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Category Archives for "weight loss"

January 31, 2023

Why you can’t lose weight over 40 with Gabrielle O’Hare

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If you're over 40, you've probably seen how hard it is to lose weight. In her book, Why Women Over 40 Can't Lose Weight, Gabrielle O'Hare explains why this is so hard, and she gives us practical advice to change that.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:14.990] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you?

[00:03:16.540] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:18.270] – Allan

My head hurts.

[00:03:19.460] – Rachel

Oh, no, why is that?

[00:03:22.610] – Allan

Well, I had someone that was doing the audio processing for the show. They've done it forever, sort of forever? Really? Yeah, since the beginning. But they sold their business to another business. And so it was the same people.

[00:03:35.000] – Allan

Sort of supposed to be the same people.

[00:03:36.360] – Allan

I think it was the same workers that were doing the work. And then they come around and they roll around like, okay, we're going to have to raise your rate. And they raised it like 60%, so I've been paying that, but it's very expensive, all things considered, to do the editing on this podcast. And they did a great job, don't get me wrong, but it was just a lot of money. So I was like, okay, we had a problem. We had a communication problem. And so I was like, I get all these emails from other companies that want my business. Maybe it's worth me having a conversation. There was one company, and I liked the guy we got on the phone, and the guy is sharp, and he was aggressive and wanted to really want my business. So we had the conversation like, okay, I'll give this a shot. And maybe the first couple of episodes, they did well. They did really well on. They were faster, they were cheaper, and they were doing good. Okay, this is good. And then they'd make a mistake. And to be a simple thing like leaving out the author's bio, all the files are numbered.

[00:04:33.150] – Allan

So a kid would know, okay, you don't skip file four. You just don't skip it. You don't skip file five. Go from four to six. There's a file there, you put it in there, and then when you're proofing it, you're like, oh, there's no bio. He always has a bio. And then I had one where I had a midroll ad and they put it at the end of the interview. Well, that's not where it's supposed to be. That's not where I told them to put it. And so there was that. And then lately there's just been some quality issues, and you guys have probably heard those things. I'm not happy about it, but it is what it is, the low cost provider. And I'm getting, I guess, what I paid for. So anyway, I decided, okay, I'm not going to go back to the expensive one because it's just way too much money. And I'm like, okay. I've tried this with GarageBand, which was free on my Mac, and before on my computer, I had everything set and I could actually edit a podcast pretty well. I have not been able to match those settings on my new computer, which is not new anymore.

[00:05:31.940] – Allan

It's a year old. I can't get it to sound the same with my computer now. And I'm like, I don't know what the problem is, but I just couldn't use GarageBand, which wasn't cutting it for me on the new computer. And I'm not sure why, but it is what it is. So I said, okay, I'll buy the more expensive software and then I'll just try to do it myself. But it's called Adobe Audition and it has all the bells and whistles. You can do a lot with it, but it's much more complex. The Apple product, GarageBand is very intuitive, very easy to understand. I switched to that from Audible. Audible was a free software that I was using. Again, the quality wasn't as good. And then when I switched to GarageBand, it was really good. Then when I changed computers, I lost that and like, okay, got to just continue to outsource all of them and not doing any of them myself. Because sometimes I'll get behind and schedule and I'm like, okay, I don't have time to send this to them. That's four days. I don't have time. I need to do it myself.

[00:06:25.150] – Allan

And so everyone knew I was going to be doing one myself and I couldn't do it. So now I'm trying to learn Audible and it's old dog, new trick kind of stuff. I'm watching a YouTube video and then I'm trying to do it, and then I'm watching a YouTube video and trying to do it. So I only say that to say that the quality of my podcast, this podcast might be a little off, has been off. It's going to probably be off for a few more weeks to figure out the software and get my systems and processes going. But I'm going to work on it. And so, yeah, it's just one of those things where I got a lot going on already. But I need to learn this software and get this done because quite literally, it takes me not a whole lot of time. And considering what I was paying them to do, it, particularly the expensive company, it's worth my time to do it rather than hire that out. So it's just been one of those things where I've been sitting there this morning watching a YouTube video, doing a little bit editing, watching a YouTube video, doing a little bit of editing, stop and start, stop and start.

[00:07:21.520] – Allan

I'm figuring it out, so just give me a little bit of time. These will get better and better as I figure out what I'm doing wrong and that type of thing.

[00:07:28.900] – Rachel

My gosh. Well, good luck with that.

[00:07:32.830] – Allan

They say you need to be trying to learn new things all the time.

[00:07:35.570] – Rachel

That's true.

[00:07:36.310] – Allan

But yeah, it doesn't mean it's supposed to be fun, right?

[00:07:40.080] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. Well, good luck.

[00:07:41.910] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:07:43.060] – Rachel

Good. Over the weekends, I helped my brother kind of move a couple of boxes. He shipped a pod over an eight by eight by eight pod storage unit that we unloaded and put into a more permanent storage unit until he can finally make his move cross country. And I was really worried about it about lifting heavy boxes, heavy furniture, all the awkwardness of moving again. And I'm so happy to say that I feel great that I am not sore. My back doesn't hurt. And my parents did okay with it as well because they were helping with a couple of their friends. And it went a lot more smoothly than I had expected, actually. I don't know why. I expected to be in a lot more pain than I am.

[00:08:29.970] – Allan

It is even with the weight lifting that you do I do. It is a different movement pattern. And you do have to watch what you're doing, because you're lifting something that's awkward and not necessarily bars and dumbbells and kettlebells are all built to be lifted. They're ergonomic as much as they can be. But, yeah, when you try to lift a big box heavy, you have to be smart about it and do it the right way. You probably learned a lot from lifting, but beyond that, you were smart about what you want.

[00:09:02.380] – Rachel

We were all being very careful, and it was just in the forefront of my mind about lifting properly and just taking my time. And it went really well. So I'll be ready for his next shipment.

[00:09:15.090] – Allan

I got to find people like you.

[00:09:19.410] – Rachel

Yeah, I'll help move.

[00:09:22.530] – Allan

All right. Are you ready to talk about weight loss?

[00:09:25.360] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:10:36.610] – Allan

Gabrielle, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:10:39.300] – Gabrielle

Hello. Thank you very much for having me here.

[00:10:41.260] – Allan

Now, the book is going to get any woman's attention if she's over 40 and wants to lose weight. And the name of the book is Why Women Over 40 Can't Lose Weight. Well, yes, but you also then give us a solution or at least some things that we can think about. Because the thing is, I read this and I'm a man, obviously, but I train a lot of women. I'm married to one. And so as I go through my life, I'm like, okay, this is real stuff, this is the real experience. I can be empathetic, but I can't experience it. And so I know that it's a struggle and yeah, you're watching your husband and the two of you start eating the same thing. Maybe he's eating more. Yeah, he's hitting the crisps and the cookies and all the other things and he manages to be able to lose the weight and you're not. That can be quite discouraging.

[00:11:32.170] – Gabrielle

Absolutely.

[00:11:33.090] – Allan

And that discouragement I don't mean this in a different way, but once you're discouraged, it's almost like digging out kind of thing, isn't it?

[00:11:41.840] – Gabrielle

Absolutely. I think it can feel like a very lonely place to be. I think a lot of the fitness industry is a lot of the marketing materials focused on before and after photos and success stories and you can feel like you're the only person failing or the only person who can't do it. And one of the things that I've noticed about women and men may well find this, but my work primarily is with women who were in the late 40s. They sort of can be quite hard on themselves. They don't realize everyone's having the same problem as you tend to internalize things and blame yourself for being lazy, for having no motivation for, I don't know, just being late. Just assume it's their own fault and it's a personal failing or it's a character failing and they don't realize that so many other people share the same problems. So you just have this lonely battle where you're really giving yourself a hard time.

[00:12:32.620] – Allan

as women reach this particular age group. For some women it happens a little earlier than others. For some it's a little bit later and there's no rhyme or reason for it exactly. You can ask your mother when she started change and you might genetically kind of fall in the same line. But women can start towards menopause at any age that a menopause, but it's around this time. And so at this point your body is changing and that's going to put some obstacles, if you will, in your way that you need to be able to think through and work through. And it's also a time when it's kind of hard to work through because there's so much else going on in your life. In the book, you mentioned six reasons and I wrote in my notes, impossible to stick to a diet. But I think, fine, it's not impossible.

[00:13:21.300] – Allan

If you approach this the right way. But what are six reasons that women really struggle with their diet? Because I think once they hear this, they're going to realize that's me. She's talking about me.

[00:13:32.950] – Gabrielle

a big one, is self neglect. And that's not an intentional problem. Women aren't ignoring themselves, but what happens over the years. You have children, you get married, you advance on your career, your parents can get older. There can be so many things that are vying for your attention and women quite often want to be the givers and the carers they're very focused on. They want to do things for the people, people pleasers, they don't want to say no. And that can all start to over the years just become a really big list of priorities and big demands on the time. And women have it all these days. We run families, we manage relationships, we run children, we have successful careers. We've got to cut some corners somewhere because we haven't got time to fit everything in and it tends to be that we leave ourselves and our own needs to the end. And that's why I wanted to call that self neglect because we've become so focused. This is a gradual thing but we've become so focused on looking after others we put ourselves last. And it's not uncommon for women to get up, make the breakfast, grab something quick themselves, not have time to eat lunch properly, and find that they're just grabbing snacks and end up with Ravenous in the evening and they just are running on empty all the time.

[00:14:50.990] – Gabrielle

And that's just leading them to make not bad choices because you're just where you are, but you make choices that aren't great for your health and great for your weight because you're just having to grab what you can when you can. So self neglect is one of the main ones and that really just comes from the circumstance of having really busy lives and being more prioritized and focused on other people.

[00:15:11.400] – Gabrielle

Stress is a generic one that affects everybody really. Again it's a gradual build over time. Your lives get busier and menopause, some people may or may not realize this but menopause can make it harder for you to cope with a managed stress so you can become more stressed at this time of your life. Work can become quite stressful. Women get along discriminated against as they get older or really feel the pressure that they're not as young and as attractive as some of the counterparts. So there's a lot of things that can build up the levels of stress that you're experiencing. But we know that when you're stressed it increases your body fat and particularly the fat around the middle. It can affect your sleep, it can affect your food choices.

[00:15:51.320] – Gabrielle

If people eat to cope with stress, emotional eating. So there's a number of ways that stress can then affect your diet and therefore your weight loss. Menopause you touched on and there are hormonal changes that are taking place. One of them is that another source of estrogen for your body as your own, your overall stop producing it is fat cells. So if your body can start to lay down more fat because it can provide you with a weak source of estrogen that it needs. Estrogen isn't just for making babies or having periods, it has many, many other functions in your body. So you still need it beyond that time. Another bit more scientific, I'll try and simplify it, but another way that you can create estrogen in your body is by your adrenal glands. So your adrenal glands have got two functions. They can produce your stress hormones and they can also produce your estrogen or a source of estrogen for your body. But if you're stressed all the time, it defaults to the stress hormones, which is default position. So it's going to fall short on topping up your estrogen, which then can lead back onto that cycle to the fast accumulation, particularly around your waist.

[00:17:00.940] – Gabrielle

So that's really what's going on with menopause over time. This one's going to be familiar. We live in a society where we don't eat because we're hungry. We eat to cope with feeling lonely, to cope with anxiety, because we're upset because it's there. And those can become very invisible habits that we don't notice that of topping up our calorie supplies all day long. And then another one is sabotage. You mentioned at the beginning about the husband at home eating the crisps and the kids can want pizza, your mother in law can want to feed you her cake, your colleagues can put you under a lot of pressure to eat the things that they've brought in. And I found as a sort of trained more and more women, that people that had a huge impact on weight and sometimes it can be well meaning. Someone has brought something in for a birthday at work and they want you to partake in it. Or other times your friends and your families can deliberately sabotage you because they worry how you may see them. If you're losing weights or you're improving your health and they're not, it shows them up in a negative light.

[00:18:09.050] – Gabrielle

So that can be a tricky thing for people to deal with. And then the last one is the fact that we are so heavily targeted by the food industry, by advertising for retailers, for fast food outlets, for apps, for junk food. We just do not realize how bombarded we are by messages that are persuading us to fill our trolleys, our cupboards, with those sort of foods. And that has a big impact. I've seen some data that suggests that in some supermarkets, more than 90% of the food on the shelves is highly processed. And the more we're surrounded by, the more of it we eat. So there is a bigger issue going on there when you think about these six factors that are really going to give us lots of opportunity to eat the wrong things and eat more than we need.

[00:18:55.930] – Allan

Yeah, and I think it's easy to see where that multiple challenges in there. And I think the only one I'd say that men don't have to deal with is the menopause, but we also absolutely. And when you start putting fat, then you are creating extra estrogen, and that's what creates Moobs and everything else that men deal with as we age and why we need to be fit and healthy ourselves. You started out this whole because I want to shift, because this is not all bad news. There's good news in this book, okay, despite the title, there's good news. You can in fact, to lose weight, but you have to do, I think, this one thing first, particularly for a woman that finds herself being the caretaker, dying the food and doing the things and stressed out and overworked and maybe somewhere along the spectrum of going into menopause. And that is your mindset. Can you talk about the mindset that a woman needs, particularly a woman that I think both of us, but that a woman would need going into this? I'm going to call it a battle front for right now, but what kind of mindset does she need?

[00:20:02.740] – Gabrielle

I've talked about having a priority mindset, and it's a shift where you become your own priority. And I've used those words together because quite often you've got other priorities in your life, your family, your parents, your relationship, your career. You've got to turn that around. But you become your own priority, and that's really important. Until that truly happens, you aren't going to be able to make the changes that you need to create a healthier lifestyle, to lose weight, to get more energy, whatever it is, because you'll relate to this. Changing your diet, doing more exercise, improving your sleep, reducing stress, whatever it is that you need to do. It takes effort, it takes work. You're having to flip out of your normal routine and make changes, and that's hard. And unless you're really, truly committed to making yourself that priority and your health and your goals, it's not going to happen. And one of the things that just to try and help people understand what that really means because it can be easy to say, yes, that's my priority, well, then you don't follow through. And you've got to look, maybe listen to your language when you shouldn't have eaten that or I should work out tonight, but you're not doing it.

[00:21:12.580] – Gabrielle

And if you're using language like that, then that's a sign that you're not actually really prioritizing it. You just pay a lip service to the fact that that's something that you should do, but it's not high enough on your to do list right now for you to make consistent action and consistent changes. And we can all do this when we want to. I ask people to maybe think back to a time in their lives where they've made a really strong decision about something that you've really wanted. It could have been getting married or starting a family, buying a house, getting a promotion at work. Everyone will be able to relate to something that they didn't just decide I'd like to do that. You think, no, I am going to do that. And it becomes really certain and really absolute. You don't even have to think about it too much. You just make this decision and you cross the line and then you are going to make sure that happens. You're not going to let anything stand in your way until you've done that thing that you want to do. And that has to be the same to make these changes for your life.

[00:22:10.140] – Gabrielle

And if you have had a problem with losing weight because you can't stick to a diet, then you have to be committed to understanding what your blockers have been in the past and learning how to dismantle those and create the new habits that are going to last you a lifetime. And that's why you need that priority mindset. Because without that the kids will want something, your parents will want you to do something, your boss will want you to drop everything you'll have housework to do. And we can make ourselves busy because we don't want to address those things for ourselves or we can let other people steal our time from us. When you become a priority, you then start to be able to say no me first, you just hang on a minute, I'll get around to you later. And that's the difference.

[00:22:49.910] – Allan

Yeah. There's two really big things that I think roll into this that I think are important. Okay. One is that you're not asking them to do more, ask you to decide they are the priority and they're going to do this first and do that later.

[00:23:09.120] – Gabrielle

Absolutely.

[00:23:09.770] – Allan

And the reality I think most of us sit there and say is, well okay, if I don't answer these emails this morning before I go into the office, is anybody going to die? No, absolutely not. Now does it make my little morning hours where I can sit there and have some tea and maybe biscuits and hang out and talk to the people at the washroom by the break room, now have more time to do that because I'm not answering emails. And maybe the answer is yes. But does that serve you better than getting this workout in or preparing your lunch so you have a healthy lunch available to you?

[00:23:47.160] – Gabrielle

Absolutely.

[00:23:47.900] – Allan

Function of prioritizing and it's not about putting something new in, it's about pushing bad stuff out because it's not priority and it's not really serving you.

[00:23:57.690] – Gabrielle

That's absolutely right.

[00:23:59.340] – Allan

I think that's a big part of this priority mindset. And then another thing you said when you put yourself first I know sometimes that can feel kind of selfish. Who am I to put myself first? And you can go into the airline thing and put your mask on things, but that just goes in one here and out the other.

[00:24:17.760] – Allan

But the reality is this if you love someone and you needed to do something for them, like, needed to carry your spouse to the airport. And I know the traffic that heathrow is like, insane. So you can the airport by 05:00 in the morning. Where are you at 05:00 in the morning? You're at departures dropping off your significant other. If your kids really need to be somewhere, like go to school or do this and they need to be there at a certain time, we have no problem dropping everything to make that happen. So the question comes up is, why wouldn't we do that for ourselves? Why wouldn't we schedule a workout and say, this is like a meeting with my boss. I'm not going to diss my boss and skip it. I'm going to do the work because I'm my boss. My boss said, be here at this time, and I love myself enough to make that happen.

[00:25:10.020] – Gabrielle

It's absolutely key. And they are the conversations that you have to be having with yourself. And that's how you're going to have to be figuring out how to just move your time around so that you can fit yourself in and make that happen.

[00:25:22.710] – Allan

You have a dozen priorities and you're trying to juggle or as you said in the book, spin the plates. But the reality is you only have one priority, and that's the plate you're dealing with right now. So plate means that it's focusing on you getting healthy and fit, because guess what? Your kids are still going to need you 20 years from now. Yeah, that's it needs you 20 years from now. And if you're not taking care of yourself now, what kind of shape are you going to be in then to do it then? So there's just a lot in that of having that priority mindset. A prit one. You, this moment, eat the right king. Or in this moment, do the workout, get it done, because you know the payoff is worth it.

[00:26:08.020] – Gabrielle

Yeah. And it's just it's making it simple, isn't it? And keeping that focus. And I like the way you said that in this moment, just that one thing. We sometimes have so much baggage we wrangle with ourselves and we procrastinate. We can just make those decisions quite easy and then simplify it, do it, get on with the rest of your day, go back to the rest of your to do list.

[00:26:26.510] – Allan

Yeah. Good.

[00:26:27.470] – Allan

Now, you mentioned earlier processed food or ultra processed, I believe. If my great grandmother walked into a grocery store right now, where's the food? This is not a food market. This is something else. Why is processed food such a problem?

[00:26:44.600] – Gabrielle

Okay, well, there's a couple of reasons, and one of them is the fact that actually relative to natural and unprocessed food, it's got a lot less nutrition. So the processing methods that they use to create these foods strip out a lot of the nutrition. They often not always, but quite often ultra processed foods can be low in. Protein. So you've got something that's low in protein and low in nutrition. And what we're starting to understand that is your body doesn't just need calories, it also needs certain amounts of nutrients. And if you're not getting enough nutrients for your body, then it craves more. So I think we've lost a little bit of the connection with food and what it does because food is just the building blocks of our body. We're constantly regenerating our skin, our organs, our skeletons. There's thousands, millions of functions going on all the time. And we need food and the nutrients that we get from food to do all that. So that we're now starting to understand that as we get smaller amounts of smaller concentrations of nutrition in these ultraprocessed foods, which are relatively high in calories, our bodies are actually sending a signal, hey, we've not had enough.

[00:27:53.400] – Gabrielle

Eat more, eat more. So we're trying to eat more of these foods that are actually high in calories to try and get the nutrients because they're so scarce. So that's one of the theories of why we crave when we overeat these ultraprocessed foods. The other thing is that they are deliberately created their recipes to be really highly palatable and highly pleasurable. You can't deny that a slice of cheesecake or a donut or a fast food burger tastes amazing. We all recognize that the appeal of those things, they're designed to be very intense in terms of the flavor, and they give us like a big sort of pleasure hit in our brain. And that, again, makes us think, oh, that's amazing. I want more. I want a bigger portion. I want it tomorrow. So it does actually, though, these taste sensations are a lot higher and a lot more intense than natural foods are, and therefore we want more. The other thing as well is that with, you know, if your diet is heavy in auto processed foods, you're going to have a higher percentage of calories from carbohydrates. And that's the sort of food component that spikes your blood sugar.

[00:28:57.840] – Gabrielle

That in itself causes cravings as you spending more time in fat storage mode. So it's not just calories that influence whether you're overweight or not. It's actually the carbohydrates because of the effect that they have on your hormones. So you've got this whole thing going on where there's not enough nutrition recreating cravings. And it really is very difficult then to control the amount of calories that you eat. That's the problem. Your blood sugar becomes really unstable and you're just constantly craving more and more, and you're just locked in this overeating cycle.

[00:29:27.490] – Allan

Yeah, I see it all the time. It's funny because you'll have this group that will say, well, no, you've got to eat low carb and this and that. And then before too long, well, the food companies figured out, okay, we need keto friendly snacks, and it's still processed. It's still refined stuff. And maybe it doesn't have sugar, but maybe not as much, but doesn't have any protein either. So it's devoid of anything that calories useful. Got it. And then over here, they're like, no, you need to be vegan, but we're going to make vegan hamburgers and hot dogs and vegan and duly sausage. And you're like, okay. The food companies know that this is a marketing ploy, and they know they play with you. And I had a guy on a long time ago, but the book stands out because the cover was so special. It was called the Dorito effect. And literally, these food companies have food scientists that their sole job is to make you eat more. Yeah, they're like, how do we make this so hyperpalatable that nobody's going to want anything else but this? And they're going to actually eat it so fast, they won't actually taste it after the first bite.

[00:30:38.310] – Allan

And I know, I've been there. I've eaten a whole equal sleeve of Pringles. It's a potato chips, as we call in the United States, like, just fat. And it's like, what did I just do? And I hardly remember eating them. It does draw us in. And so the more you can rely on whole food. Okay. And the way I kind of say this is if it comes in a bag box jar or can be leery, you said in the book, look at the ingredients and see what's in this. There are some exceptions. They'll freeze berries. They'll freeze vegetables. They'll ban meat. So there are exceptions to this. But if it's stable and can sit on a shelf and you see the expiry date for this thing is three years away, you got to ask questions because most of the food that's around the exterior of a grocery store in the United States, and I think it's the same there

[00:31:28.880] – Gabrielle

very much the same in the UK.

[00:31:31.130] – Allan

And walk through, and it's kind of the same. As long as you stay to the outside, you're mostly under the whole food stuff. It doesn't sit long. It has to be refrigerated. That's why all refrigerators are on the outside of the store, because most of that stuff has to be refrigerated or will go bad pretty quickly.

[00:31:46.520] – Allan

Now, in the book, you went through two things. You went through weight loss by counting calories, which I think is exceptionally hard unless you're someone who like I came from an accounting background, so keeping data, doing data, I can do that. My first accounting, when I was keeping up with my own finances, I was like General Motors. And I actually enjoyed doing that because I'm an accountant. And when I first started trying to count calories, it was like, okay, exciting. I was at the scales and I'm measuring everything, but I just know that that's not sustainable and it's not the way that I think we were intended to eat generally, because great grandparents didn't even know what a calorie was and didn't have scale. And somehow or another they managed to not… Processed food may have had a little bit to do with that, but beyond that, if you want to lose weight without counting calories, what's a good approach for someone to take to do that?

[00:32:43.540] – Gabrielle

Okay, well, I think the first thing to do is really go back to eating natural, unprocessed food. That's the biggest thing. And protein is really important. We tend to undereat protein and particularly as we get older, and this goes for men and women, we do need to eat more protein. So there's again better understanding that the needs that older adults have, and I'm talking about people really in the sort of 50 plus need to eat more protein. And protein is really important anyway because it helps to stabilize your appetite. And if you're going from eating a diet mainly based on ultra processed foods, the first things that you want to do is try and keep yourself full and eliminate cravings. And the best way to do that is by having a diet that's got having meals that have protein at each one, plenty of veg, don't be frightened of fat. And the thing you do want to watch out for is having fewer empty carbs on your plates. So that's your bread, your pasta, your rice, your noodles, your potatoes, they're the things that have got no nutrition. They're the things that are going to spike your blood sugar.

[00:33:46.370] – Gabrielle

If you had a steak and a salad with olive oil and maybe a little bit of Parmesan cheese, you tell me that you're hungry after that meal because you're not going to be. Yeah, that's ticking. So many boxes, so packed with nutrition, slow to digest, that will keep you going for hours. So this is really where you want to start with. And then the second step is to really try and get that down to just eating three meals a day. So you want to be thinking that you leave maybe four or at 5 hours in between meals. And again, if the main meals that you have are filling and satisfying and you're enjoying them, you should find it fairly easy then to get to that four or 5 hours before your next meal. And by leaving yourself a gap, you're allowing your body to digest the last meal properly. You're giving yourself more chance to dip into your fat stores. If we're constantly snacking in and eating food all of the time, then it's like having your phone plugged into your charger. You're never digging into the battery. Our body fat is like an energy battery and we're just popping up and giving our body like a very easy to use energy store and never touching the fat.

[00:34:53.530] – Gabrielle

And that's what we want to get rid of. So if you can have good decent meals, leave for four to 5 hours between each one, then really you should be working towards eliminating snacks. And when I coach sort of coach clients. Just making those changes can be enough for them to start losing weight. That's all it takes. And sometimes they can't believe how easy it is. Sometimes the meals that they're already making are 80% nair. Usually it's just a bit more protein on your plate. Get rid of a few of those potatoes, and they can do it. For others, that's not enough and go down to that. But they want to lose weight, and it's not moving. So the next stage, the next level to go to if that's not working, is to just pay attention to your portion sizes. And you want to make sure or focus on maybe just dropping the fat slightly on whatever you're eating, making the pasta, the rice, the potato component smaller, or eliminating it altogether for a while and see how that works, and then packing it out with plenty of eggs so it's filling. And then the next level to go to if that's still not working, but it should be, is to start to pay attention to your appetite.

