Eating is much more than incorporating nutrients into our bodies. It creates unbreakable bonds when we are babies; it can also be a way to show love and affection, celebrate, and the list goes on.
How we eat and what we eat are also determined by our financial status, culture, and of course, our state of mind. Our income will decide what meals we have access to, the culture we are immersed in might forbid or encourage the consumption of particular foods, and finally, our food choices under stress will definitely differ from when we are relaxed.
So, how do our social, environmental, and psychological reality affect our food choices, and what’s their link with obesity? Let’s find out!
In the first part of this two-part series about metabolism, Ted explained the biological reasons that cause obesity, debunked some myths about obesity and genetics, and established why the battle against excessive body fat is more about behavioral and hunger issues than genetics.
In this second and last part, Ted reveals the social, environmental, and psychological factors that influence obesity. He explores the cultural and familial connections between the food we eat and our eating behaviors, how our personal relationships and holiday environments affect our food choices, and the influence of social-economic status on how we eat.
Plus, he analyzes the roots of stress eating, how poor sleeping habits affect weight gain, and shares practical steps to manage your weight and keep it off.
- Factors that influence food behaviours
- How xulture and environment influence Eating
- Food access and obesity
- The key to lower body fat percentage
- What is socioeconomic status & how it affects your health
- The most-eaten vegetable in the US
- The influence of product marketing on food choices
- Why does stress causes people to overeat
- The biological addictive potential of food & how to deal with it
- How do we respond to stress
- Why you should not exercise hard when stressed out
- Counting Calories: Get back to weight loss basics
- The benefits of resistance training especially in adults
- Setting realistic goals & understanding nutrition and exercise
- And much more…
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If you’re ready to have the body you deserve, look and feel younger, and say goodbye to time-consuming workouts and crazy diets, we can help you.
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Podcast Transcription: Metabolism & Weight Loss: Does Metabolism Matter in Weight Loss? (And What to Do About It) with Ted Ryce (Part 2)
Ted Ryce: So very important to understand, in fact, I’m not going to get into this today. But some of the best things you can do for your overall health are to be educated. Making $75,000 a year, can really help you with your health, somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to $75,000 a year, can really help you with your health. There’s even research showing that. So, these are important things and affect where you live, affect who you hang out with, and certainly affect your access to healthier food.
What’s up, my friend? Welcome back to another episode of the Legendary Life podcast. I’m your host, Ted Ryce, health expert and coach to executives, entrepreneurs and other high- performing professionals. And if you’re just tuning in for the first time, what we do here on the Legendary Life podcast is we dive deep into science-based information on how to lose fat, prevent disease, and live a longer, healthier, legendary life. So, if you’re just tuning in, and if that sounds good to you, you are in the right place.
Now today is the second part of my two-part obesity series. If you haven’t listened to the first one, I talk about the biological factors that influence obesity. So, I don’t just talk about metabolism, although we do talk about it, why your metabolism slows down over time as you get older, and more importantly, what you can do about it.
But we talk about genetics as well, and we talk about some of the other biological factors, hormones and other things. So, if you haven’t listened to that episode, you really want to check that out first.
Now today, we’re going to be talking about the social factors that affect obesity, we’re going to talk about the environmental factors, we’re going to be talking about stress and obesity.
And I’m going to give you some solid steps to manage your weight, to lose the fat, to keep it off so that you understand what you’re up against here because so many people don’t. So many people even come into my coaching program and think it’s going to be a walk in the park, that it’s just a matter of learning the right things and doing them which it is, it is.
But for a lot of people, they get thrown off by psychological factors, they get thrown off by the people that they hang out with, or their families or the stress that comes from their work or other places. So, we’re going to dive into all that and more.
Okay, so let’s jump into the social, environmental, and psychological factors that affect obesity. I want you to pay special attention to this episode, because we’re going to talk about important things here. I’m going to want you to think about this. So many of us, we want to find biological reasons.
Oh, it’s the endocrine disrupting chemicals in my shampoo and body lotion that are making me fat. Oh, it’s the genetically modified foods that are making me fat. It’s the hormones in the food that are making me fat, or it’s my hormones that are making me fat. Or it’s my genes. I mean, the list of, really, excuses go on, and on and on. It’s like, it’s got to be that, it’s got to be something, it’s got to be some chemicals in their environment, right? It’s got to be something wrong with my physiology. It can’t be so simple.
