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Ted Talk 160: The #1 Key To Weight Loss Success (Hint: It’s Not Exercise Or Nutrition)

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Ted Talk 160: The #1 Key To Weight Loss Success (Hint: It’s Not Exercise Or Nutrition)

Regular exercise, tracking your macros, or managing your food cravings is excellent for burning extra calories, helping you grow muscle, managing stress, and enhancing sleep quality. But doing only that won’t grant success in weight loss.

The #1 key to weight is not about that. It is about your mindset.

While addressing the physiological aspect of weight loss is important, the answer to getting long-lasting results is managing the psychological part.

In today’s Ted Talk, Ted shares the #1 key to achieving long-lasting weight loss success that doesn’t require exhausting workouts or extreme diets nor draws on “quick fixes” that do not work long-term. He explains why you feel like quitting every time the scale throws “a negative result” at you, how to teach yourself to change, and the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset.

Plus, he talks about how emotions get in your way of losing weight, how to understand the emotional effects of carrying extra weight, how to deal with the stories in our heads about being overweight, and much more.


You’ll learn:

  • How to stop self-sabotage when it comes to weight loss
  • Why do you punish yourself more when failing at losing weight than failing at anything else
  • Can we change how our brain works?
  • What is the big emotion that is stopping you from change?
  • The most significant area of your life you should succeed at
  • What are the differences between a growth and a fixed mindset
  • And much more…


Links Mentioned:  

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Related Episodes:  

Ted Talk 145: How Stress Sabotages Your Fat Loss Results (And How To Beat It) 

506: The 3S Method: How To Reduce Stress, Lose Weight and Maintain For Life with Ted Ryce 

Ted Talk 121: Help! I Can’t Stop Stress Eating! 


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Podcast Transcription: The #1 Key To Weight Loss Success (Hint: It's Not Exercise Or Nutrition)

Ted Ryce: Have you ever started a weight loss journey only to give up because something rubbed you the wrong way? Maybe you felt like you were doing everything right, but when you stepped on the scale and you saw that you hadn't either made any change or maybe you didn't lower your weight enough to make you feel like, wow, that was really worth it. 

You get these negative emotions and give up. Does that sound familiar? Because if it does, you are listening to the right episode today. What is up, my friend? Welcome back to the Legendary Life Podcast. What we do on this show, I want to be very transparent with you, my goal is to help you become healthier. I believe that when more people focus on their physical and mental health, we're going to be living in a better world. 

And of course, if you are a founder, entrepreneur, a high-performing professional, and you want help, guidance, a mentor to help you get faster results, better results, I should say, better results in less time, I'm here for you. So that's what we do on this show. That's what this show is about, and that's what I'm about personally. 

So, let's get into this idea, how to stop self-sabotage when it comes to weight loss. And the first thing I want to tell you is this. So, I spent a magical week in Paris. I don't know if you've ever been, but it was my first time and it was…I've been all over the world. I lived in Asia for two years. 

I spent the better part… I lived in Brazil for a year in total. I've lived in Mexico, Columbia, many other places. But Europe is a new place for me, and I had spent a few months in Lisbon this year and I went to Paris and wow, what an amazing city? I ate so many almond croissants that I probably have clogged at least one to two minor arteries. 

Hopefully not, but so buttery, right? The food's so amazing there, just incredible mouthwatering. And I have started to learn a little bit of French too. And I was having a call with a client the other day, and my client is also learning French. And during the call though, we were talking about, “Oh, man, you know, I just… I feel like I'm addicted to food. 

I feel like I just can't change. I feel like, you know, even if I do lose the weight, I'm going to mess up some other area of my life because I'll be lean and feeling so good. I might even sabotage it.” And that was our conversation. And this is a client I've been working with for a while and he's lost about 20 pounds with me, but we've been working together for the better part of the year, and we'll probably end up working together at least another year, to get him to his goal. 

Sometimes that happens. Not usually. We help people crush their goals, but some people really get stuck, and this is one of those clients. He's making progress, but constantly has these setbacks. Another interesting thing is that he is also learning French, as I mentioned, and we were talking a little bit because I have this rule for myself. 

If I go to a country, I learn, I do the first five Pimsler lessons. Pimsler is a method of learning languages. It was recommended to me by an interpreter, and it's just fantastic. Unfortunately, I didn't do all the lessons, all five lessons in French, but I picked up a few things and it helped the most important of which is [speaking French 03:49] I don't understand French. [speaking French] Do you speak English?  

