. Most of us have this idea that improving our health and fitness involves eliminating something. I have to get rid of sweets. I have to get rid of soft drinks. I have to stop my sedentary lifestyle and not be watching Netflix all the time and doing those other things. And I'm not going to say that can't be a part of your solution. But if you're finding yourself flat footed, that might not be the best strategy.

The easiest and quickest way to get things moving is to do something you know you can do and that you enjoy. So it's a strength and maybe even a superpower, because if you know you enjoy walking and you can do it, just blocking out a little bit of time each day to take a short walk. Okay. We talked about in Tip two something little. It can be a short walk, but just something to get you started. And if you enjoy it all the better. Another example is maybe you enjoy dancing.

And so you say, okay, I really enjoy dancing, but I don't want to go out to the clubs and bars or whatever and do the dancing there, because then there's the alcohol and the friends and everything else. So maybe you go ahead and take a dance class so you can learn more complex techniques in your two step. I don't know. Or you just find some fitness class, like maybe a Zumba class or something like that that incorporates dance and music and you're moving. And so you know, you enjoy it.

You know, you're going to enjoy doing it and you're getting the fitness benefits, the health benefits of doing something or then another one. And this one fits me to a tea. Is I really like cooking. I like cooking big meals. I like cooking things and putting them together. So just sitting down and having a batch cooking session, invite a friend over, say, okay, look, you bring park the groceries, I bring park the groceries. We do a huge batch cooking together. You take half of it, I take half of it, and we've got meals for days.

Okay. It's tying into something that you enjoy, it's tying into something you're good at, it's tying into something that you know you can do. And so it's a strength, maybe even a superpower. And you're just going to lean into that.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Unidragon.

As the holidays approach, you might be looking for a unique gift that will entertain and delight. Unidragon has you covered. They make high quality wooden puzzles. But these aren’t like regular puzzles with the standard style pieces. Their unique design is something I’ve never seen before. They’re works of art.

We all know that as we age, we risk a loss of cognitive strength. But with neuro-plasticity, we can train our brain and slow decline. Puzzles do just that. Plus these beautiful puzzles are something you can do with the whole family, be it your significant other or your grandchildren.

Each month, Unidragon comes out with a new design. And most of them have multiple levels of depth and difficulty. These make great gifts, but you might just enjoy buying them for yourself.

I received the medium-sized Playful Parrots puzzle. It came a beautiful wooden box. You should have seen my wife’s eyes light up when she saw it. I fully expect to buy more of the Unidragon puzzles for ourselves and our guests.

You have to check them out at unidragon.com and use the promo code 40plus to get 10% off your order. Gift giving problem solved. That’s U N I D R A G O N dot COM and 4 0 P L U S for 10% off.

So I know this is a relatively short episode, but this is not a hard thing.

If you can get your mindset around it is that being stuck doesn't mean you're always stuck. Notice that Newton didn't say an object at rest can never be moved, or an object moving can never be stopped. It's just a function that it feels harder. There's an inertia. There's something pulling it or keeping it. And so what you can do within your power today is one start, two, start small, and three start with something. Do something that you enjoy and that you're good at because it'll be easier.

All those little, easy things gets the first rock going, gets the little bit going. And so if you find yourself flat-footed, you've lost your momentum. You feel like you're standing up. Don't beat yourself up. We all get into this place. This happens to every one of us. Every one of us will find ourselves at one point or another, not making the progress that we think we should make. And when we really are honest with ourselves, we know we're not putting in the same effort the same time, the same everything we were doing before we've let some things creep back in, and that's what slowed us down.

That's what eventually left us in this flat footed place. So don't beat yourself up. But know that this is within your power to stop, to start, not stop because you did stop. Let's start. Don't wait. Start small and lean into your strengths. Find something that will get you jumpstarted. Just that one little thing. Do it. Do it now and enjoy it. And that's going to be the thing that gets things rolling. Once you get them rolling, it's easier to keep them rolling. And that's what you do next.

But the first step is the first little rock. Just get it going.

Post Show/Recap

[00:18:30.090] – Allan

Hey, Raz.

[00:18:31.180] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I really feel the inertia a lot, because sometimes it is hard to get going. And I've been stuck at a plateau. I feel like I've spun my wheels. It's just hard to make a pivot to get moving again. I really feel for people that have this issue.

[00:18:53.730] – Allan

Yeah. And I do want to go back and just kind of delineate the difference between a plateau because the plateau is hugely frustrating because you're saying I was eating this, my TEE says this and that and I'm logging everything and I'm measuring everything. And I'm doing the exercise and every day the numbers on the computer, the app I'm using are saying I should be losing 1 pound a week and I get to the end of the week and I didn't lose anything. And then I got to the end of the next week and I didn't lose anything and you're like, but I'm doing everything right.

[00:19:30.310] – Allan

And it was working so well. And now it's not. And that's just homeostasis. That's just our bodies adapting to what we're doing. So that's a very different thing to be hugely frustrating. And I've talked about plateaus before, so you can go back and you can kind of search and see if there's some shows there. Obviously, I will keep talking about plateaus because we all face them.

[00:19:54.400] – Allan

This is something slightly different. This is where you kind of just get a funk and, you know, you let up, you know, you're not putting on the gas as we talked to Delatoro. You know, you put the car in park or maybe now even into reverse. And so as you're making these decisions and you're doing these things now you have a harder start because you've put yourself in a stopped position.

[00:20:24.160] – Rachel

Yeah. Well, it's hard not to give up. It's hard not to see that progress and get so frustrated that you just what else are you going to do? Obviously, it is what it is and you just want to quit. But it's important that you don't. And it's important that you keep trying and do something different.

[00:20:44.830] – Rachel

But like the three tips that you offered to get out of this funk and to get out of this stopped/parked space. I think the first one is don't wait like you had mentioned. And don't wait till January 1 or Monday, but just do something get started somehow.

[00:21:02.150] – Allan

Yeah. I mean, this episode comes out on a Monday. This episode comes out on Monday 29th. If you're going to wait until Monday, that's a whole week if you're going to wait until January 1, that's 33 days.

[00:21:15.310] – Rachel


[00:21:16.060] – Allan

If you're listing this on the Monday it came out. And so you're just going to give away a month now if you think about it. Yeah. We have 70 years, maybe on average or maybe 80 years on average on this Earth. And then there's twelve times that. So it seems like a lot of months. But the distance between you right now and that 80 years is not that far, not as far, times twelve still seems like a relatively big number. But why give away an entire month?

[00:21:50.010] – Allan

Start something now and the easiest way to start something now is based on the other two tips of something small.

[00:21:57.770] – Rachel

Yes. Like you had mentioned replacing one glass of pop with a glass of water. I mean, you don't have to throw out your whole pantry.


I didn't call it pop, but…

[00:22:14.350] – Rachel

I'm a pop girl. So we stayed up here in Michigan. But if you just make that one change, some people just want to go cold turkey, throw out all the junk food out of the pantry in the refrigerator, which breaks my financial heart a little bit. But instead of just going cold turkey and just revamping everything and making it such a drastic situation, just start with one thing. I think baby steps are far more effective than going cold turkey and making some drastic change.

[00:22:45.570] – Allan

Yeah. And those little habits stack pretty quickly, you realize? Okay. I went a couple of days without my Pepsi or without my Coke or Mountain Dew or Doctor Pepper or whatever. Your thing is a monster drink.

[00:23:02.110] – Rachel

No. Please don't.

[00:23:04.810] – Allan

So you do without that, you cut out 39 grams of sugar or maybe more per day. That's a big deal. And if you're drinking more than one and now you're drinking none, that's even bigger. And so you start moving down that trail, and then the next step is like, okay, what else? And that's where, again, leaning into something you're really strong at.

[00:23:35.120] – Allan

It's like, I really like playing tennis. Now, maybe at this point, you don't feel confident that you can go get on the tennis court and play. But you could get your tennis racket out and you could go and typically by tennis courts they have the practice walls with the line straw on the concrete. And you literally just sit there and just take the racket, take the ball and just start hitting the ball and jogging around a little bit, hitting the ball and just get into the act of moving. And it feels good. And it's something you love and it's coming back.

[00:24:07.740] – Allan

And now, you know, okay. If I can build up my stamina, then I'm going to be able to get back on the court. If I build up some strength, I'm going to get better. If I build up my speed, I'm going to get even better. If I help build my agility, I'm going to be able to play this sport. And you see it. You go out there and it's like a lot of younger people do play singles. And then some of the older people I noticed they tend to move to doubles or mixed doubles. And then as they get a little bit older, there's pickleball. So I've never played pickleball.

[00:24:42.250] – Rachel

I haven't either. But it does look very fun.

[00:24:44.970] – Allan

Yeah. And it was sort of when I was a kid, they had a golf team on the high school. And it's like, Why would I play an old man sport? Because to me, golf was an old man sport. When I was in high school, I'm like, I'm going to play football, baseball, whatever, and run track and tennis. And so I felt like I'm going to play these more aggressive sports. And then, yeah, now if we had a golf course, I would probably be playing a lot of golf.

[00:25:11.530] – Allan

But it's just one of those things of saying if there's something you really enjoy doing, you might not be doing it at the level you did 20 years ago, but doesn't mean you can't do it at some level, right? Even again, if it's just going out there and doing some practice serves and hitting the ball against the wall and just getting out and being active. Doing something you really enjoy doin

[00:25:35.770] – Rachel

That's exactly it you hit it right on the nose is finding what you love to do and embracing that and finding ways to do it. You had mentioned dancing and cooking, and I know that at my local YMCA, there are drop in classes where you could just take some yoga class or a cardio kickboxing class or something crazy.

[00:25:57.870] – Rachel

Why not try something new? Why not try something you've never done before because you might like it. And then on the other days, you had mentioned walking, if all you do is walk around your block, make it two times around the block or take a walking trip up to the grocery store or the coffee shop like I like to do almost every day.

[00:26:16.990] – Rachel

But as long as you're out moving, that is such a huge thing. And if you start moving now, you're 30 days or so ahead of the game, when New Year's resolutions roll around.

[00:26:28.750] – Allan

And if you're just not feeling it because there's a reason why you probably feel this inertia, there's a reason why you got held back. And now you're in park and to get past that is sometimes as a mental game, but just say, give it five minutes, put on your tennis shoes, put on some comfortable clothes, get out there and just go for five minutes. After five minutes, you're not feeling it. Then come back, shower and you're done even if you didn't bother to sweat. But shower and move on.

[00:27:00.760] – Allan

But most people will find five minutes is easily ten minutes is easily 15. And then you feel like you've actually accomplished something. And then the next day it's easy 15, and then it's 20. Then it's 30, and then you're out 45 minutes, and that's kind of the allotted time you have. So now you're walking a little bit further, a little bit faster. And those are the kind of things that snowball, the rock slide. It's just to get something small going, even if it's just the five minutes, walking is easy. Do it someplace that you love. So you're kind of doing all three.

[00:27:34.500] – Allan

You're not doing it. Now you're doing something small and you're doing something you enjoy, and that just builds on itself.

[00:27:40.960] – Rachel

I think that's absolutely perfect. Those are great tips.

[00:27:44.650] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I will see you and everybody else next week.

[00:27:49.640] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:27:50.690] – Allan

You too.


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– Judy Murphy– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


November 22, 2021

How to survive potluck/group meals without blowing your weight loss effort

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On this episode, I share strategies to survive potluck/group meals without blowing your weight loss effort.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving. They won’t take you out of ketosis, if that’s your way of eating.

Your body is an amazing organic machine. The food we eat and drink is information for that machine. This includes adaptagens. These are compounds that balance hormones and help you deal with stress in a healthier way. If you’re feeling tired, these compounds give you a boost of energy. If you’re stressed, they help you return to a natural state of calm. They literally help you adapt to the stress of life.

This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Green juice with essential superfoods and a clinical dose of Ashwaganda. It helps reduce stress and support healthy cortisol levels. It mixes well with water or your beverage of choice and it tastes awesome! This has become a part of my morning ritual.

Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item.

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:18.790] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:03:20.570] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:22.810] – Allan
I'm doing pretty good. We've worked through kind of our first major holiday season here in Panama. Tomorrow is also a holiday here. They have three independence days in Panama because they're Spanish influence when they were under Spain as a part of Colombia. And then Colombia got away from Spain. And then with a little bit of assistance from the United States, Panama was broken off from Colombia. So they call independence from Columbia. And then now they had the third one, which is independence from the United States. When President Carter gave over the Panama Canal, we were occupying the canal zone for most of the time.

[00:04:12.470] – Allan
That canal existed because we came down and created the country and dug it. But then the United States pulls out about the time that Carter was in office. They also do an independent state for that. The biggest one they have is they do Spain, and then they do Columbia. Those are the big ones. But from a true independence and their own country and their own revenue and everything, this last one is really where they're now. Okay. You're on your own. And they've done well with the canal.

[00:04:48.650] – Allan
They redeveloped a lot of the areas where the military bases were and so pretty cool deal. We've had all these holidays and we've had different people in, like, really different people in. And so it's just been kind of this interesting moment. And then Tammy got sick just after that, just after the holiday, she got sick. And so now it's like, okay, I have to run the place. I have to check people in. I have to check out. It's like, okay. But that said it's nice because it's not like I have to be on 24/7 people understand, it's a bed and breakfast and not a hotel where you go down to the front desk at 03:00 in the morning and ask for something, so far.

[00:05:38.290] – Allan
But it is kind of a little hectic just checking doing the things you do to run a six room bed and breakfast and do the podcast and do my online training and own the gym. So there's a lot of moving parts in my life right now, but I'm pretty excited about all of it as we go into this final season of the year. And so, yeah, I'm happy where we're going, but it's a lot of work. But we're now making it. And we're actually seeing income from a bed and breakfast, which is so exciting.

[00:06:11.810] – Rachel
I love that. That's wonderful. I'm very happy for you. I hope Tammy feels better soon, but that's so exciting to see your bed and breakfast getting right off the ground.

[00:06:21.390] – Allan
Yeah. So I did the accounting. I'm the accountant, too.

[00:06:26.560] – Rachel

[00:06:28.450] – Allan
And the bellboy, sometimes front desk staff and sometimes maintenance and whatever needs to get done. But yeah. So she had a horrible October because we were right at the beginning. We opened the middle of October, which we're buying all this food in anticipation of all the people that are checking in the first week of November. And then we had one room night in October, 1 night in October. But one room, one night that we had someone booked. And then after that, it's like, okay, now we've got bookings.

[00:07:05.760] – Allan
Now we've got this and people coming in and people walking up like, just before recording. So it's good. It's really good.

[00:07:14.720] – Rachel
That's fantastic. I'm so glad to hear that.

[00:07:17.400] – Allan
So how are things up there?

[00:07:18.810] – Rachel
Oh, good. I'm in the middle of packing my suitcase, so I'm pretty excited. In a couple of days, I'll be heading down to Pensacola Beach, even though it's not super hot down there. I'm actually going to be leaving Michigan at our first snow. So I'm kind of a little sad that I'm going to miss the first snow, but not that sad.

[00:07:41.210] – Allan
But, you know, the first snow is never the best snow.

[00:07:43.920] – Rachel

[00:07:44.880] – Allan
Because if it comes and then it warms up that day and then it's flushing, it's gone. You're like, okay, what's pretty now it's just black and ugly. It's just dirty and ugly. And it's like, so we need a good freeze coating on the ground and then it sticks, and then we're good. That's the kind of snow you want. So you'll come back to that.

[00:08:03.140] – Rachel
I'll come back to that probably. Yeah. I think you're expecting about three inches of snow when I leave, so I need to go find my snow shovel for the kids.

[00:08:14.130] – Allan
Put them to work.

[00:08:15.130] – Rachel

[00:08:16.060] – Allan
Got to keep it clean if you want me to come back.

[00:08:18.400] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:08:19.200] – Allan
Yeah. I saw Mike was already down in Pace, so I guess you're headed down there, which is nice.

[00:08:25.860] – Rachel
Yeah. He's actually working this week. And then next week we both get to take a vacation. So I'm pretty excited.

[00:08:31.540] – Allan
Yeah. Good. We'll tell everybody down there we miss them.

[00:08:34.790] – Rachel

[00:08:36.090] – Allan
All right. So let's go ahead and have this conversation about how to deal with these holidays we're taking.

[00:08:42.410] – Rachel


How to survive potluck/group meals without blowing your weight loss effort.

Did you know it's eating season? Yeah, it sure is. As we approach Thanksgiving in the United States, and there's a lot of eating seasons that are coming up. A lot of eating events, I might say, as we go into this New Year and isn't going towards the new year, this is eating season. There's no other way around it.

And so where we're going to find ourselves is going to office potlucks extended family meals. Or in my case, there's a group of us friends here in Bocas that are going to get together. Tammy ordered the Turkey. I'm pretty sure I'll be cooking it, which I enjoy doing. I actually really do enjoy cooking a Turkey. So I'll be making the Turkey, and I'll probably be carrying some other things but otherwise it's pretty much potluck, which means everybody's going to be bringing different things. And I can pretty much guarantee you that most of the things that are going to be around there, including beer and wine and everything else, are not really going to fit my plan.

If I want to stay on track of cutting some body weight as I go towards the upcoming events that I have. So if you're on a weight loss journey right now and you're facing eating season, you need a plan I'm going to share with you a few of the cool things or things I think of when I'm looking at an event like this or looking at the season like this and what I'll do. And I hope that you'll do as you go into it. So as we get ready to go into this process, there's a few things that we want to do now.

The first one is, do you want to make this a full detour? Do you want to go completely off plan and say, okay, it's fine. I'm on holiday. It's a holiday. I'm going to a holiday event. I'm going to eat Aunt Martha's cookies. I'm going to do this. I'm going to eat that, and I'm not going to care about it. And if you do, I'm going to say, Please enjoy it. Enjoy the crap out of it. Enjoy it. And we'll talk about that in more detail later.

The second one is if you decide you're not going on a full detour, you're going to have to do some planning, and that means you've got to know how you're going to approach that and what you're going to be doing and maybe some of your rules. And obviously, then with rules, there's structure. So you're going to have to set a structure for how you do things. And there are different ways that you can make these events easier to manage. And then finally, I want to talk to you about how we can take and make distractions that will keep us from potentially overeating mindlessly.

Okay. And so I'm going to talk about each of those three things if you decide this is not a full detour. But let's talk about the full detour first. Now, most of the time you're doing these things, they're not just events where you don't care about the people that are there. You're either doing this with the work colleagues, you're doing this with friends, you're doing this with family. And so these are social connections. And social connections are really important in the studying of the blue zones, which are the areas where people tend to live the longest.

They've noticed a common core component that those individuals have very strong social bonds. If you're going to live a long time, you do that because you've got connection. So realize that these events, these meals are a part of that social connection. And we see this in a lot of different things. But probably the best way I can articulate. It would be in the breaking of bread. We break bread with people we're close to, and that's kind of a symbolic we're together as a family. We're together as friends.

And that's a connection. Now the other thing to think about as you go into this, because whether you make a full detour or not is, as I mentioned, if Martha gets upset, if you don't eat her cookies, then are you really ready to go in and have that conversation? Or if you're on a certain way of eating, let's say you're going low carb and you're there and you're going to spend most of the day explaining to your family how you're not going to have a heart attack.

That's not going to be an enjoyable environment. Sometimes it's not worth going in and having this argument because you're now avoiding 99% of the food that's there. But if you're ready to do that, then that's cool. But if you want to go on the full detour, you kind of eliminate that because you can have a little bit of all these things. And while you might not be on plan, at least you know you're not on plan and you've made the conscious decision beforehand to do that.

So this is not just some random thing you knew going in, you were going on full detour and you're going to enjoy it. And then the final bit is when you go on a full detour. Now it completely removes all the guilt and all the stress out of all this, at least from a food perspective, because you can go in and basically not care what you eat. You maybe don't even care how much you eat. So those concepts are really important. If you want to really enjoy this meal, really enjoy this time, but pick your battles.

You can't do this every week, every time or you're going to slide. You're going to slide during the season. So I would just say if you're going to go into eating season, you're going to go into a potluck particularly, and you're going to just go full bore and make it a detour. Number one, enjoy it. But number two, just realize that you are off plan. You're going to have to get back on the road as quickly as you possibly can.


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Now, let's say you decide. No, I'm not going to make this a full detour, but I might want to do something a little bit different, so maybe a little bit of both. Eat your cake and have it, too. My first thing about planning and this is where we're going to go next, because when you go into one of these events, if you don't have a plan, you're going to struggle because you're going to see foods that you want.

You're going to see foods that you just have almost an urge for now that you've seen them and smelled them and tasted or maybe tasted them. Now you're going to want more. So as you go in, one of the things to consider is that the food that's there is maybe not always yours. So if you're going to bring the food, if you're part of the structure of bringing food like for a potluck, bring real food dishes, focus on protein and vegetables. And if you really want to get meticulous about this and do it right, I would encourage you to bring both.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm bringing the Turkey. I'm also probably going to bring some vegetables. Okay, so I'll bring the Turkey. I'll probably bring some vegetables. I don't think I could get my hands on some cranberry, so I won't be able to make cranberry sauce. But I'm going to go in and make at least the protein and the vegetables. So I have that readily available as a fallback to bulk up my plate to fill my plate with the foods that I know I can and should eat versus other foods that might be there.

I don't want to get myself stuck with what's there because I brought a bad dish. They brought bad dishes, that's all there is. So if you can and you're part of this, providing the food, bring real food dishes. You can still make them taste great. People love my Turkey. They may not eat my vegetables, but that's neither here nor there, which brings me up to my next point. Be prepared to bring home leftovers a lot of times. If you're bringing steamed vegetables. A lot of people are just going to walk right past them.

