In this new 5-part series called “Make 2023 Your Best Year Ever”, Ted will address the biggest diet problems that stop you from losing weight, reclaiming your health, and creating the body you deserve in 2023.
In part 1, Ted explains why after years of trying and failing, most people believe it is not possible to get in shape (and what to do about it).
In part 2, Ted talks about the underlying reasons why we overeat, why most coaches don’t talk about it, and how to conquer emotional eating.
In part 3, Ted explains why most people can’t lose weight no matter what (and what to do to finally get the body you deserve.)
In part 4, Ted talks about the faulty idea the fitness and health industry is built upon: that restrictive behavior is the only path to weight loss. He explains why paleo diets, whole 30, or any other restrictive diets fail every time, the importance of commitment to small things, and setting realistic expectations. Plus, he goes through the subtle art of setting yourself for success, how to avoid injuries, and so much more.
This series is based on 22 years of experience, including real-life strategies developed, tested, and refined while working with hundreds of high achievers who want to lose fat and transform their bodies while growing their businesses or careers. Tune in so you can make 2023 your best year ever!
- Why being consistent with healthy habits is so hard
- Why quick diets and short-term goals are easy to achieve and why you should focus on long-term success
- How unrealistic expectations can hold you back in your fat loss journey
- What’s the best way to avoid injuries, and why most people get hurt as soon as they start losing fat
- Why you shouldn’t be so harsh on yourself
- How’s your environment sabotaging your fat loss journey
- Why it is crucial to deal with the underlying reasons why you overeat
- And much more…
Want To Lose Fat, Transform Your Body & Live Your Best Life In 2023?
The 2023 enrollment for the Legendary Life Coaching Program is OPEN!
If you sign up in the next five days, you’ll get a special bonus: 2 Extra Weeks for FREE, so you can get started right away and already have results before Christmas.
All you have to do is schedule a 15-min strategy call and you’ll lock in your SPECIAL HOLIDAY bonus.
Go to legendarylifepodcast.com/apply and schedule your 15-min strategy call with me.
Hurry up because we only have 8 spots available for group coaching and 3 spots available for private coaching!
Let’s make 2023 the year you’ve created the body you always wanted.
Podcast Transcription: Make 2023 Your Best Year Ever: Why Strict Diets & Extreme Workouts Don't Work Long-Term (And What Works For High Achievers Over 40)
Ted Ryce: Let me know if this sounds familiar. On Monday, you tell yourself, “No more bread, pasta, rice, pizza ever again.” But by Friday you're like, “You know what? I’ll have a third slice of pizza.” And then Sunday rolls around, you're like, “I hate myself. I have no willpower. I'm a loser. You know what? Next week I'm getting rid of all the goodies in my house, I'm going to toss out everything that I think is unhealthy. There's unhealthy food, it's got to stop.”
And then Monday rolls around and you're like, “Oh, got to go grocery shopping. I threw out all the food.” So, I'm kind of joking here, but I think you're getting what I'm putting down—at least I hope so. The problem is consistency with healthy habits is hard.
And contrary to what the diet industry and tough talking fitness influencers on Instagram would have you believe, it's not because you lack discipline. It's because the weight loss industry is built around the idea that restrictive behaviors are the recipe for success, combined with a food environment that's rapidly changed in the past a hundred years.
So, what is up, my friend? And welcome back to the podcast. I'm your host, Ted Ryce, coach for over 23 years. And we work with founders, entrepreneurs, and busy professionals to help them lose fat, boost energy, and make this into a lifestyle so that they never have to go on another diet again.
And the very transparent reason for this podcast is because I want to teach you the best strategies I've learned in two decades to help you achieve faster and sustainable results with your health. And the other side is some of you are going to want me to guide you along the way, and some of you are going to become clients. So, if you're interested in taking that next step, you'll know who to call.
So, let's jump into it. Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, 75 Hard, Orange Theory, CrossFit, competing in triathlons and marathons. These are all strategies that clients have tried in the past but they couldn't keep up. Why? Well, the problem with keto and low carb is that you're never going to eat a slice of bread again. It's hard to keep up because of the restrictions.