So those are a couple things, and we were going back and forth and we were laughing, because he's learning it as well. And he's better at languages than I am. And then we got into talking a bit. In case you're wondering, what does this have to do with ending self-sabotage? 

I'm getting to that. Stick with me. I promise the payoff will be there. And so we were joking around with the French thing, learning French, and then he started into these things that he says, these statements about him and weight loss and the challenges he has, and something hit me during the call. 

I was just like, “Glen, man, you're learning a language, so you're proving to yourself you can learn. And how many times, I don't know about you, man, but when I'm doing my French lessons, I screw up almost every word because French is so different than Spanish, so different than Portuguese.”  

And he's like, “Yeah, I screw up too. You know, make so many mistakes, but it's a process of learning.” And I was like, “Glen, how come you can get yourself to learn a new language, but when it comes to these habits, these skills...” because learning is learning, my friends, and I'm going to talk to you about that in a second. “…but learning these other skills, what's the big difference? 

And we talked for a little bit about. And what happened was, what we decided was, and his big realization—I mean, he had a big realization here, a big breakthrough moment. He's like, “If I screw up learning French, I don't care. There's no story around it.” He's making a little bit of progress every time with French, but he doesn't care. 

He says, [Speaking French 05:48] you know, you say it wrong and you just move on with your life. But if you step on this scale after you feel like you're doing everything right and you don't see that number that you want, the story comes up. And Glen has a big story about this, like so many people that I meet, “Oh, I'll always be fat.” 

“Oh, I'm just a foodie.” “Oh, I just enjoy food.” “Oh, I have a slow metabolism.” I want to share with you a big breakthrough, a personal breakthrough in working with people over 23 years now, this stuff, weight loss, physiology is not the answer. It's psychology. It's the mental battle. It's more specifically than the mental battle, it's the emotional battle because people just want to give up.  

People are so hard on themselves and they quit. Where, if you have a hard day at work, would you quit? No, you're less emotional about it. You're like, “Man, I had a bad day. Just get back on track because I got to keep going. Got to pay the bills, got to achieve my dreams.” 

Whatever it is. Wherever you are on your journey of making money in life, you got to keep going. But when it comes to losing weight, improving your health, let's say you don't have any major medical issues. Nobody's there for you. You don't have the same level of accountability to yourself. And even when you're working with someone like me…And let me tell you folks, I've been doing this for a long time, over two decades. 

I've never been better. I am at the top of my game. And even when people work with me, it's sometimes a challenge. Not usually, most people have big breakthroughs quickly. You've heard Dan recently lost 40 pounds in four months. He achieved his dream, and now we're beyond what his dream was, and now he has another goal. 

You've heard Lisa, achieved her goal. I mean, people break barriers that they've had for decades with me, and even then, it's challenging for some folks like Glen. And here's what I want to tell you. Here's what I've learned. Our brains can change. So, if you're telling yourself, “Oh, I can't change, it's just who I am,” that is bullshit. 

It's 100% bullshit. It may be hard to change. It may be challenging to change. It may suck to change. It may be an emotional journey to change. You may not want to change, but you 100% can change if you can learn new things and all of us can, because you know, you change your iPhone and then they change something on the phone and then you're like, “Oh man.” 

Like, I remember when they took off the button. Remember the home button? They removed it for the first, I don't know, three hours, or maybe it was even 24 hours. I was like, “Man, that was dumb. Why'd they take the home button away? That was dumb. Now this is harder to use.” And then I eventually realized, this is way easier without the home button. 

It's so intuitive. So, we can all learn. We're all learning all the time, even if we're unconscious of it, because our world changes quickly, so we can change. This is the idea, folks, of neuroplastic. That's a fancy term and it gets thrown around a lot. But all it means is that your brain changes based on the inputs you give it. 

So, it can form new connections, you can learn new things. And if you can learn to speak French, like in Glen's case, or speak French, and you know, I don't speak French, but you can learn a few phrases. You can learn how to change your behavior so we can all learn, neuroplasticity, it is how we learn. 

So, the other thing that I would say is that the difference is the emotional story that's connected with what we're learning. For example, I don't have any issues about learning French either. If I screw up, I'm like, “Oh God, you're stupid. God, you're never going to speak French.” Or if you're a parent, you didn't tell your kids, “Hey, listen, I don't think I'm very good at this. I'm going to go now.” 

