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Tag Archives for " weight loss "

September 20, 2022

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

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

Transcript

Interview

[00:03:56.310] – Allan

Dr. Ubell. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:03:59.010] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:04:01.570] – Allan

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

[00:04:37.300] – Dr. Ubell

Absolutely.

[00:04:38.150] – Allan

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

[00:04:58.200] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:05:00.160] – Allan

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

[00:05:19.270] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:05:24.110] – Allan

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

[00:05:30.630] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:06:46.050] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:07:53.990] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:08:57.690] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:10:01.000] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:11:01.190] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:11:10.750] – Allan

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

[00:11:20.920] – Dr. Ubell

you can't even pay attention. 

[00:11:22.910] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:12:27.900] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:13:30.740] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:14:34.210] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:14:59.160] – Allan

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

[00:16:03.250] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:17:03.170] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:18:04.050] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:19:05.440] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:20:02.870] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:20:53.760] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:21:48.380] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:22:12.590] – Allan

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

[00:23:09.680] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:24:08.070] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:25:00.660] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:26:01.080] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:26:48.570] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:27:47.200] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:28:41.500] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:29:01.090] – Allan

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

[00:30:07.150] – Allan

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

[00:30:12.270] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:30:22.960] – Allan

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

[00:30:28.780] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:31:45.560] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:32:40.910] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:33:44.810] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:34:43.470] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:34:58.080] – Allan

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

[00:35:30.700] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:36:31.010] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:37:25.470] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:37:47.630] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:38:15.650] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:39:19.100] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:39:36.930] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:40:10.480] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:41:07.610] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:41:36.360] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:42:01.560] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:42:42.800] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:42:59.230] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:43:34.540] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:43:51.930] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:44:40.790] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:44:49.150] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:45:01.800] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:45:38.330] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:46:35.080] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:47:30.770] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:48:27.030] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:48:33.070] – Allan

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

[00:48:56.980] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:49:06.750] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:49:11.090] – Allan

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

[00:49:20.840] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:50:19.910] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:51:18.850] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:52:24.820] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:53:24.530] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:53:45.570] – Allan

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

[00:53:54.390] – Dr. Ubell

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

[00:54:46.280] – Allan

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

[00:55:07.010] – Dr. Ubell

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


Post Show/Recap

[00:55:17.330] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:55:18.960] – Rachel

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

[00:55:31.620] – Allan

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

[00:56:36.110] – Allan

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

[00:57:16.640] – Rachel

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

[00:57:31.740] – Allan

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

[00:57:50.990] – Rachel

Right. Yeah.

[00:57:51.870] – Allan

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

[00:58:37.190] – Rachel

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

[00:59:23.310] – Allan

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

[00:59:48.800] – Rachel

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

[00:59:58.340] – Allan

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

[01:01:12.710] – Allan

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

[01:01:18.940] – Speaker 4

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

[01:01:24.890] – Allan

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

[01:02:03.430] – Rachel

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

[01:02:06.990] – Allan

Yeah, it's a really good one.

[01:02:08.770] – Rachel

Okay.

[01:02:09.480] – Allan

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

[01:02:12.640] – Rachel

All right. Take care, Allan.

Patreons

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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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September 13, 2022

The 7 Weight Loss Mistakes people over 40 make

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

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

Transcript

Episode

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

Cutting Calories Too Much

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

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

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

Being a Scale Fanatic

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

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

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

Cardio and More Cardio

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

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

Drinking Your Calories

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

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

Going it Alone

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

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

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

Looking for an Easy Button

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

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

Not Getting Your Mindset Right

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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


Post Show/Recap

[00:21:09.110] – Rachel

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

[00:21:25.200] – Allan

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

[00:22:23.780] – Rachel

Wow.

[00:22:24.830] – Allan

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

[00:23:43.040] – Allan

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

[00:24:43.470] – Rachel

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

[00:25:45.210] – Allan

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

[00:26:43.230] – Rachel

Oh, jeez.

[00:26:45.390] – Allan

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

[00:27:11.580] – Rachel

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

[00:27:52.650] – Allan

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

[00:29:14.670] – Allan

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

[00:29:19.330] – Rachel

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

[00:29:32.940] – Allan

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

[00:30:08.820] – Rachel

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

[00:30:21.400] – Allan

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

[00:30:34.910] – Rachel

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

[00:31:17.740] – Allan

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

[00:31:21.770] – Rachel

What's that?

[00:31:22.950] – Allan

Sneakers with scales in them.

[00:31:25.160] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh.

[00:31:28.850] – Allan

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

[00:31:32.410] – Rachel

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

[00:31:38.270] – Allan

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

[00:31:42.900] – Rachel

Yeah.

[00:31:46.070] – Allan

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

[00:32:07.320] – Rachel

I'm sure there will be.

[00:32:09.590] – Allan

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

Patreons

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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

Less...

May 31, 2022

How to lose your middle-age spare tire with 3 simple tactics

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On this episode, Coach Allan shares three of his favorite tactics to break a plateau or lose those last 5 – 10 lbs.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:31.450] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:33.360] – Rachel

Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:02:35.000] – Allan

I'm doing all right. I'm pretty excited. As we record this, I'm about to go on a two day staycation. My wife and I are going to go to this resort here. It's in Bocas del Toro, it's on a different island. No WiFi, no cell signal, no phones. Two days of being completely off the grid. And even though we take an annual trip and we did take a week off last year. Really? Since early September, I haven't had a break.

[00:03:07.550] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[00:03:09.610] – Allan

Almost seven days a week every week since then. And so this is just kind of time for me to take a couple days, just a quick little mini vacation. It's on our anniversary, so that's a good thing to (worked out). So we're going to do that. And I'm pretty excited. We're packed up, ready to go, and later today, I get on a boat, and I'll come back 48 hours later, having been off the grid and unplugged for a full 48 hours.

[00:03:35.570] – Rachel

That sounds so wonderful. Well, happy anniversary. Early anniversary. But also, how wonderful to be off the grid for a little while. It sounds great.

[00:03:42.960] – Allan

Yeah. And so next week, I'll talk about what that feels like and what that's all about.

[00:03:47.400] – Rachel

Cool. Yeah.

[00:03:48.500] – Allan

No Twitter, no Facebook, no drama, no anything. So guys, don't blow up the world while I'm gone?

[00:03:56.410] – Rachel

We'll do our best

[00:03:57.650] – Allan

I'm sitting there looking on the horizon? All these mushroom clouds. I guess I missed it.

[00:04:01.420] – Rachel

Yeah, you missed something. Must have missed the headline. Well, I'm sure it sounds like a wonderful vacation. It's nice that you can finally get away after such a long time. My goodness.

[00:04:11.020] – Allan

All right. How are things up there?

[00:04:12.820] – Rachel

Good. We are also planning some vacations for the summer, but we've been a little bit sidelined. I told you earlier, but we haven't shared with listeners that my husband was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. And I wanted to share that for a couple of different reasons.

[00:04:29.830] – Rachel

The first reason I want to share it is that it was an incidental finding, and it was a strange finding at that. We're both 50, so I feel like it's still a little young, although not unheard of to have cancer at this age. But he noticed some blood in his urine right before our marathon weekend back in April. And I mentioned that because it is unusual. I mean, you should definitely go to the doctor anytime you have blood in places that doesn't belong, even in your urine. And so when we got home from our marathon, he did go in and urine test blood work, and a CT scan revealed that he had a pretty significant size tumor in his right kidney.

[00:05:14.170] – Rachel

So the good news is that it seems to be contained. It hasn't metastasized, which is great. The type of cancer is the most common type of kidney cancer. Almost 50% of the people that get kidney cancer get this particular variation, and it does respond very well to treatment.

[00:05:31.370] – Rachel

He started chemo, and he's doing okay with the chemo right now. He's not having any ill effects so far. And then after a couple of weeks on this, he'll be starting an immunotherapy, which sounds super cool, but that will help to keep it from spreading. And he might be on this for a year after he has his kidney removed in order to teach the body to fight it should it come back. So it's definitely boosting his immune system. That's the whole purpose of it.

[00:06:00.630] – Rachel

So a couple of months, chemo, hopefully the tumor will shrink enough so that it's able to be removed through surgery. He'll lose his kidney, but that's okay. His other kidney is untouched and just as healthy and he will be just fine. So hopefully by the end of the year he'll be one kidney down and cancer down.

[00:06:20.100] – Allan

Yes, absolutely. You know, we're there, we're thinking and praying for him. So thank you.

[00:06:24.030] – Rachel

Yes, thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:06:26.510] – Allan

All right. Are you ready to get into weight loss?

[00:06:30.630] – Rachel

Yes, definitely.

Episode

How to lose your spare tire with three simple Tactics I wanted to talk about this topic in particular, because a lot of times I will have people come to me and say, I'm doing this, I'm doing that, and I just can't lose this last 10 lbs or I've plateaued and I really don't know what else to do to get my fat loss going. So if you have just a little bit to lose and or you're kind of plateaued and looking for some things that will kind of boost your weight loss, this is the episode for you. I'm going to talk about three basic tactics that you can incorporate into your day to day that are going to help you be more successful at weight loss.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

The first one is high-intensity interval training, and I know that scares a lot of people, but this is really a simple and effective way to get a really good workout in in a short period of time and really boost your metabolism to make some things happen faster. Okay. Now, for a lot of people, they believe a HIIT training is 45 minutes to an hour and you'll have people bragging about their 45 minutes HIIT training.

And I'm here to tell you that, isn't it? It's a very specific thing, a certain thing that you need to do if you actually want to get the benefits of it. What most people are talking about, if they're going for more than 20 minutes, is called interval training and it is effective. It's not as effective as high-intensity interval training, so let's talk about the difference. Interval training is something that you can just keep doing. So there is a work phase and a rest phase, but you just keep going. You're not pushing at 100% during your work phase, so you have more juice in the can, if you will. You can keep going for longer and longer. And there's nothing wrong with interval training. It is quite effective. But HIIT training is very different in that with HIIT training, you're running really hard, you're moving really hard. So whatever movement patterns you're doing with HIIT training, they need to be really intense. That high intensity is the key, because if you're doing the high-intensity intervals, you're going to experience what's called excess post exercise consumption. EPOC and EPOC is the key for why this is effective for weight loss.

It raises your metabolism for a period of probably up to 12 hours after you do the work. And so it's basically requirement that you work as hard as you possibly can for a period of time usually no more than 30 seconds, and then you can have a rest phase, which can be anywhere up to four times the work phase. So usually when I'm programming for someone new and we're going to do some basic HIIT training, it's 20 seconds on and then 60 seconds off. That's a three times rest to work phase. So going through several rounds of that, the person is working really hard. The way I like to emphasize the work is I want you to think about carrying your baby through the forest and you see a bear and you have to run as hard as you can to get away from that bear or else you and the baby are done. If you're a little older, maybe it's your grandbaby, but you're moving as hard as you possibly can for that period of time, so be it. 20 seconds, 30 seconds, whatever your work phase is. And then you allow yourself to rest.

You've gotten away from the bear and you're able to recover. You won't recover all the way. So you go through your rest work, and if you find that you're not recovering enough to do another work, that program is over. That workout is over. When you first start this, you might only be able to do four or five rounds, and that's fine. That's a good workout. If you've gotten yourself up to a point where you're fatigued and exhausted and you're not recovering, you need to go ahead and stop. You've done enough. In no cases should you be doing more than ten rounds. If you're doing more than ten rounds or you're able to do a work phase that's longer than 30 seconds, you're not working at 100%. You're not pushing yourself hard enough for it to be HIIT training. It's all right. It's interval training. It's still something to do. But just realize that almost no one except potentially an elite athlete is going to be able to do true HIIT training for more than eight to ten rounds. It's just not going to happen. So for us, we want to basically try to target doing eight rounds, but we're not looking at the number of rounds as a measure of how good this workout is.

We're looking at how hard we can push ourselves and then recover as much as we can. The better performance you're going to see typically with his training is that you're recovering better as you go along. So if you're doing the work now and then you look at yourself six months later, you might find that your heart rate, if that's how you're going to measure your recovery, is dropping back down into a good zone for you to get started again quicker. And so you're seeing better recovery. You can do more work. And that's really where the benefit of it is. It affects you. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, your Vo two Max, as they say. And with that epoch, it's helping you burn calories. Well, after your workout now I'd be remiss to talk about high-intensity interval training without talking about Tabata. Tabata was developed by a doctor. Izumi Tabata. He's a scientist, and he was studying how high-intensity interval training can be used to improve cardiovascular fitness and particularly improved metabolism. And so he did some experiments, and he has come up with a process. It's a 20 seconds of work, ten-second rest. So again, this is not a multiple one.

This is the 50%. So 20 seconds as hard as you possibly can, 10 seconds rest. And for eight rounds, that's his structure. Now, in his structure in his workout, he has eight specific exercises, and these exercises are put together. All eight of them make a very robust, very hard full body workout. You have to be pretty athletic to be able to do most of these movements, and they're very metabolically challenging each and every one of them. So if you see someone who says they have a Tabata workout and it's not pulling those other exercises various extras or you're doing the same exercise over and over, what you have is an adaptation. When I'm programming for my clients, I'm very clear it's a Tabata style workout, which just means we're going with his formula of 20 seconds of work and then 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. The last thing I want to say as far as HIIT training, because it is so intense, start out with just once per week. And I know it's inviting to try to do this every day or do this all the time. And that's too much. That's too much volume for most people.

