You don’t need us to tell you that losing weight and maintaining it is hard, especially with all the conflicting information we read on the Internet.
We all fall for miraculous diets and magic exercise programs that would transform our bodies faster with not too much effort from our side. But the truth is that this kind of solution will never deliver sustainable results.
In this new Real Talk Friday episode, Ted will reveal 7 of the fat loss mistakes he made while trying to get in shape so you can save years of trial and error and increase your chances of success. Listen now!
- Ted’s personal story and his struggles with fat loss
- 7 fat loss mistakes Ted learned from:
- Mistake no. #1: Choosing the easy way
- Mistake no. #2: Using exercise to burn fat
- Mistake no. #3: Not realizing the importance of hunger management
- Mistake no. #4: Doing only cardio training
- Mistake no. #5: Using this scale to measure progress
- Mistake no. #6: Not being patient
- Mistake no. #7: Not hiring a coach sooner
- Important lessons that Ted learned from each mistake
- And much more…
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Podcast Transcription: 7 Common Mistakes When Trying to Lose Weight with Ted Ryce
Ted Ryce: So, you probably started listening to this podcast, in part because you saw the thumbnail and you saw the physical shape I was in, you saw the definition. You saw that, okay, this is a guy who not only talks the talk on his podcast, but he also walks the walk, he also looks the part.
But what you probably don’t know, especially if you’re more new to the show, is all the mistakes I made to dial in fat loss to where it’s pretty easy and sustainable for me.
And not only easy and sustainable, I really enjoy what I do; I enjoy my life, I enjoy the amount of power that I have over controlling my nutrition so that I can stay lean.
I feel like I have a great deal of proficiency and expertise and agency. So, if I want to get leaner, I know how to do it. I also enjoy the way I look. So not only am I eating the slices of chocolate cake, and Key Lime Pie and other things...
And by the way, when I say that I’m not saying, hey, listen, it’s great to eat sugary stuff, I’m saying even in spite of my inner fat child, or my inner fat person who constantly craves delicious things, I’m still able to manage myself enough so that I have enough of that stuff so that I enjoy my life. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself, in other words, because I went through a very strict period.
But I enjoy it—I can have enough of the goodies to really enjoy what I eat. I’m not the person who skips dessert every time that they go out to eat; I’m the person who usually orders dessert every time I go out.
So that’s great and everything, but again, I made a lot of mistakes. And I want to put this into context for you. I got into shape in 2019.
Now, let me put even into more context. I’ve been in the business for 23 years now, folks, I’m no stranger to this. I mean, think about doing anything for that long; you know some things that other people don’t, you have some experiences that other people don’t. And I mean doing this professionally, right? Not like, “Well, I’ve been reading blogs and listening to YouTube.”
And there’s nothing wrong with that, but I mean, this is my job, it’s the only thing that I’ve ever known. It’s my career. It’s my passion. It’s my life—a big part of my life. Fitness saved my life; story for another day, if you don’t already know it.
But again, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, when it came to some aspects of health and fitness. And although I look great on that thumbnail, and I looked in even better shape last year in 2020 when I got into incredible shape. I mean, people were accusing me of using drugs. It’s like, “I’m locked in a room, man, how am I going to be doing that? How am I going to be…?”
Anyway, it was a great compliment. I just thank you for asking me if I was on TRT or taking steroids. I was locked in a room, and I didn’t even have a gym. It’s called “know how,” folks.
And by the way, those people, in case you’re wondering, those are younger guys on Twitter, those are usually the ones who do that. It’s not like women and men in their 40s, who are professionals who are accusing me of that stuff, just in case you’re wondering, right? It’s these kids on Twitter.
So, let’s get into it. I learned a bunch of lessons, and some of them were learned the hard way. And I want to share with you the lessons I learned. So let’s jump into it.
Number one, I wanted the easy way. One thing that I learned is the easy way is a hard way and the hard way is the easy way. But what does that mean? It sounds like, ‘The easy way is the hard way and the hard way is the easy way.’
It sounds like a good one-liner, but what does that actually mean? Well, back in 2016, I really wanted to get lean, and I didn’t want to learn...I had been interviewing people on the podcast and I even interviewed one guy who was like, “Hey, listen, track your macros, man.” And I said, “Yeah, I’m not really ready for that, you know?” And so I wasn’t.