Does that sound familiar? Does that line of thinking sound familiar? I know it does, because I used to be there. I used to think it was these complicated biological factors that affected my weight. I gained a lot of weight, was nearly obese in terms of body fat percentage and BMI when I was in my mid/late 30s, and I even checked my hormones and saw that my estrogen levels were higher than what they should have been.
And I even thought that it was… I did something to my metabolism in my 20s, maybe I skipped one too many nights of sleep, staying up all night partying in Miami Beach, training, all the celebrities and millionaires and getting invited all these parties. I thought I really damaged myself, is what I’m getting at. Because it couldn’t be any of the other things.
It couldn’t be that it was just eating too much, not moving enough, hanging out with people who would go out to the Cheesecake Factory and get these big plates of food and always finish them, because they’re starving kids in third world countries, so you need to eat all your food, even if it just makes you fat, and you’re not sending it to those countries to feed the people in need.
What I’m getting at is there’s so many familial and cultural connections to the food that we eat, and to our eating behaviours. I’m in Mexico right now, one thing that’s really obvious is the plates of food are much smaller here. And I want you to think about someday: do you measure how much food that you eat? Or do you just eat what’s on your plate? Of course, you just eat what’s on your plate.
And so, if someone puts a lot on your plate, you’re going to be more inclined to eat everything that’s on that plate. Especially if you grew up like I did, “Hey, they’re starving kids in other countries, and they would be grateful to have the food that you have, so you better eat your food,” right? Another thing I want you to think about is some of my clients, and certainly myself in some situations, I mean, food is often a way to express love, or nurturance.
Do you really want to tell grandma that you’re not going to eat her family famous—maybe not world famous, but family famous chocolate chip cookies, or apple pie, or whatever it is? It’s a way for us to demonstrate love and nurturance for each other. I mean, what do we do when someone is sick, you bring them some chicken soup, right? And it’s a way to also respect traditions and holidays.
Are you going to be an American and not eat turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving? Are you going to not eat barbecue on Fourth of July? And so many of my coaching clients, by the way, struggle with this stuff before they join my coaching program. And one of the things that I do is I show you that you can eat barbecue on Fourth of July, you can eat a slice of wedding cake at your best friend’s wedding, you can eat these things in these social situations and still be lean. You just have to know how to do it.
And what I also teach is you don’t want to be the weirdo who’s having the salad while everybody’s eating barbecue. Now, I’m not telling you that you have to eat barbecue, if you don’t like it, or turkey and stuffing, if you don’t like it, but what I’m saying is if you feel like you’re depriving yourself and you’re disconnecting yourself from others, that’s an issue and I don’t need to tell you that, you feel it.
I had a client who brought Tupperware to holiday meals. So, these are the other things that influence our food choices, our eating behaviors, and I want you…Now I’m giving a bunch of general examples or examples from coach clients that I’ve worked with or personal examples, but I want you to think about your situation.
How does your relationship with the people in your life, how does the holiday environments, because we’re coming into the end of the year here, how do those things influence how much you eat, what you choose to eat, whether you say yes to that second serving of moms stuffing, or whatever?
So, I want you to understand this: there are these cultural and family influences that are a big deal. And I want you to think about this. What if you showed up with a Keto meal packed away in Tupperware or a vegetarian meal or a vegan meal, or a paleo meal? How would that go over? Your family will give you a hard time, and not because they don’t love you and don’t support you, at least hopefully they do, hopefully, they love and support you. Not everyone has a great family, there’s quite a bit of dysfunction.
But for the most part, I would think that they love and support you, but you’re disconnecting from them, you’re doing something different from them. So, I want you to think about how your relationships with people and how the environments that you find yourself in: the holidays, the parties, the social gatherings, how that influences what you choose to drink and eat.
Another thing that influences us is that there are people who don’t have access to high quality food. One of the things that I look for in a place when I’m choosing to live somewhere is what is the access to healthy food? Are there restaurants with good options? Or is it a bunch of fast food? In America, especially, is it a bunch of fast food? Is it a bunch of Waffle Houses and Burger Kings and McDonald’s and Taco Bell’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken?
Or are there some good, you know, do you have access to good quality food? Is it easy to find? How close are you to a supermarket where you get fruits, vegetable, and lean meats? I want you to think about that for you. Are you in an environment? Now maybe you can’t move, especially now with COVID going on, but you can certainly start to realize, ah, things are stacked against me here and they’re challenges. And we can overcome challenges if we’re motivated enough.