Paleo is even more restricting because you can have bread, but you’ve got to find like the paleo bread. You have to order it online and it, you know, it's just tough to do Paleo. I actually had someone tell me that he and his wife got great results doing the Whole 30, but they had to stay home. He literally told me that he had to stay home and had a nonexistent social life, and they started getting a little depressed because the Whole 30 didn't allow them to hang out with their friends.
When it comes to workout routines and sport competitions, injuries are usually the reason my clients stop. And by the way, it's not just my clients. I've made these mistakes too. When I was in my 20s, I worked out like crazy. I trained Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I was addicted. I'm a recovering Brazilian jiu-jitsu addict, training three to five times a week.
Sometimes I would train for like three hours in a day. It was crazy what I used to do. And then I lifted weights a couple times on top of it, and I followed a strict low carb diet, or at least that's what I thought, because hey, I wasn't tracking, but pretty sure I was. I also thought that walking was for wimps and doing cardio, that was for people who were afraid to lift heavy weights or do interval training.
Yes, I know, I was an idiot, but now I'm 45 and my approach has changed a lot. I walk daily. You'd probably be unimpressed with my workout. I eat a lot of croissants—well, at least recently, and I'm getting leaner by the way. I take breaks from my workouts if I feel my joint. My social life and stress reduction practices are as important as my workouts.
In fact, I've got to knock out this episode right now because I'm going to be on my way to the Hyatt Spa here in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, to meet my friends and to do some—yeah, it's got a cold plunge, but I'll be mostly spending time in the jacuzzi and sauna.
So, I started realizing that if I'm going to be in great health when I'm in my seventies and eighties… Am I going to live into my nineties? I don't know. Or a hundred? I don't know. But if I'm going to make it there with good health and not be like how my parents were, it starts with sustainable habits that I create now.
So I want to get into the lessons that I've learned about this over the past five years, and I'm going to share some personal examples as well as examples from my clients. And the first lesson is, you must commit to doing always something, or you must commit to always doing something. I've talked about this a lot in the past.
The other side of this is the “all or nothing” mindset. The all or nothing mindset, it's pervasive in a lot of areas of life, not just health, but with specific to health, people feel like if they can't be on a strict diet, they can't be in shape. If they can't commit to working out five times a week for 90 minutes each time or whatever the ridiculous expectation is, they can't get in shape.
And so they go through this process of starting and stopping and starting and stopping, getting in shape and losing the weight. Then the weight comes back and they get out of shape and it's just this endless cycle of starting and stopping. And I can't talk a lot about this through personal experience because the time that...
Well, I guess, you know what? I want to change that. If I had to say where I was guilty of all or nothing, because I'm going to cover this a bit later, but I'll say I would go too hard and injure myself all the time, and then I would get depressed and stop training at all. So, it took me a long time—and this is going to sound pretty obvious to you, or at least I hope it does, but it took me a long time to realize that when my knee hurts, I can still train my upper body or I can do mobility work.
Or actually now what I do if my knee hurts, I know a ton of exercises that can get my body back working the very next day. In fact, this happened to me the other day, my knee started hurting quite bad and I was like, “Oh man, it feels terrible.” It felt like a really bad injury, but I was able to the very next day get it back feeling good again.
So anyway, I'm going off on a little bit of a tangent here, but the point is, you've got to commit to always doing something, no matter if you're injured, “Oh, but I can't work out when I'm injured.” Yes, you can, but you need to do the right things. You need to commit to always doing something nutrition wise.
Nutrition is one of the—it's hardest psychologically, but it's easiest because you're always eating. What I mean by that is exercising, you have to take time out of your day to go do, and you could get away with not exercising. For long term, that's really doesn't work out well for you at all, but you can do it short term.
Short term, you can't go without food. You're always having to eat something. So with every meal that you eat and every snack that you have, you have an opportunity to make a choice and you can certain make better choices. But what happens is people go all or nothing here, and if they have a little bit of a slip up, they say, “Ah, I just screwed up. Might as well just forget about it. I'm just going to let the floodgate loose. I'm going to eat everything.”