And instead, I was like, “You know what I’m going to do instead of tracking my macros, I’m going to do two workouts every day.” And that’s what I did. And guess what?
I ended up having one of the worst injuries of my entire life from that stupid, stupid approach. Now I learned a lot from it, but it’s something I’m still struggling with till this day.
I’ve got to put up a video of some of the twitching in my calf. I’m still seeing doctors to this day trying to help me with that injury that I’ve had. And let me tell you, I know some great people to go to. I’ve gone to doctors who work with Cirque du Soleil people and work with all types of people, and I’m still having a time managing it. And it was all because I wanted the easy way.
And the easy way to me was I just started working out harder, pushing myself harder in the gym. And boy, did I pay for this, and I’m still paying for it, folks, still paying for it.
The hard way was to learn the things about nutrition that I needed to learn; learn about calories, learn about macros, learn about all these things, learn about the foods that I was eating, start really understanding, okay, well, how many calories am I eating?
I didn’t want to do it, I was resistant to it, and it was a mistake, and it was a mistake that cost me big. And I share this to let you know, one, I’m a person like you, I have expertise here, like I said in the beginning, I’m world class when it comes to coaching.
But unfortunately, part of the path to becoming world class was making a lot of dumb mistakes. And some of them weren’t a big deal, but some of them, I’m still struggling with today.
And so perhaps if you’re a person who’s been trying to out train your diet, then now—and because you hear about the tracking, you can’t be bothered with and it’s like…Hopefully, this is resonating with you and I can stop someone from injuring themselves like I did because you think, ‘Oh, I’m just going to work out twice a day.”
So the second mistake is using exercise to burn fat. And here’s what I’ll tell you, after I got rid of my thick headedness and committed to learning the fat loss principles that would go on to let me create a super lean body without hurting myself in the gym and without being super strict either, is that I can eat...
It’s so much easier to eat 500 fewer calories than it is to burn 500 more calories with exercise because I just told you, I was doing two days to get lean, it wasn’t even working that well. I didn’t get ripped. It was so much easier to get lean and keep it and to also do it in a way that’s sustainable and enjoyable when I started to understand, “Okay, I need to adjust nutrition.”
And so many people, they asked me what’s the best exercise for belly fat or for weight loss or whatever. And it goes back to that easy way versus hard way. Because the truth is this, you’d have to run 30 minutes, roughly, depending on your weight, of course, to burn off one slice of pizza.
And again, according to, you know, there’s different size slices of pizza and different toppings that influence the calorie count and the macronutrient distribution.
But roughly, you could say 30 minutes to burn one slice of pizza. Think about that. How many slices can you eat? How many slices can you eat in 30 minutes, if you’re really hungry?
And so what I learned was, for the modern person who—like right now, I’m sitting and I’m not super active, you’ve got to adjust your nutrition.
Trying to burn more calories with exercise, it is such a futile, and perhaps, at least in my case, dangerous way to go about things. So that was mistake number two.
Mistake number three, not realizing the hunger, the role that hunger plays in fat loss. Because what do people talk about? What do people talk about? They talk about macros, they talk about GMOs, they talk about organic food, they talk about non-GMO food, they talk about all these things.
And I did all of that. I spent all my money at Whole Foods—actually, Wild Oats before it was Whole Foods, for those of you who were OGs like me—and it didn’t do anything, right? It didn’t do anything. And I was so frustrated because I thought I was poisoning myself, and that’s why I was struggling to lose fat—but story for another time.
What I learned was after working with myself, but also so many other people, is that it’s all about hunger management, right? This is the secret, folks. Listen up, it’s not about even the macros or the supplements or the superfoods or even Whole Foods sometimes, it’s about the foods that help you with hunger.
In fact, I want to tell you this: everyone thinks—they asked me about, “Oh, what about eating for your genes, you know, fat loss eating for your genes? What about all these sciency-sounding approaches?” and guess what, the most successful weight loss interventions, it’s weight loss surgery. Well, what is weight loss surgery?
Well, there’s a few things there, but basically, there’s the Lap Band surgery and there’s the Gastric Bypass, it basically makes your stomach smaller, so that you get full more easily. That’s it. That’s the magic.
