After trying several strict diets and extreme programs, adding new knowledge, and thousands of hours of coaching and being coached, Ted finally found the formula to get lean, keep the weight off, and feel good about himself, his diet, and his workout routine.
It took him over 20 years, lots of mistakes, and especially discarding certain beliefs that were doing more harm than helping.
So, if you want to benefit from the results of over two decades of helping people to look the way they want while feeling fantastic about themselves, you must listen to this one.
In this episode, Ted shares the 14 most valuable lessons he learned about fat loss over his 23+ years in the health and fitness industry. He explains how mood, stress, and sleep deprivation slow us down in our fat loss journey and what we can do to prevent this from happening.
He also talks about the psychological effects of losing weight, the secrets to building a consistent workout routine, and how to stop seeing diets and intense workouts as chores and start seeing them as enjoyable parts of our lives.
Ted also unravels why people get fat; he debunks several myths about fat loss and muscle gain, explains the importance of remaining active, and much more. Listen now!
- Why it’s easier to lose weight when we are feeling good about ourselves
- The key role of focus and commitment in losing fat
- How does losing weight impact our psyche, and what we think about ourselves
- The number #1 secret of consistently working out
- How tracking macros can change the way we see food and diets and help us enjoy life without guilt or extreme sacrifices
- What is the reason why people reach obesity levels
- Why losing fat is easier than keeping it off, and why it is detrimental to remain active
- What is indicative that we need help in our fat loss journey
- And much more…
Do You Need Help Creating A Lean Energetic Body And Still Enjoy Life?
We help successful entrepreneurs, executives, and other high-performers burn fat, transform their bodies, and grow successful businesses while enjoying their social life, vacations, and lifestyle.
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.
Go to legendarylifeprogram.com/free to watch my FREE Body Breakthrough Masterclass.
Podcast Transcription: 14 Weight Loss Lessons I Learned in 23+ Years of Coaching
Ted Ryce: I was doing the math the other day, and I’ve been in the health and fitness business for 23 years now. And I was thinking 23 years, how many hours is that? So, I decided to take—well, I didn’t work all, let’s say I’ve worked 50 weeks out of 52 weeks for 23 years, even though I’ve gone many years without taking a vacation, taking very much time off at all.
And let’s say out of the week I worked, let’s say 40 hours, even though I’ve worked way over that, the math comes out to 46,000 hours. Whoa, that’s way over the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000-hour mark, which, by the way, is a little bit controversial, but still—because the reps have to be good. But I’ve done a lot of great reps, not just good, but great reps, especially recently.
And I was also thinking, what are some of the top lessons that I could share on the podcast that would really help people start to see health in a different way? And so that’s what this episode is, my top 14 lessons I’ve learned in 23 years of being in the health and fitness business, coaching entrepreneurs, executives, and other high-performing people to lose fat and get in the best shape of their life.
So what is up, my friend? Welcome back to the podcast. I’m your host Ted Ryce, coach to entrepreneurs and executives, and let’s jump right into it. This is a real talk Friday episode, so number one out of 14: if you graph your weight over time, you’ll see that you gain weight in the most stressful periods of your life, and you lose weight when you’re feeling your best.
And this is something I’ve seen with so many clients that have come through and struggled. The people who struggled to lose fat, I show awesome strategies. What I mean by that is, they’re so easy to implement, because it’s so individualized and if people can’t do it, it’s always some type of stress in their life that’s sabotaging them.
Now you may ask, “Well, oh I’ve read about that, cortisol makes you store fat around your belly.” Well, that’s not the whole story, what stress really does—because by the way, you want to know what’s stressful, starvation, raises stress hormones, and people don’t get fat when they’re starving.
So, we’ve got to be clear about that. I always need to feel I need to remind Americans and other Western Country People, “Hey, people starve to death, just not in the US. So stress sabotages your fat loss efforts by affecting your brain.
So, number one - you can’t even remember, like, “What did you eat two weeks ago from today?” How about three weeks ago? Right? We just don’t remember things that well—anyway, and then stress makes it even harder to track our behavior. Because being stressed means you’re focused on threat, your amygdala is hijacked, you’re focusing on the deadline of a project or delivering something on time for a client or whatever it is. And stress sabotages your fat loss efforts by causing food craving.