At some point, you might be able to put in a second. And if your fitness level gets up to a point, you may actually be able to do high intensity interval training for three times a week. But if you're doing it right, which I mean 100% all you got, like there's no other rounds to do. Each one is your last one. You're working that hard. If you're working that hard to get away from the bear, then your recovery is going to be slow. It's going to take a little while. And that epoch that's happening. Your body's not recovering while that epoch is going on. It's still in a work phase well after your workout. So don't try to put too many of these in there. A little bit goes a long way. So make sure you do one. You get good at it. You keep doing maybe once a week. And again, if you look at it about it, it's four minutes. I mean, you got to warm up, and then you got four minutes of hard work. So these are easy to fit in, but it's not something you want to do every day.

So time it out. Pay attention to your recovery. See how much these high-intensity interval training affect your other workouts. You might notice your cardiovascular strength gets better, but it might also adversely affect the workout that you are planning to do the next day if you haven't fully recovered. So pay attention to your recovery. But this is a really good way to get your metabolism up and keep it up for an extended period of time. And if you're doing it regularly, once a week, you will see an increase in your overall calorie burn. And that's going to help you cut some of that fat.

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

The next topic I want to talk about is called NEAT. It's Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Now, NEAT is a term that is kind of neat because it's not exercise. It's just a way for you to help your body burn a little bit more and stop being as sedentary. Now, if you've ever sat down on the floor, you may notice that it's difficult to just sit in one place unless you're on a pad. You just sit on the hard floor. You start squirming and moving around.

So if you can imagine, our ancestors, they didn't have comfy couches in their living room. They didn't sit in front of the computer all day. So there was constant some form of movement most of their day where there was just moving around, walking, doing things, tapping your feet. Any movement that your body is doing is going to require some energy. Now is it a lot of energy? No. But put together, if you work to do some things that increase your needs, you will actually start burning some calories. And a little difference of even 20 calories a day over a period of time can be quite significant. So what are some things Besides tapping your feet and dancing that we can do that are non exercise activities that would get us there? The first thing I would say is recognize how our lifestyles have become easy and convenient. We get in the car, we drive to the grocery store, we try to find the closest spot to the door. We may even wait for a car to pull out. To get to that closest space, we go to work in our car, we sit at our office, things are brought to us, delivered to us.

We live a very convenient life for the most part. So try to avoid easy. Try to avoid convenient. Park a little bit further away at the grocery store. Park a little bit further away in the employee parking lot. Don't ask for someone to bring something to you. Get up and go get it. Avoid convenient. Make life less convenient. So you're moving around a little bit more. Instead of someone saying, I'm going to the break room to get a coffee, do you want one? It's like, sure, I'll walk with you and you walk that type of thing. So avoid the easy, convenient stuff that's keeping you sedentary and make sure you're adding a little bit more movement. And then the final bit I'll say on this is create opportunities for me, like I said, sitting on the floor instead of sitting in a chair. By the nature of that, you can still watch your program or do what you were doing, but you're going to move around more because it requires it for comfort sake. It's really hard to sit on a hard floor for any period of time. And it's more work getting up than it would be from a chair or a couch.

So look for opportunities to make your life a little bit more uncomfortable and you'll be moving more. You'll be less sedentary. And that little bit over time is going to be significant. So that's the second one Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis look for opportunities to move.

Don't Drink Your Calories

The final one, and this is probably going to be the hardest one for most people is to not drink calories. When we drink our calories, they go into our system almost immediately. Most of the digestive process has already occurred, and as a result, they don't really fill us up. And there's a lot of calories. Eating an orange is better than drinking orange juice. For example, the orange is already processed and chewed and ready to go, and you're absorbing it, and you're losing a lot of the fiber from that orange. So eating the orange is better than drinking the juice. And that goes for everything. So try to avoid drinking your food, even if it's protein, even if it's something else. Even if you're putting whole fruits and vegetables in there, yes, there's some fiber. Yes, you're getting some of the nutrients, most of the nutrients in a smoothie.

But the reality of it is it's going to go through really quick. It's not going to keep you full, and as a result, you're going to get hungrier sooner. So eating whole food, it's better to eat a chicken breast than it is to do a protein shake. It's better to eat a fruit than it is to drink the juice. So milk, juice, and then the final one, alcohol. Alcohol contains calories. Even if you're going with the low sugar, drink the vodka with the club soda and a little bit of lime, which is not a bad choice for alcohol consumption. A little bit a good wine, a dry wine, not a bad choice. But you're drinking calories, and they're not nutrient-dense calories. So as a result, it's just additional calories. And if you're working really hard with HIIT training and you're doing the NEAT and you're working out and you're doing your thing, you're putting calories in that aren't adding value to you unless it is having a drink is not a problem. But if you're trying to cut that last bit and you found yourself plateauing, this is something to consider. Should you abstain or significantly reduce the amount of alcohol that you're drinking?

And then the final bit I'll talk about is shakes and smoothies. Anyone that trains with me knows that protein, protein, protein. We've got to make sure we're getting our protein. And if you're training hard, which you're doing the training, you're probably training pretty hard. Then you're going to need enough protein. And sometimes it's just really hard to get that from whole foods unless you have specific strategies to make that happen. For a lot of people, those strategies involve drinking protein shakes. Some people are in the habit in the mornings of having a smoothie so that they're getting their Greens and a lot of the nutrients that they need. It's quick and easy, that type of thing. We talked about convenience earlier. This is another situation where we might want to look to strategies that are a little less convenient. So I might have to say my snack is not going to be the. Nuts and seeds and things that I would normally eat.

I'm going to eat chicken breast for snack just to get the protein. I'm not going to drink a protein shake after my workout. I'm going to eat my protein. By doing that, you're causing your body to have to do the work. And here's one of the interesting things. Digestion uses energy. So if we are eating chicken breasts, there's a thermogenic effect to food that is going to happen. And as a result, that protein grams or the grams of protein that I'm eating aren't going to give me the full calorie load that they would if I drank, say, whey protein. So I'm getting the same nutrition, so to speak, at a fewer calories. So it's less calorie-dense. It's more nutrient-dense food. So all the way across the board, if you know you're drinking calories, look for ways to reduce that. So if you have cream in your coffee, try to reduce it, try to use less or try to avoid it if you can. Again, drinking calories, it's a zero sum game. You're not digesting that. So all those calories are just pure calories into your system. And even if there's some nutrition involved in them, they might be slowing down your weight loss.

Summary

So to kind of recap these, these are three of my favorite tactics and strategies for how I go about. If I want to cut or help someone cut some body fat or if they've plateaued, we're going to do high-intensity interval training that is as hard as you can go for the work period. Get your rest. Stop when you can't recover. Or if you're doing a Tabata, push yourself. Grind through those eight rounds. It's four minutes so you can do this. Make sure you're recovering. Make sure you're not trying to do this too often, and do exercises that you're comfortable you can do and go full speed. So work hard, rest, and then give yourself adequate recovery, knowing that you're going to have EPOC. And that's going to help you burn more calories than you would have otherwise. Next is NEAT. The near Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and this is just basically where we look for opportunities to be a little more active, to move our bodies a little bit more. We're not scheduling exercise, we're just saying I can move my arms more. I can tap my feet. I can dance while I'm brushing my teeth rather than just stand there.

I can park further away. I can make my life a little less convenient and burn more calories as a result. And then the final bit is don't drink your calories. If you want to lose weight and you want to really lean out, you want to avoid drinking calories because those calories are not being digested. You're losing the thermic effect of food if you were getting those nutrients from whole food. So try to avoid drinking calories. So those are my three top tips. If you have any questions, you should join us on our group. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group and we have a Facebook group there. I post challenges and other things over the course of the week and we can have discussions there. If I see something cool, I tend to put it out there. So I'd love for you to come join our group. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. I'll see you there.


Post Show/Recap

[00:24:12.710] – Allan

Hey, Rachel, how's it going?

[00:24:14.170] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Good. I love having these extra tips. We all get through our weight loss journey in different ways, but I'm sure everybody has had a plateau or has stagnated in some form and just needs some boost to get through it. And these are all great tips.

[00:24:32.350] – Allan

Yeah. A lot of people will set a weight loss goal and, you know, it's not a linear journey. It's never a linear journey. And particularly when you're at that last stages, most of us are going to plateau. We're going to have this set point. We're going to be like, I'm at this weight and I really want to be maybe 10 pounds lighter. And it doesn't seem like the things we're doing are working and it can get kind of frustrating. So I wanted to put out a few tips for folks that are in that position of things that they can do or not do that would help them kind of push that journey going, whether it's a plateau or just kind of that last five or ten pounds you're trying to cut.

[00:25:12.860] – Rachel

Yeah, right. All of them are great tips, but I've never tried HIIT training. And I suppose maybe it's because I'm a little bit intimidated about how intense that it could be. But after listening to you talk about it, I feel a little less intimidated.

[00:25:27.300] – Allan

Now, probably as a part of your running training, you've done a fartlek before.

[00:25:31.060] – Rachel

Yeah. Lots of speed drills.

[00:25:33.270] – Allan

Okay. So far is basically a speed drill where you run a little faster and then you run a little slower. It's an interval, interval training and it's good because it actually builds VO2 Max and allows you to run a little faster. This is a similar thing. Although the difference between standard interval training and HIIT training is that in a fire like you don't want to get gas. You want to run right at your threshold and hold at that threshold and slow down when you need to. Whereas with high-intensity interval training all the ropes are off, all the bets are off. We really want to push ourselves past that point. We want to actually gas ourselves in a sense and run as many as we can and still recover. And if you do that, you're boosting your metabolism like nothing else you could do. No long, slow anything is going to compare to what you can do with a HIIT session.

[00:26:27.170] – Rachel

Well when you mentioned that you're on for 20 seconds and off for 60 seconds, I didn't put two and two together until you just mentioned the fartlek training. Because one of the first things that I did in my marathon training and that I have my runners do as well is some 20 second strides. So it's kind of funny. It's the exact same thing. You go out full force for 20 seconds and take a minute or so to recover and then do it again. So that's funny that we do those things.

[00:26:56.520] – Allan

Yeah, there's some science behind it because we have different energy sources. Our body uses different energy sources. So when you first start movement you're on one energy source. Okay. It's basically the ATP that exists in your muscle at that point in time that's going to last you maybe 20 seconds. Okay. And then you start getting into anaerobic and you're using oxygen past that which is shortly after like 30 seconds. Then you're at this point where now you're going to have to slow down.

[00:27:30.210] – Allan

You're going to have to start being able to pull on the blood sugar and other things because you've burned all that ATP, you burned all that energy and you'll just feel yourself naturally just not be able to keep sprinting. That's why they tell you if you're going to get into a race, pace yourself. But in training it's the exact opposite. We want to actually reach that threshold. We want to get to a point and so we do multiple rounds of this and we have to then yes, allow enough time for recovery which for most people is going to be three times. Sometimes you want to go four times.

[00:28:02.840] – Allan

It seems like a long time. But I promise you if you go out there and push as hard as you can for 20 seconds, a minute does not feel like a minute.

[00:28:11.580] – Rachel

No.

[00:28:11.960] – Allan

Any other time you experienced a minute. This is not an experienced minute. This is really quickly. And then particularly as you start getting towards the end of what you can do, when you're not recovering all the way, you'll want to sit longer, you won't want to do another round and that's your body talking to you and that's maybe a good time to quit. But really the easiest way to know whether you're recovering or not is to actually look at your heart rate and find out what that base level is for you.

[00:28:38.220] – Allan

The 220 formula can work for some people. It doesn't work for me because my heart rate will naturally go higher when I'm pushing and I can handle that. And when it comes down, it's going to stay at a higher base. So I'm not going to get down to like for a lot of people, you might get down to 120. I'm not going to get down to 120, but I'm also not going to stop at 175, which is what my age formula would say. It's probably stopped somewhere in the 170s.

[00:29:04.630] – Allan

My heart rate can get up to 190 on a good push. I can't stay there again because I'm out of ATP and everything else. So I HIIT that and then I watch my recovery. If I get down below 145, then I know I have it in me to do one more round. But it's a mental game and it's a push game and it does wonders.

[00:29:26.610] – Rachel

It does, I think in running, I think that was a big crux of how successful I was at my marathon, because I just felt really cardiovascularly strong for that. And I'm sure it was because of some of those speed drill type of activities. Yeah, HIIT training sounds like a great thing.

[00:29:44.000] – Allan

It can be. You can do it very easily. It's a body weight movement for the most part. Sprinting or something like body weight squats with jumps maybe, burpees. Just anything that's really going to get your body moving and moving most of your body, particularly your legs, which are some of the bigger muscles. But the more you're moving, the more energy you're expending. Sprinting is good.

[00:30:09.220] – Allan

I would encourage you not to do it on a treadmill, even though I said running is good only because treadmills have the safety devices in them to slow down slowly and speed up slowly. So it's not going to work for the change that you're going to want to have a full out and then fall off, or at least very slow to allow recovery. Treadmills don't work very well for that, but elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, versa climbers, those things can be very effective for HIIT training.

[00:30:39.070] – Rachel

Awesome.

[00:30:39.600] – Allan

You're pushing yourself. Now with the treadmill, you can do more, just basic interval, slow it down, speed it up, change the angle, but at the same time, it's not going to be HIIT and it's very hard to do it safely on the treadmill.