But I will tell you this: it’s easier for people who are in an area where there’s abundant fresh food. And it’s going to be harder for people who are in what are called food deserts, or food swamps—they keep changing the names. So, if it’s more convenience food that you’re surrounded by, fast food, that’s going to make it harder. Now it doesn’t make it impossible, because again, remember calories in, versus calories out. That’s the key to losing and maintaining the body fat level that you want.
But these social factors, they influence it because it can be a little bit harder to eat fast food and stay lean. Now in some ways, because actually a lot of fastfood places, they will give you the calorie count. And if you’re not tracking, if you’re saying, “Oh, nothing works for me, and I eat fast food all the time.”
Well, try track it. Download my Fitness Pal or Lose It, or one of the apps and track your intake and you will see that if you’re struggling to lose weight, you will see very obviously, you’re eating a lot more than what you think in terms of calories. Another thing is that…So some of us are in toxic food environments, the food deserts, the food swamps.
Another thing that happens is that if you’re struggling financially, or more academically put, if you have low socio-economic status, it’s going to be a tougher situation for you. And I want to say this again, and I’ll explain what socio-economic status is in a second, but low socio-economic status in a rich country, right? Because if you’re in a poor country, you’re likely not overweight or obese, you’re likely on the thin side, maybe too thin.
But if we’re talking about the United States, if we’re talking about Canada, the UK, if you’re on the lower SES side, you’re going to probably struggle; struggle to live in a neighborhood with good access to food, struggle to be able to afford good quality food, even though it’s definitely doable, but it takes some education.
And certainly, the stress that comes from being low soci- economic status is going to influence your behavior as well. We’ll talk about that a bit later when we get to the stress and obesity. And what is socioeconomic status? Most of you probably have heard that term, some of you probably know what it means. But it’s comprised of three things. Number one, your income, not straightforward enough. Number two, your education level.
So, if you have a high school education, it’s going to be very different than if you have a master’s degree, and then your social status in society, you’re standing in society, and it’s something that we don’t like to talk about, but it’s perceived status in society. So, for example, even if you’re making $100,000 a year as a garbage man—I don’t know if that’s a real thing or not, I’m just using it as an example—you’re not going to be going to cocktail parties.
And people with PhDs might be making half of what you’re making. But it’s not going to come with the same sort of impressive— people aren’t going to perk up and go, “Oh, you’re a garbage person,” or man or woman, or whatever, right? So, even if you’re doing well financially, if you’re not viewed, if you don’t have the perception—and it’s not just other people’s perception, it’s your own perception as well.
So that’s what socio - economic status is, I don’t want to go off on too much of a tangent. But all those things are important. If we view ourselves at the lower end of the totem pole, or the hierarchy, or whatever you want to say it, in society, lower end of the status continuum of society, that’s going to affect us. Likewise, our education, certainly going to affect us, and with our ability to comprehend, say, science, for example. And also, the amount of money is going to affect us as well.
So very important to understand—in fact, I’m not going to get into this today. But some of the best things you can do for your overall health, or to be educated. Making $75,000 a year, can really help you with your health, somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to $75,000 a year, can really help you with your health. There’s even research showing that. So, these are important things and affect where you live, affect who you hang out with, and certainly affect your access to healthier food.
Another thing comes to just, you know, it’s not all how much money you have. I remember…hopefully, you don’t get too triggered by me mentioning his name, but I remember seeing Donald Trump eating McDonald’s—it was McDonald’s or Burger King—on Air Force One. And here’s the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful person on the in the world, on the most important airplane in the world, arguably, let’s say, right, for those of you who are tuning in from different countries, and here he is eating McDonald’s.
So, it’s not all SES status, it comes from our culture as well. And in the United States, I want to ask you a question. What do you think the number one vegetable is in the United States? Any guesses? If you said potatoes, you’re on the right track. But more specifically, a quarter of the vegetable consumption in the United States is french fries. French fries. So taking a potato, which is a solid vegetable, by the way, but deep frying it in oil. That’s an example of how culture influences our food choices. Think about that. Of the 300 million people or whatever it is, in the United States, a quarter of them eat french fries. Or I’m sorry, a quarter of the vegetable consumption of people in the United States is french fries.
