Weight loss seems hard, especially when we don't have a good relationship with our bodies or food. In her book, The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan, Lisa Moskovitz shows us how to change our approach toward food in a simple, structured way.
Let's Say Hello
[00:02:25.690] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are things going?
[00:02:27.980] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?
[00:02:29.950] – Allan
Doing all right. Doing all right. Tammy took a weekend off with a friend to go to Boquete, which is another task town here in Panama. They were having some kind of festival, so she didn't know that when they booked it. But then she was going to go and we had our deep cleaning at the gym. So for me, it was a very busy weekend running Lula's and pushing the team at the deep clean to get that all done and walking back and forth between the two because I think they're about a third of a mile apart. Get up in the morning and get everything going. At Lula's, everything's good. Then walk over to the gym, get things going there, walk back to Lula's, make sure everything's where it needs to be, and then back to the gym, make sure the crew is doing everything, help them a little while, then back to Lula's.
So, yeah, I did all this walking one third mile increments back and forth. But we got everything done, got the gym clean and reopened this morning. So that's all good. And Lula's is doing well. We've got some guests that are having a good time and check in, check out. Things are going well.
[00:03:39.320] – Rachel
Good. Glad you got your mileage in, too. That's awesome.
[00:03:42.610] – Allan
How are things up there?
[00:03:44.890] – Rachel
Good. I mentioned a while back that one of my non fitness resolutions for the year was to read a book, a non health and fitness related book. And I just finished The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. Have you read that one yet?
[00:03:58.840] – Allan
I have not.
[00:04:00.620] – Rachel
It's a good book. It's an easy read, but it's also a difficult read. But back in the twenties, these girls were painting, using radium and watch faces for the military. And then we at that time didn't know that radium was as dangerous as it really is. And so these girls developed all these terrible health problems from eating radioactive material.
[00:04:25.990] – Allan
I thought you said this was fiction. Is this actually a historical fiction or actual fiction?
[00:04:31.120] – Rachel
Okay, it's a historical, legitimate book. And in fact, it wasn't until 2011 that a monument was put in Ottawa, Illinois, where one of these radium facilities were to memorialize these girls. Because really what they did was sadly the earliest days of learning what radioactivity was, how to measure it and what it does to the body and so a lot of what we know today about radium and radioactive material is from the work that these girls did, sadly. But it was a good book. I definitely would recommend it.
[00:05:07.760] – Allan
[00:05:08.630] – Rachel
[00:05:09.090] – Allan
Well, are you ready to have a conversation with Lisa?
[00:05:11.790] – Rachel
[00:06:00.190] – Allan
Lisa, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:06:02.750] – Lisa
Thank you for having me.
[00:06:04.230] – Allan
So the book is the Core Three Healthy Eating Plan: Discover the Simple, Sustainable Way to Lose Weight, Feel Great and Enjoy Your Food Freedom. I like those last two words, food freedom, because I think so many of us, the relationship we have with ourselves, the relationship we have with our body and the kind of the way we look at food and the way we classify food, it really sets us up to kind of almost have this master-servant relationship. And it's not a good one. It's a mean master because food doesn't care about you. It's either going to serve you or not. It's about the nutrition you get because that's one of the things. As I started going and different times that I've been eating, it's like, well, how do you avoid eating this or doing that? I don't even think of that. When I walk in a grocery store, I don't go in the middle aisles because there's no food there. It's like, why would I walk down the diaper aisle? I don't need diapers.
[00:07:03.670] – Lisa
Maybe not yet, right?
[00:07:07.390] – Allan
I'm almost 56 years old. I'm two days away from my 56th birthday as this one comes out. So no, the kids are done. In fact, my daughter just turned 29, and we have another daughter who's 28. Those are our babies. Our babies are 28 and 29. So, no, our days of worrying about diapers is sort of over, at least from this perspective. Now, there might be some grandparenting situations where I'm in the diaper aisle, but on a normal day, I don't find myself on that aisle. I don't find myself on the crackers aisle. I don't find myself on the chips aisle. I don't find myself in the candy aisle. They're just not places that I find myself. So I really appreciate the word food freedom. I think that's one of the key takeaways that I got from this. And you had something else. I wrote it down, but I'm going to use it because that's me not being on this.
[00:08:02.840] – Lisa
Yes. And even while you're looking for that food freedom, I just want to say too, is kind of used a lot, sometimes even misappropriated. And it's very important to understand when we're talking about food freedom, what we're really referring to. And that's just the unconditional permission to eat. That you could eat without any stipulations, without any caveats, without any compensation later and without any punishment. And a lot of times I hear and I do honestly cringe, and I try not to cringe, but people say, oh, that was so bad that I ate that I need to go for a five mile run tomorrow morning to burn that off. And I just think that, sure, exercise and exercise does burn fuel and burn calories. But by looking at, first of all, exercise that way, you're looking at it as a punishment and by thinking that you need to punish yourself for enjoying food, it just doesn't bode well. And I think that does set people up for this very dysfunctional, chaotic relationship with food and connection to it. And it kind of sets the precedent for other issues down the road. So that's why I thought it was very important to touch upon that.
[00:09:10.400] – Allan
Yeah. And what I think is, again, why I think that's important is that because of the way things have worked out with what the foods that are available and the way we think about foods and what we've been taught about foods and the calories in calories out, let's do this diet. Let's try that diet. We have distorted looks at food, and we're going to talk about that in a minute. But this is not something that's intrinsic to us now. It would have been as Huntergatherers, because what did you get today? Well, I got a rabbit. Well, what did you get? I got some blueberries. Hey, let's sit down and have dinner.