But it also disrupts your sleep, which also causes food cravings. And then someone’s telling me, “I don’t know what’s wrong, I hardly ever eat, I just eat when I’m hungry.” It’s like you’re hungry all the time and you’re grabbing stuff and you don’t even remember. And so the point here is: handle your stress to make space so that you can lose weight.
Number two - fat loss is about being focused. I’ve had so many clients come to me and they’re worrying about their sodium levels that they’re eating or the EMFs from their AirPods or chemicals in their shampoo or microplastics in their environment.
Look, those things are important, but losing fat is really about staying focused. It’s about eating fewer calories than you burn, it’s about managing your hunger with your food choices, with your stress management, with your sleep hygiene so you can stay in a calorie deficit. It’s about lifting weights a couple times a week, and it’s about shooting for a step count of say seven to 10,000 steps.
If you do that, you’re going to get results. Four things, folks, come on. So stay focused, don’t let anybody tell you, you need to eat raw liver and all the other crazy stuff that you hear, stay focused. Fat loss is about being focused.
Number three - getting lean does more for you than just transform your body, it changes the way you see yourself. In fact, I want to tell you one of the things I’ve struggled with. I’m 45 now, and I’m going to be 46 in six months, right? Well, seven or eight months, something like that. Anyway, my birthday is February 2nd.
And as I get older, my hair disappears and the hair that I have remaining starts to turn white, and wrinkles start coming, my skin gets weird. And I’m not going to lie, I don’t want it, it kind of sucks, I don’t want that at all. And I can’t do anything about it, right? Except use the vitamin C serum and the retinol and all that, right? I’m doing all that stuff, sunscreen, etc.
But one thing is that we all have control over how much body fat we have, we all have control over how much muscle we have, we all control that even if we decide, “Well, I’m just not going to pay attention to how much I eat or how much I exercise.” That’s still you in control, you making a decision. And when we start to change ourselves by improving that area of our life, it changes the way we see yourself, because then we start to see ourselves in the mirror changing, getting better.
We start liking what we see in the mirror. I like what I see in the mirror right now, I wish there were more hair and it was less white, but luckily, I don’t have too many white hairs. But it’s coming no matter what, but I’m starting to see my abs. It changes the way you see yourself, and let’s be honest, whether society should or should not judge you based on your weight.
I don’t believe it should, right? Our weight is not our worth, I believe that. I’m against fat shaming simply because I just think it’s a shitty coaching, “Stop being fat!” it’s like, thanks. That’s like telling someone to stop being poor, right? That’s where you tell an entrepreneur “Stop being poor,” right? Or someone who has a lot of talent and skills.
But you don’t say that to someone who’s really struggling with a lot of things. And so, anyway, we all look at people—we have a story when we see people who are overweight or obese, we have a story about them. And we also have a story whether it’s right or wrong, and probably most often wrong.
I deal with a lot of people who are overweight and obese, they make millions of dollars, they’re not lazy, but it still affects the way they see themselves and other people see them. And when you change yourself, not only do you see yourself differently and like what you see in the mirror, but it changes how other people see you.
And one thing that is crazy is kind of a bit funny, I should say is that: when my clients talk about how their kids start to respond to them or how their kids used to respond to them and how their kids respond to them now, getting lean, getting this area of your life handled, getting lean is about like getting out of debt.
It’s kind of the same thing, getting your financial life, your financial health squared away, losing unnecessary body fat, that’s what that’s like. It’s a person who has their shit together, right? Who’s gotten their stuff together.
Now someone could have a story, like my story, everyone from my family is dead. If I was obese, people would say that, “Oh, are you just a lazy bastard,” I would be like, “No, my whole family died. I’m super depressed.” They might feel bad for me, but at the end of the day, it is what it is, I’m still obese, right? And I was borderline obese, by the way. So it transforms every area of your life for the better.
