How do you go out with co-workers, friends and family and stay uninfluenced to eat foods that don’t suit your goals? We hear it time and time again how social situations negatively influence your eating habits. Is it really possible to have your friends order dessert and you watch without having some yourself? Let’s open up our hearts and minds to this very important conversation about the social pressures of eating “good” and “bad”.
In my keynote talks, I often quote Einstein on his sentiment about problem solving. He said if he had an hour to save the world, he’d spend more time defining the problem than solving it.
If you’ve ever gone from doctor to doctor trying to figure out the cause of your symptoms, you get Einstein’s sentiment; the right questions lead to an accurate diagnosis and determine which solution is effective.
And that’s why the NY Times “ Biggest Loser” piece, in failing to mention that weight loss isn’t a calorie-deficit problem, is a big deal! What I know is that losing weight involves understanding your relationship to food.
I hear the following daily:
“I eat well and workout, but can’t lose weight.”
“I track in my Fitness Pal, but I can’t lose weight.”
“I know my GERD will go away if I lose some weight. but I can’t do what I know I should.”
Same diagnosis for all three questions: lack of clarity on what foods work best. If they were clear on this, their questions would be different.
When I look at these questions from the perspective of a client’s relationship to food rather than counting calories, these are the questions I ask when I read these emails:
“How are you defining eating well? Does it match your metabolic type?”
“MyFitness Pal measures calories. What about how calorie quality and combinations make you feel every day and affect your health?”
“I wonder if the GERD and accompanying digestive issues actually caused the weight gain, and not vice-versa? And what food mismatch is causing the GERD?”
When you start connecting what you eat to how you feel, you start relating to food as choices that either help you feel exponentially better or leave you feeling half dead.
This health mindset gets you off the “good-bad” shame continuum that inevitably leads to overeating a “shame” shit sandwich (fries on the side please!).
For example, a current Truce with Food client, who gave me permission to share her story, entered the program with gas, cravings, tendinitis in her foot and a restless leg. She told herself these symptoms were “because I’m fat.” She was relating to food on the shame continuum.
However, after realizing she wasn’t eating the right foods for her and got clear on what foods do work, all her symptoms disappeared. What has returned is glowing skin, a calm and optimistic attitude, enthusiasm for healthy fats like ghee and that yes, carbs have a place in her diet!
“Miraculously” she shared, she can walk 3.5 miles without any foot pain, and has lost a few pounds as a side-effect of the healing process. Her food choices now come more from wanting to feel great in her daily life and not as a reaction to shame.
I like asking my clients, “How good can it get?” not, “How bad have you been?”
When you motivate yourself from a place of empowerment instead of shame, you regenerate your motivation.
In my practice I have clients on the Mediterranean, paleo and vegetarian diets, and all have lost weight. When you match the right foods with your body, your metabolism works properly and your body heals.
In my Curb Your Afternoon Cravings program, you will learn how to determine what foods work for your metabolism. With this new clarity, you’ll unnormalize cravings, fatigue and feeling down. This lights a fire in you that naturally leads to the next question you’ll need to answer and measure.
I’ll return next week with that Q!
Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and kick-off to summer,
Joe Cross is a filmmaker, author, the founder of Rebootwithjoe.com and as he likes to say just an average bloke trying to do his best. His first movie “Fat Sick & Nearly Dead” has been seen by more than 25 million people worldwide and has inspired people to use their straws and forks to take control of their health. He lost over 100 pounds by mainly consuming fruit and vegetable juices. His story is a powerful one and has a lot to teach people about why and more importantly how we need to eat our fruits and veggies.
Joe Cross is a filmmaker, entrepreneur, author and wellness advocate. He directed, produced and was the subject of the award-winning documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, seen by more than 21 million people around the world, and the popular sequel Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2; authored the New York Times bestseller The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet book, which has been released globally in multiple languages; and is credited with having accelerated the plant-based eating movement by media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Times of London and The Dr. Oz Show. His website, www.rebootwithjoe.com, has become an integral meeting place for a community of more than one and a half million Rebooters worldwide.
