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Transform your relationship with food | Kim Shapira

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On episode 599 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Kim Shapira and discuss her book, This is What You're Really Hungry For.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:52.390] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:53.710] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:56.090] – Allan

I'm okay. Just okay.

[00:02:58.360] – Allan

I went for a long walk this weekend and it was really hot and humid and I think I tripped myself back into hypothermia again. Yeah, so I think my sodium dropped too low. And I have had a really tough couple of days.

[00:03:15.950] – Allan

Sleeping, a lot of it, but just trying to get more salt into my diet, more potassium into my diet and just try to get myself back on an even keel. But it's been a tough couple of days.

[00:03:27.160] – Rachel

Oh, that's miserable. It just feels bad. When those types of events happen, that's really a game changer.

[00:03:34.870] – Allan

Yeah, I just went out on my normal walk. I'm like, okay, do this. And I originally said, I'll just do 12 miles, you know, what the heck?

[00:03:42.060] – Allan

And I got to the six mile mark and I'm like, you know what, I'm feeling pretty good. I'll go ahead and go and make it more of a 13 point something walk.

[00:03:51.980] – Allan

I walked all the way to the sign that's at the end of the road, and then I turn our fence gate and I just turned around and.

[00:03:58.830] – Allan

I'm walking back and got to mile 10, and I'm like, okay, something's not cool. I gutted it out for the final 3.25 miles, but yeah, got in and I was like, I don't feel good. So I got a little bit of hydration in me, cooled myself down, took a shower, took a nap, thought, okay, that should do it. Went out to a celebration party, some friends were anniversary, and then we got back, it was like 05:00, and I'm like, Done. So I'm like, okay, going to go to sleep.

[00:04:28.610] – Allan

I slept for 13 hours.

[00:04:30.310] – Rachel


[00:04:32.630] – Allan

And then got up and said, okay, I'm up. And I started trying to do a few things and then just crashed again.

[00:04:39.370] – Allan

So I took another nap. And then last night went to bed at 8:30 and didn't want to get up this morning at six, but I did. It is what it is.

[00:04:49.470] – Allan

I still got a lot of work to do. I fell behind on, but it's just my body hit a line and I know I have low sodium. That's one of the advantages of testing myself over time, is just knowing I run on that lower line and I just have something I have to be aware of. But I just pushed a little harder than I should have at that particular time and went over the line.

[00:05:11.410] – Rachel

That's the crazy thing about the hyponitremia is that that line is not always right in front of you, like a bright neon sign. The right temperature, the right amount of sweating, not enough sodium in your diet over the last few days. I mean, just all of that stuff, it's hard to see sometimes. And then it lines up and then there you are, and it just sucks the life out of your body. It's hard to recover from that. It really is.

[00:05:38.110] – Allan

Well, but I caught it. I think I caught it early enough that just adding sodium to my diet for the next couple of days should do it. The last time, the first time I got it, they had to put me on IVs for a couple of days to get me past it. But I think I can get by with just some higher sodium and potassium in my food.

[00:05:58.440] – Rachel

Yeah. Well, I'm glad you're hopefully on the mend.

[00:06:01.510] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:06:03.000] – Rachel

Oh, good.

[00:06:04.040] – Rachel

Last week I was talking with you. I was in Boston. Now I'm back home. It's nice to be home again. We had a great trip. Like you, we're having incredible heat right now here in Michigan. I was just out for a run this morning, and, man, I think I sweat as much as I drink. But as a runner, I always have my electrolytes with me. I don't usually run with just plain water. It's usually electrolytes. So I was fine, but it's hot.

[00:06:31.960] – Allan

Yeah. So got to watch that. Can be a big deal. So pay attention to the signals your body's giving you, because it is. You just have to listen.

[00:06:41.910] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:06:43.110] – Allan

All right, well, you ready to have a conversation with Kim Shapira?

[00:06:46.710] – Rachel



[00:07:12.810] – Allan

Kim, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:15.380] – Kim

Thanks for having me. I'm so excited.

[00:07:17.570] – Allan

Well, I really enjoyed reading your book. It's called, This is What You're Really Hungry For: Six Simple Rules to Transform Your Relationship With Food and Become Your Healthiest Self. And I think one of the reasons I really got into the book early on, one, I look at the table of contents, I'm like, well, we might not agree there, we might agree here. I went in kind of I'm not going to say open minded, but I kind of said, okay, we're going to dive into this. But you said something really early in the book that I think we overlook it so much that.

[00:07:48.790] – Allan

We'll see a friend go on a diet or we'll read something in a magazine while we're standing in line at the grocery store, and it's like, wow, this person lost 30 pounds in three months. Now, the little fine print at the bottom says, these are not typical results but we think we should be able to do the same thing and get the same result, and it just doesn't work like that. And then you use the word. I think that's really important is then we feel shame for not being like someone else.

[00:08:20.060] – Kim

Yeah, it's interesting. I was touring the bookstore the other day and kind of reading as many different books as I could just for the fun of it, and I came across a book called Contagion, and it was saying that the most viral posts and emails that had ever occurred are the ones that gave people the feeling of awe. And it's really interesting is when you read an article or you walk past something or you hear your friend saying, I was successful doing this. It's that light bulb that goes off that kind of ignites some excitement in you that thinks, like, maybe there's hope and maybe I can do that too. But the reason why diets fail is because people don't deal with what triggers them. That takes them off the path. And so, as a registered dietitian, I believe the way that we eat makes our bodies well. The problem is people don't want to eat certain ways because they don't understand the call to eat things that aren't making them well. And so in the beginning of my career, I put everybody on diets thinking, you're going to want to eat kale because you know it's good for you and it has a bunch of different vitamins and minerals.