Something that you may not have known is that the portion sizes have really increased over the past 20 or 30 years. I mean, before we did…and I’m not even talking about the era of supersizing, I’m talking about bagels have increased in size over the years, something to pay attention to, because what do you do? Do you measure your bagel, or you just eat a bagel? Well, what if that bagel has doubled in size over the past 20 or 30 years, but you’ve been eating only one bagel for the past 20 or 30 years?
And that portion size has crept up, crept up, crept up. And for you, you say, “Well, I’m not doing anything different. I only one bagel.” But portions have changed in the United States over the past 20 or 30 years. And, of course, marketing has changed, too. And it’s more aggressive than ever. I’m personally not exposed to much of it because I just stream mostly. I hardly ever watch TV, and I mean hardly ever. It’s probably just a couple hours a year of actual television, if even that.
I stream, and so I’m not subject to ads, but I want to suggest you, especially your children is the most vulnerable, and also targeted demographic of our population. In 2013, during the average time a child spends watching TV amounts to about 10,000 TV ads throughout their childhood. And 95% of those ads are for sugary cereal, soda, candy, and fast food. And in addition, these days, we’re serving them fast food…
Now I don’t have kids, I don’t know what’s going on in school. But I know that we’ve taken Phys ed out of school and again, pizza with pizza sauce on it is considered a vegetable at some schools. I mean, they’re just in big trouble in terms of being set up for success in terms of their health, in terms of their weight.
Now, it’s different now because it’s 2020, about to be 2021. A lot of kids are watching YouTube. But the same thing is happening, the ads are just…So they’re not watching TV. TV time is down to its lowest for children, but they’re just on YouTube, they’re just online, and they’re being subjected to the same types of commercials. Something to think about.
Something to think about when it comes to—if you have children, what are they being exposed to? Are they watching these ads? And then is that affecting what they asked you to buy when you go food shopping? Something to consider. Let’s change gears a bit and talk about stress and obesity, because stress affects the food choices that we make. It also affects whether we choose to be physically active.
Let me ask you something. Do you reach for a salad when you’re stressed? In fact, a research that I found said that 65% of us— and I’m talking about Americans here—reach for candy or chocolate when we’re stressed. 56% of people who responded to a different study said that they reach for ice cream when they’re stressed.
And I did find one study that said—you might be asking, “Well, is there anybody who reaches for fruit when they’re stressed or eat vegetables?” Yeah, I did find a study that said 14% of people eat fruit when they’re stressed and 8% of people eat vegetables. So, of course, partly culture, for sure. But it seems that our brain chemistry also makes us more predisposed to choosing the ice cream when we’re stressed.
Predisposed to, personally when I was going through my dad’s issues, his health issues. As many of you know, he died on October 3. Leading up to it was pretty tough health wise. In fact, this whole year for him was really tough health wise. And when I went home, and I was helping him, I found myself—and I shared this, you may remember me talking about it. I was eating a ton of ice cream cake, ton of key lime pie.
I knew what I was doing. I knew that I was eating too much. And I just really couldn’t stop myself. I was so stressed. I didn’t know what else to do. And we’ll talk about this a bit. It wasn’t just that I was stress eating and I had, you know, like I couldn’t control myself. But I was coping differently when I was in Colombia, and a lot of those things changed. I had a gym I was working out in, or I had a good situation to work out in, even during the quarantine, even when I wasn’t going to the gym.
And then I was in a place, it was harder to work out, it was harder to get a good routine going. So, it makes it harder when we’re stressed. It puts an up hill battle in front of us that so many of us, we end up giving up. So, let’s talk a little bit about the addictive potential of food. So, there’s dozens and dozens of studies that have looked into the biological addictive potential of food, and it seems that some people do genuinely develop addiction to food.
So, what I want you to think about here is binge eating disorder. So, if you’re binging and you throw up and then you eat more. We’re talking binge eating disorder. Look it up for more details. But if that isn’t you, then most of us are just suffering from the Paleolithic wiring of our brain, our brain simply tricks us into eating more than we intended, and into making worse food choices than we planned.
One thing that happens is that our reward pathways in our brain—I’ve talked a lot about this, and the best person to learn from, with regards to this is a man named Stephen Guyenet. He talks—and I’ve interviewed Stephen several times, I think, three times, or maybe even four on this podcast. The reward pathways in our brain are activated by junk foods or foods that we enjoy.
