If you aren’t losing fat, it must have something to do with the way you eat, right? Wrong! Nutrition isn’t the only factor at play when it comes to fat loss. You eat clean, workout hard, and sleep well but you’re still not achieving the results you’re looking for. You’re missing a key factor and it’s time to learn all about it.
In this Ted Talk episode, Ted uses all his experience working with hundreds of high-performers and groundbreaking scientific evidence to reveal how stress is making you fat.
He discusses major causes of weight gain and shares expert tips on how to deal with stress, emotional eating, and ways to challenge yourself beyond those self-imposed limitations that are keeping you from achieving your goals. Listen Now!
- Why you can’t do what you need to do to lose weight
- The major problem that causes weight gain
- How stress is making us fat
- Ted’s clients’ experience with emotional eating and how he managed to help them
- The two ways of dealing with stressful situations
- How Ted dealt with stressful situations in his own life
- The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek
- How to challenge yourself to overcome self-imposed limitations
- Effective strategies to control your emotional eating behaviour
- And much more…
Do You Need Help Creating A Lean Energetic Body Without Losing Your Social Life Or Following Time-Consuming Workouts & Restrictive Diets?
We help successful entrepreneurs, executives, and other high-performers to burn fat, transform their bodies, and increase their energy while enjoying life.
If you’re ready, sign up for my new LIVE event, “Unstoppable After 40 Blueprint” where I teach you the super simple 4-step process our successful clients are using to getting lean on autopilot.
P.S. This is a LIVE workshop on April 13th at 2 pm Eastern time. We have 15 guest seats only. There will be no replay for this event.
Podcast Transcription: Why Weight Loss Isn't Always a Nutrition Problem with Ted Ryce
Ted Ryce: Do you know what you need to do, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it? Maybe there’s just too much going on in your life. Maybe the stress from running your business, or from your career, or perhaps another area of your life, it’s just overwhelming you. And you can’t bring yourself to do what you know you need to do to get the results that you want with your body, with your health. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today on today’s Real Talk Friday.
So welcome back to the show. And if you’re new, I’m your host, Ted Ryce, coach to entrepreneurs, executives, and other high performers. And I create breakthroughs for my clients, breakthroughs that they haven’t been able to get other places. And when I mean breakthrough, I mean breakthrough patterns, like what we’re talking about today.
And today, I want to tell you about a client of mine name Paul. Now, Paul is in his late 50s, successful entrepreneur, serial entrepreneur, built several businesses, millions of dollars made, and he just sold his most recent business. And in the situation, in the agreement, he’s still in the business, along with his business partner, and there’s been some challenges to sell the business—he’s already sold the business, so not selling the business, but he’s sold the business to the new group of people who are now running it.
And Paul and his business partner is still there, and they’re still providing instruction and operating in executive capacity to help with the business. And as you can imagine, when you sell a business—I can’t imagine really, I don’t know what that’s like, I’m busy building my business. But if you’ve been there personally, or you have been a part of a business that’s been sold, or you’ve had friends who’ve done it, you probably know it’s quite an endeavor. It’s quite an undertaking.
And in this situation, there’s still a lot of politics, and communication needs to be on point. And of course, like in all businesses, most of the business problems end up being people problems.
What does this have to do with losing fat right now? Are you asking yourself that? Because if you are, well, you’re about to learn. And maybe you already see the situation, maybe you already know where I’m going with this or have an idea.
And bonus points if you see the connection here. Because so often, people don’t—and even I want to just take some responsibility on behalf of the fitness industry here, because we don’t talk about this shit. We just say, “calories in, calories out, just eat less calories, or go exercise,” or people who are more on the low carb, “Just go low carb.” People who are more in the paleo, “Just go paleo. Eat those foods that ancient Paleolithic man used to eat.” Except that’s not the major problem.
The major problem, as I see it is stress. People eat because they’re trying to change their emotional state. It’s as simple as that, folks. It’s as simple as that. That’s the conversation that isn’t being had. The medical community will talk about genes, they’ll talk about brain. They’ll talk about areas of your brain, your hypothalamus, and they’ll talk about all this stuff.