[00:09:43.450] – Lisa
[00:09:44.330] – Allan
Yeah. But we've lost that talent or whatever it was that that's how it worked. And we were okay with it. And you put in a book, just pull this little quote, wellness is a skill. We've got to relearn these things
[00:10:01.820] – Lisa
totally. And that's what I really wanted to touch upon that specifically and highlight that. And I use that when I counsel clients one on one, too, because people just think there's a magic wand or a magic potion or give me a meal plan and I'll follow the plan or give me an exercise plan and I'll follow it and all of these things. But it's a skill that you have to practice. If anybody could just go on a diet and lose weight, but to really sustain it for long term and to reap all the benefits, that's something you have to practice. It doesn't just land in your lap. It's not just, oh, I'm going to pick up this book and my life is going to be changed. I mean, that's the hope. Right. And I hope this book does change people's lives, but there is some work that goes into it, but it's very rewarding. Anything that's worth in life achieving, we have to work towards.
[00:10:54.390] – Allan
Right. And the first thing and I'm glad you put this first, because I say this over and over. It's kind of a mantra when I'm working with someone is you have to think about how you look at yourself, your relationship with your body, your relationship with your mind, how you think about yourself, that voice in your head that tells you different things. And sometimes that voice is actually mean. If we don't start with ourselves, then really a lot of this other stuff just wasn't really going to stick. And so I'm glad you started with your relationship with yourself. Can you talk about some signs that someone would know that they have an unhealthy relationship with their body?
[00:11:39.410] – Lisa
Sure. And I think that's very important. I think a lot of people don't even realize that they don't have a healthy relationship with their body and with food. And so when you look at what makes a healthy relationship with your body, it means that you show signs of respect. It's almost like a relationship with another person. What is the fundamentals and the foundation of any health relationship? It's trust. It's respect, it's enjoyment, and it's feeling satisfied that you're getting something in return for what you're giving. And it's just like mutually beneficial. And so it's really important that you think of you and your body as a team and you work together. And it's not this constant needing to change or fight against it or deny and deprive and again, punish when you feel like it's not living up to either your expectations or society's expectations. Because let's face it, that's a big part of the reason people struggle with specifically body image issues is that there's that comparison to this person, this celebrity, this person on social media, this friend or neighbor or family member. And it's really hard not to compare. But the more you do that, it gets to the point of no return, diminishing return, because you just kind of feel worse and worse and worse and worse.
[00:12:58.460] – Lisa
And it's hard to get out of that phone. So I start off with talking about healthy relationship with your body, because if you don't have a healthy relationship with your body, inevitably it's going to affect your relationship with food. And if you don't have a healthy relationship with food, that's going to affect how you eat. So you can know everything there is to know. And believe me, coming not that I know everything there is to know at all. There's still so much to learn in the world of nutrition, but you can everything there is to know. But if you don't have that ability to listen to your body, trust your body, trust food. It takes knowledge, hunger, and fullness. So many people do mindless eating and they overeat and portion issues and they don't realize that they're looking externally. But it's got to start internally or intrinsically and we need to practice that. So when you have this unhealthy relationship with your body, some signs and symptoms are maybe you avoid social situations because you're afraid of putting on a bathing suit or you don't have anything to wear. Or maybe you do spend a ton of time trying to find ways to change it or alter it.
[00:14:08.140] – Lisa
Maybe you spend a lot of your paycheck trying to do the same. Maybe it interferes with your relationships in life or with putting yourself out there with getting a new job or finding a romantic partner. If you feel like almost that it affects your mental health, you feel down, you feel depressed. So those are just a few of the things that might come up if you don't have that healthy relationship with your body. And it brings on a lot of negative thinking, a lot of negative feelings. And those feelings and thoughts turn into very firm beliefs. And you don't realize a belief is just reoccurring thoughts. So you might believe that you're not good enough or you don't look good enough or you're not going to find someone that you can love you back and love you just as much as you love them because of your body. But that's stuff that you implanted and it's not your fault. But I think it's very empowering to know that that might not be true. It's just stuff that you've told yourself and told yourself or maybe other people have told you, which also is another whole conversation.
[00:15:11.190] – Lisa
But now all of a sudden you believe that to be the case and you haven't really given yourself a chance. So it's very important to work on that relationship with your body, especially for really everything, especially wellness, fitness and overall health.
[00:15:26.810] – Allan
Yeah. The way I like to look at it is if this was your friend, so you're sitting next to your best friend on a park bench and you notice that your friend is down and they're like, what's going on? It's like, well, I'm not really happy with how much I weigh and with my weight, my health. What conversation would you have with your best friend? How would you word it? What words would you use? And my guess is they'd be encouraging, they'd be coming from a place of love. And really, yes, you can acknowledge that they've got some work to do, but it's not acceptance in the way that you would say, okay, we're just going to live this way. It's like, okay, well, what's your plan? How can I help you? What do we need to do to make this work? So it's coming from self love. It's coming from that position of help, of being there, and we need to do the same thing for ourselves. We need to step up and say, I love myself and I want this to happen.
[00:16:29.750] – Lisa
Yes, I love that advice. And I've given that, too, for people that have a really tough time with negative self talk, and it's just constantly putting themselves down or putting a lot of pressure on themselves and just feeling like they never live up to that. I'll say, what would you say to your friends? Sometimes I hear, well, I would just and I hope none of my friends will do this right now, but sometimes I'll just tell my friends something to make her feel better. And I don't necessarily, but I still think that's important for ourselves. Even if you don't believe it in that moment, even if you're not really feeling it, you have to still talk to yourself and practice that positive self talk and those positive affirmations, because over time it's not going to change overnight. But over time, they will replace the negative thoughts, and that can be the only thing in your way. Sometimes people are like, oh, I don't have the motivation to go to the gym or I don't have the motivation to eat healthy, and I don't have the motivation to do all these things for myself. And they don't realize the biggest obstacle is themselves and their thinking patterns.