Number four - working out is about habits, not motivation. I want to ask you, are you a person who you’re constantly starting and stopping. If you are, then you don’t understand the habit, you don’t understand that habits come first and you probably have an “all or nothing” approach. You step on the gas, your foot’s pressed on the pedal or your foot’s all on the brake when it comes to your exercise routine or your health.
So the way you get out of that is you build a small habit. Some of my clients, they hate it when I say this, and then I simply say to them, “Okay, so let’s say I tell you to work out six days a week and let’s say you miss a workout. How’s that going to make you feel?” “Oh, like shit.” “Really? Okay. What if you work out, what if we say do 30 minutes three times a week, but if you want to do more, it’s a bonus.” “Oh, yeah, I would feel amazing, and then I would get that bonus.”
Do you see how we look at things? That’s one of the hardest lessons that I’ve learned over the 23 years, I just want to tell people, “Hey, do these exercises for this amount of reps with this amount of weight, eat these, this amount of protein, these amount of calories,” but we have to deal with this psychological side. So it’s about creating those habits, it’s not about motivation, and you have to start there first.
Number five - the worse you sleep, the harder it will be to get healthy. Poor sleep stops you from getting stronger, “Why am I not getting stronger in the gym?” Well, you sleep six and a half hours a night or six hours a night, what do you want? It makes you lose muscle faster, increases your cravings for junk food, lowers your motivation to exercise.
It also, if you have aches and pains like I do, it causes you to feel them more because poor sleep causes something called Central Sensitization. If you have disrupted sleep, it increases inflammation. So, treat sleep as important as eating well and working out. And if you’re struggling, if you feel you’re doing the right things with your exercise and nutrition, but something’s just not right, and you don’t sleep that well, go grab yourself an Oura Ring and it’ll help sort you out.
Number six - tracking macros is the way out of strict diets. I used to be low carb for over 10 years, folks, and I was ripped, because I was also working out all the time. And then I stopped working out, I stopped doing Brazilian Jiu-jitsu really intense.
I used to train a lot, little sip of chamomile tea there. And I knew how to get lean when I was being really strict, but I couldn’t get lean—I felt like I just didn’t have food freedom, the freedom to eat the things that I wanted, even though I would end up binge eating. Even though I was lean, I was on that cycle of strict, strict, strict, binge, restrict, restrict, restrict, binge.
And it wasn’t healthy psychologically and that’s kind of what so many people are stuck in. “Oh, I can only eat low carb diets, I can only eat paleo foods, I can only follow the Atkins.” Tracking is the way out of that. Tracking trains you to think about food in terms of calories, proportion. For example, I budgeted my calories last night to fit in half a pizza.
And someone asked me—I remember someone asked me when I was sitting there like, “Oh, what do you eat when you’re losing fat?” Because I’m sitting there eating half a pizza, and that particular time I was eating half a pizza, and not a giant pizza, by the way. We’re not in the US, I’m not in the US, I’m in Brazil. They’re like regular sized pizzas here, right? Not crazy American size.
Anyway, so—cracking myself up over here. Hopefully, it’s somewhat amusing for you too. So the thing is that someone was asking me, “Hey, what do you eat when you’re losing fat? When you’re trying to lose fat,” I’m like, “this is what I’m eating right now, trying to lose fat. And I’m not just trying, I’m losing fat.” They’re like, “What are you talking about?” I’m like, “Because it’s calories. I’m eating half a pizza and a brownie with some ice cream.”
We split the brownie with ice cream, I was on a date. And I was like, “Yeah, that’s what I’m eating and losing fat, because I understand calories, I know how to eat before I have this meal and I know what to do tomorrow to put myself right back on track.” That’s what tracking your macros does for you; it gets you out of this strict diet. I’m never off plan or on plan or…I mean, I’m always on, I’m either losing fat, I’m maintaining or building muscle. That’s the only three phases, and I eat what I want.