And I’ll tell you, I’m convinced that this is really people who are eating their emotions. Why are Western countries so overweight? Why are we struggling so much when we know so much? Why are we struggling to lose weight when there are more gyms, more personal trainers, more coaches like me, more podcasts, more YouTube videos, you’re inundated with information—and granted, a lot of it is bullshit. A lot of it is wrong.
But even if you would follow some of these recommendations, you would get results. But it becomes very difficult. And the reality is this: stress causes us to seek out ways to change our emotional state. And one of my clients said it best. She said, “Ted, I’m never going to be snorting meth off the toilet seat. I’m a Christian mom. I’m never going to go down that route. But what I will do is I’ll eat. One, I love food and two, it’s socially acceptable.”
Nobody says…And you can’t be snort meth off the toilet, it’s not…Right? But if you’re asking for thirds on ice cream or dessert, and you obviously have way too much body fat on you. Nobody says anything about it. So, what does that have to do with Paul? And what does that have to do with you? Well, let me tell Paul’s story. Because one of the things that was…
So, he knew what to do, because I’m coaching him, he’s my client. I know exactly what to do, I get great results, as far as strategies. I got another client, Trevor, if you’re listening, man, Trevor is crushing it. Or Julie, Julie, you must be so proud of Trevor and so glad he joined. Julie is a long-time listener to the podcast, who doesn’t need my help. She’s in great shape. But she wanted her husband to get lean. Trevor, straight up crushed it.
But my client, Paul is in a different situation. Paul has a totally different circumstances, he just sold his business like I told you, and he’s still working in it because of the agreement that was made, and he’s having to navigate some stressful situations. And if you’ve heard me talk about this in the past, you know that there’s two ways of dealing with stressful situations.
Number one, they’re solving the problem. And number two is managing the negative emotions that come up as we’re solving the problem. Now, you need a combination of both, in most cases, but some cases, it becomes really tricky to solve the problem, like what is Paul solution? Well, he needs to stay for the duration of his contract, which I believe is a couple of years.
So, he can’t just say, well, I’m going to solve the problem, I’ll just solve the problem. And in two years, when all the stress is over, and I’m out of the business in a couple years, that’s when I’ll get in shape. Because if we were to do that, Paul would put on a lot of weight. And that’s his pattern. As you know, a lot of people have that pattern. And so, what we need to do is manage the emotions now, but we can’t solve the problem.
And some of the problems are not just leaving that business, it’s dealing with the people who he needs to deal with. And that’s turned complicated for him. So, here’s what we did, now that I’ve set the stage for you. I asked him, “Hey, Paul, what’s something that…” Because in this would Paul told me he’s like, “Do not tell me to go for a run, I fucking hate running. And don’t tell me to eat a salad, either.”
Now, he didn’t say it in that way, because number one, we have a good working relationship. I wouldn’t ask him to do things like that. I don’t ask people to do things like that. And one of the reasons is, because I know that’s not the solution. So, what I did ask him was, “Paul, what is something that is really scary or challenging for you, that we can get you to do instead of the binge eating at night.”
And as we went through some options, Muay Thai came up. So martial arts, and he said, “I’ve never been in a fight, don’t know how to throw punch, not even particularly athletic. Although I played several sports growing up, but I wasn’t a rock star at them. But something about Muay Thai, or something about martial arts in general, or boxing, something where I’m having to deal with the pressure of fighting.”
I said, “That is exactly what we’re talking about here.” Because when we have a situation that we’re stuck in…So he is in this situation. Now, I’m not even sure if he could leave, I’m sure you could break his contract, but that would cost him a lot to do. So, he’s like set on, “Hey, I’m staying in this, and I’m going to work through it. But what I need is something that I can do instead of just eating my emotions, eating my stress.”
And I said, “This martial arts thing, this is the answer. At least, we should test it and test it for a few weeks to see if it helps.” Because here’s the thing: going to work was very triggering, and we spent our coaching calls talking about—not about nutrition and his results. He was talking about some of the challenges he was experiencing at work, and it was becoming like, the thing, right? Oh, well, I’m dealing with these challenges right now. It’s really tough going through this.