That is a problem. And this all or nothing mindset is probably going on in other areas of your life. So the emotionally healthy way to approach fitness is to commit to always doing something. And I want to tell you how I do this now because I—I don't want to say I have a stressful lifestyle, but the reality is I have stress. A lot of it's self-imposed, meaning I flew from Madrid to Mexico. It was a long flight. I was jet lagged. Took me a while to recover. I couldn't just jump back into my workouts.
So, I've had to learn how to commit to always doing something. When I travel, sometimes I don't have a gym. When I was in Madrid for a week, I didn't have a gym, so now I travel with a band system and I have band exercises that I do where I can get in really good shape just doing that. I get in better shape if I have a full gym.
But worst-case scenario, I'm still going to be able to maintain my body, maintain a good level of fitness, and I can walk every day. So, I'm committed to always doing something and my environment changes quite frequently as you. If you've been listening to the podcast real, you know that.
So commit to always doing something. Tell yourself, I'm going to figure this out. I'm going to either go for a walk, I don't care if I've had a hard day at work, I'm going to go for a walk. In fact, I'll feel better if I go for a walk. And the reason why this is so important, can you guess what I'm about to say, is because it has to do with habits and retraining yourself.
When you commit to always doing something, it forces you to be flexible. It forces you to build habits and the way we make health easy, to keep up, is by making it automatic. And this sucks to do it first, but once you have it dialed in, it's so easy to keep up. I don't really think about my workouts that much.
I have a high level of skill. That's why I'm laughing. It's like, I just do it. So, depending on your challenges—like, I've got a client, shout out to you Cindy, Cindy's retired. She travels, I think, more than I do. Now s doesn’t work anymore. She's enjoying the good life, but the Galapagos, if I said that right, Islands and doing all this great traveling, but she's not going to have a gym there.
And so, we've had to figure out some things to do. So even if you're not under a lot of stress, but you're traveling a lot like Cindy is, you're going to have to come up with some different approaches that fit your lifestyle and we've done that with her. So, there is always something to commit to here, you just have to be creative in figuring it out.
Lesson two is you must set realistic expectations. This is another one where…Let me think if I've had… I was thinking about this. Do I have an issue with realistic expectations with my body? I don't feel like I do. Of course, if I sat down on a couch with a psychologist, maybe they would figure something out.
But I was trying to think, do I have it? I have it with my business, but with my body, I'm not thinking of an example, so I’ve got to tell you a client's story. I have a client, one-on-one client, when he first joined, signed up for six months, and we talk together, his goal, want to see my ab, haven't seen them. I'm ready to make that happen. Let's do it.
And as we began to work together, it was clear, having that goal was nowhere near where we should have been thinking. It's a nice long-term goal, but there's a lot of initial things that we're going to have to do to get my client close to that. And the first thing was, it's been hard to set a consistent workout program for him because of some of the things he's challenged by at work.
And so a lot of our conversations have been on, okay, well, how do we create…? We need to reexamine the expectations here because getting abs, at least at the moment isn't going to happen. We need to work on getting you consistent with some form of exercise first, and then we need to work on nutrition, but we've got to handle the exercise.
People, if you're not exercising, you've got to work on that first, or simultaneously with your nutrition. But working on your nutrition without exercise, I'm not going to say you can't do it, because you certainly could, but I think that's a really bad idea. Unless you're morbidly obese. High level of obesity have some limitations where number one, it's going to be, I don't want to say easy to lose body fat, but you just have so much to lose that it would be easy to lose 10/20 pounds.
I don't want—you know, I hesitate to say easy, I should say simple to lose that much weight with dietary adjustments. But if you are overweight or just a bit obese, what I do with my clients, I get them exercising. And so I work on that first. And again, got to be realistic.
One thing that I ask my clients when they first sign up. “Okay, how many times do you want to work out?” “Oh, I want to work out six days a week.” “Okay, great. Fantastic. How long?” “Well, I can do an hour.” “Okay, great. So let me ask you this. On a scale 1 to 10, how confident are you that you can hit one hour workout six times a week?”