[00:30:54.670] – Rachel

Sure, that makes sense. And then the Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). As we're talking right now, I'm standing and I'm kind of rocking back and forth because I can't stand still very much. I don't sit down very much either, but I do love all those tips about parking farther away and taking the stairs all the things that we hear all the time. Just introducing a few more of those types of energy uses throughout the day could add up over time.

[00:31:24.020] – Allan

It does. You could sit down and do the math and just say, what if I burned an extra ten calories each day?

[00:31:32.530] – Rachel

Sure doesn't sound like a lot, but.

[00:31:34.660] – Allan

It does not sound like a lot. But that's a whole pound in a year.

[00:31:38.810] – Rachel

Wow.

[00:31:40.910] – Allan

And I can tell you, like, when I was doing the rower, I could burn an entire calorie in one pull if I pulled really hard. So it's not hard to burn an extra ten calories with a short walk, doing things that are a little bit more work than they have to be. And just even things like yard work, things that would make your job easier, like a wheelbarrow, you load it all in a wheelbarrow and go, well, no, just grab a clump and walk and then go back and get another clump. There's that extra walking around while you're doing yard work. Those things, they can add up. And like I said, just an additional ten calories that you're burning each day, it adds up to at least a whole pound of body fat in a year.

[00:32:29.910] – Rachel

That's fantastic. But there are three tips I have to say that number three is my favorite. And to not drink your calories. My goodness.

[00:32:38.610] – Allan

Yeah. A lot of people, they don't want to give up alcohol.

[00:32:42.190] – Rachel

Right.

[00:32:42.720] – Allan

They're looking for convenience. Again, convenience. So if I can get a protein shake, is that the easiest way for me to get my protein in? Absolutely. Get through workout, go over, put some whey protein or vegan protein or even beef or egg based protein into a shaker, shake it up and drink it. And you're getting your protein quickly. But the problem is it's just not going to help you if your goal is weight loss because you've thrown calories at yourself, that your body is going to digest really quickly because you've done most of the work for it and doesn't have to do the work. So we talk about NEAT. Chewing food is NEAT is the digestive process.

[00:33:27.580] – Allan

There's a thermal effect of food that's going through digestion. So eating a chicken breast is going to be so much better for you than taking a protein powder because your body has to digest that and pull it in and use it. It just takes time. So you stay full longer and your body is burning more energy to obtain that protein from what you just ate.

[00:33:50.360] – Rachel

Yeah. The other day I fixed myself a nice bowl of a keto friendly yogurt, and then I put on there some blueberries and raspberries. And then just because I like the taste of coconut, I put shredded coconut on top of it. And it was a delicious dessert for me the other night, especially now that we've got almost 80 degrees here in Michigan. But a lot of people would throw that in a smoothie and drink it down, which I'm sure would taste just as good in smoothie form. But I just got a lot more out of it. And it's full food, proper form, taking my time eating it, taking my time, chewing it. And the blender would have done all that work for me. Yeah, eating your food is a lot more enjoyable than drinking it.

[00:34:35.820] – Allan

And had I done a fourth tip, the slowing down would have been my fourth tip. So I'm glad you brought that up. Being more mindful of the food that you're eating and the nutrition that you're getting. Slowing down so you can feel the sensations of getting full. So you stop eating.

[00:34:58.970] – Allan

An experiment, that someone's doubting this. Try this. Make a smoothie in the morning. Go ahead and make a smoothie and get a bag of the spinach. You can put half of that bag in your smoothie, about two and a half ounces of spinach. It's good nutrition. You get it in there. You drink that 32 ounce smoothie really quickly, and then you're still going to be hungry an hour or two later. Sit down and try to eat a salad that has two and a half ounces of spinach. You put a nice dressing on it. You put other stuff in there.

[00:35:33.250] – Rachel

That's a lot

[00:35:34.730] – Allan

that's a lot. Big honking bowl of salad. And it's going to take you a long time to chew and eat that salad. And that's where this all comes from is the speed with which you put it in, the speed with which it leaves your stomach and the signals that your body is going to give you that it's no longer full.

[00:35:51.370] – Rachel

Yeah,

[00:35:52.610] – Allan

You still put in the same amount of calories, but because it didn't take as long to digest it, you're going to feel full sooner. So slowing down absolutely is how you feel when you're starting to get there and over and over. The advice, blue zones, everything else all the way through is if you feel you're starting to get full, stop, because you'll end up overeating, past almost every time.

[00:36:18.370] – Allan

So 80% is where a lot of people like to target it. If you feel like where you are eating is about 80%, give it a break. Don't throw your plate outright yet, but just give it a break. Slow down and just feel how you feel. And then if you start feeling full, then if you've gotten the nutrition your body needs, full stop. No reason to eat the rest of it.

[00:36:39.220] – Rachel

So funny, Allan, you and I both I'm sure we're raised as kids where you need to finish everything on your plate.

[00:36:44.640] – Allan

Everything on that plate, everything brought out to the table… leftovers? Who has leftovers?

[00:36:53.530] – Rachel

I know

[00:36:55.410] – Allan

Now I'm famous here in our house for we'll fix dinner and I'll be halfway through with dinner. And then I'm like, okay, done. And I'll set my plate down. I'll go get up, get some foil or a bowl or something. And I'll put my food in the bowl.

[00:37:11.010] – Rachel

There you go.

[00:37:11.690] – Allan

And that's my lunch tomorrow and probably about a third of what my dinner would have been like ten years ago.

[00:37:19.420] – Rachel

Sure, it's funny. It's a hard habit to break, but it's definitely a good one. Save it for later.

[00:37:25.260] – Allan

Yeah. All right. Well, I'm going to go get on a boat and take my holiday here. Give Mike my best and I'll see you guys next week.

[00:37:35.700] – Rachel

Thanks. Take care, Allan. Have fun.

[00:37:37.670] – Rachel

You too.

[00:37:38.300] – Rachel

Bye bye.

Patreons

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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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How to use food to manage your menopause symptoms with Dr. Anna Cabeca

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

As we age, our hormones make some drastic changes that can lead to some difficult symptoms. We all experience this, although women suffer the most with weight gain, sleep issues, and hot flashes. In her book, MenuPause, Dr. Anna Cabeca provides 5 unique eating plans to help you address these symptoms. 

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:27.790] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:03:29.230] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, how are you today?

[00:03:31.110] – Allan

I'm doing all right. How are things with you?

[00:03:33.360] – Rachel

Good. As we recorded this, we're leading up to my race day, which is this weekend. This is my final week of taper, so I'm just going to enjoy myself this week.

[00:03:43.580] – Allan

Good, good. And unlike a lot of people that would be in your position, you're not carving up. You're not really changing anything about your nutrition. And that's a different take than what you'll read elsewhere of what you do for a long race like this. But you know, your nutrition, you're set, you've done the training, so you're set. And you have a plan. You have an actual plan for approaching this race, which I think is outstanding.

[00:04:15.850] – Rachel

Yeah. My trainer only suggested that I not changed my eating habits this week, that I eat, get in enough calories. I may not be as hungry as I would be as I'm running tons of miles and doing tons of drills, but just to maintain my standard way of eating. And in the past, I would do something very similar, and I just prefer to play it safe this week. So no restaurant eating, no crazy spicy dinners, nothing that I think could even possibly upset my digestive system. I just want to keep it status quo as I lead into race day.

[00:04:56.590] – Allan

Yeah, it's funny. There was this article they were talking about how they opened up a Popeye's restaurant in UK, and nobody was complaining that the mild was too spicy.

[00:05:09.430] – Rachel

Oh, boy.

[00:05:10.500] – Allan

Good. Don't get me wrong. I love the spicy stuff. I love it, love it, love it. In fact, I had been to Lou this weekend, and I have the sauce in there so I can put it on my eggs. So I love spicy foods. But it was just they were complaining that Popeye's chicken was too spicy in the UK.

[00:05:31.270] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[00:05:32.250] – Allan

Well, they might not make it over there, which is probably just the better because it's not the best food for you to be eating so good. You've got control. Yeah, well, things here are going pretty good. We're winding down to our big season for Bocas, so Lula's will start to probably wind down. We've been fully occupied pretty much for the whole time since we opened in November, which has been good. But it's just that point we're like, okay, go. Hopefully we're going to get a little bit more of an opportunity here to settle down. Tammy is planning a trip to Ireland, and then we're going to have our anniversary break, which will just be a kind of a staycation for us. So we're planning those things. Nothing huge. And then just being I am looking at launching my six week program again. I'm kind of going back and forth of whether I do it as a group thing, like where we literally have everybody come through together or whether I do it at their own pace over a six week period of time. So that's kind of where I am planning it. But I am planning on going live again.

[00:06:45.970] – Allan

I only take clients during certain periods of time, and that's really just to fit my lifestyle the way I want to. So if you are wanting to work with me, this is a good time to send me an email, allan@40PlusFitness, I'm sorry, coach@40PlusFitness. It's coach@40PlusFitness. And let's get you on the list. Let's make sure you're aware of what I'm going to be doing as I figured it out. But it is a six week program. The intention is to teach you what you need to know to lose weight, to get fit, to figure out where you need to be. And so it's an educational thing in addition to the direct coaching. So it's a very direct, intensive coaching for you about what you need, where you are with what you have to do, what you want and be who you need to be. So if you're interested in that, coach@40Plusfitness.com and we can start that conversation.

[00:07:41.830] – Rachel

Sounds great.

[00:07:42.980] – Allan

All right. So are we ready to have another conversation with Dr. Cabeca?

[00:07:47.680] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:08:23.660] – Allan

Dr. Anna, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:26.950] – Dr. Cabeca

It is great to be here with you, Allan. Thanks for having me.

[00:08:30.910] – Allan

Initially, you brought up the concept for me anyway. I mean, I talked to some other people, but in general, how there's pulls and pushes and there's a keto community and there's a plant-based community. And never, ever should we go between the two. You got to pick your tribe and you got to get on one side or the other. And then you come out with Keto-Green, which is basically saying, yes, you can have your meat and your vegetables, too, and you can do it in a way that promotes health. Your new book, MenuPause: Five Unique Eating Plans to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau and Improve Your Mood, Sleep and Hot Flashes. Love the title.

[00:09:12.710] – Dr. Cabeca

Thank you.

[00:09:13.820] – Allan

But it takes a lot of the concepts from your previous two books, and it kind of lays it out in a way to say, okay, food is medicine, so let's use it that way.

[00:09:25.310] – Dr. Cabeca

Absolutely. And bringing in these different pauses in our life. And I say there's magic in the pause. Right, Allan? We really have to look at it that way, and especially when it comes to a hormonal shift, whether we're talking about menopause or andropause or whatever. But there is magic in the pause. There's a rewiring or reshifting. And where I was, I certainly had fun with the title Menu Pause. So I thought that was great. My editor came up with that title as we were looking for a new title, and I just love it. So I laugh every time I say it. And the five different eating plans to each pause, something different. And that came out of women in my online communities doing keto green and me now keto green since 2014, 2015, and how that's changed my life, especially with hormone balance and seeing the changes. But sometimes we had a roadblock. Why isn't it working for this person or why did it stop working? And so that had me really looking at, okay, well, what are some of the pauses that we have to make that we've had to make or adjust to break through some of the plateaus that we can hit?

[00:10:37.560] – Dr. Cabeca

Because when what we're doing stops working or we stop seeing those improved benefits, we start seeing continued improvements or some of the problem, we need to look a little bit deeper, change things up, bring some variety as a spice of life, right?

[00:10:54.840] – Allan

Absolutely.

[00:10:56.150] – Allan

And there's a lot of good reasons for this book. But I want to say before the men tune out and I always say this in the preamble and I'll say it again to them is that this is first and foremost a weight loss book and a hormone shifting book, but not just for females. If a man uses these five eating plans as a way to structure their eating, they will lose weight too. So if you're in a relationship, not in a relationship, it doesn't matter. These eating plans will help you. And what you were saying about the pause is I think that's right. In Dr. Fung's book, The Obesity Code, one of the things he says is all diets work and all diets fail, and it's because our body will adjust to the way we're eating. So you start eating a certain way, a keto diet, and then something happens and your body just stops responding to it. You go vegan and your body's doing great, you're losing weight, and all of a sudden your body stops responding to it. So this ability to have these different eating plans, that structure pauses for various different things for various different reasons gives you a structure to say, okay, I'm going to go in, check this out, see if it serves me.

[00:12:05.420] – Allan

If it does, then I'll stick with it till it stops serving me. And if it doesn't serve me, I move on.

[00:12:11.690] – Dr. Cabeca

Absolutely. And we give it enough time to figure out every plan is designed to be safe. And we give enough time, the six days to just be the shortest, essentially amount of time to really get a benefit. And then also to see to be able to check in with yourself. How are you feeling now with this lifestyle, with this diet plan, it's always more than what we eat too. And I really established with my whole Keto Green approach, it's the keto green way, it's the lifestyle, it's the hormone oxytocin becoming more oxytocin rich in our lives. And that joy connection, that important physiologic effect of joy connection. Right. Pleasure and becoming more insulin sensitive. So when it comes to guys too, we'll see an improvement in their adrenal hormones, their testosterone, a decrease in blood pressure and sugar management and blood sugar as well in the short amount of times. And I expect it pretty much with every plan because again, there's a shift, there's a change up, except for maybe the carbohydrate up plan that I put in as plan number five.