[00:36:02.890] – Gabrielle

And the golden rule is, when you're hungry, you start when you fall. And you mentioned before we didn't need to count calories once upon a time because we were more in tune with our natural appetites. We knew when we needed something, we knew when we'd had enough. And a lot of the ultra processed foods that we have as led us to really not being tuned into our natural hunger signals and our fullness signals. So there's a reeducation process that you get from eating post natural foods and giving yourself not snacking and giving yourself plenty of time in between, you're allowing your appetite to reset.

[00:36:37.000] – Allan

Yeah. And it's kind of one of the special things that I really like about the human body is that if we give it what it needs, it gives us what we need. Communicate good things through food, through movement, through reduced stress, through sleep. And our body realizes, hey, we're in a pretty good place. We're pretty safe.

[00:36:55.240] – Allan

I don't have to really be stressed all the time. I don't have buy or sell looking for food all the time because it's plentiful and I'm getting good nutrition. It kind of falls in line, your hormones somewhat more fall in line, and everything just gets easier.

[00:37:08.830] – Gabrielle

Absolutely.

[00:37:09.690] – Allan

One of the things you said in the book, and I really can't leave this interview without kind of putting this in there, was you said that we should be paying more attention to how we feel and look than what we weigh. And I think that's just really a cool thing because too often we're like using the scale as this metric of worth when food and movement and all these other things that we're doing in our lives are really meant to just be energies and build ups and just part of putting together a platform for you to be better.

[00:37:40.630] – Gabrielle

Yeah, absolutely. I think there's a lovely opportunity for men and women at this age to really start to reconnect with themselves and how they feel. And when our kids are growing up, we can find that we've got a little bit more time to ourselves and we can sort of take this journey. And the conversations often start about with weight because that's what people are looking for. But once you start to make these changes, you realize that you've got more energy or you sleeping better or you're not bloated anymore. And once people latch onto these things, they suddenly realize they're not bothered about weight anymore because the game changer for anyone who's tired and struggling is more energy, not smaller waste. And once you start when she sort of maybe go on this weight loss journey doesn't even take long. That's the amazing thing. When you change your diet, you can have a benefit that day. You know, it started for me when I had to remember why. But for some reason I used to have a sandwich from my lunch every day and for some reason I didn't have it. I think the shop where I went was closed, so all I could buy was some cottage cheese and some nuts.

[00:38:41.310] – Gabrielle

And every day at work at 03:00, I could not keep my head off the desk. Just was fighting, falling asleep. And this one day I had cottage cheese and nuts for my lunch. I was wide awake all afternoon. And that's how quickly the effect of food can change how you feel. And that's when people start to recognize that they can't believe it. I had a client and her and her husband went, young kids. It was a big change for them to go and make all the food from scratch. And a couple of weeks in they decided to order a takeaway. And the next day they couldn't believe how awful they felt. They didn't have the energy to play with the kids. They just felt really below par and they hadn't put a weight in one night, but they felt awful. And there's things like that that the penny starts to drop and the sort of jigsaw puzzle pieces start to fit together and you say, I know, I don't want to feel like that anymore. I want to feel like this. Because when you feel great, when you've got good energy, when you get in good sleep, your mind gets in a better place and you want to go and live your life and do more things, you've got that capability to go and do things and you wait something that becomes less important to you because you're busy doing other things.

[00:39:50.640] – Allan

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

[00:39:58.930] – Gabrielle

First one, I think would be and I love that. I love the healthy, I love putting those things together. And I think if you align your health and fitness goals with your happiness goals, then that's the best way to start because they're all related. I think there's far too much focus on health and fitness. There's weight loss tools or all of our calories. The combination of getting fitter, eating better, gives you the energy, gives you the drive, gives you the confidence, then you start to feel happy. You can start to pursue the things that you're interested in. That's a really powerful way of connecting all of those things together. One of the other things that sort of links into that as well actually, is the idea of learning how to eliminate useless thoughts from your mind. And food and eating can take up far too much head space. We think about what we're going to eat next, we feel guilty about eating something else. We're trying to sort of resist a craving that can all add up to thinking about food 24/7. And once you start working on putting food in its rightful place, it's something there to give you energy to make you feel good.

[00:41:07.700] – Gabrielle

It can actually start to free up your mind. And that's quite something when suddenly you're not constantly thinking about food anymore or fighting hunger or cravings. There's an empty space, so you can have a lot more peace in your mind. One of my clients recently was saying, I don't understand it, I just want to clean the house. I've done loads of jobs and I'm just going through everything and sorting everything out. And that's because she didn't think about food. She was suddenly being able to use that attention, free up that space to think about other things. And that's one of the massive benefit of just changing that relationship with food. Gives you more mental, it gives you more capacity, gives you more head space. And my last one is you've got to learn to love and accept yourself as you are. Now, when we're always critical of ourselves, when we're always in a position where we're unhappy with how we look and always trying to change, then we just have this sort of it just puts a cloud over the whole of your life every day. You can be self conscious or you can be hiding your stomach or worrying what people are thinking about you.

[00:42:10.460] – Gabrielle

It just takes a lot of enjoyment, a lot of pleasure out of your life. And it can be quite hard for people to let go of that self hate because they feel if they accept themselves as they are, they're suddenly going to eat everything and go out of control. But really, when you start to be kind to yourself, to think about doing things to yourself that make you feel better, we go back to feel and being guided by how you feel you are actually then start to create more respect for yourself. You get that freedom in your mind and you start to be able to shift your attention onto doing things that you enjoy and becoming happier. So that's how that all links in.

[00:42:48.520] – Allan

Great.

[00:42:49.000] – Allan

Gabrielle, if someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about the book, Why Women Can't Lose Weight, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:42:57.180] – Gabrielle

Well, the book is available on Amazon, so that's an easy one. If you just put the title into Amazon, you'll find that if you want to find more about me and my online products and my coaching, then I've got a website, which is gabrielleohare.com nice and simple.

[00:43:11.680] – Allan

All right, well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/575. And I'll be sure to have links there to the book and to your website. Gabrielle, thank you so much for being on 40+ Fitness.

[00:43:23.320] – Gabrielle

Thank you very much for having me. I've really enjoyed this today, Allan


Post Show/Recap

[00:43:35.510] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:43:36.960] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What a great interview. My goodness. Why women over 40 can't lose weight. I mean, the headline right off the bat is very intriguing, but your discussion was very intriguing as well.

[00:43:48.350] – Allan

Yeah, I wish she had a subtitle of some sort, because it is an attention grabbing headline, but it leaves you in, I think, a negative thought space of, oh, well, yeah, okay. If that were a newspaper article, you'd be like, okay, what do I expect this newspaper article to tell me all the reasons why I'm failing at what I'm trying to do here? And she does that, don't get me wrong. She goes through that and lets you know that okay, that you're not alone. These are happening to women everywhere. There's case studies all the way through this of women. The six reasons she's got case studies of every single one of them, of women she's known or worked with or herself that have struggled with these things, because they're real. They're not imaginary. We're not making these things up in our head. They are real obstacles. They're in your way. The good news is she shifts in the book, which is why I think there should have been some form of subtitle. But that said, she didn't. But in the book, she did shift gears and go towards the way you overcome those objectives, those obstacles.

[00:44:54.470] – Rachel

Obstacles, yeah. Number one, though, self neglect. I mean, that was the biggest shining light, neon, fireworks reason that a lot of us who in our 40s struggle is self neglect. And the word neglect really hurts because no woman wants to neglect anybody, let alone themselves. But that's really a good word because we do prioritize everybody else over us. We've got kids that get on the bus in the morning and take care of in the evenings and dinners to cook and a house to clean, and not to mention our own 40 hours a week job. It is really hard to change that mindset of looking after everybody else and actually try and take a look at what we need to do for our own health and well being.

[00:45:37.640] – Allan

Yeah, but no, neglect is the right word.

[00:45:40.140] – Rachel

It is. As much as it hurts.

[00:45:42.680] – Allan

It's like, okay, the kids want Hot Pockets for dinner, and so you're having Hot Pockets for dinner.

[00:45:48.950] – Rachel

Yeah.

[00:45:49.420] – Allan

That's neglect. You know, that's not serving you. You've made the conscious decision to do it anyway. That's neglect. The definition of the word neglect is doing things to yourself or to anybody without regard to them and what their needs are. That's neglect.

[00:46:05.320] – Rachel

And I've done that. I have absolutely said to my kids, I am not cooking two different meals. And I've gone through that. But the fact of the matter is that I need to eat in a way that benefits my health and well being, and they need to eat in a way that they'll eat something before going to bed at night. So it is difficult, but it is important to look at all those obstacles and then decide how to navigate around them, to put yourself as a priority.

[00:46:32.690] – Allan

Well, even men struggle with some of these things. I mean, when we start talking about self neglect, for me, it was my career. It wasn't the kids, it was the career. And what I needed from a lifestyle to be successful at what I was doing was 16 17 18 hours days. You know, I was on six, seven days a week, 16 18 at one point 20 hours days, six days a week. And then I even came in on Sundays some days, sometimes just to catch up. As much as you think, how would you be behind? There was so much work to do. In fact, when I left and they hired the new guy, he worked for about three months, and then he quit because he said there's just no way he could keep up with that volume. But that was my career. That was my focus. In fact, as a result, I was neglecting everything else. I was neglecting my family, I was neglecting my health, neglecting my fitness, everything. And that's where I was. And it wasn't until I got a priority mindset, the way she phrases it. But it wasn't until I had that priority set my priority, and said, no, I have to be healthy and fit.

[00:47:38.340] – Allan

There's no other answer. And that's what I did.

[00:47:42.130] – Rachel

I think that a lot of women, too, need to get to that point where they make that decision. It was hard for me to make that decision. That, okay, what has to give? What do I need to do? What can I renegotiate with my husband? What can I do for the kids, but then take back some time for myself? How to make that decision, and then get creative about doing it, about finding a solution. And when the kids were young, I would wake them up from school, I would go do my workout, made sure they had breakfast and got on the bus. It's those weird moments of time, or when they were in babies, I would tuck them in bed at night. And then between 8:30 and 09:00, I met another lady in my subdivision for a run around the subdivision. So it's not the best time of the night to be working out, but I took the time when I could. And that's just how life goes. Your schedule changes. Negotiate with your husband for different chores or whatnot, maybe even work with your job to shift hours if you could, or take a working lunch break and go to the gym on your lunch break.

[00:48:44.230] – Rachel

I mean, it's just the point of you got to put yourself first and then figure out how to make that a priority, how to get in your workout, how to get in the good meals and things like that.

[00:48:53.480] – Allan

Yeah. And until you're doing it, you haven't prioritized yourself. So the thought of, well, I want this isn't enough. Your actions are your priority. I'm just going to put that out there. So if you're not doing it, don't say this is your priority. Don't say your health and fitness is your priority because you're not doing it. You do your priority. You do it. You just do. And so with the way you're talking about with kids and family and other obligations is like, you're doing that stuff, why are you doing that? It's because that's your priority. And I get it that there are times when that needs to be your priority. But if you haven't had the conversation with your significant other about the fact that you need a tag team partner, that you join this relationship to be partners, and that you need some help from them to get these things done, then you haven't prioritized yourself. Because I'll ask women, like, how does your husband get his workouts? And, well, he just goes and it's like, well, what does he do for selfcare? It's like, well, he likes to play golf and he'll go fishing.

[00:49:59.940] – Allan

I'm like, okay. So he just goes, yeah, he just goes, okay, priority. And that's only you haven't said anything, and so you can't expect mind reading and just say, so going to set a priority. Your actions have to follow through, or it really wasn't a priority. It was just a nice to have.

[00:50:16.570] – Rachel

Yeah. And it's just a matter of having that conversation with your husband or spouse or friends, your parents, anybody that could give you a hand so that you can keep up with things and take care of yourself.

[00:50:29.710] – Allan

And there are all kinds of strategies that you can take. Eat better, to move more, to do these other things that aren't going to blow you out of the water by adding tons and tons of hours onto your time. And I think that's where a lot of people get lost, is like, well, I don't like doing this. And I'm like, well, guess what? Yeah, I've had people that I don't like batch cooking. I'm like. Okay, then this isn't a priority for you. If eating out is something you have to do every night, or eating Hot Pockets from a microwave is what you have to do, then that's your priority. Your priority is not what you say it is. And so I don't mean that in a bad way, but I just really want you looking at your actions and looking for those disconnects over what you want and what you do. Because that's where the rubber hits the road, and that's where you're going to make changes. Because you aren't going to change until it's a priority. And it isn't a priority until you start doing it. We Talk About how we need motivation and all these Other things, but the gross reality of it is motivation is not something that comes.

[00:51:39.070] – Allan

Motivation is something that you earn. You do the action, you get the reward that Motivates you. There's other things you can do to Put in there coaching, social accountability, things like that, that can help get this all started. You got to do the do first, and then the motivation will build. You wait for the motivation, you're going to still be waiting there a year later?

[00:52:04.820] – Rachel

No. Yeah. Sometimes it's really hard. But I think that if you can really get creative, put your workouts on the calendar, and just be diligent with taking the time that you need to take care of yourself. I mean, it's just it's the mindset. You just need to make yourself just as big of a priority as everybody else in your life.

[00:52:23.390] – Allan

Absolutely. All right. Well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:52:27.630] – Rachel

Awesome. Take care, Allan.

[00:52:29.110] – Allan

You Too. Thanks.

Music by Dave Gerhart

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Another episode you may enjoy

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January 24, 2023

Are your feelings blocking you from losing weight

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Weight loss is hard. But are you making it harder by buying into the culture wars and other influences that aren't in your best interest? In this episode, we discuss how you may be letting feelings and emotions get in the way.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

00:03:16.520] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:03:17.750] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:19.680] – Coach Allan

I'm doing all right. Getting a little bit of a cold, but here's what it is.

[00:03:25.090] – Coach Rachel

Sure is the season, I guess.

[00:03:28.610] – Coach Allan

So it's just weird because I've had my head down doing stuff and really haven't interacted with a ton of people, so not really sure where this one came from, but I got a cold.

[00:03:40.950] – Coach Rachel

It happens. Well, hopefully you'll feel better soon.

[00:03:43.740] – Coach Allan

Yeah. So the only other thing that's going on for me is I was recently a guest on the Health Fix podcast with Dr. Janine Krause. You can listen to that if you want to. I've got a link to it. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/hfp. It's The Health Fix Podcast (HFP). So 40plusfitnesspodcast/hfp and that will take you to that podcast. It's actually a really good one. I like Dr. Krause and her approach to things I really like that. Kind of my goal as I go into this new year is I want to be on a few more podcasts. Just kind of spread the word, get out there. And so that was cool. It's interesting, always interesting to be on the other side of the mic.

[00:04:25.350] – Coach Rachel

Absolutely. That sounds like a lot of fun.

[00:04:28.470] – Coach Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:29.850] – Coach Rachel

Good. Still cold.

[00:04:34.390] – Coach Allan

Until about April.

[00:04:36.230] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, I know, a few more months of winter, but yeah, things are good. Just drawing out some races for the year, trying to decide where I want to be and when I want to be there. So still working on my resolutions for the year.

[00:04:49.340] – Coach Allan

Cool. Yeah, I've been working on my Spanish. That was kind of one of the big ones I wanted to do. And then I am trying to cut some weight, so I'm working my way back into Ketosis and going to try to cut some weight. And actually right now at the lightest weight I've weighed in over 20 years.

[00:05:06.980] – Coach Rachel

Wow.

[00:05:07.840] – Coach Allan

Yeah, I'm down to my mid 30s weights and so I'm going to get a little bit lighter than this, but it's just I've realized I'm not carrying the 205 quite the way I did before. So I'd get down to the 205 and it'd be like I don't look like I did when I weighed 200 pounds 10 years ago. So I got to try to find that new set point for me where I feel like I've got the energy and look the way I want to look and feel the way I want to feel and can do the things I want to do.

[00:05:35.280] – Coach Rachel

Sure. Well, that's important. To feel good and to do the things you want to do, that's the important part.

[00:05:41.950] – Coach Allan

I wouldn't really call these resolutions. These are just their goals and I set them very specifically on how I'm going to what actions I need to do to make that happen and not just I want this. It's like, okay, right now I'm after a certain body look and not from necessarily a vanity perspective, it's just energy and what I'm carrying around and if you're carrying around a little bit extra body fat, then you try to get rid of it if you want to get rid of it. That's part of what we're going to talk about today, is getting rid of some of the unwanted body fat. So are you ready to jump into that?

[00:06:15.470] – Coach Rachel

Awesome. Sure.

Episode

Are your feelings blocking you from losing weight? 

Special note on this episode, this is not intended for people that are suffering with eating disorders, disease, or any other health condition. If you're dealing with one or more of those, I'd strongly recommend that you get medical help. This podcast is for information purposes only, but I did want to share this because I do think it's really important. And with that, I am going to put forward a little content warning here. Bear with me as I read this.

This is not one of my regular feel-good episodes. If this is your first time listening to the 40+ Fitness Podcast, I'd strongly encourage you to listen to some of the others first, just to get to know me. Then this episode will make a lot more sense. I don't intend to be mean or condescending, but in most cases, we are our own primary obstacle.

This episode is my version of tough love, if you will. If you have small children around while you're listening, there might be a few choice words that you don't want them to hear. So take that into account. All right, with that, let's dive in.

I'm going to start off with a basic principle here. Weight loss is a struggle. Weight loss is hard. If weight loss were easy, we wouldn't have the issues we have right now with rampant obesity and being overweight. And there's a lot of things going on in the world right now that, quite frankly, just have me really alarmed at the state of all this. And so I want to share some of that today. But before we jump into all that, I want to share a couple of statistics.

Okay, so there was a 2017 survey of 2000 Americans, and what they found was that the top three failed New Year's resolutions were diet or eating healthy – 54%; exercise more – 44%, and lose weight – 41%. They could choose more than one. So the total is going to add up to more to 100%. But you kind of get the idea for many, many Americans out there getting healthy, taking care of yourself, getting more fit. Those are top of mind, particularly as we go into the new year. As you're listening to this, we're nearly done with January, and so this next study is really kind of hit home.

Also, this survey was also done in 2017, and it was 1129 American adults. They found that only 9.2% of those resolvers successfully achieved their resolution the year before, and that over 42% fail on their resolutions every year. So you start looking at that and realizing that, okay, most people are going to fail their resolutions, and 42% of them failed them every single year. That's almost half. 23% of resolvers fail out the first week. Actually, 13% of them never even started, and 42% fail by the end of the first month, which, as I mentioned, was right about now.

So if you're already struggling or have quit your New Year's resolution to lose weight, guess what? You're statistically average. You're in the majority of people that do have health and fitness resolutions, and you're in the majority of people that fail at those resolutions within the first month. So just recognize that that's the state of the world. We all want to change in January. But sticking with it is hard, and it's because we've got a lot of headwind, okay? We have this one headwind. And I'm going to jump into this, and like I said, I'm probably going to upset a lot of people, but political correctness is not good for your health.

I'm just going to put that out there. Okay? Let me tell you a story. I was on Twitter, and this doctor posted that they had had a consult with their client patient. The patient came into their office and they were morbidly obese. And the doctor made one statement you need to lose weight. Now, this person was on meds. They had all kinds of health problems going on, and this has been going on for a while.

The doctors are telling us you need to lose weight.

Now, guess what happened? The client or customer, the patient stormed out of the office of this doctor and reported him. They reported him for recommending that they lose weight. So he was in trouble with the hospital and potentially the medical board for offending this patient.

This cultural war on weight loss has been going on for about ten to 15 years, at least as far as I've been paying attention. I've seen it getting worse and worse. You see the ads, okay, they show someone who's morbidly obese doing something relatively athletic looking, generally healthy and energetic, and that's okay, that's cool. They're doing sometimes they're doing yoga moves and things I couldn't physically do, but that doesn't mean they're healthy.

So what's happening here is there's this cultural push to normalize the condition of obesity to fight fat shaming, and they're doing it wrong.

Accepting a person, accepting just a general person has nothing to do with their physical condition. Telling someone that they need to lose weight, as the doctor did in his office, there's nothing wrong with that. That's not fat shaming. That's just the reality of health and fitness. This individual is going to suffer more and more if they don't accept responsibility for where they are.

Which leads me to ask you the question, are you accepting responsibility for where you are? If you want to lose weight, you have to accept responsibility for it. You can't ask others to accept you as you are, if they know you're unhealthy, if they want to help you, if they're trying to do the right thing by encouraging you to change. It's not fat shaming. It's just, quite frankly, them being responsible and caring about you. What you don't want is people just ignoring you, not paying attention to you, not caring about you. So this political correctness, things got to go away. Let me tell you a little bit about this because I think a lot of people think that, oh, no, it's fine.

You can be healthy and have extra body fat. Well, let me tell you what the science says in the British Medical Journal. The title of this article was BMI and All Cause Mortality systemic Review of Nonlinear Dose Response metaanalysis of 230 Cohort Studies with 3.74 million deaths among 30.3 million participants. This happened in 2015. So basically they went back and looked at all these different studies and they said, okay, is being obese problematic for lifespan? Okay, it was a question. Now, the cool thing about this particular cohort study was that they used the data that was available to correct for smoking and for other diseases that they may have had beforehand, because someone can be completely healthy, completely good with the BMI, but they only because they lost all the weight, because they had cancer. So they corrected for some of these confounders. And then what they found was, absolutely, if you're obese, you are shortening your life. Your all cause mortality goes up with age, it goes up with obesity. So you're shortening your life, you're shortening your healthspan. It just is what it is. So political correctness is the enemy of a healthy weight.

I'm just going to put that out there again. I want you to pay attention to that. We can't right size this and say we're going to accept it because that's what the culture wants us to do. So we can be nice to people. We're past that. If people want to be healthy, if they want to lose weight, they need to lose weight. I've even seen where they shamed people for wanting to lose weight. They're like, that's wrong to want to lose weight, because you're telling all the people who are overweight that they should too. That's not what they're saying. It's the fat shaming reversed. It's basically trying to get people to accept it as a reality, which it is a reality, but get people to say it's healthy. Get people to accept it and say, no, you can just stay this way and it's okay. And quite frankly, if you really care about yourself, about others, it's not actually okay. We need to do something. We need to get to health. We need to work on that. Okay, so I want to talk next about body image, because many of us have developed these body images, and it's easy to see why that would happen there's.

The magazine articles you see the sweat model and the skinny this and the skinny that. And that's what they're showcasing. They're showcasing the athletes. They're showcasing the others. And those are unrealistic for the vast majority of us. What we should be striving for is not to have the body of a supermodel or a professional athlete, but to have the body and have the health markers and have the health that we need. Which means, yeah, we're probably going to carry a lot more body fat in a relative sense than an athlete or a supermodel, but we're going to stay in a healthy range. So we want to get our body fat in a healthy range. And so a lot of this body image, we have this propensity to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, I don't look like the supermodel. I don't look like the athlete. And that can become very discouraging when you're trying to lose weight, when you're trying to get healthy, having that negative body image is not helping you. So it's time to push that away. It's time to say, okay, forget what I look like right now. I know what I'm going to look like when I get this done.

That's the right mindset. The right mindset is not where you're starting from. It's where you're going to end. And while your distance between those, the delta of that might be bigger than some, it's also smaller than others. So just realize you have your battle, fight your battle, make your change, cover your delta, and that's what you want to do. You want to focus and just keep closing that delta to get where you want to be. And that's what you have to do. The next thing that I see out there is this all or nothing kind of mindset. And it comes in a lot of different ways. There's this you just have to do the calories in, calories out. And if you just do that, you'd be fine. You're overeating, you cow. And again, that permeates out there. This is the way to do it. This is how I did it. So it has to work for you. This is math. This is physics. And the reality of it is no, there's other things in there. So there is no all or nothing. There is no right or wrong. There's just what's going to work for you.

Now you might be an all or nothing type person where going on a diet is restrictive and needs to be restrictive. A perfect example. I am not have a beer with a friend kind of person. I'm going to have beers with a friend kind of person. So if we're going out for beer, it's beer plural. Okay, I'm going to have a lot of beer. Probably that's just the way I'm wired once I start, okay, I do some of the same things with food. You get me to eating a food that's not good for me. It becomes a lot more difficult for me to turn that off and move on unless I completely turn it off. I don't do moderation. So understanding yourself and understanding that there's not just one right way there's the right way for you is really, really important. And so the advice that people like to throw out there, it could work or it might not. Only way you'll know, is to try it and to know yourself well enough to say, yes, I know this will work for me. If someone just told me to eat smaller portions of the food that I already eat when I got fat, that way won't work for me.

I'm not going to sit there and get one third or one quarter or one 8th of a serving of what I would normally have had for mashed potatoes and gravy. I'm just not going to do that. That's not how I'm wired. So knowing how you're wired, understanding that none of this advice is right and none of it is wrong, all diets succeed and all diets fail, and we just have to find the right way to eat that works for us long term and we can get there. Probably one of the areas where most people struggle the most with food is emotional eating and mindless eating. Okay? So there's a component of the brain that basically rewards us when we do things it likes. So eating sugar creates a dopamine response in the brain. The brain loves dopamine, just loves, loves, loves it and says, hey, that sugar was some pretty cool stuff. Could you get me some more of that? You've probably seen the meme of the episode where Chappelle has done some cocaine or something and he's asking for more of it. He's got that needy look on his face and even a little bit of the drug on his upper lip.

He got any more of that? That's what our brain is doing. It's literally like drugs. And so if you're doing emotional or mindless eating, those calories count, they do. And if you're doing it all the time, weight loss is not going to happen. You have to be mindful of what you put in your mouth. You just do. You can get away with an occasional, okay, I'm going to go have some popcorn while I'm watching a movie. And I probably won't be mindful of the popcorn, but you get the idea this is a regular thing. If mindless eating and emotional eating is a regular thing, you got to solve that problem, because if you don't, weight loss is just not going to happen. The next one thing I want to talk about is called self talk or the voice in your head. Now, I've told people the story several times. I'll kind of say it again, was when I finally kind of woke up to the fact that I was killing myself with food and alcohol. I caught myself, the fat bastard. And it's really because it defined everything about me. It defined that I was fat.

