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Table of contents :
CHAPTER TWENTY NINE
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WEIGHT-LOSS
“GAIN CONTROL OF YOUR WEIGHT FOR GOOD”
CONTENTS PROLOGUE CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER TWO CHAPTER THREE CHAPTER FOUR CHAPTER FIVE CHAPTER SIX CHAPTER SEVEN CHAPTER EIGHT CHAPTER NINE CHAPTER TEN CHAPTER ELEVEN CHAPTER TWELVE CHAPTER THIRTEEN CHAPTER FOURTEEN CHAPTER FIFTEEN CHAPTER SIXTEEN CHAPTER SEVENTEEN CHAPTER EIGHTEEN CHAPTER NINETEEN CHAPTER TWENTY CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT CHAPTER TWENTY NINE CHAPTER THIRTY
PROLOGUE If you would’ve told me ten years ago that one day I would write a book about the psychology of weight-loss, helping people all over the world free themselves of shame, anxiety, ill-health and low self-confidence, I would’ve laughed in your face. But here we are. My name’s Andrew Vashevnik. I’m from Melbourne, Australia. But that’s only half the story. Of Russian parentage, I was actually born and raised in a European-style household. My story goes a little like this: I grew up as a chubby kid, only destined to get fatter and fatter. But unlike other kids who embraced it, who learnt to laugh at themselves, I really, truly struggled to accept being that way. I went through the majority of my childhood years miserable, overweight, alone, with no friends, a laughing-stock at all the schools I attended. The other children would tease and torment me. I was excluded, left out, ignored. They made me feel as if I simply didn’t belong. Desperately, I wanted to be like everybody else. I wanted to play sports, go to parties, go on dates. I just wanted to be normal, accepted. While back at home my parents would keep feeding me and telling me that I’d have the last laugh, as I didn’t need to be attractive or popular or sporty because I was smart. But that didn’t help in the slightest. I was still friendless. I still had low self-esteem, no self-confidence. But at least I ate “healthy” food, my mum used to say. Because all the other kids ate packets of chips and chocolates (but they still didn’t seem to put on any weight). She didn’t have any idea why I was so fat. Nor did she have any idea why our whole family was the same way. I used to break down in tears telling her how much I disliked how I felt in my own body, how much I disliked being overweight. Her response would always be the same: “at least you’re healthy”. My dad didn’t know what was going on—he just ate whatever was put in front of him each day. But this didn’t last long—the misconception that I was “healthy”. When you’re overweight you suffer from a range of problems. Even at a young age, little knots and pains form, skin issues, sweat problems, all the unpleasant things no one talks about. This was standard in my household. But it’s not how the majority of people hope to live their lives.
To counter this, I exercised a lot. My parents encouraged me to do so. In fact, they’d say: “at least you’re the fittest kid in school”. But being 80-90kg (or 170+ pounds) at seventeen, I couldn’t really compete with the other kids. They were faster, more agile, happier, had a much higher energy frequency. I begged and pleaded with my parents to help me. But I had no support in that regard. Because they too were overweight, and seemed oblivious to the fact that it was slowly killing them, that before long it would cause serious health complications that would ruin their quality of life, or worst of all, cut their life short! Therefore, I had no other choice but to set out on my own. At eighteen, I sought to rewrite my own future. I set out on a mission to lose weight—and lots of it. I purchased countless books, every exercise and diet regime out there. And oh how I wish I could say I succeeded; I wish I could say it was easy. But eight years on from when I started, I was nowhere closer to my goal of losing weight, keeping it off, and having the health, energy and confidence that went with it. I tried everything and more. From two to three workouts every day, to fasts, cleanses, to ketos, to the paleo diet, every diet imaginable. Thousands and thousands of dollars went into it. Countless hours. And still nothing. I reached a point of helplessness. I reached a point of complete surrender. I was done—my shame spiral continued to drag me down. But thankfully, salvation came from an unlikely source. In addition to the countless diets and exercise regimes, I also studied the mind, majoring in psychology in my first year of university. By the age of twenty-one I became a licensed hypnotherapist. Increasingly, I was fascinated with how our minds worked. I studied neuro-linguistic programming, how language works on our brains and creates patterns of behaviour that happen unconsciously. Everything to do with the brain I loved. But up until that point, I’d never made the connection between my weight and the mind. I always thought dieting was about the food we ate and the exercise we did. Only when all hope was lost did everything click. It was almost as if I had to try and fail at everything to find my true self, to find the true answer: that it all exists in the mind. That a change of habits, a change of beliefs, a change of physical form—the actual vehicle you spend