Number seven - losing fat is easier than keeping it off. Anybody can lose fat, you just need a lot of motivation and something strict, right? I’m going to try the Master’s Cleanse, which is basically drinking lemonade for a week or more. Follow due a detox of juice cleanse, right? Diarrhea tea, the diet tea, right? That just gives you diarrhea. I’ve never tried it, that’s what people say on social media that “it gives you diarrhea.” I don’t know, never tried it, never will, don’t need to, tracking my calories, as I said previously.
But keeping it off - anybody can lose fat, but keeping it off requires you to follow a sustainable way of eating, exercising, and enjoying your life. What are you doing right now to lose fat? Do you hate it or love it, not love the results, love what you’re doing. Because I ate half pizza literally last night and I’m like, “Damn, that was good pizza.” So, I’m enjoying my life. I can do this for the rest of my life and my exercise routine, I can do for the rest of my life. And I’m enjoying my life, and if you can’t say the same thing, well, that’s where most people found why they gained the weight pack.
Number eight - how you feel is directly related to your fitness. If you feel out of shape, you’ll feel more tired. If you sleep poorly all the time, you’re going to feel more tired, it’s going to be difficult to learn new things, it’s going to be difficult to remember things. A lot of people say that they’re getting older and their brain doesn’t function as well, but it’s really that your habits are not good and they’re finally catching up to you, that’s what counts for a lot of what I see as age.
It’s not like, “Well, I sleep eight hours a night, I exercise a little bit every day, but not too much, lift weights a few times a week, etc, zone 2 cardio occasionally, high intensity interval training, I’ve got a great social life and I just don’t feel that great.” I don’t have to hear that right? That’s not the story.
People reach out to me or either hire me and that’s never the story. So if you’re out of shape, you’re going to feel more tired, because working out – you can think of yourself, whatever your career is, you think of yourself as a entrepreneur athlete, a doctor athlete, a consultant athlete.
And to do your sport, you got to be in shape for it, just like every other sport. Oh, but I’m mostly—using your mind. Well, guess what? That takes energy too, and guess how your brain functions. It has a circulation, your brain needs blood, and it needs glucose. So your circulatory system is what feeds your brain.
So your fitness is directly related to how you feel and the quality of your brain, the shape of your brain, the fitness of your brain is going to be how you feel, it’s going to be your emotional state. So if you’re out of shape, if you’re sleeping poorly, if you’re overweight or obese, you’re going to feel more negative.
You’re going to feel stressed more easily, you’re not going to be resilient to stress, you’re going to be tired. And being fit increases your energy, optimism, and mental clarity. As I said, I had two bad nights of sleep and I’m still feeling good, because I’m in shape and believe me, I’d need to handle it, though.
Three nights would be kind of hard, but I’m still feeling good. So keep that in mind. If you’re not feeling good, ask yourself, how can I get in better shape? What can I do to get in better shape? And go do it, and you will see an improvement in how you feel.
Number nine - people blame obesity on their genes, metabolism, age, food companies, marketing, the government. But the biggest driver of obesity in my opinion, is: emotional eating. Certainly, our genes matter, we know that. Certainly, our environment matters. It’s way harder to get lean in The United States for example, people are overweight and obese at insane levels. I mean, it’s just people are not as big as they are in the states.
It’s not just the percentage of people who are obese in the states, it’s the size of people, it’s out of control. And that is not a genes or environment thing, it’s people are out of control. So there’s this emotional component, stress, really that drives our need to eat. We’re medicating with food.
As one of my clients said, “Listen, I’m a Christian mom, I’m never going to snort meth’’ is what she said to me. It was so funny when she said it, “I’m never going to snort meth off the toilet seat, but I’ll eat.” And people, we all—I mean, come on, if you saw that meth scene in your mind or brought you back to the… What was that? An episode of Breaking Bad, that’s bad stuff.
But what about eating a lot of delicious food? I mean, that’s encouraged in our society, so keep that in mind. Why are you medicating with food? Why aren’t you doing other things to manage your stress? In addition to eating, there’s nothing wrong with eating for pleasure, but when you do it all the time…And we all eat when we feel bad, not all of us, actually, some people don’t. But when we’re chronically stressed, we tend to eat more, when we’re acutely stressed, we tend to eat less, but why don’t we shift and do something different instead of eating.