[00:17:34.410] – Lisa
And that's why I love psychology and I'm not a psychologist, but I believe that food can be very psychological and health and wellness can be very psychological. And that's why I really wanted to incorporate that in the book, because it's not something I see all the time is diet talking about the psychology. It's okay to want to lose weight, but you really have to focus on your relationship with food and your body first. It's paramount.
[00:18:00.020] – Allan
Yeah. And that's why I'm glad you put this in here, because I do read a lot of diet books and a lot of them are just like, okay, here's what we're going to eliminate, here's what we're going to include. And this is how you're going to eat. And here's the plan. And it's 28 days and you're going to lose to 12 pounds and you're going to feel great and you can like, well, you skip the step. You skip the big step of not knowing ourselves and our relationships and why we got where we got. Because if we don't address that first, then we're going to come back around after we finish this wonderful diet and we're going to start punishing ourselves again, we're going to start doing the things that we used to do. We're going to fall back on those messages.
[00:18:38.990] – Allan
Now, the next step then is looking at your relationship with food. And in the book you identified four distorted eater archetypes. Can you talk about those four? Because I think anyone that's ever had issues with food and with their weight is going to find one of these that just like, oh, that hit me in the gut because that was me.
[00:19:02.850] – Allan
And I think that's important for self awareness.
[00:19:05.560] – Lisa
Yes, absolutely. Part of the reason I did that was because I wanted to resonate and I wanted it to feel relatable. And it's also not uncommon to identify with more than one. And that's not an accident. There is a reason for that. So what I ended up doing after writing this chapter and really thinking about the things that I see in my practice is I was able to come up with a lot of the most common traits I see when people have these distorted or dysfunctional or even disordered views of food. And it ended up just falling into these four groups, these archetypes, like you said. So we have the erratic eater, the dependent eater, the judgmental eater, and the obsessive eater. The erratic eater might have a very hectic lifestyle. They might even thrive under stress, having a very busy schedule. Food could often be an afterthought. There is probably very little structure in the day. And for that reason, some of the pitfalls could be overeating later in the day or not eating enough, not eating enough food groups, not eating mindfully. And so that was a very important part of this, because I want people to say, oh, this is me, these are my issues, and this is how I can resolve or remedy them.
[00:20:32.280] – Lisa
And all four of these, too. I'm jumping ahead a little bit. But all four of these also, they're not all negative. It's okay that you're not someone that eats all day long and you don't constantly have food on you and you're not maybe like thinking about food until your body asks for it. That actually can be beneficial, because maybe in that sense you don't just eat for any reason. You're not someone that's, like more of a dependent eater. And that's the next archetype. The dependent eater is somebody who's almost the exact polar opposite. Food is a focal point. There might be thinking about dinner before lunch even comes. Plans and traveling plans and holiday plans and any social events might all revolve around food. There might be more emotional eating. There might be more eating for not just emotions and comfort, but stress to sort of enhance any type of experience. Like you go to the movies, you might not be hungry, but a big bowl of popcorn would make the movie more enjoyable. So you get the popcorn. So again, like the Erratic eater, yes, there's clear pitfall, but also that's not a bad thing either, to enjoy food.
[00:21:44.020] – Lisa
It's just the amount that you're doing it. And if you don't have anything else to look forward to, you don't have any other coping mechanisms to deal with emotions and stress. That's when it becomes problematic. That's when people can feel like they are overeating. And weight gain, of course, is one side effect of that. But other issues, too digestion issues and high cholesterol, high blood sugars. So all of those can also follow suit. And then we have the judgmental eater. This is the type of eater that I find has the most experience on diets. They kind of go from a cereal dieter. They just go from one diet to the next, always looking for the next best thing. And that's not anyone's fault. They're just looking for something that they can feel is working for them. That gives them some kind of hope, that makes them feel productive again, like they're doing something about their weight. But what happens is they end up kicking up on some of these what I like to call food rules. Where this is good, this is bad, you can't eat this at this time. You can't eat fruit with anything else.
[00:22:45.760] – Lisa
It's got to be by itself. No eating after 06:00 p.m.. And I included that in the book, too. I kind of break down those food rules. The most common ones I hear. Why they are quite kind of I don't want to say, like fully irrational, but some of them are kind of irrational and they come from places that make sense, but they just get just blown up and they snowball into these actual fears that people develop too, around food and then everything else unravels after that. So the judgmental eater, they might even do some food policing, not just of themselves, like oh, don't eat that or don't eat that. Or if you eat that, there's consequences. They might even do it. Project those judgments onto others as well. So those are some pitfalls of the judgmental eater. And like I said, they're not all bad. That comes out of them. With a judgmental eater, you might be somebody that knows a little bit more. You might know all the ins and outs of healthy eating and balanced eating and what foods are going to be more health promoting and what aren't going to be as health promoting.
[00:23:46.510] – Lisa
So that can work in your favor. You just have to know how to use that, what to do with it, and have more of a flexible approach with food as well. And then the fourth and final type is the obsessive eater. And this is someone who just spends an exorbitant amount of time looking at food labels, researching diets, feeling afraid. This is when the food fears come out. The obsessive eater really is meant to be the type of eater that's most at risk for developing a full blown eating disorder. And I had a big Disclaimer, and I wanted to make that very clear. This is not a book for anyone with an eating disorder. This is not to diagnose anyone with an eating disorder, but eating disorders are very prevalent and continue to be. And a lot of people that have them tend to go for diet books. I don't want to use this word term specifically, but it's kind of like the low hanging fruit a little bit with diet books is the ones who have the most issues with food might be the ones reading. And that's why I thought it was so important that I make that very clear that this might need a higher level of care intervention, because it's kind of running that thin line between what's distorted and what's actually distorted and what's actually an eating disorder.