[00:13:26.630] – Allan

Yeah. Now, I think a lot of women and maybe even men when they're going through some of these changes, obviously a woman's change is drastically different. So I'm going to try to compare what we guys go through, through what women go through. Not even close. So don't think it does, guys. I guess it feels bad, but not even close.

[00:13:46.820] – Dr. Cabeca

He's a wise man, right, ladies? He's a wise man.

[00:13:50.200] – Allan

But as they go through this, I think the knee jerk reaction today is what supplement do I need to take? What pill can I take? What surgery do I have to fix this problem? Why is food the better answer?

[00:14:10.910] – Dr. Cabeca

Definitely. Because how we nourish, our body is a whole framework for how we nourish other aspects of our lives. Right. And we have to give our body the fuel. We are designed to work with our environment, to interact and to respond to the energies of the food we eat. So beyond the micronutrient and macronutrient breakdown of what we're eating, there's a lot more to it than that. And I think when we set up, as we set up our eating plans, the key aspect is diversity. And I always tell clients, I interview a lot of people and selling when someone says, yeah, I eat a chicken salad every day for lunch, I just want that hand emoji to the top of your head. Like, I want that hand emoji because it is like, okay, we're eating the same thing every day, and that's just not good for you. I don't care how good of a health food you're eating. If you're eating the same thing every day, you can create a food sensitivity to it. So the importance of how we nourish our bodies, how we're going to do everything, and that sets the tone for hormonal balance.

[00:15:25.730] – Dr. Cabeca

Our behavior is affected by our physiology. So a balanced nourishing eating plan is key for willpower, brain power, love power, whatever it may be that we're working towards. So for physical and mental, wellbeing, how we nourish our body is key. And so having that as food, as medicine, it's absolutely true.

[00:15:53.510] – Allan

Yeah. Now the other aspect of this that I thought was really interesting and you brought science to bear. So this wasn't just you saying this is how you solve this problem or this is why this problem might be worse for you than someone else. I think we know is if you have a knee problem, you go to your doctor. Your doctor is going to say if you need to, you might want to lose some weight because the excess weight is causing knee pain. That's why part of the reason why you have the pain. So he encourages or she encourages you to go lose some weight. Why is weight loss part of a solution to the menopause symptoms that many women suffer with?

[00:16:30.390] – Dr. Cabeca

Yeah, because our fat is inflammatory and two of the things that cause worsening symptoms in menopause is inflammation and hormone imbalance, those two things. And fat is a contributor to both of those things. We naturally become more insulin resistant as we age, and that's why we can develop diabetes or prediabetes in menopause. And we've been doing really well up until then. And post menopause, that's because we're becoming more insulin resistant. And so type two diabetes becomes very prevalent in our age group, and that's got to stop. And that's why that's, again, why keto green eating is so critical for this. But fat holds inflammation and it creates basically cytokines storms within our body and inflammation creates increased hormonal imbalance. So what we see as people clear this up decrease inflammation through how we're nourishing the body, providing appropriate nutrients and not feeding it junk and sugar and inflammatory foods. We also see an improvement in hot flashes tremendous. Within two weeks, we can see 80% reduction in hot flashes through these lifestyle and nutritional changes. The other big thing I want to mention is, like, women will say, oh, I can't fast 13 hours. I'm hungry when I go to bed.

[00:17:58.480] – Dr. Cabeca

I'm hungry when I wake up. That's just how you've trained your body. Your body is not designed to be like that. And so let's retrain it into a healthier way that's actually going to serve you. And we know this really important factor. So built into the plan, I do at least 13 hours of intermittent fasting between dinner and breakfast, but you start where you're at. But the reason I do that is because research has shown in women with breast cancer that if you have at least twelve and a half hours between dinner and breakfast, you have a significantly reduced risk of recurrent breast cancer. So that should be number one health guideline, all the initials that you want, but really should be promoting that intermittent fasting is a key component of our lifestyle. And that improves insulin sensitivity and then improves really all of our symptoms and age related diseases that can occur. So the hot flashes, the mood swings, the night sweats, difficulty sleeping will improve with these shifts and how we're nourishing our body.

[00:19:02.530] – Allan

Yeah. And the same is true for men. If a man is obese, it's affecting their insulin sensitivity and therefore, it's affecting their hormones. And so it's creating a similar effect to us, we call it Andropause but it's basically a very similar approach, similar thing happening in our body. If we can reduce our fat stores, we're going to improve all of that and improve our health. And weight loss is often a side effect of better health. But basically what we're showing is the main symptom we see is when we step on that scale.

[00:19:38.540] – Dr. Cabeca

Yeah. And we want the weight loss, but we want in a way that we don't gain Yoyo dieted from my teens through my 20s and into my 30s. And I think that especially others, I went to high school and College in the 80s. So that's when the low carbohydrate craze was in place and we would do all these crazy things like Apple juice fasting and just nut stuff, like you're fasting on sugar. What the heck? If you're going to fast anyway, now we fast on bone broth a little bit better or just fast on water. But the key thing is and what we know is that calorie restriction decreases your metabolism more than fasting does. And that's a really important concept for people to understand. So you're not going to Yoyo diet back. And being of the, I would say of the warrior body type because there's an epigenetic component. We know this just from observing friends, family, colleagues, et cetera. Some of us are designed to be empowered to be very conservative with our nutrient use. I would say I could survive in the Sahara for six months without food or water, and I'd still be fine.

[00:20:47.780] – Dr. Cabeca

I'm thriving. And I see that among many of my clients, I say they have Pocahontas or Warrior, Viking heritage or Amazonian. Right. Because you're designed to be metabolically conservative, so you're at higher risk. However, you're designed to live through a famine, right? Live through deprivation cycle. But in America, we don't have that right. And so then we think, oh, I just have fat genes. I have obesity and diabetes on both sides of my family. And I want that mind shift to switch to say, no, you've got Warrior genes, you've got Survivor genes. You're amazing. You've got leadership genes. Let's use them. Part of what I really want to empower people to understand this epigenetic component. So it's kind of built in into my plans and into my program. And that's where that whole individual bio individuality comes in, like, what's right for you right now based on what you've been doing up till now and the state of life you're in, how your hormones are, are you burned out? Is your DHA estrogen, testosterone progesterone? Are you tanked in your hormone levels? Are you pretty resilient? And I think with this, with changing up and my goal with this, with cross training in the gym, cross training in your diet is to improve your resilience.

[00:22:11.080] – Dr. Cabeca

So you improve the diversity of your gut microbiome, and with that, you improve your immune system and you improve your overall longevity and quality of life.

[00:22:22.590] – Allan

Yeah. Now you have in the book five plans, and each of them starts out with kind of a six day approach. And I like the six day approach because it gives you that opportunity to check in with yourself to see how it's going. And I think anyone can agree you can do anything for six days if you put your mind to it. So it kind of gives them that finish line, even though it's not intended to truly be a finish line. But it's just give it six days, see if it works. And I like all of that. Obviously, if we've gotten ourselves obese, it's not going to fix itself in six days. So don't think that these are magic pills that are going to make everything great in six days. But each of them gives you a kind of a phase. A pause is the way you like to put it, gives you a pause on something so you can start to see the results and move forward. I want to go through each one of them because I think each of the one of them is really important, but I think it's important for them to know why would they use this plan and what is the plan entail?

[00:23:21.590] – Allan

So the first one and it has extreme in the title because it is kind of an extreme one, is the Keto Green Extreme. Can you talk about that one? Why we would want to use it?

[00:23:33.320] – Dr. Cabeca

Yeah, definitely. First want to say why six days? And six days if we consider that the gut gastrointestinal mucosal lininging of the intestines of our intestinal tract, GI tract regenerates in 72 hours. So that's three days. So incorporating two, three day cycle should be very healing and restorative to our GI tract, certainly in the cleanse. But even as we remove some of these inflammatory triggers or these pauses, as we take these pauses, it gives our body those two full 72 hours cycles to regenerate, respond, react. I think that's where some of this checking in, checking in with yourself can really be powerful. So with Ketogenic Extreme, because I definitely have clients who have had autoimmune diseases and have reactions to night shades. I mean, I was sitting at dinner with Dave Ashbury the other day and he sent his plate back twice because one time it had peppers and one time they had mushrooms in it. So anyway, some people are super sensitive to nitrates. Right. And so I removed that. It's really an autoimmune, kind of following some of the autoimmune protocol dietary changes with restriction of nightshades and peppers and some of those other inflammatory foods, if we're sensitive to that.

[00:25:02.410] – Dr. Cabeca

So checking in on that one is the number one reason to do that, especially if you have an autoimmune issue.

[00:25:08.970] – Allan

Okay. The next one is and you're using a word, well, there are two words that you use in two different ones, and I'm talking about each of those, but it's not exactly what it would mean to somebody else. Is the keto green plant based detox. Now, a lot of us will look at detoxes and thinking, oh, this is one of those where I'm going to take this supplement thing, and I'm going to be going to the bathroom for three days really bad and then not feel good. But this is a detox, but it's not a normal detox. Can you talk about this one and why we would want to use it?

[00:25:40.410] – Dr. Cabeca

Yeah. This is a grain free plant based plan. So it's more of a keto green plant based plan. So again, low in carbohydrates also. And I wanted to address my plant based eaters because my keto green 16th book, I did a 16 day omnipresent, a 16 day plant based plan. So I got a lot of feedback. Right. And then people who are omnivores did the 16 day plant based. And they loved it, too. So being able to again, do that periodically, and this is why I put it in for all of us to just detox from meat. And that's where that comes in. Detox from meat. And plus, one of the biggest problems that keto eaters and diet and diabetics and et cetera have is constipation. And the number one thing I want to clear from your system without, ideally, additional drug support vitamins, et cetera, is having regular bowel movements. So I put it after ketogenic stream. You can do them in any order. Certainly. But I did have a method to my madness, as usual. So putting it there because right now we've just reduced a lot of inflammation. But it's been pretty ketogenic. And I want to make sure your bowels are resuscitated to 72 hours of a low inflammatory diet.

[00:27:04.020] – Dr. Cabeca

But let's work on this to add in fiber support the gut microbiome. To add gut microbial diversity. We know the more plant diverse foods you have, the higher diversity in the gut, the better your immune system, the lower your risk of all inflammatory diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease. And that goes again for men and women and all the menopausal symptoms. So that's why I incorporated a six day plant based diet, because we all need to do it periodically.

[00:27:31.290] – Allan

Okay. And now we're going to go to the other extreme because you have this carbohydrate pause. Can you talk about that? Because this is going to get some attention. It's like, wait, are we plant based or are we meat eaters? So where are we here? Can you talk about that?

[00:27:45.620] – Dr. Cabeca

Like I said, variety is the spice of life. And this is one of the things that I definitely had tried carnivore being keto green for a while and wanting to switch thing up, tried carnivore. And again, same thing felt good for a little bit, but then started gaining weight. I was like, wait, what's going on? Actually connected with another perimenopausal woman in the carnivore community. And she had run across this issue, too, again with women. Again, we talked about this before we started recording. It's really awesome to have diversity. There are certain plants that work for a short time and not for the long time. And that's why disruption. We want to disrupt what we're doing. And it's so good for us. But the carnivore knows to tail. And I wanted to show people how a healthy way to eat carnivore number one. Also, again, after I've just increased the microbial diversity of the gut that was powering you up. You're taking a break from all plant foods pretty much in the carnivore plan in just a healthy way, very carbohydrate restrictive. And again, we're pausing plants in this cycle.

[00:28:59.670] – Allan

And I can say this, if you go through the carbohydrate pause, when you finish it, you're going to be in the deep cut ketosis, which is going to help with your sensitivity. Whichever direction you go after this is going to make that next plan that much better for you.

[00:29:18.870] – Dr. Cabeca

Yeah, exactly. Right.

[00:29:22.720] – Allan

Okay, now the fourth one. And again, this is using one of the words that I typically don't like to see in any kind of eating plan is the cleanse, because it usually involves buying some very expensive juices and spending a lot of money and not getting many calories and rebounding after. But yours isn't going to do that. It's called the keto green cleanse. Can you talk about that?

[00:29:45.580] – Dr. Cabeca

Yeah, absolutely. And actually ran my pre release permission from my publisher to run my selected group, my girlfriend doctor club, through the six day cleanse. And the reason for the cleanse, too, right, we're in high ketosis number one from our carnivore for going in this order. And then so we're not hungry. We are not hungry. We're chewing. We've had good protein. The other part of carbohydrate pause the carnivorous plan is to give us more protein. Women, we don't get enough protein. And protein is so important for our muscle. And muscle is magic and menopause. So then going into cleanse number one, you're not hungry. And now we really want to detox the liver and detox your gallbladder and really work to support your body so the cleanse, we did this six days. I start you with an oil, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon juice, shot in the morning. And believe me, I had objections. They're very intelligent group of women, but they're like, okay, you're recommending it. So by day three, they're like, I can't wait. Can I stay on this forever? Can I do this? I'm like, no, just six days. We have to change things up.

[00:30:56.630] – Dr. Cabeca

So this liver, gallbladder flesh and very much it is a cleanse. So it is smooth, smoothies. It is teas, it is alkaline broth or bone broth. And making sure ideally you're getting enough protein and healthy fats during this. But it is a cleanse. So you are continuing to give your GI tract rest. You will see glowing skin, glowing complexion. You will feel higher energy. You'll start checking things off on your to do list that have been on your to do list. And so it's cleansing off the things that are weighing you down, as well as really working on an internal system. So, yeah, I'm excited for that. And honestly, you're not hungry. You're doing great. You're very supportive advice from my girlfriend doctor club because some of them were used to extended intermittent fasting. They're like, just follow the plan, as Dr. Anna says it, and you're not going to get hungry. And that's really key.