You didn't do that. Why? Because you were committed to it. You knew that the story there is like, “I'm a parent.” You could leave your kids. I mean, it's illegal probably, and there's consequences, but you can do that. But of course, I'm joking there, right? You never want to do that. 

The point is, emotionally you wouldn't even consider it. I bet when you had kids, you had to change, and I bet you've had to change a lot as they have grown because it's very different having children, they're little babies, then they're toddlers, and then they're preadolescent, then they're adolescent, and then… I mean, I'm sure you've had to change as a parent, right? 

So, you can change. It's about the emotional story of what you're learning to change. Are you with me there? Am I explaining it well? This is tough stuff for me to explain too. So, I want to ask you, and I hear this—there's also a narrative in our society that, oh, it's women who have the really big emotional challenge when they're doing something with their weight. 

That's not true. It is guys… Guys, we just don't like to talk about it. Or when we talk about it, we don't like to say, “Yeah, I'm being, yeah, Brad, I'm just really emotional today.” We don't talk like that because we feel like it's not manly. But the reality is, you're just emotional. Just accept it. Just roll with it. 

Stop trying to label it something different. You're being emotional if you get upset. Now, guys are more comfortable with anger. That's the emotion that we're the most comfortable with, right? Instead of sadness or whatever. But if you're having negative emotions during a weight loss journey, like every guy who I work with has pretty much, if this has been a challenge for a while, it's emotions and it's okay. 

It's an aspect of the human brain, the human emotional system, it’s part of how our nervous system works. It doesn't work so well in the modern world. Right? Something we talk about a lot on this podcast, for example, short term gratification leads to long term disaster in the modern world. 

Where in the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer days, probably kept your family alive so that you could be here today, right? Your ancestors alive so you could be here today. So, the big takeaway is this: you can learn to change, but it's the emotions that stop you from changing. And it's not just with weight.  

I know people right now, they're trying to get their business up and going where I have one person in my life, she's trying to move from working from people to doing her own thing, and it's an emotional journey because of the stories that she has. It's just our emotional stuff that comes up. And so, I want you to reflect on what is the story that you're telling yourself when it comes to improving your health?  

Are you saying, I'm just not an exercise person? It's like, do you like sex? Do you like dancing? Do you like getting up out of the chair? Do you like being able to go to the bathroom on your own because you're not going to be able to even do that if you don't keep maintain your function. 

Are you that type of person? Of course, you are. Saying you're not an exercise person. You're really saying, well, I don't like to go to the gym and wear tank tops or sport bras and stare at myself in the mirror and pump out reps while I'm listening to house music or whatever your story is, but you can totally learn to be a person who takes care of yourself. 

I mean, you weren't a person who brushed their teeth until your parents made you. And that's kind of what I help people do. I help you brush your teeth? No. I help people stick with the goals that they set out for themself because they realize that health is one of the biggest areas you can ever conquer in your life, you can ever win in, in your life.  

There's health, there's wealth, there's relationships. And having health is better than having a million dollars because if you don't have health and you have a million dollars, you're going to be spending all that money on people taking care of you until you succumb to your health issue. 

Health is where it's at, folks. There's nothing more valuable. All it takes is someone getting really sick to learn what, what that. Whether that's a physical illness like cancer or heart disease or diabetes, or even a mental illness, where…Why do wealthy people…? Why did Anthony Bourdain kill himself? 

He was at the peak of his career. Health is where it's at. Now, Anthony Bourdain's, an extreme example as is having a heart attack, Diabetes, although it's not that extreme of an example in the United States—way more common than suicide, having heart disease, cancer. So, this is a big deal, folks, and we have a story about it. 

I don't know where your story comes from. We would have to talk to figure that out. And I'll tell you this: the story isn't even that important. A psychologist might sit you down—and this is one reason, I have clients who stop working with their psychologists because. I'm not a psychologist. I don't do counseling. 

I'm not going to talk to you, “Tell me about your childhood.” I'm not going to do that because I think this story can be important and I think some therapists can help process past trauma. But what it really comes down to is, changing in, in spite of the story and working through the discomfort that comes up because it's about winning now it's about feeling good now, it's not about talking about the past. 

If you're unhappy, you're unhappy because of right now, the past may be the excuse. Or story that you have about why the present is the way that it is, but it's really about the present. I grew up fat, all my family was fat, therefore, I'm going to be fat. Okay. But really the reason why you're overweight or struggling with losing fat is because of what you're doing right now, today and tomorrow, right? What you're doing right now.  