But if you brought steamed vegetables with a side of, say, a cheese sauce that they could pour over it, then they might do it. But if they don't just be prepared and realize you might be bringing some of your food back home. And that should be totally cool to you. Be prepared for that. Don't get yourself emotionally involved in your dish. They didn't like my steamed broccoli. I wonder why. You know why that's not what they eat on a day to day basis. And it's not the kind of crazy food they want for the holiday.

So it's not going to fit what they want. And so just realize, fine, you had the food you wanted to have and you had it there. And that's cool when you upset a few people as possible. And that's why I talk about why you might want to consider this a full detour. But if you want to make it a partial detour, bring some of your own. Bring your own protein, bring some of your own vegetables and go that way. Another thing of planning you can do if you just don't want to eat too much or eat too much of that stuff is to eat a little before you go.

Okay, so having a small, healthy meal before you get there means you're not going to arrive at what's basically a buffet potluck. You're not going to arrive there hungry and have the tendency to overload your plate. They tell you not to shop when you're hungry, and I'll tell you not to go to a potluck when you're hungry because you will overeat you can't help it. And then the final thing I'll say is this is make sure you're hydrated, so drink plenty of water, make sure you get your electrolytes, make sure you're hydrated going into it, because again, thirst can feel like hunger.

And if you go in hungry, you're probably going to overeat. So three things I'd say under planning is if you can and you're part of the food, bring healthier options that are made from real food. They can still be delicious. They can still be great, but make them out of real food. Second is to eat before you go, if that makes sense so that you don't arrive super hungry. And then three, make sure you're hydrated. If you'll do those things, you can get through the basis of setting up to go through your potluck without really having a hold back, you're in a good position.

Now, the second stage of this is to have a structure. So structure basically means that as you go through it, you have kind of a set of rules. And the first rule I'd say, is if there's different size plates because a lot of times you're at a family meeting and yeah, they got multiple sets of plates out. Go with a smaller plate, a smaller plate, you fill a smaller plate, you're going to get adequate number of protein. And we're going to talk about that in a minute, adequate amount of food and it's going to be on a smaller plate.

It'll feel like you're eating more. Okay, beyond the smaller plate as you approach the buffet or you approach the potlot, focus on the protein first. I've noticed when I go into a buffet, particularly that they tend to put the salad and vegetables first and they put the protein on the back. They do that from a cost perspective. They know that if you load your plate up with this other stuff, by the time you get to the meat, you're not going to use much of it. And I'm going to tell you to do that completely backwards.

And this is not about saving money or costing money. It's a function of the protein is going to serve you better. You're going to be better satiated and you're going to eat less. So focus on the protein. Now, a few things I'll tell you about that a portion of protein is about the size of your palm. Okay, so getting one or two of those on your plate first is key better if it's not souped up and gravy or a whole lot of other stuff. But basically making sure you have two types of one or two servings of protein.

And if it's baked, broiled or grilled even better. But focus on that first. So in the case of a Thanksgiving thing, go for the Turkey, and it can be the dark meat or the light meat doesn't matter. But go after that first. Okay, then go over vegetables and look for vegetables again that are not in casseroles and all this other creamy stuff with the little onion stuff on top. Avoid that kind of stuff. Focus on the vegetables that are well prepared and you know them, you see them.

So go for the protein, then the vegetables. And then if you're going to get some of the other stuff, maybe a dessert or maybe a little of this or a little bit of that. Just get a little bit. You don't need to load your plate up with a full serving of those things. So if you can take a partial serving, do that. So if you want a little bit of Aunt Martha's cookie, break the cookie in half and have half of it. If you want to go in for some of those creamy things, we talked about the casseroles and this and that and the other or this fruit salad or that or this dessert or that this pie that get a little piece, take a part of the piece, put that on your plate and then take your time and savor it.

We're going to talk about that in a minute. Okay. The second structure to this or third structure, I guess now is to eat slow. Okay. Eating slow by maybe putting your fork down between each bite. Having conversations with people where you're not eating during the conversation or during the talk can go a long way towards slowing you down and letting your body's natural satiety kick in to a point where you know that you're full and then you don't necessarily have to feel compelled to eat the whole plate of food.

You eat what you want to eat and then you stop. So if you feel like you're getting full, it's easier to stop, but you have to eat slow to make that happen. Also during the evening, during the day, whenever make sure you're drinking water. Okay. Yeah, you might have a beer, you might have some wine, you might have something else, but make sure you're also drinking water that will slow down everything. It'll make you feel Fuller. It'll help with the hydration so you won't feel any hungrier and it'll slow down your drinking.

So make sure you're drinking plenty of water during this. And then after you do your first round dump your plate, you're done. Most of us are not going to need a second or third or fourth serving because that's not going to serve us. We got what we needed from the first plate, we got our protein, we got our vegetables and a little bit of everything else that we wanted to taste, and now we're done. So throw your plate away so you avoid seconds and more and then move away from the food.

The closer you are to the food, the more likely you're going to be compelled to go again. So move away from the food, particularly if it's food that's going to tempt you. So if you happen to be sitting close to the dessert and that's your thing, your sweet tooth sitting there is not going to help you. It's not going to serve you. As you watch people walking up to that table, it's going to keep your attention on that, and you're eventually going to want to stand up and have some yourself. So move away from the food.


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And that takes us to kind of the final bit of this is use this event because again, you're with people and you're doing things, use it and find distractions.

Okay. So one of the things you can do is as soon as you finish eating, move away from the food and start visiting with people who are also not eating. So if they're past eating and they're moving on, you move on and you go over there and start having conversations with them that will get you away from the food, away from the temptation and keep you a little distracted. Consider other things like invite someone to go on a short walk with you. There's a study and I'll share this in the notes for this podcast that going for short walks after you eat helps moderate your blood sugar, so you can just tell someone it's like I read that going for a short walk ten to 15 minutes after I eat helps regulate blood sugar.

How about we go for a short walk and they may go with you? They may say no, but try to go for a short walk that's definitely going to help you. And if someone can go with you all the better. And then while you're taking that walk, if they decide to go with you, talk about things that both of you enjoy. Try to avoid the such and such as this disease and such and such as in the hospital and those types of things. Talk about things that bring you joy, the new grandchild that's in the family, the promotion that someone got, the great event that you had last year and how much this one's bigger and better.

Talk about things that bring you joy, because that's going to give you little shots of dopamine and dopamine is the exact same neurotransmitter that we get when we eat sweets. We eat foods that are kind of addictive. It's a dopamine hit. We're addicted to dopamine. We're not addicted to the food. So if you can do things that are going to provide the dopamine, you're going to have a much better event, a much better time and you're going to get your little dopamine hits. So you're not missing the dessert nearly as much.

So do things to distract yourself. Another great distraction is to do a game or a puzzle. I just got a new sponsor. I think they're going to come up in a couple of weeks. Well, I guess a few weeks, but they do puzzles. They make puzzles. And I just think that's great to sit down with people and start working on a puzzle and you're not so distracted. You can't have a conversation. But you're distracted enough. You're probably not thinking about the food that's sitting somewhere else in a building.

My wife, Tammy, what she likes to do at these events is she'll take and she'll take money and like lottery scratch off cards and then other little prizes and things like that. And she'll wrap it up in that plastic wrap, like Saran wrap. Okay, here's a little pro tip. If you're going to do this when I get done is cut those into three or four foot sections. Okay. So when you cut it, they have to keep finding the edge. But anyway, what you do is you take the stuff and you start making a ball and you roll it all in there.

So you put a little bit of prize and you roll it a little bit. Then you put maybe a dollar bill or something. Roll a little bit, put a scratch off ticket, roll a little bit, and you make this big, big plastic little ball with all these prizes in it. And someone looking at the plastic ball can see there's money in it. There's scratch off tickets, there's other stuff. So the way the game is played works like this. Okay. One person gets the prize ball, and the way I like to do is we take the youngest person gets to start with the price ball.

First, give it to the youngest person, and then the person to their immediate left gets two dice. You say, go, and the person who has the ball starts to try to find edges to open it up. Now you can't tear it. You have to actually find a true edge to start rolling it off that ball. The person with the dice starts rolling the dice. As soon as the person that rolls the dice gets doubles, meaning two of the same on the dice. Then the person that's unrolling has to stop and then you pass it over.

The person who's rolling the dice now gets the ball and the person with the dice passes the dice to their immediate left and you repeat the process until the ball is finished. And so what's cool about this is people are watching. They're seeing people win prizes. It's kind of a cool thing when someone realizes, OK, dollar bills came out or $5 bill or a lottery ticket or something like that. And you can decide how much you want to invest in making this kind of a better game or some more valuable game for the people playing.

But everybody starts watching this because it's just kind of exciting to watch someone who's under the time pressure trying to unroll this Saran wrap plastic wrap ball to win prizes while someone else is trying to frantically roll doubles because they want the ball next. And so it's kind of a cool dynamic. Tammy does those games at most of our Christmas parties and things like that, but she loves doing that. She loves putting it together. And it's just a good distraction when the food is done. When you're done with the food is to kind of start that process of having some distractions, a puzzle, a game, something that's going to keep people energized, something you enjoy again, the enjoyment and the joy with people.

It gives you the dopamine hit that you would have gotten from sugar and other things that you probably shouldn't be eating if you're trying to stay on plan with your weight loss goals. So we talked about a lot today, but I want to kind of just roll this up into one little thing when we go into a potluck or a family dinner or a group dinner or whatnot. These are not surprises. We almost always know these are coming up. They're on our calendar. Sometimes we're traveling to go to to these things.

So when you know it's coming up, then, you know, to get ready for it. So you have to have the plan. You have to make the decision. Ok. Is this going to be a detour, or do I need to prepare for something that's coming up on the road? If I need to prepare for something, then yes, it's planning and structure. And then once I'm in it, I need to have the distractions that keep me from going way off kilter. If I don't want to go all the way off Kilter, and then I need to have the plan to get right back on the road.

So if you go into these meals, enjoy them, please. But at the same time, recognize what your goals mean to you, what your commitment to them is, and then make the decision detour or not. If you make the decision to not detour, you have to have a plan. You have to have structure.

Post Show/Recap

[00:33:41.190] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.

[00:33:42.820] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Next to Summer, the eating season is my favorite season.

[00:33:49.170] – Allan
It is. Well, one, it's when most of us… Well, practically, it was the only time that I really was able to go out and spend some time seeing family. I was never a big summer vacationer because I lived in Pensacola, so going to the beach. I never saw as vacation because that's where I wanted to be and I didn't have family that lived on the beach. So if I went to the beach, it was typically just me and mine going to the beach. But during the holidays it used to be particularly Thanksgiving and early Christmas.

[00:34:27.590] – Allan
We would drive around and see family. And that was kind of Tammy and my thing. And then, you go in and it's like, okay, there's food and what do you want to eat? And I purposely started doing my keto in a seasonal way just to kind of accommodate some of that because it was like, how am I supposed to go into Christmas with Tammy's family and keep keto and not lose my mind? So the opportunity to take a detour and say, okay, this is a detour.

[00:35:02.590] – Allan
They're having their Christmas dinner at a pizza place. So, yeah, I can scrape off the top and be that weirdo or I can just say, okay, I'm eating pizza and move on with my life. I learned a lot of strategies as I was going along. I'm just saying, okay, sometimes it's just best to do a detour, but I know for a lot of people, you've worked up to a point. You're in ketosis or you're in this and you're trying that it's all working and you're just not necessarily terrified.

[00:35:33.940] – Allan
But you just know, okay, I'm going to go out of ketosis. I'm going to put on some weight. I'm going to hate this scale. I'm going to hate this. I'm going to feel bloated to feel sick and maybe have a bathroom issue. And, you know, those things are going to potentially happen if you take this detour. So I wanted to do this show just to show people that there are ways to strategize and structure this so that you don't feel like you're a freak. You're in the buffet line like everybody else or in the line with everything else.

[00:36:04.580] – Allan
You might be doing it a little backwards because you're not putting any vegetables on your plate. You're waiting till you get to the proteins and then do a little U turn. Go back, start at the end of the line and then start putting vegetables and the other things on there so that you have a plan as you go through or walk down the line front to back and say, okay, I see all the proteins here at the back, and then I get to the beginning and I'm like, okay, here's all this.

[00:36:30.270] – Allan
The desserts are over there on the right. I don't want to go on the right. As soon as I get through with my plate, I walk to the left and I go sit down. I want people to have some strategies where they would feel comfortable that they could go into these situations and not be completely lost.

[00:36:46.570] – Rachel
These are really great strategies, especially with starting with the protein part. I wish I had known this probably about 20 years ago. I was in my 30s. And when we get Halloween and all the delicious candy and then Thanksgiving hands down my absolute favorite meal of the year. There's nothing wrong with Thanksgiving. And then Christmas. And then you're spending all the time with family. And like you had mentioned in the podcast, people make these family heritage meaningful dishes that you almost have a guilt trip if you don't try.

[00:37:22.240] – Rachel
And every year at this time of year, I would start my New Year's resolutions with needing to lose ten or fifteen pounds because I enjoyed the eating season a little bit too much. And I never even had these strategies. It never dawned on me to pay a little bit more careful attention until I made running a priority in my life. And I was doing a lot of running and I can't digest this type of food and still maintain a good run. And then now that I'm keto, I really can't digest this food because I've had a couple of times where I've accidentally had too much sugar.

[00:37:58.100] – Rachel
I ordered something and I just wasn't thinking and there was so much sugar in it. I was sick for the rest of the night. So I have a pretty fast biofeedback loop. So, for Thanksgiving no detours for me. And for Christmas, I will definitely take a nibble of my mom's baklava. It's Greek heritage. It's a family dish and quite delicious, but I know not to over indulge because I'll just get sick, but the strategies you put in place are just spot on and so helpful for avoiding these extra pounds.

[00:38:31.430] – Allan
Yeah. So I'm going to go in and like, Tammy knew to volunteer us for the turkey for our friends, and we're going to have a big get together. And I'll probably also put together some form of vegetable dish. It's warm here, so it won't be heavy. It might even be just something like a cucumber and tomato vinaigrette salad kind of thing just to have something. And then that'll make up most of my plate is the Turkey, and I'll be the one that will go for the thigh meat, like nobody's business.

[00:39:05.550] – Allan
And then the skin. While I'm cooking the Turkey, I'll be eating the giblets because that's my thing because I get to because I bought the turkey. And I'm cooking it. And no one else wants it anyway. But no, I'll fill my plate 75% 80% with that. And then I'll go around and I'll be listening to people. And if someone seems emotionally invested in their dish, then I'll try some. And maybe it's a casserole where they did Ritz crackers and the fried onion things and all that stuff.

[00:39:40.230] – Allan
And it's like I had some of that that actually tasted really good. Now I had a tablespoon, maybe two, but I tried it and actually now opine on it of oh, you must put something in there other than cream of mushroom soup, because I actually ran into someone at the grocery store that was looking for that today. So I assume whatever she's cooking is going to have cream of mushroom soup in it.

[00:40:01.960] – Rachel
Yeah, that casserole.

[00:40:05.180] – Allan
if she can get it. Yes. And so that's cool. So I'll have her casserole, but it's just a little dab of this little dab of that so I can taste the different things that people brought and I can speak to it.

[00:40:16.620] – Allan
And then as I mentioned, as soon as I've finished eating, I'm away from the food. I'm over by the pool. A friend has a pool he had put in. I'll go over and I'll hang out by the pool, get some sun, maybe even go for a walk. I might just say, hey, I need to go for this walk, and I'll go for a walk, walk over to the beach and walk on the beach a little bit and say, okay, I'll walk back and then converse and do everything else with the pool and with everybody else.

[00:40:43.430] – Allan
So mine is going to be what I would call a partial detour, and I will probably have some wine just to relax and hang out with friends.

[00:40:52.960] – Allan
So on Friday after our Thanksgiving, which we have in the United States, is on Thursday. And I think that's when we're actually doing this, I won't be in ketosis. I'm, like, 75% 80% sure, I won't be in Ketosis that morning when I wake up. But it doesn't matter. I'll fast half the day if I need to do an intermittent fast just to kind of kickstart things and maybe do a long walk that morning just to kind of get some of that glycogen burned out of our muscles and my muscles in my liver and then say, okay, here I am ready to take on the day and get back into Ketosis. If not that Friday, then at least by Saturday.

[00:41:33.050] – Rachel
For sure, taking that walk will make you feel so much better. You probably won't even be hungry after eating so many delicious foods. I mean, it's not only physically filling it's emotionally feeling, too, to enjoy that time with your family and your special meals. So I think that's a fun thing to do the next day or plan for that the next day. I know that our Thanksgiving last year because we were in the middle of Covid. We didn't get to visit with our family for Thanksgiving. And so this year we can.

[00:42:02.570] – Rachel
And I am excited to see relatives that I haven't seen in quite a long time. So I imagine that we'll spend a lot of time also after the meal, away from extra food and seconds. And whatnot just chatting because it's been so long since we've seen each other.

[00:42:17.340] – Allan

[00:42:18.790] – Rachel
Absolutely. And I love that Saran Rat game that you described as well. I think that would be so much fun.

[00:42:26.780] – Allan
Yes. Tanny loves doing that. Everybody loves it when she walks out with that. And it's like, here's how the game goes. And I was like, oh, this is totally cool. And then they see money fall out of the thing. They're like it's $2. But I mean…

[00:42:38.370] – Rachel
I love it. It's still fun. And what talk about distraction? My goodness we often do a craft project or something like that, like make Christmas ornaments or something. We've done some unusual things for the holidays, but I like your game idea. That sounds like a lot of fun.

[00:42:54.260] – Allan
Yeah, we have a new sponsor coming up. Not on this show. I think this is this on the 22nd. So no, I think it's starting maybe next week, we have a sponsor Unidragon that makes these puzzles. And they're wooden puzzles, and they are gorgeous. And the pieces are not cut like standard puzzle pieces. Standard puzzle pieces with the ball in the hole. You put them together. These are totally different. Some of the pieces are actually in the shapes of little animals. They're totally cool. So, yeah, catch that.

[00:43:28.780] – Allan
If you go to the website, check out episode this coming out on November 29, I believe. And maybe December 6. Check them out. Reach out to that because that is and we do have a discount. Code 40plus. If you get a unit Dragon 40 plus and they're giving you 10% off. So while I'm giving them a little bit of extra kudos on this show, only because again, I think their puzzles are just awesome. And I'm going to bring the puzzle with me when we go up there to do the thing with everybody. And so if there's space and there's time and it makes sense, I'll go get the puzzle and we'll sit around and do the puzzle.

[00:44:06.070] – Rachel
That sounds like fun, too. That sounds great. Well, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.

[00:44:10.990] – Allan
Yes. And just let folks know that next week Ras is going to be on vacation. As she mentioned down in Pensacola Beach. I'm envious because I love that place. Go to Peg Leg Petes and tell them Alan said Hello.

[00:44:25.460] – Rachel
I will.

[00:44:30.410] – Allan
But next week on this show, there won't really be a Hello Segment. Unless I feel like there's just something I want to talk about before we get into the episode. Rachel, you enjoy yourself and we'll talk in about two weeks.

[00:44:43.720] – Rachel
Thank you. Take care.

[00:44:45.660] – Allan
You too.


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


October 11, 2021

How to shift into weight loss with Dr. Gary Foster

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 507 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we talk to Dr. Gary Foster about his book, The Shift: 7 Powerful Mindset Changes for Lasting Weight Loss.


Let's Say Hello

[00:00:49.580] – Allan
Hey, Raz, how are things going?

[00:00:52.190] – Rachel
Good. Allan, how are you today?

[00:00:54.220] – Allan
I'm doing well. As this goes live, I'll actually be back in Bocas. We're finishing up our trip right now as we're recording this. But by the time this goes live, in a few weeks, we'll be back in Bocas, trying to run Lula's now as a full bed breakfast. And I'm now becoming the tech guru to run the computer systems and things like that. It's not been easy. So that's been the hardest part. Just figuring out what you've got to do to run a restaurant and getting the rules for Panama

[00:01:27.400] – Allan
is one thing. But then you're like, okay, here's the booking engine. And now we have to find a credit card processor that will work out of Panama. Tammy's trying to start a bank account, but it's like, is almost impossible. The banker traveled to our island from the mainland and met with my wife, and there was all these papers that Tammy needs to fill out or needed to fill out. And so I think Tammy is going to have to take a trip to the mainland and then spend hours with them to just try to get a bank account open so we can take money in and run our credit cards.

[00:02:03.800] – Allan
So a little bit, a little missing pieces as we go about that. So it'd be really busy the first few weeks once we get back, because there's just so much to do.

[00:02:15.080] – Rachel
Yeah, sounds like a lot. It's all those little behind the scenes things that tend to eat up your time. But I hope you've had a good vacation while you've been here in the States.

[00:02:24.880] – Allan
I did. We realized because we went to Mexico first, and then we came to the States that we were just beat. And it sounds weird, but the vacation you're at different kind of tired. So it's almost like a lot of people say I need a vacation from my vacation, but, no, we put over 4000 miles on this car. And we're not even done. So it'll be abouti'm, guessing right now probably closer to 4500 miles that will put on the car total before we turn it back in.

[00:03:00.890] – Allan
And that's just a lot of time. It's a lot of driving. We broke the trips up, and we were able to see everybody we could see it was a really productive trip, but productive in vacation don't typically go together in the same Senate. So I'll probably need some time to kind of decompress when I get back. Vacation from a vacation.

[00:03:24.160] – Rachel
For sure, traveling can be very exhausting, especially all the places you've seen.

[00:03:29.980] – Allan
So how are things up there?

[00:03:32.100] – Rachel
Good. Really great. Our weather is starting to change, and here in Michigan our leaves are starting to change colors. It's just the beginning of our fall season. So it's about to be gorgeous up here. But over the weekend, Mike and I ran a half marathon, and I just want to brag on him a bit because he set a new half marathon PR. And I just want to remind everybody we just turned 50. We're not spring chickens anymore, but he just set a new PR. So this year, he has a new PR for the 5K, the 10K, and the half marathon.