[00:09:28.990] – Kim

And the problem is, they were eating ice cream and cake after because they were eating the kale because someone told them it was healthy. They weren't eating it because they felt good about it. And what they really wanted was the ice cream and the cake, or so they thought.

[00:09:41.130] – Kim

But it was because they were restricted from it in their minds because they had been on a diet that is really what called them to even eat it to begin with. I know I probably just went off on a whole another tangent.

[00:09:51.690] – Allan

No, that's exactly what I meant. My story, okay, I went paleo because I hired a dietitian, and that was the hot thing at the moment. So she's like, oh, you've got it. Do you know what paleo is? I'm like, no. So she gave me this whole little notebook thing that she had made up all this information, all these studies, all this stuff. I'm like, okay, cool, I'll give it a shot.

[00:10:12.200] – Allan

And it worked until it didn't.

[00:10:15.350] – Kim

There it is. Did you get that line from my book?

[00:10:19.000] – Allan

No. Well, no, it's it's actually actually, I was thinking before we came on, I was thinking about Dr. Fung because in his book, The Obesity Code, he said all diets work and all diets fail.

[00:10:29.660] – Allan

And so it's like what I ended up doing was I was just tweaking what I was eating and I ended up transitioning into keto, and then the rest of the weight dropped off. And so for me, the paleo keto approach worked very, very well. And as I got to talking with hundreds of people in this field, because this is episode 599, I realized that there are 1000 million different ways to eat because there's a billion people plus on this planet, there's a way that you should eat that's very different from the way I should eat. And while what I did worked very well, for me, it may just be completely unsustainable for you. And so it's great to explore. It's wonderful to explore different foods, to explore different ways of eating and realizing, as you said in the book, this is about providing nutrition for your body.

[00:11:22.010] – Allan

this is not about saying, okay, food is this savior out there that's going to make my life more exciting and more fun and we'll be here bored because I got to sit here and answer this phone and it's not ringing. So I think I'll just go to the vending machine and buy a candy bar because that's going to be a lot more fun with a candy bar than just sitting here with no phones ringing. So it is that thing of it's really hard.

[00:11:49.220] – Allan

But if you can tailor the way you currently do things and make small adjustments with these six rules, this could be a very sustainable way for just about everybody to tweak who they are. What they're doing just a little, and make some substantial changes that are sustainable.

[00:12:08.370] – Kim

So what I really heard you say was, if you can be curious, which people don't know to be curious, and that is one reason why they fail. So they already assume they know what they need to do and they're also totally neglecting what they need to do. And I think it actually starts with being curious, which you are very curious. I mean, look what you uprooted your life, you take care of things, you pay attention. And the thing about I'm sure we're going to get into is rule number two, eat what you love, but make sure the food loves you back.

[00:12:38.840] – Kim

What I have found is that people have a hard time sustaining weight loss because they're not really eating the foods they love, they're eating foods other people love. They're not paying attention to the way their physical body feels. They already know this is going to be good for me, so I'm just going to eat it. Not paying attention to joint pain, digestive issues, things like that. They're not curious about specifically what's important to them. So they're focused on weight loss and they're not focused on weight maintenance. And I would say changing your relationship with food, the side effect is weight loss.

[00:13:11.620] – Kim

Changing your relationship with food, the side effect is weight loss. So instead of focusing on losing weight, changing the focus to changing my habits, getting curious about why I'm eating and what I'm eating. And the only way that a person, I believe, like you can begin this process is to go back to kindergarten. And that's learning the rules. So I know it sounds scary when.

[00:13:35.850] – Kim

I say eat whatever you love, but. Now it's the first time somebody actually has permission to be guilt free, shame free to eat what they love.

[00:13:44.660] – Kim

And then that opens the door for them to say, I didn't even realize that those were making me sick. That's why I don't feel good. I thought I loved ice cream. It turns out it's beating the crap out of me.

[00:13:56.140] – Allan

Right. And that was one of the initial disconnects I had, was like, no, please don't tell. Eat whole food.

[00:14:02.240] – Allan

Please just eat whole food. Stay away from the processed stuff. I know it's delicious, but they want you to eat more of it. And so I was thinking as I went into this and we're talking about relationships, and I'm like, okay, we all probably know someone in our lives that had a really toxic relationship.

[00:14:15.960] – Allan

I was one of those people, but I stayed in that toxic relationship. And so in your book, you talked about the four reasons we eat.

[00:14:25.270] – Kim


[00:14:25.910] – Allan

Okay. And some of these reasons, if you listen to it from a relationship perspective, you're like, that's the abusive girlfriend, that's the abusive boyfriend. That's the relationship you want to get out of if you're eating for that reason. Can you talk about the four reasons?

[00:14:39.840] – Kim

Yeah. And I just have to say, I was scrolling on Instagram this morning, and I ran past a quote that it said something about, before you go to sleep at night, call back all your energy. And I loved this because we put out so much energy in different places, and we take other people's energy. And the idea that we can call back and fill ourselves back up with our own energy is really important to me. So I always think in terms of, here I am in my physical body.

[00:15:06.500] – Kim

And I have an emotional self, and I have a physical self. Right. And most people are paying attention to their emotional self. They're thinking their mind is telling them what they need to do, not even aware that their mind is wired to help you survive in the most pleasurable way. And people are not paying attention to their physical body and all the signs and signals it's giving us all day long of telling us exactly what we need.

[00:15:29.240] – Kim

And so if we can kind of learn to separate, understanding that our emotions come and go every 15 minutes and moods last longer, but our physical body is always telling us when we have.