“Oh, probably about a six or a seven.” Hmm, that's a problem. I've got to scale them back until they give me a nine. I shouldn't share that with you because some of you are going to become clients and you might try to game the system. And one of the reasons I do this is because I go on to ask, “Well, listen, let me… I want you to tell me what would happen if I gave you six one-hour workouts, and let's say you only hit two of them or three of them. How would that make you feel psychologically? Would that motivate you or demotivate you?”
“Oh, it would demotivate me. I'd feel like a loser.” So, you're telling me that 60 or 70% of the time you can hit six one-hour workouts per week, but 40% of the time or 30% of the time, you're going to miss. And those 30 to 40% of the time misses, you're going to feel like a loser and going to want to give up.
Do you see the problem there? It's really important to set realistic expectations. Lesson three, pace yourself. Now, this is where I've messed up the most. I was an exercise addict. When I say I was addicted to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it's only a half joke.
I would literally, get this, I would come home from work, I would feel stressed from what was going on in my life, and I would also feel bored with my life because I was home, stressed out from a day of work, but now I was bored and I was thinking to myself, you know what? I shouldn't go to jiu-jitsu. My body needs a break.
Then I would start telling myself, ah, you know what? Yeah, but jiu-jitsu's exercise and it's good for you, so I should go, and I would have that battle probably like what alcoholics have or drug addicts have sometimes. I've had my own challenges with substances too, with marijuana.
Shared that before, but when I got away from getting high all the time, I was having the same type of behavior with exercise with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in particular. And as a result of being this way, I'm struggling with a lot of injuries now.
People would put me in chokes and I wouldn't tap because I wanted to escape them. And that combined with a couple of car accidents I was in, I was told that I had the neck, more specifically the cervical spine of a 90-year-old. I was told that by a neurosurgeon and so it's really important to pace yourself.
And I say this because I've seen people reach out to me or apply for calls where they're saying, “Well, I work out a lot, but my knee's hurting. My shoulder aches. My back is bad.” And what I want to tell you is this, you must pace yourself. You must pace yourself.
Even in my coaching program, I've had a group client and a one-on-one client both injured themselves, and I want to tell you how, because it wasn't my workout, okay? I'm really dialed in with the way that I write workouts, I prevent injuries. But both of these clients were feeling so good they, I think both of them lost 20 pounds in a, in about a four-month period. They felt like they were starting to reclaim the fire of their youth. And because of that, they got a little cocky.
And again, no judgements here. I've done this too. And both of them hurt themselves sprinting. So they ran really hard and hurt themselves. You have to pace yourself. You have to pace yourself. Another example is I've got a client who plays tennis every week, 5, 6, 7 times a week. He's had to take a break from tennis due to tennis elbow.
Now, he wasn't having a problem before and he was taking a break, and he actually said, “You know what, Ted, in the past I would've just pushed through it. So I feel like I'm in a really good place now after working with you,” he's still working with me, this particular client.
And another thing that he told me is he belongs to a tennis club and he told me everyone's got a shoulder replacement, a shoulder surgery. They're all messed up. And that's what you're on your way too if you are not careful with this, if you don't pace yourself. So please learn from our mistakes. Learn from other people's mistake.
And sometimes you just got the, you know, what do you call it? The luck of the draw. For example, I was born with congenital hip dysplasia, but I wasn't told that until last year. And so it's like, ‘Oh yeah, you're probably going to have to get both hips replaced.” I'm like, “What?” I've always wondered why I do have hip problems.
Actually, the orthopedic surgeon, he deals with Circ de Soleil performers. He grabbed my hip and twisted it, and he's like, “That doesn't hurt.” And I'm like, “No.” He's like, “You have arthritis in both hips and you have congenital hip dysplasia.” So not only do you have to pace yourself here with just normal exercise, you have to make sure that you pace yourself if you have injuries like I do, you have to be careful.
So, pace yourself, because you don't want to be the person who's in their fifties, sixties, seventies talking about how you used to be in shape, but you were too gung-ho with your workouts, and then now you're boring everybody with stories of how you used to be a has been. Please don't do that, so pace yourself.