your everyday life in—is one of the biggest changes you can experience, and that our minds are hardwired to resist change at all costs, especially changes this big. It was a HUGE lightbulb moment for me—Hang on, Andrew, weight-loss is all connected with your mind-set psychology. From thereon out, I devised a whole new strategy. I applied and analyzed every feeling, every thought, every brain pattern. I applied all my knowledge of the mind and linked it to habits, to a change of diet, to exercise and everything that comes with it. As I observed and started to apply this new knowledge, things started to change. I started to lose weight and keep it off, with ten times less effort than ever before. I was on to something. My confidence was increasing. My skin was getting better. Hey, presto! It took me eight years before I got this for myself. I was able to drop 40kg+ in less than a year and keep it off. My self-belief soared, my appearance changed, my whole outlook and perception on life was transformed—so much so I even started training for a bodybuilding type physique. All in the space of a year! As I went about my own business, working in the sales industry and later as a life coach, people noticed the changes to my physical appearance. They kept asking me what I did and how I did it. The same old questions (the questions I used to ask myself): what should I eat? How should I exercise? Is it this or that new diet? But, having tried and failed at all that stuff for so many years, I knew it didn’t work. Instead, I taught them The Psychology of Weight-Loss and how I applied it to myself. How we relate to our food, mind, weight, habits. Lo and behold, everyone I instructed – young and old—was able to achieve the same results, able to lose as much fat as they wanted with ease, consistently and permanently, without too much effort. I, for one, was delighted that I could help people because I knew what it was like to be uncomfortable in your own skin—it’s probably the worst feeling you could wish upon anybody—and the impact that has on everything in your life, relationships, work, every single thought you have runs through this perception of I am less than...But it wasn’t until I was inundated with
requests for help, until countless people told me that I should write a book, that I should share my knowledge with the whole wide world, that I got to this point right here—The Psychology of Weight-Loss. We live in an age where there are almost as many gyms as fast-food restaurants. Yet our childhood obesity rate is through the roof; we’re dying early deaths because of the obesity crisis all over the world. Diabetes is on the rise. More than 50% of diseases are linked to being overweight. There’s more information available than ever before on how to stay healthy and lose weight. Yet none of it is helping. It requires a whole new way of thinking. I spent eight years going around in circles, eight years of my life wasted— well, not wasted, because I now know that I had to go through that whole process to write this book for you, to deliver the truth—The Psychology of Weight-Loss. Therefore, I want to first thank you for picking up this book. It means a great deal to me to be able to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on one of the biggest and most private things you can deal with, an issue that determines our self-worth, confidence, energy and vitality. I don’t not take this kind of responsibility lightly. It’s my absolute privilege to serve you, to be able to have the opportunity to make a difference in your life. This book has my heart and soul in it. It has been written and rewritten countless times over the years, countless revisions, all to make sure it really delivers on my promise: that you will gain full control of your weight easily and permanently, for the rest of your life. This book is for you, for your neighbor, your kids, your family, for everyone that has ever struggled with their weight. Whether you’re 10kg or 200kg overweight, it has and will work for everyone. I dedicate this book first and foremost to my family, whom I love very much. They gave me life. Hopefully now I can give something back to them in return: energy, vitality and quality of life. I dedicate this to the next generation who’ll run our countries, cities, who’ll lay paths for our future humanity. Most importantly, I dedicate this to the you that you know you can be. The confident, proud, humble, powerful human being that lives within you. The human being that has struggled with feeling amazing in their own skin. The you that has been held back for too long. The you who could have such a positive influence on the people around you if only you had the chance
to shine. I dedicate this to the true powerful, unwavering you who’s capable of anything—anything—you set your mind too. Thank you for being here. Thank you for committing to yourself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for being the kind of human being that doesn’t give up and is able to take themselves on. Now, let’s get started…
I, Andrew Vashevnik, hereby promise, that by reading this book you will gain full control of your weight, easily and permanently, for the rest of your life. However, there is a serious caveat attached to my promise: you must follow all the instructions.