[00:15:39.630] – Kim

To pee, when we have to eat. I mean, nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, oh my God, I have to pee six times today. Where are all those toilets?

[00:15:46.760] – Kim

Right? We trust that we will find a bathroom. It might get a little uncomfortable, but we trust it. And so we need to start trusting our physical body and paying less attention to what our emotional selves are telling us. And so the four reasons why a person eats is because, number one, emotional reasons. Number two is because the food is in front of us. Number three, because we're having cravings. And number four, because we're physically hungry. And the reason why I want you to read this book is because I want you to only be eating for physical hunger and to have a normal relationship with food. Which means sometimes I eat birthday cake on a Monday, but I'm not doing it on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

[00:16:22.850] – Kim

Right. Food is fuel, and it only takes up one important place in our life.

[00:16:27.280] – Allan

Yeah. And that's why, again, with the whole food thing is like this is a building block. And so, as you talked about relationship, it's like interning yourself inside. One of the things that I've really gotten become a lot more aware of in the last few years is that there is this inner part of us that needs love, needs attention, and we're the ones not giving it to ourselves. We're not listening to our body, and we're not telling our body and showing our body that love.

[00:16:54.370] – Allan

And so as the result, we go out and we eat things that we know are bad for us, and we're not feeding ourselves. And so when you start changing the relationship with food, you start saying, well, okay, yes, I could have ice cream for dinner. I'm a grown adult.

[00:17:11.290] – Kim

Calories and calories.

[00:17:12.470] – Allan


[00:17:12.920] – Kim


[00:17:13.940] – Allan

What I know is that even if it'S the good stuff, the Blue Bell ice cream or Haagendazs or Ben and Jerry's or whatever your poison is, that's fine. It's good quality stuff, but it's not going to nourish your body the way getting a good balance of vegetables and proteins and all of that is going to go.

[00:17:34.700] – Kim

It would be so cool if you stopped thinking about ice cream for dinner. And I think that's where we have to start is when we know we can have it and we put it on hold and we don't worry about it.

[00:17:46.690] – Kim


[00:17:47.010] – Kim

And the reason why diets fail. And this is a building block. This is the first building block, because now you're in kindergarten, right? You're learning how to play on the playground, because if you're trying to build a house on a faulty foundation, it's going to crumble. And that's what diets are. And so we are building that foundation.

[00:18:03.760] – Kim

Why are you eating? Is it because you're having an emotional need for it? Or because your physical body is needing fuel? And food is not anything other than fuel at any given time. It is always fuel. Your body is, like, so amazing and efficient. It takes up everything you're eating, and it's just checking in to make sure that it's the right kind of fuel for your body. But if we start telling people, don't have ice cream, or if we start saying it's unhealthy or we even call it bad, or we say shouldn't, what happens is then we're automatically assuming that we're bad. And that's what we're putting into our subconscious. Right. So if we stopped labeling food and we called everything a banana, what would happen? Allan, right now, if I handed you a banana, what would you do?

[00:18:44.310] – Kim

If I handed you a banana?

[00:18:45.810] – Allan

I would actually probably just set it down.

[00:18:47.860] – Kim

Yes. You would pause and you would say, why is Kim handing me a banana? Everybody pauses when they get a banana because they only eat bananas when they're hungry. And if we started thinking all food was a banana, we would put that space between the thought to eat and the action to eat. Right.

[00:19:03.460] – Kim

We need a pause. We need to say, Why am I thinking about a banana? Why do I have a banana in my hand? What's my body needing right now? Also, if you put that banana down, you would totally trust that you can come back for it.

[00:19:14.610] – Allan

Yeah, because I just had breakfast not 20 minutes ago, so it was okay. Well, great. I don't need this banana now. If I get a little hungry later because I've got a lot of work to do this afternoon, then, yeah, I might grab it and have it.

[00:19:27.830] – Kim

Right. But I have to just say one more thing. So sorry.

[00:19:30.900] – Allan


[00:19:31.700] – Kim

If you never ever were given a banana and then somebody hands you a banana, now it's a treat. Now it's like, I'm going to have it because I don't know when I'm going to get it again. And if I said, you only have 30 seconds to eat a banana, you're not enjoying it, you're sneaking it, you're shoving it in. There are so many things. So if we slow down the whole process and everything becomes a banana and we become more mindful and we accept that we can have ice cream any time of the day, any day of the week, we no longer need it right now. And maybe days go by and weeks go by.

[00:20:05.600] – Allan

Well, an OD aside is the area of Panama we live in is where they grow bananas for chiquita. So there's a lot of bananas. They're going to run out of bananas or plantains. But you have a very important aspect to that foundation. You talked about the solid foundation.

[00:20:20.970] – Allan

And I think if you take a few minutes and you really look at this and you even said to it, I call it kind of a wellness audit, you called it a wellness wheel. Can you talk about the wellness wheel and the seven spokes and how we can use that as a tool to kind of check in with ourselves?

[00:20:37.390] – Kim

Yeah. So everybody is in the center of their own wellness wheel. Right. And what we're doing is we are attached to all the things that are important to us. And so they could be adventure, they could be our spiritual well being, our physical well being, our financial, our relationships, our career, and then there's a few more and what like environment. But what happens is, if we are disconnected from any one of these things, we are not moving forward in our journey.

[00:21:05.660] – Kim

We're stuck. And so it's paying attention, checking in, how am I doing? Am I connected to the things that are important to me? Have I stayed in my routine with sleep? Have I planned ahead to make sure that I know where my water is coming from and what food is available to me today? Have I booked my next adventure? Have I checked in with my friends?