Yes, fat. I was fat. And it defined that I was not very nice to myself, and I was not very nice to others. And those were traits that I was not very happy with. But that's what my inner voice was telling me I was, and I was accepting. That who I was. So much like the negative body image thing, I had a negative overall image of myself. Everything was wrong. Only thing I felt like I had any control over whatsoever was my employment, my career. I was really good at that. But I seemed to suck at just about everything else. And what I understood, came to understand, was as long as I let that self talk happen, as long as I let the Fat Bastard live, I'm never going to be who I deserve to be. I'm never going to lose the weight, because the Fat Bastard is going to take me down eventually. That negative self talk, that voice in my head is eventually going to wear me down, and I'm going to break. And so a big part of my transformation was the mindset work necessary to push through and away from that self talk, to literally name it the Fat Bastard, and then to sit down and say, okay, I got to move away from him.

I've got to figure out a way to stop him from killing me. And it took years for me to figure out ways to do that, to build the tool set necessary to make that happen. But I had to. And I did. And I want you to, too. So if you find yourself talking yourself out of things so this happens a lot. Like if we slip up, so you have a bad day or bad something happens at work and you get home and you're like, you yell at the kids or the grandkids. You're just yelling at the kicking the dog. I don't know. You're upset, you're tired, you're cranky, you're stressed. And then you find yourself emotionally eating. And then you find yourself the next morning, like, really just angry at yourself now for what you just did to yourself last night. And since you screwed up your diet and it's Friday, you may as well just blow it out the weekend, right? No. Again, that's your self talk. That's that voice in your head sabotaging you. You need to say, no, I can go through a weekend eating well. I can go through a weekend just fine.

I screwed up last night. I forgive myself. I'm not going to do it anymore. I move on. You've got to work yourself past that. So just recognize that we are and can be our own worst enemy. We've got to deal with that enemy head on. Okay? The next area that I want to get into is lack of support. So many of us, we try to do this on our own. But we've got so much going on in our lives and really, we don't have a support system. We don't have people around us that really care or they don't seem to care. If you have teenage kids or kids in the house, well, there's always going to be snack food available. Kids are just not naturally wired to want to eat healthy unless they were brought up that way. So if we brought up our kids on snack foods, there's always going to want snack foods and they're always going to want them in the house available. And so you're probably going to have them rather than have them go nuts around you. So you're going to have these snacks in the house. You're going to have this and that.

When it comes to dinner, your family might not want to eat the way you're eating. And so you're going to kind of feel this total lack of support. And maybe none of your friends are really interested in weight loss. They talk about it, hey, let's do a resolution. We'll all hold each other accountable. And then by the second week, you're like, hey guys, how's everybody doing? Well, I'm done. I didn't even start the first day. I had a candy bar when I woke up that morning. So you kind of feel like your whole support system is just gone. And the reality of it is you just chose the wrong support or you may not even ask for support. Have you even sat down and asked your significant other or your kids to help you with your weight loss? Have you told them what your plan is and why you're doing this? Because more than likely, they're part of your why. And if you sit down and take the time to do that, you can build that support. You can get your family to pay attention to what they're doing. And it's a fairly simple thing for me.

Please don't leave your snack food out. Put it back in the pantry so I don't see it. That will help me a lot. It's a simple thing. You coach them, you get them to do it, they start doing it. When you get a support team around you, you support the heck out of them and you don't let them quit. You hold them accountable. It's like, no, Betty, we said we were doing this. We're doing this. You get back on the wagon right now. We're on this. Just because you had one candy bar, you're not done. You're not done. Get past yourself. Let's get this going. So build the support, because the lack of support is not their fault. It's yours. Okay? You got to build the support. You got to find the support. And if you can't get the support locally, so your family is just not going to do it and you don't have the way to push or make that happen, your friends are just really not going to get into it, and none of them are going to try to do the things you're doing. Then reach out. Find the support. Find groups.

We have a Facebook Group, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, wonderful group of people there, all trying to take care of themselves. We're all at different points in our journey. They're there. There are people out there to support you. There are other Facebook groups that have different flavors and different things they're doing. Some people post pictures of themselves because they find that very motivating to see others succeeding. That's not us. We're basically there to support you from an emotional perspective, from basic support of I'm here for you. If you're struggling, I understand. I struggle too. Here's what I'm trying to do. Here's what my year is going to be like. This is what I'm going to do. This is the challenge for the week. And we work with each other. We try to help each other. We hold each other somewhat accountable. So if you're looking for support, there's a group. If you're looking for deeper support, well, you have a coach right here. Rachel and I are on this show. We're here willing to help you, to support you. So if you have a lack of support, it's only because you haven't reached out. It's only because you haven't tried hard enough to have the support.

And then the final bit of this let me go over and over, and I'm hopeful. If you're still listening to this, some of this has resonated with you. I'm sure it has. Most of the things that are going on here were battles I had to fight myself, okay? Was it okay for me to be 20, 30, 40 pounds overweight? And I'm like, well, as long as I'm okay and healthy, yeah. But then I wasn't. And I had the negative body image. I had the all or nothing stuff. I had the emotional mindless eating, the self talk, and no support, bad relationships and toxic things in my life. And so I was in that spot. And the way I got past it was to know myself and so know thyself. I'm going to read a quote. This is by Sun Tzu who wrote The Art of War. You may have heard about this. I love this book. I read it every once in a while. It's just a very interesting read. This quote, it says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

And here's what I know. We are the enemy. We are ourselves, and we are the enemy. There was no one else out there forcing you to eat. There's no one else out there making you fat. We did that to ourselves. We are the enemy. If you don't know yourself and you don't know the enemy, you will lose the battle. You've got to take the time to figure that out. So what I would encourage you to do is, if you haven't already, go take the Health Blocker Quiz. It's a really good way for you to start getting some insights into the way that you think and the way that you work. And if you can set things up based on what your needs are, based on who you are, knowing myself, it's going to go a long way. You can go to 40plusfitness.com/quiz again, that's 40plusfitness.com/quiz, and you can get to know more about yourself. And that's going to help you with a lot of this stuff. Okay, I'm going to throw out some terms. It won't mean a lot to you if you haven't taken the quiz, but windshields suffer with negative body image all the time windshields do. People who are copilots. The support is huge. If you don't have the support, you're just not going to get there. You need the support and you need to not be the caretaker of everybody else before you take care of yourself. That's what happens with a copilot. If you're an Atlas, you're probably more of an all or none thing. And you know that if you have something big in front of you, you can turn off the bad and focus on the good to get that thing done. If you're more of like maybe a tires or pedals type person, then the self talk and the emotional and mindless eating are probably going to be things that really eat at you. Because if you can't get the traction as the tires, or if you're not quite sure about what you're doing and you find yourself stopping and starting and stopping and starting, it's really hard because you just can't keep your foot on the gas. And so just recognize that throughout a lot of things there, if you haven't taken the quiz, that might not make as much sense to you. But I think what you can see is if you take the quiz, you're going to know a lot more about yourself and then you'll have the tools you need to win these battles.

Because each and every one of these battles is really, really important for weight loss. And so the way we feel about the world, about ourselves, about weight loss, all impact our ability to be successful. So I want you to start working on the mindset part of this. This is not a tactic and strategy type problem. Weight loss is a mindset problem. And if you don't solve that, you're not going to stick to the tactics, you're not going to stick to the strategies, and you're not going to get it done. So work on your mindset and lose that weight. 


Post Show/Recap

[00:30:10.100] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:30:13.190] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. My goodness, you unloaded a lot of things in that discussion. I don't even know where to start, except for one of the things you said right off the bat is weight loss is a hard struggle. It's a long process. It's a hard process, and it's absolutely a struggle.

[00:30:29.020] – Coach Allan

Yeah, I guess where I kind of got into all this was back in the early 2000s, there was a lot of press, if you will. I'm not going to say not like media press, but just people pushing on the idea that the ideal of what we were seeing in magazines and things in TV and movies was not real, was not what was attainable by mere mortals, by normal people, if you will.

[00:30:54.300] – Coach Rachel

And you mean super thin athletes.

[00:30:59.970] – Coach Allan

You'd see someone at 4% body fat and they're running around on covers and magazines and things like that, and they're like, well, that's not normal. That's not healthy, and that's not ideal when you are trying to live your life and you're not able to do the things they do, which is absolutely true. But I kind of feel like the pendulum has swung so far from there that now they're quite literally saying, if you're not obese, there's something wrong with you.

[00:31:32.640] – Coach Rachel

That's an interesting conundrum right there.

[00:31:35.470] – Coach Allan

Well, it's out there. I'm seeing it almost now. Every day I see some kind of rant about people wanting to lose weight and how they're terrible people for wanting that just even wanting to lose weight makes you a bad person. And they use the standard words that they use for bad people. And so it's just kind of one of those things where if you let the press drive the way you feel about this stuff, then you accept victimhood, and a victim cannot be the hero.

[00:32:10.290] – Coach Rachel

That's true.

[00:32:11.130] – Coach Allan

So if we look at just even like the normal story, we go back to the basics of a story, okay? And the story is that there's a dragon, and the village sacrifices the verge in every year at this moon, full moon, to the dragon, it's King Kong and another story, but whatever monster you want to have out there. And so the premise was that we've got to sacrifice this virgin so that he doesn't burn the whole city, the whole town. And then it happens that the virgin is going to be burned. This boy happens to be in love with her, and so now he's going to fight the dragon, and everybody else is just status quo. It's like, well, it's a virgin. So what? They want to be victims. They're all victims. They're afraid of the dragon. And this appeases the dragon. So if you've got all this social media and all this other stuff telling you that you're wrong for wanting what you want and you give up, then you've chosen the victimhood. Or you can choose to be the hero in your own story, and you can slay your dragon. And so I didn't mean this so much to be a negative thing other than it just so frustrating to be inundated with it, because I don't even think I'm necessarily the target for what they're after.

[00:33:33.880] – Coach Allan

Because again, I don't care how skinny a supermodel is, I'm not going to look like her.

[00:33:40.550] – Coach Rachel

Right?

[00:33:42.790] – Coach Allan

And granted, yeah, I look at professional athletes and I'm like, okay, well, the dude does this all day, every day. Can hire a chef, can hire a trainer, can hire him. And basically, this is all they do. And I was like, I could quit my job and hire a chef and hire a trainer. I can look pretty darn good myself and be broke. I'd have to be independently wealthy or something or get paid for it, which they do. And that's kind of the whole principle. You see an actor and basically they've got enough money involved in this movie and all that. There's a budget for getting the hero to look a certain way and the trainers and everything that's going into that. And so these guys go in and they train like maniacs because they're going to get paid tens of millions of dollars to be in this movie. Anybody would do it. But we're not getting paid millions of dollars for the rest of us, right? And they're not necessarily doing it in the most healthful way either. So the base point is, if your goal is to be healthy, then you know, having excess body fat is not helping you, okay?

[00:34:53.230] – Coach Allan

And if you make the decision you want to do this, then you've got to get past this major sabotage that's happening through social media, through political correctness, through all of this stuff. And you just got to say, Enough of that. I'm living my life. I'm doing my thing, and you do your thing and don't fall for it, because if you're the victim, you can't be the hero.

[00:35:17.500] – Coach Rachel

That's right. I think that we all have our own stories. The only person we're really accountable to is ourselves. And so if we have a health condition that we need support from, we go to our doctor, we get the information, we can hire a trainer like you said, or figure it out online. We just need to take our own steps to be the healthiest that we could be. And I guess I just want to circle it all back to being healthy again, because looks, again, to me, are pretty irrelevant as well. I'm not interested in super skinny or super overweight. It's what's inside that really matters. We all have to pay attention to what the doctors are telling us about our own health, whether it's heart condition, respiratory problems, high cholesterol, stress. I mean, what's going on inside is the most important part. And if you were ready to take that step to improve your health, then you should be able to do it without the consequences of somebody raining on your parade.

[00:36:16.660] – Coach Allan

But I guess I just break it down to saying if someone came to me and said, hey, Alan, you probably need to lose some weight. I would take that as good advice. I would take that right now and say, yeah, I look at it and I say, you're probably right. I'm carrying more body fat than I probably should right now. And you're right. If a doctor told me that, I'd say, yes, doctor, you're right. Here's what I'm doing about it. If my wife told me about it and say, yes, honey, you're absolutely right. This is what I'm doing about it. If my best friend did it, I'd say, yeah, Frank, you're absolutely right. This is what I'm doing about it. If my personal trainer said it, I'd say, you're absolutely right. I'm busting my butt in the gym, aren't I? Yes. And this is what I'm doing about it. Nutritionally and quite literally, I would own my mission. I would own my body. I would own my own belief system in myself, and I would not be looking to others for validation of who I am. I know how hard I'm going to work. I know how hard I can work.

[00:37:24.100] – Coach Allan

I know what I'm capable of. And carrying an extra bit of body fat doesn't define me, but it's sort of the idea like we were talking earlier. So let's say you have a car, and it requires four tires, maybe a fifth if you want to have a spare. Well, okay, you got 15 tires, and ten of them are all strown around your yard. People are going to notice those extra ten tires stroke along your yard. So at the very least, pick them up and collect them somewhere. You leave them out there and people see it, they're likely may say something. So if you need to lose weight, if they say something, it's just, again, they're less likely to say it now than they were 1520 years ago, because there's more people like you than there are like them. If they're thin, 75% of people over the age of 40 are overweight or obese, it's 75%. So that's the majority of us. The majority of us are overweight. Okay? And so you're in the majority. You're more normal than anything else. But that doesn't mean that the pendulum needs to say that that's the new normal.

[00:38:34.230] – Coach Allan

When it's not healthy, it's not healthy. You have to do something about it. If it's shortening your life, you have to do something about it.

[00:38:42.120] – Coach Rachel

Well, that's what we do know. We do know that having the extra weight gives us a higher risk for other health problems, whether it's down the media or down the lines.

[00:38:53.370] – Coach Allan

That's right.

[00:38:55.210] – Coach Rachel

Cause mortality. That's right.

[00:38:58.490] – Coach Allan

You're going to die sooner. On average, you're going to die sooner because you're carrying the extra body fat.

[00:39:04.070] – Coach Rachel

Right. But you made a good point, too, that there's very few people that can look you in the eye and tell you you're overweight and you need to do something about it. And like I said, I can count on one hand the number of people who I'm willing to listen to, right?

[00:39:18.930] – Coach Allan

Even if it upsets you. Because again, those are the people that love you, right? Sometimes I've had people come on and say, well, you don't look like my personal trainer. And I'm like, okay, well, who is your personal trainer? And you start looking up who this guy is or Gal is, and you're like, oh. So this person was a professional athlete and basically Olympian and DA DA DA. And they never had a weight problem in their entire life. And I'm like, well, great. They've never had a weight problem. They've always had a six pack. They've always looked that way. And I'm like, and they're also not 57 years old, but that all said, if that's your trainer, that's great. Do I have to look like that trainer? No. Am I going to be that kind of influencer on social media where I'm showing you guys six pack ABS and running around Instagram like I'm something special? No. What I do is I coach for Health, I coach for Health, I coach for Wellness, I coach for Happiness. I want you to find the life balance where you know you're where you're supposed to be. And the messaging that I see out there is that we're never where we're supposed to be, and that's just not true.

[00:40:35.480] – Coach Allan

If we're in the mission and we're doing the thing, do the thing. Just do the thing. Be the hero. Victims are victims. They stay victims. And you are happy and healthy that way. And you feel good and you want to be the victim, and you're like, yeah, I'm just going to do it. I'm going to basically eat dessert every day for lunch, dinner, because you're a grown adult. You can do that. You can literally go to the store right now and buy every bit of it right now. Nobody will stop you. When you go through the Castro, she won't even acknowledge she'll just go out and sit in your car and eat the whole cake. You can do that. You can absolutely do that. I don't think that's what people want to do, though. They think they want something, but then there's this messaging that's out there, and I'm like, you just got to turn that off. You just got to say, okay, that's just not me. That's the message. Maybe someone needs to hear that and feel good. But that's not my message. My message to myself and to the people around me is you deserve to be healthy.

[00:41:37.490] – Coach Rachel

Yes.

[00:41:37.980] – Coach Allan

You deserve to feel good in your own skin. You deserve to have energy and life and vitality and to live every moment like it's this wonderful thing. And that's what I want you to have. And so I just see this messaging, and I'm like, it's screwed up. It's just screwed up. And you got to stop. And you're not winning a battle by agreeing with it and being politically correct because they say, well, this is politically correct. You're being politically incorrect. You're fat shaming because you're trying to lose weight. If I'm shaming anybody, I'm shaming myself, but I'm not shaming you. It has nothing to do with you. And I think that's where the messaging just really upsets me. And I'm sorry that if I get a little bit frustrated with all this stuff, but the base reality of it is, sure, you deserve this. You deserve health and happiness, and the only way you're going to get there is to be your own hero and not the victim.

[00:42:38.620] – Coach Rachel

That sounds great, Ellen. I did want to make sure that we brought this back to health and that's the bottom line is that it's important that you do what it takes to take good care of your health so that you can live a long, happy, healthful life.

[00:42:52.630] – Coach Allan

Absolutely. All right, well, I probably lost all our listeners.

[00:42:58.970] – Coach Rachel

No, I think that was an interesting discussion, but yeah, that was good.

[00:43:04.170] – Coach Allan

But again, I didn't mean to upset anybody or frustrate anybody. It's in me to do it. I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself. And that's really where this was coming from. And I'm sure I upset a couple of people. And if I did comment, tell me why I'm wrong. But right now I just feel like there's this pull and it's pulling in the wrong direction and there are saboteurs. It's just another version of saboteurs and it's something you got to fight.

[00:43:33.240] – Coach Rachel

Right.

[00:43:34.630] – Coach Allan

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

[00:43:37.530] – Coach Rachel

Take care, Allan.

Music by Dave Gerhart

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:09.790] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:01:11.970] – Rachel

Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:01:14.160] – Allan

I'm feeling a lot better. We've been in a drought situation. I think I've talked about this a little bit over the course of the weeks, but we had to travel. It was a busy time at Lula's, and then no water, no rain, and they completely used up the reservoir, pumped our tanks full of mud, which we had to pay someone to go in and clean those things out. And then they kept pumping mud, so we ended up with mud again in the tanks and no rain. And so we had to turn off the city water. We just can't take that. And then it was like, you got to buy water because the local service, everybody wants it, and they just weren't making it over to our street. So we end up having to call some guys and give them some money to come over and pump some water into our tanks. But the good news is it started raining yesterday. It's been raining now for two days, so we're in a lot better shape now for getting this rain. And as far as I'm concerned, it can rain for the whole week, and I would just be ecstatic for sure.

[00:02:12.690] – Allan

I know it's weird. People like you want it to rain. I'm like, yes, we do. That's our water. That's where it comes from for us. And so it's all water catchment at some level or another, even the city's pumping it in general, it had to be caught by them or by us. And so we do have a little bit of water catchment ourselves, but it's got us rethinking how we've structured, how the tanks are structured back there, because we've got four 400 gallon tanks, and generally that would run us for a week here, provided there's not too many checkouts with laundry getting done. But generally, we know four tanks should last us about a whole week. But we got down to where we had less than six inches in two of the tanks. And so literally probably only had 50 gallons.

[00:02:59.460] – Rachel

Wow.

[00:03:00.120] – Allan

And that was not going to last for even a few showers. Once I got back here, I wasn't taking showers. I took a shower in Panama City and then got on the plane. And then for about a week, I didn't take a shower.

[00:03:12.640] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh.

[00:03:13.590] – Allan

Again, the water wasn't there. And our guests, they come in, they want to take a shower after they've been out doing their tours. And we couldn't do laundry, so we got down to, like, the end. And so it's like, okay, here we have to watch sheets because we have to make a bed. It was interesting. This is the second one we've had. They say they're going to do some infrastructure stuff to kind of remedy this maybe in the future. But this was a bad one. Relative. We had one four years ago wasn't quite as bad, but it was one of those things where you just really paying attention to the water, make sure you're not using any more than you need to, and doing all that.

[00:03:54.580] – Rachel

That's pretty important.

[00:03:56.010] – Allan

Yeah. Well, we are a Third World country, so it's going to happen.

[00:04:00.160] – Rachel

It happens, sure.

[00:04:01.210] – Allan

Yeah. And so you're not all the way up there. You're almost up there in a beautiful part of the country. My favorite part of the country. So what's going on?

[00:04:13.600] – Rachel

Yeah, Mike and I are enjoying a few days of vacation down in Pensacola. Today we're on the beach. We'll be in town later on, but we've been enjoying a few free days here at the beach. And sun's been great. The weather's been actually really great until just recently it got cold, but it's still perfectly sunny and we have snow at home, so I can handle the cold of Florida much better than I can handle the cold of snow in Michigan right now. So we're just enjoying some time here before we head back home.

[00:04:43.930] – Allan

Good. All right, well, safe travels.

[00:04:46.540] – Rachel

Thank you.

[00:04:47.610] – Allan

All right, are you ready to talk about metabolism?

[00:04:51.030] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:05:07.260] – Allan

Catherine, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:10.310] – Catherine

Hi, thanks for having me.

[00:05:12.280] – Allan

Your article was called Hack Your Metabolism. And three words, three very important words. I love talking about metabolism. Obviously, a lot of my clients, people will come to me, they want to lose some weight, and so we start talking about metabolism and energy usage and how all this stuff, how we know or think it works today and why certain things work for us and other things don't and all that. So we go back and forth on metabolism, and that's really, in the end, what we're trying to manage around. I've never really liked the word hack, but I get the context that you're using. Here's a lot different than what a lot of people think hacking is. So this is not about taking some cleanse juice or getting on some kind of weird, take this metabolism boosting pill and you're going to hack your metabolism. This is real science.

[00:06:04.090] – Catherine

It is, yeah. So I work for New Scientist magazine, where really a lot of what we do around diet and metabolism is to try and cut through a lot of the pseudoscientists out there and really look at the evidence and base everything that we do on facts. So it's absolutely not about some kind of magic pill or some kind of thing that you're going to eat that's going to do some magic to your metabolism. I don't think that exists. And yeah, it's very much about science and evidence and what we actually know in this actually a field of research that is changing all the time.

[00:06:39.490] – Allan

Now, in the article, you kind of got into this concept of metabolic flexibility, and we've talked about that a few times on the show. But why is metabolic flexibility so important?

[00:06:51.940] – Catherine

Well, this is really something that I didn't know that much about before I started to research this article. And I'm sure your listeners know if you've spoken about it before, but metabolic flexibility is your body's ability to switch between burning different fuel sources, so really between burning fat and burning carbs. And obviously that's kind of interesting to people who are trying to manage their weight. But for me, what was really surprising was how much disability is linked to overall metabolic health and how much it's a predictor of your likelihood of having metabolic syndrome. So this is a kind of trifactor of problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity and being able to switch between these fuel sources. So having a good metabolic flexibility seems to protect you from that and really seems to be a good predictor of your future metabolic health. So it's really important.

[00:07:54.260] – Allan

Yeah, I know a lot of people, they'll try to go from being purely sugar burners and then they'll want to go and get on the keto diet. And so they'll say, okay, I'm cut out all these carbs. And invariably about two or three days later, they have this horrendous crash. Some people call it keto flu, I call it carb withdrawals. And it comes back to this process called metabolic flexibility because we're changing fuel tanks. I mean, literally going from one type of fuel to another. And for a lot of us, we're just not that flexible, so we sputter a good bit until we get there. How would someone build metabolic flexibility from the perspective of being able to switch more easily?

[00:08:35.140] – Catherine

Yeah, so where I was coming out with this article was definitely not about doing some extreme diet, doing the keto diet, although I think it's really interesting when you think about that crash and the kind of I think often with a keto diet people feel like they don't have so much energy, especially high intensity exercise. So can we train our body to be better at that? Can we improve our ability? And the researchers that I spoke to seemed to be saying that in order to improve it, the best thing is exercise. So people who exercise regularly seem to have a better metabolic flexibility. And on the flip side, people who have a poor metabolic health, people who are obese have a worse metabolic flexibility. And actually, one researcher I spoke to did a very extreme experiment where she took a bunch of healthy, fit women and made them take bed rest for two months. So they did absolutely no physical activity for two months, and they became metabolically inflexible. And another long term study looked at people over five years and found that if you are metabolically and flexible, you're more likely to develop obesity and problems with blood glucose.

[00:09:50.610] – Catherine

Doing regular exercise seems to improve their ability. And also, it looks like you can train your metabolic flexibility. So you don't need to go to the extremes of cutting out carbs completely. But if you, say, eat your meals earlier in the evening and have a longer period where you're not eating overnight, perhaps having fewer carbs in the evening as well. So that gives your body the chance to burn through those carbs that you have. It gives it the chance to switch to burning fat while you're asleep, so you don't need to do anything about it. Rather than if you eat a carb heavy meal late at night, snacking before you go to bed, your body has no chance to actually make that switch. So what people were telling me that the scientists that I spoke to was it's about giving your body the chance to regularly switch so that when you're asleep, you can switch to burning fat. Then when you need the carbs, you can eat them. And your body is really good at just using them straight away to fuel whatever it is you're doing, and then give your chance again, your body the chance to switch again.

[00:10:55.300] – Catherine

So regular exercise and regular brakes from carbs, basically, so that you can switch even during the day.

[00:11:02.810] – Allan

Okay, now you utilized the tool called lumen. And in the article, you also talked about continuous glucose monitors. Can you talk about what those tools are and how they would help us track our metabolism?

[00:11:14.670] – Catherine

Yeah, and I think it's interesting to think, for me, this comes back to a big shift, I think, in the way that scientists are thinking about metabolism, because a lot of the things that seem quite straightforward to us. And, you know, I've always been really interested in metabolic health and exercise and diet. And before we thought that we understood which foods were kind of good for us, what they did to the body, how much energy you got. And what we're discovering is that this one size fits all approach to nutrition really isn't working for people and probably isn't scientifically accurate. And more and more research shows that even your eye or even identical twins could eat the same food and have a hugely different reaction in their body. And so the devices like the Lumen device that I tried, and blood glucose monitors, they kind of provide a window into what's really happening in your body. And I think it's just a sign of the times that we're starting to understand that everybody's body is responding very differently to food and exercise. And so the Lumen device that I tried is I actually have it here.