[00:04:05.890] – Rachel
He has just gotten so much faster in the last couple of years, and I'm really proud and excited for him.

[00:04:12.540] – Allan
And he's in that real sweet spot of the 50 to 55 range. So he's the young and running in the group, running some of his best. He's probably winning medals and having some really good races.

[00:04:24.450] – Rachel
I think we have won some metals in our age bracket so far, but he came in 4th in his age division in this half marathon. He needed to shave nine more minutes off his time. And I want to say his time was 1 hour and 42 minutes for the half. And so I think the guy was in the 130s that just beat him off the podium. So there's some fast people in our age brackets. Seriously fast.

[00:04:53.980] – Allan
Maybe they'll age out before he does.

[00:04:56.400] – Rachel
I hope so. Yeah. Fingers crossed. We can catch up.

[00:05:01.920] – Rachel
That's so exciting.

[00:05:02.880] – Allan
All right. Well, when the weather changes, it's time for me to fly south. This year, we did the traveling to see family earlier because in September is the downtime in focus. And so this when we decided to just go ahead and try to shut down, but we actually had monthly renters in there. But this is the thing where it's like, okay, we're going to shut down and we're not going to worry about this. And we'll go. And so we're going to be traveling more during this time in September.

[00:05:31.940] – Allan
And I can just tell you going to Indiana, North Carolina and Miami. It's a much nicer time of the year. Weather wise to be there. It wasn't cold. And in fact, I think I might have put on a sweatshirt once.

[00:05:44.420] – Rachel
Oh, wow. Good.

[00:05:45.410] – Allan
I was able to wear jeans. I don't wear jeans.

[00:05:47.980] – Allan
I wore jeans a couple of times, and I was thinking when I got here I might have to buy more of it now the weather stayed nice the whole time. And so I'm still wearing shorts.

[00:05:58.210] – Rachel

[00:05:59.830] – Allan
looking forward to kind of getting back to my bocas routine, starting the training for that tough Mudder in August. It's August 27th. If you're interested, you can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/Chicago and they used to call it a classic, and they made some changes to their website since last time I looked at it. So now it's a 15K. So there's a 15K and some of the children's runs on Saturday and then on Sunday they're doing a 10K and a 5K.

[00:06:30.090] – Allan
And so there are different distances in this. If you don't think you're up to the 15K, which was the classic, I think they're shortening it a little bit because it'll be closer to nine and a half miles, then the ten to twelve that it used to be, but it's still 24 25 obstacles. So it's going to be the full array of those. But if anybody's interested, go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/Chicago as we get closer to the event, if you're telling me you're going to be there, I'm on the 10 to 10 45 run.

[00:07:01.290] – Allan
So if you've signed up and you're in that same run, let me know and we meet up and do some of the course together because it very much is a team style, even if you're not on a team or bring a team, everybody's helping everybody. So you're trying to climb out of a mud pit, everybody's helping you climb out of the mud pit and then you're turning around and helping them get out of the mud pit. So it's a really cool run. It's very, very personal.

[00:07:24.610] – Allan
You need a lot of people and it's tough, tough mudder, but it is a fun run. So if you're interested in doing that, then let me know if you're in the area and I'll know more as they get closer to where they're actually going to host it. It can be anywhere within 2 miles of Chicago. They're going to call it the Chicago Tough mudder, but we'll be in a general area. So if you're in the area, maybe we do something that Saturday night, have a dinner or something.

[00:07:48.790] – Allan
If anybody's in the area, we can figure it out. But again, it's on the 27th of August, the ten to 10:45 run. And if you go to the website, you can sign up for that now. I think they're gonna be well by the time this goes live, Unfortunately, they probably raise their prices a little bit. That's kind of how they run with it is the prices go up. They have early bird and then they kind of raise the prices so you might pay a little bit more than someone else paid.

[00:08:13.740] – Allan
But for what you get in all the fund, it's well worth.

[00:08:17.200] – Rachel
It sounds awesome.

[00:08:18.830] – Allan
Alright, so you want to have a conversation with Dr. Foster?

[00:08:22.880] – Rachel


[00:08:57.920] – Allan
Dr. Foster, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:01.000] – Dr. Foster
Thanks, Allan. It's a pleasure to be with you.

[00:09:03.410] – Allan
So today we're here to talk about your book, The Shift: Seven Powerful Mindset Changes for Lasting Weight Loss. And it's one of the things that has really kind of hit me over the last six years of doing this, is that for most of us, any substantive change that we make in our life has to start ahead. We have to fix our mindset first and then the good things happen. It almost never ever is going to work the other way.

[00:09:30.550] – Dr. Foster
That's exactly right. And I think for most people that's a little counterintuitive when most people are starting on a weight or wellness journey, their first thoughts and often their only thoughts are, what do I eat? How do I move and really get pretty granular about that? Is it low carb, high protein, low fat? Is it strength resistance training? Is it hit? There's a lot of stuff going through people's minds and what you eat and how you move is certainly important for your wellness. I think the missing ingredient and the thing that people most underestimate over my 30 years of clinical and research experience is the most important component to a wellness journey is your mindset.

[00:10:16.630] – Dr. Foster
And simply put, your mindset is how you think about the journey. But also importantly about how you think about yourself.

[00:10:25.290] – Allan
Yeah. My path to taking care of myself. I was not healthy. I was not fit doing great my career. That was wonderful. So what I call one for three and overall realized that was probably the worst one that I should have been focusing on. But I didn't like myself quite honestly at that point in my life, I really didn't like myself. And for the next eight years effectively punished myself to try to fix me. And so it wasn't until I came to this realization that the lacking component was compassion and love.

[00:10:59.700] – Allan
And you put that as the first mindset change and kind of really the only way this is ever going to happen is you got to get this done first. Can you talk about self compassion and why it's so important?

[00:11:12.640] – Dr. Foster
Yeah. First, Congratulations on your success. I know about your success, and it's quite impressive. And I really applaud the efforts you're doing to get that message out. That it's how you think about yourself and the journey that makes a difference. And you're right. The book starts, it's about seven different shifts that have science-based, proven techniques to help you with your wellness journey. In fact, any journey in life. But to your point, self compassion is the basis of all of it. If you look at the way most people start a journey of any sort, whether to your point, it's in your professional life or a wellness journey or a weight journey or any self improvement journey, people often view it in a deficit model.

[00:12:00.130] – Dr. Foster
So what do I have to fix? What deficiencies do I have? And that just doesn't really feel that great. Right? If instead you can build from a position of strength, not weaknesses, what strengths do I have that can help me achieve my goals. And that's all predicated on self compassion. And that basically says that I'm worth taking care of that any self improvement project that I undertake, whether it's personal, professional, whatever it is, is based on my own value, as is without any change, I am worth taking care of.

[00:12:41.140] – Dr. Foster
And that's a position of strength, and that generates power for the journey. Alternatively, I hear this a lot have been a clinical health psychologist for over 30 years, working with lots of people elbow to elbow knee to knee in their weight loss journey. I hear often that they start out at a point where weak-willed, I'm undisciplined, I have terrible eating habits, and I often say that's you you're talking about, you need yourself to be successful in this journey. And that's why self compassion is so critical.

[00:13:18.400] – Allan
Yeah. And if you don't have self compassion, I think a lot of these other things we're going to talk about, we're going to end up kind of circling back to that because you can't really see these things or do anything about it. And the next one I wanted to talk about was the unhelpful thinking and the reason this one resonated with me so much was, wow, I used to do that all the time. Wow, I used to do that all the time. Three out of the four I was guilty of practically every day of my life up until maybe even still today.

[00:13:48.520] – Allan
Occasionally I find myself with some of this unhelpful thinking. Can you go over the four categories that you had? The main ones that once we do probably the most because like I said, I saw myself in most of them.

[00:14:00.040] – Dr. Foster
Yeah, I'm sure happy to. The fundamental premise is what we think influences what we do. So if you think about different, this is steeped in 60 years of research and cognitive therapy without getting into all the details. It really is how fundamental, how basic our thought patterns are driving what we feel and what we do. So accepting that science, then there are styles that I've observed over my clinical career that really get in the way of a successful wellness journey is one is all or none. And this is things are great or they're terrible.

[00:14:37.180] – Dr. Foster
I'm on a diet or I'm off a diet. It's a good food or it's a bad food. It's viewing the world and any interaction that you encounter with as all or none. Light bulb thinking, black and white thinking lots of ways to think about that. And the problem with that essentially is that the world is not like that. And the most frequent off ramps to the journey are precipitated by these kind of unhelpful thinking styles. They're thinking styles that make you just say, the heck with it.

[00:15:09.160] – Dr. Foster
One day I've blown it. Really? So anyway, that's the first one, all or none, the other is once makes always. And I hear this frequently. So somebody will have a rough day that in it as they plan. They didn't work out as they plan. In a non wait world, people can say things like, Well, this is the way it always goes. A watch out for this kind of thinking is when you hear yourself saying things like never, always. Those are signals that that's rarely true and that you're taking one event and extrapolating that to believe it will always happen and it will never change.

[00:15:47.740] – Dr. Foster
The third is negative filtering. And again, this happens both in wellness journeys and in work journeys. I'll take the work journey in the first case here, if you get feedback from your supervisor in an annual review or quarterly review that on four criteria, you're knocking out of the park on three. But there's room for development and for opportunity and for growth on a fourth. If you're a negative filter, all you think about is that fourth one and you start to worry about your job. And is it secure?

[00:16:21.420] – Dr. Foster
And it gets you down into this swirl of negative thinking and not seeing the big picture. So it's really trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but in an overly negative way. And the fourth, which is less common. But I put it in the book because I've seen it frequently. And also it gets across this point that the key to this is not just positive thinking. It's realistic thinking and this style that's not helpful. It's called Don't Worry, Be Happy. And these are people who go through life and again in a variety of different arenas and just say, oh, it'll get better.

[00:16:59.250] – Dr. Foster
Well, how do you think it will get better? I'm not sure it'll get better. Tomorrow will be a better day. And while that initial optimism is helpful and we're not encouraging people to be overly negative, plans work better than platitudes, it's important to say, okay, if tomorrow is going to be a better day, how will it be a different day? How will it be a different day? So those are the styles that I've noticed over my 30 years in the field that can get in the way and in simple tweaks, a technique that we talk a lot in the book about is called a reality check.

[00:17:32.700] – Dr. Foster
So when you have these thoughts, ask yourself, you can do it from a couple of different ways. One is, what would a good friend say to you? And we can talk more about that, because that's also a good self compassion technique. But the other is to act those almost as if you're a lawyer. So what are the facts to support that I have no willpower or here I go again, or I'll never be able to be successful. What are the facts to support that? And that kind of reality check can help do a check on that thinking and help you develop more helpful, more realistically, more realistic thoughts.

[00:18:07.260] – Allan
And the way I like to talk to people about these realistic thoughts a lot of times in the moment, you don't know you're doing this. It's almost invisible to you because it's just second nature is that after something goes wrong, I always find it valuable to first with the self compassion, forgive yourself and then second analyze what happened. You know, you go in and you get stressed on Friday afternoon, and so you leave there you go to the bar, you have a couple of beers to calm down and relax, and then you say, okay, yeah, sure

[00:18:38.730] – Allan
I'll go ahead and get the pizza and then you eat the whole pizza. You go home and you're like, Well, I sort of blew it. I blew the day. I might as well blow the whole weekend. And so that's your all or non thinking after. And so you realize then, okay, what happened? Well, I went there and I probably would have done better to go to the park and go for a walk. So the next time I find myself really stressed out on a Friday evening, I'm gonna go to the park and I'm gonna walk around for a little while instead of going to the bar and having a couple of beers and that's kind of that way you can take that and get to the reality of it is this is not who you are.

[00:19:13.880] – Allan
This is just an action and a point in time. And if you focus on the why it happened and get to the trigger, then you can take and avoid that unhelpful thinking and take it to the next step of saying, okay, what is the plan? What is the better action for me next time this happens? That slip to success model that I like to use with my clients is really just that three steps of reality based thinking. It happened. I can't undo it. I can't uneat the pizza, I can't undrink the beer, but I can do something better next time.

[00:19:47.420] – Dr. Foster
Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. And I like the way that you think about that. At first you start with self compassion and self forgiveness. This is not a time to beat yourself up, self flagellation does not worth self improvement. It just doesn't. The other thing I liked about what you said, and we use this. One of my favorite phrases, clinically is ask how. Don't ask why, because if you can go retrospectively, as you just did in that example, about stress leads to a couple of beers, leads to ordering pizza.

[00:20:18.250] – Dr. Foster
You can look at each step in what we call behavioral chain and think about Where's the weakest link is that could you have avoided the stress? Could you have managed the stress differently? Could you have had the beers and not had the pizza? There's lots of ways. And then you're in charge of your destiny the next time. And the question is, if it didn't go well, how did it not go well? And how can it be improved in the future? And alternatively, if it did go well, how did it go well, so you can rinse and repeat on that rather than thinking that the stars and the moon were like, no, you made that happen.

[00:20:51.710] – Dr. Foster
So I like so much about the way you think about it in terms of looking back, having self for business and putting yourself in charge of, where could I do it differently the next time?

[00:21:02.720] – Allan
One of the things you did in the book that I really like, because I got the thinking through some of this. It seems like every time someone wants to change themselves, they want to improve their weaknesses. I'm going to eat healthier, so I'm going to lose some weight. I'm going to go to the gym five days a week, even though I hate the gym and I'm not really good at it. Or I'm going to go ahead and do this couch to 5K. Even though I've never really run in my life, we always seem to want to pick the weakest point of us and start working on that thinking that's going to give us the best return on our investment.

[00:21:39.140] – Allan
But the reality is quite opposite that we need to actually double down on our strengths to be successful in this journey. Can you talk a little bit about that?

[00:21:49.990] – Dr. Foster
Sure. Again, it's very common when people embrace a journey or embark on a journey to start thinking about what's wrong. It's sort of like a fix it model. And in some ways again, it's yourself you're talking about and treating yourself with some positive self regard and saying, what do I bring to this experience? What are my strengths just has a different feel to it. Then here's a long laundry list of things that I need to fix. I can think of a patient I worked with an extremely successful entrepreneur, had established a really robust retail experience, had been through the ups and downs of recessions and lots of industry pressures, lots of near bank foreclosures on the business, really high stress and was now on the other side of it and was trying to manage her weight and when she started on the weight journey, she was very quick to judge herself very quick for harsh characterizations of who she was as a person.

[00:23:00.040] – Dr. Foster
I can never follow this through. I'm not persistent. I don't have any discipline. And can we just stop for a second? Let's just talk about what you've done in your career. What are some character strengths that you have that you would think that helped you? And the first thing she said was perseverance is that no matter what was going on in the business, internally, externally, I was able to persevere. And just that little shift of getting her to think I am someone who perseveres changes the narrative, the self narrative, which is ultimately the most important one on how she can persevere through this journey.

[00:23:38.930] – Dr. Foster
And again, I want to be clear when we say character strengths. There's a whole science of positive psychology behind this. This isn't making judgments about this is good and this is bad. This is a weakness. This is a deficit. We all have character strengths. And helping, what we do in the book is help people identify what their character strengths are so they can leverage that. And again, at the end of the day, it's that slight shift in mindset that if I'm starting with something that feels good to me, something I'm good at.

[00:24:10.260] – Dr. Foster
I'm pretty good at this. That gives you a sense of self efficacy, of confidence, that I can leverage a skill set I have rather than going in this forever elusive pursuit of like a Whack Amole game of trying to whack down every weakness I have.

[00:24:26.980] – Allan
Yeah. You had a link to a strength profile quiz that you could do. And I took the time to go out and do that quiz, the VIA Character Strengths profile. And it was interesting because I think a lot of people would think, okay, if you're going to someone loses a lot of weight. They obviously have a lot of self control and all of that. Self regulation was 19th out of the 24. My top five were honesty, bravery, leadership, curiosity and love of learning. And so as I started thinking about, well, how did these strengths play out when I was actually doing what I was doing?

[00:25:04.890] – Allan
And the reality was, yes, self regulation really wasn't what did it for me. It was the liking, a high minded challenge. So I signed up for a tough Mudder and I told people I was going to do it. So I'm an honest person. I'm going to stand up to what I said. I actually signed up with my daughter. I said I'm going to be ready and I'm going to do this race with you. And from there, getting my certifications and things like that to learn what I needed to do, to take care of myself, to train myself.

[00:25:34.640] – Allan
I just look at that and say that right was my little roadmap that was in here in my head, but I didn't realize that that's what I was doing at the time was I was not trying to self regulate myself to healthy eating. I just knew that if I was being honest with myself and what I challenged myself to do, I had to do better. And I did lean on those so much more heavy, heavier heavily. Then I did on the ones that I was much weaker.

[00:26:02.920] – Allan
And I think that made all the difference.

[00:26:05.300] – Dr. Foster
Yeah, it really does. And it's good to put some words to it to actually realize these are inherent strengths that people have and they can leverage them in the process again instead of searching for these weaknesses or deficiencies.

[00:26:17.220] – Allan
And I think you said it in the book, and you just said it earlier to know what your basic strengths are, you can just look back on other things that you've been successful at. And hey, what got me there? That's the same thing that can make you successful in every journey that you take going forward, including losing weight, getting stronger and just getting healthier.

[00:26:35.780] – Dr. Foster
Yeah, I think one of the things because of the significant stigma that's associated with higher body weights in our culture, people often can in a negative way compartmentalized. So they forget about all these strengths they have in non weight and wellness journeys as if they don't exist when it comes to other areas of their life. So sometimes in the patient that I was talking about, it's just a general reminder about I've accomplished a lot in my life, and I've done so with a variety of different strengths.

[00:27:05.960] – Dr. Foster
And how can I use those strengths for other purposes in life? It's not just wellness. It's not just weight. It generalizes to a lot of other things, which is why I think it's so powerful.

[00:27:16.340] – Allan
I'm going to make sure there's a link in the show notes so you can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/507. And I'll have a link to that quiz so you can find out what your course strengths are. But it also is very valuable because it gives you all 24 of the strength profiles. So you literally can go through there and read it and say, Well, is that more like with me or less like me? So it's a great learning tool. And I encourage folks to go out there and check that out.

[00:27:41.610] – Dr. Foster
Yeah, the work that Via does under the leadership of Neil Myerson is really impressive, and I'm it's available so publicly, and that's why we recommended it in the book.

[00:27:50.900] – Allan
Cool. Dr. Foster, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:28:02.190] – Dr. Foster
I think if I had to pick three, I would go back to the beginning of our conversation and say, Start with self compassion, and I won't belabor it here because we've already discussed it, but really treating yourself as you would treat a friend as a friend would treat you with this kind positive self regard. It doesn't mean everything's perfect. You're perfect. But you're starting out with an assumption that you're worth taking care of. And any self improvement opportunity you have is because you're worth it not because you're deficient .2 is to set realistic goals.

[00:28:39.450] – Dr. Foster
People often mistakenly think that I've got to set these bold, audacious goals to get success. And while I'm not saying don't shoot for the stars, that's fine. The first step should be a small, reasonable one. And there's great science behind this. Bf Skinner, a famous psychologist, had this concept which has proven out time and time again called successive approximation, which is just fancy psychological jargon for take it one step at a time so that you approximate the goal by breaking it down into smaller steps. There's a story of a member in the book who talked about she had 100 pound weight loss goal, but she broke it down into five pound increments.

[00:29:26.540] – Dr. Foster
More importantly than that, she broke down. What do I need to do to reach those 5 pounds? What specifically behavioral goals rather than weight loss goals really drive the day? So these small, realistic goals give you an opportunity to be successful at each interval. Rather than saying I'm not going to congratulate myself for whatever it is. Running a marathon, why don't I just start with I walked a mile. That's a great way to start. And I think the third thing, which again might be counter intuitive, is to expect setbacks. To realize that the journey is not a straight line.

[00:30:06.700] – Dr. Foster
It has lots of ups and downs, whether it's on the scale, whether it's in your workout intensities, whether it's your work performance, whether it's how you perform as a parent, how you do in the workplace, it's never a straight line. And instead of using Setbacks as an opportunity to take the off ramp, use that as an opportunity for learning much in the way you talked about with the beer and stress beer pizza cycle, how do I go back and learn that and use that as an opportunity?

[00:30:40.330] – Dr. Foster
So self compassion, set small, realistic goals that are achievable and then importantly, expect setbacks. They happen one of the time to one of the people. It can be distressing, but it's also a great way to say, hey, setbacks happen. It's my next move that matters most.

[00:31:03.740] – Allan
Welcome to being human.

[00:31:05.010] – Dr. Foster

[00:31:07.670] – Allan
If someone wanted to learn more about you, Dr. Foster and the book, The Shift: Seven Powerful Mindset changes for Lasting Weight Loss. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:31:16.700] – Dr. Foster
I go basically anywhere, any retail location where books are sold anywhere online. My bio is there and details about the book are there. I think the thing I would like people to know is that the reason I wrote this book is that after 30 years and after actually learning from the people I work with, I realized that while eating an activity are important, it's mindset that matters, and it matters enormously. And I think one of the things I hope people can get from a book like this is to get some small shifts that can lead to big results.

[00:31:54.470] – Dr. Foster
Because as you said at the outset, Allan, it's really important. If you have to start with mindset, the other things follow, they won't be effortless, but they will be much easier with the right mindset.

[00:32:08.920] – Allan
You can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.Com/507 and I'll be sure to have links to the book there. Dr. Foster, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:32:19.080] – Dr. Foster
My pleasure, Allan. Nice to chat with you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:32:25.490] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:32:27.580] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, I think Dr. Foster is my new best friend. He and I have a lot in common, but what he said at the very beginning, what we eat and how we move is important. But before all that mindset, my favorite word.