[00:21:26.140] – Kim

If we're not connected to these things, then what happens is we become unwell because we overthink about where we are and how lost we are and how sad we are and disconnected. And so the first thing to do is kind of check in, where am I on this journey? What can I do to improve that? And then that's how you start moving forward. And we're all in different places, so there's no judgment. And we're all working by ourselves, making this all happen. So you might be further along in your fitness than I am, but I am not looking for perfection. Not that I'm assuming you are either, but I am working for progress. So now I'm open to learning from you and also checking in to see, what have I not done today? Where can I pick that up?

[00:22:09.350] – Kim

Right? This is how we become balanced. If you're tired, how many times do you think about how tired you are during the day? If you had an argument with your friend, how many times do you think about that argument? Right? These make us unwell. We have to get connected and stay connected.

[00:22:23.670] – Kim

And like I said, the reason why people fail is they neglect to do the things they need to do.

[00:22:29.250] – Allan

And I think one of the key things about what you just said is when you start to feel that shame or that loneliness or that boredom or any of it, most of us have been taught, well, food will make me feel better.

[00:22:43.640] – Kim

Yeah, well, that's a trained behavior, right?

[00:22:46.920] – Kim

So for me, it was about shopping. It wasn't about food. I totally trained my mind to think every emotion shopping was a great idea. I definitely needed something, even when I couldn't afford it. And so that's kind of where I started recognizing, oh, my gosh, my clients are literally eating the same way that I shop. And so being able to check in and recognize I want to well, let me go back a little bit so you can understand. Our mind produces about 60,000 thoughts a day. It's doing it all by itself. It's not like you asked your heart to beat or your lungs to breathe, right? Your mind is already doing this for you. We can write a book or we can have a conversation, and we're actually asking our mind to think. But all the other things it's doing is to make sure that we're safe. If we heard a loud sound, we would both stop exactly what we're doing, check in, make sure we were safe.

[00:23:34.910] – Kim

Before we would carry on. Our mind would also give us a few different ways to resolve the issue quickly and safely. And so if we've had any sort of emotional trauma, which every single person on this Earth has between three to 18 different emotions, that can be triggered, that cause them to become irrational. And so our mind remembers, the last time I felt that way, we ate and we felt better.

[00:23:57.930] – Kim

And we have to recognize that our mind is only doing its job and it's not always right. And that we can just say, mind, I'm safe, because all our mind wants to know is that we are safe. And so if we can say to our mind, I see you, I see you directing me towards the pantry, and I see you telling me that ice cream is good in my mouth, but I'm going to laugh right now, and I'm going to remind my body that I'm safe. I'm going to check in, scan my surroundings, confirm I'm safe, and then I'm going to carry on. What happens with most people is they think their mind got their best interest and their mind says, ice cream is a good idea. So they just assume that's their idea. And they end up eating ice cream.

[00:24:37.840] – Allan

And then like you said, when you put that space in there, you get that half step back and you can say, maybe ice cream isn't what I need right now. Maybe I just need some water and to go for a walk. Or in your case, it was, no, I really don't need that sweater. If I need that sweater, I can go buy it later. But yeah, 50% sale, it's beautiful. You don't really need it, but you got to have that space because the emotional part of you is like, I'm never going to get this deal again.

[00:25:02.930] – Kim


[00:25:03.590] – Allan

And you know, there's sales every single day I get an email, 50% off, 60% off.

[00:25:11.970] – Kim

Yeah, it's so true. But you're right and I forgot that part. So once your mind tells you food is a good idea, that's when you have to recognize your alarm is going off, just like any alarm.

[00:25:21.760] – Kim

And so notice that the alarm is going off. Turn it off. Take a deep breath, look at your mind, laugh at it. Okay, mind, we don't need that sweater right now. Let me scan my body and see even why that alarm was triggered.

[00:25:33.990] – Kim

And once you can recognize where the alarm came from and you recognize, okay, my chest is tight or my shoulders are tense or I'm recognizing that I just had this really uncomfortable phone call. Or maybe it is actually hunger, any of these reasons could set your alarm going off, right? Hunger is the most primal signal we have to keep us alive.

[00:25:53.380] – Kim

Hunger is the best signal we can get from our body. We would all run to the doctor if we stopped having to pee. We need to be hungry. We need to be hungry often, but we don't want to stay hungry. But we do need to recognize when our mind is giving us an idea. That is not a real idea that. We need to be doing right now. We need to take a deep breath. Scan our body, and if we're really stressed, then that's when we breathe again, emotions pass.

[00:26:17.110] – Allan

I have two questions in one. So first I got to start out with maybe it's the libertarian in me. But right now, I'm just not a big fan of the word rule.

[00:26:26.250] – Kim


[00:26:27.370] – Allan

And I think there's a lot of people like, I'm a rebel. I set rules for myself, and then I break those rules because that's what rules are made for. But I don't have a better word than rule. So we're just going to call them this, the six weight loss rules.

[00:26:42.860] – Allan

Can you just give us a quick rundown of those and why each one is important?

[00:26:48.130] – Kim

Yeah. So I'm all about staying uncomfortable. Buddhist said life is suffering, and I would say suffering in quotes, right. Like, we're going to either suffer by eating food that we know is going to make us sick, or we're going to suffer by not eating that food. Now, again, it's suffering. It's a little discomfort.

[00:27:08.080] – Kim

Our body does not like discomfort. It will never let us stay uncomfortable. It will always kind of come up with a more pleasurable solution. People are so triggered by the word diet, fats, calories. I mean, diet literal definition of diet is the lifestyle. The way that you eat. It doesn't say in the dictionary restriction. Right? So if we can reframe it and understand we have rules in kindergarten, right? We sit crisscross applesauce.