Consequently, we’re compelled to make these choices to eat these junk foods. So, again, the deck is stacked against us. Now we can choose otherwise. But again, it’s an uphill battle. And so one of the things that we do when people join our program, is we give them a bit of a jumpstart, where we take foods out. The way to get past food cravings, by the way, is to take out the foods that you’re craving, and to not give in to the cravings. And eventually, they will become less and less.
Now again, I’m not talking about full blown food addiction here or binge eating disorder. For that, you would want to talk to someone who specializes in that. I don’t deal with that. You would want to talk… I don’t even have someone who I could recommend you to. But you’d want to talk to a psychologist who specializes in binge eating disorder. That’s a psychological/brain problem.
What I’m talking about is the same thing that most of us are suffering from, including myself. I had some key lime pie last night, or key lime pie dessert last night, had a great steak dinner. Overall, fairly good choices, had filet mignon, had little tiny side of potatoes, which were delicious, had some grilled vegetables, which were also pretty good, had a side of mushrooms with chimichurri on it, and so pretty good.
But then dessert came around, and I ended up eating the dessert. Now I want to tell you this: I’m pretty lean right now, and I’m getting leaner. But I still felt bad after eating that key lime dessert. I ended up eating most of it, and I felt stuffed afterwards. And I was driven to get that key lime pie, because it looked so delicious. It’s just that pleasure that you get.
And if you’re in a situation where you’re a bit stressed, which you know, I am a little bit still. We’re constantly fighting against our brains desire to eat those higher calorie foods. And I want you to think about this. We look at it as a bad thing, right? Because in the modern world, it works against us. It makes it harder to be lean and healthy at a weight and body fat percentage that is low risk.
But I want you to think about this. This is how our brains evolved to protect us from starving to death. So, we’re fighting against our history, we’re fighting against the way our brain is wired. Now, what can we do? Well, we could think of public health interventions that might reengineer food availability.
But that’s… I don’t have a lot of trust in our politician. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of trust in our politicians to be acting rationally, and really helping curb the obesity epidemic, especially when there’s so many things going on, apart from it, right? with the COVID situation.
But what I want to tell you is if you’re a person like myself that tends to succumb to your brain getting hijacked by the delicious desserts, you might want to consciously think about developing new habits and ways that you limit your exposure to these high calorie foods. And again, if you’re a person who is under a lot of stress right now, which so many people are, you’ve got to maybe think about developing new habits and the ways that you respond to stress.
So, I want you to think about that. How do you respond to stress? What are the stressors in your life right now and I don’t mean—stress can be positive or negative. There’s eustress, and distress. So, eustress would be I go to the gym and stress myself, and I ended up getting in better shape as a result, because I appropriately stress myself, then appropriately recover from it.
But then there’s distress like, oh my gosh, we’re in the COVID crisis pandemic situation and I can’t stop looking at the terrible news with the infection spiking every day. Oh my gosh! Even though I know obesity and metabolic syndrome are probably even more important than what my age is, when it comes to having severe complications from COVID. I can’t stop myself from eating and getting fat. And I’m not even aware of how many steps I’m getting during this lockdown.
So, those are the things that are stacked against you when it comes to dealing with stress. So you’ve got to think about how am I dealing with stress. And I’ve talked about this last time, there’s two different types of coping with stress. I’ve talked about this in the previous Real Talk Friday. There’s dealing with the emotional side, and then there’s dealing with the problem-solving side.
So you want to listen to my last Real Talk Friday, I go into the different types of ways of responding distress. So another thing that we might want to try is realizing that our behaviors—paying attention to things like sleeping if we’re stressed. We need to sleep more when we’re stressed.
But most of us sleep less, we need to develop the habit of exercising when we’re stressed and not going to the gym and crushing yourself or working out at home and crushing yourself with that high intensity interval training program you got off of YouTube, I’m talking about getting an appropriate amount of exercise. So if you’re already stressed and trying to push yourself extremely hard with exercise, that might backfire on you.
But what can work is going for a walk. Exercise is a powerful, potent stress reduction tool. But most of us exercise less when we’re stressed, instead of more. Just a few things for you to consider. Now, I want to talk about this. I want to talk about what you’re up against here. So we talked about the stress situation, we’ve talked about the cultural situation, we’ve talked about socioeconomic status, we’ve talked about our brains wiring.