And it’s the most successful intervention so far in terms of what’s been studied, at least. Personally, I think behavior change is the most successful intervention, but that is what I do as coaching.
And also, it ain’t easy to do what I do. It ain’t easy. It takes a lot of time; more time than you think, and a lot more deeper work to overcome some of the bad habits. But I’ll tell you one of the things that, you know, so again, weight loss surgery, why is it successful? It surgically alters your stomach so you get full easily. What about weight loss breakthrough drugs like semaglutide?
Guess what, they work by managing your hunger, but what do people talk about? What do the influencers talk about? They talk about, I don’t know, all this sciency-sounding bullshit. But when it comes down to it, folks, guess what, it’s just about hunger, okay? Because if you’re not hungry, you don’t eat and if you’re hungry, you eat. It’s as simple as that and as difficult as that.
So, what’s something that you can do here? Well, number one, protein really helps with hunger levels and it helps with fat loss. It helps with hunger, which helps with that loss, but also helps with fat loss more directly, too.
And with hunger, it lowers a hormone that never gets enough attention. We talked about all the other hormones, but ghrelin, which is your hunger hormone, and protein actually has the biggest effect on ghrelin. It lowers it more so than fat, more so than carbs.
Everyone argues about fat and carbs, especially carbs, but not enough people talk about protein. Well, now you know, that’s the secret, folks, protein.
And also something that you can do is the satiety index. This is something that I teach my clients; Google satiety index and study the chart and start choosing foods.
Because one thing that happens with people is that they start cutting calories, but then they get hungry.
And what they don’t know is that certain foods have different effects on hunger than others. Handful of nuts? Probably pretty bad for hunger and probably pretty bad for managing hunger for most people. Some people know by the way; some people do well with a handful of nuts. And, for me, it doesn’t work. And some foods do really well like watermelon, potatoes.
Actually, on the satiety index, if you Google it—and you should be googling it and studying it. I mean, that’s a money tip that I’m giving you right now, something that people pay me to teach them. So pause this and go Google it, and you’ll see that potatoes, not french fries, not potato chips, but potatoes score the highest out of every single food.
But what do people tell you? “Oh, well, it has carbs in it and it makes you fat.” One of the things that my clients tell me after working with me is they’re like, “Man, you know, I always stayed away from potatoes, I thought they were so bad for you, because the carbs. But now I realize that because I eat potatoes, it helps with my hunger, and it’s so much easier to stick to the plan when I’m not hungry, and potatoes are a godsend for that.”
So mistake number four, I thought I needed to do cardio. And this comes from some of my earlier learning where back in the day, it was all about the high-intensity interval training. Now I know now, ‘Yeah. Okay, if you do 30 minutes of high-intensity training, you might burn more calories than 40 minutes of slower cardio, but it’s not that big of a deal.”
The way to get the best results is really to optimize your weight training, your weightlifting regimen. Lifting weights is the best exercise for fat loss. People don’t want to do it as much as, I mean—or I should say like this: cardio is what pops into everyone’s mind when thinking about exercise for fat loss. Maybe it’s because they sweat a lot, maybe it’s because they really feel like they’re burning a lot of fat.
But the truth is, actually, cardio is the worst form of exercise that you can do, because it encourages muscle loss. So yes, you lose more weight on this scale, but that’s because you’re losing muscle.
So you look at this scale, you’re like, “Oh, I’m so happy about that number on the scale. But then you look at your body, you’re like, “Yeah, but I don’t really like the way I look.” Sound familiar?
And sadly, because losing muscle not only doesn’t allow you to look the way you want, at least the way most people want, it also makes it easier to gain the fat back because you just have less muscle. Muscles eats up calories; it allows you to eat more food, is what I’m trying to say here.
So make sure you’re lifting weights two to five times a week. Sure, you can do the cardio, but if you’re not doing weights, you’re totally, totally making it so much more difficult on yourself. And if you can take out one of those days and work out more days with weights, that’s going to give you better results.
And let me be clear here: this is for fat loss. Sometimes I have people prioritize cardio because it helps them manage their emotions better, but we’re not talking about fat-loss .
That may help indirectly with fat loss because if someone feels better, they can stick to the routine. And I’ve had clients like, “Oh, I went to the gym and I was supposed to do that hard lifting routine, but I just had no energy so I did cardio instead.”