[00:27:33.860] – Kim

We talk when after we're called on. We don't over talk or speak over somebody else. We have rules, and they really do help the community be better. And so that's what we're doing here. Would you ever think of leaving the house in the morning without brushing your teeth?

[00:27:50.540] – Allan

Probably not, no. It's a habit.

[00:27:54.310] – Kim

It was probably part of something you were taught growing up, that you were trained, and that became a behavior.

[00:28:00.950] – Allan

My parents are going to go and they're going to say, go upstairs and brush your teeth. And then when they come in there. They're going to touch my toothbrush to see if it's wet. There was some police action in my house.

[00:28:12.670] – Kim

Yeah, that's funny. There's probably a lot of police action in a lot of houses. The thing is that the reason I use the word rules is to make you uncomfortable, because I want you to stop and I want you to think. And I want these to become so ingrained that now they're a set of values. You don't brush your teeth because your parents made you do it. Now you actually value it. And so once you start valuing these rules, they become something totally different. They become who you are and your lifestyle. And I could say to so many different people, define your relationship with food. What kind of eater are you? And they wouldn't have any idea. And what I want them to say is, normal. I'm a normal eater.

[00:28:52.740] – Kim

I'm a normal eater. In Italy, in Panama, in California. I'm a normal eater in this restaurant. I'm a normal eater next Thursday at dinner when I don't even know what I'm going to have. I'm normal because I follow these rules. And now they're inside of me.

[00:29:06.830] – Allan

So let's go through the rules.

[00:29:08.310] – Kim

Okay? Do you want to do it? Just kidding.

[00:29:11.710] – Kim

Okay, so rule number one is to eat when you're hungry.

[00:29:15.570] – Kim

These are non negotiable. Eat when you're hungry. So really find your mind and know what your physical body is needing. Take your normal portion and cut it in half. Now people are having visceral reactions, probably listening to this, oh my God, I don't know what hunger is. I don't know what my normal portion is. So your normal portion is whatever you ate the last time you ate.

[00:29:35.790] – Kim

It doesn't have to be what the chef is preparing. It doesn't have to be what is on the box. It is what you would normally eat. Cut it in half. And now you're going to wait 15 minutes to see if you need more food. So we know that it takes 15 minutes to get from our mouth to our stomach to get the signal that we've had enough food. And that's why we're cutting it in half and we're waiting 15 minutes. And the thing is, most people eat their food in two, three, four minutes, giving them eleven minutes of discomfort. And our minds hate discomfort and we'll just say, go ahead and eat it. And we need to remember, no, we're safe, we just had fuel. There's more right here. I'm going to come back to it and see if I need it. So really the trick is to slow down the pace at which you're eating, be more mindful, chew your food, really taste your food, and then let it last a little bit longer. So hard for people. Yeah. So that's real one. Do you have any questions about that?

[00:30:25.990] – Allan

Well, yeah, let's jump ahead in our plan here a little bit because I think this is really important. You put guidelines for hunger and you went from basically over full, Thanksgiving full, all the way down to starving.

[00:30:38.950] – Allan

Number one, there's not a lot of people in Western world actually starving.

[00:30:44.020] – Allan

You're not actually starving. You may be very hungry, but that's a whole nother conversation. It's a range. And we all probably can relate to being so stuffed that we are uncomfortable, really uncomfortable, beyond uncomfortable, all the way down to a point where we got blood sugars falling and our bodies screaming at us, eat anything. Why do we have so much trouble playing in that range of being just a little hungry and thinking we're about to die?

[00:31:12.540] – Kim

It's a good question, especially when your mind is telling you for every emotion you're hungry. I mean, I have 250 pound clients, 300 pound clients, 180 pound clients, everybody who wants to lose ten pounds, 50 pounds, who are telling me they're starving. They're hungry all day long.

[00:31:29.640] – Kim

There is so much confusion on what hunger actually feels like. Hunger is isolated to our stomach. It's actually not painful, it's not scary. It's just a hormone, telling you you're getting a little low on fuel. We need to eat something here. I think people are, again, totally primal. That people don't like to be hungry because it's basic survival. And I think people have to learn and get curious to see what does hunger actually feel like? And so what would happen if I just ate an apple, nothing else? Why is there so much fear in not eating anything else when the food is right in front of you? And so I think it's basic fear. People do not trust that they're going to eat again.

[00:32:12.750] – Kim

And we know historically, you had 21 meals last week and you can't remember what you ate last.

[00:32:18.220] – Allan

And that pantry is stuffed to the gills. Your freezer is stuffed to the gills. Your refrigerator, which also probably needs to be cleaned out.

[00:32:25.900] – Kim


[00:32:26.840] – Allan

Yeah, there's so much food around us, you're not going to miss your next meal.

[00:32:32.350] – Kim

It's fear. Fear and lack of curiosity. Neglecting what they need to do, get curious

[00:32:38.860] – Allan

and listen. Listen to their body.

[00:32:41.010] – Kim

Yeah, totally.

[00:32:42.550] – Allan

Okay, let's move on to rule number two.

[00:32:44.720] – Kim

Okay, so rule number two, which is where I think you have a visceral reaction.