Why don’t we go for a sauna, go do something active, paddle boarding, get out in nature. Well, you don’t have the habit of doing that, and plus it takes more work than going to the refrigerator, opening up the freezer and pulling out the key lime pie—just projecting there, because that’s what would be in my freezer if I kept that stuff around. So anyway, so it’s our constant need to feel better that drives over eating. We have to find alternatives to eating and have to solve the underlying causes of stress in her life.
Number ten - weights are the best form of exercise for fat loss, but cardio is better to reduce stress. Listen, I felt bad today, so what I did was, I’m like “Gosh, I’m going to go to the gym,” I drank a little bit of coffee, just decaf. So I find that when I’m drinking regular coffee, it’s just too much caffeine, so I just need a little bit just to get me to feel normal and then I’ve gotten a little more motivation to go do what I need to do.
So, I went to the gym. I didn’t lift weight, it’s hard. No! I did cardio, I did 75 minutes of low intensity cardio. And so I want to tell you is this: whenever you’re feeling stressed, don’t skip your hard workout, don’t skip your workout, just skip your hard workout and do low intensity cardio 30 to even 90 minutes and do that for a few days.
And you’re going to start to feel better, then start training with weights again and repeat when necessary. This is what I tell all my clients to do, this is what I do personally. And when I say stress, by the way, it could be like changing time zones. When I flew from the United States to Portugal, that’s a nine hour flight which is stressful because I don’t sleep on the flight. And then there’s that time change again form of stress.
Am I super excited to be in Portugal? Hell yeah, I am. But it still stress to your body, even if it’s ultimately a positive thing. So, I did cardio when I got there. So repeat that when necessary. The next thing is this - never skip workouts, which is kind of related to what I just said, but go for a walk, do some mobility work, ride a bike, play with your kids, swim in the pool, work in the garden, perform some stretches.
You don’t have to go to the gym, but always find a way to be active, this is the key to long term health. I do exercises when I’m sitting at my desk, I do some abductor squeezes, I’ll put a pillow in between my knees and I’ll squeeze it for a minute or two hold, that’s how long the hold is, depending on how hard I’m pressing. I’ll do the outside, I’ll do some rotation work, some mobility work – always do something for yourself.
Number 12 - people underestimate how much fat they have to lose. And I remember this happening to me. I thought I was going to go from 210 and be a ripped 190, but guess what? I wasn’t. I was 190 and I’m like, “Damn, I got another 10 pounds to lose.” And that’s exactly how much it was. I got down to 179, 180 and then I was ripped and I wasn’t even super-duper ripped, right? I was just maybe 10 to 12% body fat ripped.
So it was awesome, but you have way more fat than you think. And again, to look the way you want. And I see this all the time with my coaching clients, they’re like, “Damn, I’ve lost 20 pounds and I’ve got another 20 pounds to lose before I’m feeling like a badass.” and you’ll think I’m wrong until you lose 20 pound, realize, you know what? you’re still not even close to how you want to look. So it always takes longer than you want. And all you have much more fat than you think you have to lose, and it takes longer than you want as well.
Number thirteen - there’s no such thing as people who can’t lose fat or gain muscle. I used to make so many excuses about why I couldn’t lose fat when I was in my thirties, and I was like, “I’m doing everything right.” And I’m not making fun of you if you’re in that situation now, because I’ve been there.
I thought it was my hormones, I thought maybe I partied too hard in Miami Beach and believe me, I did party. You think I’m some health expert—and I am, I’ve paid my dues in this area of life, right? This expertise that I’ve developed over time, but I trained restauranteurs and club owners in Miami Beach in the late 90s and early 2000s.
I mean, it was a wild time. And so I thought I had damaged myself in some way, but what I ended up learning was that was whole bullshit. The strategies I was using weren’t correct, or I wasn’t doing them correctly, and that’s when I started realizing how sleep and stress influenced my appetite as well.
So don’t make excuses. If your strategies aren’t working, then it’s not your body that isn’t working. It’s, you’re using the wrong strategies or you don’t know how to apply them right, or there’s another piece of the puzzle that you’re missing.