[00:12:26.490] – Catherine

It's like a small kind of inhaler. You take a deep breath in, and then you breathe out into this device, and it's supposed to measure how much oxygen and carbon dioxide you have in your breath. And the claim is that this is a good indicator of whether you're burning fat or carbs in that moment. So you get a real time measurement. So I would do it when I woke up in the morning, and they say even if you just do it once in a day when you wake up in the morning, and then it gives you a reading on a scale of one to five of whether you're burning fat or whether you're burning carbs. And then I also used it when I was trying it out for exercise. So I don't really like to eat before workout, but do I need some extra carbs to fuel it? Or actually, have I got enough carbs that I'm good for my workout, I don't need to eat anything, and I can just go and not have to worry about running out of fuel. So that's the Lumen device with all of these things, they claim that because they have so many users, they can really gain these insights about what different habits do to our health that we wouldn't get usually.

[00:13:44.350] – Catherine

So I think that's interesting. And continuous blood glucose monitors, I don't know about you, but for me, I used to think that kind of monitoring blood glucose levels was really just for if you had diabetes or prediabetes. But again, increasingly we're realizing that many of us are having dangerously high spikes in glucose levels just during a normal day, even if we're very kind of otherwise healthy. And that could be a problem. So by monitoring your glucose levels continuously for a period of time, you can really start to understand how your body responds to different food. And like I said, how you respond to something could be very different to how I respond. And so those insights are really interesting and potentially quite confusing for people as well.

[00:14:31.030] – Allan

Yeah, at the point being and I think I saw this was a study out of Israel where they were monitoring people's blood glucose levels all through the day, and they were logging what they were eating when they were eating, and they were comparing that data. And one person can eat a banana and they're just fine. And another person eats a banana and their blood sugar shoots up. So it kind of throws the whole idea of the gi index and the load kind of throws that out a little bit. Because if we're going to have different reactions to different foods and I haven't seen anybody that studied this, but I would even think it might be different for people over different periods, span of time. 20s probably could do that, but it may have done the banana better than someone who was in their 50s. Same person.

[00:15:16.630] – Catherine

Yeah, absolutely. Even in one day.

[00:15:19.650] – Allan

Yeah. So twins can be different then we can be different because genetically they're supposed to be identical. So you had a strategy in the article that talked about not really so much timing of carbs, but that by eating protein and fiber first, you set yourself up to have a better outcome. Could you talk about how protein and fiber are at one, how important they are to us and why, but how it could be used to help us manage our blood glucose levels?

[00:15:50.340] – Catherine

Yeah, I mean, they're hugely important macronutrients. As I'm sure your listeners are aware, protein is really important for building muscle, principally, and fiber is key to healthy digestion and it's also really important for feeding the microbiome, which we know is increasingly implicated in all sorts of health metrics. But the idea behind the strategy that I wrote about in the article is that say you had a plate of food and you had some meat, some vegetables and some bread, and the order that you eat that food could make a difference to your blood glucose levels. Because if you eat the fiber first, so either the leafy vegetables that you have, that's going to kind of line your digestive system. Fiber, a lot of fiber is not digested, so that will line your system and then you eat the protein next. That's digested much more slowly than carbohydrates, so it slows down your digestion. And if you eat the carbs on top of that, then it means you'll have less of a spike in your blood glucose afterwards. And the same logic means that if you did want to eat some dessert, you should probably eat it straight away as part of your meal rather than having it like a snack later in the day when you've given your digestion that break.

[00:17:16.870] – Catherine

And if you eat it at that point, you're just going to be hitting your system with a massive sugar high.

[00:17:23.770] – Allan

Yeah. The interesting thing is this is they bring bread, in the United States, I know, they bring the bread to the table first. So everybody's passing around eating the bread, waiting for their food to come and we're eating it in the wrong order.

[00:17:37.470] – Catherine

Yeah, it's the same here. It's exactly the same.

[00:17:40.870] – 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?

[00:17:49.110] – Catherine

I mean, it's hard to pick three and I think, well, I've also written a book called Brain Power, which is all about things that we can do to improve our mental health and our brain, the way that our brains function. So I think I'd pick three that are unrelated to the metabolism stuff, because I think the most important thing you can do for your wellbeing is exercise, whatever that means for you. So walking in the park or hitting the gym. But exercise is amazing for our body and our brain. We know that. And I think increasingly I've been writing for New Scientists and elsewhere about the importance of spending time in nature. So connecting with nature seems to be really, really good for our mental health. So I would take that exercise. If you can do it in nature, then you can do to get two in one go. And also the importance of daylight, and especially as you know, in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter, we're spending a lot more time with artificial light. We know that spending time outside in direct sunlight early on in the day is amazing for your energy, for your mood, for your mental health and for sleep later.

[00:19:00.340] – Catherine

So my three would be take exercise in nature, if you can in the morning when you're getting that sunlight, I think that would be the kind of the best thing that you can do for your physical and mental wellbeing.

[00:19:13.270] – Allan

Great. Catherine, if someone wanted to learn more about you and the things that you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:19:19.950] – Catherine

So all the things that I write about are on the New Scientist website, so newscientist.com, and my book is called Brain Power: Everything You Need to Know for Happy, Healthy Brain. So you can find that in all the usual places.

[00:19:33.480] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/566 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Catherine, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:19:42.940] – Catherine

No, thank you for having me.

Sponsor

This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Athletic Greens, the makers of AG1. I started taking AG1 because I realized I wasn't getting a broad enough variety of vegetables in my diet. We get good quality vegetables where I live, but limited types, and even if you get a good variety where you live, current farming practices might degrade the quality. It's hard to get both.

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Post Show/Recap

[00:21:27.190] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:21:28.840] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. This was a really helpful interview for me for having metabolic flexibility. It's something that I've been trying so hard to achieve lately, and this was really insightful for me.

[00:21:41.230] – Allan

Yes, it is important. We had Cyrus and Robby on episode 560, and they were both type one diabetics. So they were talking about diabetes and managing your blood sugar and having metabolic flexibility, because in their research, that's really kind of the linchpin of health from a metabolic perspective. It's not that you're always keto or you're not eating any sugar. It's not that do something any weirder than just eat. But the way you do it and how you approach it and making sure that your body is able to adjust and use the different fuel systems is a valuable aspect of human life. And so you don't have to be extreme if you're just smart about it and paying attention. And that's part of what the hack part of this article was. She's using tools like the Lumen Breath Analyzer to figure out what's going on. She knew she was burning fat. This is actually started the story. She was in France and she didn't want to eat the Croissant, and so she had the lumen, and she was sitting there and she knew she was burning body fat at that particular moment. And she wanted to keep burning that body fat for energy.

[00:22:58.390] – Allan

She did not want to use the Croissant for energy. And she was able to do that with Lumen. Because when we're losing fat, when we're burning fat, our body does this chemical reaction. It turns it into carbon dioxide and water. And so what we're typically losing is that breathing out of that carbon dioxide. And you've probably heard this if anyone's talking about global warming, the weight, the number of pounds or tons of carbon dioxide that are being emitted. And it seems weird that a gas would have weight, but it does. Not a lot, but it does. And so when it adds up, that is weight. So you're breathing out more carbon dioxide when you're losing weight and using body fat for that than you would otherwise. And that's what this tool knows, is how much carbon dioxide relative to oxygen. And there's a formula, and then once it'll tell you where you stand, burning that fat.

[00:23:56.590] – Rachel

It's a helpful tool. I know that when I started Keto gosh years ago now, I've lost track. I went through that keto flu you talked about, and we had the fatigue as my body learned how to switch over to fat burning. And since then, it's been great. It's helpful for me as a runner to be able to go back and forth between having some carbs and burning fat and not needing all of the extra running nutrition that a lot of us runners need to use. But I just want to clarify that I don't eat bread. That's the one thing I'll probably never go back to. But I'm looking for carbs in my vegetables, not so much in the breads and pastries and whatnot. But it's been helpful. And so the next thing that I'm looking at is my blood glucose. So it's something I want to keep an eye on, even though I have the flexibility right now. I just want to make sure I'm not overworking my pancreas.

[00:24:49.200] – Allan

Yeah, well, we had a podcast sponsor that does that continuous monitoring. I wore one for a few weeks. I was in ketosis. So when I was talking to the dietitian, she was like, I don't see numbers like this. She says, my blood sugar did not move. It was right at about 70 every single day. Every time it measured, it did not go up, it did not go down. And she's like, what are you doing? I said, I'm eating a ketogenic diet and I'm in ketosis. So it's like, if I need any energy, I'm just going to body fat for that. And I'm not eating anything that would surge my blood sugar. And I'm eating protein, and I'm eating fiber. And as a result, my blood sugar stayed constant for the entire three weeks that I was wearing this thing.

[00:25:38.850] – Rachel

Wow.

[00:25:39.810] – Allan

And I figured I would probably stay in a pretty tight range. I didn't realize it would be that tight. Like one or two points movement the whole time. So that was kind of odd. But it was what ketosis can do. That's a strategy. She's eating low carb when she wants to burn fat, but she will eat carbs. And basically that's the metabolic flexibility that she wants. You're able to eat carbs because you go out and do a very long run, and you've got maybe 2 hours if you're going at a good regular pace, you've got about 2 hours of glycogen in your muscle liver, and then that's where most people to run in a marathon, about mile 14 bonk. And the bonk is where they've used up all that glycogen. And if they didn't refuel, they didn't take in sugar while they were doing this something fast, because you can't be fiber and leafy greens, and it can't be just normal carbs and your body. So if your body is not used to using fat for energy, you bonk. Or if you're not taking the gooze bonk. And so you're, being a ketogenic runner, have the capacity to flip back.

[00:26:50.280] – Allan

So you can do that. You'll start burning fat throughout the whole thing, depending on the pace you go. And so you're not completely, maybe not even completely getting rid of all of your muscle glycogen and liver glycogen, but you're able to complete the run and then you stop after and you have a beer and Insulin comes to the rescue and says, we got all this stuff. We got to get out of here. And the muscles and the liver are the first preference. And so the instant will shuttle that into the muscles in the liver and you're fine. You're probably not even necessarily leaving ketosis. And if you do it's for a very short period of time and then you're right back in.

[00:27:30.340] – Rachel

Yeah, I think that's part of the benefit for renters is that we keep this process moving, we keep using the energy we're putting in. So on a sedentary lifestyle or on a rest day, I still need to keep an eye on food, just make sure I get enough for a regular day, but not so much that I need to go run 2 hours to burn it back off again.

[00:27:58.010] – Allan

I think, again, one of the core of this is to realize that you can track this stuff. The lumen is a great tool. The continuous blood glucose monitor is a great tool. Just getting one of those meters from a local pharmacy with the strips and testing your blood sugar from time to time, testing to see how certain foods are going to affect you, the order with which you eat the foods, that's an important thing. And so just kind of seeing how all this works in your body, we're all bio unique and so how food processes in your body is and maybe even different than it was ten years ago. A lot of us, like, I could eat anything 10 15 years ago and couldn't put on the way, and now I am. So something has changed. Same human, different results. And so you won't know if you're not measuring. So that's just one of the cores of it.

[00:28:52.930] – Rachel

for sure. Yeah, I think that would be a really fun experiment to try, if not a continuous, periodic glucose check just to see. Like you had discussed how different people can maybe have a different reaction to having a banana. And a while back, I was interested in trying sweet potatoes and I was concerned about the reaction I would get with that blood glucose hit. So, yeah, it would be really fun to try that out and experiment with different foods.

[00:29:19.240] – Allan

Yeah, there is a good bit of fiber in sweet potatoes. I could I can't eat sweet potatoes as a part of a low carb diet. The problem is I would go to the restaurant and order it and they would come out and they'd say, okay. I say you got cinnamon, and they're like, well, it's already mixed with the sugar. They literally buy the cinnamon. And I'm like the sweet potato. It's called sweet potato. It's already in the name. You don't have to add sugar to things that are sweet. And so Tammy would get upset with me, but I would bring butter, and I would bring cinnamon to the steakhouse and pull out my butter, and I'd put a pad of butter on the steak just to add a little bit of fat. And then I would have my own cinnamon to sprinkle on my sweet potato, and I would also cut it. I'd buy the steak, and the steak was like three or four servings, so I cut it in half, cut the potato in half, ask them for a container, put that away, and then eat half a meal, which was plenty. Okay. And so it's just kind of those little tweaks when you start understanding what's working and what's not, that you can do certain things.

[00:30:23.650] – Allan

Some people's carb threshold will be a lot higher, particularly if you're active, your carb threshold probably is higher than someone who is not able to exercise or chooses to not exercise. You're choosing to have a low carb threshold, or you're choosing to have a high carb threshold based on some of your actions. So there are ways you can get through and use it. So it's not really hacking as much as just understanding what works for you and making that your thing.

[00:30:54.100] – Rachel

Yes, absolutely. Very individual.

[00:30:56.810] – Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week, then.

[00:30:59.470] – Rachel

Sounds great. Take care, Allan.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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Why most people fail at their health and fitness goals

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Most people will set a goal and then they do their best to make it happen, only to fail miserably. Goals only work when you do them right. On episode 564 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss goal setting done right.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:07.010] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How you doing?

[00:02:08.880] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today? Oh, no.

[00:02:13.980] – Allan

Well, anyone that's on my email has kind of got a really deep dive update from me. And there's that drama from those emails is not over. It's continuing and it probably will continue for a while, but I'm working past that and looking forward. But we've just had so much weird stuff happen. We're having a drought in Bocas del Toro, which is happens, it's like the second time it's happened while we were there. So it happened about almost three and a half years ago. It's happening again. If we don't get rain, we don't have water. It's just that simple. We're on an island and it'll collect up water, but then when that water runs out, it's out. We've gone too long without rain. And the city was real cool about continuing to run the pumps after the water ran out, so they filled our tanks up with mud and we had to hire some guys to come out and clean the mud out. And then we bought some water. So we have some water that we bought and the city's trying to run around with trucks and fill people's tanks, but of course, everybody needs some water.

[00:03:15.160] – Allan

So it's literally just this thing and then the timing of it. We're headed to the States as we're recording this for my daughter's wedding, so we're not even there and someone's running it for us. And so it's kind of like, just put her in a spot, but we're going to do what we can to help her manage remotely. But it's just kind of one of those things you're like, okay, just keep kicking me, just keep kicking me. I'll get up. I'm going to keep getting up.

[00:03:38.660] – Rachel

Goodness gracious. What chaos.

[00:03:40.950] – Allan

Yeah. How are things up there?

[00:03:43.210] – Rachel

Less crazy than what you've got going on, but yeah, we're good. We're just closing out the year. Fall is going to turn to winter, and our race calendar is open, so just getting ready for the holidays is all we got. And Mike's surgery, of course. Yeah, everything's just fine.

[00:04:00.780] – Allan

Excellent. Excellent. All right, so you're ready to talk about goal setting?

[00:04:05.350] – Rachel

Sure.

Episode

I'm calling this episode why Most People Fail at Their Health and Fitness Goals. Even if you know how to write a goal using the smart formula, which I'll talk about in a moment, it's very hard to write goals that are going to get you where you want to go unless you're very, very good at setting a goal that is going to work for you. So one of the main reasons that people really struggle with their health and fitness goals is they're just not setting the right goals. They're not thinking through the self awareness piece, and they're not really getting to know what actions are going to give them the best results. So there's always going to be that struggle, am I doing the right thing? But for many of us, we do know the right thing. We know exactly what we're supposed to do or what we need to do to meet our health and fitness goals. It could be, I know that carbs are not going to work for me if I want to lose weight, so I need to eat less carbs. We know that. Or I overeat because I have these little binge parties of snacks that I hit when I get home from work and I'm stressed.

I know I need to do less of that, or I know I haven't really been training as hard as I could or as much as I should, and therefore that's what I need to be doing. And so most of the time and I talk to clients all the time, they're like, I know what to do. I know what to do. I'm just not doing it consistently. Okay. So this won't necessarily solve that problem, because when you set a goal, what you do has to be consistent. That's how the goal becomes a habit in the doing of a goal that makes your habits, that makes your lifestyle. So just realize this won't fix the first problem of motivations and other things. But once you're ready to start setting some goals, you do need to set the right kind of goals. And that's where the Smart methodology or Smart acronym came from. So smart stands for specific, measurable attainable, relevant and time bound. But I propose that the reason people still suck at setting goals is they're missing one letter. So you can call these smart goals two A's or you can put an A at the end and call it a smart A goal.

Okay? Whichever way you want to do that acronym SMAART or Smart A, I'll leave that up to you. But there is an A that we need to consider when we're setting goals, and that's where most people go wrong. Okay? So if you're not familiar with the smart goals, I've covered this before, it's been quite a while. So I'm going to do a recap on that of what smart goals really are.

So a smart goal, the S stands for specifics. So with a goal, with a smart goal, you have to be very specific about what the goal is going to do, what you're trying to do. It needs to be a very specific thing. It can't be, I'm going to improve my health. Okay, that's so nebulous. What, are you going to have better blood markers? Are you going to lose weight? You're basically going to be able to breathe better, have a better Vo2 max? Are you going to avoid toxins and eat healthier food? So you know, you're building yourself with really good quality nutrients? Health is a nebulous thing. You can't just say, I'm going to improve my health, or you can't say, I'm going to improve my fitness.

What, are you going to get stronger? Are you going to get faster? Are you going to be able to run further? Again, fitness in itself can't be a goal because it's just not specific enough. You need something like, I'm going to improve my Vo2 max or I'm going to improve my power output or I'm going to improve my squat. And so you see at that point, you've basically found something that is more specific. So people will set those specific goals, I will lose weight.

And then it has to be measurable. Weight seems to be kind of an easy one, right? We're going to lose weight. I can measure strength by looking at my three rep max or one rep max on a lift. I can measure my increase in speed and endurance by finishing the 5k faster than I did before getting a personal record. So measurable is something where, you know, okay, this is how I'll know I succeeded at this goal. So I measure that goal. I'm like, okay, here's my measurement criteria and I'm specific with that of what I'm trying to measure. Okay? Attainable means it just needs to be within your reach, within reason.

If I said I'm going to get into the NFL. I'm 56 years old. Probably not going to happen. I don't know of any 56 year olds that came back to the game after just playing through high school and were suddenly these crazy athletes that were able to get back into the NFL or the NBA or any professional sport for that matter. And so that just isn't reasonable or attainable for me to think I can do those things.

So attainable is usually something that's just outside of what you have now, but you know, with reasonable effort over a period of time, you can get there. Okay? So no, you're not going to name an actor, actress or whatever that you think has really done a good job with the way they look and the way they are. You're not going to get there. But if you're looking to look better next month, next week, next quarter, you can do that and you can set some measurable things that you'll do to get there. But it has to be within the realm of reality. OK? Attainable.

Now relevant is a really important one that a lot of people skip over.

But I think this one is actually maybe of all the ones in the smart part, this one might be the most important. And the reason I say that is relevance is relevant to you. It's relevant to what you care about. And if you've followed me for any amount of time at all, you know that I'm a big proponent of you having a very big why and a vision. So goals should really just be mile markers to your vision. If it's outside of that, then you're going somewhere else and that's not good. So I'll give you a perfect example of this. I was doing CrossFit and I was enjoying it. And they got into a segment where they started really stressing strength. The coach programmer was really pushing on strength. And I love that. I mean, I love strength. It was only when they did the strength and then they were trying to do the dynamic stuff with the metcons that I started having some issues with CrossFit. But we would start doing deadlifts. And deadlifts are kind of like my Christmas, okay? So I walk in, I see that the water of the day, the workout of the day is deadlifts.

Man, I'm like, cool, this is going to be a good day. And so as I started going, I was like, I want to just increase my deadlift strength. I want to see how strong, actual strong I can get in the deadlift. I started doing that and one day I was doing that workout, doing the deadlifts, and I got really heavy and I surprised myself with how well I did on that lift that day. Now that was the first part of the workout. Later in the workout my back went out and I was in a ton of pain. And then it hit me. I let my ego get in front of me and I was focused on the deadlift and I was focused on that as a goal. But that had nothing to do with what I actually wanted out of my vision. Definitely didn't want to be sitting in the gym a mile from my house with my back killing me and I had to figure out a way to get home, walk home a mile with my back out. Not a cool day, not a cool day at all. But I only say that because that deadlift goal that I set for myself of just getting strong, strong on deadlift, it lacked so much of this.

I mean, it was specific. I wanted to get strong on the deadlift. It was measurable because how much did you lift? It was attainable because I was doing it. It wasn't relevant. It wasn't relevant to who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. It didn't jive with my vision. It was something else. So make sure that your goals are relevant to your vision and then they are the mile markers. When you hit that goal, you know you're moving in the right direction.

Okay, so the T and smart goals is called time bound. And basically time bound just means you set a time parameter for this vision. Could be 20 years from now, it could be 50 years from now. Time bound means it's next month or next quarter. It's literally like just that close. So you can say, I'm going to go to the gym at least 15 times this month and that's your goal. Okay. You could say, okay, by a certain date I'm going to reach a certain weight or a certain gene size or something. I'm going to fit in my skinny jeans by say, December 31. Okay, that's your goal.

And if you're doing the Crush the Holidays challenge, a doable goal, but at the same time it's time bound because you're saying by this date I will do this thing and so that time bound kind of puts a little emphasis on this. It's not like I will fit in these skinny jeans by whenever. There's no immediacy to it. There's no, okay, I got to get this done. It's just not there. So it does need to be time bound so that your measurement makes sense so that you're seeing the results in real time and again, if it's attainable within that time bound, perfect. Okay, you're good. So that's it for smart goals. It sounds really, really good. It sounds like it should work, right? You set the goal, you go and you charge and you start doing all this stuff and it doesn't happen. And you're like, what happened? Why did I fail at my health and fitness goal? And I can tell you the reason why most people fail at their health and fitness goals is they're setting their goals on the wrong things. They're setting their goals on the things they cannot control. So you can control what you do.

You can't control what you do, guys. Okay, so hear me out. I could cut out all bread, all carbs, and my goal is to lose 20 lbs during the month of November, cutting all that other stuff out. I'm going to do all this stuff, and I'm going to lose 20 lbs in November. Fine. My goal is to lose 20 lbs. But I can't make my body lose 20 lbs without action. So the goals are written about the outcome, not the actual actions that have to happen. So if I set my goal to lose 20 lbs and maybe it's great, I start doing a few things. I lose a pound the first week. I'm like, okay, that's good, but that's not anywhere close to 20. I mean, I just did 1 lb in a week. How am I going to do this? And maybe the second week, I lose five. I'm like, oh, great. Now I'm at 6 lbs, but I'm almost halfway through the month, so this can get tough. And then maybe I lose another 6 lbs. I'm like, okay, this is great. I'm 13 lbs down. I got seven to go for this last week. I'm going to push through, and I don't make it.

I failed at my goal. Now, I could be very happy that I lost a 17 lbs or 15 lbs or whatever, or maybe that last week I just crashed and I didn't lose any weight or heaven forbid, I put weight on. But the point being is you just can't make certain things happen because there's biological things that you don't have control over.

So the last letter in the smart goals or the smart A goals is action. What are the actions that you intend to do? And then it puts all the pieces in place. So a specific goal, if you want to lose weight and you realize it's the carbohydrates are your worst enemy, then a specific goal would be I'm going to limit my carbohydrates to 25 grams net so I can have plenty of fiber, and that doesn't bother me. So net grams of carbs, 25 grams, that's specific. It's measurable because I can look at the foods I'm eating. I can give an estimation. And so therefore, I know each day this is the number of grams of net carbohydrates I probably ate. It's attainable predominantly because I know I've done it before. It might be hard, but it's attainable.

People are doing it every day. So it's not like I'm doing something crazy. That's not in the realm of possibility. I can't do it if I put my mind to it. Relevant. Okay. I know that the carbs have caused me issues in the past, and so from a relevance perspective, I know they're going to help me lose weight. So if my intention is to lose weight, because my vision is for me to weigh less, to have more energy, all these other things, then I know this is a stepping stone in that direction. This is a mile marker. So this is really relevant to where I want to go. If I'm losing weight doing this, then it is definitely sending me in the direction I want to be, which is to weigh less and be healthier. Okay. It's time bound. I'm like, okay, every day for a month, I'm going to be like this and see what happens. Okay. Because I can control my actions. I can't control the outcome. Okay. But it's time bound. I'm going to try this way of eating for 30 days and see what happens. And again, all these circles around the fact that my goals are actions, actions I can control.

They're not outcomes that I don't control. So I'm rewriting this acronym to be SMAART or SMART A. Okay. And I want you to remember that when you set your goals, they need to be smart goals, but they need to be actions first. Things you can control. Okay. So as a general recap, I think it's pretty clear there are things that are outside your control. There are things that you just can't do. They're not going to happen. But for the things you know you can do and you want to do and you want to make sure you stay on task, set smart goals, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time bound actions that you know you can do and you'll be successful.


Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.

[00:17:45.710] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:17:47.320] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. This is really timely and I'm sure you planned it this way, but this is the time of year to start talking about goals. And I love that you've added action as a new component to determining what your goals are.

[00:18:00.730] – Allan

Yeah as we go into the end of the year, a lot of people are looking at their weight and their health and they're saying, okay, this is the year. 2023 is going to be my year.

[00:18:08.970] – Rachel

Sure.

[00:18:09.340] – Allan

And then in their head, they immediately go to the things that we always think about. And a lot of times that's just weight loss. And so they'll say, okay, over this next year, I'm going to lose 25 lbs.

[00:18:22.090] – Rachel

Sure.