[00:31:57.210] – Allan

And then the final one is and I think this is really kind of a critical piece of all of this is at some point you're going to fit a level of health and maybe a level of weight loss where you're like, okay, this is a weight I feel comfortable. And maybe it was a weight that you were when you were 29. Maybe it was a weight you were when you graduated high school. And now you could wear the same size jeans, you were wearing then. But you get to a point. And now it's like, okay, I don't want to Yoyo, I don't want to go back to where I was because it worked so hard to get to where I am. So the last plan you have is the carbohydrate modification plan. Can you talk about that and how that works?

[00:32:36.810] – Dr. Cabeca

Yeah, and I love it. And I just opened my book to one of the recipes in the Carb modif. My Texas Rodeo Skillet. Skillets are big in Texas and everything's bigger in Texas. That's where I'm living now in Dallas. And so this is a modification for some of the beautiful skillet breakfast. So this has sunny side up eggs, Sriracha sauce, avocados and sweet potatoes and bacon mixed in. I mean, it's just so yummy. I'm getting hungry thinking about this plan. But the reason is because being in the keto green community for so long, sometimes we've been so restricted that we need the additional carbs. And when some of my clients have added in a sweet potato in the evening, they're sleeping better. Right. And I think it's really important to understand that. And some of them will lose weight once they do that because they have been really conservative and adding in a carb, at least it's a beautiful thing to do. And I think once you get through the plans, it's the principles of the plant and how balancing the fats, but also for flavor, the salts and the citrus that just makes things so much better, addressing your full taste palate so that you're really looking forward to your meals and even better.

[00:33:58.990] – Dr. Cabeca

So these concepts that have been built into the recipes that are all outlined in the book have really been designed to balance and nourish and set. You enjoy them, too. So I think that a lot of times we'll do a carb up, we'll do a carb up day periodically. That's absolutely okay. And it can be very good for you unless it triggers eating disorder. Unless it triggers an eating disorder.

[00:34:30.650] – Allan

Yeah. And just as you mentioned, you mentioned the recipe. So I'll kind of jump into that. You believe in variety. You talked about that several times today. And so this cookbook is really built on a massive variety of different foods. And each plan has some foods that fit. And some of the foods some of the recipes you have actually fit multiple plans. And you put that in there. In fact, last night for dinner, my wife and I had your egg roll soup because I love egg rolls. And I walked by the Chinese we have one Chinese restaurant here on the island, and I walk by there all the time. And I'm like, I just love to go in there and order their egg rolls. And I was just like, no, I won't do it. That's not what I'm doing right now. But I was able to make your soup and it was delicious. And I actually had a second serving of it because it was that good. So these are really good recipes. They fit each plan. So it's not just that. Here's a plan and go figure it out. It's like, here's how this works.

[00:35:30.100] – Allan

Here's a plan. Here's some tips. Here are some recipes. And so you build out recipes to pretty much fill the six days. And you give guidelines if you want to do it yourself. So it's really kind of a cool way that you're not going to get bored because it's not like a lot of plans. You're eating the same foods every day. In this case, I think the most I saw you like, you Cook something one day, and then maybe the third day you have it again as a leftover for lunch or something like that. But it's not eat the same food every day all the way through. You work through these plans, and maybe other than the cleanse, you're doing fairly similar things through the cleanse. But for the others, there's great recipes that are going to keep you interested. And you even give them a shopping list, which I think is also pretty cool.

[00:36:18.670] – Dr. Cabeca

Thank you. You know, my mom raising kids, was making things early. Sometimes having leftovers is just a one less meal I have to Cook. Right. So that's always definitely an option in the plan, too. And maybe if there's adding something a little bit more interesting, too, but to create as much simplicity and shopping as possible. But it's six days. So I want this diversity. I want this experience. I want it to be an experience.

[00:36:48.970] – Allan

Yeah. It is. That's what I'm saying.

[00:36:51.980] – Allan

Mine, it's something I would order at a Chinese restaurant. I'm like, I want egg rolls. So it's like cabbage. And I did it with pork and went through the whole process of making it. And I think it took me less than an hour to make the soup. And that included prep. And I'm a slow prepper. So I didn't even get to watch a whole TV series. I was watching a TV show. I didn't get to watch the whole thing because I had the meal ready before I finished. So really good recipes. You should check that out.

[00:37:22.400] – Allan

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

[00:37:31.510] – Dr. Cabeca

Thank you. Well, definitely get keto green. So incorporate the lifestyle, the nutrition into your lifestyle. That concept, that is by design, a number one way, certainly for me and for women going through menopause, and I think for so many, my kids are doing it. The second thing is make oxytocin the most powerful hormone in your body and so not stress. Really think, where do I see love today? Where am I loving, giving, grateful? What am I grateful for? Really focusing on that. How am I showing love to those I love? How am I receiving love? Sometimes that's even harder. So make oxytocin the most powerful hormone. And the third is just smile. Really smile, really genuinely feel good about yourself. And for women, oftentimes we have this, like I would say the negative, that nasty bitch on your shoulder talking down to you. So like, knock that nasty bitch off your shoulder and enjoy yourself. And that concept of truly, genuinely being happy in your own skin with whatever is in your life at this moment, it's a really powerful concept.

[00:38:43.750] – Allan

Well, thank you, Dr. Anna. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, learn more about MenuPause or your Girlfriend's Doctor club, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:38:54.220] – Dr. Cabeca

Definitely, just come to my website dranna.com. We have a MenuPause book page and some great bonuses to go along with the MenuPause book. So some trackers, some additional handouts and recipes and good things to support you in the videos, cooking videos, all this good stuff is there for you. So, dranna.com, and then join me on social media at the Girlfriend Doctor.

[00:39:19.120] – Allan

Awesome. You can go to fortyplusfitnesspodcast.com/533 and I'll be sure to have the link there. Dr. Anna, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:39:29.970] – Dr. Cabeca

Thank you for having me, Allan. I love what you're doing. Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

[00:39:40.850] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:39:42.380] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a fun interview with Doctor Anna Cabeca. Anytime I hear anything having to do with menopause, my ears peek up. So her book, MenuPause sounds like a really good book.

[00:39:55.130] – Allan

It is good. Obviously, I will not experience menopause, can't and won't. And so for me, it's really just about understanding what my wife, with my clients, with my friends, with my family, what they may experience as they're going. And I think there are periods of time when we really have to ratchet in our nutrition. For the most part, most of us can go through life and not really think about what we're eating. But there are particular periods in a woman's life where I think it becomes really important. Obviously, when you're trying to get pregnant and you are having a baby, there are times when your nutrition is tantamount to having a healthy baby, dealing with any kind of major illness or recovery. So cancer surgery, something like that. Nutrition is going to be really important to make sure that you're addressing your body's nutritional needs so that it can heal properly so that you have a good, strong immune system, really important. And then, of course, during menopause, when you're going through significant, significant hormone changes, and those changes, the perimenopause process, if you will, can take minutes where they're actually pulling out your ovaries and uterus, or it can take decades as you're going through those.

[00:41:24.750] – Allan

This is month to month, day to day, week to week. All of it changes in your hormones. And if you are just eating about doing your thing, you don't have information. What you have is a symptom. And you don't know if it was directly affected by what you're eating, what you're feeling, the movement or, yeah, you're just going through a huge hormone shift that you really couldn't deal with otherwise. Those are important. And within approach, you literally can sit down and look at a swath of time, the six day plans and say, okay, I'm going to do this thing over six days and see if my symptoms abate. And if they do now you have data, now you have information to say, hey, if I cut out this food, yes, my body screaming at me, eat more chocolate, but I don't eat more chocolate. Instead, I eat more vegetables, I eat more meat. I make sure that I'm eating whole food, and you feel better. You didn't need the chocolate. And I know that's hard to hear. Sometimes you need the chocolate. I understand. But sometimes your body is telling you something, and the answer is actually the exact opposite.

[00:42:54.060] – Rachel

That's so true. And what's interesting, how Anna put it, is that instead of turning to supplements or surgery or something, that a lot of doctors will suggest a pill for this or for that, it's turning to food. And food can actually really be true medicine for you. And I appreciate how she created these five different eating patterns or these five different types of eating for a six day window of time. Six days isn't that long. You can get through some sort of change, and you never know how you might feel afterwards. If it works for you, then it's a tool in your toolbox for all these different times in our lives when our hormones will fluctuate. Like I mentioned earlier, all of us have different symptoms as we approach menopause. Perimenopause is kind of tricky. That way our hormones can fluctuate day to day, week to week, month to month symptoms could be different from another. But by trying food as medicine, at least you have another tool in the toolbox that you can pick out later on.

[00:43:55.880] – Allan

Yeah. The only caution I put out there is if you're making a fairly drastic change. So let's just say you're eating the standard American diet today or something close to it, and you immediately say, okay, well, I'm going to go to the hardcore, intense low carb thing. Six days might not be enough time for you to fully adapt to that change. And so just recognizing that if you find that this food is affecting you and maybe even in a negative way, you may need to lean in instead of pulling back and saying it's not working. The six days is a great trial. And for a lot of people that don't have, say, insulin resistance or some other health issues going on, they're going to start seeing some potential positive change, weight loss and some other things will be happening during that period of time. But you might not feel really good. And there's a couple of reasons for it. One, yes, could be that you're going through the change into keto, and they call it keto flu. I prefer to call it carb withdrawals because your body used carbohydrates for fuel and now it doesn't have as many it's got to shift fuel systems.

[00:45:12.710] – Allan

That can be a little disruptive for most of us it is. But there's also other things. Our body stores toxins in our fat. So if you're starting to lose body fat, your body now has to deal with those toxins that it shuttled away earlier and didn't deal with. And if you're under a toxic load at home or at work or whatever, now you're adding more toxins to the mix. You might feel worse before you feel better. So just recognize six days is a good rule of thumb because as you said, you can do just about anything for six days.

[00:45:46.600] – Rachel

Absolutely.

[00:45:47.630] – Allan

People can go without eating for six days and be fine. But that said, if you're feeling bad, you're making a change. If it's hard, just consider whether this is something you need to lean into or whether it is okay. You did your six days and it just didn't work. And let's say you tried that and it didn't work. That doesn't mean that tool is useless. If you needed to screw in a screw and the first thing you grabbed was a hammer, the hammer didn't work, but you get a screwdriver and it works. Later on, you got a nail. The hammer is going to be just fine. So just recognize that time and space and where you are now is different than where you will be later. So a tool today that's not useful can be a useful tool later. But there's really good eating plans in there. Really sound advice from Dr. Cabeca. And if hormones are an issue for you as you go through these changes, food will affect your hormone levels. What you think will affect your hormone levels, what you physically do will affect your hormone levels. All of that input, all of that information and it will affect how your body expresses hormones.

[00:47:06.550] – Allan

So while you can't fix this change because it is what it is, it's coming, you can reduce the impact of it with the right foods.

[00:47:16.740] – Rachel

Yeah, well, you both were discussing bio individuality and what is right for you right now is going to be different from what is right for you later. And that's just the way our hormones fluctuate. I think every woman understands and agrees with me that like I said, week to week, month to month, our hormones, our symptoms, the way we feel just changes so greatly. So what works for you today may not work tomorrow, but the point is that you get to try something new and it sounds like Dr. Cabeca offers several different meals that you get ways to try to eat in order to satisfy those changes. It's a great idea.

[00:47:56.510] – Allan

And if you're listening to this and the guys have tuned out, they can eat this way too.

[00:48:02.710] – Rachel

Oh, for sure.

[00:48:04.670] – Allan

These are healthy, good ways to eat. This is not like, oh, well, here's an estrogen pill. I'm going to give it to my husband too. No, it's not like that. This is food. This is really good. These are really good meal plans. They're very easy. She gives you the shopping list, the whole set. So it's really simple for you to kind of go in and say, okay, this is my meal plan for the week. It's the meal plan for my family for the week.

[00:48:25.090] – Rachel

I love that.

[00:48:26.110] – Allan

And so they're getting what they need to be healthy. You're getting what you need to heal and be healthy. Just recognize this is not a woman's eating plan this is an eating plan that anyone can do and be more healthy for doing it.

[00:48:42.500] – Rachel

That sounds great. Sounds like a great book.

[00:48:45.040] – Allan

Yeah, it is. All right, well, Rachel, we'll talk next week.

[00:48:48.120] – Rachel

Sounds great.

Patreons

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Another episode you may enjoy

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December 13, 2021

Why calories don’t count – Dr. Giles Yeo

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

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

Transcript

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Let's Say Hello

[00:03:46.920] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things going?

[00:03:49.030] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:50.980] – Allan

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

[00:03:56.930] – Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:04:00.270] – Allan

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

[00:04:28.500] – Allan

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

[00:05:02.190] – Allan

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

[00:05:36.170] – Allan

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

[00:05:41.460] – Rachel

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

[00:06:13.830] – Allan

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

[00:06:26.380] – Allan

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

[00:06:46.350] – Rachel

Absolutely. Fingers crossed. Absolutely.