And if you just changed what you, you get results, especially if you're using strategies that are more sustainable than other strategies. Not the keto, the intermittent fasting, etc. but the things that we use. So, the issue is changing is hard. Especially when you have that story. It's hard to learn in…. 

I don't have a big issue with learning a new language, but it would have been hard for me to study French had I not been going to France, going to Paris. I just didn't have the, if you will, motivation, a strong enough why. Like, “Hey, learn French.” “Okay. But I'm in Portugal right now. That's not really going to come in handy.”  

So it's hard to change. You got to have a good reason for it. And even when you do, if you have a, a story that it's emotionally charged and brings up negative feelings during that journey, you're going to need help through that. You're going to need, you know, maybe it's help, maybe it's the tools on your own.  

That's what we teach people to do. We work through that journey with people so they stop the self-sabotage. That's really what I do, folks. I don't just write workouts and tell people to eat more vegetables, “Eat more protein, and more veggies. Here's your workout. Thanks. See you later.” 

That's not what I do. It's the psychological journey. And I want to tell you why I do this because I never started out 23 years ago saying, “Yes. I just got my personal training certification where I learned all about biomechanics and muscle physiology and nutrition, and a little bit of biochemistry so I could talk to people about their emotions. 

I didn't do that. That's not how it started. I had to learn this because this is what it's all about for. This is what it's all about, this psychological journey and what I see, the big issue, either people don't have the mindset, don't have the skill set or the environment that they're in is sabotaging them. 

Mindset is what we're talking about today. Fixed mindset versus growth mindset. Growth mindset is, oh, I can learn things. When I learn things, I'm not going to be great at them at first, because that's why it's called “learning.” You don't just upload it. Like in The Matrix, the first one, update abomination after that, like, I know jui-jitsu, right? 

It's like, we don't upload things like that. We learn, it's the process of learning. And even Neo in The Matrix, had to learn how to use his skills in The Matrix, right? It's all learning. So even if we can upload it, it may shortcut the learning process. Sorry, that's a weird tangent, but I hope it was kind of entertaining. 

But we can shorten the process, but we can't get around the learning curve completely, we have to learn, and that means making mistakes and learning. That's the growth mindset. Fixed mindset is, “Oh, whether I am good right away or not, is the ultimate determinant of whether I can do this thing at all. 

And if I can't do it the first time, I must quit because it means something about me internally.” And instead of just looking at it as, “Hey, I didn't have a law degree when I first started out. I wasn't an attorney. I wasn't an entrepreneur,” whatever your profession was, you had to learn be that. But you were committed to it. 

You went through the up and down roller coaster of emotions to get to where you got to. And that's the same thing you need to do with this. It's just, our society, you know, it's a very different situation, health. Good for me, it's good for business, and it's really difficult. 

70% of the people in the United States are overweight or obese. And there's not—and very intelligent people. Everyone who I work with, they're rockstar in what they do. They're a high-performer. I don't work with anybody who isn't doing well in their life, at least in their career, and they still struggle. 

And it's just a thing. Especially in the United States, Canada, the UK, that's just where it is right now. So, I know we talked about a lot and I did my best. I hope this wasn't too rambly because I wanted to…I'm trying to connect these dots for you because it was very…It took me a long time to connect these dots, and I want to save you the trouble of having to learn this on your own.  

I feel like it's the thing that other people aren't talking about, and when I mean other people, I mean health influencers, they're telling you, “Hey, make the salad in a jar and then go shopping at Whole Foods and buy organic products and then change out your toiletries for organic toiletries and to lower your toxin exposure.”  

It’s none of that, folks, you eat too many calories. You don't move enough. You need to upgrade the skill set, but while upgrading the skill set, your mindset gets challenged. And also, you see how supportive your environment is. And the less supportive your environment is, the harder it's going to be. 

The more emotional the journey gets you, the harder it's going to be. And that's just the way it is. And I would ask you, what is the big takeaway from today's episode for you? Please tell me. There's a good one because I feel like I was a little all over the place, but I even tried to create a bullet point, some type of outline for this. And it's just so hard to explain it, at least for me, because not enough people are talking about it, the emotional journey. And that's what it's really all about. 10% physiology, 90% regulating your emotions, and that is it. So, hope that helps. Hope you have an amazing weekend. Love you lots, and speak to you on Monday. 


Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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