[00:18:22.540] – Allan

And the problem with that is that's not really 100% within their control. And we all know that we ate a certain way when we're younger. We did a diet and it worked. And then now we do that same diet and it's not working. I don't understand. The diet worked before and it's not working now. And the reality of it is you can't control your weight. It's not something you can just set and it happened. You've got to do certain actions. And so most people will set what I call objective goals, like what they want, the outcome of the work that they do. They want that outcome. But that's not how this works. Like, if you are in a business, you say, okay, what do we want to do? Well, we want to double our revenue. Okay. You're not buying your own stuff, so who's going to do that? Okay, so it's like, okay, we're going to have to advertise more. We may rise our prices. You see how there's actions that you can take that will help maybe make your revenue go up? Well, this is no different. You can't control your weight, but what you can't control is your actions.

[00:19:21.880] – Allan

So you can say, okay, I'm going to stop drinking as much alcohol. That's an action within your control.

[00:19:28.450] – Rachel

Yeah, perfect.

[00:19:29.260] – Allan

So you set the goal. I'm going to have only two glasses of wine on Friday and Saturday nights. That's four total glasses of wine for the week. And that's your new goal. That's what you're charging for. And I'm going to do this for the whole month of November. You could sit there and say like that, you could say, I'm going to make sure I get my 10,000 steps or I complete my circles on my Apple Watch every single day. It's specific. You're hitting that mark. It's measurable. Because again, you got the number, you got the circle full. It's actionable. I mean, it's attainable because you've probably done that many steps or done that before. And it's relevant because, you know, increasing your activity level is one of the things that you'll be told that you should do if you want to lose weight. So you're doing all the right things, and it's time-bound because you said for this month or by this time. And so you say you're going to do those things. You might say, I'm going to go to the gym at least 15 times next month. Okay. And you just sit there and start ticking them off.

[00:20:33.260] – Allan

Two, three, four, all the way to 15. And you're successful at your goal because it was in your control. So making them action. I said the word action, but really, maybe a better word would be actionable. It's something you can do. It's not the outcome that you want.

[00:20:49.890] – Rachel

Sure, that sounds great.

[00:20:51.690] – Allan

And that's really where all this comes down. And why I want to add that A to it is because people will write the goal, I'm going to lose 25 lbs, and then the weight's not coming off the scale. And it's so demotivating because you just don't feel like you have control. It's like, I know what to do, but it's not working. But the thing is, if you set goals to be consistent in the doing, your chances of it happening just went up astronomically.

[00:21:17.140] – Rachel

Yes, you mentioned my other favorite word, consistency. And you got to keep at it, doing something every day to improve your chances of reaching your goal.

[00:21:26.770] – Allan

And that's the core of it. And if you tune in next week, I'm going to talk about some things that I think will blend right into this conversation where you're like, oh, wow, now I get it. Now I understand why this weight is not in my control, but my actions are, and that's why this is so important. So stay tuned for next week. It's a very interesting conversation, and I know you're going to get a lot out of it. If you like this episode, you definitely want to listen next week. So anything else you want to cover before we go?

[00:21:55.030] – Rachel

No, this is great. Looking forward to next week already.

[00:21:57.700] – Allan

All right, we'll talk to you soon. 

[00:21:59.730] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:22:00.400] – Allan

You too.

Patreons

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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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September 20, 2022

How to lose weight for the last time with Dr. Katrina Ubell

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Many of us lose weight only to regain it again. Over and over we go through the yoyo, up and down. In Dr. Katrina Ubell's book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss she shares how to get off that rollercoaster for good.

Transcript

Interview

[00:03:56.310] – Allan

Dr. Ubell. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:03:59.010] – Dr. Ubell

Thank you so much. I'm so glad to be here.

[00:04:01.570] – Allan

So today we're going to talk about your book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss, and I don't think there's anyone listening to this that ever tried to lose weight for the last time. They almost feel like we're always, in this cycle of trying to lose weight, gain the weight back, not really understand why we can't really lock these things in. What I like about your book is that it really does kind of address all of it. And what I mean by that is it clearly defines that this is a mindset problem first.

[00:04:37.300] – Dr. Ubell

Absolutely.

[00:04:38.150] – Allan

And then after we deal with some of the mindset stuff, which I think is probably a lifelong journey, then you put together kind of a protocol that can help us make this easier, make this more automatic, and then we develop the right habits, and then we have a sustainable lifestyle, and then the weight comes off.

[00:04:58.200] – Dr. Ubell

And that's how we keep the weight off, too.

[00:05:00.160] – Allan

That's how we keep it off, too. Yeah, perfect. So it's a really good book for anyone who's wondered why they yoyo and wondered why, it just seems like there's somebody else in my head making me do things that I don't want to do. I tell myself I'm not going to eat the animal crackers.

[00:05:19.270] – Dr. Ubell

And then, lo and behold, I'm stuffing my face with them. Like, I don't understand what's happening.

[00:05:24.110] – Allan

Right. So let's talk about that from the over hunger and over desire perspective.

[00:05:30.630] – Dr. Ubell

Yes. So I think that the way I try to approach this is it's definitely a mindset based approach, and that's very important. I think that we really focus on food and how we eat and what we eat a bit too much, sometimes a lot too much. But there's also some basics in terms of just how our bodies function. Well, just like human physiology, that when we work with our bodies instead of against them, the whole process of doing this is so much more comfortable. So in my opinion, if you can get to a place where the way that you're eating while weight is coming off is supportive to you, you feel satiated, you feel energetic, your digestion is good, you're sleeping well, it's a lot easier from that place to then look at the emotional aspects. Right. The mindset issues, like all those other reasons why we're asking food to solve our problems for us, we can address that a lot better compared to when we're white knuckling it with our food. We're starving all the time. We're overeating, like a lot of drama around, like, I shouldn't have had that and I can't go to that thing because they're going to have this there and I won't be able to control myself and the distraction from doing the real work that we need to do.

[00:06:46.050] – Dr. Ubell

So many people will talk about how they just feel hunger all the time, or inappropriate hunger, or they feel like they can only go a couple of hours before they're hungry. Or a lot of people are actually very fearful of experiencing hunger. And I just want to mention that there definitely are people who come from a background of lack where maybe they did really go hungry as a child or as a younger adult. And there are some issues around that. There's a lot of emotional issues too. So I don't want to downplay that when I say hunger is okay, it's like, yeah, but as long as it's feeling tolerable and not like clobbering you over the head, like you feel like you're going to pass out and faint and that kind of thing. So the best way to address over hunger is to get our hormones to function the way they're supposed to function. Essentially, I think it was like hitting the reset button on our bodies. If humans have been around for 200,000 years, it's really just the last really even just a couple of hundred years that a lot of foods have been so available, but really only more like the last 30 to 40 years where these foods are everywhere and they're relatively inexpensive and it's getting harder and harder than not eat them.

[00:07:53.990] – Dr. Ubell

So you have to understand our bodies have not adapted. So when we're eating highly refined food, when we're eating a lot of foods that contain sugar and refined flour, it messes with the way your body functions. Of course, in the book I go into more detail about that, but because of the way our bodies respond to that, when we feel hunger, it feels much more like an emergency. It feels really extreme. It feels like your stomach is eating itself or your stomach's eating your spine. Or like people talk about being hungry, the combination of hungry and angry, it's like you're so mad about being hungry. All of that is like kind of funny. We laugh about it, but it's actually not normal to experience hunger in that way. And so when we take a break from regular flour and sugar consumption and I'm not saying you can't ever have it again, I'm just saying you're taking a break. It's like rebooting your phone or rebooting your computer. You're just like taking a minute to pause and let everything settle back down. So what you notice then is the hunger that you experience is much more gentle.

[00:08:57.690] – Dr. Ubell

I think of it as like when you have been eating all that stuff, like the hunger can feel like a wave crashing over you. Just, like, pummeling you. But when you've stopped eating it and everything is evened out, it feels like a little Caribbean wave lapping at your ankles. It's just a real subtle, soft little suggestion. Hey, you could eat or not, doesn't matter. It's okay. Because humans never had food so readily available. There were lots of times for the vast majority of human existence that humans were hungry and didn't eat, and they didn't collapse, they didn't faint. No, they had energy, and they went and found some food. They went and created whatever they needed to, whether it was hunting or gathering or whatever. So that's the first thing with over hunger. And it's one of those things where often we don't even recognize how extreme the hunger is until we're not feeling it anymore. And then we start going, wait a minute, this is, like, incredible. Who knew this was possible to not really be that hungry? Like, wow, it's really not that hard to not overeat when you're not that hungry. It makes it a lot easier.

[00:10:01.000] – Dr. Ubell

Like, my experience with dieting over decades was the opposite extreme hunger. Just feeling this incessant, constantlying hunger that was just very much a means to an end, so I could just try to get this weight off. So that's what we deal with with over hunger from an over desire standpoint. Over desire, to me, just means wanting food more than is appropriate for the amount of food that your body needs. So of course it makes sense, because food keeps us alive, that we would want to prioritize food, at least to a certain extent, and that our brains would do that. But what happens for those of us who have over desire, who are overeating? I always kind of think of it as like if you've ever sat in a meeting around a conference table and someone brought some treats and they're in the middle of the table and it's like cookies or something, cookie platter. And everyone's having the meeting, but you're having intrusive thoughts about the cookies, and is someone going to take one and are they going to pass it around? And like, what if no one takes one, but I really want one, and would it be weird if I grab one now?

[00:11:01.190] – Dr. Ubell

Is it weird if I'm the first one to take one? What if everybody leaves and no one's taking one? Like, maybe I should just sneak back and grab one. I don't know if you've experienced that, but just, like, literally..

[00:11:10.750] – Allan

Sitting in a conference room, they bring in lunch and they set it over there on the counter, and you can smell it and you can see it, and the lunch is right there and the dude's talking, and now like teachers, like, wah wah.

[00:11:20.920] – Dr. Ubell

you can't even pay attention. 

[00:11:22.910] – Dr. Ubell

Yes, exactly 100%. So that's over desire. I remember looking at other people and like, they don't seem to care that there's cookies on this table. Why can I not think about anything else. That's because our brains have gotten confused in thinking like, this is essential for survival. It's extremely important, and you better eat it right now because bad things are going to happen if you don't essentially is what's happening there. And so that's a combination of the way our brains respond to eating more processed foods that contain more sugar and flour. Of course, taking a break from that really helps with over desire, too. But we also, most of us are not aware of how the weight, like our beliefs and our thoughts about food, how that creates over desire. So if you have thoughts or beliefs around certain foods, like your favorite things or your trigger foods, like, I can't control myself around that food. It's my favorite. If that's around me, forget it. I'm going to eat everything. If I see that there's no chance that I'm not going to eat that. And we think we're just conveying the news. Like, we're just like, hey, just letting you know what the facts are.

[00:12:27.900] – Dr. Ubell

But really what that is, is a story we're telling ourselves about our behavior around this food. We're telling ourselves we should think this way, feel this way around this food, and act this way around this food. And that actually creates a lot of excess desire. So we want to get to a place, I always call it peace and freedom around food. And what that means to me is you can be around all of those foods, all of your favorite foods, all of the things that are historically difficult for you to control yourself around. And it's not like you hate them or you think they're gross or anything like that. They're just not that important to you anymore. If you eat it, you know, it'll taste good and that's fine. Or you could also just as easily not eat it and you're totally fine as well. It's really a place of confidence and control and power, really. Right. Because you've taken the power back from the food, right? Like, from controlling you. We think the food has the power, then the food controls us. When the food is just this inert substance that happens to be digestible, it's just sitting there like it has no power over us.

[00:13:30.740] – Dr. Ubell

It's our thoughts about it, to have the power. So that's what we want to work on. We want to understand that, yes, there's certain ways that help our bodies to have more of an appropriate amount of desire for food, but also really looking at the contribution that our thoughts and beliefs have around food, because that makes a huge difference. I've done it myself on many I mean, just to give you an example, it's not actually in the book. This is actually after I lost my weight, I was finding myself eating peanut butter, like, spoonful out of the container, you know, and like, one spoonful, whatever. And then it was starting to get to be more and more. And I remember the day that I kept going back for another spoonful, and I looked in the container, and I was like, I think I've eaten literally a cup of peanut butter in the last however long, 30 minutes or something. And that felt like an absolute brick in my stomach. It did not feel good, yet I still was, like, wanting that emotional I wanted to feel different than how I was feeling. And so I was asking the peanut butter to do that, and I was realizing, like, I'm having intrusive thoughts about going back and having another scoop of peanut butter.

[00:14:34.210] – Dr. Ubell

So I have over desire for this, and so I had to do that at work to remove that excess desire. And now I have peanut butter in my pantry all the time. I have children. We have peanut butter. And I literally never think of it. I can have it if I want it. And also, most of the time I just don't care. I can eat it or not eat it. It doesn't matter to me. And that is that peace and freedom around food, whatever the food is, I'm going to be okay.

[00:14:59.160] – Allan

Let's talk a little bit about that because I think the peace and freedom aspect of this is kind of where we're breaking away from the cycle. And most of us, when we're gaining weight and we can't keep the weight off, we're in this cycle, we're emotionally bound to the food. We're over hungry, over desire, or both. And so there's this cycle, and to really to break through this cycle and use it for our own benefit, we've got to separate the fact that there's this reptilian brain that just thinks, feels, does over and over. So that's why we repeat these cycles, and they get ingrained and they're wired and they're in their habits. And to break that, to get to where we want to be with peace and freedom, with food, we've got to turn on the human part of the brain and kind of break through those things and create and rewire. Can you talk about the thinking cycle and how that all puts us either in a bad circle or a good circle?

[00:16:03.250] – Dr. Ubell

Yeah, the thinking cycle is something that comes from cognitive behavioral therapy. So if any listeners have ever participated in that, they might be familiar with us. It was created by Aaron Beck, who's a psychiatrist, but I'm not a therapist. But we can learn a lot from this for our purposes we can still utilize it. And really what it comes down to is that the way we think, our interpretation of whatever is happening in the world around us, our experience of life, those are our thoughts, and we get to choose what those thoughts are. If you've ever changed your mind about something, if you've ever decided to reframe a certain thing that happened to yourself, like, we know we can do this, we can decide to think differently. That doesn't mean we always have to or should, but it is available to us. If we want to do that, then the way that we think creates our feelings or emotions. I use those terms interchangeably. And that's really like the result of you thinking of thought, which is just two neurons in your brain having a synaptic connection, like a chemical connection. There's a whole chemical cascade that's triggered in our bodies.

[00:17:03.170] – Dr. Ubell

And that's our feeling. If you think about maybe the feeling of being really nervous, for me, nervous is always the easiest one. Like that butterfly feeling in your stomach. But maybe it's like anger or maybe it's even like your heart is going to split open from joy or love for somebody like that's all a result of the way that we're thinking. And then the way that we feel drives our actions. And that's like what we do, but it's also what we don't do. When we're talking about weight loss, often there's inaction, right? You're saying, why don't we do the things we know we should? And why do we do the things we know we shouldn't, right? It's all coming from the way we think and feel. And that's what's driving our actions, whether it's things that are supportive or not. So if you're thinking thoughts that create feelings that drive you to overeat or to eat more food than your body needs, or maybe a combination of foods that doesn't really serve your body, there's going to be a result to that and that result will probably be weight gain. Or it could be just stagnation plateau, just not losing, if that's what one of your goals is.

[00:18:04.050] – Dr. Ubell

And so what we do when we're typically dieting is we focus on the actions, right? Everybody is saying, hey, eat this way, don't eat that way, exercise this way, don't exercise that way. And here's the thing. If you do those things regularly, it will work for most people. I mean, I've done all kinds of things and I have lost weight, but I always gained it back again or I wasn't willing to continue doing it. Whatever it was, it just wasn't going to be something that was going to work out for me long term. So when we still have the old thoughts and feelings that drive the action of overeating, which creates weight gain, and we just try to take different actions, you know, we're white knuckling it through. We're forcing ourselves trying to use will power to take different actions. We can get some results for a while. But the problem is we still are thinking and feeling that old way that drives the action of overeating. And so we have to understand that better. So when it comes to the brain, I like to keep it super simple. I'm not a neurologist, and I don't think any of us need to be to understand what's happening in our brains.

[00:19:05.440] – Dr. Ubell

We need to recognize that there are two different parts involved in decision making. The first part, like you call it the primitive or the reptilian brain, I call it the primitive brain. I mean, it's an important part of our brain. It's really what helps keep us alive. It's not bad, it's just much less mature. And so I think of it as more like a toddler. Toddlers live in the moment, right? They're not thinking about next week. They don't even know what tomorrow is, right? But they're just like, what do I want to do right now that's going to be fun and make me feel good? And that part of us is like, I don't feel like doing that today, I don't feel like eating that. Let's order pizza. That's, that part of us that is just like forget what the plans are, I want to feel good right now. Then there's the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of our brain that makes us human, that separates us from the animals. It's not just about survival, it's really about thinking for the future. It's able to think about the past, it's able to plan. It's much more sophisticated.

[00:20:02.870] – Dr. Ubell

And I think of that part of the brain more as like the supervising mother of the toddler. And so that's what we want to be doing. We want to recognize there's nothing wrong with having that primitive brain. It has an important role but also it needs supervision. You can't just let toddlers run amok alone unsupervised in the house. Like bad things happen if you do that. So what we want to do is access that more wise part of our brain that is going to be keeping our overall best interests at heart. And we want to rely on that as much as we can. And one of the best ways I know to do that is to plan for the future. So like if you plan your food in advance, meaning like maybe the night before you go, OK, these are the things I'm going to eat. And it doesn't have to be involved just like the basics of what you're going to have. Then the next day, like when you've had a stressful morning and you're at work and you don't really feel like eating that lunch that you made, that's on plan for you.

[00:20:53.760] – Dr. Ubell

And supportive, it doesn't really matter if you feel like it or not, all you have to do is follow your plan. You know that the plan was made from that prefrontal cortex and there's not really anything up for discussion. There's no argument that needs to happen. There's no negotiations to kind of remind myself that not every meal has to be the very best thing you've ever eaten. It's okay if you don't really want to have that. And what I also want to say is that I'm a really big proponent that everything that you eat, make sure it tastes good to you. I spent so many years, forcing myself to eat all kinds of wacky, diet foods and weird recipes that I didn't even like. We're not doing that right. Let's actually eat food that is palatable to us, that we enjoy. So it's not a hardship to eat on plan. Like, maybe it would be fun to have the tortilla chips. That was always my thing. Like, the pharmaceutical reps would bring in these huge bags of tortilla chips, and I was just like, mindlessly eating them? I love them. It's like, yeah, those could be good.

[00:21:48.380] – Dr. Ubell

But you know what? I can also go to queued up. I can get those chips anytime I want to. So I don't need to eat them now because I didn't plan for them now, but later if I want to plan for them, I can because I'm thinking from that prefrontal cortex. So I think that's kind of a simplified version of how to think about it. But it also doesn't have to be so complicated. So much of weight loss, I feel like, has become so complicated and time consuming, and it just doesn't have to be.

[00:22:12.590] – Allan

I think the key here is we have to slow down a little bit. Too many times we find ourselves mindlessly doing something or just automatically doing something, and then that typically leads to shame or anger or frustration, which is not productive. So what we have to do is look at this process, and when we've done something that we didn't plan to do, break it down. Okay. What was I feeling? What was I thinking? What was going on? And then the next time we kind of find ourselves in that space, and maybe it's a point in time. You mentioned that you were doing your charts. Basically, you got into a cycle, and it was just that, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that. And then that just happened, and you caught yourself. And so from that point, you basically slowed yourself down. You kind of put some space there. And I think that's really where the rubber hits the road here.

[00:23:09.680] – Dr. Ubell

Yeah, I think of it as like, there's like a potential space there's, like something that happens if something happens for you, and you get the idea, I want to go eat something, or what do we have to eat? Let me see what we have to eat, or whatever the thought is, right, I'm going to move my way toward the pantry or the freezer or whatever it is, wherever the food is. And so often we say, like, I don't know why I was just eating it, or before I knew what happened, I was eating it, or it was all gone. It's like we kind of almost go into a fog, but also when it is so habitual to do these things and to cope in our lives with food, there isn't a lot of thought happening there because it becomes like the brain is very efficient and this is just what we do. It just basically down regulates the whole decision making process so that you just don't have to think so hard about it. You don't have to think about how to brush your teeth every single time you do it. You just driving is another great example.

[00:24:08.070] – Dr. Ubell

So what we have to do, or what we're invited to do, really, because we don't have to do anything, but we're invited to do, is to recognize, hey, you know what? I'm going to build awareness around the fact that I want to eat this food, and before I eat it, I'm not telling myself I can't have it or I shouldn't have it. I'm just saying, hey, before I have it, can I take a moment to just check in with myself to figure out what's going on for me? And because we know our actions come after our emotions, and many of us are not aware of our emotional lives, we can maybe start with, how am I feeling? Like, what's going on? For me, another great question is what is the problem that I'm asking food to solve for me right now? Unless you're physically hungry, but, like, assuming you're not, because most of the time when we're doing this kind of behavior, we're not physically hungry. What is it? And it's not like we don't have to judge ourselves or put pressure on ourselves to figure it out. It's just coming from genuine curiosity and interest.

[00:25:00.660] – Dr. Ubell

We just want to understand better what it is that we're doing. If we just keep overeating and then try to shove it away, pretend like it doesn't exist, this detestable part of me that I just want to ignore and pretend like isn't there, then we just keep repeating the same cycle, which so many of us have had that experience, right? We're like then we start just thinking, something's wrong with me. It's not possible for me. I'm broken. I'm hopeless beyond any repair. All these things that are just, of course, not true. So if we can even just create a little space, I'm talking maybe 15 seconds, 30 seconds, maybe even if you don't know what the emotion is, maybe you can just ask yourself, like, okay, well, what was even just going on right now? Like, what am I thinking about right now? And it could be as simple as, like, you're just bored or restless or maybe a little lonely, or maybe you feel a little disconnected. A lot of us use food to create this feeling of connection, companionship. It's not bad. None of it's bad. It's just we want to understand it better.

[00:26:01.080] – Dr. Ubell

And once you have a little insight into that, and even if you don't, I mean, it's okay if you try the first couple of times and you don't figure it out, but you keep saying committed to that, then you can ask yourself, do I still want to eat that? And if you do, you can. Go ahead and do that, that's fine. But then maybe the next time you can get a little bit more insight. Maybe you can find that emotion in your body and understand. I always like it. It's like if you say, I just feel so lonely, kind of asking myself, like, how do I know I'm lonely? What does lonely really feel like in my body? We teach small children what the emotions are, and then we just know, like, I'm mad. How do you know? How do you know you're mad? It's an interesting thing, actually, I think, to just kind of explore, what does it feel like in my body? And then you can find it in your body, maybe spend a little time with it and just be there with it. You're not trying to change it. Keep breathing, just noticing.

[00:26:48.570] – Dr. Ubell

How would you describe it, writing the intensity maybe a little bit, and maybe you can do that for a minute before you decide to eat the food. Then next time, maybe you can go for two minutes, maybe you can go a little bit longer, and maybe over the course of time, you can build that up to staying with that emotion for four or five minutes. I always ask yourself at the end, do I still want to eat this? And what you find over the course of time is just by staying with that emotion, it actually goes away. It just solves for itself. And then you ask yourself, do I still want that food? And the answer is no. And then sometimes we're like, But I still could eat this, so I'm going to. And if you do that, that's okay. But over the course of time, when we build a relationship with ourselves, and we know that we're going to meet our own needs, I'm not going to let you starve. It's going to be okay, right? Because we have let ourselves starve, many of us, for many, you know, over the years. So it's important to reassure ourselves of that, and then we can just remind ourselves, you know, I can have that another time, but right now I don't really need it or want it, so I'm not going to eat when I don't need or want the food.

[00:27:47.200] – Dr. Ubell

And that's a way to honor myself. And if at another time I want it, okay, then I can address this again, but it sounds kind of almost like sort of simple or like, really, that's what you have to do. But I'm telling you, this is a game changer for people who have struggled with overeating, have gained and lost. yoyoed tried all the diets. Can't figure it out. I just want to say one more thing, that the way I sometimes think about dieting is like, when we're trying all the different diets, and it's like, okay, now I'm going to go plantbased, and, okay, now I'm going to go keto. Now I'm going to whatever do paleo or whatever it is, what we're doing. It's like having a wound on your body and then just changing the bandaid again and again, right? Like changing the dressing going like, okay, well, it's not healing. Maybe I need a different bandaid. Maybe I need a bandaid of this size or one that looks like this. But we're not actually healing the problem, right. And that's why we're so focused on food. Like, oh, we think it's the bandaid that's going to do it.

[00:28:41.500] – Dr. Ubell

When we do this work to really understand the emotional component, we heal the actual wound. You don't need a bandaid anymore. It's just not that important anymore. Food no longer has to serve that role for you anymore. That's peace and freedom around food, that's actually solving for the problem.

[00:29:01.090] – Allan

Now I want to say, new thing coming out. Two thirds of people in the United States are overweight. And so it's not like there's just a few people out there that have this issue. There's a lot of us that have struggled with our weight, and a lot more probably will. But the way our culture tends to go is it almost kind of I just want to say it, Jack knifes. It just completely does this knee jerk reaction to just about anything. And so a lot of people will say, OK, I want to lose weight. And now there's this new concept called fat shaming, which is the thing, I see it, I hear it, I know about it, it's real. But there are individuals that are so into this diet culture concept stuff, that they're like, well, if you want to lose weight, that's a form of fat shaming because you're saying you're not good enough. It's really a concept I can't actually wrap my mind around. But there probably are some people that have kind of felt like because I think a lot of us approach this and say, well, I need to change because I'm not a good person.

[00:30:07.150] – Allan

And it's wrong to think that you're a bad person because you're overweight. So I get a little bit of it.

[00:30:12.270] – Dr. Ubell

Having a weight problem does not make you a bad person. It was like totally separate. Who you are as a human being and the size of your body and your eating habits are two totally separate things, right?