[00:06:49.830] – Allan

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

[00:06:52.970] – Rachel

Sure. Let's do this.

Interview

[00:07:21.280] – Allan

Dr. Yeo, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:23.850] – Dr. Yeo

Thank you so much for having me, Allan.

[00:07:25.930] – Allan

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

[00:07:37.350] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:07:43.380] – Allan

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

[00:08:22.830] – Dr. Yeo

Absolutely.

[00:08:24.390] – Allan

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

[00:08:47.910] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:09:13.870] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:09:30.770] – Allan

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

[00:10:26.360] – Allan

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

[00:10:34.560] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:11:05.030] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:11:30.270] – Allan

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

[00:11:37.290] – Dr. Yeo

Exactly.

[00:11:38.110] – Allan

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

[00:11:40.680] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:12:15.730] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:12:42.960] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:13:18.640] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:13:44.560] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:13:50.970] – Allan

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

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[00:15:40.310] – Allan

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

[00:15:56.320] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:16:29.390] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:16:53.490] – Allan

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

[00:17:28.610] – Allan

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

[00:17:50.990] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:18:41.240] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:19:16.890] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:19:57.470] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:20:31.210] – Allan

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

[00:20:39.570] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:20:42.750] – Allan

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

[00:21:16.170] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:21:43.540] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:21:47.420] – Allan

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

[00:22:18.250] – Allan

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

[00:22:33.520] – Dr. Yeo

That's right.

[00:22:35.310] – Allan

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

[00:23:05.200] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:23:32.990] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:24:06.290] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:24:36.040] – Allan

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

[00:24:54.100] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:25:18.770] – Allan

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

[00:25:30.340] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:26:03.330] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:26:41.910] – Allan

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

[00:27:17.140] – Allan

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

[00:27:47.650] – Allan

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

[00:27:54.250] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:28:29.510] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:29:09.810] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:29:54.780] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:30:29.590] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:31:01.050] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:31:12.970] – Allan

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

[00:31:18.250] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:31:51.340] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:32:26.440] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:32:51.600] – Allan

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

[00:33:18.450] – Allan

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

[00:33:46.210] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:34:21.950] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:34:31.550] – Allan

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

[00:34:37.190] – Dr. Yeo

Thank you.

[00:34:38.300] – Allan

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

[00:34:56.850] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:35:04.870] – Allan

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

[00:35:43.540] – Allan

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

[00:36:11.070] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:36:46.380] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:37:23.210] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:37:52.930] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:38:01.570] – Allan

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

[00:38:25.970] – Dr. Yeo

It doesn't cost anything, right?

[00:38:28.710] – Allan

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

[00:38:45.660] – Dr. Yeo

Keep them alive. Don't kill your customer.

[00:38:52.170] – Allan

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

[00:39:00.240] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:39:40.760] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:40:08.770] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:40:31.530] – Allan

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

[00:40:38.820] – Dr. Yeo

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

[00:41:07.690] – Allan

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

[00:41:20.730] – Dr. Yeo

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


Post Show/Recap

[00:41:27.970] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:41:30.030] – Rachel

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

[00:42:00.700] – Allan

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

[00:42:38.120] – Allan

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

[00:43:09.220] – Allan

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

[00:43:17.290] – Rachel

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

[00:43:49.700] – Rachel

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

[00:44:05.750] – Allan

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

[00:44:18.170] – Allan

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

[00:44:41.470] – Allan

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

[00:45:19.930] – Rachel

Perfect.

[00:45:21.950] – Allan

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

[00:45:38.060] – Allan

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

[00:46:28.330] – Allan

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

[00:47:03.090] – Allan

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

[00:47:26.110] – Rachel

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

[00:47:56.510] – Allan

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

[00:48:22.560] – Rachel

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

[00:49:01.280] – Allan

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

[00:49:45.750] – Allan

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

[00:50:13.480] – Rachel

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

[00:50:25.750] – Allan

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

[00:50:55.060] – Allan

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

[00:51:20.130] – Rachel

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

[00:51:39.830] – Allan

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

[00:51:46.540] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:51:47.450] – Allan

You too.

[00:51:48.320] – Rachel

Thanks.

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:05:58.210] – Rachel
Fantastic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:08:22.880] – Rachel
Sure.

Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:31:05.010] – Dr. Foster
Exactly.

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

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

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

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

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


Post Show/Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:47:17.660] – Rachel
It is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:48:35.670] – Rachel
Take care.

Patreons

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How your mind can overcome your weight loss issues – Dr. Ian K Smith

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If you struggle with failed diets and exercise programs, it might be all in your head. In his book, Mind of Weight, Dr. Ian K. Smith shares with us some great tips, tactics, and strategies to ensure we approach our health and fitness with the right mindset.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:00:54.050] – Allan
Raz. How are you doing?

[00:00:56.270] – Rachel
Great, Allan. How are you today?

[00:00:58.160] – Allan
I'm doing really well. We record these intros a couple weeks before. So I can say as of February 1st, the gym is open. So I am running the gym now. I've got employees, they're coming in and doing the heavy lifting. I'm here for moral support and just to make sure that we comply with MINSA requirements. MINSA's our health department. So I'm just making sure that we're doing everything the right way.

[00:01:26.510] – Allan
I've got my little video monitors up here on the wall, like I'm sitting here doing my work and I look over. I'm like, OK, they're a little too close. I've got to tell my staff, do not let that happen again. But…

[00:01:36.140] – Rachel
Excellent, very good!

[00:01:37.700] – Allan
Right now everything's good. And a lot of people are excited about the gym opening. I am too. So good times for me.

[00:01:44.840] – Rachel
That's great.

[00:01:45.590] – Allan
How are things up there in the frozen tundra of Michigan?

[00:01:49.010] – Rachel
Still chilly and snowy, but things are good. And similarly, Mike has to start traveling again for his work. So that's that's good for him that he can move around a little bit. I think he was getting a little bit of cabin fever. But the bad news is that means I have to start cooking again. Waa waa waa.

[00:02:09.420] – Allan
Awe. You could do what I did for lunch today. Basically to have food here at the gym because this I wanted to be here the whole shift and I had some things to do during the middle of the shifts. So I boiled a dozen eggs and bought three cans of tuna. And that's that's my meals. So, not flashy, but it gets the job done. And I can do that for here and there. And it's not like I'm really missing out on I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Just keeping it simple.

[00:02:36.440] – Rachel
That's good. I printed out some new recipes that I would like to try. And so I've got my meals lined up for the week for dinners anyway. It's just going to be me. The kids are back to school.

[00:02:48.800] – Allan
You know, you could tell Mike he needs to spend his Saturday bulk cooking for the family.

[00:02:54.500] – Rachel
Yes! That would be awesome.

[00:02:57.440] – Allan
You put them in single/family serving things. You put them in the freezer. You put them in the fridge. Done.

[00:03:03.620] – Rachel
Yeah.

[00:03:04.280] – Allan
You could.

[00:03:05.870] – Rachel
I could. But in order to to get back at it, I do need to start cooking again, too. I used to cook. I haven't in a long time and I can get back into it and make some healthy meals for myself.

[00:03:19.280] – Allan
OK, well if you need some new recipes, that's kind of one of the things I've been doing for my online clients. They wanted recipes for like if you're going to eat, I want to eat well. And so, yeah, part of what I do now for my clients online for my 12-week program is I literally about three times a week give them a recipe that I really enjoy. So it's a good mix of dinners, lunches, breakfasts, snacks, things like that. So I'm kind of building, for lack of a better word, a recipe pack. They're not my recipes. I'm borrowing them from online, but I'm just sharing links and PDF print out so it goes back to the source. But yeah, there's a lot out there, but I'll share some of my favorites with you.

[00:03:59.900] – Rachel
That would be great. Thank you so much.

[00:04:03.110] – Allan
Cool. Let's go ahead and talk to Dr. Smith.

Interview

[00:04:46.950] – Allan
Dr. Smith, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:49.940] – Dr. Smith
Thank you so much for having me. I'm glad to be with you.

[00:04:52.320] – Allan
The book is Mind Over Weight: Curb Cravings, Find Motivation, and Hit Your Number in Seven Simple Steps. And what I like about this book is that it actually if it gets in front of this, because most people will start with the action plans, the movement, the what they're eating, they just they start throwing things against the wall and then they get frustrated when, a month down the line they're not where they thought they would be. And usually that comes down to mindset.

[00:05:22.700] – Allan
If you really got down to it, it's the mind that's going to make this happen. We've got to get the right mindset. We got to get a brain set first and then act. So it's sort of the, you know, ready shoot aim is what most of us do. And it doesn't work very well when you're talking about weight loss.

[00:05:37.970] – Dr. Smith
Yeah, it's interesting. People's natural tendency is to want to start with the plan, with the trainer, with the gym membership, with the workouts and really all starts above the neck. I mean, you know, the starting point, the ground zero for weight loss and for many things in life in general is really about getting your mind in the right place. And one of the best things that I think about this book is how small it is.

[00:06:05.450] – Dr. Smith
It's seven small chapters. The size is physically small and the read is very quick. However, the information is very dense. I wrote the book the way I would like to receive information about a specific topic. And this book is all about the mental aspect of weight loss or weight management. I think that a lot of people have been effective and are effective at losing weight and maintaining weight, but they would be a lot more effective if they had sharpened their mental acuity as it relates to weight loss and having a better understanding of what I call the weight loss landscape, because it's not always just about what am I going to eat, what exercise do I need to do and what results do I see on a scale it's about where everything fits in your life and it's about your environment.

[00:07:06.980] – Dr. Smith
And that's why I say, you know, I believe people should take a landscape view rather than just a portrait view. You think about when you print out in landscape versus portrait. So with Mind Over Weight, the idea is that; let's talk about the things that have nothing to do with food and exercise first. And one of those things, of course, is trying to unlock your motivation. All of us have motivation somewhere. The question is, can we access it?

[00:07:40.000] – Dr. Smith
And everyone can't necessarily access their motivation. So I start with chapter one right away, which is basically, you know, let's unlock your motivation and understand what it is, where it comes from and how you have to own it. I think that's very important.

[00:07:55.830] – Allan
And as you said in the book, there was a statistic you shared that said by today, which just goes live as February 15th, 80% of the people who had a New Year's resolution for weight loss have already fallen off and they're not going to accomplish that weight loss goal, at least not based on this set of resolutions that they made. But there are ways that we can stay motivated. And in the book, you talk about several ways for us to do that. Can you go through a few of those and let us know why those are important to stay motivated?

[00:08:28.600] – Dr. Smith
We look at motivators, so you break motivation down into what actually motivates you. And the idea behind motivation basically is something that drives you to want to do something to complete, to begin and complete an action, to pursue a goal, to complete a task. And so when you look at different types of motivation, there's two basic types. There's internal or intrinsic motivation and there's external or extrinsic motivation. So you have internal motivators and you have external motivations.

[00:09:03.280] – Dr. Smith
An internal motivator is you are doing something or you're motivated to do something because you are happy or excited or desirous of whatever it is you're trying to accomplish for internal reasons, for the reason of doing it itself. So, you know, you read about maps and study maps because you love the study of geography and you love understanding the relationships between countries and bodies of water. So you're not doing it to pass a test. You're doing it because you want that information, that knowledge excites you, the process excites you.

[00:09:50.800] – Dr. Smith
Whereas someone who is studying a particular topic simply because they want to do well on a test or an exam, they are externally motivated because they want to get the results on the exam, someone who wants to lose weight because they want to look good in a bikini on an island on vacation. And they want people to acknowledge that they look good and say nice things to them. That is external motivation, whereas an internal motivator, in that case, would be, I want to lose weight because I want to make sure that I feel good, that I don't feel winded walking up steps, that I want to be happy and live a long life without being ravaged by disease. That's more of an internal motivator rather than having an external kind of validation.

[00:10:48.470] – Dr. Smith
So in the book, I go through different types of internal and external motivators. I talk about extrinsic like fame, praise, grades, money, awards, social acceptance. Those things typically tend to be extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivators, fun, pleasure, gratifications, gratification, feeling of worthiness, of accomplishment, a sense of purpose. And, so it's not that extrinsic motivators are better than internal or vice versa. It's the combination of the two that's important. Having both of them. They work in a complementary fashion.

[00:11:25.180] – Dr. Smith
For example, I just had a boiler replaced in my house. I have two boilers in my house and the technician was explaining to me how it works. It's a two-stage system. The first boiler, which is stage one, tries to heat the house. And if it's too cold outside and the boiler can't keep the house warm enough because the temperatures outside are so cold, it's not being able to do due to the job by itself, the second boiler will kick in. That's stage two. That's the second stage. And so then the second boiler kicks in and together they're able to keep the house warm against the chill outside. Same thing with motivation. If your internal motivator is not really able to keep the fire lit under you and keep you going, then that external motivator can kick in and together they can keep you motivated and on the path of what you're trying to accomplish. And that is why you need both internal and external motivators.

[00:12:23.080] – Allan
Yeah, I agree with that. If you if you go in this, which is to I'm going to hire, train and go and you don't really have a plan and you just sort of say, Okay, I think this is what I want as far as the end game, but you don't have things that are going to make you feel good while you're doing it. So there's little achievable little milestones as you go to say, OK, you know, being happy when you lose two pounds, even though you want to lose 20, that's that start that's that thing that's going inside you feel good about.