CHAPTER ONE How to Read this Book and What I Promise to Deliver There are thousands of books out there telling you what you should eat and what you shouldn’t eat, how to lose weight fast, how to lose weight slow, how to lose weight in eight weeks, twelve weeks, the blood-type diet, and everything in between. There are thousands of books on nutrition, what vitamins you need to supplement your diet, and how often you should exercise. The reality is, even though that information has its place, it doesn’t make the needle move permanently and effectively in the right direction, in terms of weight-loss. If you’re reading this book now, you’ll have come to the conclusion that there’s a big correlation between how we think and how our brain functions regarding our weight and weight-loss itself. This book has been specifically designed to help you make an automatic, psychological shift in relation to your weight-loss goals. Forget all the facts and figures you’ve read and struggled to process and apply in the past. In this book, you’re not going to find countless scientific studies about why sugar is bad for you, or what time of the day you should be eating carbohydrates or protein et cetera. This book’s sole purpose is to deliver on my promise: that you will soon have full and lasting control of your weight, for the rest for your life. I’m not going to tell you what you can or can’t eat, or when and how to exercise. If you’re looking for a set of rules to follow that will magically make all the weight disappear overnight, you won’t find it here. Sorry. Because as you and I both know, that kind of program simply doesn’t exist. If it did, you wouldn’t be reading this book today. This book will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions, positive and negative thoughts and feelings, new ideas and concepts that will forever alter the way you look at your own personal weight-loss journey. Every word of every chapter has been specifically designed to meet a specific, practical intention (you guessed it): full and lasting control of your weight, for the rest for your life. This book is unlike any weight-loss book you’ve ever read before. Each chapter has a very different flavor. Some are conversational in tone, others informative or instructional. It’s not a feet-up in a comfy chair, passive read.
You, as the reader, will have to get involved. In order to benefit from this promise for yourself, you will have to follow a set of instructions. These instructions are all very simple. Nothing hard. So please, don’t stress. As long as you follow all the instructions, fully, as intended, then you’ll have full and lasting control of your weight, for the rest for your life. Here’s the first set of instructions: 1. Follow all instructions as written or said in full, without skipping or ignoring a section because you don’t feel like it or because you think you know better. Reality is—we as human beings read or hear stuff all the time, and even though we want to make use of this information, we intrinsically resist it. For some reason, we think we know better. This is a natural response, a survival instinct. However, by resisting and not following the instructions in this book, you won’t achieve your weight-loss goals. You won’t enjoy the benefits of the promise I made to you. Instruction: follow all the instructions 2. At the end of each chapter are Take-Home Points. It’s important for you to read and understand each and every point. If you don’t get one or more of the points, DO NOT continue to read. Instead, go back and reread the chapter until you fully understand it. As the book is designed to build upon each chapter, progressively, moving on without full understanding something will again rob you of the benefits associated with my promise. Instruction: make sure you read and understand all Take-Home Points before proceeding to the next chapter 3. Put your current beliefs to one side. As human beings, we all have set beliefs, formed by our unique experiences in life; things we’ve learnt along the way. Your current belief systems and knowledge have been exactly what has driven you to this point. If you’re above the weight you want to be, then some of those beliefs are clearly not useful—for they haven’t provided you with the results you’ve been looking for. Now, I’m not asking