And when that’s the case... In other words, if you have something that’s throwing you off because of the level of stress that you have. And it’s not a situation that you can easily solve. Like, maybe you got to begin it through for a while, maybe you’re going through a divorce, maybe you’re going through, maybe you’re selling your business, maybe you have a new baby, I don’t know what this situation is for you, but you have a situation that’s challenging, and is bringing a lot of stress your way.
So, when it’s that type of situation, we have to think outside the box. And why did we choose Muay Thai in particular? Because here’s the thing, when you go to Muay Thai class, what happens? You may go to the gym to lift weights, and you’re like, pumping my biceps, but I’m thinking about, “Oh, I need to have the conversation with this person. And then we need to have the conversation with that person. And we need to rework this area over here and have a talk with the sales guys.” And your brain doesn’t shut off during the weights.
In fact, for me, I don’t know if you’re like me, but when I lift weights, or do cardio, that’s when I come up with a lot of great ideas for my business, which is great, except when there’s a stressful situation going on. That’s not easily solvable by going for a walk or a run or going to lift some weights, and then the answer just comes to you: We need to do something differently.
And so, for Paul, it’s going to Muay Thai, because when he’s in Muay Thai, and the instructor is teaching them how to punch or maybe even throwing punches at him, and having him kick the bag and punch the bag and need the bag, guess what he’s thinking about? Not business, not his challenges.
And what we know from this is that it’s a way to build resilience, so that you’re less affected by the negative stress in your life, or the overwhelming stress, or maybe it’s not even that negative, but it’s just very high.
Like, selling your business, it’s not a negative thing, but it’s a very challenging thing. I remember I’ve talked about one of my other clients who grew his business—shout out to you Damon, if you’re listening—grew his business from 300,000 to 65 million in 10 years. That’s pretty good, right?
I mean, better than I can do. And Damon was feeling stressed, because of all the business that was coming his way. He was just overloaded, on to different meetings. And it was clear that the stress that was coming from his work schedule, was just not allowing for him to dial in.
Now, Damon lost 30 pounds with me, it was great. But we weren’t able to get beyond that 30-pound mark, because of all the challenges, all this stress that was coming from—Again, it was good, but it’s still stress. And it was so funny. I’ve talked about this before, but Damon was like, “I’m not trying to complain here because business is really good. But, man, it’s just a lot, you know?”
And here’s the thing about people in that type of situation, or my client, Paul’s, situation where he just sold his business and he’s got to stay in, they’re not going to get a lot of sympathy from people who are maybe struggling to pay their bills every month. But the reality is, it’s still a challenge.
I mean, I have challenges that people would go, “Yeah, #firstworldproblems. But our problems are still our problems, regardless of the talk that we have with ourselves, like, “Hey, I should be more grateful. It’s a problem, but hey, I just passed a gun in the street, he was looking really down.” I’m not in that type... It’s not that type of problem.
But still, we’ve got to acknowledge our problems, our problems are problems, it doesn’t matter if you build your business to 65 million, or you just sold it for a bunch of millions of dollars, and you’re having the challenge of staying there and working through it. You’ve got to understand it’s still stress. It’s still a pressure on you. It’s still driving you to maybe drink too much.
In Paul’s case, he doesn’t drink, same with Damon, by the way, but to eat too much. I was storing it in there because with clients in the past, alcohol is an easy go-to.
And I want to return to this idea that we’re trying to change our state, and alcohol is super-fast way to do it, smoke some weed, within a minute, you’re feeling different.
If you eat food, that also makes you feel better. You’re like, “Hmm, this delicious food,” until you overstuff yourself and you feel like, “Oh my god, I think it’s like… Is it bad if I go make myself throw up? Oh, I just feel terrible.”
It happened to me the other day. And the issue is this: when we’re focused on changing our emotional state, that’s what happens, we end up over drinking, over eating, putting on pounds, other things that happen. No, but I want to keep it focused on drinking and eating, because those are the calorie containing things, we don’t need to talk about gambling.