Lesson four, deal with the underlying emotional issues. Now, I saved this one for number four. I've got one more lesson for you. I save this for number four because it's not fun to talk about. It's not fun to talk about the fact that our emotions are what causes us to quit, and it's not fun to talk about our emotions being the cause of over exercising. So, deal with the underlying emotional issues for me.
If I can rewind to that moment where I was telling you I would come home, I was very frustrated with my life in my late twenties and that's when I got into jiu-jitsu, late twenties, early thirties. That's the time period here. I'm 45 now, just to remind.
And I was dealing with a lot of stuff with my family. I was dealing with a lot of issues where I really wanted to grow my business, and I struggled with business quite a bit. Luckily, I've been able to get some great mentors and now I feel, I don't want to say great at business, but I feel comfortable and I could be great.
I'm never going to be the world class entrepreneur. I'm never going to be—hesitate to say his name, but Elon Musk or Richard Branson or anyone like that. I'm not going to be like someone who's like, “Man, this guy is so gifted with business,” but you know what? I can build a successful business, but I was struggling in those days. And it wasn't until I started dealing with the underlying emotional issues.
Now, I don't want to get into the full trauma of my life, but you know my story. If you've heard this podcast, the family loss, the abuse, all the craziness, alcoholism, and my own bad behavior too. So, you’ve got to deal with the underlying emotional issues.
Hopefully the emotional issues aren't as crazy as my story, but we all have some emotional challenges here, and this is where I'm really proud of myself for the type of coaching that we do, because I don't help you to just get in shape, talking about, “There's a calorie deficit, go lift weights. Okay, that'll be a few thousand dollars.”
That's not what we do. We help you become healthier emotionally while teaching you the best strategies to transform your body. And that journey profoundly changes people and makes them emotionally healthier people, more emotionally healthy—struggling with English right now.
That's what we do. We combine both the strategies, the mindset, and the accountability to lead to a profound transformation. I even hesitate to say that because I think it's easier to say, “No, we just help you lose some weight. Don't you want to lose some weight? You want to lose some weight, don't ya?” So, what I say is, I help you lose the weight and not gain it back.
And that's true. But the way we do it isn't by saying it's a calorie deficit. We really strategically help you navigate this journey and craft a lifestyle that is very enjoyable and that's conducive to being healthy. Not just healthy physically, but emotionally and even socially healthy: your relationships.
I'm not a relationship counselor. I don't want to go down that tangent, but we help you become better, and our clients make more. Their families are happier. Not all my clients make more money. A lot of them get— if they're entrepreneurs, they do. I mostly work with entrepreneurs and founders, but they make more money and a lot of my clients who work in businesses end up making more money too and get promoted because there's just something about getting your shit handled that leads to more success in other areas.
So, let's go to number five, is to set yourself up for success. I want to share something with you. People are so hard on themselves, and that's part of the underlying emotional issues, is to kind of realize that the weight gain situation is not your fault. It's your responsibility to take care of your health.
No one else's, not the government's, not anyone else's. It's yours. Yours! That said, though, it's the environment that's messing us up. Do you know why wild animals don't get fat? Because they have to catch their food and there's not that much food around. They don't call Uber Eats or just go down to the vending machine or take a trip to the office pantry.
So, do you know how to make wild animals fat if you wanted to? Well, you change their environment. In fact, that's exactly what they do with mice. In mice studies, they've done a lot of research like, hey, what can we do…? They do terrible things in animal studies. But I don't want to get into that and open up that can of worms.
But the reality is we've gained so much insight into our own physiology and even psychology from animal studies. So one of the things that they've done is they've figured out if you just feed mice, if you change nothing else, but just feed mice ultra-processed food that's both high end carbs and fat, and low in protein, they get fat. Nothing else changes, just the food and they get fat. So, the environment matters a lot because that's what's happened to us.
If you wanted to run your own experiment, your own human experiment and make everybody fat, what would you do? You would have a lot of hyper palatable foods. So, a lot of processed foods or ultra-processed food is the term that's used, hyper palatable or ultra-processed foods.