[00:32:42.350] – Allan
Yeah. And we've talked about this and kind of part of this, this whole because every once in a while get into a topic set. And when I was going through the layoffs, my layoff, I started talking about stress. I started looking for books on stress, and it kind of became a big thing big theme for the show for several weeks. And if you've noticed over the last several weeks, we've talked a lot about mindset, I guess on talking about it, I've talked about it. It really is a start of all of it.

[00:33:11.720] – Allan
And if you don't take the time to get your head right, then the first stumble block that you come to, you're going to trip up. And 99% of people hit that first bump in the road and they're out. They just quit because you're like, this is too hard. This isn't happening fast enough. I'm not good at this. It's never worked before. And so we talked about some of that unhelpful thinking. But that's exactly where this all comes from is if you get your mindset right, then you're in that position to recognize when you're using words like always and never or the I screwed up.

[00:33:48.060] – Allan
So I may as well you start recognizing those tendencies to just blow everything off. I'll start back on Monday kind of mindset. And really, that's been a huge stumbling block for most people. Is that going into it without having their head on straight and I'll admit that was me, too. 37 years old. I was very unhappy with myself, and I decided I needed to do something about it. But it took me eight years before I actually really did anything substantive, and it really did come down to that.

[00:34:21.960] – Allan
I didn't have the right mindset. I wasn't committed, and I didn't have self compassion. And so those big elements that were missing then allowed me to get my head right to say, okay, don't have to be perfect yet. I just need to be really good. And the better I do, then the better I can do. And they're just seeing this as a gradual progression up the Hill. And in some cases, it feels like you're walking up a sand Dune and the Sands just shifting under your feet.

[00:34:52.690] – Allan
And you just don't feel like you're really getting anywhere because it seems like you're sliding almost as much as you're stepping. But the reality is you are moving, you are moving up and you just got to keep that pace, be comfortable with it and just keep going and don't let yourself get negatively influenced by just things that are outside your control and having the right mindset does all of that.

[00:35:13.320] – Rachel
Absolutely. And you mentioned and also Dr. Foster mentioned having self compassion. If you're coming from a place of love that you want to do something that's good for yourself, you'll get farther instead of the negative thoughts that I'm overweight. I shouldn't be here at the gym or I shouldn't be seen in public. And I see a lot of that mindset, especially with brand new runners who are running, trying to lose weight. They're embarrassed to be out in the streets, they're embarrassed to be seen. But no, you got to change that shift.

[00:35:45.290] – Rachel
And you're coming from a place of self love. Then you're working on improving your health and you deserve to be anywhere you want to be, no matter how you're feeling about yourself. So yeah, I think the self compassion is also a positive shift that people need to focus on.

[00:36:03.000] – Allan
Yeah. We talked about it a few weeks ago. I forget her name, but about being your own BFF. And is it really does come down to that? The thoughts that you're in your head were things that you would say out loud to your best friend, then they're probably okay thoughts. But if you start having thoughts and you're thinking, I would never say this to my best friend's face. Even if it was true, I wouldn't say it. I wouldn't say it. And so just kind of thinking about this thought that I'm having,

[00:36:31.460] – Allan
Is it fair? And if it's something I wouldn't say to my friend, how would I say it to my friend? I need if I really needed to. So it's the I didn't mean to have the three beers and the pizza. When I went out with friends, I was going to try to be better. And I had the three beers, and then we ordered pizza, and then we ordered more pizza. And then I blew that Friday night. So then it was like a cascade through my whole weekend.

[00:36:58.440] – Allan
Well, yeah, at some point, you tell your friend it's like, well, okay. You know, that's not how you want to do it. So what are some things that you can do next time to keep that from happening? And you see just that way that I went about is more constructive than destructive. He would never tell your friend, oh, my God, you're at that. Hell, why? And look at you blew Saturday and Sunday. You may as well just quit. And you would never, ever say that to your best friend.

[00:37:27.890] – Allan
But we're saying it to ourselves in our heads all the time.

[00:37:30.780] – Rachel
Well, just like you mentioned in that example, you go out for a night, you have all sorts of beers and pizza, you know, think about that for just a minute. You know, you spent time with your friends. You were doing something you enjoy socializing or celebrating something special. Okay. It was not the greatest night. It was not the best choice. But what could you have done? And even Dr. Foster mentioned that as you look back on these little bits of flip Ops, what could you have done better?

[00:37:56.670] – Rachel
I mean, could you have maybe not had so much pizza, or would I do a lot of cases is, I'll have my snack at home just in case I can't find anything on the menu that I would like. And then just socialize that night instead of eat and socialize. So, I mean, you can have your problem solving tips ready for the next time. And he also mentioned, too, that be prepared for slip ups. These things happen. We have holidays. We have nights out with friends. You know, things do go sideways.

[00:38:25.760] – Rachel
So just be prepared, have your bag of tricks.

[00:38:27.950] – Allan
And when you take those detours know why you're doing it, don't just go in and say, oh, I'm going to do this. We were driving here and there was a sign on the side of the road. This is Squatch Museum, and I'm like, oh, okay, you know, but no, I'm having dinner with my friends, and I need to be in the Tampa by this time. I don't have time to visit the Sasquatch Museum this trip. But now I got this little tickler in my head. This is next time you're traveling through Florida, find the Sasquatch Museum because you might want to spend it, but just not letting yourself kind of get pulled off by just every little Wim, every little thing that happens, it just kind of keeps you a little bit more focused on it.

[00:39:13.000] – Allan
And I think that's why I was really impressed with the concept of focusing on strengths rather than weakness. Almost everybody goes at this and says, okay, well, I was sweettooth. I love my desserts. I like beer. I do well during the week, but then I blow my weekends and so they're like, okay, I've got this weakness and I need to fix that weakness. And then that's gonna fix me when the reality of it is maybe you have strength like, you still are physically relatively active.

[00:39:44.460] – Allan
And it's like, okay, I bump up my activity and I would actually enjoy that. Or I know that I have some drinks, like, I want to drink more water. And so I say, okay, well, if I put a plan in place, like, I've got this gallon jug and I carry that jug with me, then I know that I'll drink that water. So it's just knowing that if I have a system, I can get it done. If I have a certain thing that I'm really good at, then I get it done.

[00:40:10.190] – Allan
If I really like cooking, then I do my batch cooking on Sunday, and I've got my meals for the whole rest of the week. So all those things are where there's a strength where you identify a strength in yourself. And then you say, based on my overall strengths, not just physical capacity, mental capacity, but saying, okay, I am better when I'm focused on this. And I did go through that strength thing that he had in there and kind of look to mine and actually self regulation was out of 24.

[00:40:41.100] – Allan
It was like 19 to most people think, oh, Allan's really disciplined, and it's not a function of discipline. It's a function of structure. If I have a structure, then everything just gets easier. So for my training for the tough Mudder, I have literally blocked out every morning, Monday through Friday and part of the morning on Saturday to train. Okay. So I have five hour windows every day, six days of the week to train. And I'll be lifting six days, five days, and basically doing some cardio, six days, and then taking Sunday off.

[00:41:16.670] – Allan
And so that's my structure.

[00:41:18.100] – Rachel
That's awesome.

[00:41:18.890] – Allan
Nothing else is on my calendar. It's just. I'm in the gym at 07:00. I'm lifting. I finished my lifting. The gym doesn't open until 8:30. So the gym is mine. And then I leave the gym and I go and do some cardio. And that might be kayaking. That might be blocking. That might be some running. But basically, each day I've allotted about three and a half hours of cardio, which is about how long the tough mudder will take me. I just know, physically, if I can keep moving for three and a half hours, I can do a tough Mudder.

[00:41:50.750] – Allan
And so that's the plan.

[00:41:52.990] – Rachel
You know, it's interesting to Allan, because your tough Mudder is your a goal for next year. That's your primary focus. And so all that time that you show up for yourself in the gym, you're focused on that as your goal. So you're not focusing on I got to improve my cardio. I got to lift heavier weights, and I got to do all these things. Those are all kind of like what's going to happen as a side effect of your focus on this main goal. And similarly, that's what I think like, too.

[00:42:23.600] – Rachel
And I'm focused on a race. I've got a race that I need to prepare for, and you'll be out there for 3 hours. I'll be out there for a couple hours running. It's not how many hours I'm going to be out there in the head. It's just that I'm out there running. And so the focus is on the fun part of running, the fun part of the tough Mudder. And it's not all on the hard sweat that we need to put out at the gym to get to that point, which makes it to me it makes it exciting and fun.

[00:42:50.420] – Allan
Yeah. I look at it like this. What can I control? And what can I not control? And what I can't control is how much body fat my body decides to shed. What I can control is the level of effort I put in at the gym and the number of days I show up and will I slip up? Yes. Will there be something? One day my body is going to sit there and my knee is not going to feel really good. And so my cardio is going to have to change or my elbows kind of not feel really good.

[00:43:18.920] – Allan
And I'm going to change my lifting program a bit. Yeah. All of that's completely possible and likely actually very highly likely. And so I'm going to go at this and say, what can I control? I can control Monday. Monday, October 4 is my first morning on schedule, and literally I'm up before 07:00 and I'm at the gym. And so if it's 6:45, I'm walking to the gym. I'm already winning.

[00:43:45.540] – Rachel
That's awesome.

[00:43:46.590] – Allan
Now what I can't, like I said, what I don't have control over are some side effects, but there will be side effects. There's gonna be positive side effects of that. I'm going to lose some weight. I'm gonna probably put on a little muscle, get stronger, get some sun because most of my training will be outdoors in the sun, and we don't have an off season. It's not like cold weather like you're gonna be dealing with where you're out there trudging through the snow. None of that's no stuff for me.

[00:44:13.520] – Allan
I might be running through some sand, right?

[00:44:16.150] – Dr. Foster
That's good for you.

[00:44:17.030] – Allan
Yeah. I might be doing sprints in the sand like, yeah, I want to get some cardio in. And really, I could actually get it in a lot faster today. If I just go and do some hit training in the deep Bluff sand. I can do that and just make it a training. But I've done my training for that day. And then if I end up saying, okay, I've had enough, I'm done. Then I'm done. And I can approach it from that perspective of focusing on activity and performance of the activity.

[00:44:47.400] – Allan
And then if I'm having a good lifting day, that's great. If I'm having a bad lifting day, then evaluate what I learn, what can I do and then just keep moving through that because like I said, my strengths are honesty, integrity and just continue to push myself. It's not self regulation. So what I have to do is actually rely on systems and processes to say, okay, I have this goal at this bigger thing in front of me, and I put 1 foot is kind of a runners thing as I put 1 foot in front of the other is like if you lift it up, I'll put it down and just get that foot forward, and then it'll take care of itself.

[00:45:28.580] – Allan
And that's really how these things work. And yes, the tough mudder is there. And It's not a goal in and of itself. It's an opportunity. And it's an obstacle. And I put this big obstacle in front of me that's going to require me to change certain behaviors for that period of time. And that's something that I have now recognized that I kind of need to have. There's something in front of me that I'm moving toward or training for to excite my training to keep me active and going, because I can go in the gym every day.

[00:46:04.210] – Allan
And then it's just a point where you're saying, okay, this is the same workout I did nine months ago. I'm doing it again. I'm about the same strength. Okay.

[00:46:14.920] – Allan
And it's cool. And I feel good about it. But at the end of the day, I'm like, okay, but where am I moving? It's just having something that I feel like I'm moving toward. And for me, that's important for a lot of other people. It might not be it might be watching the scale, but you don't have total control over that. And maybe I don't have total control over whether I'm going to be in good enough shape to complete the tough Mudder myself. I am at this point going to be, I think, eight years, almost eight years older than I was the last time I did it.

[00:46:44.860] – Allan
and so that's not a little bit of time, but I'm going back and I'm going to do it again, and I fully expect that they'll probably be another one in my future. So particularly if I have a good time. But that's what this is all about. But it starts with the mindset as we said. And then it's really just about saying, okay, what's going to keep me engaged? What's going to keep me fired up? What's going to be fun and looking at what I'm doing from that perspective, it's a gift for me to complete

[00:47:15.650] – Allan
A tough Mudder is a gift.

[00:47:17.660] – Rachel
It is.

[00:47:18.830] – Allan
You know, and so that's the gift I want to give this person I love is that feeling of success at the end of a tough mudder.

[00:47:27.380] – Rachel
I love that. That sounds great.

[00:47:29.950] – Allan
Alright. Anything else you want to go over or we'll talk next week?

[00:47:32.910] – Rachel
No, that was great. I got to take that test, though, that Dr. Foster put out there.

[00:47:38.700] – Allan
It was quite interesting. And then after you get through with it, kind of go back and see.

[00:47:43.560] – Allan
Yeah. Now I kind of get that. They weren't all really strengths that I would have initially equated to health and fitness. But if you take a few minutes to sit down, you start realizing that the things that you are successful at are those things where you emphasize those strengths and they just push you faster. They make you do better. And it's really interesting. You do at some point need to address your weaknesses, but they become easier and easier to do when you get the snowball of all those strengths and those successes, those weakness sort of they just take care of themselves.

[00:48:21.990] – Rachel
I think so. I think that having those strengths are knowing what your strengths are your best tools in your toolbox for you to be able to attack your goal with.

[00:48:30.180] – Allan
All right. Well, you'll have to let me know how that goes.

[00:48:32.760] – Rachel
Yeah, will do.

[00:48:33.800] – Allan
All right. Well, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:48:35.670] – Rachel
Take care.


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


September 27, 2021

Weight loss myths that are keeping us fat with Dr. Robert Davis

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In his book, Supersized Lies, Dr. Robert Davis shares some of the biggest weight loss myths and how they're keeping us fat and what you can do about it.


Let's Say Hello

[00:00:52.040] – Allan
Hey, Raz. How are things?

[00:00:54.290] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you? How are you enjoying your vacation?

[00:00:57.890] – Allan
I'm enjoying it. It's just there's been a lot going on in the world. In our world. Someone poisoned our dog. But, yeah, we've had some criminals on the island. We caught one of them on camera stealing our hammock off our front porch. But it appears, and this is again coming from the police and others, is that there's this group of thieves on the island, and they're trying to soften up houses to come back later and do something more is the theory. So they poisoned a ton of dogs across the island just to make sure they could get in.

[00:01:31.950] – Allan
fortunately, we had people watching the place, and they were able to step in and do some wonderful things. And so Buster has recovered, he's doing okay.

[00:01:40.510] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.

[00:01:41.170] – Allan
But it was just one of those hit and go moments where we didn't know if he was going to make it. And so our friends came to our rescue. It's just very stressful when you're over 3000 miles away and not in a position to do anything to help your dog. So we're on our way. So we're recording this, we're most of the way through with our holidays. And as this goes live, we'll be finishing up the final days and about to head back to Panama.

[00:02:11.290] – Allan
So I'm kind of like in that mood. Okay, let's just get back and get Lula's open and get that going. And it's made me kind of rethink a lot of stuff in my own life. As I look at what I'm doing and my training and those types of things. So I might be making some changes to the way I do personal training and to how I manage my own life just to make sure that I'm taking care of me and mine first. And then doing what's necessary to help others.

[00:02:45.920] – Rachel
Wow. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog, and I'm so glad he's okay. And you've got the most wonderful neighbors to help out.

[00:02:53.400] – Allan
And they didn't sign up for that. They were just we're going to house it.

[00:02:57.810] – Rachel
Who would have thought?

[00:02:59.170] – Allan
Yeah. And then you got a lot of other stuff. Someone stole someone's pizza. Yeah. So a lot going on back there good and bad, but Buster's fine and looking forward to getting back and see my puppies because I do miss them. And I did have one other thing that I wanted to talk about, as I talked about when you're driving and you have lots of time to think as your driving, I just I was kind of thinking about what I want to do and where I'm at, and I figured what I really needed was a kick in the pants to get myself re energized with what I'm doing personally, not necessarily with the podcast and not necessarily with the training, but just me, my training and everything.

[00:03:43.460] – Allan
So I have signed up for another Tough Mudder classic. This one is going to be August 27, that's in the Chicago area. I've already signed up. I'm in the 10 to 10:45 range of times. So if you're in the area and we got over eleven months to train for this thing now because I think this episode actually goes out around the 27 September, so we literally have eleven months to get ready for this. This is some yeah, it says it's August 27 of 2022. So you got eleven months.

[00:04:16.350] – Allan
If this is something you want to do, I'd love to meet you. Love to hang out with you at the Tough Mudder in Chicago. Again, I'm on the 10 to 10:45 leg. And one of the things I do like about the Tough Mudder is it's a very Comradery kind of run. It's not a competition where we're trying to beat each other. It's where we're helping each other. So if you're struggling with an obstacle, I help you. If I'm struggling with an obstacle, you help me. It's a really good spirit on this run, walk whatever you want to do.

[00:04:45.990] – Allan
But yeah, going into 10:00 time, you'd have plenty of time to finish, give your shot at all the different obstacles. There's 10 miles with 25 obstacles. And over that weekend, they do have some shorter runs. They have a 10K and a 5K. So if you're not feeling like it can get trained up to do the longer one, then at least look at the 5K or the 10K and consider that you could train for that because it's really, in my opinion, you're not just training for running because while there is running, it's not like just constant ten mile run.

[00:05:17.990] – Allan
You do run and you kind of stop and do an obstacle. With 25 obstacles, you're stopping quite a bit. Then you're doing an obstacle. And some of the obstacles are about fear, like you're jumping from a height into water, some of them you're swimming, some of them, you're going through a dark tube and there is the electricity.

[00:05:35.230] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.

[00:05:37.280] – Allan
But it's a real character builder, and it's a lot of fun. So hopefully, if you guys are interested head on out there I did post in the Facebook group a link that will take you to the active. But if you just go into Toughmudder.com, you can go check out their events. And it's August 27 of 2022. And like I said right now, I'm in the 10 to 10:45 start times, and they just set you up about 500 at a time and send you out.

[00:06:07.660] – Allan
And so a lot of people be running. But you know, if you can sign up around that time, cool. If you can't. And I know there's enough people around, maybe we'll set some kind of meet up that night, have dinner or something. So check it out. And if you're interested, reach out to me and we'll figure something out.

[00:06:22.720] – Rachel
Wow. That sounds so awesome. It's great to have a goal. It's great to have something on the calendar to look forward to and to train for.

[00:06:30.040] – Allan
Yeah, I haven't had that. And I was like, with COVID, with everything else has really not been anything but training for the sake of training. And I'm not going to say it gets dull because I really enjoy lifting and doing some things. But it's just one of those things saying, I need something to put a little spark in there and being ready for that and making sure that I perform well there. It's important to me. So I'll get it done.

[00:06:53.440] – Rachel
Yep. And you picked a doozy. So you'll have your hands full for the next eleven months.

[00:06:57.740] – Allan

[00:06:58.550] – Rachel
Good for you.

[00:06:59.390] – Allan
All right. You ready to have a conversation? Wait. We didn't ask about you. What are you doing?

[00:07:03.380] – Rachel
Oh, good. Good.

[00:07:05.500] – Rachel
Enjoying the time. Kids are back to school. It's quiet here at the house for a little while, and we just had a bunch of family time. My brother's in from California, so I got to see him and my parents and my in laws. My mother in law just is about to celebrate her 75th birthday. So we had a little to do for her. So it's been great having family time. It's been wonderful.

[00:07:29.360] – Allan
Okay, good.

[00:07:31.310] – Allan
alright. Are you ready to have a conversation with Dr. Davis?

[00:07:34.310] – Rachel


[00:08:07.560] – Allan
Dr. Davis, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:10.800] – Dr. Davis
Hello, Allan. Thanks for having me.

[00:08:13.060] – Allan
Now. Your book, Supersize Lies, How Myths About Weight Loss are Keeping Us Fat and the Truth About What Really Works. As I was telling you before, if I were walking through a Barnes & Nobles, I would pick up this book just on that. And then once I got into it really even just the introduction, I was like, hooked. Like, I'm gonna read this. I'm gonna read every single line of this fit book all the way to the end, because I want to know what really works. But I also want to know what myths am I falling for?

[00:08:44.090] – Allan
So I appreciate the opportunity to kind of go through and say, okay, what's going on with what we're hearing? And why is everybody struggling so much with the information that's out there?

[00:08:55.670] – Dr. Davis
Well, thank you for that. And what I've done throughout my career is to really dissect the science behind all kinds of claims related to health. And I think that's so important because there's so much misinformation about so many health issues, certainly that's come to the four more than ever with regard to COVID. But it applies to so many of the things we hear about with regard to our health. So that's something that it's very important to me. I have a background in public health and epidemiology as well as journalism.

[00:09:22.480] – Dr. Davis
So I try to combine those training that I have to really look at the science and help people sort through the claim so they can figure out what's believable and what's not.

[00:09:31.990] – Allan
Because more than anything else, I just there's this tribalism and the Internet is fostering that Facebook is fostering that, Twitter. They're making people into tribes about everything, every single thing we do. It's like, no, you shouldn't do it that way or on those sites absolutely should be doing it that way. And so we have these pulls back and forth. This is the best way. No, this is the best way. They're all potentially a little right, and they're all potentially a little wrong. And I think that's where the problem comes is that we get stuck in our tribe, and it's really, really hard to step out of that.

[00:10:13.740] – Allan
And what I really liked about your book was that you didn't go in saying this is my tribe, and this is the way to do it. It was truly okay, this tribe says this and they're not wrong, but they're not right. This tribe says this and they're not wrong, and they're not right. So where do we meet in the middle? What is the common denominator? What's happening here? And why is this happening? And I want to start that out, only to say is one of the core ones is this concept that if you go in, there's a tribe and we call them the calories in Calories out tribe, CICO.