[00:25:07.190] – Lisa
So those are the four main types. And then in that chapter, I do specifically focus on those strategies like mindful eating, which, let's face it, nobody's going to eat mindfully all the time. It's just not happening. We can't unless you have absolutely nothing in your day other than to sit with your food and pay attention to it and check in with yourself, it's not going to happen. But we eat mindlessly when we're not paying attention, when we're distracted, and we also eat mindlessly for a distraction. Some people will eat so that they can distract themselves from something else. And so those are the two different ways that that mindful eating can exist. And it's really important to address that, at least to be a less mindless eater, not a fully 100% of the time mindful eater, but a less mindless eater.
[00:25:53.290] – Allan
Yeah. And I think you'll find when you are focused more on your food, it tastes better, you know, when you're full and you stop. So it solves a lot of problems that we would otherwise have of picking something up and eating all of it versus going through. Like I said, I saw a few things on myself. I used to like Girl Scout cookies, the Thin Mints. And I say, okay, well, what's the serving of Thin Mints? You look on the box, and I think it's like three cookies or something like that. So I take the two or three cookies, whatever it was, put the package in the freezer, go sit down, eat the three cookies, get up, walk back to the freezer, get another three cookies, and put the package in the refrigerator. And then by the third trip, I'm just standing in the freezer, right with the freezer open, eating the rest of the pack of cookies. I was judgmental, but I set a rule for myself. And then I immediately say, okay, well, I'll have another serving. And then at that point, I was like, well, screw it, Allan, you want the rest of the cookies?
[00:27:01.310] – Lisa
I hope I'm saying it right. But if you're going to eat standing up in front of the fridge, you might as well pull up a seat, something to that effect. And it's just funny because I think everybody is at some point finds themselves doing that, eating over the counter, eating from the refrigerator, or eating a small serving or what they hoped would be enough. And it's just not. And there's other reasons behind that. But sometimes it's okay to just I ate a little bit more. But that's okay. Maybe I needed it. Maybe I need to get it out of my system. Maybe I'm done with the Girl Scout cookies for now. And I can put that to bed
[00:27:36.160] – Allan
because the box is gone. So, yeah, at that point.
[00:27:39.590] – Lisa
One way or another.
[00:27:42.050] – Allan
Yeah. And they only do that once a year at that point. Okay, now you have the plan, the core three healthy eating plan. Can you just give us an overview of how the plan works and why you think it's, because I saw a lot of great things in there. I'm like, yes, okay, so I understand the structure of it, but can you go through it and then explain the structure and how it works?
[00:28:05.510] – Lisa
We talked a lot about the psychology, but I really wanted to Hone in on the physiological parts of it. Can't talk. Sorry about that. And the science behind it, because it is very much a science based approach. And again, one of the things, one of the issues I've noticed over the years, counseling clients who try different plans is it's just not personalized. And that's very important when you are finding a plan. There are no two people exactly the same, and we all are going to have at least slightly different nutritional needs. So I really wanted to respect that bio individuality. So the premise of the plan and one of the reasons that three is in the title is because I touch upon three major macronutrients. Literally anything on your plate that you are eating is going to fall under a carbohydrate, a protein and a fat. And they're essential because our body needs them for different types of functions. So I go into the importance of carbohydrates and specifically higher fiber or fiber rich carbohydrates, and explain why fiber is very important in your diet, why it's very beneficial to focus on slower digesting food in general.
[00:29:22.040] – Lisa
And I really circle in the what I think really helps people with health in general and even weight loss and even gut health and immune system is blood sugar stability. So I try to loop that in and make it very clear that the plan's premise is to eat to stabilize blood sugar. And as a result, you can feel not only more energetic, better mood, but also notice that you are potentially losing weight if you have weight to lose, which is a whole other conversation. So then I go into protein. And again, why protein is important. I find people fall into two major categories. Either they don't eat enough protein or they eat way too much protein. And so I thought it was important to touch upon that it is a little bit more of a higher protein diet. And then I go into fats and the types of fats to pay attention to, specifically the anti inflammatory fats and the fats that are not bad and not to avoid, but the ones that can potentially be more pro inflammatory. And the other part that I really wanted to emphasize and really make clear is that there is no food off limits, that the healthiest diet is an all inclusive diet.
[00:30:37.490] – Lisa
Carbs, specifically, are the most demonized. There is a war against carbs. I see that in most diets, they cut them out one way or another. They're cutting out carbs, whether they're telling you you can eat grains or you can eat so much fruit or, you know, just eat more meat and fat. And the keto diet is 5%, I believe, calories from carbohydrates. That's very, very low carbohydrate. So this is a low carb, but it's not very low. And then what happens is you are given a very clear formula that you can use to personalize it to find out how many carbs can I eat? For my specific goals, how much protein should I be focusing on? And fast. But again, even though there is a plan in there and you're given amounts and there's even tons and tons of food charts where it will list out the types of carbs, proteins and fats, what I consider to be one serving and how many servings to have in a day, I do want to emphasize the importance of flexibility. And some days you might feel a little hungrier, and some days you might be okay to eat a little less.
[00:31:49.460] – Lisa
And that's also part of listening to your body. So you are given a clear idea of how much to aim for every day, but it's also very flexible. And then, of course, it is a higher fiber diet, like I mentioned. And I do talk also about the importance of some plant based eating not only for ourselves but for the environment, because I do think that's becoming increasingly important right now is the welfare of our planet.
[00:32:15.810] – Allan
Right. Now, you also included a requirement in there. I guess I should call a requirement a recommendation. But to at least try to get 3 hours of exercise per week. And you had an acronym in there to help someone who is exercise challenged from a motivation perspective. And I love acronyms, so that's why I had to include it in this episode. And the acronym is MOVE appropriately. Can you tell us what the acronym Move means and why each of those are important?