[00:12:53.890] – Allan
But then also having friends that you're working out with or a trainer or something like that, I have to show up because they're at the gym waiting for me or they're at the track waiting for me. Those are the internal and the external versions that are going to keep you motivated because you have both.

[00:13:13.330] – Dr. Smith
Yes, 100 percent. And I want to switch to goal setting because that's also part of proper goal setting. I think that another area where people could improve on. It could be very helpful if they get it right is how to set goals. And people don't talk about proper goal setting and goals are very, very important. And how you set the goals is extremely important. A lot of people, unfortunately, will set unrealistic goals and because the goals are unrealistic and they're unable to reach those goals, they actually think that they are failing when in reality they are succeeding, but they'll throw away whatever plan they're on or they'll totally give up because in their mind, the way they framed their goals, it's a failure. But it's really had the goal been more proper and more appropriate, they would actually realize that they're actually succeeding. And so setting the right goals is extremely important before you begin any weight loss journey.

[00:14:23.530] – Allan
Having come from a business background. We set goals all the time in business. And so I was very familiar with SMART goals and I've even talked about that a couple of times on the podcast. But you have a different twist in the book. You call them VERY SMART goals. So this is a longer acronym. I'll take off the back in the smart and specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and and time bound or time restricted. The VERY, though, is the part of that acronym that I'm not I was not familiar with before I read your book. Could you take a few minutes to go through that?

[00:14:55.570] – Dr. Smith
Sure. You probably aren't familiar with it because I created it.

[00:14:58.520] – Allan
Okay, yeah. Maybe that's why I had never heard of it.

[00:15:01.820] – Dr. Smith
I created it. I didn't. It's not somewhere else because I've never seen it before. But and it's not that it's ingenious or anything.

[00:15:08.080] – Dr. Smith
So VERY, V E R Y of the VERY SMART as far as setting goals V is for varied. What people have to understand is that they have to make sure that your goals when it comes to weight loss, are not just focused on one aspect of it. Just don't focus on the scale, have a goal that talks about physical. How far can you walk in a certain period of time? What size clothes can you fit? Have a goal. I want to get from a size ten to a size eight. So when you make your goals, just don't make them homogenous, make them varied, you know, different aspects of weight loss or there are symbolic of weight loss.

[00:15:53.770] – Dr. Smith
The E is effective. There's no point in setting goals if what you are reaching does not provide some type of purposeful and meaningful change. If some of the weighs 300 pounds says that my ultimate goal is to lose ten pounds, I'll be happy with that. That's it. Well, it's great that you set a goal. It's great when you hit your goal. But a 300 pound person who just loses ten pounds, that is not going to be a meaningful change for that person as far as how they look or what their disease risk profile is. So that's not an effective goal. So that's the E for effective for VERY.

[00:16:39.760] – Dr. Smith
The next one is R and R is being responsible. Make goals that will challenge you, that will make you stretch, but make goals that are responsible goals. Don't have a goal where you want to lose 30 pounds in 30 days and you only weigh one hundred and fifty pounds and your five foot four. And in order to hit that goal, you have to do something very extreme and potentially unsafe to try to hit that goal. That's an irresponsible goal. So make sure that your goals are responsible.

[00:17:17.080] – Dr. Smith
And lastly, the Y is yours. People have to set goals that they own, not what others say you should do, not what others expect you to do. You have to own that goal. You have to believe in the goal. You have to trust in the goal, and you have to want the goal. So the goal must be yours.

[00:17:38.980] – Allan
And I like that. I like that a lot. One of the one of the things I would propose is if if one of the reasons that you're wanting to lose the weight is that you went to your doctor and your blood sugar is too high and he's about to start putting you on medication or worse yet, maybe some insulin. And you really don't want to go down that rabbit hole because a lot of people don't come out the other end the right way, then having a varied goal.

[00:18:03.520]
So it's like, yes, I want to lose 40 pounds and I want to lower my blood sugar by three points, you know, take take my A1C from a 10 to an eight, you know, in that same period of time you'll still be diabetic, but you're moving in the right direction. And it's another goal that maybe you didn't lose five pounds this week or maybe you don't lose any weight this week. But because of the efforts you did, your blood sugar is coming down. And that's that's a win. And I think we don't give ourselves those opportunities to have wins. We focus on one number and that makes it quite difficult.

[00:18:44.040] – Allan
Dr. Smith, now one of the areas I think that's really, really difficult for people is that they feel hungry. And for many people, they believe they're hungry all the time. And it's not a true hunger. What they're actually doing is they're craving you know, they want those Doritos. They want the salty. They want that chocolate or they want that doughnut or they're driving by a McDonald's and they smell what they smell and like, oh, I'm getting that drive in line and pick something up. Those are cravings. They're different from hunger. Can you explain the difference and then what a good strategy is for us to beat cravings?

[00:19:21.720] – Dr. Smith
So let me put it to you in two different ways; hunger is your body saying it needs nourishment? It's not specific, it needs food, it needs energy. I'm hungry. A craving is specific. A craving says that I want a double layer chocolate cake. I want a piece of fried dough with powdered sugar on top. That's a craving.

[00:19:55.390] – Dr. Smith
And it's very important to distinguish between the two. Cravings are generated through the reward-pleasure system, the loop in the front brain. And it's all about dopamine. You know, when we enjoy something, our body releases this chemical neurotransmitter called dopamine and dopamine travels forward into the brain and it lets us know this was a satisfying experience and it creates a memory. When I bit into that chocolate cake and released all of that dopamine, it created a memory in my system that I really enjoyed it. And if I do it again, I'm probably going to enjoy it again.

[00:20:44.740] – Dr. Smith
And what happens with a craving is once you've set this pathway up. Whenever you see, or hear about, or smell, however you're triggered by that chocolate cake again, your body releases that dopamine and that dopamine then becomes a seeking behavior. So you now want to seek that particular thing that made you feel really happy and really good and satiated you, you want to seek that. And so it drives you to get it.

[00:21:22.760] – Dr. Smith
It's like drug addiction. It's it's a similar concept of drug addiction. Doing a particular drug gives you a certain feeling of satisfaction. And when you are around that drug again or you think about that drug, then you now have this chemical urge to want to participate in the indulgence or the use of that particular drug. That's what cravings are. Cravings, however, unlike hunger, are short-termed, and they can go away, so if you can outlast your craving and everyone can do it, but one thing to do is to distract yourself while you have a craving because you can outlast it.

[00:22:07.270] – Dr. Smith
And most research shows about 15 to 20 minutes a craving will typically go away. It doesn't mean it won't come back, but it will typically go away. And so if for 15 or 20 minutes you can do something that takes your mind off the craving or remove yourself from the environmental stimulus that's creating the craving, then you may be able to succeed.

[00:22:29.170] – Dr. Smith
Look at it this way. When you get into the car, let's say your oil is low in your car and the light comes on in your car when that oil light comes on. That is your car saying, I need oil. And no matter what you do, no matter how many times you turn that car on or off, that oil light is going to come back on and stay on until you put oil in the car and the car is fed. That's hunger. A craving is when you get into the car and the car says to you, it prompts you on your dashboard and says, do you want to connect your phone to Bluetooth? And if you don't push a yes or no, let's say you do nothing to it. You just let it sit there and you keep driving. Eventually that prompt goes away. It goes away. It no longer stays in the home because you didn't respond in a certain period of time. That's what a craving is.

[00:23:25.870] – Allan
And so one of the one of the things that you want to do is you want to look at what are those triggers for why you're doing the things you're doing. Some of them will be really, really clear. Like if you you're going to the state fair and you know you're going to smell it. You're going to smell that fried dough with with the powdered sugar, you know where that booth is or where all those booths are. Because you smell it every time you go by them, you're going to have that constant trigger. You just are. Now, I'm not saying don't go to the fair, but recognize what that is for what it is. Go get in a line and get on a ride. Go lose your money trying to knock the pins off of the table or whatever you're going to do. But try to do some things to distract yourself because you know those triggers are there.

[00:24:08.560] – Allan
If it's something like a McDonald's, then it's more of a I need to find a different route to work. So I don't drive by that McDonald's every afternoon on my way home because I know if it's a nice day and I've got my windows rolled down, I'm going to smell that when I pull up to that intersection because I always catch that light. I don't want to make that right turn.

[00:24:28.210] – Dr. Smith
And in the book in the book, I give you I give you several other kind of strategies, eating more protein, reducing stress, how to increase your hydration. You know, I won't delve into it. It's in the book. But there are other strategies other than outlasting some. Some people say I can't outlast a craving. I'll give you some other strategies that can actually help you in the book.

[00:24:46.810] – Allan
Yes, you do. Now, the last thing I want to get into is food addiction. You know, I'm I'm not a doctor. You are. So when we get to the point where I have a client that I believe has food addiction, that's beyond the scope of my practice for sure. But how can someone recognize when this is not just a small problem with overeating, but is an actual addiction? How would they know? What are the symptoms? And then if they're going to look for a solution, what are the things they should be looking for in that solution to know that they're not just hiring a quack?

[00:25:20.860] – Dr. Smith
Yeah, it's interesting. You know, food addiction and emotional eating really sometimes overlap. And emotional eating basically is you are eating food not for sustenance, not because you need the nourishment, but you're eating a particular food stuff because you want to address some type of emotional concern or emotional feelings you have. You're angry, you're happy, you're sad, whatever it is. But people who are addicted to food, here are some common ways to tell.

[00:25:53.230] – Dr. Smith
And it's not always black and white, by the way. It can be very complex to be able to ascertain or discern one's addiction. But if you're someone, for example, who simply can't stop yourself from eating when you know that you're already full, I mean, you know that you're full. You you're not really hungry. But there is more food left on the stove and you still have to go eat it. You know, you're satiated, but you still have to go eat it.

[00:26:24.970] – Dr. Smith
Another sign of addiction is when you find yourself constantly wanting to center your activities around food. You want to meet up with a friend, you want to do it at a restaurant, you want to celebrate, you do it with food. When food is such a constant in your life and most of your activities or a large number of your activities are centered around food, then it is likely you may have an addiction to food.

[00:26:58.750] – Dr. Smith
Also, people who are addicted to food. They may have a food, a particular food addiction, like I work with someone on Celebrity Fit Club when we were doing the show and one of the singers had an addiction to pizza and she just couldn't stop once she ate one slice of pizza. She had to have four or five or six. She really just couldn't stop. And just like alcoholism and the addiction to alcohol, you know, an alcoholic, for example, can stay away from alcohol for years. And the minute they have that first drink, they can't stop and cut themselves off at that one drink, they got to have more and similar properties occur with people who are addicted to food.

[00:27:48.270] – Allan
Yeah, again, it's it's it's sad that this is a thing because, you know, like with like you said, with alcohol, it's pretty simple to say I'm not going to I'm not going to go places where there's alcohol and I'm not going to take that first drink. But food, we can't necessarily always avoid food. We still we've got to try to find those triggers. And if you have a food that's making you and you said this in the book, making you feel guilty, you really need to explore that because that's that's a sign that something's going on. If you're hiding your food, if you're guilty about what you're doing, that's that's a big red flag that something's going on.

[00:28:25.860] – Dr. Smith
That's right. That's exactly right.

[00:28:28.530] – Allan
Dr. Smith, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:28:37.080] – Dr. Smith
I think the first strategy for me and everyone obviously has three different things, probably. But for me, it's identifying passion. I think it's important for people in life to really identify something that really revs their engine and they're passionate about. And it could be all kinds of things. It could be music, could be art, it could be writing, it could be food preparation, whatever it is, identify what you're passionate about and really work and curate an environment where you can pursue your passion. I think that's extremely important. It gives you a sense of purpose. It gives you a sense of being meaningful.

[00:29:21.780] – Dr. Smith
The second thing is the physicality of life. Human beings are meant to be physical, and when we are not physical, then our engine, our body breaks down. I never forget a mechanic once told me, he said a Porsche and other sports cars are damaged when they sit in the garage and are not driven. And I thought, no, you're preserving it. He said, absolutely not. He said, when you don't drive a sports car the way sports cars are built, then you end up causing the sports car to deteriorate, the gaskets dry out, the seals start to leak. All these different mechanical things start happening because the car is not being driven like it's supposed to be and supposed to be used. So I think being physical and that's a broad array of activities depending on who you are, but being physical and some type of regular consistent manner is extremely important.

[00:30:22.980] – Dr. Smith
The third thing I would say is stress. There is a mountain of research that talks about the impact, both physical and psychological, that stress can play in our lives. It can affect our immune system. It can, in fact, affect our cardiovascular system. And obviously it can affect us from a psychological standpoint. And I think people need to take more time to really absorb life and where they are and to enjoy the moment and to prioritize their life so that they are not allowing themselves to be stressed by things that at the end of the day really aren't that important.

[00:31:07.770] – Dr. Smith
I think that's what the pandemic hopefully has taught a lot of people, that things that you thought were so important before now that you've been forced to do without and to realign, you realize not so bad after all. I actually didn't need that thousand dollar handbag or those three hundred dollar pair of sneakers. I didn't really need that stuff. Like I was Okay without it. And I survived. And I lived and I wasn't even thinking about those things. So I think that people reducing their stress and being able to streamline their lives and increasing the presence of things that they find or that are more valuable to their existence, I think is important to overall wellness.