[00:30:22.960] – Allan

And then so for you to want to lose weight does not mean that you're disrespecting who you are

[00:30:28.780] – Dr. Ubell

or disrespecting others. Some people feel offended if someone else they know loses weight. It's been a really interesting thing, and it's interesting that you've picked up on it, because I have too. Here's why I think it's especially problematic. Because if we're not allowed to say or express our desire to live in a smaller body, then we'll feel even more shame. We already feel shame about the struggle that we have. Then we'll feel even more shame and hide even more, like, don't tell anybody, but I actually do secretly want to lose weight. And the problem is you can't do that in secret because people will see it on your body, right? Even if you don't talk to anybody about it, they can still tell that your body has changed. Here's the way that I think with so many things, the pendulum swings, I think, yes, the messaging is so important. Like, your value does not lie in what your body looks like, right? Like, it really does not. But at the same time, we all have autonomy to decide what size body we would like to live in. Some of us just want to be more comfortable. Or for some people, they don't have health problems when they're weighing less than they do when they weigh more.

[00:31:45.560] – Dr. Ubell

And they just prefer that. Some people are like, my knees hurt more and I don't want my knees to hurt. Like, that has nothing to do with diet culture, right? Really what it comes down to is I think ultimately all of us have this tendency to think that we know how to live other people's lives better than they do. You know what I mean? So we're like, well, this is what's worked for me and this is the way I think about it. And you, everybody else should think about it the same way. And instead, we just have to focus on ourselves. What do we want? What do I want for myself? What do I prefer and why do I want that? And if I can create that for myself in a way that's supportive, in a way that's sustainable, I don't see what the problem is. But I will say that some people will say, well, by writing a diet book, like you're just saying that everybody needs to lose weight. And that is not what I'm saying. I do not think that thinner is always better or even necessarily ever better. I don't care what people weigh.

[00:32:40.910] – Dr. Ubell

It's literally not something that is a goal of mine or any kind of impact I'm desiring to make. But what I am desiring to do is to help people find peace and freedom around food. And when you do that, people who have been overeating and stop doing that will often find that some weight comes off just automatically. So I like to say, like, the title of my book is how to Lose Weight for the Last Time. But it has two meanings to me. The first meaning is, would you like to lose weight? Yes. I can help you do that. Here's some great steps. But the second meaning is like another way to lose weight for the last time is to just stop trying to lose weight. You can focus on strength, wellness, how energetic you are, how high quality is your sleep, what's your digestion like, what's it like to be you around food and maybe improve that, figuring out how to deal with your emotions and your emotional life in a way that doesn't use food or alcohol as a crutch. And then we just see what happens, right? You might lose some weight and that could be okay and maybe you won't, and that could be okay too.

[00:33:44.810] – Dr. Ubell

But I think part of the idea, particularly for women, is we've been sort of sold this societal kind of message that the way to be acceptable, the way to be valuable, the way to be okay and worthy is to be whatever the current ideal body shape, size is. So we start thinking, and I'm not saying men don't experience it, but I think for women it can be kind of more heavily ingrained. That the way for me to be OK? The way for me to like myself, for the way for me to have the life that I want to live is to lose weight. And that is a problem because when you lose weight, you will still be you just in a smaller body. And I've experienced that too, so many times. It's almost like I expected myself to have a brain transplant. I'm like, Well, I'm thin now, so I shouldn't ever have a problem anymore. Which makes no illogical sense, but it's like we still kind of hope that it's the case. So that's the kind of stuff that we need to dissolve. Like no, you need to work on your sense of self worth and your thoughts about yourself.

[00:34:43.470] – Dr. Ubell

That's a whole different situation that is closely tied to weight. But then you just lose weight because you want to, because you prefer to, not because you're trying to make up for some deficiency that you believe you have.

[00:34:58.080] – Allan

Now, in the book you have an eight part protocol. And I think this is where we take all that mindset work and some of the tools that you share in the book up to this point. And we put them in place and we put them in place in a way that's sustainable for the long term, which I think is kind of the critical aspect for this. When you build this protocol, this is not an eight week protocol or an eight month protocol. Can you do this for the rest of your life eight part protocol? Can you talk about the protocol and how it works?

[00:35:30.700] – Dr. Ubell

Right? Yeah. So it's really important to me to stress how important it is for everybody to have autonomy in how they do this. Like so often we think, well, I can't possibly be trusted to know how I should eat or what I should do because I'm the one who got myself into this predicament to begin with. So that's also the messaging. Like we're the problem, we are the weak ones, we're the ones who, whatever it is, undisciplined. We need someone else to whip us into shape, someone else to tell us what to do except then we end up rebelling against it or it doesn't work really for our schedule or our family. Or we don't think the food tastes good or whatever it is. So when we create the protocol for ourselves, it's individual to ourselves. Like my clients, none of them have the same plan because none of them have the same life. And so this is like the best news ever. When you create your own plan, there's nothing to rebel against. You only put food on it that tastes good to you, that you enjoy eating. If time pressure or needing to be efficient is a priority, you build that in.

[00:36:31.010] – Dr. Ubell

You make it so that it works for your specific life. And definitely we don't want to be doing any kind of things that are like a means to an end behavior. I'll do this now just to lose the weight and then I'll figure out in maintenance, like, you won't trust me because for decades I thought that and I never figured it out. You have to figure out a way to do it sustainably, where the plan that helps you to lose weight doesn't feel like a hardship. It's like you're more than happy to continue doing this for as long as you need to, and that is how you end up losing weight and keeping it off. Not to say that you don't ever change it. You might, but you're not doing it because you can't tolerate it anymore, right? You change it for other reasons. So I also just want to mention that everybody is different and some people really like to jump in and kind of do everything all at once, and other people want a little bit of a slower, gradual approach. And I just want to say that I think either way is fine.

[00:37:25.470] – Dr. Ubell

Like, if any of these eight parts don't resonate, they don't feel right to you. You don't want to do them right now, then don't do them right now, but you know that they're available to you. Some people like to do one thing, really establish that, then keep adding. Other people are more like jump into the deep end head first, and either way is completely fine. But I'm certainly not saying that you have to do all of these eight things to have success. I don't think that's true. But they are great tools to help.

[00:37:47.630] – Dr. Ubell

So the first is keeping a food journal. And I do this very simply. I actually asked my clients not to use any of the apps because unintentionally, you'll end up seeing like different macros and calorie counts and things, and that just messes with your head. So many of us are like trying to reform ourselves as calorie counters or points counters or whatever it was. We don't need any of that stuff. What you need is maybe the notes app on your phone or a piece of paper and a pencil, and all you're going to write down is what you ate.

[00:38:15.650] – Dr. Ubell

Like, literally what you ate. Like, for dinner last night, I had grilled salmon, roasted potatoes grilled asparagus. That's all you write down. This is not hard to do, it doesn't take long because we often hear food you're like, oh, it's the worst, right? No, we just write down what we ate. We don't have to worry so much about amounts unless it feels relevant to us. If we're like, well, I ate three hamburgers when I normally would eat one. Maybe that's relevant. That could be worthwhile to put down. And the point of this is not for it to be like the mean teacher who's taking the ruler against your knuckles, but instead for you to just build awareness. What do I actually eat? So many people will tell me like I eat so healthy, I don't overeat and they totally struggle with their weight. But it's like I eat so healthy except for all these other things that I eat. And it's like our brains are so slick we will literally forget that we eat them. We will literally forget. So we just want to have some evidence because we won't remember. But the other thing is we often think if things aren't working out very well, we can figure out what to change.

[00:39:19.100] – Dr. Ubell

Yes, but the other thing that's great about a food journal is when you are getting results, you know what gives you results, right? So if later you're stuck in a plateau or whatever is going on, you can refer back and go, hey, you know what, things were going great when I was eating these things. Maybe I should bring those back in again. So that's what a food journal is.

[00:39:36.930] – Dr. Ubell

Number two is taking a break from sugar and flour. And what I mean by that is just on a regular basis. So like your regular food that you're eating day in, day out isn't going to contain that. That does not mean that your food necessarily is low carb. It could be low carb if you like that if you feel good with that. I ate tons of carbs and I lost weight. So it's not low carb, it just means that you're not eating it in the form of added sugar or added flour. This is actually way simpler than you think. I always tell my clients, I never give them any recipes. I'm like, if you know what food you like to eat, a lot of it will naturally be devoid of flour and sugar.

[00:40:10.480] – Dr. Ubell

Just eat those things. It's really, really simple. It's like the more complicated the recipe, the more likely you're going to deal with that and the more processed the food. But the good news is that even if you don't cook, there's so many places now, like grocery stores and delis and stuff, where you can get all the things that you need pre-made and you can totally do fine without that. So it doesn't mean that you don't ever eat it again. It's just that it helps your body to function hormonally so much better. It helps you to release weight so much better. It makes you more insulin sensitive, which helps with weight loss. And then you can start to add it in gradually. And that's such a great opportunity for you to see how you do. Like, for me, I used to be obsessed with bread. Like, any bread that was near me was in trouble because it was going to get eaten. And then over the pandemic, my husband started baking sourdough bread like so many people did. He still does. So we're like two and a half years in now. I've been making this amazing from his own starter that he created bread.

[00:41:07.610] – Dr. Ubell

I cannot tell you the miracle it feels still, every week when I'm like, I could eat it or I could not eat it, it really doesn't matter. Do I eat flour and sugar? I do, but I don't feel controlled by it at all. I could take it or I could leave it. It really doesn't it's not an issue for me. So we want to practice that. We want to sometimes eat that food and go, whoa, my brain got lit up by that. The chatter's back. Okay, there's some work to do on that. What are my thoughts about that food? Let me figure out a way to peacefully coexist with that.

[00:41:36.360] – Dr. Ubell

The third one is eating at meals. And so I have a whole section of the book about the snack food industry and how really it was created to sell more food because they couldn't get us to eat more food at meal times. And really, physiologically, we do not need to eat snacks. We are not infants, we are not toddlers. Like, our bodies definitely can go four or five, 6 hours between meals. Absolutely. Lots of people will say, look, you need to keep the metabolism up and you need to do this and that, and the other thing.

[00:42:01.560] – Dr. Ubell

Again, I just go back to like, if you think that our ancestors were eating every 3 hours, small meals all the time, they definitely were not. And they were trim. They were at fighting weight for sure. So not to say that if you aren't physically hungry later, you can't eat, but what we want to do is make sure that our meals are satiating enough that we can make it. And so freeing to not have to think about eating so often. I got to prepare this other little meal for very busy people or people with unpredictable schedules. It's just not sustainable to have to do so much food prep. So if you decide I'm going to eat three meals a day and I'm not going to eat snacks, like, a lot of people start losing a lot of weight just with that. So that's amazing.

[00:42:42.800] – Dr. Ubell

Number four is creating the rules for your protocol. So that is deciding like, how often you're going to eat, about what times you're going to eat. Of course there can be flexibility and even day to day. Some people have a different protocol for the weekends or the weekdays, or if your weekdays shift.

[00:42:59.230] – Dr. Ubell

Maybe some days you work from home and some days you're in the office. You can change it up based on how you decide to do that. There's lots of flexibility there, but going like, well, so and so expert says I have to eat this way or that way, or don't eat after this time. Or I get home late from work, but then I'm super hungry. But they say you shouldn't eat after that time. I say toss all of that out. You just have to look like, is your body asking for food? Are you actually physically hungry? Then you should probably eat something and it's okay if it's a little bit later. We think that denying our needs is going to help us to lose weight. It's not. It just makes us overeat more. We get the opposite effect.

[00:43:34.540] – Dr. Ubell

Number five is intermittent fasting. This is not for everybody. This is just a suggestion for my clients who are busy doctors. It can be just one of the most amazing things that's possible because emergencies happen all of a sudden. You thought you were going to have lunch and now you have to work through it.

[00:43:51.930] – Dr. Ubell

Just things come up and it's so nice when your body is like, OK, cool, we're not eating that's fine. So intermittent fasting, just to be clear, is not an eating disorder in disguise. This is not like, oh, this is how we justify really undereating. That's not what it is. It's eating all of the food that you would typically eat over the day, but over a shorter eating window. And some people really, really love it. The point of that is to give you a longer fasting period because we already fast at night. Just to extend that a little bit. That helps us to be more insulin sensitive, keeps our insulin levels low, and especially for people who like eating larger meals, who just enjoy the feeling of feeling fuller, it can be really nice because when you do eat, you tend to eat a little bit more. Also, a lot of people don't like eating breakfast. It's just not their thing. Great, then you don't have to. It's not the most important meal of the day.

[00:44:40.790] – Dr. Ubell

All right. Number six is planning ahead. That's like what we were talking about, which is planning at least the night before what you're going to have the next day.

[00:44:49.150] – Dr. Ubell

And the great news is when you plan for your food for the next day and you just follow that plan, boom, your food journal is already filled out. So two for one here. So easy. You just follow what it was. And if you had to change something for some reason, then you can do that.

[00:45:01.800] – Dr. Ubell

And then number seven is including exceptions. And exceptions are just time when you're eating off of your plan, right? So that would typically be things that are maybe more flour, sugar containing, or maybe you're deciding not to have alcohol most of the time, but then as an exception, you want to have that. And so the point of that is we're not robots. We're going to want to have some of these foods, most of us, from time to time, and deciding how we want to do that. So I typically suggest when people are in the weight loss phase, that they can still be losing weight just fine on one a week, but it's up to everybody. I have other clients who are like, yeah, I feel like I want it cool. You don't have to do that at all, but it can be available to you.

[00:45:38.330] – Dr. Ubell

And then the 8th tgool is weighing yourself daily, which is something that a lot of people get pretty worked up about and they get mad. I just want to say that what we have to remember is this is all related to our thoughts, like your gravitational pull on the scale at any given moment in time, as read out by this glass and metal and electronics device that's on the floor, is not judging you. It is not telling you whether you are a good person or a bad person. It is not telling you whether it's a good day or a bad day. It's just a reflection of some facts about your body in that moment. So many of us have such complicated thoughts and beliefs around the scale. By weighing ourselves daily, we have the opportunity to unravel that. We have the opportunity to go, hey, you know what? I get to feel how I want to feel about myself no matter what the scale reads. And it also helps us, those of us I was like this too, who feel very entitled. Well, for two days or three days, I followed my plan just fine.

[00:46:35.080] – Dr. Ubell

I should for sure see a pound down on the scale. And when I don't see it on the scale, I go, this isn't working and I'm just going to eat whatever anyway. And what we learn when we weigh ourselves daily is that we're playing the long game here. You might not see results from what you ate today for a couple of weeks, like two or three weeks. What you're seeing today is a reflection of a whole lot of other things. Like last time you went to the bathroom, possible hormonal changes, hydration status, how salty your food has been. There's so many factors that play into that. And so when you pay daily, you can actually create a reasonable set of data points to follow the trend versus if you weigh yourself once a week or once a month, depending on when you catch yourself, you might be up because you ate sushi the day before and with all that soy sauce or something and you're like kind of bloated or whatever. So people then, if they don't weigh very frequently will sometimes get upset. They're like, I haven't weighed myself in a while. I've been following my plan, and look, I weighed myself again.

[00:47:30.770] – Dr. Ubell

I haven't lost or I haven't lost as much as I wanted to. Well, right, but we don't even know what the pattern has been. So I take from this, like, the way that as doctors, we treat as somebody's lab values. You don't necessarily especially when someone's, like, hospitalized, you're following the trend. You're not being very reactive to any individual data point. You're just looking at the pattern and seeing what's going on. And when you start noticing the trend going up and you know, you haven't been following your plan, okay, well, that's good data. It's just feedback. That's all we know. Okay. We have the opportunity to readjust maybe that isn't really working. So the weighing daily thing, I think, doesn't have to be necessarily forever, but it's definitely a good way to keep track of maintenance as well. Like, we don't have to gain ten or 20 lbs before we decide, oh, hey, weird, I'm gaining this weight back. We can catch it a little bit earlier. So those are the eight tools, and like I said, you can use all of them. You can use some of them. You can have tons of success no matter how you work it.

[00:48:27.030] – Dr. Ubell

It's more that you are consistent in doing that and that you're working with yourself instead of against yourself.

[00:48:33.070] – Allan

Yeah, and I would encourage people to try each of the eight. Don't just say, well, that's not for me, because I don't like the food journal, so that's not for me. Just try it. Give yourself three weeks, four weeks. See what you learn. And if it's not a helpful tool, then do away with it. Try some intermittent fasting a couple of times a week. See how it feels, see how you do. See if that helps. And if it's not working for you, then, yeah, toss it.

[00:48:56.980] – Dr. Ubell

Most of my clients end up liking being able to fast, but I have definitely had clients who have really tried with the fasting, and they just never feel good. And you know what great then the solution to that is you just eat. It's okay.

[00:49:06.750] – Dr. Ubell

Like, there's nothing bad you can't do. That it's. Okay.

[00:49:11.090] – Allan

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

[00:49:20.840] – Dr. Ubell

So my first one is you have to know how to manage your emotional life. You've got to learn how to even understand what your emotional life is. I grew up raised by German immigrants. I mean, emotions were not a thing. This is just not something I ever learned. And I was in my 40s when I actually started figuring out, like, what is an emotion? What do I actually feel like? I literally don't even know. So I think that's a huge piece of wellness because I think a lot of the areas where we struggle are as a result of us avoiding our emotions. We don't know what to do with them. We don't want to feel them. It feels scary, it feels unacceptable. Whatever it is, we just try to stuff them down and we use other behaviors and other kinds of crutches to keep us from experiencing them. So first of all, moving toward that, I'm not exaggerating when I say I hired a therapist to teach me how to feel. I literally did like to teach me how to cry. I feel like it is in there, but I can't get it to come out.

[00:50:19.910] – Dr. Ubell

That was the level of kind of repression I had been holding for emotions for so long. So I'm not saying somebody necessarily has to hire a therapist to do that, but just to point out if it's hard for you, it's okay. There's nothing wrong with you. That is a normal thing, particularly depending on what your upbringing and just what your life has been like. So I think that's the first part. I think the next part about really being happy is developing that positive relationship with yourself. What I mean by that is doing what you say you're going to do for yourself. What we usually do is we're totally accountable to everybody else in our lives. And if we tell them we're going to do something, we're for sure going to do it. But when it comes to ourselves, it's a bit hit or miss, right? Like. I might, I might not. And then we get mad at ourselves where we think that cracking the whips, so to speak, speaking internally to ourselves, harshly being mean to ourselves, that's somehow going to help us to do better. But it doesn't. It actually makes us want to eat more food.

[00:51:18.850] – Dr. Ubell

Because being with us, being me in my life feels miserable when that's the self talk and that's the inner narrative. So just to be able to enjoy life as you on this planet, it's really worthwhile to stop judging yourself, to offer yourself kindness and compassion. That doesn't necessarily mean letting yourself off the hook. That's what everybody's worried about. Then I'll just eat everything and I'll just lay on the couch and I'll never be productive. No, you won't. You'll actually feel safe enough to go out there and do things knowing that if you mess up, it's going to be okay because you won't abandon yourself, you won't beat yourself up. You won't be mean to yourself over it. Essentially offering yourself unconditional love. So I think those two are just absolutely huge. And then the other thing I would say is I just want to touch on exercise because we haven't talked about that too much. There's so much, especially in the weight loss world, about the types of exercise that will help you to lose weight the fastest and exercising with the purpose of trying to lose weight. And I think it's so much more important to connect to the idea that human bodies are meant to move.

[00:52:24.820] – Dr. Ubell

It actually feels good to move a human body, especially if you can find a way to move that you enjoy. Rather than telling yourself, I have to go on the elliptical for 30 minutes and you don't like the elliptical, like, what do you like to do? Maybe it's like playing tennis or getting out and playing golf, and you walk with your bag instead of taking the cart or getting out into nature or taking a dance class or just other things and not having that be, like, something that you're doing because you're trying to lose weight. Because we know that exercise does not actually help with weight loss. It does help with weight maintenance, but not with weight loss, but reconnecting to your body in that way. This is part of one of the benefits of being a human on this earth, being able to enjoy moving your body. So just keep at it until you find something that you enjoy. If you're already doing something, ask yourself, Do I like this? Why do I do this? If you do it because you feel great, it elevates your mood. You're just a happier person. You connect with your friends.

[00:53:24.530] – Dr. Ubell

Amazing. Keep doing it if you're like. I'm doing this because, like, out of fear or worry or feeling like, obligation, I would reconsider that because that's also something that we're not usually willing to do ongoing either. And then we're exercising in fits and spurts as well. So I think that can really change people's relationship with exercise.

[00:53:45.570] – Allan

If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:53:54.390] – Dr. Ubell

Yeah, well, the book is available anywhere you can buy books. So, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Independent Booksellers. Even internationally, it's available. There's also an audiobook version on Audible that I did narrate, and there's actually some audio extras on there as well. If they're listening to a podcast, they might like to listen to books as well. So those are all available. My website is katrinaubellmd.com. There's some free resources there. And then also within the book, I think with basically every single chapter almost, we have some additional resources to offer because, you know, what we do, what do we all do? We've all done this. Buy a book, and then it just sits. We don't read it, or we kind of flip through, or we just don't take action on it. So those resources will help you to take action on what you're learning in the book. So you actually start to apply this to your life. So those are available for free as well.

[00:54:46.280] – Allan

And there's a lot more to this book than what we were able to discuss today on your hunger scale. I wish I could have gotten to that, because I think that's brilliant and just the opportunity to really do the deep dive into the mindfulness and mindset stuff, you really got good on that. So thank you for that. And Dr. Ubell, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:55:07.010] – Dr. Ubell

Thank you so much for having me. It was so fun.


Post Show/Recap

[00:55:17.330] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:55:18.960] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Wow, I could have listened to you guys for another hour, talk about that book, how to Lose Weight for the Last Time. Brain Based Solutions. It's right up our alley. I love the mindset start.

[00:55:31.620] – Allan

Yeah, it was so funny because as I was going through the book, I always have my talking points, and I send those over, and as I was going, I realized, okay, we're going long. If I ask everything I want to ask, then this is going to be a very long podcast. So I didn't even ask, like, I wanted to talk about her hunger scale, because this is a really interesting tool when you sit down to eat, and if you really focus on it, it's going to keep you very mindful of how you feel while you're eating. And the principle is this as you think about a scale from a negative ten to a positive ten, and so I forget which way the scale flipped, but basically, if you find yourself getting to, like, a negative four, meaning you're really hungry, starting to get hungry, started to feel hungry, you go ahead and eat. You don't skip meals unless you don't feel that hunger. So she does talk about intermittent fasting as a tool. But beyond that, she says eat before you get too hungry and then only eat to a point where you're at a four, not a ten.

[00:56:36.110] – Allan

And so there's a principle of eating, there's a Japanese statement for it called hara hachibu, which basically and I probably butchered that. So if you speak Japanese and I said it wrong, correct me, but I'm sorry. At any rate, it's just basically a principle of eating to you about 80% full. And I think most of us are aware of that. We don't want to get over stuffed. We don't want that bad feeling. So if you're eating to a point where you're almost full, as time passes, you'll notice that you feel that fullness and you ate just the right amount. If you eat to a point where you're just no longer hungry, by that point you've probably overeaten.

[00:57:16.640] – Rachel

Sure. It's really important to sit with that hunger feeling. As a kid, I was told I couldn't leave the table till I finished my meal. And it's a behavior that kind of sticks. I look at my plate and my kids plate when they were little, and I'm like, oh, can't let that food go to waste.

[00:57:31.740] – Allan

Yeah. And that's a true statement. And she brings that up in the book, is that that's a part of the whole conditioning as we grew up, is to eat a certain way and eat everything that's on our plate. And it's just really hard to break that. One thing you could do is just buy smaller dinner plates.

[00:57:50.990] – Rachel

Right. Yeah.

[00:57:51.870] – Allan

And then just buying smaller dinner plates, you're going to have less food at the table. Also preparing your food in the kitchen on the plate, plating it and carrying it out rather than having a buffet sitting in front of you that you just keep eating on. But that self awareness, that thinking through of what you're doing, what you're feeling, your thoughts, and just kind of building that bridge and understanding. If you're doing something that you don't want to be doing, there's probably some thought process, some emotional process that's going on that you're feeling a certain way when you're doing it. And if you can break that down and then put that pause in there, give yourself some space, it'll help you choose your actions a little bit wiser.

[00:58:37.190] – Rachel

The other interesting thing she mentioned was her relationship with peanut butter a while back. And like many runners, yes, I do have a very strong relationship with peanut butter. And it is funny because it is a go to of mine. If I get stressed or anxious, I first like to go for a run. Two, I do like to pour myself a cup of coffee because when I drink my coffee, I make myself sit and ruminate. So I need to think about things when I have my coffee. But peanut butter, I do the same thing she does. I'll take a spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar. And a lot of the times it is an emotional it's not necessarily that I'm hungry or that I need peanut butter for any reason whatsoever. But it's interesting the relationships that we have with food that can be soothing for different reasons.

[00:59:23.310] – Allan

Yeah. And there's just so much in this book. So I'd encourage anyone who is having difficulty changing the way you eat and you're eating foods that are not on your diet, not on your plan, and you find that just kind of being a normal thing for you. This is a good book because she's got a lot of tools and a lot of things in there for you to do. A lot more deep diving into your relationship with food and improving it.

[00:59:48.800] – Rachel

The eight part protocol she has seems like a really helpful list of tools and things to think about. And we've talked about journaling in the past.

[00:59:58.340] – Allan

Yeah. And it doesn't have to be this crazy thing. Some of my clients, I'll be working with them, I'll just say, take a picture of your food, everything you're going to eat all day, just take pictures of it, post it into my app, and then we'll see. And that is often enough with them, just as soon as they sit down to eat something, taking a picture of it for them to kind of think through, okay, why do I have these Pringles sitting here? Why am I eating them? What's the feelings I'm having? Is there something going on with my body that I just need to be aware of? Am I really hungry or is there something else? One of the things she said in the book was that every one of us is an emotional eater. And it's true. I don't think anyone can deny you might at first say, oh, no, I'm not an emotional eater. But I can say, okay, well, if you go to a baseball game and you feel like you have to have a hot dog and a beer because you're at a baseball game, that's emotional leaning. If you've ever sat down with a bag of something and you're watching a sporting venue, watching a TV program, and you eat the whole thing, that's emotional eating.