[00:10:49.660] – Allan
And they believe just heart of hearts. All you have to do is plug in everything you eat and plug in every bit of exercise movement you do, and you do all the formulas and you're going to lose weight. And it's true. Until it's not. Can we talk a little bit about what the problem is with calorie counting and why? Because if it were too true, then we would lose an incremental amount of weight every single day. And we would always lose weight. If we're always eating in a deficit of 500 calories a day, we would always lose a pound a week every week until we weight zero.

[00:11:28.900] – Allan
Unfortunately, that doesn't work. Can you tell us what's going on there?

[00:11:32.540] – Dr. Davis
Right. Well, first of all, I like another way to describe that philosophy is some people call it ELM eat less, exercise more. And I like to say, for many people, Elm Street is a dead end because they try that and they're told that's going to work and it doesn't work and they try it again and again and again, and it continues not to work. So one of the problems with calorie counting is seen, by the way, I'm not saying in my book, nor do I believe that calories don't matter at all.

[00:11:57.120] – Dr. Davis
There are some people that say that, and that's not what I'm saying. Calories do count. But as I say, counting them typically doesn't work. And one reason for that is fairly straightforward. And that is that calorie counting is an imprecise activity. You see those numbers the top of the nutrition label. It's a bold number that this food has 232 calories, and we're led to believe that's a precise number. But in fact, that number is often not accurate. Under law, those numbers people often don't know this, Allan, but under law, those numbers can be up to 20% off.

[00:12:32.660] – Dr. Davis
So often, In many cases, that error is an undercount. So it could be that we're getting actually the number of calories we think we're getting is not accurate. So just for starters, just the whole process of trying to count them accurately is not easy. And then never mind that for most of the foods, we don't have calorie counts, you're not getting most restaurants are not going to have calorie counts on menus. If you eat at someone's house, if you cook your own meal, you're not going to know.

[00:12:56.310] – Dr. Davis
And trying to estimate calories, it's very difficult trying to do so accurately. So that's the problem, for starters, is why calorie counting doesn't work. But there's a bigger problem, and that is that our bodies act in a way more complicated than just a number of calories we consume. There are other factors at work that are involved in weight regulation. One certainly is genetics. We know people. We all know, people that we say they're very lucky. They have great genetics, so to speak, because they can eat whatever they want.

[00:13:24.740] – Dr. Davis
They eat all kinds of foods and they never seem to gain weight. And then somebody else we know will eat very little, and then they gain a lot of weight. And so genetics we know from studies play a very large role in determining how food a given amount of food will affect somebody's weight, and that varies from person to person. We're also learning more and more about the so called microbiome that is the mix of microbes in our guts, and that can determine that can have a large influence in some cases, on how many of the calories we consume that we actually absorb, because it's not necessarily the calories that we consume that matters.

[00:14:00.900] – Dr. Davis
It's how many of those calories our body actually absorbs versus excretes. So that's an important consideration as well. And again, something that science is showing more and more about all the time. And then there's the whole issue of our metabolism. As we cut calories as we lose weight, your metabolism slows down so that it takes fewer calories. We have to eat fewer and fewer calories to continue to lose weight. And often it's sort of a cruel trick of evolution that actually is a gift.

[00:14:35.350] – Dr. Davis
It's there to protect us in case of famine. So essentially, our bodies become more fuel efficient as we lose weight in order to keep us from wasting away. But the problem, of course, today, thankfully, is we don't have to deal with famines in modern society and Western civilization. But if we're trying to lose weight, it's a big problem because our bodies are essentially fighting us. And so that's something else that's sort of lost in this conversation about. Well, it's just a linear process. If you cut calories, then you will keep losing weight. If you cut it down, if you have a certain negative energy balance.

[00:15:07.340] – Dr. Davis
But what that doesn't take into consideration is the way the body essentially fights back. And so all of these things, I think, and there are other factors as well are often lost in this discussion about calories and calories out because it's sort of simplified to this simple math equation. And it's in fact, far more complicated than that.

[00:15:25.780] – Allan
Yeah. And even on the other side of that formula, the burning because I had at any time fitness membership. And I went in there. They had two different types of treadmills, I mean ellipticals. And so if I got on one type of elliptical and worked out really hard for an hour, I would burn 850 calories. But the other elliptical, if I got on it for an hour, working out just as hard it was 750 calories. So I would always go to the 850 calorie elliptical to get a better work out.

[00:15:54.010] – Dr. Davis

[00:15:56.180] – Allan
And so their estimates all the way across what our body is burning at any given time. It's an estimate. What in food is an estimate. And restaurants are off on. Even if they tell you what the calories are, they can be off significantly and you buy a can of something and you think, okay, I'm gonna eat this. And you're looking at the label. And if you don't pay enough attention, there's two and two third servings per can, and you're like, okay, well, now I've got to do complicated fraction math to figure out how much I'm eating and how much I'm getting.

[00:16:26.470] – Allan
So it does make it more difficult. But I think one of the core things that you did say in the book that I thought was really important is that tracking can be valuable. It's just when you're trying to get down to this meticulous math of plus and minuses that it's not going to serve you as well.

[00:16:45.360] – Dr. Davis
Yeah, that's absolutely true. There's no question. And the number of studies show this actually tracking what you eat and not only what you eat, but how much you eat when you ate it, whom you ate it with, where you ate it, how you felt when you're eating. All those things are very important. And I can talk more about why that's important in terms of tracking what we eat, what you eat. But what people often get hung up on when they're keeping these food diaries is the number of calories.

[00:17:11.250] – Dr. Davis
And so studies show that people often stop tracking what they're eating because keeping track of their calories are so difficult. They find that it's frustrating to try to deconstruct the foods they eat if they don't have a calorie count to try to take the ingredients and look up the calorie count of each ingredient, and they end up just giving up on the whole thing because they say this is too difficult. So I think that can become a real impediment to a very important activity. And that is tracking your food intake.

[00:17:40.930] – Dr. Davis
And so, as I say in the book, don't worry really as much about tracking your calories. But what you should do if you can is track what you're eating, because what tracking your food intake can do is give you a sense of your eating pattern so that you can go back and use this information to say, I didn't realize that in work I go and pick up a donut a couple of times a day. I didn't realize I was doing that or I didn't realize that when I get stressed, I go through the fast food drive through more often.

[00:18:09.330] – Dr. Davis
And so by doing this, it can help you understand patterns that you may not be aware of and then take action to address those patterns. So that's why I think keeping a food diary is crucial to successful weight management. But people should not let the mandate they often hear to track calories to bog them down.


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[00:20:35.100] – Allan
As we talk about these tribes, I got into early in this episode. One of the things that really comes out is this concept of villains or foods to avoid at all costs, and then the heroes, so these are the super foods that are going to change your life and make you lose weight a lot faster. Can you talk a little bit about villains and heroes and where this lore comes from and why it's really kind of a fiction?

[00:21:01.950] – Dr. Davis
Well, it's part of the overall tendency we have as human beings and certainly in our society to try to look for good guys and bad guys put white hats and black hats on people. And so the same thing certainly has happened with nutrition generally and with weight loss specifically. So that we have weight loss, the history of weight loss over the last 200 years is an effort to finger some kind of culprit and to boil it down to one food or one kind of food that is particularly villainous that if only if we avoid this particular food, then we can weigh less and manage our weight.

[00:21:34.710] – Dr. Davis
And likewise, we see increasingly, and this is driven in part by the food industry because the food industry has a great incentive, of course, to make us think that their food has some kind of magical quality to eat specific foods that they're either going to keep us healthy or help us manage our weight. And we see every day either claims and ads or news reports about some food, whether it's avocados or whether it's beans or whether it's salmon or whatever it is that have some kind of magical properties.

[00:22:05.100] – Dr. Davis
And as I like to say, these are all often foods that are part of a healthful diet and foods that we absolutely can and should eat. But to imbue them with some kind of magical qualities or special properties that are going to allow them in isolation, to make us healthier, to help us lose weight. It is a myth, and that the evidence that's often cited to support this is not compelling. It will be in animals or it'll be in test tubes or will be some kind of intermediate marker that really doesn't measure what we're trying to measure, which in this case is weight loss.

[00:22:37.200] – Dr. Davis
So often we're deceived about the benefits of these foods as well as the danger as it were of specific kinds of foods when it comes to our weight. And so the point here is that instead of fixating on specific foods either as villains or heroes, what we should be doing is looking at the overall quality of our diets. That is to say, what are our overall eating patterns? Are we eating in a healthful way overall and fixate and not to fixate on the specific foods in that diet?

[00:23:07.440] – Dr. Davis
And the advantage of that is that eating in that way and thinking that way about food allows us lots of leeway. We can construct a diet for ourselves with foods that we're going to enjoy and not feel we're being deprived, not feel that we can't ever eat foods that are supposedly bad for us, that we shouldn't eat and allow us to have a diet that can be sustained over time. And in the end, that's what counts, right? That's what matters is a diet that we can eat, that we can enjoy, that we're not going to feel dissatisfied or hungry on, and that we can follow over time.

[00:23:39.910] – Dr. Davis
And whether you're talking about your health or your weight, that's the absolute truth.

[00:23:44.120] – Allan
Yeah. And like I said with villains, it's like, okay, is this food really that bad? And maybe it is if that's all you're eating or you're eating a ton of it, so moderation could be an answer. Occasionally have a bit of ice cream, have a little bit of this. It's okay. And then with heroes, it's like, okay, don't think that grapefruit is this magical fruit that's going to change your life. If you enjoy eating a grapefruit here and there have some grapefruit, you get your vitamin C, and there's some value there.

[00:24:14.130] – Allan
But it's not going to make your waistline go smaller just because you're eating a lot of it.

[00:24:18.680] – Dr. Davis
Right. And I think, as we said, as I keep saying, weight management is an unbelievably, complex phenomenon, and to think that we can boil it down to a specific food, that whether it's carbs every carbs and that'll be the solution or always eat great food, that's the solution. It just defies logic and common sense.

[00:24:37.370] – Allan
So now I want to kind of shift over to it does work, because that's the other half of the big promise from your book, and you boil it down to something I love is just principles. And rather than not a set of rules that says this is what you must do. But here's a set of principles that if you follow these principles, you're going to improve your chances of losing the weight that you want to. Could you go through your weight loss principles?

[00:25:03.720] – Dr. Davis
Right. And that's a crucial point, Allan, because I think too often a lot of diets that people have involved rules, hard and fast rules that say you must do this. You must eat these foods. You must never eat these foods. Only eat these on every other Tuesday, whatever it is, and people get bogged in and rules that they have to follow. And, of course, again, those kinds of diets, maybe people can follow it for a few weeks or a few months. But over time that's not sustainable.

[00:25:28.350] – Dr. Davis
And often these rules are not science based at all. So what I try to do is outline principles that is general ideas about what people should do. And what I like to say is that these are guidelines and things that people can do that they can tailor to their own needs and their own preferences. And that's, again, so important for people to be able to do that, to be able to have something that they can follow over time. So the first principle is that I say, eat a whole food diet, and that doesn't mean going to the store whole foods necessarily.

[00:25:58.060] – Dr. Davis
It means eating a food that's rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy. If you eat dairy and trying to minimize so called highly processed foods, things like candy, chips, soda, French fries, hot dogs, things like that. Now, notice I said minimize. I did not say eliminate entirely, because again, a diet that says a food is toxic or poisonous or whatever else you should never touch it. All that tends to do is to make people want that food more, to crave that food more.

[00:26:33.960] – Dr. Davis
But what minimize means is that over time, and it's not saying do this tomorrow if you eat those foods regularly, but over time and try to eat those foods less often so that they eventually become occasional treats and things that you eat in limited portions rather than things you eat every day. And again, this is a process that takes time. But that's going to a whole foods diet, a largely plant based diet in which you can under a plant based diet, you can have any variety of foods, so you don't have to eat specific foods.

[00:27:03.310] – Dr. Davis
If you like salmon, eat salmon. If you don't eat salmon, don't eat it. If you want to eat other fish, fine, whatever whole grains you like, you can incorporate those. But the point is that you can construct a diet of foods you actually enjoy and will eat, and whatever combination of carbs, protein and fats works, various combinations can work under a whole food diet, but that's the way to think of it, rather than thinking of a specific list of foods that you should and should not eat.

[00:27:27.760] – Dr. Davis
So I think that's one principle that I think is really important, something else. And actually, I combine these things are to focus on movement and by that I mean exercise, but also other kinds of ways of moving your body. One of the things I talk about in the book and is that exercise is an overrated way to actually lose weight. And I say that as somebody who's a huge advocate of exercise, I'm an avid exerciser myself. I'm actually my last book is called Fitter Faster. It's all about the benefits of exercise, so I absolutely encourage everybody to exercise.

[00:28:00.580] – Dr. Davis
But you need to exercise for the right reason, and that is to benefit your health and to improve your overall well being. Now, exercise movement can be in part of weight management because it can help prevent weight gain, help you keep off weight that you lost. But you shouldn't look to weight to exercise necessarily as a way to lose weight. And too often people do that. So that's why movement is an important part of weight management. But I think it's important caveat there is we need to have the right expectation when we exercise so that we don't expect it to do something that usually I can't do.

[00:28:37.400] – Dr. Davis
So movement is an important part of an overall weight management strategy for that reason. For the reason, I just said. Also getting enough sleep. That's something that's often overlooked. But a number of studies show that people who get inadequate amounts of sleep are more likely to put on weight, to be obese. And there are a number of theories as to why that's true. But the studies are pretty compelling, and so I think it's all the more reason, in addition to the health benefits of getting enough sleep, as to why in paying attention to our sleep and our sleep, hygiene is very important.

[00:29:07.580] – Dr. Davis
And then Stress. Trying to Control Stress. Again, there are studies that show that people who are under more stress are more likely to eat more. And many of us know this from our own experience that we tend to engage in stress or emotional eating and to eat foods that are not good for us when we're under stress. And also there's studies having to do with the hormone cortisol. The stress releases the hormone cortisol, which make us more likely to put on to store fat, particularly abdominal fat.

[00:29:38.200] – Dr. Davis
So that's why controlling stress through meditation, relaxation, yoga, other methods can be a crucial part of a weight management program. Another element is something you and I talked about earlier and that's tracking what you eat that's so important to do. I think that's crucial. You don't have to do it all the time permanently. But I think certainly at the beginning and during periods where periods you may be struggling to track everything you eat. And again, not just what you ate, but when you ate it with whom you ate, how you felt so that again, you can over time, look at what the patterns are of your eating and make changes if necessary.

[00:30:16.360] – Dr. Davis
Sometimes people don't like to do this because they feel ashamed of how much they are or they lie to themselves. And I think when people do that they're only doing themselves with this service. This should be an exercise in putting everything down to giving yourself as much information as you can. So if you have full information, you can use that information in a way that's going to help you going forward. So I think tracking what you eat is crucial. And again, studies show that to be the case. What I call strategic planning.

[00:30:44.630] – Dr. Davis
And by that, I mean, and planning for the inevitable challenges and setbacks are going to come with weight management. We all know that anybody who's tried this, there are challenges every day to staying on track, and we fall off the wagon for all kinds of reasons because job or family or other emergencies get in the way that prevent us from staying on track. So the point with strategic planning here is to have a strategy in place to help us when those inevitable challenges do occur. One thing I like to talk about are if then statements that we have for ourselves.

[00:31:21.780] – Dr. Davis
So, for example, we know, for example, you have a temptation when you're in line at the checkout on your work to try to get foods. You know, you don't want to eat candy or chips or something you have. If then statements ready. If I am tempted to get candy bars or chips, then I will pull out the snacks I brought with me that are carrot sticks or something else. If I tend to overeat at restaurants and we know that often, they're giant portions and that people tend to eat what's in front of them.

[00:31:55.020] – Dr. Davis
If I tend to do that, then I will get a doggie bag at the beginning of the meal and put half the food and the bag to take home before I eat. So the point is that there are automatic actions that we have ready to go almost like auto technology when we veer out of a Lane, it pulls us back in automatically, so we don't have to think about it. We're ready, we're prepared for these occurrences, and we're ready to act. And likewise, when we kind of fall out of our lanes, we kind of get off track.

[00:32:25.140] – Dr. Davis
We have ways of talking to ourselves to say if I get off track and I won't blame myself, I won't say I'm a failure, I won't give up. I'll say, you know what? I'm just going to start again and keep going. And so what research shows that people that can do that kind of self talk that can have those if in statements, when they do inevitably fall off track, they can get back on track and keep going. And that's so the point is to have this kind of planning in place so that we are ready and prepared for the inevitable challenges that do occur.

[00:32:53.710] – Dr. Davis
And we can keep going. And then finally, I talk about calling the cavalry, sometimes doing all these things ourselves. We need more help. They helped a certain extent, but we need extra help. And so there are certain things we can do to get extra help. And one that I talk about, it's something called intensive behavioral therapy, and what that is basically is listening to help professionals, whether their physicians, nurse practitioners, dietitians, to offer a certain kind of therapy called intensive behavioral therapy that helps us around things such as food planning, exercise, dealing with different kinds of barriers that we may and helping us overcome those barriers.

[00:33:36.030] – Dr. Davis
So basically helping us to manage the process of weight management. And this can occur in person. It can occur online. There's certain commercial programs like NUM and others that incorporate elements of behavioral therapy so that you can get it in various ways. But that can be very helpful to people, sometimes to get help from professionals to help them get on track and stay on track. And then for some people, surgery can be an option for people who have above a certain BMI who qualify. Surgery can be very beneficial, bariatic surgery.

[00:34:07.290] – Dr. Davis
There are various forms of it. It's not for everybody. And certainly people need to carefully weigh the risks and benefits because there are risks involved. But for certain people, it can be very beneficial. It can help them lose a substantial amount of way, keep that weight off and decrease their risk of certain conditions like diabetes. Surgery can be something that's very beneficial for certain people as well. So I think people shouldn't be afraid. I guess the point there is people shouldn't see his weakness, they shouldn't see it as failure or anything else.

[00:34:36.210] – Dr. Davis
If they say, you know what? I'm trying everything I can on my own, but I need some extra help. So I need to call in some professionals to help me take the next step. And that's something people should be ready to do if they find that what they're doing on their own isn't sufficient.

[00:34:49.080] – Allan
Yes, Dr. Davis, I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:34:59.380] – Dr. Davis
well, for me, I guess I would say mine aren't necessarily Earth shattering, and they're not necessarily surprising. But for me, at least personally, the three that I would say would be the first would be movement moving your body. As I said, I'm a big advocate of exercise for all kinds of reasons. I like to say that if there were a pill that could do all the things that exercise can do, everything from reducing risk of heart disease and cancer to improving your sex life, we'd all be clamoring for it.

[00:35:26.160] – Dr. Davis
So I think finding a way to move your body regularly, and that can be any number of things, but anything, whether you're walking to hiking, to dancing, to playing pickleball, whatever it might be that you enjoy, that you can sustain that you can keep doing that's really important. It's crucial for our health. And as I say, it's important for our weight, not necessarily to help us lose weight, but to stay at a healthy weight and to prevent weight gain. So movement would be the first thing I would say.

[00:35:53.850] – Dr. Davis
The second thing would be our diet healthy eating. And again, we've talked earlier about what that means. It's not complicated. It's not following a lot of rules. It doesn't mean you have to buy designer foods. It's a fairly straightforward process. It's focusing on your overall eating pattern. And by the way, it's not just what you eat, but it's also enjoying food with other people. I think that's so important that's an important part of healthy eating to me, and often certain diets that are too restrictive. We're involved fasting to me often take away the joy of eating, take away the pleasure of enjoying our food with other people.

[00:36:29.970] – Dr. Davis
So eating healthful foods and enjoying that food with other people would be a second principle that I would say. And the third I mentioned earlier is sleep. I think too often this is overlooked sadly, in our society. It's a badge of honor for people who say I only sleep five or 6 hours a night. I only need a little bit of sleep well, I think that's unfortunate that people say that and make us think that's something admirable, because it's not. For most of us, we need seven to 9 hours of sleep and that we often don't realize the negative effects that two little sleep have on our health and our wellbeing.

[00:37:00.200] – Dr. Davis
And so I think to focus more on sleep hygiene. Putting away the tablet, putting away the iPhone getting to sleep earlier, focusing on good sleep hygiene is crucial, again, not only for our health, but also for weight management. So again, that's something that I think many of us don't focus on enough.

[00:37:17.290] – Allan
Thank you for that. If someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, SuperSized Lies, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:37:25.160] – Dr. Davis
My website, Healthyskeptic.com. I have on there more about the book. More about Me. I have a number of videos I've created so that's a good place to start.

[00:37:34.020] – Allan

[00:37:35.000] – Dr. Davis

[00:37:36.010] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/505, and I'll be sure to have a link there in the show, notes.

[00:37:42.930] – Allan
Dr. Davis, thank you. So much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:37:46.220] – Dr. Davis
It's been a real pleasure, Allan. Thank you so much.

Post Show/Recap

[00:37:52.510] – Allan
Hey, Raz.

[00:37:54.180] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, I just have to say, I love the title of his book, Super Sized Lies and The Myths of Weight Loss and The Truth. That's a pretty heavy title. Perfect.

[00:38:07.120] – Allan
Yeah. The thing I get to is everybody wants something simple. They want a rule of thumb. Just tell me one thing. Just tell me one thing. What can I eat? What can I not? That's the one rule. And people want to give you rules. If I can give you a rule and I can make money doing it, they give you a rule. So a lot of personal trainers will say, Calories in calories out. You got to get in the gym. You got to have a gym membership.

[00:38:34.320] – Allan
You got to get in the gym. We got to work out the three times per week that you're going to train with me. But that's not enough. You got to come in here another three times a week and be doing that cardio that I told you to do and then go low fat and just eat what you want and you'll be fine. And then if you get in there and you're not losing the weight, it's like what you must be eating too much because I'm working you.