you to change your beliefs without any context. Nor do I expect you to just believe my every word. Instead, all I’m asking is for you to temporarily put your beliefs to the side for the duration of this book. Follow all the instructions and take on all the new concepts and information as if you were reading or hearing them for the first time. At the end of the book, when you have lasting control over your weight forever, you can decide whether your previous belief systems were useful to you or not. They’ll still be there for you to pick up afterwards, should you so wish. When it comes to beliefs, I invite you to look at them from a different perspective: if your beliefs don’t produce the desired results in life, try something different. And when you introduce a new set of beliefs that end up producing the desired result, then does it really matter if the belief is true or not? What’s the point of having beliefs that take you further away from your goal? Wouldn’t you rather have a belief that actually serves you in achieving your goals? Instruction: put your current beliefs to one side for the duration of the book 4. Be responsible for you own physical and mental health. I’m not a doctor, or medical professional. You won’t see any specific instructions here on nutrition or foods you must eat. We’re all individuals. You need to be responsible for your own health and do your own due diligence. Should you be unsure about something, please seek the advice of your doctor to see if a protocol works for you or not. In terms of mental health, this book is specifically designed to bring up unwanted emotions of pain or discomfort, in order to encourage psychological change. If at any time you feel any of those unwanted emotions, then good. I want to help you confront and conquer such emotions, have them fuel your fire, so you get the results you want. Having said that, by continuing to read the book you’re taking full responsibility for your own mental health. If something feels like it’s too much, there’s no shame in putting the book down for a few days and taking a break. As you will soon come to realize, this book wasn’t necessarily designed to be read in one fell swoop. As with all changes to the mind, the information takes
time to process before you start seeing your life through a different lense. Be patient with yourself and be responsible for your own mental health. I know personally the mental health struggles associated with dealing with something so personal, like weight and your own body. Please take care of yourself, physically, mentally and spiritually throughout the process. Instruction: be responsible for you own physical and mental health As long as you follow all the instructions outlined above, as long as you take care of yourself, put your current beliefs to the side and enjoy the psychological transformation involved, you will receive all the benefits associated with my promise: you will lose weight easily and effectively for the rest of your life, you will be able to get to any weight you want, and completely reinvigorate your vitality, energy and health along the way. Most Important Instruction of All: Get Excited. You are about to set out on a journey to become a leaner, healthier, far more confident and powerful YOU. Let’s go…
CHAPTER TWO The Weight-Loss Law All right, so here’s the big secret to losing weight. Ready for it?—the secret to losing weight is consuming less than you expend. Or, if you like, we can put it a different way: eat less, move more. Full-stop. End of book. That’s it; all done. If you use more energy than you have eaten in energy you will lose weight. And if you continue to use more energy than you consume you will continue to lose weight. We’re told this from a very young age, and inherently, at a core level, we knew that it’s true. But now welcome to the twenty-first century, where you’re subjected to endless Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts: eight weeks to a beach body, twelve weeks for killer abs. Where next to every tasty burger advertisement there’s a bigger, shinier advertisement with slim, toned bodies dripping with fake water beads, telling you how easy it is to lose the weight from the burger you’ve just eaten. Or someone on TV saying, Hey, you’re not eating the right type of burger, it has too many carbs. You have to get the low-fat burger. You have to get the salt-free burger. No, it’s the sugar that’s spiking your insulin that’s stopping you from losing weight. No, it’s the fact that you’re eating the burger at the wrong time. If you eat it before your workout, then you don’t store it. Or alternatively: eat it right after the workout and it turns to muscle and then you build muscle which burns more fat. Therefore, you need to eat more burgers. Or eat a low-carb, low-fat burger directly after your grueling two-hour weight session at the gym. That’s it; that’s the secret. What a load of crap! Every piece of information that says anything other than—consume less to lose weight is incorrect. It’s simply against all laws of science. And if you believe that eating more of the right types of food will help you lose weight, then you have been cruelly disillusioned. This book, whether you’re on the Metric or Imperial system, is all about the weight on the scales—numbers going up, numbers going down. Eat less than you output and your weight will go down. That’s it. There’s no big secret.