I said, “You did the right thing. I mean, you’re going to get results slower, but you’re going to stick with it because you’re going to feel good.” Now, if that happens, if you skip a whole week and don’t do any way training, then you need to evaluate your lifestyle, but that’s for another podcast, right?
Okay, mistake number five is only using this scale to measure progress. Oh, this screws people up so bad. The scale is a great tool—easy. Just go buy one, have it in your house. But a lot of people struggle when they don’t see the number they want.
And usually, people think this has to do with women. But guess what, I work with more guys than women, guys struggle with this just as much as the women do.
Maybe the women, maybe it might be more intense, the feelings, but guys struggle with this and it makes them want to give up just the same. And so something that I did, too, was I was relying on this scale too much, but when I started focusing on: “Okay, what about how my clothes are fitting? What about taking some measurements? What about progress photos?” which is my favorite.
Because the thing is this: if you gain two pounds of muscle in a month, but you lose four pounds of fat, what’s the net change? It’s only two pounds. So you might look at that and say, “Well, I only lost two pounds in one month, that sucks. That’s not even a pound a week, that sucks.”
But the reality is you put on muscle, especially if you’ve been sitting on your butt for a while, the good news is that you’re putting on muscle faster than if you would have been exercising regularly. So you’ve got to use other ways to measure your progress. It can’t just be the scale. It’s a mistake I made.
Mistake number six is not being patient. And when I was doing this, I wanted the results to come right away, right, we all do. But the reality is, fat loss, it just takes way longer than you think. Especially for guys, guys want to get ripped, right? Women just want to fit back into their clothes, usually, but guys, they want to get ripped. Now some women want to get ripped too, but I’m just saying this is what I hear mostly from men.
And the thing is, it’s like, “Whoa, I just lost 20 pounds, and I thought I only had to do is lose 20 pounds,” that happened to me. I lost 20 pounds and I’m like, “Man, I’m not that lean,” and I didn’t think I had that much fat to lose.
And it didn’t take until I lost another 10 pounds before I got really lean. So make sure you understand this, whatever time frame you have in your mind, it’s going to be longer than that. It’s going to be longer. And if you’re focused on this, it’s going to be much more frustrating. So you’ve got to be patient, you got to be patient.
And mistake number seven is not hiring a coach sooner. And again, I want to return to this because you might be saying like, “Well, you’re just saying that because you sell coaching.”
Well, there’s some element to truth there, I’m not going to deny that, but I believe in what I do, and so much so that I hired a coach, literally hired a coach to help me in 2019.
I was struggling to lose fat because—although I knew a lot at that time, I was struggling to be consistent with tracking, I just needed a structure, I needed to be more organized. I needed accountability.
And also, I was traveling the world. I was in Bali, I was in Thailand, and so the food environment was very different. It’s not like you can go and type in all these thai foods and they come up in My Fitness Pal super easily.
It took some creativity to modify how I used My Fitness Pal to make it work when I was traveling, because I didn’t want to not travel and I didn’t want to only eat Western foods just so I could lose fat. I wanted to enjoy my life. I was in Bangkok, Thailand, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Phuket, Thailand, there is some incredibly delicious food. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about.
If you haven’t been there, and you like Thai food—well, you’ve never had Thai food in your whole life, by the way, most likely. The food is way different out there than any Thai restaurant I’ve been to in the West, so I wanted to eat it. When’s the next time I’m going to be back there? I have no idea.
So I enjoyed myself while I was there. I ate the ribs at Naughty Nuri’s, I went and had the traditional Thai breakfast at Butcher’s Garden in Phuket. It was fantastic and I got lean and really enjoying my life.
And it was all because I hired my coach, Eric, and he was able to help me with all those things, to help me with the struggles, to help me with everything, to make sure everything was on point. And I wish I had done it sooner.
And I had said, “Oh, yeah, well, it doesn’t…” you know, “I couldn’t afford it” is what I said, I couldn’t afford it. But the truth is, I paid so much more in so many more ways than financially.
I hurt myself so bad in 2016. Again, I’m still struggling with the injury. Now I’ve got it managed pretty good at the moment. But oh, it’s taken a lot of work, I could have avoided that. I could go back in time, hire a freaking coach and never have hurt myself, because I wouldn’t need to be doing something stupid like doubling up my workouts. I could have relied on exercise less, gotten better results, and not hurt myself.