[00:38:56.330] – Allan
And you know what? You're working hard than gym. And they're like, I'm working hard in the gym and you're eating too much. It's like, Well, I'm hungry because I'm working in the gym.

[00:39:07.240] – Rachel
Yeah. Calories in Calories out is probably the most common myth that he had highlighted. And it's one I've heard. And I continue to hear to this day.

[00:39:16.360] – Allan
And the problem with it is it's a myth over the long term.

[00:39:23.020] – Rachel

[00:39:23.570] – Allan
It's not a myth myth because it's true.

[00:39:25.910] – Rachel
You're right.

[00:39:26.690] – Allan
It is absolutely true. If you eat more calories than you are burning, you're going to gain weight. The problem is. And if you're eating fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. The problem is your body is not a closed system. So when you sit there and eat less, your body's going to sit there and say, you know, something's going on in Rachel's life, and she can't get enough food for us to do the things we want to do. And we want to save the brain.

[00:39:53.930] – Allan
You want to save the liver, we want to save the kidneys. And what can we get rid of? What can we reduce? And it says, oh, well, yeah, we got some of this fat here, but we want to hold on to that, because if she goes long term without food, we're going to be screaming. You're going to be struggling. So let's let go of a little muscle because it's burning more calories. So you're in the gym working and you're not putting on any muscle or anything you might be gaining weight, but it's not muscle.

[00:40:18.460] – Allan
And then it's going to say, Well, let's reduce the size of the spleen and cut out our immune system. Let's do a little bit of work here and cut off some of our reproductive strength because we have no need to bring babies into this world if there's not enough food. And so sometimes you gotta just coax your body to understand, yes, there is enough food, good high quality nutritious food for us to survive and do well and thrive. And then at that point, your body can sit there and say, you know, yeah, we could use some of this body fat when during those periods of time when we don't have enough food.

[00:40:52.630] – Allan
But we know there's plenty of food because she eats.

[00:40:57.210] – Rachel
Right. We always have plenty enough food. We don't often feel the hunger. And we go through each day. We had breakfast at a certain time, lunch at a certain time, afternoon snack, dinner at a certain time, like we got plenty of food to do what we need.

[00:41:11.820] – Allan
And here's the interesting thing is, those meal times, there's actually no magic to them. There's no reason, we eat that way because that's how the work day was scheduled. You ate before you went to work, they gave you a lunch break. You ate a lunch and then ate after you got through with work. And then along the way, just unions and what not stepped in and says we should probably let them take a 15 minutes break. So there was a morning snack and an afternoon snack.

[00:41:39.180] – Allan
And quite literally, the five six meals a day is built around a work day in an office or a factory. It has absolutely nothing to do with your metabolism and how your body was designed. In many cases, you might go the whole morning without having to eat food because you just didn't have enough the day before. And you've got to walk 9 miles to where you can get honey or roots or kill a rabbit or a bear. And that's going to take a little bit of time.

[00:42:07.540] – Allan
And then you do it. You carry it home and you can prepare it and you Cook it and then you eat it. So you might only have one big meal each day, or you might be able to nibble on berries and things along the way. And then you go fishing, you catch some fish and you eat those fish. But it was never meant for us to sit down and eat five meals a day. And the premise behind that was when you're trying to catch calories, you get hungry by having you eat more often, you feel like you're not as hungry all the time.

[00:42:35.470] – Allan
That's all that's about. So those are myths that were built out of people were getting fatter and they knew the scientists and everything looking at it, they're eating more. We eat more than we ever did. History. because food got easier and easier, got more calorie dense and less nutritionally dense. And that, to me, is the real key to all of this. The quality of your food is more important than the amount of food.

[00:43:07.510] – Rachel
Well, I love that Dr. Davis mentioned that he said he suggested that we track what we eat and not get hung up so much on the calories because he don't need to worry about the calories in calories out equation. But to track what we eat, and the real light bulb moment for me was because then you can identify patterns of what you're eating according to certain moments in your life. If you're always stressed, some people like he had mentioned may reach for a donut or a cookie after dinner at night, it becomes a habit.

[00:43:40.200] – Rachel
And if you can kind of monitor the food that you're eating and how much and when and what for.

[00:43:45.900] – Rachel
Then you might be able to get a little insight that you could then use to change or make healthier choices.

[00:43:51.520] – Allan
Because the personal trainer is selling you the calories in calories out model makes sense because that's where they sell training. As a coach, I stepped back and say, okay, why does that not work? If you sit there and I said, if you did the math and said, okay, I'm burning 2500 calories and I'm eating 2000. I should lose 1 lb per week every week for the rest of my life till I'm down to zero.

[00:44:16.450] – Allan
And we all know that doesn't work. We all know that doesn't work. It's never that straight line ever. And so the reality of it is, if you're just selling burning calories as a model, you got to keep selling it. Whereas we know a man or a woman, we get over 40 or 50. Our metabolism seems to just stop and it doesn't stop, stop. But it's kind of one of those kind of sets of the harder we work to get our metabolism up, if you will, the harder it is, and the more we seem to want to eat and that's our body trying to protect itself.

[00:44:53.850] – Allan
So taking a little bit of time to just go about this in a smart way, like you said, the logging and understanding. Okay, when I eat this pizza or hamburger or hot dog or whatever, the next day, my body weight is higher. I look in the mirror and my cheeks and neck are puffy and my skin just doesn't look as good. So I know staying hydrated, eating high quality food, making sure I'm getting an protein for me. Those are keys. If I'm going to keep myself feeling good and energized, then that's when you give your body the right foods and you have enough energy, then it's a little bit easier to just kind of poke out or net nudge your body to say, okay, it's safe to let some of this body fat go, and then it will and then it will stop.

[00:45:50.690] – Allan
You got to let it set. And then you got to start poking at it again. Give it the general nudges. And then your body. In the terms I would just say you have to coax your body to lose weight because it doesn't want to.

[00:46:02.820] – Rachel
Yeah. Well. And also, Dr. Davis mentioned the importance of sleep and stress because when we don't get enough sleep and when we are under higher stress, our body is not functioning in its optimal fashion. And stress not only somehow makes us want to eat more, we choose the foods that we probably shouldn't choose, the candies and the rich home cooked foods. But it's just a habit. And then we have a higher cortisol level as well. And so our body is not wanting to release any of that again in the same way.

[00:46:41.650] – Rachel
So just knowing your sleeping habits and your stress levels, just be aware of what you're doing during that time.

[00:46:48.520] – Allan
Yeah. Because what's happening there is when you're in that stress situation, whether it was sleep and not getting enough sleep or just really in a high stress environment is that that cortisol is basically catabolic. So it's tearing down your muscle mass. It's basically doing a lot of things that are not good. Be great if you were being chased by a bear, you want cortisol, you want all those adrenals. But you don't want that in a general sense, day to day, chronically. And what we're doing with the foods that we're choosing is we are pumping our body now with dopamine.

[00:47:22.480] – Allan
So it creates that environment of a feeling, happy, comfortable. And so those comfort foods, whatever your comfort food is, you're turning to it to get that dopamine to get that reward. And it feels good. So of course, all doesn't feel good. Dopamine does. And so you get into that cycle. Of course, all hit dopamine. Of course, all hit hit dopamine. And that's the cycle, whether it's Donuts, pizza, candies, whatever it is, it's just that cycle. And when you start to recognize it, it's like, Why did I eat those Donuts yesterday?

[00:47:59.700] – Allan
And then you realize, oh, well, my boss yelled at me and I thought I was going to get fired the day before, the kids, for one reason or another were just assholes today. They didn't want to put on their clothes. They didn't want to get ready for school. They didn't want to do anything. And now I'm late for work. And my boss is already mad at me. And so I don't have time to make breakfast. I'll just stop at the Dunkin Donuts and get a coffee, and then you buy two Donuts, and it's like, why did that happen?

[00:48:29.380] – Allan
You see the story. So the logging what you eat and paying attention to how you felt is going to give you those subtle clues to know where those breaks are and then taking the deep breath, avoiding on Donuts drive through when you're in that position because you might just well be able to pull in order your hot black coffee and move about. But if you're in a stress position and you're looking and they got the smell and at the back end of that place at the drive through, they make sure you can smell it.

[00:49:06.940] – Allan
You end up ordering a couple of them. And that's all by design.

[00:49:11.960] – Rachel
I just want to throw in exercise as an alternate way to get your dopamine hit. All of us runners. We are happy runners. We have the runners high, like they talk about, which is essentially dopamine hits. But also, people feel a whole lot better after throwing some weights around in the gym, just a little bit of movement and just makes you feel so empowered and so energized and kind of kicks out a little bit of that stress in a healthier way.

[00:49:39.490] – Allan
And it could be something as simple as going into the stairwell at work, going up and down a flight of stairs for a couple minutes, and you're going to burn off some of that cortisol because you ran from the bear, you burn some energy, so you're going to burn off some of that, and then you're going to relax. And I'm not saying work up a sweat unless you're and you're that upset.

[00:50:02.980] – Rachel
And yeah, you could.

[00:50:05.070] – Allan
But up and down the stairs a little another technique. And my boss would call me. And if you come to my office, that was never, never, ever, ever a good thing.

[00:50:14.610] – Rachel
No, never. No.

[00:50:16.770] – Allan
That come to my office call was just, ugh.

[00:50:20.490] – Rachel
It's just like being called to the principal's office when you're a kid.

[00:50:23.580] – Allan
No, I wasn't afraid of the principal. Called your boss is like, ugh, this more work. This is going to be like who did I upset today? Who didn't I upset today? And then it was like, So what I would do when I go get on the elevator, I would just start doing the box breathing. You know, I'm going up two flights and I could have walked up the stairs.

[00:50:45.470] – Allan
But I said, no, I'm going to delay it because they see me coming off the elevator. That's what they expect. They don't expect me to go up the stairs. So I'll just go up the elevator and the time it takes for the door to close, just start doing some box breathing. 4 seconds and 4 seconds hold 4 seconds out. 4 seconds hold. You do those while the elevator is going up, you get about three or four or five of those in before the elevator doors open again and you walk out and you'll notice your stress level drops a lot just from something as simple as that.

[00:51:15.820] – Allan
So just recognizing the other things that are going on in your life will help you get past a lot of this. If someone says something and it's an absolute, this is an absolute for weight loss, they don't know what they're talking about.

[00:51:32.550] – Rachel
You're right. Good point. Good point. And I also want to point out to how individualized we all are. I say this a lot, too, that we are all different ages, different sizes, different points in our lives. And so there is no one size fits all. And if what you're doing is not working, I think reach out to you, to me, to whoever can help, because sometimes you just need a little bit of expert advice to help you get through your slump or whatever you're dealing with.

[00:52:02.820] – Allan
And the other side of it is if you hire a coach or you're talking to a coach, the coach is not going to make money making you sweat and burn calories. They're going to be paying attention to the other things going on. They're going to ask questions. It's not so much that coaches that we have the answer. It's just we have this objectivity in the conversation. It's like, Well, I can't help. And I'm like, okay, can't help what? Two Donuts every morning. That's what I see.

[00:52:33.690] – Allan
You're eating two doughnuts for breakfast every morning, and then healthy the rest of the day. And I'm like, okay, well, I see pizza in here. I see tacos. I see not that some of those can be healthy, but at the same time, a lot of folks will get into the moment and lose that ability to take a step back. And what a coach gives you is kind of that opportunity to have a sounding board, and then you say it, and then they repeat it back to you out loud.

[00:53:03.580] – Allan
You're like, aahh.

[00:53:05.690] – Rachel
Yeah, it's so helpful sometimes to have another set of eyes looking at you. For sure.

[00:53:13.470] – Allan
Alright, Rachel, anything else before we call it a show?

[00:53:16.950] – Rachel
No. This is great. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip up here.

[00:53:20.360] – Allan
I will. I will. Thank you.

[00:53:21.870] – Rachel
Take care.

[00:53:22.730] – Allan
You too. Bye.

[00:53:24.290] – Rachel


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Another episode you may enjoy


How to savor your way out of emotional eating with Dr. Lynn Rossy

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Emotional eating and binge eating can be very hard to overcome. On this episode of the 40+ Fitness, we talk with Dr. Lynn Rossy and identify some things you can do to change your relationship with food. We dive into her book, Savor Every Bite.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, I am really glad to have Haka Life Nutrition as a sponsor. Omega-3 is one of the few supplements I take regularly. But even with years of experience and having interviewed hundreds of experts in the health and fitness field, I have struggled to find a great solution, until now.

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Let's Say Hello

[00:04:07.770] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are you doing?

[00:04:09.480] – Rachel
Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:04:11.760] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Tammy has scheduled her like an open house party for Lula's on this Tuesday night, as we're recording this. So our Tuesday afternoon from like three to six. So we're going to have a bunch of people coming over the house. So she's got Lula's ready to go. And now it's just making sure that we get the health department check and then, you know, figure out how we're going to take credit cards and set up our online booking.

[00:04:37.630] – Allan
So now it's more that backoffice stuff she's got the front of house ready.

[00:04:43.620] – Rachel
Wow. How exciting. That'll be fun.

[00:04:46.330] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah. So she's had some monthly guests, you know, longer term guests come in and that's giving her some feedback on, you know, this and that. And so we picked up on a few things and found things. You know, it's like if you don't go up there, you don't know, things don't work. And so when they said, you know, the microwave works but it doesn't warm the food. And I was like, OK, well, I would classify that is not working, but basically saying if the light comes on and it twirls around, but it's not heating it up.

[00:05:16.650] – Allan
So we have a new microwave and the blender had to be redone or cleaned, and so, yeah, little tweaks and things like that we had to do up there to just get that a little nicer. And we learned it by having guests, so it was better to do that when we had the longer term guests going, so she'll be ready. We're going to take a trip back to the states in September. And then when we come back, it's like all boy, let's get these guests in here and let's open up.

[00:05:47.340] – Allan
So we'll open up in October as we get everything done. The health check and the credit cards and all of that.

[00:05:55.350] – Rachel
Sweet. That sounds awesome. How very exciting.

[00:05:58.260] – Allan
Yeah, it is.

[00:05:59.400] – Rachel

[00:06:00.000] – Allan
How are things up there?

[00:06:01.410] – Rachel
Good, good. I am exhausted today. Mike and I ran a half marathon yesterday and it was incredibly hot and even more humid and it was all hills. It was probably the trifecta of things that are just my nemesis. So I'm just chilling out today, recovering and resting and hydrating back up again. So I'm exhausted but totally satisfied. It was a wonderful, miserable day.

[00:06:30.550] – Allan
Well, do you feel like maybe you haven't completely gotten your bounce back since you did the Ultra? Because it's only been a few weeks since you did that. And like I said, I took off running every marathon I did. I pretty much didn't do any major training or any major running for about a month after. I go on walks, maybe a little jog here and there, but nothing nothing like trying to throw in a half marathon.

[00:06:55.140] – Rachel
Right. And that's kind of been the case, you know, since the 50 miler. I took a couple of days off of no running at all and then just a couple of miles here and there. So I've kind of ramped up slowly again. I did a ten miler, I think, a week or two ago, I think it was. And then this would be my first 13 miler after the 50. And so, yeah, I'm pretty sure that I'm probably still rebounding from that.

[00:07:23.070] – Rachel
And but I hadn't had any formal training. I just will go run when I feel good enough to go run, which is a lot because I run a lot, but I keep my miles short, easy. I just don't go out with any specific goal just to let the run come to me. So this was actually my first real big race since the 50 and long race, I guess since the 50 and for sure. But also I think we had probably think it was about in the eighties and the humidity was it's thick.

[00:07:54.750] – Rachel
It was like fog. It was like breathing fog. So it was just a miserable day. And then to add Hills on to that, it just made it all the more challenging. So, yeah, a little bit of both, I think tough, tough conditions, but also rebounding from the fifty.

[00:08:10.890] – Rachel
But yeah, still great.

[00:08:13.020] – Allan
Hydrate. Hydrate.

[00:08:14.160] – Rachel
Yes, yeah. I am just drinking tons of water and electrolytes as well. Just keeping it going.

[00:08:20.520] – Allan
Yeah. All right. So you want to get into the episode with Dr. Rossi.

[00:08:25.530] – Rachel
Yes, this will be great.


Text – https://amzn.to/3f7ytKu

[00:08:50.310] – Allan
Dr. Rossy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:53.220] – Dr. Rossy
Thanks, Allan. Thanks for having me.

[00:08:55.380] – Allan
Now I have a Facebook Group for the podcast, and it's a really awesome group. And occasionally I will reach out and just message someone that's new to the group or someone that's been around for a while. And I'll say, hey, what's something that you want us to talk about? What's something you want me to cover? And the topic of emotional eating, binge eating came up. And so I was really happy to see your book called Savor Every Bite: Mindful Ways to Eat, Love Your Body and Live with Joy.

[00:09:26.790] – Allan
And so I'm just really excited to be able to have this conversation with you, because I think this is a topic that doesn't get talked about enough. Most of the books that are out there for health and fitness are eat less, move more. You know, here's a diet. Try this one. Try that one. Try this one. Try that one. And it doesn't really get to the real crux of what's going on is this is not about our food choices.

[00:09:52.980] – Allan
This is not about any of that. This is in our head. This is a mindset thing. And it is something that isn't won over by reading a book or trying a diet.

[00:10:05.390] – Dr. Rossy
Right, I agree with that, I'm definitely not trying a diet. Well, we know that 80 to 90 percent of diets fail. OK, that's a big number, right? It might work in the short term, sure, but in the long term, you're not going to get the kind of changes that you want. You're not going to stay with a diet because it's not really going to fit into your lifestyle. It's not going to be sustainable long term.

[00:10:32.700] – Dr. Rossy
And so I teach mindful eating. Mindful eating, it teaches you how to listen to your own internal signals about when to eat, why you're eating, how much to eat, when to stop. And we've really lost touch with those internal signals by putting all of our focus outside and hoping somebody else will give you the answer. We'll tell you what to do. We'll give you the magic pill, you know, and it isn't out there, right?

[00:11:03.300] – Dr. Rossy
I mean, the diet industry is making billions of dollars on people that keep looking outside of themselves for a way of coming into balance with their bodies in a way that's both nurturing and pleasurable and healthful and, you know, and creates well-being for you. It's all really inside you if you learn how to pay attention in a particular way, which is in the present without judgment and constantly just coming back to what's going on right now, that's a skill.

[00:11:41.580] – Dr. Rossy
That's mindfulness. That's a skill that can be learned. And it's really helpful to have somebody teach you that. It's you can't read a book and go, oh, yeah, I'm going to practice that now. I've been practicing for many, many, many years. And I practice it every day because it's not something you just say, well, I've done that. Now I go on to the next thing. It's a part of your life. Mindfulness becomes a part of your life, a way of living, a way of being so that you're constantly being aware of, for instance, what you mentioned, the emotions that are arising.

[00:12:14.790] – Dr. Rossy
So when I teach people mindful eating, I don't just teach them how to pick up a fork and take a bite of food and put it in their mouth and taste it. But I really approach the whole person who shows up at the dinner table. The whole person that shows up at the dinner table has emotions like being overwhelmed, stressed, bored, happy, sad, angry, you name it. I mean, we all have these emotions because we're human.

[00:12:41.940] – Dr. Rossy
And oftentimes people that come to my classes say that they engage in a lot of emotional eating. And those emotions then can lead to binge eating. Right. And more serious issues that people can have around food in their bodies. So why are we reaching for food when we're sad?

[00:13:02.460] – Allan
Well, that's one of the interesting things, because I spend a lot of time talking to experts like yourself. And some of the experts will talk about, you know, what our ancestors would have eaten or how they would have lived their lives. And so we know they wouldn't have had couches and chairs and wouldn't be watching Netflix. We know that if they wanted to go for binge eating, it's not the binge eating we're doing today. We have over time gotten to a point where we celebrate food, we celebrate with food So, pretty much name a holiday that you celebrate and there's going to be a food that's almost immediately hit your head.

[00:13:42.660] – Dr. Rossy
And that's fine. Right. So it's great to celebrate with food. I love to celebrate with food. I love to celebrate holidays with food. The thing is, it's like people see these times as a time to binge. Here's a deal. I celebrate with food every day. I don't have to wait to a holiday to celebrate with food. I celebrate. I just celebrated lunch, right? I made some guacamole. I had some blue corn chips.

[00:14:11.580] – Dr. Rossy
I had some fresh tomatoes from somebody's garden. That's a friend of mine. And I sat down and savored like it was a holiday because, hey, every meal that we have can be a pleasurable experience. And if we know we can have the food that we want whenever we want it, we don't have to have it all now. What we live in is a culture that is taught us to deprive ourselves. You know, it's that binge depravation cycle, our diet depravations, binge diet cycle that we get in so that if you're given permission to eat because it's a holiday, boy, I better just eat it all now because I'm not going to be able to do it afterwards.

[00:14:57.180] – Dr. Rossy
And so we've developed this really unhealthy relationship both with ourselves, our bodies and with holidays. You know, it's really a shame. It's like, well, first of all, why wait till a holiday to have some great food? But second, why then ruin the holiday with this overeating and binge eating and then feeling bad about it, when you can just simply enjoy it, you might eat a little bit more at a holiday. I might do that, but it's OK because during the rest of the year I'm not doing that.

[00:15:26.700] – Dr. Rossy
And I'm not waiting until the holiday to enjoy and celebrate with food. I mean, it's it's a way that we get together and have community and we've lost the real kind of essence of that activity by making it too much about food and not about the experience altogether, the connection with friends and the sharing of meals and sharing of love. It's become it's gotten a little distorted.