[00:32:56.190] – Lisa
Absolutely, yes. There's a whole chapter on exercise, and I'm not that person that some people are anti exercise, believe it or not. And exercise makes you hungrier, it's not going to help you with weight loss. I believe exercise is very beneficial for a lot of reasons. Weight loss can be a bonus because we're not exercising just for weight loss. It's definitely not a punishment. In fact, the chapter is that it should be a reward and a celebration, not a punishment. So it's very important to understand that. And I think indirectly it can help with weight management, because if you're someone who is stress eating, it can help you with that. It can help you manage that stress level better. If you're someone that's not sleeping well, guess what? It can improve your sleep, and that can be helping with what you put in your body during the day. So there's a lot of indirect benefits. So I thought it was very important to touch upon that. And strength training I'm all about, I think combination of cardio, strength training and more mindful movement is really important, especially for body image. So looping back in that first part of the book.
[00:33:52.980] – Lisa
So Move is supposed to be an easy way to, like you said, get people motivated to kind of make it more simple and more approachable. The M stands for Making it More Sociable. So it's important to have we often want to do things in life and everything is more fun when we do it with people. And not to mention being with people and having more plans with people that don't revolve around drinking. And not that eating out is bad, but eating at a restaurant, it's nice to have other things you can do together. So why not kill two birds with 1 stone and make it something that's more fun for you by recruiting some friends and family and people that you enjoy? The second part is to have obtained the accountability to have somebody there. We often do things the most successfully when we stay honest with ourselves when we have somebody looking back at us and saying, have you been doing this? Where are you at with these goals? I know you really wanted to work on this, so let me remind you of that. And that can come in the form of a personal trainer and a person.
[00:34:57.060] – Lisa
But not everybody has access to personal trainers for different reasons. So it could even be like a Journal or an app or just even a friend or family member who is also wanting to feel healthier and get in shape and improve their fitness levels. So those are the first two very important parts. And then the third part is to make sure that you find something that you love. So it's really important that you aren't just doing the treadmill because you think that's how you're supposed to lose weight. People become overwhelmed. They don't want to go to the gym because they don't like the cardio machines. They don't like the weight training. They don't even like being in a gym period because there's a lot of pressure. Maybe there. So walking is an example where if you enjoy walking and you're at nature and you can listen to a podcast and you can listen to good music on your phone, you want to make sure it's something you like doing. If you do not like doing it, you probably won't keep up with it. So it doesn't have to be one specific thing. There are plenty of ways to move your body and to actually enjoy it, and then you want to ease into it.
[00:36:05.620] – Lisa
So I hear a lot from people who come to me as clients one on one and say, I just started this new workout routine and I'm going to the gym seven days a week, really, seven days a week, every single day, not even one day in between? And my response is always, that's great, I'm so happy you're doing that. But how sustainable is that? And I'm afraid I want to encourage you to keep going because you're clearly in that mindset, which is amazing, but I don't want you to burn yourself out. And that burnout is such a thing with everything we do in life, especially with taking care of ourselves and fitness. So ease into it, create some small goals. That's another reason why I said those 3 hours, because I think it's fair. I think it's achievable. I think it's something that most people aren't overwhelmed with, like 30 minutes, five days a week, or even a little less than 1 hour, three days, 1 hour, three days a week. So I just feel that when you make it very small and achievable, then we're more likely to want to do stuff. And that's again, bringing back in that like psychology, behavioral science.
[00:37:13.710] – Lisa
And so it's important that you sort of ease into it slowly. Don't jump in with both feet, because you might find that after a short period of time you're like, this is too much. I have other stuff in my life that I need to do in the gym routine. This exercise routine is not going to fit into my lifestyle. And that's a shame.
[00:37:34.410] – Allan
And the other thing about that 3 hours when we talked about it, I think what's important to know is that it doesn't have to be an hour long three times a week or 45 minutes four times a week. It could be I'm going to park further away from the office and I'm going to walk up and that's a five minute walk. Okay, you've logged five minutes. You're going to walk back to your car. That's another five minutes. You do some of that at the grocery store. You say, okay, I'm going to walk over here. And then you stop at the park and you have a nice little 15 minutes walk during your lunch hour. All those little bits, they add up. It doesn't have to be this grueling 1 hour that you're just dedicating and losing your life, feeling like you're losing your life or not being a good parent or spouse. You're just investing 3 hours per week. However, it needs to be spread out, taking a voice call, you're going to be on a conference call, just taking a walk while you're on a conference call. You might be able to get your whole 45 minutes in just during that conference call if you don't have to participate.
[00:38:35.830] – Allan
So there's lots of ways to make this happen. I love to make it social. I love the account obtain accountability, because that's really how we make things stick because sometimes we won't do it for ourselves. But if someone else is counting on us to be there at the park after work, then we're at the park after work most of the time. And the two those kind of join each other a little bit because you have a social buddy that you're meeting to go to the park and walk. You got the social aspects of it and you got someone counting on you to be there. And I agree with varying it up and finding the things that you love, because that's really to me, fitness is about being fit for task. So if you want to be a hiker and you love going out in the nature and doing hikes, well, then going out and doing hikes is maybe the workout you need. If you can't do the hikes, at least do some walks around your neighborhood because you know you're making your hikes that much more enjoyable because you've got the fitness level to do it.
[00:39:32.290] – Lisa
Exactly right. And I think the other part of it, too that I really want to emphasize because I see this being a big deterrent, is that people who and I don't know if you find this too with the people you work with, but people that do get engaged in exercise, the motivation I would say the predominant driving force is I feel like weight loss, calorie burning. And I think that's the biggest reason why people do not have a healthy relationship with exercise, which I talk about healthy relationship with food, healthy relationship with your body. And so I thought it was very important to touch upon this because it really does affect everything. And I see that being the biggest issue. And if all you're focused on is the calorie burning, then sure, five minutes isn't going to feel like a lot. It's not going to feel like it makes a dent. 20 minutes even isn't going to feel like it makes a dent, or even worse, you give up because you're not noticing the results enough with the way you look and not paying attention enough to the real benefit, which is even five minutes can boost your mood, can increase those feel good neurotransmitters that can make your afternoon so much easier at work.