But I also want you to know this: weight Management is a multi-billion dollar industry. And I’m part of that; it’s done very well for me. I’m not tooting my own horn here. I’m just telling you the state of the situation. My business has gotten better, since COVID happened, since everybody came online. Now granted, I had an online business, which I had been trying to do for seven, you know, for a long time, I’ve been after creating an online business for myself. I just thought it was the future, and it was certainly what I wanted to do.
But it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. People say a lot of different things. And a lot of it is to make money. And I want you to know this: when we talk about diets, what we’re really talking about is a reduction in calories and behaviors that help manage weight, right? A lot of what we talked about today, a lot of what we talk about in general on this podcast. But I want you to know this: if you can simply start improving your nutrition, that’s a good place to start.
If you can start being more active, even 15 minutes can do so much for your body. I used to believe that if you’re not going to go to the gym for an hour, you’re wasting your time if you do anything. Now it’s the opposite. I walked 18,000 steps yesterday. In addition to doing a Thai boxing class. I am more active at a lower intensity than ever.
So we’re talking about reducing calories. And how you reduce them is up to you, but just understand, a calorie reduction is behind how every diet works. And reducing calories is one side of the coin. The other side is to is to start moving more, as you’ve heard for so many years, probably didn’t believe, just like me, but when I started measuring things, that’s when everything started changing for me.
So, I noticed a difference if I hit 10,000 or more steps per day, versus if I do less. I noticed it’s way easier to stay lean. It’s way easier to eat the foods that I want and to not overdo the calories. I can squeeze in….I’m getting leaner and eating keylime pie. So what I’m telling you here is if you can be data-driven, it is the most powerful way. So start tracking your calories, start tracking your steps, start paying attention to how many days per week you go to the gym.
Just FYI, I use my Oura Ring to track my steps. I wear my Oura Ring all the time. You can use anything. And make sure, again, you’re moving enough, because so many of us, especially if you’re somewhere during a lockdown, you’re not moving enough. And we talked about how dangerous that can be to your health.
So again, because our metabolic rate changes, we want to think about, you know, not just increasing our physical activity, but making sure we do resistance training exercise, because just walking 10,000 steps per day, it can do wonders, right? Or 10,000 or more steps per day, can do wonders. And I’m just kind of throwing it out there arbitrarily. I don’t want to dive into whether it should be 8000 or 10,000, or 12,000, or 15,000. But the answer to it is, are you getting results.
But I also want to talk about resistance training. It’s something that I don’t enjoy that much anymore, to be honest, but I do it because it’s like brushing and flossing. Our metabolism goes down every year, if we’re not—because we’re losing muscle, by the way—if we’re not doing resistance training, and even eventually, age will catch up to us, probably in the 60s or 70s, maybe 80s, right? But it will be harder to maintain the muscle.
So, you’ve got to be smarter and more consistent with how you train with resistance to make sure that your metabolism isn’t slowing down. Or else you’re in that situation that so many people are in. They don’t exercise, they eat the same amount, and they’re losing muscle every year, and certainly, every decade. And they’re not changing the amount they eat and they eat—in fact, they probably eat more or at least drink more, right? With the frappuccinos or glasses of wine or scotch or beer at night.
And so be on top of this. So, another thing I want to talk about is setting realistic goals. So, the first thing I would tell you is— it depends on the person, of course, but what I would emphasize to you is be as fit as possible at your current weight. So many of the people who do the best in my coaching program, they’re already crushing it with exercise, but they’re not losing weight because they don’t understand nutrition.
Shout out to Scott, I know I mentioned him a lot in the past few episodes, but Scott has lost over 30 pounds in my program. He was exercising a lot. And he was not losing any weight. And then he’s lost 30 pounds in three months—that’s an average of 10 pounds per month. Just crazy—once I got him dialled in nutrition wise, once I showed him what to do.
But if you’re like, “what are you doing?” “Oh, I’m sitting on the couch.” “Have you ever been in great shape?” “Nope, but I want to be in great shape now.” It’s like, “Well, star…” You know, I talked to some people who want to join my coaching program… And I know this may come as a shock to some of you. But I don’t take everybody in my coaching program. The people who just want to throw money at me and hope that solves all their problems, I don’t usually take on. If I feel like a person isn’t that committed or they’ve got too much stress in their life and they’re just hoping that I can help them...