[00:15:54.150] – Allan
Yeah. I guess the challenge and this comes up all the time, particularly with sugar, but with other foods as well, is that. It's very similar to other addictions, like alcohol or drugs or things like that, because we're eating our feelings where there's an emotional response and then there's a food and then there's a guilt response, food. But we have to eat. It's not like I could say, OK, you know, I'm never going to drink another beer in my life.

[00:16:25.010] – Allan
And I could, you know, get into a program, figure that out, get through the mindset of it, get through all of that and just abstain for the rest of my life. But, yeah, there's a vending machine probably within 100 meters of you, almost every moment of your of your day. Whether It's your pantry, your freezer or at work a break room or just walking around any public building the opportunities for you to have access to foods that you really know are not serving you.

[00:16:57.340] – Allan
And but should they call to you because they're generating this desire based on how they've been set up to taste and crunch and salt and sweet and and so they've figured out what we need and so it becomes almost addictive.

[00:17:13.780] – Dr. Rossy
Yeah, so food is everywhere, without a doubt, food is everywhere. Everywhere you turn. So one of the things that we've discovered in mindful eating is that when people engage in mindfulness and increase their ability to be present without judgment and with kindness and compassion, that their preferences change for food because they're finally tasting their food, right. I have people who I talk about the basics of mindful eating in my book, which is a way of kind of bringing mindfulness to the table.

[00:17:47.110] – Dr. Rossy
And a part of that is really tasting, you know, really tasting and slowing down and savoring your food. And when you do that, you will begin to notice things about your food that you hadn't noticed before, because most of us are multitasking when we're eating. We're no tasting. We're not really even savor. Savoring requires two things. One, that you're present for it. And two, that you're actually experiencing it and noticing the pleasant sensations, a lot of food.

[00:18:17.200] – Dr. Rossy
So people come back to my class after one week of practicing. And I have people tell me I don't even like what I eat. Nothing. I think people say I don't like anything I eat. I just hadn't noticed before. I know when I first started into mindfulness, I was a big Diet Coke drinker. Loved my Diet Coke. Well, I used to do a lot of things right. I've done the drugs and I've done all of that stuff.

[00:18:40.540] – Dr. Rossy
And as I've grown in my path of mindfulness, the last thing to go kind of was the Diet Coke, because I didn't want to give up Diet Coke. I wasn't trying to give up Diet Coke, but I was on a long meditation retreat. I was about seven days, nine days. I was in silence doing meditation and walking and eating. There was no Diet Coke there, so I didn't have it for nine days. As soon as I got out of the retreat, I tasted it for the first time and I couldn't believe it.

[00:19:13.480] – Dr. Rossy
I thought, that's really bad. That doesn't even taste good. Why am I drinking this? And so I haven't really wanted it since, but I had not been able to taste it. And so our taste buds really do get accommodated to a lot of chemicals, a lot of preservatives, a lot of sugar. And when you. But while I was away from it for just nine days and I came back and I was astounded at how my taste buds began to wake up and to really go, well, that doesn't even seem good.

[00:19:48.670] – Dr. Rossy
Or maybe it takes a few extra weeks for some people. But undoubtedly by week seven or eight, I have a ten week class and people come back and go, I thought, I like this and I'm kind of grieving that I don't like it anymore because it has been such a friend. But they discover new ways of eating. So mindfulness helps us to really taste, to really be present. Mindfulness also helps us how to be with difficult emotions.

[00:20:19.420] – Dr. Rossy
So I think the number one thing mindfulness does for us is teaches us how to be with difficult emotions without needing to turn to food, alcohol, shopping over or doing whatever it is you overdo it. I just named my favorite, you know. I mean, but but you don't have to do that. Mindfulness gives you an alternative and it teaches you how to be with emotions without doing anything. It's like emotions don't need to be fixed. Who knew? Right.

[00:20:53.800] – Dr. Rossy
Emotions are actually there to tell you something, to teach you something as part of the human experience of being alive. So when you lose somebody, you grieve. That's important. You need to feel that. When you get hurt by somebody, you need to feel that. You need to explore that. You need to like, let that move through your body and your heart and your mind and accept it and acknowledge it. And then it passes through. We've not been taught.

[00:21:24.490] – Dr. Rossy
You know, I like to quote I like to quote Doctor Mister Rogers from Mister Rogers neighborhood, which may date me or many others, but Mr. Rogers had this great show on television for kids teaching them how to deal with everyday circumstances. I think when President Kennedy got shot, he talked about death with them, with kids. You know, I like how to process what was going on in the world. And we don't do that very often.

[00:21:53.740] – Dr. Rossy
We try to protect people. We protect children. And so they grow into adults that have not learned how to process their emotions or be resilient with their emotions. And then they turn to other things or to help make them feel better. That might temporarily work, but then in the long term, creates a problem all of its own. Emotions are mentionable, they're manageable and they're natural and mindfulness, it take some work, right, it's not like it's going to just be easy, but it does work.

[00:22:24.970] – Dr. Rossy
If you practice it and you learn to go, OK, this is what wants to be here right now. This is anger. This is sadness. And you label it. Most people don't know how to label their emotions. And we know from research that when you can label your emotion accurately and really just stop. It just takes a second to stop and go, well, what am I feeling right now? You know, instead of reaching for the Snickers bar, what am I feeling right now?

[00:22:52.000] – Dr. Rossy
I'm feeling disappointed. Ah, I'm feeling frustrated. And automatically, if you get the emotion right, you'll begin to feel a little bit of relief because somebody heard you. It's why we go to therapy. Right? I'm now a psychologist. You know, people come to therapy because they want somebody to hear how they feel and we can do that for ourselves.

[00:23:16.310] – Allan
Now, I want to back up just a little bit, we will get back into the emotions and feelings, because I do feel that you got to get to, if you're going to solve a problem, you've got to get to the root. And so we will get there. But back to the mindful eating and, you know, being friends with food, I think what mindful eating does for me or did for me was it gave me the opportunity to pick better friends to be around.

[00:23:40.190] – Allan
And then you have the acronym and I'm coming from a corporate background for years, so I just love acronyms. I've fallen in love with acronyms and lists, but you put those in a book and you've got me. And so you have this acronym called BASIX, which is basically an approach for how we can do mindful eating. Can you quickly walk us through what BASICS stands for?

[00:24:04.550] – Dr. Rossy
Yeah, absolutely. So basically we start with a B, so B stands for Breathe and Belly Check. It's important to do both. So let's take a deep breath right now. Maybe even take two. So when you take a deep breath, you're activating your parasympathetic nervous system. OK, there's two parts to your nervous system, sympathetic, parasympathetic. Sympathetic nervous system is your fight or flight response. It's what's happening when you're stressed. And there's a lot of stress haters out there.

[00:24:42.340] – Dr. Rossy
Right. So you want to breathe. You want to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your rest and digest response. So if you're eating with when you're stressed, your body's not even prepared to take in food, your stomach isn't really activated. It's shut down so that you can fight or flee. Right. And so you want to take a few deep breaths. When you do that, you begin to relax. The body begins to kick in the stomach and the processes that will be needed to digest food and then belly check.

[00:25:16.930] – Dr. Rossy
Are you hungry? Are you physically hungry? If you're hungry, what is it that you'd like to eat? What would satisfy you right now? Take a moment to kind of think about that. If you're not physically hungry, explore what's going on. Because if you're not physically hungry, food is probably not the answer. So there's something else, maybe you're stressed, maybe you're bored, maybe you're wanting to take a break or whatever. And this habit is to reach for food. If you're not physically hungry,

[00:25:46.990] – Dr. Rossy
Think about what's happening and how better you can approach what's happening with something besides food, OK, on a general basis, I mean, there's going to be times we eat when we're not physically hungry. That's OK. It's not a rule. But in general, the body wants to be fed when it's hungry, not so much when it's not hungry. And then pick what you want, pick what you think is going to satisfy your taste. But allow yourself to have whatever it is that you want in the moment and then assess it.

[00:26:15.910] – Dr. Rossy
A stands for assess your food. What does it look like? What does it smell like? Where did it come from? Is it really highly processed or is it less processed? Not to be judgmental because when there's no good or bad food, but we want to be aware, we want to be conscious of what we're putting into our bodies. So we're making a conscious choice about what that is. Does it look appealing? Does it look like, oh, yum, I want that. Or, oh, yuck. I'm so sick of that. Assess your food

[00:26:44.680] – Dr. Rossy
and then S stands for Slow Down. In my many years of teaching mindful eating, I ask this all the time and about three fourths, three quarters of us eat too fast, which means that you've eaten, you're finished with the meal you're going on to the next day and you've not even registered hunger. You don't remember what you had to eat twenty minutes from from the time that you ate.

[00:27:08.620] – Dr. Rossy
And so you really want to slow down and savor. You want to put your fork down in between bites. You want to chew thoroughly, which is another one of the basics. You really want to take your time, because when you do, the body can begin to register fullness. If you eat too fast, your body doesn't have time to register that it's getting full. And that's the signal to stop eating. Not when the plate is clean, but when there's no more food anywhere in the environment. But when your body has had enough it will tell you it takes about twenty minutes to register that.

[00:27:43.390] – Dr. Rossy
And then I stands for investigate your hunger throughout the meal. So particularly halfway through I ask people to stop. Because sometimes we can start slow and then start speeding up and I'm like OK, stop halfway through, check in with your belly and see are you still hungry? How hungry are you, how satisfied are you with this food? And just do kind of a brief check in to notice what's happening as you're eating and really paying attention and being guided by those satiety signals as when to stop eating.

[00:28:17.860] – Dr. Rossy
And then C stands for chew food thoroughly. I love this one. Chewing is one of the most important things that we do when we eat. And a lot of us just take a couple of bites, gulp it down. Right. And so taking your time and chewing each bite until it's broken down will keep you from having a stomach ache. Number one, because your stomach doesn't have deep. Right? So when you chew thoroughly, your stomach is not going to have to work as hard.

[00:28:45.310] – Dr. Rossy
And I've heard of people really overcoming digestion issues just with this part of the basics. And also when you're chewing food thoroughly, you're sending signals to the brain that you're eating and that you're going to become start feeling full soon. It's great for your teeth health. It's also great and this is, I think my most important point on chewing is that when we chew thoroughly, the food is being partnered with the saliva in the mouth. It's being taken into the body as nutrition.

[00:29:19.210] – Dr. Rossy
Right. And guess what? When the body's been nutritionally fed it. Tells you it's had enough, so that's why when we eat more highly processed foods, the body isn't getting as much nutrition some of the time. And so it's not feeling like it's been fed. And that's why we want more food. If you can eat a whole meal and if you haven't eaten a meal that has any nutrition in it because there's some food that's pretty empty, then the body is probably going to tell you, I'm sorry, I'm still hungry.

[00:29:51.080] – Dr. Rossy
I don't care how much food you put into my my belly, I don't feel like I've been fed in the way that I need to be fed. And so you can begin to feel that. I feel that at family reunions because I eat pretty good. You know, I love to go. I love good food. I love whole food. I love the food that makes me feel good. Right. Which is less processed. It's just how my body reacts to food.

[00:30:18.320] – Dr. Rossy
And when I go to like a family reunion where the food might not be as up to my standards, I can eat a whole plate of food and I'm still hungry. And I notice that I'm hungry. But I'm like, when you ate a whole plate of food, I'm like, I know, but I'm still hungry. So, you know, it's something good to start paying attention to. And the more that you chew, even I get particularly if your food is more processed, make sure you chew it, make sure you chew it thoroughly so you get every little bit out of it that you can so that the body is getting the nourishment and nutrition that it needs.

[00:30:53.750] – Dr. Rossy
And then the last one is my favorite, it's savor. Savor every bite. Savor, you know, savor savor. I love food, I love to eat food and I love. So savoring is a big part of the eating process. I think it's a time that we can have every day, three times a day at least, where we can have a pleasurable experience and enjoy it and see that as an important part of our lives.

[00:31:19.250] – Allan
Absolutely, and the reason I like a lot of those is, is just as you said, the digestive process actually starts before you even put the food in your mouth. So you're talking about the assessing and just sitting there for a moment and knowing what your body needs and then sitting down, looking at it, smelling it. You're you're already digesting that food. You're teaching your body that, OK, we need to start firing off some different enzymes. Some hormones need to get to work.

[00:31:47.240] – Allan
We've got some food coming in. And then just like you said, the chewing and slowing down gives your body the time to react to what you're doing. You get the full nutrition out of that food. And you're absolutely right. When you're getting proper nutrition, you by nature eat less. It's just a magical formula. Our body was built to do it once the nutrition it wants. And if it's not getting it, it will send hunger signals.

[00:32:14.000] – Allan
It will keep you going. And the other side of it is if you're not getting the nutrition you want, then your health is impaired. And if your health is impaired, then your brain is impaired. And if your brain is impaired, then dealing with emotions and feelings and stress and all, becomes that much harder.

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[00:34:44.050] – Allan
You have another acronym and it's not yours, but you borrowed it for this book and it's called RAIN.

[00:34:52.780] – Dr. Rossy

[00:34:53.440] – Allan
And so RAIN is a tool that we can use to kind of get an idea between the difference between emotions and feelings and understand what we're doing in our actions. Can you talk a little bit about emotions and feelings and then walk us through the rain process?

[00:35:11.320] – Dr. Rossy
Yeah, so in my book, I talk about the difference between emotions and feelings, so feelings from the Buddhist perspective. Well, OK, so I don't know which aspect of emotions and feelings you wanted me to cover, but and we use those words interchangeably, right? So we were talking about feelings and the Buddhist perspective. And I bring this into my classes a lot, is that things are experienced as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Right. And so Buddhism breaks it down into those three categories.

[00:35:48.790] – Dr. Rossy
And it teaches us a lot about how we react to experience, because if something's pleasant, we want more of it. If something's unpleasant, we want less of it. And if it's neutral, we tend to fall asleep. Right. And so we can become aware of those patterns. Those are natural, normal patterns, but we don't have to act out on them all the time. Just because something's pleasant doesn't mean that we need to keep, I need more and more and more and more and more, because in that more is going to turn out to be something unpleasant because we've overdone it.

[00:36:19.330] – Dr. Rossy
Right. So what we want to do is just when something is pleasant, we want to enjoy it and let it go. When something is unpleasant, we want to experience it and let it go and when something's neutral. Actually, I think it's important to pay attention to neutral because I kind of see that as contentment. Right. I find a lot of contentment when I'm not being pushed and pulled by pleasant, unpleasant, pleasant, unpleasant or pushed and pulled constantly in this culture with things that are screaming at us to pay attention to them.

[00:36:48.010] – Dr. Rossy
It's like, oh, here I am. The shiny little thing over here, are the vending machine or whatever it is? Come come get me. You know, and we can know that the brain is is wired that way to do that. And with mindfulness we can step back and not be engaged in that constant being pushed and pulled by unpleasant and pleasant all the time, oK. Emotions are natural. Naturally occurring experiences are feelings that come up as a result of experiences.

[00:37:22.450] – Dr. Rossy
Right. So I have emotions that range from sad, mad, glad, angry, happy, confused. I encourage people to become very familiar with lists of emotions so that you become more familiar with what they are, because we don't have a most people don't have a very big vocabulary. We ask them how they are and they're going, fine. Like, well, OK, that's not a feeling. But there are just a lot of feelings that we can begin to explore through the practice of writing.

[00:37:53.740] – Dr. Rossy
In particular, we can explore the ones that are most difficult. Right. So rain is a meditation, but it can also be used just without being in meditation. You can work through the different steps of rain and learn a lot about the emotions that you're experiencing and getting some distance from them. So the R of RAIN stands for recognize. So you want to be able to label the emotion that you're having. Like I said earlier, when you label it, if you can label it, if you can name it and label it, you can tame it.

[00:38:32.090] – Dr. Rossy
OK, and research shows that there's all kinds of processes that go on in the brain that when you accurately label an emotion, there is the amygdala is dampened. The amygdala is the part of the brain that is reacting to emotions. And so you kind of dampen that down. So you're not as reactive. You get a little relief automatically from labeling it. A stands for accept and allow. We don't resist it. We put the welcome mat out for it.

[00:39:03.190] – Dr. Rossy
Oh, sadness. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but, you know, like you invited it and let it come in. Let yourself feel it. Let yourself acknowledge it and say the sadness is here right now, OK? This is what sadness feels like or whatever emotion it is. Allowing instead of resisting what you resist persists. What you allow fades away, and so allowing is also a really important part of the process and one that we're not very skilled at, as a whole.

[00:39:32.410] – Dr. Rossy
And then I stands for investigate. How does the sadness feel in my body? Can you just bring your attention to your body and notice. Well, I'm feeling a little sluggish, a little tired, I don't have much energy and they're all slumped over. And then what thoughts are going through your mind? What stories and beliefs are you telling yourself about the sadness? Because that's what's going to keep the story going. Oh, I have no friends. I'm never going to have any friends.

[00:40:00.460] – Dr. Rossy
You know, my life is never going to go the way I want it to be. Whatever the story is, notice the story and then begin to not buy into it as truth, because thoughts are not facts, they're just thoughts. And you can begin to ask yourself what else is true? Right. Is there some other way of looking at this? How is this impacting me to believe this particular thing? And there's parts of it that may be true.

[00:40:30.910] – Dr. Rossy
Parts of it that may not be true. Begin to kind of just investigate it and tease it apart a little bit instead of just letting it be this thing that has you gripped by, you know, in the clutches. And then once you've investigated fully, then you can move into N which is not identify and nurture. So we don't want to identify with the emotions as who we are. I am not sadness. There is sadness passing through. Right.

[00:40:57.350] – Dr. Rossy
If I can see sadness as something that's just moving through my experience, I'm not always sad. You know, sadness comes and goes. There's moments, I'm happy. Moments I'm sad. And in fact, there can be moments of happiness in the midst of sadness. It's like it's not don't allow it to become this big thing that completely encompasses you and put you into a box and then stepping back from it. You can even see the story as a movie going across the screen.

[00:41:24.730] – Dr. Rossy
I kind of like that analogy, right? It's like, so here's the story. You're watching it like a movie and I can be a witness to it and let it pass through and feel it and let it go and then bring kindness to myself. Right. Because ouch, sadness hurts. Right. And it's not to say that these things aren't going to have an impact because they do. But we can bring kindness to ourselves. I always bring my hands to my heart when I'm talking about this, because it's just this beautiful way of telling your body that you're listening, bringing your hands to your heart and saying, wow, I'm sorry.

[00:41:59.980] – Dr. Rossy
That's really difficult. It's sadness hurt. And what can I do to best take care of you right now? Do you need to go take a hot bath, light a candle, call a friend, journal, meditate, go on a walk, go into nature, take a bike ride, whatever? There's so many things that you could do after you've gone through that whole process to then engage in self care. In mindfulness practice, there's kind of two parts to right effort.

[00:42:31.870] – Dr. Rossy
And the first part is to recognize when something difficult has arisen. Right. And so we acknowledge it, but we don't want to like just like sit in it forever. We then want to cultivate what's skillfull. We want to cultivate what's going to bring joy into our life. We want to cultivate the other things that can balance the sadness, that can balance the difficulties and take care of us when the difficulties arise.

[00:42:57.340] – Allan
Yeah. You know, as I was reading through that section of the book and one of the cool things that you had in the book is at the end of each chapter is the savoring practices that help you kind of put some of this in motion. And I'll tell you, this is not something that's one and done. You're not going to say, OK, I've got this little tool now and now all my problems are going to go away and there's not going to be any more Haagen-Dazs nights for me.

[00:43:19.540] – Allan
That's not how this is going to work. This is going to take some training, some time to make this kind of a natural a more natural approach to what you do. But I would say one of your areas that you got into, I am a little bit more skilled at. And that's movement. Can you talk about how movement can help us with some of the issues we have with emotional eating and bored eating?

[00:43:43.480] – Dr. Rossy
And I love movement. In particular, I love yoga. So I do talk about yoga in the book, but any kind of movement. Right. So everybody can find a kind of movement that feels delicious to them. I would say move your body in ways that feel delicious, because if you hate it, you're probably not going to do it right. So really find some way of moving your body that doesn't injure you. Right. That's not going to injure you and that you can enjoy.

[00:44:15.550] – Dr. Rossy
And maybe there's ways to increase the enjoyment by doing it with friends are you know, there's lots of things that you can do to increase your enjoyment of movement, but it's so important your body wants to move, like if you check in with your body right now, I can guarantee you there's probably some stress. So right now, I would love to reach my arms up over my head and I will OK and take a deep breath. I feel so good.

[00:44:40.680] – Dr. Rossy
And then bring them back down again and just roll my shoulders back. Right. So I'm listening to my body. And I think if you listen to your body and learn how to respond to it, you'll notice that it's like, hey, it wants to get up and move. It wants to go outside and garden or it wants to go on a bike ride. And that try out a lot of things because the body does want to move and you will feel happier and healthy and you'll be healthier if you learn the ways to move your body that's going to be supportive.

[00:45:13.500] – Allan
Yeah, for me, it's always been lifting weights and what I found was, OK, so let's say I'm sitting in the office and my boss calls me and he tells me something I'm really not happy about. And so I'm like, OK, now I'm really stressed out. And so my afternoon workouts coming out and I already had something programed. I'm like, OK, I'm going to be doing these medium weights at a higher rep count. That's what I've been doing for the last six weeks and that's my program.

[00:45:37.860] – Allan
And I'm like, screw it. I'm going to four reps and I'm throwing a whole bunch of weights on that sled. And I'm going to do leg presses that are really heavy because that I knew at the moment that's what that was going to help me get rid of that frustration, anger, stress, all the different things that were running through me. And it would it would just the idea that, OK, I have control of my domain, I have control of this weight.

[00:46:04.860] – Allan
I have so much to be happy about is that I'm strong and I'm healthy. And nothing he says takes that away from me.