[00:32:50.790] – Kim

Eat what you love, but make sure the food loves you back. So I would say most people are walking around with headaches, clearing their throat, heartburn, bloating, digestive distress, gas joint pain, psoriasis, eczema, nausea, sleepless nights, itchy skin, yeast infections. I mean, tons of food related digestive distress. And then they're eating foods that are directly linked to this. I just remember I'm going to give you an example that you probably read about because I think it's a profound one. I had a ten year old client that was overweight, and they had a friday night dinner every single Friday night at this diner. And this kid always wanted a shake. And the parents said, when you finish your hamburger and French fries, you can have your shake. Now you and I are both hitting our heads going, hamburger and French fries? Okay, yeah, you finish those hamburger and French fries, which is exactly what he would do, and then he would have the shake.

[00:33:47.920] – Kim

And so we know that that's why. This kid was overweight, right? But because he had to finish his food to get the shake, that was the only way, and that's what he was going to do. And this is why diets don't work. And so when I finally convinced the parents, let the kid have the shake, they finally, after a month, let the kid have the shake.

[00:34:08.730] – Kim

And after two weeks of having the shake, the kid no longer wanted it. Because they found that it was not really satisfying and making them feel good, and they never had the shake again. And this is why it's eat what you love.

[00:34:21.540] – Allan

And so, yeah, it's like, well, the donut holes was another one. It's like, okay, yeah. What I found, though, is for some people. For some people, it's that trigger thing. It's like it's the macaroon that then has you craving, puts you back into another state of a reason to eat, is you're now craving this food. And so there are trigger foods that you don't think it doesn't love you. You just think, okay, I want it, I want it. I'm hungry. And so there are foods that I would say some people probably just need to try to avoid, even if there's no physical reason that they should avoid that particular food. Like, most of us are not allergic to donut holes, but the sugar is going to make us want the third one and the fourth one and the. Whole box,

[00:35:06.050] – Kim

and there's trans fats. When we're talking about health, we're talking about a lot of ingredients in the donut hole. But does that mean I can never have a donut hole? No, because everything in moderation. It's just what else did you have today? What did you eat yesterday? What are you doing? And so the truth is, that's why I say have the donut hole on a Monday, but not Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

[00:35:26.110] – Kim

And I remember when I tried cutting sugar out of my own diet just to experiment and see how it was making me feel. I went through a real tug of war with my mind because I loved chocolate, I loved butterfingers and Chips Ahoy. And there was like, now I'm contemplating a life without these things that I loved.

[00:35:45.320] – Kim

Made no sense to me. But when I came up with the idea that I was going to just get curious and experiment, how am I without it? What does my body feel like without it? I opened a door, and so I noticed on day five of not doing it, I only allowed myself five days for this experiment. On the fifth day, the idea of wanting a butterfinger or Chips Ahoy completely vanished. It left my body. I was no longer having physical withdrawals from the sugar. So sugar is heroin, and there's no way around it. It is literally causes us to have an addiction, and then we are spiraling, looking under every single rock for it. But if you tell somebody who loves sugar that they can't have sugar now, they feel suffocated, and that's not going to help them move forward. But if you can get them to understand how the food makes their body feel, don't tell them. Let them experiment and experience how the food makes them feel. Now, it's easy to say, oh, okay. I do love myself, and I don't actually think that that's what I want to have in the middle of the day or right before I'm going to sleep.

[00:36:53.430] – Kim

Right. Teach them to be in their own bodies. And, I mean, I do have sugar. Now, this was that experiment was 14 years ago, but I don't have it two days in a row because I'm aware of when my mind is sending me down this spiral, and I can say, oh, I had it yesterday. And this is only because I'm craving. Because I'm addicted to heroin again and I can walk away from it. But you have to get mindful. You can't believe every thought you have.

[00:37:18.490] – Allan

And that's another area I got to eating mindfully is probably one of the hardest things to do because we're so busy, we've got so much to do. It's like, look, I can do my accounting and eat. I can't record a podcast because I have to use my mouth, but I can eat during just about every other thing I do with my work. And so it's really hard to say. No, put the work down, fix yourself a plate, go sit at the dinner table, take a bite, savor the bite. Feel the bite, take a breath, take a sip of water, wipe your mouth with your napkin, and then have another one. That is hard

[00:38:01.290] – Kim

and boring. It's boring. And you know what? Our mind doesn't want us to be an uncomfortable. It's telling us, no, pick up your phone. No, definitely do something else. Our mind won't let us be suffering. I have a client who came home from work the other day, and his family had bought crumbled cookies, which are just like these giant cookies that are super thick. And in my family, we cut them into like, I don't know, eight to ten slices. And I said, how much of the cookie did you have? And he said, I ate half of it. And I said, what were you doing when you were eating the cookie? He said, I was watching the Bake off and it was 10:30 at night.

[00:38:37.190] – Kim

And I said, what time did you go to sleep? And he said eleven. And I'm like, hitting my head, and that's not going to help him if I'm hitting my head. So what did I say to him is, Where's the cookie now? Where's the other half? And he goes, It's in the kitchen. So I said, Go grab that cookie. And he was so excited, he grabs the cookie, it's a whole half a cookie. He sits down. I can see his salivary glands already getting ready for the first bite. And I said, okay, now cut that into quarters. So he did, and then I said. Now cut that into another quarter, each bite making another half. So now we had eight. And I said, now do it again. So we had 14 pieces of cookie on the same plate. It was like a small cookie. And all of a sudden it was like a whole plate of cookies.

[00:39:16.200] – Kim

And then I said, now take the first bite and just smell it. Don't put it in your mouth.

[00:39:20.590] – Kim

And you can see he was all excited and ready. I said, okay, now we've gotten our body ready. Now put it in your mouth, but chew it longer than you think necessary. Savor it because you think you love food. Let me see you actually love the food.