[00:40:34.690] – Lisa
It can actually and this is all science based, and I do include some studies in here of why I recommend those 3 hours. It could also increase creativity. So if you're really stuck on a project and you can't get past or you can't type out that email or you can't figure out what to say or something that you're trying to create, going for a little walk around the block can really boost that. It gives you a break that can really boost that. And then guess what, not only are you doing better and performing better, but you're logging those hours of exercise too, which is going to help in so many other areas. So just know that every little bit we're not just saying that to trick you into exercising more. It really does make a big difference. Just that little bit of movement can make you feel so much better. And again, for me, one of the biggest reasons I wanted to talk about it is because I think it drastically improves the way you feel about yourself and your body image and feeling your confidence to make other changes in your life.
[00:41:27.450] – Allan
Yes, it does. Lisa, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:41:40.710] – Lisa
I love that question. And I think most people would expect me to start talking about like certain foods to eat. But, you know, I do touch upon a lot of that in the book. And I think it's very important to focus on what you're eating and how you're eating and the why behind your eating, which is something we didn't talk about today. But I fully think the intentions are the most important thing. Why are you eating those foods? But I'm going to go in a little bit of a different direction with my first big tip, which is to stop trying to make everyone happy. You're never going to feel your best if you're trying to make everyone else feel their best. And I think it's important to consider respect everyone else's feelings. Obviously, we all want to be decent humans to each other and respect each other. But you also have to put yourself first. If you try to make everybody else happy, you're never going to be happy. And that's going to affect other areas of life. Like you're not making that time to get movement and you're not making that time to grocery shop and prepare meals and focus on foods and eat mindfully because you're doing so many things to make everyone else happy, that's going to take its toll.
[00:42:45.290] – Lisa
So I really think that's super important, especially myself as a mother with a business and kids. Once I go down that path, it's really, really hard. Nobody wins because you're never going to make everybody happy, unfortunately. So that's my number one. My number two is to practice self awareness. I think it's so important to be aware of what you're doing. If you have a specific goal, if you want to feel your best, you want to be your healthiest, you want to improve your cholesterol levels, your blood sugar levels, or lose weight, you have to be aware of your habits and behaviors. What are you doing every day that's getting you there? And what are you doing every day that's not getting you there? And just kind of even if you have to Journal it for a day just to write it all down. So that awareness is incredibly important, especially that emotional awareness. Check in with yourself. How are you physically feeling today? Because whatever you do from eating and exercising standpoint, if it's not addressing some other needs, you're still going to feel like something's missing there. And then my third one is that self compassion.
[00:43:49.770] – Lisa
Nobody is perfect. We're not going to do everything that we always want to do. Some days are going to be easier than others. You might have a week where you felt like this was a great week. I got in my exercise. I feel as though I was listening to my body. I was able to do some food journaling. It was just a good week. And then some weeks are going to be a mess. And as we head into, well, I know it's not going to be the holidays, but when holidays come up, when vacations come up, when family events that are not planned come up, it's going to make things harder. And if you beat yourself up, if you make yourself feel bad for feeling bad, because that's what we do so well as humans, as we make ourselves feel bad for feeling bad, you're just going to again spiral. And it's going to be hard to get out of that funk and start making those positive changes you want to make. So I'm all about the compassion, and I'm going to cheat and add one more thing in there, which is just to have that cheating on just to have that gratitude in your life.
[00:44:45.230] – Lisa
I think that it's hard to feel positive all the time, and I think too much positivity can quite honestly feel toxic sometimes. But having that gratitude, counting your blessings, being grateful for the little things in life can instantly boost the way you feel about yourself, your mental health, and your physical health as a result.
[00:45:02.430] – Allan
Great. Lisa, if someone wanted to learn more about you or the book The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:45:11.250] – Lisa
Thank you so much. It's being sold at most major retailers online. So you have Amazon, Barnes and Noble. You can go right to the Simon and Schuster website. And then you can find me at my group practice. I'm in New York City, New York nutrition group. Or you can follow me on social @LisaMNutrition.
[00:45:35.400] – Allan
Great. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/523 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Lisa, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:45:45.990] – Lisa
So much fun being here. Thank you, Allan.
[00:45:55.090] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:45:56.770] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. What a really neat book and a fun discussion you guys had. I'd like to start off with food freedom and what a nice concept that would be to give yourself permission to eat.
[00:46:09.850] – Allan
Yes. You know the whole point. Almost every diet, almost every single diet is some form of punishment, if you will. You can't have this food. So it's like what food can I have and what foods can I not have? A few of them will say, okay, well, you can eat everything you want, but you still have to log and do that. But that's still hard because. Okay, well, I have to keep up with all of this versus just saying I want some simple rules, but most of them are going to tell you, maybe even an entire food group or several different types of food groups you have to avoid and not do. And when you're not in total control of your schedule or where you live or where you are, that can be very hard. I'm in Panama. We have access to all the tropical fruits. All of them. I can buy fresh pineapple, papaya, mango, banana. All of that is just readily available every single day here. So if I was keto all the time and be like walking by the fruit stands every day because there's four or five of them between even here in the gym, they're all over the place.
[00:47:17.440] – Allan
So if I can't have fruit occasionally, then there's a struggle. And so the question you have to ask yourself is well, one, we got to get past the first pit, which we'll talk about in a minute. But what is food for me?