Joe began his business career as a trader on the Sydney Futures Exchange where he worked from the early 1980s until 1998. He subsequently managed a diverse portfolio of assets in telecommunications, media, technology and financial services for Queensland Press Ltd., and in 2003 began investing his own capital through his investment vehicle Jaymsea Investments Pty Ltd. Despite his commercial success, Joe found himself at age 40 overweight and in ill health, and elected to take matters into his own hands. After consultation with noted US doctor Joel Fuhrman, Joe embarked on a 60 day journey of transformation across the US, consuming nothing but the juice of fresh vegetables and fruits. That journey – filled with personal milestones for Joe, and eye-opening experiences with average Americans– was captured on film, and has become the award-winning documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Seen by more than 20 million people around the world, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead has inspired millions of people to follow Joe’s example and reclaim their own health and vitality by adopting plant-based eating habits. The response to the film was so overwhelming Joe founded Reboot with Joe (www.rebootwithjoe.com), a health and wellness company that offers support, encouragement, community, media and tools to everyday people.
Joe lives in New York and Sydney.
Everyone’s talking about the NY Times’ article, “After ‘The Biggest Loser’, Their Bodies Fought to Regain the Weight”.
I don’t think many people were surprised by the rebound weight gain or that diets don’t work.
What did shock people (and myself!) was the degree the contestants’ metabolisms had changed, causing them to burn less calories even after regaining a good portion of their original weight loss.
The article painted an empathetic yet grim picture of weight loss.
Does this happen with all weight loss? Should I just give up?
My answers are no and yes.
I’m certain this doesn’t happen with all weight loss. Beyond my own experience of easily maintaining a 25-pound weight loss for eight years, I have clients who’ve kept off anywhere from 10-90 pounds to this day.
And the best part? None of us are starving or eating perfectly (at least I know I’m not). Or killing ourselves working out (I actually work out less).
Then why do you suggest that we “stop trying to lose weight”? How the f#@$ do you lose weight without trying?
Oh you still try. But not at weight loss.
What I discovered from my own 25-pound weight loss, 10 years of working with clients and my studies in graduate school is that counting calories is not the way to permanent weight loss.
Cutting calories inevitably sets up overeating as a reflex to physical and emotional deprivation. That is like prescribing green juice to someone whose leg is broken. Sure it might help, but what is really needed is a cast and crutches.
You need to know how to bridge the gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it.
The weight loss struggle is a symptom of a fractured relationship with food.
In a tweet, Jillian Michaels responded to the article, “It’s utter bullshit. It’s just an excuse for falling off the wagon.”
A more true (and productive!) question is, “Did the contestants ever get on the correct wagon?”
Can you fall off a wagon you never got on?
Whether your want to lose weight or stop thinking about food so much, healing your relationship with food, what I call a Truce with Food, requires you to ask radically different questions and thus measure different things.
What questions should you ask? What should you measure?
There are two questions and accompanying measurements. If you haven’t asked and answered these two questions for yourself, there’s even more hope than you know.
I’ll be back next week with the first one. Any idea what it might be? Let me know your guess by leaving a comment on my blog.
P.S. Juliet and I will be discussing the NY Times’ “Biggest Loser article in depth on Insatiable in June, including what you need to know about studies “proving” slow and rapid weight loss affects your metabolism the same and my own 25-pound weight loss versus my clients who’ve lost more than 50 pounds versus the hundreds of pounds lost on the Biggest Loser show. Insatiable is now on Google Play and Stitcher, in addition to iTunes so make sure to subscribe!
You know you have GERD. But do you know the root causes? It’s usually not from too much stomach acid even though that’s how it’s treated. In this episode, learn GERD and reflux’s connection to the digestive system and hear Linda’s Truce with Food update now that she’s two months into the program.