[00:39:33.720] – Kim

So he ate it, and it took him about 40 seconds to really savor it. And I said, now show me how you would normally eat. And he just pops in his mouth and 2 seconds later it's gone. I said to him, So you say you love food, but you're not even allowing yourself to really love food. Then I had him turn his chair around because we were on Zoom, and I said, show me every single thing in your room. Tell me all about the things on your walls and whatever you have. He spent five minutes giving me the entire higher explanation of all the things he loved in his room. He completely forgot about the cookie. He turns around, he's like, oh my God, I forgot about the cookie. Now I have like twelve more times. I get to eat it, right?

[00:40:10.130] – Kim

And I'm like, but are you hungry? He said, no, I'm going to put it away. Right. So he had the same experience with two bites as he had the night before. With probably five bites. We have to get mindful. Yeah. And that's the fail safe while he'll lose weight, right? Because he won't be eating the whole half. He doesn't need it.

[00:40:28.240] – Allan

Yeah. So let's run through the other four rules real quick.

[00:40:32.010] – Kim

Okay. Rule number three, eat without distractions.

[00:40:34.390] – Kim

So we talked about that. Motions are distractions. Having food in front of you is a distraction. Cravings and hunger. So make sure that you're hungry every single time you eat.

[00:40:43.170] – Kim

Rule number four is to get 10,000 steps every single day. The average American gets about 2500 to 3000. We really need 7000 to prevent sudden death and a bunch of different diseases. I found 10,000 really helps you sustain your weight loss. So if you're somebody who's getting two to 3000, just shoot for 500 more every day. Make sure you're getting seven, but really shoot for ten. We need this built in so that way by the time you're done losing weight, you're already helping your body maintain your weight. And you can do it through lifting weights, walking. I mean, I'm calling it steps, but it's really movement. And we need a variety of different types of movements for our body.

[00:41:24.250] – Allan

And this is something you can do with friends. And as you said, go with a walk for a friend. It doesn't have to be the full we're going to work out to probably close to four and a half to 5 miles. But get out with a friend for a little while. Spend the time enjoying nature with them. You have a little stepper in your room. I remember at one point I was in a hotel room and I was at like 9200 steps and I was like, crap, I got to get 800 more steps in. I'm literally walking around my bed, just doing laps around a hotel room bed to get those extra 800 in there, because I wanted that streak. Because for me, keeping the streak was something that was going to keep me motivated to keep doing it. I didn't want to fall short.

[00:42:03.430] – Kim

I mean, you can move your arms, you can do Arm things during commercials. You can do whatever, just keep moving. Yeah, it's really important. Our metabolism goes from 100% when we're moving to 30% when we're sitting. So we want to stay active. We want to keep those burners on.

[00:42:16.030] – Kim

Rule number five is to get eight cups of water. And it really does change, depending on your climate, what else you're eating, what else you're drinking, and how much weight. But a minimum of eight cups every single day will really help your body lose weight and detoxify every one of your organs.

[00:42:29.970] – Kim

And the last rule is 7 hours of sleep. The average American gets about six and a half. And if we're not getting at least seven, and we need between seven and nine, but if we're not getting at least seven, we're just wreaking havoc on our body and it's going to affect our adrenal glands, our hormones, our digestion and our stress. So we can't lose weight without sleep? We can't be well without sleep.

[00:42:51.340] – Allan

Yeah. So, yes, rules make me uncomfortable, but these are important. These are really good. And if you do these, you are going to lose weight and you are going to keep it off, because they'll just work.

[00:43:01.680] – Allan

They'll teach you a lot about yourself and they'll teach you a lot about food.

[00:43:04.920] – Allan

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

[00:43:13.790] – Kim

Routine, consistency and confidence. That's what I would think.

[00:43:18.880] – Kim

You have to have a routine. It has to be non negotiable. So no matter what you're doing, make sure you're getting up early enough to move your body and plan ahead to get the things you need to take care of your body. I think you need to be consistent. So if you aren't perfect, you have the next day. So we're looking for progress, not perfection. I'm looking for consistency. As much consistency as you can have over time is going to help your body basically thrive and confidence in the fact that you can do this.

[00:43:48.980] – Allan

Thank you. Kim, if someone wanted to learn more about you or your book, This is What You're Really Hungry For, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:43:56.970] – Kim

Everywhere, please. Instagram is Kim Shapira Method. My website. Kim Sharpira Method. TikTok Kim Shapira Method wherever I'm always Kim Shapira Method everywhere.

[00:44:07.080] – Allan

Perfect. And I'll make sure to have the links there on our website at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/599.

[00:44:14.740] – Allan

Kim, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:44:17.750] – Kim

Thanks for having me. It was fun.

Post Show/Recap

[00:44:19.410] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:44:20.840] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, I really enjoyed your discussion with Kim, and it sounds like she has a book that was really fascinating to read. I love listening to it. But let's just start off with her six rules. I like rules. I know you don't, but I do like rules.

[00:44:38.330] – Allan

There are some absolutes. There are definitely some absolutes. And so I think there are areas where you can have rules, but where you have rules, you have rule breakers. I would only put rules down on where, you know, this is it. You have to do this.

[00:44:59.680] – Allan

You have to move. You can't be sedentary and healthy. It doesn't work that way. You can't eat crap and be healthy. Even if you're eating less crap, you're not eating some food. If you're not getting the nutrients in your body, then you're not doing the right thing. So there are areas where I think you can write rules and say, stop eating crap smooth, then that'd be a lot. But just start with something. I think that could be a rule.

[00:45:28.180] – Allan

But when I say, hey, Ras, sleep more.