Especially if they’re like, “Oh, well, tell me how much it costs, because I’m also broke, I’m stressed, I’m fat, I’m broke.” I don’t take those people because I don’t think it’s going to work for them. I think they need…And this doesn’t just go for me, but you’re going to have to do some upfront work. You’ve got to…It’s like, the military doesn’t take everybody; you’ve got to be at a certain level, or they don’t even let you in.
And so what I want you to ask yourself is, am I doing my best right now? Because that’s going to come from inside you. And if you’re really struggling to change your behavior, I’m going to dive into behavior change on oncoming episodes, but I want to tell you, that’s a psychological problem. And I’ll tell you what I told my dad when he was still alive, I’m like “Dad, you need therapy. You need therapy. You’re dealing with too much emotional stuff here. Because not being able to take actions to take care of yourself, that’s a psychological problem.”
So maybe that’s a good place to start, if you feel just like you’re being crushed. I’ve worked with someone off of Talkspace for the majority of this year. That was a good place to get some help with some of the things I was struggling with, and it helped immensely. So these are all the things that you should consider, when it comes to…Actually, we’re just scratching the surface, really, but these are just some of the things, is what I should say, right?
Realizing our environments and how they affect our food choices and eating behaviors, realizing our relationships with people and how that affects our food choices and eating behaviors. Stress levels, and how that affects our food choices and eating behaviors. Realizing that the deck is stacked against us when it comes to hyper palatable foods, the delicious foods that our brains are just attracted to, like key lime pie, in my case, versus chicken and broccoli. So, understanding the deck is stacked against us.
To change your weight in this world, in this modern world of convenience and convenience foods, and what I mean convenience is working while sitting on your butt, it’s a big undertaking, it’s a big undertaking, and in fact, the deck is stacked against you. And during a lockdown or limited ability to go out and be social, like so many of us are, whether that’s because of government restrictions, or you just don’t want to go out and be hanging out with other people when there’s this virus running around, that may lead to less activity. It’s something that you need to keep in mind.
So those are all things that are worth considering. I’ll tell you the biggest things that I’ve had success with myself and with clients is number one, being data-driven. Making sure you’re okay, how many times per week am I going to the gym? How long am I spending there? What type of workouts am I doing? Am I adding in some resistance training to maintain my muscle, to maintain/grow my muscle? Am I getting enough steps in every day, every week?
Am I making sure that I stay away from the goodies as much as possible and make it harder to get the goodies and make it easier to make healthier choices? Am I managing my stress well? Or am I just reaching for sugary goodness, junkie goodness, every time something goes wrong, or when I get stressed out? These are the things that are going to affect whether you are healthy, whether you end up obese or overweight.
And these are all things that you can take action on, right? Dieting skills, like self-monitoring, managing the foods that you have in your house and making sure that even though you have good willpower, make sure that you’re setting up your environment to lead you to success. Also making sure that there are days when you can flex a little bit and have the key lime pie, again, in my…Or chocolate croissant, something I’ve been enjoying here frequently. So those are all things that can really work for you.
And I’ll tell you, more physical activity, don’t think about it as burning calories, as much as, hey, I’m doing this so that I can be my healthiest, I can be my fittest. Do it. Even if you’re not losing weight, you’re still getting benefits. A lot of people have what’s called medically benign obesity. So you don’t have the metabolic problems associated with having a lot of body fat because you’re out there busting your butt with exercise.
It’s worse to be lacking in fitness, even if you’re at normal weight. A lot of people in our society think they’re good just because they have a normal weight or they’re not obviously obese or overweight, but they’re not fit at all because they don’t work their body. It’s just not how the body works. And how much should you do? 30 to 60 minutes per day, most days of the week.
The CDC will say 150 minutes per week. I would say 30 to 60 minutes every day. Get those steps in. Do something. I do rehab exercises for my back. Every single day, I do something and it goes a long way. A little bit goes a long way. So, keep that in mind. So, I hope you learned a lot, and I would ask you, what is your big takeaway from today’s podcast? What is the big mental shift that you’ve gotten from listening to today?
And most importantly, what are you going to do different because there’s a big issue with talking about things listening to things but not ever taking any action.
So, what will you do differently after having listened to this episode for today? That is the question that I want to leave you with.and I will speak to you on Friday.
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