And this brings me to number fourteen - you won’t be able to achieve a body transformation on your own. I mean, that is just…People hate when I say this, because I think a lot of people, either number one: grew up with parents who are like, “Oh, you can do anything, you want to be an astronaut?” I’ll never be an astronaut! I feel like I’m going to puke when someone drives a little crazy. I’m super sensitive to motion sickness.
I have to take Dramamine every time I go scuba diving, because even if the water isn’t that bad, you’re never going to become an astronaut, you’re not going to become a professional athlete. Look, we can’t do whatever it is that we want to do—I mean, we can, but here’s the truth: you can do this. It took me around 20 years to figure out all the details that I know now, to where I get great results.
I wish it would’ve happened faster, but I went down some of the wrong roads and that’s the point. This was how I put food on my table and I still couldn’t figure it out, and believe me, I don’t know how motivated you are at your job to put food on your table or to grow your net worth, but you’re pretty freaking motivated, I would imagine.
And I still couldn’t make it happen, and even I ended up hiring a coach in 2019, because I knew how to get lean while I was at home, but now I was traveling. I was in Thailand, in different cities in Thailand. I was in Bali, I was in Vietnam. How do you get in shape without the types of foods? You don’t just get fat free Greek yogurt everywhere, like in the States. It’s not as easy.
The food choices are not nearly as abundant outside The United States, and I didn’t want to give up the opportunity. I mean, I haven’t been back to Asia in years, I don’t know when I’m going to go back, I really want to, but don’t know when it’s going to happen. So, I knew that going in, I was like, “I’m going to eat all this food, because it was so delicious.
But working with my coach in 2019, I got— if you look at the thumbnail to this podcast, that’s how I got lean. And it went on to influence how I coach my clients now. It was such a pivotal point, I felt so good about myself and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Eric, I would have been able to get lean, but maybe not keep it, or I would’ve been working out too hard.
Eric changed the game for me. So if you’re listening, Eric, thank you so much, man, I owe so much to you both personally and professionally. And I’m telling you right now, if you are struggling to do this and you’re telling me, “No, I don’t need a coach.” Listen, I am not going to try to convince you, but I’ll tell you this, it’s the fastest way to get the results you want.
And not just with this in particular, with body transformation, if you want to get great at golf, you go find an amazing golf instructor and you get coaching, or tennis, you get coaching. If you want to grow your business like I do, and you don’t know how to do it, because you’re a coach. I’m a coach, not a business guy. Hire a coach, business coach.
The guy’s a rock star, we’ve been doing phenomenally well. And I don’t just mean money, I mean the stress involved to running the business, because they’re just…I know how to coach my clients, I know how to get results, but I don’t know how to organize the business in a way that doesn’t stress us out and take up all our time.
And so we’ve hired an assistant coach and I’ve learned how to train my coach, I’ve learned how to hire the right person, I’ve learned how to train my person. I’ve learned how to set proper boundaries, all from my business coaching. And it’s been incredible, that’s what coaching does for you.
So, it’s not that coaching helps you with your body, It helps you with everything. So, if you’re looking for a body transformation or a business transformation, or to transform your relationships, working with someone, an expert is the way. Maybe they don’t call themselves a coach, maybe they call themselves something else. But this the fastest way to get better results and change whatever area you’re looking to change, to transform.
And if you’re interested in me, Then you know where to go www.legendarylifeprogram.com/apply for the 15 minute call that’s www.legendarylifeprogram.com/apply. And I’ll bring you to the page to set up your 15 minute call.
All right, hope you enjoyed this Real Talk Friday. Excuses the stuttering and the craziness, the sleep was not great, as I mentioned a few times. But I’m still here, I’m still showing up, I’m here for you.
This is your bonus tip - we’ll all have bad days, what matters is not your ceiling, how you kick ass on the best days when you’ve had eight hours of sleep and everything’s going great in your life. It’s the days that we’re kind of feeling challenged, raising the floor is arguably way more important than raising the ceiling. That’s the thought I want to leave you with. Love you a lots. Speak to you on Monday.
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