But I can’t go back. But hopefully, I can save you from some of the problems. We don’t all need coaches, but what it takes you six years to achieve, you can achieve in six months or one year with a coach. I mean, it’s just incredible. It brings up the question, well, how much is your time worth? And for some of you, maybe you’re struggling financially, and that’s never going to be an option.
I would suggest maybe this is the wrong show to listen to. Go listen to a different show that helps you resolve your financial struggles.
But for those of you who are doing well financially, but you’re trying to do this on your own and you’re taking up a lot of your time trying to figure it out and you’re not getting good results, hiring a coach, I mean, it’s the secret.
There aren’t really many shortcuts, but hiring a coach—a good one, of course, you can get a bad one. Some of the people who have ended up working with me, I had one client who worked with someone, she got great results with this person, with this coach, but he had her eating pescatarian one day, vegetarian one day. It was ridiculous if you heard what she had to do, and you know what, she did it, but it just wasn’t sustainable for her.
And then she joined my program and I got her results in much easier. And she didn’t have to be the weirdo showing up to the family meal with the Tupperware of vegetarian food, right? So again, coaches can save you a lot of trouble.
All right, so that’s it for me. And just to recap here, mistake number one was I wanted the easy way, but the easy way turned into the hard way for me. So don’t go the easy way. That thing that you’re not wanting to learn, the tracking about your food, the calories, wrapping your head around all that, it is worth it. Let me tell you, it is worth it.
Mistake number two, using exercise to burn fat, you’re like, “No, I’m not going to worry about how many calories I’m eating. I’m just going to go to the gym more.” Well, that’s a mistake, especially if—I mean, don’t listen to me, just look at the results that you’re getting, if you’re a person who’s engaging in that particular mistake.
Mistake number three, maybe you’re forgetting to manage hunger or not realizing how important hunger is. Maybe you’re on board with the calories thing, but you’ve cut your calories, you’re not making those mistakes, but you’re struggling with hunger. You’re like, “Oh man, how do people do this? Are they just hungry all the time?” No, they learn about the foods that help with managing hunger.
So, number four is thinking that you need cardio. If you’ve been training a lot, you should be able to lay in bed and lose fat. You don’t need exercise as much as you think.
You should be able to lay in bed and lose fat. I even challenged some clients to take off a week and just focus on nutrition and guess what happens every single time? They lose fat with zero exercise. Now, I’m not saying they want to keep doing that, but again, thinking that you need cardio.
Mistake number five is only using the scale to measure your progress. If you do this, you’re going to ride an up and down roller coaster like those people who watch the stock market, they’re happy in the morning, but in the afternoon, they’re unhappy because their stock took a dive. Don’t be like that. Look at the big trend over time.
Mistake number six, not being patient - whatever you want to achieve, I guarantee you, it’s going to take longer than you think. Give yourself a year to two years, a year at the minimum, let’s say, a year at the minimum.
And mistake number seven, not hiring a coach sooner. You’ll have to work with a coach for a year or two years. But working with someone at the beginning to get you squared away on what you need to work on, what you need to focus on, what you need to do, what really matters, what doesn’t to get you clear and give you some clarity so that you’re not listening to the next podcast, “Oh, what should I be doing now? What should I be doing now? Is it this? Do I have a nutrient deficiency? Is it that I’m storing my food in plastic containers instead of glass?
No, it’s none of those things, okay, it’s none of those things. You need to get clear on the basics and to do them repeatedly, to do them consistently. And a coach can help you with the accountability there and also to get you clear on what needs to be done.
So that is it for today. And I would ask you, what is the big takeaway from this episode for you today, from the mistakes that I made? What mistake resonated with you the most? Was there one that you felt, “Oh, yeah, I’m doing that right now.”
Cool. That’s a good thing. It’s okay to make mistakes. What’s not okay is to not learn from them, right? That’s what mistakes are there for. Mistakes aren’t the opposite of success; they’re part of the path to success. But it requires us that we learn from the mistake and move forward in a better way. So which one resonates with you? Which one do you need to take action on?
That’s what I want to leave you with. That’s what I want you to think about. Have an amazing weekend, and I’ll speak to you on Monday.
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