[00:47:35.050] – Rachel
[00:47:35.740] – Allan
And once you define food for yourself and so for me and what I define food predominantly is it was alive, it was running around or it's a product from something that was running around or it was growing in the ground. But at some point or another, it resembles something we know was alive. So that means I don't eat pancakes and syrup, I don't eat triskets and stuff like that. For the most part, I try to avoid things that are in a bag, box, jar or can, because most of them you can't trace back to it being alive. I can know that flour came from wheat, but it doesn't look like wheat. It's just a powder. And so from that perspective, I know it's ultra processed. I know it's just going to turn to sugar when it gets in. Things that are made out of wheat are delicious, don't get me wrong. But you have to find your line, you have to find those things that are going to work for you. And when you do, then anything that's within that realm is food. And there's a tremendous amount of freedom when you're not having to make decisions every single time you run into the grocery store and you walk in and the very first thing you see is the produce section.
[00:48:59.660] – Allan
But you're like, okay, that's going to require cutting and cooking. And I don't really want to mess with that. Yeah, there's some prewashed salads and wow, they even put the dressing right there with it. I could run back and grab some chicken, grill that up real quick and have a really great dinner. Or I walk right through that produce section, right over to the aisle that sells the Hamburger Helper and look on the box. It says, okay, for this to feed six people, I need to have 2 pounds of hamburger. They run back there, they grab 2 pounds of hamburger, they got their Hamburger Helper, they start to walk out, they get to the counter, oh, they're selling my favorite candy bar. They grab a candy bar, then they check out. Their home, yes, 30 minutes. They've got a cooked meal, the chili Mac for dinner, and the two of them eat six portions between them. And for a lot of people, that's there all the time. So they're following one of the distorted eating principles that Lisa talked about and there is that they're erratic. They don't really have a plan. They haven't really defined food.
[00:50:06.900] – Allan
And not defining food then means you have no freedom. You eat what is available, you eat what is convenient, you eat quickly. Instead of going into the grocery store, you just stop at McDonald's, you're on the phone, you're texting your significant other. Okay, I'm at McDonald's. What do you want? You know, and it's quick, it's easy, and you're already eating their fries before you get home.
[00:50:37.310] – Rachel
That doesn't do anything for you. Eating that type of food and choosing healthier options takes time. It takes planning. And like you said, you got to eat what's around you. But also you need to find out what works for you. What makes you feel good.
[00:50:54.570] – Allan
Yeah. So once we get there and we know, okay, these are the foods that serve me. These are the foods I enjoy occasionally, yeah, you can go ahead and order your dessert. And you're fine with that because you've done the groundwork to have a good relationship with food. You've done the groundwork to have a good relationship with yourself and your body. And when you do that groundwork now it's like, okay, if I occasionally want to have some cake, I can have my cake. But I know what my general rules are. Once you kind of have that mapped out, and then you start putting plans in place, strategies and tactics and say, okay, my cupboard is full of this. If I get really hungry and I want something, well, here Brazil nuts right here on my desk. So you have a freedom of saying I eat when I need to, and when I'm hungry, I eat the foods that I want to eat. So I'm not a victim of food.
[00:51:50.090] – Rachel
You know, the other thing she mentioned to that wellness is a skill and that it takes practice. And I really wanted to mention that because it does take time to figure all this stuff out. It's not like you can go and buy a book and here's the diet that I'm going to follow, because I know this is going to work for me. It's not like you can choose an exercise regimen. I know this is going to make me lose weight and be a healthier person. It takes time. We need to learn these things and implement them and try them. And there's going to be some wins and there's going to be some failures. But it's something that is a skill and it does take practice.
[00:52:25.140] – Allan
It does. Pretty much every diet works until it doesn't. Almost every exercise program is going to help you get better until it doesn't. And so there's this basic Bell curve. Whenever you get a book and they're like, okay, I want you to follow the Mediterranean diet. Here's how you do it, and here's your movement principles, and you follow that book to letter. For 80% of us, the vast majority of us, it's going to work for a period of time. There's a Bell curve there's outliers that basically aren't going to respond, but most of us are going to be able to do it. And sometimes we have issues. Something comes up. Now I'm staying over at my mother's, taking care of her. And so I don't have access to what I had before. And she doesn't like the food I Cook and I have to Cook for her. So now it's like, well, do I Cook two meals or how do I put this together? That's that figure out this thing. I said, okay, my mother is not going to eat this, and she's not going to eat that. But she wants this and she wants that so what do we do?
[00:53:25.120] – Allan
I'm like, I make a modular meal. I do some batch cooking on Sunday. So I have my proteins and my vegetables ready, and then she's going to want to starch and she's going to want a dessert. Then I have those available to her. As soon as we finish, I'm like, you're going to eat a protein and you're going to eat vegetables and you're going to have a starch. And that's what we're going to have. No, I'm not going to deep Fry and no, I'm not going to buy the TV dinners and stuff like that. Occasionally. Yeah. If you want a TV dinner, I'm in shopping on a Saturday, and I go in and say, hey, can you give me one of those Hungry Man? I'm like, sure, here you go. You can have Hungry Man first. Sunday afternoon, I'm going to be eating some of the batch cooked food that I made, and we're good popping in microwave. Four minutes later, she's got her molten lava cherry bomb cake thingy. It's fine. But just recognize that. Yeah. There's a skill involved in putting together strategies and tactics, because a lot of people will start with the strategies and tactics.