[01:01:12.710] – Allan

If you're not fully aware and mindful of what you're eating, you're emotionally eating.

[01:01:18.940] – Speaker 4

For sure. The way we celebrate birthdays and all the things, there is a lot of emotion tied to that stuff.

[01:01:24.890] – Allan

Yeah. And so that's the big part of this. Is managing your hunger. But living in it and understanding that sometimes we are over hungry and sometimes there's over desire for foods and just recognizing those and then trying to build a protocol using these eight parts to go through and say. Okay. This is what I'm going to try these eight protocol steps. And maybe I implement them one at a time. Which is basically saying. This is how I'm going to eat. And once you get that plan together, sticking with it long enough to see that it's working, I think you can do a lot of good for a lot of people.

[01:02:03.430] – Rachel

Yeah, that was really great. Sounds like a really great book to have.

[01:02:06.990] – Allan

Yeah, it's a really good one.

[01:02:08.770] – Rachel

Okay.

[01:02:09.480] – Allan

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

[01:02:12.640] – Rachel

All right. Take care, Allan.

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September 13, 2022

The 7 Weight Loss Mistakes people over 40 make

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Throughout my years as a personal trainer, I've talked to a lot of people over 40 who were trying (unsuccessfully) to lose weight. On episode 555 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss the 7 most common weight loss mistakes that people over 40 are making.

Transcript

Episode

Today I want to share with you the seven weight loss mistakes that I see most people over 40 make. And these are really important because if you're making these mistakes, it's going to make weight loss much harder. So let's go through these seven weight loss mistakes and see if you're doing any of these. Okay?

Cutting Calories Too Much

The first one is cutting calories too much. A lot of people will drop their calories down to some drastic number in the hopes that they're going to lose the weight faster or begin losing weight again if they've stopped. And so I want you to think of body fat in the same terms that we would look at like our country's strategic reserves of oil.

OK? We keep those barrels of oil and gasoline. We keep that stuff in reserve because we know at some point we might need it. Okay? And what happens when you cut your calories too much is you're signaling to your body that you're going to war. And if your body believes that you're going to war, it's going to cling on to its energy reserves as much as possible, meaning it's going to hold on to that body fat. And so you actually are training your body to lower your metabolism and thereby not release that fat because it's afraid it's going to starve to death. And so while you're not really going into a starvation mode, that doesn't happen for many days. You are telling your body to function on less and your energy levels will go down whether you recognize it or not. When you work out, you're not working as hard, so it really cuts back on a lot of things and it keeps you from optimizing your health. So instead what I recommend is, yes, cut your calories a little. Your calories should never go below 1200. 1200 is the basics of what your body needs to survive.

Just with basic function, if you're down around the 1200 or below 1200, your body is going to struggle to function, right? It's going to turn certain things off and that's not a good thing. So if you just cut back your calories a little bit from what you would normally eat and then just move a little bit more than you normally move, you're going to create a slight deficit for a while. Your body will adjust. But you just rinse and repeat this. Instead of dropping down to say, 1500 calories, take a look at what you're eating today. And if you find that you're eating about 2000 calories, drop it down to 1800. And then just try to add a little bit of extra walking, a little extra movement into your day and see if that works for you. Give it a couple of weeks and see where it goes. But you have to make sure that you're not hungry because if you let yourself get hungry all the time, you're going to fall out of it. This is not going to work and it's not going to be sustainable in the long term. You're going to train your body to function on fewer calories and then you're not going to want to eat fewer calories because you're going to be hungry, and that's going to create a problem for weight loss.

Being a Scale Fanatic

The second mistake that I see people making is being a scale fanatic. Okay? Your worth is not determined by the number on that bathroom scale. It just isn't. That's not who you are. And the scale is measuring more than just body fat. So even if the weight is going down is not a good thing all the time. You could be losing muscle. If the weights going up, that could be a good thing, because now you're rehydrated instead of being dehydrated. So the scale is not you, and it's measuring more than body fat. And then the other things happen. You may step on the scale and weigh a pound more than you did yesterday. But I can tell you, I know you didn't eat enough food yesterday to gain a pound. That's 3500 calories. And you know you didn't eat 3500 calories. So if you let yourself believe that you're getting fatter, that's a huge mistake because it's not true. The other part of this truism stuff, when we're looking at this being a scale fanatic, is that it's never going to be a straight line. You're not going to consistently lose half a pound every day, each week.

It's just not going to happen. There's going to be spikes up and spikes down based on body water, hydration, and just things are sticking around in your system. Yeah, the poo is going through your system. If you didn't have your regular break, then maybe you have some of that in you. That's why you weigh slightly more or didn't lose weight. So it's not going to be a straight line. And so if you find when you step on the scale, that number is hurting your feelings, or that number is how you are now going to live your day, you really need to change your relationship with your scale. I don't recommend people weighing themselves every day if they feel they have an unhealthy relationship with the scale. I encourage you to weigh yourself about every four days, maybe once a week. Give it a little bit of time so you're seeing a trend over a few days and a week or four days, something like that, gives you enough time to make some course corrections. If you go through two weeks and what you're doing isn't working, then you might want to tweak it a little.

Not a lot, but a little. So don't be a scale fanatic. The scale is not the number you're interested in. It's body fat. And if you want to lose body fat and you want to measure that, start measuring your body in the places where you carry body fat. And that's when you're going to see that you are actually getting smaller. Might not show up on the scale, but then, you'll know.

Cardio and More Cardio

The third weight loss mistake that I see a lot of people making is they become cardio bunnies. They're cardio and more cardio. It happens every year in January. You go into any fitness place and you're going to see all these newbies that just joined the gym and they're all on the cardio equipment and that's all they're going to do. And then they're just going to do more of that and more of that until they finally fall out. You've probably heard the statement that abs are built in the kitchen and that's the true fact. You're not going to lose weight just by doing cardio. I mean, I've seen people come to the gym and stick with it and they're there five days a week on the cardio equipment.

And over a year you don't see any change in them at all. They're literally the same size as they were a year ago and they're doing the cardio. So the cardio is not going to get you there. What you eat and how much you eat is what's going to move your weight. It's what's going to help you lose the weight and lose the body fat. So we want to eat whole food and we want to make sure that we're getting adequate nutrition and we're eating just enough to stay healthy and lose some weight. Okay, so cardio is a tool. If you want to have more stamina, cardio is a great tool for that and it can help you with your weight loss goals, but it is not the way to do it. And just doing ever more cardio is not the answer to weight loss.

Drinking Your Calories

Weight loss mistake number four is drinking your calories. Now this could be juices, smoothies, protein drinks, alcohol. We drink a lot of calories and some people don't even want to count those calories, but they can be quite significant. One of the problems that happens when you're drinking calories is one, a lot of the things that we drink are calorie dense and not nutritionally dense.

So alcohol is just empty calories. That's all it is. You might enjoy it, but it's not helping you lose weight. A lot of people will take these shakes as a way of losing weight and their meal replacement shakes, but again, they're not going to satiate you long enough for them to be effective over the long haul. And what's going to happen when you stop drinking those shakes? You're probably going to put the weight back on again, even if it did work for you. So avoid drinking your calories whenever you can. Eat whole food, chew it up. Make sure your body is going through the digestion process because there's an energy cost to digestion. And if we are drinking our calories, it's already digested practically just goes straight into our system. And you want to slow the process down so you feel full longer and your body burns energy, digesting the proteins and the fats and the fiber. You want that. You want that slow steady burn of calories over time and not just the big hit dose of boom here it is.

Going it Alone

Number five, going it alone. Now there are people that can, there have been people that do but most don't.

Okay? Now that doesn't mean you're a bad person and it doesn't mean that you lack what you need willpower and motivation. But what you do is bring on a team. And when you have team members with you it makes your success better. It makes it easier. It makes it sustainable. It makes it a part of you. So having a workout buddy or a walking friend, hiring a coach, having these team members, having these partners and coaches they're all going to help you be more successful. They're going to help hold you accountable. And accountability is one of the most significant motivators out there. Some of us are self motivated and that's great. That intrinsic motivation is really good. But if you don't find yourself 100% intrinsically motivated to do your workouts every day, to do your movement every day, to do your eating the right way every time then you're going to struggle. But having an accountability partner is really really important and a lot of programs including my own are built on the structure of accountability. Okay? The other thing that going it alone means that sometimes you just don't know what the next step is.

I mean you know you're on a diet you're going to try this diet but how do you transition off of that way of eating after you've lost the weight and not getting it all back again? So having someone there to provide a little bit of guidance and support can also be very important on your journey. Otherwise you might find yourself chasing after all the snake oil salesmen that are trying to get you to do something else besides having a healthy diet. And that leads me to the next one.

Looking for an Easy Button

Weight loss mistake number six is using the easy button. Okay? There are pills, there are shakes, all kinds of things out there that are sold to help you lose weight because it's a multi billion dollar industry to help you lose weight. The problem is that most of the time these things don't even work and many times they're quite dangerous. There was a drug on the market called Finfloramine. Okay? So they call it FinFan and basically FinFan was a drug and it was quite effective but it was also quite effective at destroying people's hearts and the heart valves in particular. And the sad part of this was that there have been supplement companies selling weight loss supplements and putting some of these banned substances in their products so they would be effective.

And so when you start trying to go down this road of trying this pill or trying that thing just buyer beware. They may not have your best interests at heart. They want to sell product and if they can give you a product that shows it's working but in the long term it's hurting you. They're going to sell a lot of product, they just are. Okay? So just realize that these guys are out there trying to sell you something. There is no easy button. There just is no easy button.

Not Getting Your Mindset Right

And then the 7th weight loss mistake is not getting your Mindset work done first. Too many people approach this with a strategies and tactics first model. They're going to go on this particular diet, they're going to exercise this many days per week on the treadmill. They got it all planned out, all these strategies and tactics. But then they stop. And why do they stop? They stop because they didn't get their mind right first. So you want to start your process by thinking about your why. Why do you want to lose this weight? If it's not important to you, not important enough, not emotionally important to you, then you're going to struggle.

You just are. So getting your why together, being very specific about why this is important to you, to get off your medications, to be healthier for your children and grandchildren, to not be in a nursing home when you get older. Those are all very compelling why's that I and some of my clients use every single day to make sure that we stay on track. Okay? The other thing that Mindset brings to the table is it helps you have the patience and for you to have the right pace in mind as you go forward. Because too many people want to lose the weight fast. And fast is not good when it comes to weight loss. It's not sustainable and it's not something that's going to stick long term. So having the mindset that this is going to take a while and I'm just going to keep chipping away at it and this is the pace I'm going to be able to go because I've got all of these other things going on in my life and I can't just diet and exercise all day long. The folks that are on the Biggest Loser program, that's all they do for the whole time they're in the camp.

They just work out and they don't eat much and that's how they lose that much weight. But most of them go home and they don't have that structure and they have to go back to work and you have to get back to normal lives and they gain the weight right back. So having the patience and going at the right pace makes it sustainable for the long term. Also, Mindset helps you deal with Pitfalls and Saboteurs. Now I talked a little bit about Saboteurs a few weeks ago and we can talk about some of the Pitfalls, but every one of us is going to have something happen or some struggle. Someone brings donuts to the office and God forbid I ate one of them. We're going to have those without the right mindset, a lot of people will go completely off the rails and say, hey, I blew it. I blew it with the doughnut, so I may as well go eat lunch with the group, and I may as well have a terrible dinner and some drinks tonight. They ruin the whole day instead of having one bad incident. So having the right mindset helps you maneuver and get where you need to be, even when you have a slip up.

And then the other thing Mindset gets you to do is it helps you keep the weight off because now you're thinking in terms of developing a healthy lifestyle, and you're not thinking about a temporary diet. You're not thinking about this as I'm going to diet because my daughter is getting married in November, and I want to weigh a certain weight and be a certain size by November. You're not thinking in those terms. You're thinking in terms of, okay, my daughter's getting married. Grandkids might be coming up within the next three to five years. I need to be fit to be the best grandfather I can be, right? I want to be able to spend time doing active things with them. And so that's my motivation. That's my why, that's my mindset. And that has to become a lifestyle and not a diet. I'm not going to diet for three to five years. I'm going to have a lifestyle for three to five years. It's going to help me ready, and that lifestyle is going to stick with me for the rest of my life. So the right mindset work done first is so important to this process. I put it number seven, but it's really in my mind, number one.

Summary

So to kind of summarize these a little bit, the seven weight loss mistakes most people over 40 make:

  • Cutting calories too much.
  • Being a scale fanatic.
  • Cardio and more cardio.
  • Drinking calories.
  • Going it alone.
  • Using the easy button.
  • Not getting your mindset work done first.

Now, in my opinion, and a lot of people believe this as well in this industry, a lot of them don't. They want to sell you something that's not going to help you. But I believe that a healthy lifestyle is what you should charge after, and that weight loss will end up being a side effect of doing the right things for your body. Movement, food, and stress are all information to your body. Your body is looking for information on how to operate for you. And if you're giving it the right food and you're moving the right ways and you're reducing your stress, the bad stress, your body is going to respond by making you healthier. And when it's healthier and it gets the information that this is going on good, you're getting a good communication in your body, then your body can sit there and say, you know, it's probably okay for us to get rid of this strategic reserve body fat that we have here, because we don't really seem to need it.

There's plenty of food. I'm satiated most of the time. We're moving, we're active, and we're getting enough. We're getting the nutrition our body needs. It's going to let go of that body fat. It will.

I want to finish with a quote by Michael Pollan. He wrote the book, In Defense of Food, and I think this kind of wraps up weight loss advice into seven words and one sentence. Three sentences, okay, but seven words. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Okay. So if you start putting the right food in your body and the right amount of food in your body, and you're moving and you're managing stress, the weight will come off. So don't fall for one of these seven mistakes. And if you are, it's time to make the change. So check us out. Come to 40plusfitness.com and see what's going on there. I have some challenges. I have my be fit for task program. Check it out at 40plusfitness.com/bfft.


Post Show/Recap

[00:21:09.110] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, your seven weight loss mistakes are really perfect. I think I've made every single one of them at some point or another, and we might as well start with number one. Cutting calories too much. I know that I have done that.

[00:21:25.200] – Allan

Yeah. No one really knows how many calories your body needs, but we do know that there's a lower limit. We know there's just some point where your body is not getting the nutrition it needs to survive. Now, where is that line? Well, Ansel Keys did a study in 1944 called the starvation diet, or starvation. They want to study starvation. They wanted men to lose 25% of their body weight. And so they cut their calories down to 1570. And these men went nuts. They were doing self inflicted injuries. They couldn't let them leave. They kept them locked up in the University of Michigan stadium. If they left, they had to go with a buddy, and they do the buddy system to make sure that neither one of them cheated, and they needed them to lose 25% of their body weight. It was insane. These guys went insane. And that's at 1570.

[00:22:23.780] – Rachel

Wow.

[00:22:24.830] – Allan

For a normal person. And the point being, though, is food today is very different. It's not just that you're not getting the energy that your body might need to function well. It's that you might not be getting the other nutrients that your body needs because you're just not eating enough food. And so, you know, yes, you can cut your calories down and lose the weight very fast. But the problem is other systems, other things start to shut down. And so people will talk about extended fast and things like that, and those can be done and managed. But almost every person that does an extended fast gains every one of those pounds back as soon as they stop the fast. So it's not an effective way to lose weight and keep weight off. The main point being is find the right level by experimenting. But don't just go on and say, well, this little formula says I should be eating this many calories. Therefore they didn't calculate that formula for you. They calculated the formula based on average people with normal functioning, this and that, wanting to lose weight. And there is no straight line to any of this.

[00:23:43.040] – Allan

There is no formula. Your body will burn more calories one day than it does the next and then more the day after. And there's no rhyme or reason exactly, other than hormones and the types of foods that you ate and when you ate them and your activity level, all those different things play into this. This is like trying to use plus and minus to deal with calculus. And there's a lot more operators out there in calculus than just plus and minus. So you can't just go at this and say, I'm just going to do the calories and calories out. It'll help you cut a little bit of body weight. It will, it'll work. It does work. The math makes sense in the short run. But if you're looking at making this sustainable and doing this over the long run, just cutting calories down to some very low number is not going to be sustainable. And unfortunately, as soon as you go back to eating the way that you ate, you're going to gain that weight back.

[00:24:43.470] – Rachel

Well, it's important to notice too. I mean, ages and ages ago when I used one of those food diaries, those online apps that you can use nowadays, I plugged in. I wanted to lose five or £10 and it set me at a 1200 calorie day for dieting. And at the time, I didn't know any different. Like I didn't know that 1200 calories was probably way too low. And I did my best to eat appropriately. But there's a lot of things wrong with this picture. It's just not enough calories. I was getting fatigued. I wasn't choosing the most nutrient dense foods. Number four is drinking your calories. Those diet shakes that you can drink are low calorie and they're supposed to be these meal replacement things, but those certainly aren't satiating. I mean, just a snowball of mistakes that happened and I really didn't get anywhere with it, to be honest.

[00:25:45.210] – Allan

And here's the point where I can empirically show you that the math doesn't work. Because that same company that puts out those same numbers who won't be named here, there's value to what they do, but it's not as valuable as a lot of people think is. They will tell you you had a great day. If you eat like this every day for the next six weeks, you will be down to your goal. Okay? But you notice as you weigh yourself, you're not losing that weight the same every day, or even every week, or even every month. There's declining results. And so what's happening is you're breaking the formula. And unfortunately, once you break that formula, what, are you going to recalculate the formula? Well, okay. Again. Now we're starting to get into calculus.

[00:26:43.230] – Rachel

Oh, jeez.

[00:26:45.390] – Allan

If you just try to cut your calories and that's all you're going to do. I can just tell you overall, that doesn't work for 99% of the people. It might work for you, but that's only if you're going to be doing it very smart. Cut a little, move a little bit more. That might and can be sustainable. But you're not giving your body the nutrition it needs. You are destroying your health. You are not helping yourself.

[00:27:11.580] – Rachel

Well, I think that you just hit the nail on the head is that you can't just cut calories. You can't just say, I'll eat less of a salad, or less vegetables with dinner, or less this and that. You really need to focus on what less nutrient foods you can cut out of your diet. Drinking less calories and pops or teas or extravagant coffees. Can you swap out a cereal, sugar laden cereal, or donut at breakfast or maybe some eggs instead? You really need to focus on the nutritional part of it and what nutrients your body needs versus the fun to eat stuff. It's an easy place to cut.

[00:27:52.650] – Allan

Yeah. And sometimes it's not about eating less. It just isn't. It's about finding the right foods that your body needs so your body can actually feel cared for. If your body is in a mode where it feels like there's no food because realize your internal organs. Your body doesn't have eyes. When you stop feeding it food, the signal it gets is there's no food. That's the one signal, no food. She's not eating. There's no food. Okay. You stop moving. It's like, oh, we're in danger. We're hiding. All these signals are bad signals. Whereas if you're out and about doing things and you're eating good nutritious food, the signals are all clear. We don't need to hunker down. We don't need to hold on to this extra body fit. We just don't. We're storing it because we're afraid of what might happen. That's the body's control and protection. So you start teaching your body, we're in a good place. I'm not stressed, I'm sleeping good. I'm getting movement, and I'm eating well. Your body will say, oh, okay, well, maybe we don't need this body fat, and it starts to shed it. And if you keep feeding at those signals good.

[00:29:14.670] – Allan

The side effect is it will say, okay, we don't need to store this much body fat.

[00:29:19.330] – Rachel

Yeah, I like that. I like that approach. The weight loss is a side effect. If you take good care of your body, then your body will do what it needs to do and you'll be healthier and more fit for it.

[00:29:32.940] – Allan

And then in the end, is being skinny the answer is weighing lesser, because you could be skinny and unhealthy. You could be skinny and frail. You can be skinny and diseased, or you can be healthy and vibrant and likely still be able to get to a comfortable body fat percentage that way. And so I will always err on the side of the healthy, improving your wellness over what you weigh any given day, for sure.

[00:30:08.820] – Rachel

My goal is not to be skinny or to be focused on the number that's on that scale. My goal is to be healthy and fit and able to do the things that I want to do to live a happy life.

[00:30:21.400] – Allan

Yeah, but the problem is, if I had written the title, the Seven Health Mistakes People Make over 40, no one would have paid attention. But I put that word weight loss, and suddenly ding, ding, ding, everybody's clicking everybody's.

[00:30:34.910] – Rachel

That is so true. We've all been there, though. Like I said, I gained a lot of weight with both of my pregnancies, and I spent a lot of time trying to lose it. And like I said, I have made every single one of these seven weight loss mistakes in that attempt to lose that extra weight. So if we could steer people to realize that these are mistakes, that cutting calories drastically is not the answer, that doing tons of cardio is not the answer, and to please don't focus on your scale all the time, 24/7. That is definitely not the answer. Then we've probably cut some corners that people can focus on what they can do to lose a little weight, but primarily get healthier.

[00:31:17.740] – Allan

Yeah. I just came up with a million dollar product idea.

[00:31:21.770] – Rachel

What's that?

[00:31:22.950] – Allan

Sneakers with scales in them.

[00:31:25.160] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh.

[00:31:28.850] – Allan

Bluetooth to your phone. Tell you what you weigh at any point in time in the day.

[00:31:32.410] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. I don't want to know, Allan. I just don't want to know.

[00:31:38.270] – Allan

I just said that out loud on the podcast, so I'm sure it's going to show up on Indiegogo soon.

[00:31:42.900] – Rachel

Yeah.

[00:31:46.070] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I know you've got your hike to do. Tell Mike I said good luck to both of you. Thank you. I wish you well on that. I'm looking forward to in a few weeks when we get back together for this, having that conversation and understanding how your trip went, the good, the bad, and probably some funny interesting stories.

[00:32:07.320] – Rachel

I'm sure there will be.

[00:32:09.590] – Allan

And then, of course, I'll be driving around the United States and enjoying my time there with family. So even though you guys are listening to this on September 13th, Rachel and I will probably about that time, be talking to each other again for around the first time in a few weeks. So it's been great talking to you, Rachel, and then I'll talk to you in a few weeks. For everyone else, it'll seem like I'm talking to you next week. So be safe, enjoy yourself, and we'll talk then.

Patreons

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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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August 9, 2022

The 7 best weight loss hacks for people over 40

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

For many people, turning 40 marks a point where weight loss seems so much harder if not impossible. On this episode, I share the 7 best weight loss hacks for people over 40.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:21.070] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you doing?

[00:03:23.410] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:25.750] – Allan

Well, a little good, a little bad. I have an injury oh, no, I've done something to injure my mid back. Most back injuries you hear is lower back tends to be a big thing for a lot of people, and the neck tends to be so this is kind of an unusual thing. I can't point to anything acute. I can't say I was doing this lift and I felt uncomfortable. I can't say anything odd was going on other than it happened during a time when I was running Lula's and Tammy was away, so I spent a lot of time sitting at her desk and not a lot of time walking around town doing the normal things that I do in a day because I'm usually everywhere in the gym. I'm out and about. I go grocery shopping. I do everything on foot. But for that week or so that she was gone, I didn't get up and move around as much. And I was sitting at the desk. I was doing my workouts. So I can't point to anyone thing, but it is pretty intense and I can't really twist or lift or do anything, and it's been like that for a few weeks, so I've given it a few weeks to say, okay, if this is a muscular issue, it will resolve itself with rest and good nutrition and more rest.

[00:04:43.880] – Rachel

Yes.

[00:04:44.500] – Allan

It hasn't really resolved itself. And so the worst part is I'm just about a month away from the Mudder and I'm detraining. Instead of training at a time when you want to hit a peak, I'm in a detraining mode, and so it's not looking good for the mudder because the last thing I'm going to do at 56 years old is go out there and injure myself.

[00:05:07.920] – Rachel

Right.

[00:05:09.190] – Allan

I did the Spartan. In hindsight, I knew what I was doing. I knew why I was doing it, but I didn't win any money. There wasn't a new car at the end of the finish line. I did it and it hurt and I didn't injure myself anymore. But with the back injury, I am not comfortable that it wouldn't be worse. And so I'm not winning any money. No one is paying me any money to do this. No one's threatening me. No one's threatened my family. So there's no upside to doing it if there's the risk that I could hurt myself even more.

[00:05:51.580] – Allan

So I'm thinking I'm going to have to bow out of the Mudder. And it's disappointing. It is disappointing. But that's part of this journey is being true to yourself, and we're going to talk about checking in with yourself, listening and making the right decisions for yourself. And sometimes the right decision is not to push forward, but to pause and breathe and find that alternate route to better health and fitness.

[00:06:20.850] – Allan

And so I'm disappointed. I'm probably going to be pulling out of the Tough Mudder here in a little bit, and I'm sad that I won't be able to do it, but I got other things that are more important to me than getting muddy and maybe hurt.

[00:06:37.930] – Rachel

We've been in the same position, having to not start a race or defer it to another year or something. We've been through this for a while, and it's just better that you heal yourself and feel better and then you'll be able to tackle the next race stronger than today. So I hope you figure out what you could do for your back. I hope some more rest and maybe some PT might help. I don't know.

[00:07:02.940] – Allan

Yeah, there's a physical therapist here. I'm setting up an appointment with him just to look it over. He doesn't have any equipment or anything. And yes, I could go to the hospital and get an X-ray, a self-directed X-ray.

[00:07:18.590] – Rachel

Oh boy!

[00:07:18.590] – Allan

But yeah, there's not really an orthopedic sky here. So if I'm still hurting when I do go back to the States next month, I probably will set up an appointment with someone there to just really get a good thorough check over to try to see if we can figure out what it is. Because at that point, it would have been two months in that condition, and that's not muscular anymore. Something is more serious. So I'm hopeful it's not I'm hopeful that this was just a momentary something, and it's healing. It's just taking its time to do so.

[00:07:50.330] – Rachel

Frustrating.