[00:46:13.800] – Dr. Rossy

[00:46:14.790] – Allan
And so, yeah, movement for me is is really the best stress reducer you can have. And, you know, runners, runners will love because they get out, they get out in a way and they're in their own little world. Running lifters are kind of the same way. I completely turn off. I'm not someone who's going to listen to music while I'm working out. I'm not someone who's going to be having a conversation with someone. When I had a trainer, he knew, OK, we'll have a little conversation before the workout.

[00:46:42.480] – Allan
We'll have a little conversation after the workout. But during the workout, Allan let's just lift it. And then as my total head, even during my rest breaks, all I want to know is how much weight to put on the bar for the next set. And that's it. And so that was my, if you will, moving meditation. And it involves lifting weights. Others will enjoy walking in nature. Others will involve running and maybe running in nature.

[00:47:09.780] – Allan
Others yourself, yoga, Pilates, any movement practice that you enjoy that you know is benefiting you physically. Well, it's also giving you kind of this release,

[00:47:21.670] – Dr. Rossy
yeah, and I like the idea that you do pay attention to your body, because I believe that any time that we bring our attention to our body through movement and become embodied, we're getting out of our heads and we're moving into our body. We live way too much up in our head.

[00:47:38.620] – Dr. Rossy
And so anything to get out of your head, it's a dangerous place up there. OK, we want to move down into the body and just experience the sensations of the body and the breath as you move, as you lift, as you run, as you do whatever and research shows that, If you're doing other things while you move, you don't get as much benefit from it.

[00:48:01.790] – Allan
Yes, I completely agree. I'm all unfocussed, you know what, you made a very, very important statement there. Our head is a dangerous place and it's a true statement. But what is really important about that is the reason it's such a dangerous place is because we really haven't embraced being our own best friend.

[00:48:26.090] – Dr. Rossy
This is true.

[00:48:26.990] – Allan
And you said in the book that you were doing something, said something, and then your husband turned around and says you're not treating yourself like you're a friend.

[00:48:35.060] – Dr. Rossy
Well, he said, don't treat my best friend like that. What he said. And it really stopped me in my tracks because I thought if I'm his best friend, why am I not my best friend? Right. I am going to be with me 24/7 every second of my life until I die. Do I want to be with somebody who's my enemy? Do I want to be with somebody who is bad mouthing me all the time and telling me I'm not good enough and telling me I made all these mistakes and you know, you're not this and you're not bad and you know, oh, my gosh, I can't believe whatever. It's like,

[00:49:11.540] – Dr. Rossy
That's not the kind of friend I want. So it really I mean, not that I hadn't worked on this in the past already, but that particular statement from him was very eye opening. And I really make a concerted effort to be kind to myself, to forgive myself of my foibles and whatever. I am perfect in my imperfection. Right. And I'm standing by that.

[00:49:38.400] – Allan
You know, I think the thing is, is, you know, if you sit down, you really think about these really close friends. And I was interviewing someone. She's going to be on the show coming up soon. And she called it they called it being big friends, not necessarily best friends forever, that kind of thing. But just you had this friend that you share everything with. And that's got to be you, too.

[00:49:58.820] – Allan
But the core of it is this. If you thought about just a really good friend and more than likely, if you've been friends with them for a while, at some point or another, they said something. They did something that upset you. And you're still friends. And you don't sit there every day and say, well, I remember that time they did this and they always do that and they never do this. And they all those words, the words we really shouldn't use, never, always, can't, won't.

[00:50:26.660] – Allan
those things when you break it down, if you just took a moment, well, OK, this is my best friend because. He listens to me. He's my best friend because I know if I'm in trouble, I can always rely on them to look after my best interests and the best interests of my family. And so you look at those characteristics of what you love about your best friends. And then you turn to yourself and you look in the mirror and say, OK, I know you'll always have my best interests at hand.

[00:50:56.440] – Allan
I know you'll always take care of my family. I know you're always going to be there for me and you're always going to listen to me. You don't have a choice. If I want to talk to you, you're going to listen. But if we started using the right words, the way that we would talk to our friends. And those in your movies you talked about, if they were directed by our best friend, they wouldn't go as bad as they might seem to go.

[00:51:22.880] – Allan
So I just really liked the concept of taking that step back and saying, is this how I would treat a friend?

[00:51:30.310] – Dr. Rossy
Right. And when we treat ourselves well, when we have a positive relationship with ourselves, we do other things to take care of ourselves. So who wants to take care of their enemy? You know, it's like if you're treating yourself bad, it's like healthy behavior doesn't come from that. Behavior that's self care. And kindness comes from a kind relationship.

[00:51:56.070] – Allan
Yes, and I think one of the ways you kind of get there is having that honest conversation with yourself and say, OK, what are the words I'm using? What is my inner dialog? How often is it positive? How often is it negative? In some cases, I think that that rain model that you talked about earlier would be a great OK, why did I just call myself an asshole? Why did I do that? You know, why did I do that?

[00:52:22.530] – Allan
And then you say, OK, well, what was the situation? And you recognize it, you allow it and say, OK, well, OK, yeah, I made a mistake. And then you forgive yourself. And then you're in a position to move forward and nurture the relationship and say, OK, I'm not always this way, I don't always do that, I just need to do it less and I need to be kind to myself.

[00:52:43.370] – Allan
And that's what I've learned. And so, again, the emotional part of it and the feelings part of it is hard. But I think being your best friend first is actually a really good way to kind of put that into practice on a day to day basis.

[00:52:58.510] – Dr. Rossy

[00:53:00.720] – Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:53:08.940] – Dr. Rossy
Well, so the first thing that I thought about when you posed that question is to connect with your values and a set intentions based on those values. Right. A lot of times we don't stop to consider what we value in life because we're so busy taking care of our to do list, you know, the next urgent thing has to be taken care of. So I'm not thinking about what's really important and what's really important to most people. I would say health is, physical

[00:53:40.740] – Dr. Rossy
Health is probably way up there. I mean, because if you don't have your physical health, you're not going to have anything else. Right. You're not going to be able to do much of anything else like physical health. So I'm going to use that as an example. Probably everybody has physical health in the top five, right? You have family, meaningful career, whatever. Get in touch with that. But let's take physical health, for instance.

[00:54:02.610] – Dr. Rossy
And then you set intentions based on that value that are non-negotiable. Right. So, for instance, doing something physically active every day is a value of mine because I value health. And that's an intention that I've set. I don't have to even think about it. I'm not waiting for my head, my mind to tell me, oh, go put on your walking shoes and go for a walk. I have a schedule in my day. I make it happen.

[00:54:32.130] – Dr. Rossy
Same thing with meditation. My body doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning, but I get my feet on the ground and I get to my meditation cushion and I and I do my meditation because I set the intention and intention, then begins to fuel me to doing the things that I decided I want to do. But you have to decide that ahead of time, because if you wait, you're going to be too tired, you're going to be too busy, you're going to be too whatever.

[00:55:02.220] – Dr. Rossy
And the mind is not exactly our friend when it comes to these kinds of activities. It's going to tell you everything about why you shouldn't. But if you set the intention, you're more likely to get it done. I believe strongly in intentions. OK, so that would be number one. And they can be whatever you want them to be. I think number two would be about movement. I do think physical activity is one of the best things that we can do for our bodies and finding something that on many different levels, it helps to you're not just your physical body, but your emotions and your thoughts.

[00:55:37.350] – Dr. Rossy
Everything is benefited through physical activity. So find what feels delicious and do it. And then lastly, I would really encourage people to relate to food as nourishment and pleasure, but not a fix. I'm going to repeat that, so relate to food as nourishment and pleasure, not a fix. Many of us have thought, I'm going to fix myself somehow with food. I'm going to fix with this diet. I'm going to fix with this food. And it's going to do this for me or that for me.

[00:56:15.320] – Dr. Rossy
And all these superfoods are going to do that. I mean, OK, that's all fine and dandy, but let's relate to it as simple nourishment and pleasure. Food is this amazing substance that we get to enjoy. But we've turned it into a chore. We've turned it into an enemy. Right. And we're very confused about it because of all of these ways that we're using it. Right. So instead of looking outside of yourself, look inside of yourself and listen to your body and what it tells you about what it wants to eat and in general eat in a way that both nourishes your body and you can enjoy and savor.

[00:56:53.480] – Allan
Thank you, Dr. Rossy. If someone would learn more about you, learn more about your book called Savor Every Bite or about the classes that you spoke about earlier, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:57:06.470] – Dr. Rossy
You can go to my Web site at lynnrossy.com and everything is there. I've got meditations. I've got yoga practices that are all free. My Eat For Life classes starting in September and there's still room in the class. So there's information on my website that tells you all about how to register. And I have varying levels of cost, depending on what your how, what your means are in terms of what you can pay for the class. And the book is on there and the book can be found wherever books are sold.

[00:57:40.910] – Allan

[00:57:41.810] – Allan
Thank you. Well, thank you, Dr. Rossy, for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:57:46.130] – Dr. Rossy
Well, it's been a pleasure to be here and I highly recommend being fit over 40.

[00:57:52.180] – Allan
That's the way to be over 40.

[00:57:53.360] – Dr. Rossy
It is. That's right. Thanks, Allan.

Post Show/Recap

[00:58:01.110] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:58:02.570] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a fascinating interview. You know, I guess I don't really take the time to realize how much emotion is tied into the way we eat, what we eat, when we eat. There's a lot more to it than I think even most people would think.

[00:58:18.660] – Allan
Yeah. You know, over the years, I've had clients all the way across the spectrum, some that just really didn't like food, to be honest, didn't find foods appealing to texture, a certain taste. And as a result, they had kind of put themselves in a very small nutrient box of just a few foods that they would eat. And just getting them to try new foods was like pulling teeth, you know, but they needed that.

[00:58:45.600] – Allan
They needed the nutrition because they wanted to, you know, get a little bit stronger. They wanted to put on some muscle mass and they just weren't getting the proper nutrition to make that happen. And then I've had other clients that, you know, yeah, they're very emotional eaters, you know, get home in the afternoon and they're in the kitchen opening mail and anything that's within grabbing distance, cookies, cakes, whatever, they're eating. And even though they know they're going to have dinner and another couple hours, you know, they're just bored eating stress, eating all the above.

[00:59:19.560] – Allan
And so, yeah, I've seen it across the board. But, you know, we've tied food to celebrations and we've tied food to being a solution to emotional stress and boredom and anger and sadness and frustration. And so, yeah, I was glad I was able to find Dr. Rossy and talk about her book because, you know, she has the savoring practices in there. And if you're in any way feel like you're emotionally affected and the food kind of one of those bridge things, you know, then it's something worth looking at.

[00:59:58.690] – Rachel
Oh, yeah. You know, you discussed in there a couple of different analogies or acronyms, one of them being the rain acronym about recognizing your emotion and accepting that emotion. And I thought that was really fascinating because, you know, we don't really label the emotion in the way that we could determine how to deal with it. You know, we like the standard cliche, we grab a pint of ice cream after a hard day of work or break up with a significant other or something like that.

[01:00:35.640] – Rachel
But we don't really think, you know, why do we do that? Why do we feel the sadness and suddenly the urge to have ice cream or something to soothe that?

[01:00:46.350] – Allan
Well, one doing the rain protocol is not a walk in the park. It's hard. It is really hard to take the time to have that kind of self-awareness to really to be that objective. So sometimes you might need a little help to do that process. But, yeah, I mean, I've had guests on, you know, in many cases have lost a lot of weight, had gone and done a lot of things like I forgot Rosie, I think was her name.

[01:01:15.810] – Allan
I had Rosie on. And she, you know, she said she was an emotional eater. She was really upset about food, but it made her feel comfortable. And so it was just an escape while she was eating the food, loved her. And, you know, basically where she put her head and she was so embarrassed about so many things and so emotionally tied to food that she was hiding food and she would eat her lunch in the stall in the girls bathroom because she didn't want anyone else to see her eating.

[01:01:50.190] – Allan
And so a lot of people do have these deeper, deeper problems. And that's something that a counselor would be appropriate for. You know, as a coach, I can explain to folks, you know, hey, let's try eating this way. That's try eating that way and see how you do. But most of the time, you know, I don't have any one that I would say I've never had anyone that I would say, OK, you're disordered eater, you know, so no anorexics, no bulimics, nothing like that.

[01:02:20.190] – Allan
But yeah, I very much binge eaters, bored eaters, sad eaters, stress eaters, in a sense, I was one of the stress eater. And then I found yeah. I, you know, when I was traveling and under a lot of stress, my meal choices at dinner were not as good as they probably should have been, you know, and that but that was just a function of, you know, I'm in a hotel, I'm in a bar, I'm in another town.

[01:02:49.020] – Allan
And so, you know, it's nothing just to sit there and say, OK, I want to go up to the bar or a beer, drink the beer, order some food. But my food choices would not have been what I would have eaten if i'd really sat down and thought about what I really need, what my body really needs and giving it the food that would serve it versus, you know, just what looked good because I was in that emotional state.

[01:03:13.510] – Rachel
Sure. Well, that brings up the next point. You guys discussed, mindfulness and asking those questions or thinking about what that meal does that meal really serve? Does it really answer that craving or does it serve you in that moment? You know, some people find it easier to follow a diet, you know, if you want to be vegan. Those are easy rules to follow. Well, essentially. But on the other hand, if you can't follow a certain guideline or a way of eating, then being mindful about what you're choosing to eat might be a better alternative.

[01:03:49.510] – Allan
Yeah, but I would preface it's not it's not really a way of eating because you can screw up any way of eating. You can be a vegan and eat tons of sugar and tons of crap. And you're a vegan and you're overweight or obese as a vegan. So I wouldn't necessarily just classify any way of eating as good or bad because there's still basically the understanding of nutrition and what it's doing for you.

[01:04:21.910] – Allan
You know, nutrition is building blocks for your body. Nutrition is energy for your body and just those two things primarily. Now there should also be enjoyment and that's what Dr. Rossy is really big on, is take the time to actually enjoy your food and taste it, taste every bite, make sure you're tasting everybody and you'll typically eat less because you'll feel full in time and you'll recognize that. And so that's one of her big things. One of the first rules she had out there was to slow down. Just to slow down.

[01:04:53.360] – Allan
But unfortunately, what happens, is people don't really you don't really think that out and you don't plan, so you end up in a situation. So it's like I didn't plan on this happening. And sometimes it's true. I mean, I have a client who got called in for work, for travel, and he wasn't planning on it. And it was an additional two, three days of travel that he wasn't planning on and he didn't have the food with them.

[01:05:23.330] – Allan
He would normally have carried snacks and things like that with him, and he found himself pulled out of his element. There's additional stress on that because it was he was now out of routine and then there was just the not being prepared. And so that's going to happen. But, when you can be prepared, that's really when you want to put it together. So I'm a huge, huge fan of meal planning. And while we didn't talk about that, specifically Dr. Rossy, a meal planning is kind of a way for you to make sure you have healthy meals available to you and meal planning can go all the way to snacks, breakfasts, all of it.

[01:06:03.450] – Allan
When I'm really, really strict on what I'm eating and I want to cut more weight like I was doing when I wanted to do the Tough Mudder, I literally logged all of my food in the morning. I called it pre logging. so I would get on my fitness pal. I'd say, OK, breakfast is three eggs and some ham and that was my breakfast. And I'm like, OK, what is that? I know what that is.

[01:06:23.370] – Allan
And I say, OK, lunch and taking the salad with some tuna. This balsamic vinaigrette I just made and you know, that's my lunch. What is that? And then I would look at what my dinners were. And if it was if I'd done the pre cooking on the weekend, I would have stuff in the freezer. I could pull that out. And what I'd find is sometimes I could actually even have two portions because my macros and my calories and where I was.

[01:06:46.650] – Allan
So as long as I don't go crazy and eat all the nuts I have in my office, then I can actually have two dinners. And sometimes that would be the case, but I would see it all in front of me before I started. Now, does that mean something wouldn't come up and my boss say, I need you to stay late or, you know, friend called and say, hey, I'm really going through a tough time.

[01:07:07.920] – Allan
Can we meet for drinks after work? Of course that stuff can happen, but it doesn't happen nearly as often as you would think. And so if I just had my days planned out, it was really easy for me to just stay the course. And then the other side of it is when you're going to go to a restaurant and you know you're going to go to a restaurant. The menu is online. Almost every single restaurant has their menu online, go online, find their menu and pick out what you're going to eat before you get there, because later in the day, when you're more tired, you're more fatigued, potentially more stress, and you're around other people.

[01:07:46.920] – Allan
Maybe it's easy to sit down and say and then they start calling out specials and it's like, I'll have the special calzones and, you know, all that. Whereas before you knew you were going to have the ribeye, hold the potato and just bring me extra sauteed vegetables and I have a side salad with that. And so lots different kind of vegetables, lots of greens and everything else and meat and it's all wholefood. And I can tell them, you know, if you put anything on the steak, what is it?

[01:08:19.800] – Allan
You know, I want to know what's on it. And then I say, just don't do that. Just cook a steak, you know? And then, you know, to me, it's going to taste great. If you just cook it to medium rare, it's going to taste great and I'm going to love it. So, you know, but if I don't plan that before I get to the restaurant and you get there and they start calling out the specials and someone orders this and someone else, that looks good.

[01:08:44.970] – Allan
That sounds good. Now suddenly you're emotional and making a decision versus rational when you were sitting there looking at the menu right after you eat your lunch and you weren't hungry, OK, I'm not hungry. I just ate my lunch. I feel great. And I look at the menu and I'm like, oh, I think I'm going to have the steak and vegetables tonight.

[01:09:04.530] – Rachel
Yeah, I love that whole idea of planning. I think the best part about it for me would be that you you've made all your decisions for the day, so you're not caught unaware or by surprised by the specials, like you said. But also then you have you can devote your entire attention to the guests, to whoever you're sharing that meal with and not have to worry about what you're eating or how you just ruined your day's calories or something else.

[01:09:32.120] – Rachel
There's a lot of comfort in that thought.

[01:09:34.470] – Allan
And then just know your kryptonite. You know, there's something there that, you know, there's going to be you know, they walk out and then what they've got the little they bring out. I don't know if they do this anymore because of covid, but they'll do it again. I'm sure, they used to bring out carts or tray with all the mock desserts on it, you know. Yeah, you're looking at it and, you know, it's like, wow, that triple fudge chocolate lava cake thing looks.

[01:09:57.050] – Allan
Really, really good. Yeah, you can say no to it because, you know, that's emotional and you know that and you've already looked at what your macro plan was for the day, and if you're more mindful about your food, you're getting more satisfaction out of the food and less need for the junk. You know, because at that point, you know, you're not hungry. And, you know, I had someone else on and I wish I could remember his name, but the basic gist was this is we have hunger and we have urges.

[01:10:32.870] – Allan
Now, hunger doesn't go away. It just gets worse. Urges go away. So if you can keep yourself busy. Urges go away, so if you find yourself hungry for Girl Scout cookies and you know there's a pack in the freezer, you know, those thin mints, then it's like, hmm, I know I don't need to eat those cookies. I think I'm going to go for a short walk.

[01:10:57.130] – Allan
Yeah, yeah. It's perfect to have a plan B. You know, just walk down to the mailbox or go round the block or something and come back or get out your craft project. I like to knit in the wintertime. So, you know, if you have a plan B, if you've got an urge, there's got to be something else around the house you could do or at work or whatever. That's a great idea.

[01:11:19.750] – Allan
And then just looking for those other triggers, the things that happen, you know, like one of my clients, she would get the mail when she came in and she'd go into the kitchen to open the mail. And it was just the everything's around her. And I said, OK, well, if they have cookies and cakes, just tell them why you're on this plan, because most of the time, the people in your household are your why.

[01:11:42.130] – Allan
So you tell them, I want to be here for my grandchildren. I want to be here for you. I don't want to be diabetic and have my foot cut off and you have to push me around in a wheelchair when we go places. I want to be there for you. So I need to do this for me, but I'm doing it for you as much. And so I need you to put the cookies in the cupboard. You know, one cupboard that your cupboard put your stuff in there and, you know, whatever you've got to do, you know, put a little note on there with your why so, you know, in your vision, your commitment.

[01:12:17.340] – Allan
So you walk up that cabinet, and you're looking at that cabinet door and there's your why. Picture of your kids and your husband or whatever, sitting right there on the door. You're less likely to open that door because your wife is staring right at you.

[01:12:33.650] – Rachel
I love that. Yeah, that's nice to have that reminder about how important it is to be as healthy as you can be for your loved ones and for your own future.

[01:12:44.870] – Allan
And then, as I said earlier, if this is something deeper, if this is depression, if this is bulimia or anorexia or something worse, if there's something really going on and these binges are truly out of your control, get professional help. Oh, you know, a lot of people don't think food addiction is a big problem because we're supposed to eat. And and unfortunately, you can have problems with food just as much so with any other thing that can be abused.

[01:13:15.200] – Allan
And this is your health. And if you keep pushing yourself down the line, all the metabolic diseases are going to come your way sooner or later. And if you don't get the coping skills to deal with what you're going through, you're really going to struggle all the time. There's no diet that's going to get you out of this. There's no exercise that's going to get you out of this. There's probably not even a personal trainer, coach, even like myself, that can get you out of this if you're truly having emotional difficulties.

[01:13:45.710] – Allan
Talk to a counselor. I actually saw the other day where there's a therapist you can actually call in therapy now. You don't have to go to a therapist office. They will actually do teleservices.

[01:13:58.340] – Rachel
Wonderful. So wonderful.

[01:14:00.520] – Allan
Help is out there and it's available to you. So if you feel like you're in that type of situation, reach out.

[01:14:06.860] – Rachel
Oh, absolutely. Great advice.

[01:14:09.680] – Allan
All right, Raz. Well, I guess that's a wrap for this week. I'll talk to you next week.

[01:14:13.760] – Rachel
All right. Take care.


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