[00:54:27.240] – Allan
Like, oh, I'm going to go on the Mediterranean diet and I'm going to start walking every morning for 45 minutes, seven days a week, and that works until it's snowing on Saturday and like sleeping and probably pretty dangerous for me to be out. Are you still going to go? And if you miss one day, is that your excuse? Is that the crack in your ice that says, oh, well, there's still some snow on the ground, so I'm not going to do it on Sunday either. And now on Monday, you're off, you're not doing it. So there's a skill to it, and it's setting up reasonable expectations for yourself based on that. And the other side, we talk about food freedom or exercise freedom and all that. It's just recognizing that nothing ever goes exactly to plan. As Tyson has said, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. And so it's kind of having that expectation that things might not go the way you want them to. And you have to forgive yourself for these interruptions, for these detours, for these things happening, and do what's reasonable through self compassion and self love to get yourself back on the path, the most reasonable and expedient way possible.
[00:55:46.430] – Rachel
Yeah. She also mentioned that knowing what your relationship is with yourself and with food like we've talked about in the past, having a mindset is really the starting point. And that she even mentioned you need to respect yourself and love yourself and enjoy yourself to be successful in any of these endeavors.
[00:56:05.880] – Allan
Yes, I wish that was a book. I have a series of four books, guys. And the first book is just going to tell you how to Fallen Back in love with yourself. The second book will start talking about falling in love with food. And then we'll start talking about exercise and diet and sleep and other stuff because so many people want to skip to chapter three. What's the eating plan? What's the eating plan that's going to work for me in 21 days. And I'm like, no, spend the first month, maybe even the first year just saying, who am I and how can I fall back in love with who I am, who I was and who I will be? Because you can always look back and you can find things about yourself that you really are proud of that you did and were capable of doing. You can look at yourself today and find things that you're very proud of about who you are and who you've become. And then when you look ahead, as one of my clients said, she wants to be that little old lady that everybody is like, how does she keep going there's this way about looking at yourself with compassion and hope.
[00:57:21.770] – Allan
And many of us lose. We don't have that hope. Our hope is sort of this wish. It's not really what the word hope. It's like I wish I were thinner. I wish I could do these things. I wish my knees and ankles didn't hurt. Those are wishes. And a wish feels like you don't have control, whereas hope is inside you. It's like I have hope that I can get stronger. I have hope that I can rebuild my immune system. I have hope that I can take care of me and live a long, healthy life. So I'm hopeful that I'll be then I'm not me, but her, that little old lady that everybody's like, well, she just doesn't slow down. So the first part is falling in love with yourself. Full stop. That's the end of the book. Don't go to the second book until you finish this book. You're going to miss the plot. The big part of the plot starts in this first book of the series, and you don't go to the second book of the series and start reading it because you haven't gotten the fundamentals. And then the same thing happens with food.
[00:58:36.130] – Allan
How do you really feel about food? What are your limitations? What are your capacities? How do you really feel and think about food? And she put in some great archetypes in the book for you to really just sit there and say, you know, am I erratic? Am I really structured? Am I someone who's dependent on food? I use it as a crutch, the pint of ice cream at night to set myself up for getting past the stress of the day. Or is it worse? Is a point where I'm right on the edge of obsessive and maybe even struggling with an eating disorder. And so until you break those things down and say, okay, do I love myself? And then how do I feel about food? And what's my relationship with food and just realizing that it's nourishment, it's enjoyment, it's fuel, it's building materials and all those things. And it's information. It's information for your body. And so it's very important. Just like you need to have self compassion, you need to be compassionate with food and say, okay, what's going to nourish me, what's going to build me better? What do I enjoy but the ways I can make it?
[00:59:53.880] – Allan
Maybe you don't like Brussel sprouts. Tammy never liked Brussel sprouts until we found a way to cook Brussel sprouts that she actually liked them. It took her a while. So just recognize that you take your time and you find that relationship. And honestly, that building the skill thing you talked about. That's what this process is that so many people want to move on before they have the skills. It's like walking out on the NFL football field and thinking, okay, I got a chance of not dying out here. That linebacker is going to lay you out because you don't have the skills and not that you'll ever have the skills to be an NFL running back. But that said, if you are working on the skills to be the best you then you will be. But you've got to get the skills first. And that is that self love, self compassion, having a great relationship with food and then strategies and tactics.
[01:00:52.890] – Rachel
Absolutely. Just perfect. Be patient. You'll get there.
[01:00:57.060] – Allan
Yeah, definitely take some patience, because it's not a straight line. It's never a straight line.
[01:01:02.630] – Rachel
[01:01:03.320] – Allan
But every day you can take a breath is a day you can move in the right direction. So you woke up, you're listening to this. You want this. Take that first step. Just take a step today. Talk to yourself about love, compassion. How do you really feel? And then when you feel like you've gotten to a point where you're good with who you are and where you're going, then you start talking about your relationship with food and do those two things. Really, then the plan makes sense. Then her plan. I'll just step in here's a plan. I'm going to stick with this plan. And when that plan works and then maybe it stops working, you still fall back on that self love and self compassion and relationship with food. And then you tweak and you pivot and you find the way. So we talked in that episode about quitting. And sometimes to quit is a good thing, but sometimes it's quit and pivot and sometimes just grind it out. Just keep doing it. But until you get to a point where you're not blaming yourself, you're not gorging on foods that you know you shouldn't eat just because you want to punish yourself.
[01:02:11.590] – Allan
In a sense, until you get past that kind of behavior, then you're not going to be able to pivot effectively. You're not going to be able to deal with a Plateau. And those are going to set you back and they're going to happen. They always happen. So recognizing that you have control over who you are in the future and then starting that journey.
[01:02:31.930] – Rachel
Yeah, all great information. Sounds like a great book.
[01:02:36.400] – Allan
It is a good book. Yeah. Absolutely. But like I said, just read the first couple of chapters, get to working on that, then go back to the book and worry about the plan.
[01:02:46.710] – Rachel
[01:02:48.270] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you and everyone next week.
[01:02:52.130] – Rachel
Great. Take care.
[01:02:53.530] – Allan
[01:02:54.360] – Rachel
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