[00:07:51.510] – Allan

No, it is, but it doesn't mean I can't do things, and it doesn't mean that I can't continue to focus on sleep and stress management and nutrition and mobility and stretching and balance and cardio if I'm not tweaking it doing that. So I'm going to stay active, I'm going to get things done. It's just good. I won't be lifting tons of weight and throwing it over my head and running around like a wild animal.

[00:08:22.370] – Rachel

Good idea.

[00:08:24.350] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:08:25.800] – Rachel

Good. We just had a wonderful weekend. A lot of birthday celebrations, a lot of family time, a lot of traveling. So I'm a little bit tired today. And then poor Mike, he's flying to a job. He's got to work this week, so he's flying out of State. So he also had an early morning. He's probably sleeping on the plane. I hope to take a nap later.

[00:08:47.360] – Allan

There you go.

[00:08:47.920] – Rachel

It was a great weekend. We had a wonderful time with our family and some friends. So it was a good weekend. Worth being tired.

[00:08:55.550] – Allan

Yes. That social connection is so important, and it's often something we overlook until we get that dose. And they were kind of like, even though I'm exhausted, I needed that connection, I needed that social thing. I'm glad you all had a wonderful birthday.

[00:09:12.970] – Rachel

Thank you.

[00:09:13.320] – Allan

And a wonderful weekend. And you want to talk about some of the weight loss hacks that I shared?

[00:09:18.710] – Rachel

Yes, I do.

[00:09:20.200] – Allan

Let's have that conversation.

Interview

So today I want to share with you seven weight loss hacks that I found useful for helping myself and my clients lose the weight they want to lose. I recently did kind of an outreach study to try to figure out what were some of the main issues that people are dealing with in regards to weight loss and getting healthy and came back with really kind of two clear winners.

The first one was about motivation. In some cases it was worded as being lazy. The second was time. And so these are the two biggest issues and I wanted to share with you some hacks that will help you deal with low motivation or just not having enough time. So here are my seven weight loss hacks.

Weight loss hack number one: Get momentum.

Okay, now you start by starting and with food. That means just buying better food, having the food close by. Starting means starting a walking program or just movement that you're capable of doing, even if it's just for five minutes a day. Now, I want you to think back to times when you've been successful. We do that because when we think back to the reasons that we struggle and the reasons that we succeed, it gives us some clear indicators that we can succeed when we put our minds to it.

And it gives us some things to look at avoiding as we go forward. So the summary for weight loss hack number one is get started. It's the hardest thing you'll do, but once you get there and you start feeling that momentum, the motivation will come.

Weight loss hack number two: Understand why you're doing what you're doing.

So often I see people walk into the weight room, and this is typically in January, and they don't really know what they're there to do. And as a result, they don't really do the things that would make them the most benefit. They actually avoid those things because they find them intimidating or they don't know why those things are so important. So things you're going to do if you start lifting weights, which I highly encourage, or doing some form of resistance training, you might actually gain a little bit of weight. If you do a little bit of research to figure out why nuts and fruit are better choice than maybe the packaged protein bar or the sports drink, these are all ways for you to understand the things that you're doing and why you should be doing them and the things that maybe you need to stop doing.

So do a little bit of research, ask some questions. The Facebook Group we have is a really good place to do that. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group that will take you to our Facebook group. And I'm always answering questions in there, so if you have a question about why something is or why people recommend a certain thing, just go ahead and ask. So the summary is this understanding what you're doing is going to make you more motivated to do it because you'll know why you're doing. So you'll be able to use not only the emotion of getting yourself in better shape or doing something, you can use the logic behind it. So both of those are powerful tools, particularly when they're put together, it's harder to say no to something that you know is really good for you. So take some time to understand why you're doing what you're doing. Don't just do something without understanding why.

Weight loss hack number three: Check in with yourself.

It's important for you to be aware of how you feel about certain things, particularly nutrition and movement, and then understand how good you feel when you're getting good nutrition and better movement.

The way you feel can hamper your ability to do things or keep you from doing things. But then once you start paying attention to how you feel when you do them, that's a very powerful feedback mechanism to tell you what's working and what's not. And when you find that emotionally, you're just not charged up to do something, start looking for the triggers that caused that. Were you stressed out? Were you tired? Did you not get good sleep? Did something happen in your life that caused you to be off of kilter? So paying attention and checking in with yourself regularly is going to give you those tools.

So, the summary for weight loss hack number three is that this is about mindset. And if you haven't figured that out, a lot of what I'm talking about is about mindset I would consider journaling. So you can really put your finger on the pulse of what's happening, how you feel, what's working, what's not. You can break habits by understanding those triggers. And if you're interested, I have a worksheet at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/habit. So if you find there's a certain bad habit that you keep doing and you just want to figure out what that trigger is, you can use this worksheet 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/habit, and that will walk you through the process of documenting what's going on with your habits, where those triggers are coming from, and what you might be doing about them. So again, weight loss hack number three, make sure you're checking in with yourself regularly.

Weight loss hack number four: Listen to your words.

Back in episode 546, we talked about words, Rachel and I did, and we tend to use words in our head that we would never use with other people, and we call ourselves things or say things to ourselves we would never say to other people. That's where when some people said they were lazy instead of saying they were unmotivated, those are different words. Lacking motivation is something, but saying you're lazy is quite a different thing. So if you're using the wrong words, try to catch yourself doing it so it goes back a little bit to weight loss hack number three checking in. But just pay attention to the words you're using and then look for ways to add more positive words and or affirmations. I'm going to share with you the affirmation that I use each morning. It's part of my morning ritual. I go through a series of things that I talk about to myself every morning as a part of my morning routine, morning meditation.

So here's my affirmation: “I now have the ability to release whatever held me back in the past and I'm now taking the necessary actions to achieve my goals.”

Now, that might not mean a whole lot to you, but basically this statement which I make a few times in the morning, each morning, really helps me set my intention for the day and know that my actions are there to serve my goals, not the other way around. So I have the actions that drive to goals and I make sure that I start the day with these positive statements about myself, about where I'm going, about what I can do. And I use those as kind of my leaping board in the morning to get a lot done during the day. So weight loss hack number four, listen to your words.

Weight loss hack number five: Prioritize you.

You can't afford to put yourself at the bottom of your priority list all the time. Your family needs you. Sure, your work needs you, life needs you. But you can't let that be everything. And when you're not able to be there for them, how's that going to feel? So we've got to do some things to take care of ourselves first. Now, everybody likes to throw out the put your mask on before you help other people.

I'll put it a whole other way. If you can't swim, you're not going to be saving many lives. Fall in the water. So teach yourself to swim. Get out there and start doing things that are good for you. It will increase your energy, it will increase your drive. But you've got to be a priority because if you don't make yourself a priority, you'll never make the time to do it. You need to set yourself up as your priority.

Make this important to you. Make it emotional. Have a good why and a good place you want to go, good vision, and that will give you the commitment. Once you start prioritizing yourself, you're going to be in a lot better shape to help others. So weight loss hack number five, prioritize yourself.

Weight loss hack number six: Get some skin in the game.

Free things feel like they're a great value. You can bookmark a YouTube video and have it for later. It cost you nothing. But do you do that workout again? And so even though it's free, you're not using it, it's not much value to you at all. Now, paying a little bit of money or some money gets you some skin in the game.

And what I found when I have a paid challenge versus a free challenge is compliance for my paid challenges goes up astronomically. People who pay for a challenge get about 80% compliance whereas people who don't pay, we're looking at closer to ten to 20%. Why is that? They've got some skin in the game.

And I'll give you an example for myself. When I was trying to start getting myself in shape, I had three gym memberships. I had a payroll deduction for my gym membership that was close to my work. Because they did that, they would pay part of your feet and do a payroll deduction for the rest. I had a direct debit for a second gym so that went directly against my checking account. Each month they billed me and then I own thousands of dollars worth of fitness equipment that I put into a storage shed that I paid rent on every month and I paid that rent with my credit card. So as I was going through and looking at my finances each month I could see each and every one of those deductions, each and every one of those payments. So I knew I was investing in my health and fitness and it really felt like I needed to use that investment as best I could.

So I got rid of all the excuses and I put some skin in the game and that really helped a lot. I saw them coming out, I saw the investment and I wanted to do better. So weight loss hack number six get some skin in the game. Don't be afraid to invest in yourself. It's the best investment you can ever make.

Weight loss hack number seven: Accountability.

The best accountability you can have is being accountable to yourself. That's called intrinsic motivation and it's the strongest kind of motivation you can have. But not all of us are going to have full on intrinsic motivation all the time. Some of us are just not going to get there without some help. And many times we have saboteurs in our life that are holding us back and making it harder for us to get the things done and stay true to ourselves.

Now, when I talk about saboteurs, I want you to understand that there are some bad intention saboteurs and there are some goodihearted saboteurs.

So I'll talk about the bad intention ones first. They don't want you to change. Now that might be because your success makes them feel bad or your success might scare them. Okay? So sometimes a loved one doesn't want you to lose all that weight because then you're not the same as them. They don't want you to stop eating and doing the things that you used to do because it feels like it's changing them and their lives. Or they just don't want you to succeed at all because it makes them feel bad. Those are the kind of people that you need to get away from where you can. Obviously, some of them are going to be family. Deep, deep friends. But just recognize the saboteurs.

Now there are some good-hearted saboteurs out there too. And these are a little harder to find or understand what's going on. They seem very supportive and they want to guide you, but they're often either misinformed or under-informed about health and fitness. A perfect example of that is the folks that are like, you should just eat salads, take this diet pill, don't eat fat, you'll have a heart attack.

They were told a lesson a long time ago and they just can't get away from it. So you tell them you're going keto, and they're like, “Oh my God, you're going to have a heart attack. You can't eat bacon all the time. You have to eat vegetables and fruit and you have to get the grains in.”

They're going on old information, but it's their information. They think they're doing you a favor. They think they're saving you. They've seen someone else take that pill and lose weight, so they believe it will work for you. They're good-hearted, but they're still sabotaging the work that you're trying to do. So you need to be aware of your saboteurs and make life decisions on how you communicate with them and what you share with them so that you can do the right things for yourself.

Now, for most of us, our family is our why. And they don't want you to be sick and frail. They really don't. But they're also probably not the right people to hold you accountable and for the very reasons that they don't necessarily want to change their life. And if you're changing yours and it's going to impact theirs, they're not always going to be in your corner. Even though they want the best for you, they're not always going to be there.

So what I recommend doing is finding people that can keep you grounded. Find people that are more like what you want to be and start surrounding yourself with them. You can find these people at the gym. If you start going to the gym at a certain hour most days, you're going to see the same people in that gym that same hour most days. It's just how it works. I was 05:00am guy. Same three guys in the gym every morning at 05:00am and I was one of them.

You can meet someone on a Facebook Group. There's a lot of Facebook groups out there, but the 40+ Fitness Podcast Group is really one that's designed for support. It's not designed to brag about how fit we are. It's designed to support you and help you. You can post and ask for an accountability buddy there. So finding a buddy that's online that can keep you on track, keep you on task, can hold you accountable, can go a long way towards keeping you fit and happy and progressing.

Another one is find another friend that could already be a friend that also wants to get healthier and more fit and is committed to the task. They've got skin in the game, they've got the right mindset, they've gone through all these other things that we talked about and they're going to stick with you. They can be your walking buddy, they can meet you at the gym. You guys can just trade recipes or batch cook together on Sundays so you guys have healthy meals for the whole week or you can hire a coach.

Now most of my clients stick with me because they like the accountability. They like the way I go about it. Now they might like me a little, but it's really the accountability that keeps them on task and keeps them here. Now I've hired a coach in the past when I was training for Spartan, I had strength coach and I knew he'd be at the gym every morning at 5:00am. So there was no hitting the snooze, there was no calling out. I was at the gym every single morning at 5:00am. I think he hit the snooze on me a couple of times. But at any rate, I still got a good workout in. I was still motivated. I had that accountability. So I was still going to tell the coach, hey, you weren't there, but I got the workout and here's my recorded results.

So having someone to hold you accountable, whether it's someone in a Facebook Group, rather it's someone you meet at the gym, whether it's just another buddy that wants to get in shape or you hire a coach, get some accountability, you don't have to do this alone. So the summary of weight loss hack, number seven, accountability, is everybody's going to need help from time to time. Don't be afraid to ask for it. Don't be afraid to ask for accountability and find the right people to surround yourself with so you can be successful.

So I shared the seven weight loss hacks and you might have picked up on something. These are not really weight loss hacks. They'll work and they'll work for you, but you have to do the work. So these are not easy button things. There's no easy buttons in weight loss. You've got to find these tasks and these actions and these tactics and these habits and you implement them and you work on them and you keep pushing through. And if you need accountability, you find accountability. If you've got saboteurs in your life, you put them on mute or you go away from them.

If you're dealing with some mindset issues, the way you talk to yourself, the other things that are going on in your life, you have to pay attention to that. You have to check in with yourself, you have to pay attention. The answers are there. Now if any of this resonated with you, I'd love to hear what's holding you back and see if there's something we can do to help again, you can catch us at the group, the Facebook Group, 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/group. It's a very supportive and helpful environment. I have weekly challenges, I share cool things. I find it's a good group and a lot of questions come up and we're answering those questions and we're helping people there and it's a great place to find yourself an accountability buddy or at least understand what's working for other people. Or you can email me directly. Allan@40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com. I'd love to hear from you. These weight loss hacks are not hacks, but they're action steps that you can incorporate that will help you be successful, help you stay motivated, and help you find the time to get healthy and fit.


Post Show/Recap

[00:27:15.930] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:27:17.370] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I really loved every single one of these 7 weight loss hacks, but I'd like to start chatting about number six with getting skin in the game. And I just loved how you pointed out that free is great and I love free. The Internet is wide, it's vast, and it's full of all sorts of videos and blogs and all sorts of data that we can use in our weight loss journey and fitness journeys, but we just don't we choose not to.

[00:27:46.310] – Allan

Yeah, someone will sit there and see this great workout on YouTube. It looks like fun and they bookmark it and then they never go back to it.

[00:27:55.990] – Speaker 2

Right. There's a gap between what we want to do and the action it takes to actually do it. There's a big gap there.

[00:28:04.870] – Allan

Yeah. So I would do these free challenges and to me that's the best example. Someone would sign up for a 28-day challenge and they're really excited about it. Now, one of the things, I try to deliver most of these with email campaigns because it does a couple of things. One is it's got an automated a little bit so it's in your mailbox. Okay. And then it gives you a direct connect to come right back to me if you have a question. So you literally respond to that email and it comes back to me.

[00:28:31.960] – Allan

But another thing that it does is it lets me see who's opening the emails and who's clicking the links. So why is that important? Because that is the way that I'm holding people accountable in the challenge. Now, do I email someone and say, hey, you did an open day three, what the heck is going on? No, I don't. I probably should, but I don't. But at least at that point, I have some information. So what I'm saying is, the data I have, after running dozens and dozens of challenges with thousands of people that have gone through these challenges, some of my challenges had as many as 300 people and I see the open rates.

[00:29:13.600] – Allan

And 100% opened the first email because that's how they got on the list. They had to confirm their email address and 100%. And then the emails go out, and by day three, we're already in the eighties.

[00:29:28.170] – Rachel

Wow.

[00:29:28.960] – Allan

And by the end, if we're in the 20% range, that's awesome.

[00:29:34.650] – Rachel

Okay, incredible.

[00:29:36.870] – Allan

Now 20% of people opened the last email, which means 20% of people were still doing the challenge, they were still paying attention. So at least they open the email. Are they still keeping their sugar where they wanted to? Are they doing their squats? I don't know. Now, another thing I would do is I'd use the Facebook group as kind of some accountability. Tell me about your squats, tell me you're finished. And now some accountability, which is another one of the hacks that I talk about here. But what I found was if I charge a little bit of money, like $7, even $28, whatever, doesn't have to be a lot. The rate of people that do it goes up to 80%.

[00:30:14.490] – Rachel

That's incredible.

[00:30:15.810] – Allan

And it's $7, literally. I don't even know if that right now that would cover a drink at Starbucks. I mean, the way prices have gone up. The drink you used to drink is $7, and you would spend that on one latte thing, and that's what I'm asking for. And I get 80% of the people do the challenge. Now, obviously it's not 300 people that are signing up to the challenge now. It's a subset of those that'll pay.

[00:30:44.350] – Allan

So the basic gist is this if you're willing to spend a little bit of money to have the support and then also have the accountability,

[00:30:53.850] – Rachel

That's a good piece

[00:30:55.500] – Allan

Then that's what you're paying for. That's what I pay for. These challenges at $7 means that, you know, I'm sitting on the other side of that email paying attention. Who's opening them? How many people are opening them? Are they opening all of them, and when are they opening them? So I can kind of see, okay, I send out email number 16. Today is day 16 and people are opening day 16. Then I see someone just open day twelve. And I'm like, okay, well, maybe they stopped and they're starting back.

[00:31:24.670] – Allan

And then I see they don't open anymore. I'm like, okay, maybe that was just a mistake. The cursor was on twelve, day twelve email, they clicked on it, it looks like it was open. So again, I only say that because finding out what works for you is really important, and paying for some of these other things that happen, the accountability, the guidance and support, you can't overlook that.

[00:31:48.360] – Allan

The YouTube video doesn't mean it knows. Person knows. Like 1000 people watch my YouTube video, they don't know you, and they're not sending an email or something directly to you. And knowing that, because I see your name, I know the people participating, I see your names, I see your email addresses. Some of them are quite creative, and I love that. And so you're doing the challenge, and I know you're doing the challenge, and I see you opening the emails. And that makes me very happy as a coach to see people doing this and then to get the feedback back. This is really great. I've lost 3 pounds. I lost 6 pounds. Just in the 28 days of doing something as simple as cutting sugar. And I put the sugar challenge out there.

[00:32:32.090] – Allan

It's out there on my website right now. If you go to 40 Fitness, you can get in the Sugar Challenge. The Functional Fitness Challenge is out there, and I'm looking at putting a couple of the other ones that I've done before, reworking them, resetting them, and setting them out there for you to do at your own pace. But again, you do still have the accountability, you still do have the support. And yeah, you've got a little bit of skin in the game, but I think it's worth it if it's going to be something that keeps you on track.

[00:33:00.800] – Rachel

It's an investment if you're going to invest in this knowledge and this activity, plus having the support and the gentle nudges to do your squats or Sugar Challenge or whatever, you're going to do it, you're going to put it on your calendar and you're going to commit to it. So, yeah, I think having skin in the game is a pretty important weight loss hack.

[00:33:19.230] – Allan

Yeah. And then there's another one you wanted to talk about.

[00:33:23.520] – Rachel

Oh, the checking in weight loss hack. Number three, check in with yourself and how you're feeling about the nutrition you're choosing or the exercises you're choosing. I think this is really important because at least in my world, in the running world, some people think that running is the best cardio out there and that's how they're going to lose weight, but they don't like it. So if you don't like the activity, then why do it? And the same thing with choosing a diet. There's a lot of propaganda out there about the vegan or what we do is low carb or keto or carnivore. If you don't like to eat vegetables, then a vegan diet is not your choice. So I think giving it some thought about what you're doing, what you're choosing and why you're doing it is important.

[00:34:09.350] – Allan

Yeah. And again, these are all interrelated. So you literally just talked about one, two, and three.

[00:34:16.200] – Rachel

I think I did, yes.

[00:34:17.200] – Allan

With that one paragraph but …

[00:34:19.390] – Rachel

Yes.

[00:34:20.470] – Allan

He core of it is this. There are going to be days when we feel really good and there's going to be days when we feel really bad. Like right now, I am training some live clients at the gym. And so I had a girl and she came in. She couldn't make the workout that was scheduled. It was a little group training, so she missed the workout. But I had written up her program. I told her to come in. She said, okay, one of my staff was there. You could spot her on some of the lifts and all that. So she was good. She did it. She wrote all these little notes to me how she was feeling and how it was going, just the same question she knew I would be asking her.

[00:34:51.560] – Rachel

If I was awesome.

[00:34:52.790] – Allan

And so then I get through and she says, you know, I came in for that workout. I felt really good and energetic and I did really well. I really pushed it myself. And I'm like that's. Great. And she says, Today I just don't feel that same energy level. And I said, that's fine. I said, you're aware you're not going to beat yourself up if you can't match that workout. But you do have the guidance and support. You have someone sitting here, you know, why you're doing this. She's going to Italy and she kind of wants to lighten up a little bit so there's a little bit of body fat and just kind of get a better, more athletic look to herself as she goes on this holiday in Italy.

[00:35:30.850] – Allan

And that's what her goals are. And so that's what we're working or toward. So she knows when I come in, I might be more challenged with this workout and I'm okay with that. If my energy level isn't here, I know why. And I know why this workout isn't as good as the last one. And I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm not lazy. I'm not all these other things. It's just where I am and what my body is capable of today.

[00:35:55.230] – Allan

And so what ends up happening is I'm in there and I'm putting weights on the bar and she's working out and she's doing a better workout this time than she was the time before. And it was all because she got her mind right first. Okay. And if you can get your mind ahead of reality, okay, here I am. I understand the world. I check in with myself. I know my energy level. I check in with the world. And 60 pounds weighs 60 pounds. Okay, same 60 pounds three days ago. It's still just 60 pounds.

[00:36:32.680] – Allan

And I've done it before. I know I can do it again.

[00:36:35.640] – Rachel

Yeah, that right there is powerful.

[00:36:37.950] – Allan

Yeah, that's the checking in that's rewarding yourself with the knowledge of what you're capable of and understanding that you're capable of so much more. So it's like she asked the question because they're new to some of these weightlifting and things. So they're getting into it and they're like, okay, I don't understand. I can bench press 60 pounds. And I'm squatting 60 pounds. Aren't I supposed to be squatting a lot more? And I'm like, yes, you are. And you're capable of doing it. And I've told you that about a half a dozen times over the last couple of weeks.

[00:37:10.980] – Allan

But I said here's what's going on. The squat is a much more complex exercise, meaning there's a lot more moving parts and you haven't mastered those yet. So we're not going to put a heavy load on a body that's not with good form, okay? That's the support and guidance and stuff I'm providing. Now, she could load 120 on that bar and easily squat it. Now she'd probably hurt herself by not doing it with good form. So we're easing into that. So the self awareness of I'm learning form, and once I learn the form, I can actually maximize the strength because I'll start actually using my glutes instead of my quads.

[00:37:51.980] – Allan

And then so again, back to which I said, you kind of went through all three of them. Two is understand why you're doing what you're doing. Why is Allan holding me at 60 pounds on the squat and I'm already at 60 pounds on the bench press? And the reality is I'm doing that on purpose because we don't want to get hurt. The form when the form comes. This lady, I told her when she started to do this quiet, I said, you could throw that bar through the ceiling. If you just use your glutes and the power that you have, you could easily just launch that thing through the roof. When you figure it out, when you fire those glutes at the bottom and you figure that out, you're going to see that weight just lighten up, like just melt, and you're going to be able to do a lot more.

[00:38:32.920] – Allan

So just realize that the investment in yourself, understanding what you're doing and why you're doing it and then checking in with yourself, I mean, those are all critical to doing it right, keeping yourself on path. But to me, the number one on all of these is you just have to get started.

[00:38:51.740] – Rachel

Yeah.

[00:38:52.610] – Allan

If you're not starting, you're not finishing.

[00:38:56.230] – Rachel

Yeah

[00:38:56.870] – Allan

Okay. I know that's the hardest part, but it's that mindset of, oh, I have to do something.

[00:39:05.720] – Speaker 2

Please, just take that step and do something. I think sometimes we get paralyzed with fear because we don't know what to do or where to start. And then we get paralyzed with the vast internet and all the data that surrounds us, and we know even less where to go and what to start and what to do. But I think if you listen to yourself and try and figure out what your strengths are, then you can just branch out and try something.

[00:39:33.050] – Allan

Yeah. It's as simple as this. I had a client that she was really out of shape, I mean, really deep conditioned. And she said, Allan, I get winded walking to my car in the driveway. OK? That's where her conditioning was at that point in time. And I said, okay. I said, here's what I want you to do. I want you to go to your car in the morning and I want you to do one lap around your car.

[00:40:00.310] – Allan

And she said, what's that going to do? I said, you're going to end up taking about 30 more steps than you took to get to your car. And I said, after a week, let's talk about it. And she's like, well, okay, I can do a lap around my car. I said, okay, now do two. Okay. Within a few weeks, she's walking around the neighborhood. She's dropping weight. Now, because she's moving, she's starting to look at nutrition differently. It really creates this environment of, oh, if I'm improving my health by walking, then I probably shouldn't be eating those Doritos for dinner. True story. It happens, but the math starts to hit in your head. It's like, oh, well, if I'm doing this, I should do that.

[00:40:48.170] – Allan

The crux of all of this is there are no hacks.

[00:40:51.350] – Rachel

No shortcuts.

[00:40:52.230] – Allan

Okay? You can hack a computer because it's a language, it's a functions. You can hack a human. You can sit there and say, hey, I'm from AT&T, and we're noticing there's a problem with your credit card bill. Could you give me your credit card number, your Pin code, and I need your Social Security number? And before you know it, people are hacked, and they're giving all that information. They're talking to the AT&T person because they've been having trouble with AT&T, and then they're like, oh, they're calling me to fix it. I'm going to give them all the information to fix it. You can be hacked.

[00:41:23.450] – Allan

Science cannot be hacked. And so weight loss and fitness and all that biology, it's chemistry, it can't be hacked. But your brain is a powerful function over the way the body works. And if you get your mindset right, then motivation, finding time, those vanish.

[00:41:52.370] – Rachel

Yeah. And you get committed, and you enjoy the change, and it just propels you further forward.

[00:42:00.710] – Allan

So if you don't take anything from all of this that we've talked about, here is one. Just get started, and all the rest of these things will start to make sense to you as you find yourself at a different point in the journey. But if you don't take the first step, you're not on the journey.

[00:42:20.210] – Rachel

Yeah, great advice.

[00:42:23.270] – Allan

All right, well, anything else, Rachel?

[00:42:25.580] – Rachel

No, this is fantastic.

[00:42:27.250] – Allan

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

[00:42:29.240] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:42:30.070] – Allan

You too.

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