But when that happens, what we got to do is we have to find a way to not just change our state, but to change our traits.
And by going to Muay Thai, that’s going to be something that challenges Paul to develop differently as a person. How do I know that? Well, I’ve done it, I’ve been the person who is scared to show up to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In my case, I was scared to spar with people I was scared to compete. My first time, I was terrified in my first competition, but then that changed me as a person.
In fact, I would tell you, without my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, not just the training, but the competitions that I went to go and win, most of them, I wouldn’t be able to step up into the roles that I’ve stepped up in today, because I was just too scared of a person. And in my defence, I’m a person, I’ve had a lot of tragedy in my life, I’ve had a lot of trauma in my life, I’ve got mental illness, suicide, murder, in my family history. I mean, in my immediate family. You know my story.
And it’s through these things that I’ve done, that have changed me as a person, that have allowed me to make the space to work on other things.
Like, I’m always in shape now. Even when I gained weight after my dad died, I didn’t gain that much weight, I could still see my abs. Now, it was just the top four abs. I lost the vein that I was talking about, if you were listening to me in those days in 2020. But I didn’t shift in that negative of a direction like I had in the past. He also didn’t go to, you know, smoke marijuana all the time either.
So, when we challenge ourselves with things that—and when I say challenge, I mean this very specific type of challenge. When we challenge ourselves to grow in an uncomfortable way, like doing martial arts or public speaking, or going to marriage counseling, and having those tough conversations with our partner, we become different people, we start to conquer our fears. And as a result, we become more resilient to the stresses that are happening around us.
Maybe you haven’t sold your business, maybe you watched the news, and it kind of freaks you out that Russia invaded Ukraine. Maybe it freaks you out, the political situation, whatever it is, we need to do things that make us more resilient to the uncertainty that we face in our lives.
And sometimes that uncertainty is very abstract because we watch too much news or Twitter or whatever, you know, Facebook, wherever you’re getting your news from.
Or maybe it’s more specific, and personal or local, like, you’ve got a lot of business that you’re handling, and it’s just a bit munch. And your team isn’t trained up enough to take the load off of you yet. Or in the case of Paul, where he’s having to deal with some tough personalities after selling his business. And so, what I do with my clients is I have them work on these things. And I want to share this quote for you. I’ve shared it many, many times, and I’ll never stop sharing it because it is pure gold. “The cave you fear to enter, holds the treasure that you seek.”
And this is a really important one because when—I’ll use my own example again—when I did Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, it changed me as a person and maybe a way more confident person, way more mentally strong. And it wasn’t so much that I kicked so much ass. It was that I had my ass kicked so many times that I knew that I would never stay down. I tapped out so many times in training, not in competitions. I only lost a couple competitions.
But in training, I had my butt kicked so much. I knew they could beat me technically, but they could never beat me mentally. They could never win mentally because I’ll never give up. I will get back and get back in there. “Oh, you tapped me out again? Oh, well, I’m going to come back.’ That said though, guess what? That was no longer a challenge for me.
All the fear that I had when I first did my first competition first Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class that was all gone away. Yeah, I had a little bit of nervousness, sparring with some people or even competing, but I had the exposure to it. So, I already got what I needed to get. And I have a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I took it far.
And what I realize is that you know what, I’m more afraid of getting on a stage and speaking to a big group of people than I am to get in an MMA cage and go at it and even lose. And that was when I knew I needed to do something different. And as I’m telling you this story, what I want you to take away from this, and what I would ask you to think about is, where is your cave that you fear to enter?
Because if you’re like, “Yeah, Ted, I’m an MMA like, you’re a brown belt in Jiu-jitsu, I’m a black belt in Jiu-jitsu, I’m a muay Thai, I’ve had several fights.” Well, guess what, you’re not going to get that much from challenging yourself in that way. There will come a point of diminishing returns, she will have to shift gears and look somewhere else. Like for me that somewhere else was in public speaking.
Now, you probably might even find it hard to believe, like some people do, that I had an issue with public speaking because I get on this podcast and I probably sound very comfortable, and guess what, I am. But that’s because it’s like my 500 or 600 episode. And so now I’m looking for different ways to challenge myself in public speaking in-person is something that still challenges me.