If you're not sure what that is, potato chips, custards, ice cream, those types of things, cookies. Basically, everything at a convenience store, and you would make it easily access and you would make it cheap. And that's exactly what has happened in the United States, the UK, Mexico.
I'm in Mexico now. They're competing with us for the fattest country. Unfortunately, it's not a competition you want to win, but it's happening. It is what it is. And it's because the environment changes and we know, we see the same thing happen all the. As soon as a developing country becomes “developed”, the more it modernizes, the more this happens.
The other part is not just nutrition and the ultra-processed food, it's also you help people to stay seated as much as possible. Let me ask you this: how do you think it would go for you if we sent you to the Serengeti and put you on a Netflix binge with plenty of processed food? You’d get eaten faster than you can say the White Lotus Series. I don't know. You would not last.
Sorry for my bad jokes, folks. You would not last. You would have to get up, you'd have to protect yourself. You'd have to find shelter, especially at night, lions hunt at night. It would be a very different thing for you. Very different experience. So the environment is huge.
So why am I telling you this? Because I want you to think about your environment and how you can set yourself up for success. Some of the things I do, I travel a lot, but guess what? There's some, let's say, strategies that I have. For example, I was in Madrid recently. I didn't have a gym there, but I travel with my bands and I work out.
I've got actually bands and a couple other things. I always work out, so I set myself up for success. And when I can, I stay in a building that has a gym because I don't want to join a gym. I don't like going to gyms anymore. I spent too long, too many years of my life in a gym, not feeling it. My main priority is growing my business, creating content.
So, I want to go to the gym, do my thing, come back, get back to work, and so I stay in buildings with gyms as much as possible. In Europe, it's a bit harder, but here in Mexico I got a gym. The other thing is I stay in places that are walkable. I also stay in places where I have access to a grocery store within walking distance. That's what I had in Lisbon. That's what I have here in Mexico, so I set myself up for success.
I also stay in areas with a lot of sunlight that are mostly warm, although Lisbon is quite cold now, and Madrid was cold as well when I was there. But in general, that's what I do. I set myself up for success. So, if you're in a place where you have to drive everywhere, which is most of the United States, and you have a lot of access to junk food, which is most of the United States, and you have to spend more money.
I don't want to get into this argument, but, you know, buying 0% fat Greek yogurt, usually more expensive than buying Ramen noodles. So anyway, setting yourself up for success. The other side of this is who you hang out with. We know that who you hang out with is also setting you up for success or setting you up for failure.
One of the things that we have with our clients is we have them sit down and talk with their family because their family may not be on a journey to transform their body. So, we have them sit down and talk and ask for support. That's one of the reasons when I said I'm not a relationship counselor, but we help them have better relationships, this is an example of it.
And some of our clients, what they do is they ask their family, “Hey, please lock that food away and I don't want to know where it is because I'll eat it.” For me, I don't buy food that I know isn't going to last here, right? That I know that I can't control myself around.
And I want to say something more about the relationship part. I won't date a woman who isn't on the same page with me in that regard. So, exercise has to be part of it. Now, you may be in a relationship and that wasn't part of the agreement, and you're wanting to change, or maybe they're already in shape and they don't have the same problems as you, it's going to be a different journey.
It's going to revolve more around the communication. But if you're single and your health is important to you, you must set yourself up for success. And who you choose as your partner is extremely important. So, if health is important to you, make sure it's part of who you choose to be with.
And that is it. Just to recap here, lesson one is, commit to always doing something. You got to get rid of that all or nothing mindset. Lesson two is set realistic expectations. Lesson three is pace yourself. You're going to be alive for a long time. Everyone says, oh, we never know. You could be gone tomorrow.”
But you're probably not going to be gone tomorrow. You're probably going to be here not just tomorrow, but 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now. Lesson four, deal with the underlying emotional issues, and lesson five, set yourself up for success. That is it for the episode. I hope you enjoy today's episode. Stay tuned for the next episode. The next and final installment of the series, “Make 2023 Your Best Year Ever.”
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