[00:31:52.290] – Allan
Dr. Smith, if someone wanted to learn more about you and the book Mind Over Weight, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:31:59.400] – Dr. Smith
My Instagram is at Dr. Ian Smith. Spell the doctor out. I announcement my Twitter is Dr. Ian Smith and my website Doctoriansmith.com, spell it all out

[00:32:10.440] – Allan
Perfect. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/473 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Smith, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:32:21.060] – Dr. Smith
It was very nice talking to you and I hope you have a great 2021.

[00:32:24.540] – Allan
You too.


Post Show/Recap

[00:32:31.000] – Allan
Welcome back, Rachel.

[00:32:32.470] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, with another great interview.

[00:32:34.870] – Allan
Yeah, I'm really, really proud of myself to get through that entire interview. And Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith. And not just breaking out, laughing because of Lost in Space, but…

[00:32:43.660] – Rachel
Oh, for sure.

[00:32:45.010] – Allan
He looks nothing like the Dr. Smith that were in the TV show or the movie. But it was just Dr. Smith. OK, well, yeah, but cool.

[00:32:54.970] – Rachel
The interview is great, you know, as a new personal trainer and just somebody who loves fitness in general when it comes to losing weight, I always gravitate to movement. I always think getting up and moving is a great way to burn off some calories. And in talking with you and listening to your podcast, you take more of a stance with food. You know, the kitchen is where weight loss happens. But actually, Dr. Smith gave us one more thing to think about. And that's where our mind is.

[00:33:22.310] – Allan
Yeah. If you haven't fixed your relationship with food, it's very hard to make a different way of eating a lifestyle. If you're saying, OK, now's a good time for me to change the way I'm eating, everything's looking good. It's you know, it's I made it past the football I cared about. And so the season's over. I can go ahead and do what I want, you know, do what I want to do.

[00:33:46.180] – Allan
If I didn't have a good relationship with food, then as soon as something came up, something terrible happened or something great happened, I would end up reverting back to my old ways of eating my old ways of everything. So any change that you want to have in your life, any change, regardless, it's going to take you getting your head there first.

[00:34:07.990] – Allan
And one of the one of the things I like to share with that is this concept of a Be-Do-Have. I'll talk to my clients about this all the time. But when I learned this is like this was this is a great little easy tool to think about. OK, so if you want to have something, don't start with what you want to have. Start with what it's like to be that person. Okay? So if I say I want to be a runner, well, then I have to I mean, I want to have a running. I want to be able to go out and run. Then I want to just be like a runner. What a runners do. They joined a running club, they buy new sneakers, they get out and actually run. And then you do. And that's the point is like now you consider yourself a runner. And so now you do, you run. So the Be-Do-Have is like just acting like you are that person doing the things that they do and then doing it and then you'll have what they have.

[00:35:06.820] – Allan
So if you're excited about going maybe see a family member finish a 5K or a 10K or something longer, maybe even a marathon, you know, like, gee, I wish I could run a marathon. Well, what a marathoners do. I mean, how are they? Well, they tend to be a little bit thinner only because they don't want to carry a whole lot. I was and I was 195 pounds. They called me a Clydesdale. I looked like a linebacker against everybody else that I was running with.

[00:35:34.960] – Allan
You just consider yourself a runner. So I was running stores, buying running shoes and running shorts and then I was out on the weekends doing my long runs or, you know, in the gym, doing my four hour marathon training workouts. And then I had it. I got out there and I ran my first marathon and then another one and then another one because I had become a marathoner. Until I ran the ultra. And I said, okay, I'm done, I'm going home, I'm tired.

[00:36:04.870] – Rachel
What a powerful mindset. What a powerful change and perspective.

[00:36:09.520] – Allan
Yeah. So you got to get your head right first. If you want a lifestyle change to stick, otherwise you're going to fall back on those bad habits because the crutches that are things that carry and we talked about that at Abby Langer, you know, it's really important for you to get your head right. And then the thing we talked about with Dr. Smith that I thought was really important was kind of a new way of thinking about goals.

[00:36:31.450] – Rachel
Yes, of course, he he mentioned the very smart goals and very was a new acronym I had not heard of either.

[00:36:39.070] – Allan
Well, he made it up. So..

[00:36:40.150] – Rachel
That's pretty cool.

[00:36:40.900] – Allan
Yeah, that's what happend. Okay, good. That's why I didn't know this before. Yeah. So do you want to go over very with them again.

[00:36:48.310] – Rachel
Yeah. So V stands for varied as and having different types of metrics to monitor. E is very effective, R is very responsible and Y is for yours. But varied, the V is really what caught my attention.

[00:37:02.680] – Allan
Yeah. And I'll say this, we talked to I mean I guess it was a week or so ago we talked about the, the different health measures. And so that's kind of the thing is if you're looking at your A1C and you're looking at how fast you can walk a mile and you're looking at how many times per week you're able to exercise and what you're keeping your macros are. Your calories that depending on how you want to approach your nutrition, then those are different goals. And so one of them, when things move, moving here and nothing's moving there, if you're tracking those different things, it's a little easier.

[00:37:41.990]
But I wanted to circle back around because we didn't really talk about SMART in the podcast. And so some people might not have heard of SMART goals. But a smart goal is basically specific, meaning you want to do a specific thing. So it's something that's tangible. The next is measurable. So you have to be able to measure it or you don't know that you're doing it. It has to be attainable. So if you set a goal saying I want to be an NFL football player, well, I would say if your listeners podcast probably not going to be able to attain that goal, you might want something a little bit more in line of what's possible to you. And then relevant meaning, OK, it applies to you, you know, so something that would be relevant would be, I want to eat better so I can improve my health and lose weight. Okay, so that's relevant. And then timely. So timely would be how often by when those types of things.

[00:38:42.050] – Allan
Now a lot of people will set a goal and they'll say, I want to lose 30 pounds in the next six months. And and it ticks all those general boxes. Is it specific, 30 pounds? Sure. It's measurable because you could step on the scale each day. It's attainable. I think someone who really puts their mind to it could lose 30 pounds in six months. It's relevant to them because if the doctors told them, lower your weight so you can lower your A1C and maybe get off the high blood pressure medicine, all those different things. And then it's timely. So you've set your six month goal. The problem with that is that that's something you also don't have control over.

[00:39:23.750] – Allan
So I'd love to be able to figure out another way to put another A in there, and that would be for action oriented. So instead of saying you want to lose 30 pounds, what are the actions that are necessary for you to be the person that weighs thirty pounds less? And you would think okay, well, a person who weighs thirty pounds less is more active. OK, so define that. OK, I want to exercise five times per week or six times per week. Okay? And you can be a little bit more specific to say I want to lift weights twice a week, I want to do mobility work twice a week and I want to do some cardiovascular work twice a week.

[00:40:05.690] – Allan
And that's that's your goals. Did you do your cardiovascular work twice this week? Yes or no. And it's within a week's time. So there you go. You know that's what you're supposed to have done. You could even take it out to a month and say, OK, I want nine strength training sessions per month. I want nine cardio sessions per month, and I want nine mobility's sessions. Now, don't wait until the last week.

[00:40:30.050] – Rachel
To get it all in a once?

[00:40:30.750] – Allan
And I try to do 18 workouts in seven days. You want to be careful with that and you do want it from a timeliness perspective to be something relatively soon. So not five years from now, I want to be six inches taller, you know, something that you can actually accomplish and something that's action oriented. So I know I need to work out or I know that I need to eat healthier and I'm going to define that in my terms of eating keto, someone else might say I need more vegetables. So I want to make sure that I have at least two to three servings of vegetables every day.

[00:41:08.690] – Allan
And that's initially that's attainable. And then they're like, Okay, that's pretty good. Now maybe I want to cut back on my starches and my pastas and my breads and just to lower my calories. And I'm not going to measure calories, but I'm just going to say I'm only going to have something white potato, starch, pasta or bread. I'm only going to have that twice a week.

[00:41:33.140] – Rachel
Sure.

[00:41:33.650] – Allan
One serving twice a week. And so that cuts down significantly maybe on what you were eating and now you're eating more vegetables. And if you listen to Abby Langer, you're putting more protein on your plate. And so now your whole macros and calories set is very, very different than the way you were eating before. But it's attainable. You've taken those bridge gaps and you say, okay, this is my goal.

[00:41:57.050] – Allan
Make it something you actually control and you'll be much more effective. I guess maybe that would slide into his effective thing, but an effective goal because you could do all of these things and your hormones are out of whack and you're like, I don't understand it. I'm eating 1200 calories a day. I'm drinking eight glasses of water and I'm walking 10,000 steps every day and the scales not moving. That's not in your control.

[00:42:22.850] – Rachel
Right.

[00:42:23.420] – Allan
But the walking was in your control. The water was in your control. And eating more healthy, all those things were in your control. You were doing the right things, so just stick with it. I'm right now, I'm starting my famine season. And so, you know, my first day of this is okay, how do I how do I control this? OK, well, I've got to keep my carbs low. I've got to watch my electrolytes. And so to go to the gym, I basically boiled a dozen eggs. I got my tuna and my Himalayan sea salt.

[00:42:58.390] – Rachel
Oh, there you go.

[00:42:59.950] – Allan
And so, it's just what is what's in my control. Those are those are actions. Have the food I need to set myself up and and then just charge on.

[00:43:09.640] – Rachel
I think that's great. Yeah. Being actionable and having the intention to be actionable is you're right. It's something that should be added to our goal setting for sure. And maybe even working with a trainer, Allan, because you have a lot of information and your podcast and there's a lot of articles out there and some people may not really think about all these little details.

[00:43:31.450] – Allan
Yeah, I would love to say that I was a provider of information outside of the podcast or whatever I do to an extent. A client will ask me a question about a certain thing and I'll give him or her my opinion on it. That happens all the time. But there's not a lack of information out there. The Internet is just chock full of stuff. Now, it could get very confusing because there's there's all this contrast out there. If someone believes that, someone's doing that. I go on you know, I go on to my fitness pal to check in on things and it's still the same conversation. Just just cut your calories. Just cut your calories.

[00:44:10.970] – Allan
And I'm like, okay, but they've done that, you know, they've done that. And it's not working for them. So you can't just say just cut your calories.

[00:44:17.860] – Rachel
Right.

[00:44:18.760] – Allan
It's almost a slap in the face for some people that have cut their calories to keep saying that when it's not working for them. So. You know, with with my 12-week program, the things that we're really focused on first and foremost is mindset, you know, and then and then beyond that, it's just those kind of simple, subtle change things that are in your control.

[00:44:41.190] – Allan
We can control this. So where do you want to set your line? Where do you want to start this this journey? And then we put that in place. And so it's all custom to them. And then it's like, okay, how much movement can you do? What equipment do you have in your house? Rachel, here, you've got a great little home set up and I just opened up the gym, so I've got a nice little set up. Not everybody has that.

[00:45:05.220] – Allan
Sometimes they have resistance bands, sometimes they have the human body, sometimes they're traveling, sometimes they're home, sometimes… So we all have our own little circumstances. And so, you know, what I'm there to do is basically just help them first, get the mindset and then get the lifestyle.

[00:45:23.040] – Rachel
Yep, that sounds great. Just move that needle.

[00:45:25.710] – Allan
And you're doing similar stuff with your running. You're saying, OK, if you're a runner and you know, you want to stay healthy and you know, you want to do your virtual 5K, 10K or 50 miler in the upcoming months, you've got to train your running. That's that's for certain. And there's a myriads of information out there about running. So you can find a program and you can follow a program. It's free on the Internet, but you still got to get your mindset right. And you've got to get that balance. So you have a program that helps runners maintain their strength and that's going help them stay healthy. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

[00:46:07.500] – Rachel
On my website strong-soles.com I have a runners' workout that you could download for free. It's bodyweight movements so you don't need any equipment. It goes through all the different planes of motions. It's all the main muscle groups that runners need to keep strong. And it's a great overall body, short activity that you could do a couple of times a week, which is a great place to get started.

[00:46:30.300] – Allan
Yeah. So if you're a runner or you want to be a runner and you want to do it the right way, go check out Rachel site. And someone who wants to lose some some fat, you know, and feel better and get a little bit more fit. You should message me or email me allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com and I'll give you some information. I'm going to be closing up the pre-launch on this pretty soon here because I've gotten… I'm getting close to my number of the cap number people. I didn't want to run too many people through the pre-launch because I wanted to make sure I had all of it in place. And the results have been just off the charts.

[00:47:07.560] – Rachel
Wonderful!

[00:47:07.580] – Allan
I am so excited! In an average of just a little over two weeks, seven of us so far have lost a cumulative 42 pounds.

[00:47:17.280] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh, that's incredible.

[00:47:20.340] – Allan
Yeah. So I've got some I've got some outliers. I got some guys that are really doing well and I've got some people that are, they're pulling in behind, but everybody's everybody's losing weight. They're feeling good. And, you know, they're just pretty excited about it. They're moving more. They're eating better. And it's just a really good, positive vibe in the group. So I'm really, really excited about what's going on here. And then again, I'll close it and then I'll do the actual kind of the launch thing sometime in March, either the first or the middle of March. But if you're interested in this, don't don't delay. Go ahead. Get on that. Email me and I'll get in.

[00:47:56.520] – Rachel
Excellent!

[00:47:57.240] – Allan
All right. So, Rachel, anything else you want to talk about before we say goodbye?

[00:48:01.380] – Rachel
Nope. That was a great interview, Allan, thanks so much.

[00:48:04.020] – Allan
Thank you. I'll talk to you next week.

[00:48:05.898] – Rachel
Bye now.

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