And so what I’m asking you to think about, what is the cave that you’re afraid to enter? And it’s interesting when I asked this question, because I’ll ask someone something—like, for example, I went diving with bull sharks. And let me tell you something, at least in Mexico, where I went diving, you’re diving with pregnant female bull sharks, there’s not one incidence of a bull shark attacking someone on these dives. And they’ve been going on for over a decade.
But when I mentioned it to people, what do people say, “Oh, I would never do that. It freaks me out to think about it.” Or what about the time that I went skydiving last year in 2021 when I was in Ubatuba in Brazil, “Oh, I would never do that.” Well, guess what people if you don’t, if you won’t, if you’re not willing to do it, you will never break the psychological bonds, the chains that are holding you back, that keep you stuck in these patterns of behavior, that you don’t want to be stuck in anymore, you will never break them, until you challenge yourself.
This is what I’ve seen over and over. What I tell people that I help my clients with are two things. Number one is strategies. I’ve got great strategies. But it’s very interesting because some people will take the strategies, will run with them, will get great results with them. And then we have the second type of client is the stress, might be stressed from their relationships, might be stressed from their running their business, from their career, whatever it is, the stress from the areas of their life, stop them from achieving their goals.
And if it’s a situation where the problem isn’t so easily solvable, then you’re going to have to step up as a person and do something different. You’re going to have to challenge yourself in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. But there is a rule here. For example, you know, when I bring up some of the challenging as you probably heard, you might have said, “Oh, I’m never going to bull shark diving, I don’t even dive.”
But maybe doing—not a diving certification—but maybe doing a swimming lesson is a challenge for you, or maybe doing a one-day diving instruction in a pool is a challenge for you. Maybe doing—not public speaking to 100 people or 1000 people, but maybe going to Toastmasters is a step for you or attending a public speaking course is a step that you can do.
The thing is this: if you’re not willing to step up and challenge yourself to grow as a person, and you keep returning to those negative patterns of behavior, the drug use, in some cases, the alcohol, which is a drug, but drinking alcohol, and eating food. If you don’t deal with the underlying either source of your stress or the type of person you are, that shows up when that stress becomes overwhelming. If you don’t do those things, you will stay stuck, you will never change.
And I have that talk with my clients. When they show up and have that particular challenge, I say, “Hey, listen, let me tell you how this is going to work. You’ve got a lot of challenges coming on, and you just hired me to help you.
So, either we’re going to get you to step up and do some things that are going to make you feel really uncomfortable. Or you’re going to stay stuck and we’re going to keep having the same conversation over and over. The stress that’s coming from this area of your life, and it’s just going to keep coming up.
I told this story one time, I had a client not too long ago, we just had conversations about her business, she had great skills, kind of like I do. I’m a world class coach. If you’re an entrepreneur or executive, I know how to help you. But I don’t know how to hire people to help me, so I’m getting business coaching.
So anyway, our calls with that client were all around her business. And I said, “Listen, I’m not a business coach. But I can tell you this, if you don’t handle your business, this situation, you’re never going to fix this, because you don’t have a nutrition problem, you have a stress problem. And this stress is being caused by the way that you’re running your business.”
Because in her case, “you’re a great teacher, you understand what needs to be done, but you don’t have the skills or experience to manage your business in a way to lower the stress that allows you to have the space to focus on your health, because we haven’t even talked about nutrition except on our very first call. We’ve only talked about your stress challenges.”
And so again, what is your big takeaway from this conversation today? What is the area that you need to step up in? Can you solve the problems that are overwhelming you with stress, and driving you towards the tendency to overeat or over drink? And if not, what do you need to do to not just change your state with some food or some alcohol?
But what do you need to do to change your traits to become someone different who is less affected by the things that you’re going through right now? That is the answer for you, my friend.
So, listen, I hope you enjoy today’s episode. I hope you took a lot away from it. This has the potential, if you follow through with this, to change your life. That’s what I want to leave you with. Have an amazing weekend, and I’ll speak to you soon.
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