[00:45:34.410] – Allan

Then, sure, just struggling with my sleep right now. That's not always inside your control. So rules can be about the things that you control. Rules can't be about things that happen to you or outcomes.

[00:45:50.420] – Rachel


[00:45:50.820] – Allan

And so that's where when you start saying rules, I'm like, okay, here we go. I think there's just a whole subset of people out there that as soon as they see the term rule, they're like, oh, this is going to be hard, and I'm not going to want to do it. And so then now that there's a.

[00:46:08.740] – Allan

Rule, they're fixated on that rule versus actually trying to change their behaviors and lifestyle.

[00:46:16.060] – Rachel

Right. Well, I think that I do love rules, but I also prefer them as, like, rules of thumb. Like, for example, she said to drink eight cups of water.

[00:46:25.260] – Rachel

Well, I don't drink eight cups of water. I drink a lot of electrolytes, like I mentioned, and I I drink a lot of coffee and occasionally plain water, but not a lot. But, you know, it's just same thing with the 7 hours of sleep. I need eight or 9 hours of sleep. Rules of thumb, like be cognizant that you need more water. Be cognizant that you need more sleep. And then figure out what that means to you. How many hours of sleep do you really need? My husband can certainly live on five or 6 hours of sleep, and he does quite well. I need about eight or nine. So the seven hour sleep rule is not quite where I'm at, but I think that it needs to be customized or you need to be flexible with what works for you as an individual.

[00:47:09.240] – Allan

Yeah, because obviously, Sunday night I needed 13.

[00:47:16.570] – Rachel


[00:47:17.930] – Allan

And so seven would not have done it. And then even with 13, I took a nap that day and took a nap the day before.

[00:47:25.520] – Allan

So there was a lot of sleep in a 24 hours period of time to basically recover for my body to have some healing time, because that's what's happening when you sleep. So I agree with her that the things that are in her six weight loss rules are important considerations. If you're looking at losing weight, these are things that you really want to consider how you can apply them in your life. I'm just a word Smith. And when I see a word, I think about the emotional attachment that I and other people have to those words. And that's why I don't particularly like the word rule. But that said, the six areas that she covers are important, and if you follow them to some extent, you're going to be successful in your weight loss.

[00:48:11.130] – Rachel

The other part of your discussion that even you just mentioned is the emotional aspect. We do have an emotional attachment to what we eat. When we eat it, we live on the fact that we need breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but do we really need breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Do we really need that afternoon snack? Do we really need a giant bowl of cake and ice cream at every single birthday party? There is a lot of emotion, but even that is a good rule in that you begin to think and strategize, like, Why are you eating this? Do you really need this? And ask those types of questions. And if you did need to lose weight, if that is a goal of yours, then that's a perfect time to really reconsider. Like, why are you eating this? Do you really need this right now? Is this the best thing for you?

[00:49:01.580] – Allan

And I think that's what she got into is like, okay, we don't we don't actually ever let ourselves get hungry. Yeah, so she's in her book, she talked about a hunger scale from completely stuffed all the way down to starving.

[00:49:14.300] – Allan

Again, another word that I don't like. Because you're not actually starving, you're just very hungry. Again, words. Okay, but all that said, I think. Letting yourself get hungry and sitting in that for a little while is healthy.

[00:49:34.150] – Allan

Not that I encourage people to go into fasting, but if you know you're not hungry, don't put anything in your mouth because your body doesn't need it.

[00:49:44.330] – Allan

And then when you are hungry, when you start getting hungry, feel that hunger. And kind of sit in it for a little while and say, okay, this is just I'm hungry. Then go make a good decision on the foods that you're going to eat.

[00:49:58.080] – Allan

And satiate that hunger. That's why her half a plate rule, you literally take what you would normally eat, and you just eat half of it. I don't know if we really got into that rule a little bit.

[00:50:07.090] – Rachel


[00:50:08.770] – Allan

Okay, so let's say you would have a whole chicken breast, and you'd have all this mashed potatoes and rice and all this you just literally say okay I can have all that stuff, but I'm going to cut it all in half, and I'm only going to eat half of it. Now, I know the other half is sitting in the kitchen right now, and I'm sitting at the dining room table. And I'm going to sit down and mindfully eat this, and then I can't go for the other half for 15 minutes. Again, you're giving your body that opportunity to talk back to you. You've given it food, you've potentially given it nourishment if you're eating the right things, and then it will communicate back. Yeah, that was actually enough. Wrap the rest of it up. And that can be a meal for tomorrow or tonight.

[00:50:51.090] – Rachel


[00:50:51.970] – Allan

And so just as you kind of go through this process, like I said, all of these are valuable. If you go through the process of what she's talking about, it is going to help you build a healthier relationship with food. And that's really the crux of weight loss. It's all about your relationship with food. And your relationship with yourself.

[00:51:12.470] – Rachel


[00:51:13.190] – Allan

And the point where you start loving yourself enough to not punish yourself or reward yourself, whichever way you're thinking about it, with food, then the better off you'Re going to be. When you see food as nourishment and energy, only eat enough of it to give you what your body needs, then you're on the track eating healthy and having a great relationship with food.

[00:51:38.960] – Rachel

Yeah. Oh, gosh, yeah, that sounds great. It was just really good discussion. Really interesting questions that we could ask ourselves.

[00:51:47.210] – Allan

Yeah. All right. Anything else you want to talk about today?

[00:51:50.390] – Rachel

No, that was great.

[00:51:51.670] – Allan

Great. Well, then I'll see you next week.

[00:51:53.650] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:51:55.050] – Allan

You too.

[00:51:55.890] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


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