Now, if you’re reading this you probably want to lose weight. Personally, I’ve been on the same journey for as long as I can remember. At school, I was the fat kid everybody used to tease. They even had a cruel nickname for me: Fat Magic Man. At night, I used to cry myself to sleep, so badly did I want to be skinny like everyone else. It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I consciously made the decision to try and lose weight. Since then, I’ve been on a constant, back and forth rollercoaster, trying to decipher all the bullshit that had been drummed into my head, all the phony belief systems. In all, it took me eight years to realize the simple truth, eight years before it really hit home: it’s all about in versus out, consume less energy than you expend. It’s the only thing that makes a difference. The golden rule. At this point, maybe you’re thinking: Andrew, you’re wrong. I’ve tired that and it doesn’t work. But let me tell you, it’s an iron-clad truth. Still dubious? Give me the benefit of the doubt. Assume that that statement is factual. In versus out is how you lose weight. Simple. But not so simple. Because, in reality, if you’re overweight, chances are you’ve already tried and failed at any number of diet plans. That’s why it’s important to understand the essential psychology behind not just weight-loss itself but your own eating habits—your consumption. Eating Habits Eating habits are determined by our surroundings, our parents, the way we were brought up. This is how we learnt to eat food, lose weight, put weight on. Habits that we acquired over the years. We didn’t wake up born like this; we learnt it. It came from our families. Whether they ate breakfast or not. How they served food. How they prepared food. Whether they let you lick the icing from the spoon when baking a cake. Whether you hunted chocolate eggs at Easter time. Whether you ate at the kitchen table or with food on trays in front of the television. Now, it may make you laugh, but this was so very true for me. For I grew up in a Ukrainian family that had just emigrated to Australia. Back then, the U.S.S.R. operated under a strict communist structure. Basically, citizens would share everything, earn the same money, and live in the same apartments. Food was scarce; in fact, at the time lots of foods weren’t easily accessible in many European countries (in the U.K., for instance, rationing didn’t finish until 1954). And when I say not easily accessible, let me give you an example of what It was like. On a cold Thursday morning, every
fortnight, my father would have to bike in sub-zero temperatures, through sleet and snow for two hours to get to a shop at 7 a.m. Once there, he joined a long queue, in hope of buying some food. Because this was the only shipment of bread and cheese for the month into their town. And it wasn’t a little town either, with a population of well over two million people. But everyone stood in line hoping that they would get their share. If he was lucky, there might be two loaves of bread and some cheese left for him to buy and take home. And home was an apartment where not only his parents lived but grandparents as well. That was what life was like for them then. Over the next week, they rationed out the two loaves of bread and the cheese and enjoyed every last morsel as it was a delicacy, a reason to celebrate. Because they couldn’t always guarantee that they would get it. And you may think that it was just bread and cheese. No, no. They had to do the same thing with milk, meat, fruit and vegetables, you name it. And I’m not telling you this to give you a history lesson. I’m telling you this to help you understand that people have a very individual relationship to food and eating. Bear in mind, while not every person had an upbringing like mine, twenty or thirty years ago food just wasn’t as easily accessible as it is today. Hell, we now live in a world where you don’t have to leave your house, where you can order all your food from home—hot, cold, frozen—where you can get your groceries delivered, for goodness sakes. Madness. Now, I get that you may not relate to this, that you might say: my parents didn’t grow up in a communist country. But the same rules regarding our food habits apply. Important point to consider: the availability of food worldwide has almost doubled over the last thirty years. That’s right. On a small or large scale, food is almost two times less scarce than it was before, globally. Anyways, back to the story. Now imagine my parents arriving in the great land of Australia. They were twenty-two years of age, used to biking all that way in the freezing cold for bread and cheese. Imagine them walking into a vast, brightly lit supermarket for the first time and seeing rows and rows of milk, bread, chocolate, frozen food. All of it accessible; not a single queue in sight. And some supermarkets were open all day. You could get whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted it. I need you to appreciate that, that they entered a store where you didn’t have to be there at a specific time on a specific day, where you didn’t have to pray that you got there on time. No,
no. Instead you had a plethora, a smorgasbord of all the food you could ever imagine. Right at your fingertips. Take as much as you can afford or carry with you. So heck, that’s what they did; to them it was heaven. My mother told me that they once lived on frozen dim-sims for two weeks. Yep, literally. I mean, it was unlimited, pre-prepared meat with fat in it, full of carbs. Add some soy sauce and some salt, and heaven was well and truly there on a plate. And when they ran out, they could go back the next day and buy some more. The shift from scarcity to abundance must’ve been mind-blowing. At the same time, you can now see how moving to Australia affected their weight over the coming years, simply because of accessibility to a variety of different foods they weren’t used to. Again, this is an extreme example. I understand that. But one of the first things for you to really grasp on your weight-loss journey is that you learnt how to eat and what to think about food from your parents! From your surroundings! Whether you were brought up in Russia or any other place, I’ll say it again: food has never ever been as accessible as it is today.
Okay, so our parents and our upbringing taught us how to relate to food and how to eat it. In my parents’ case, when they had me, they always obsessed over what they could buy. At any minute, they thought heaven might turn into hell, that the food may run out soon. For that reason, it was
always time to stock up and eat on a subconscious level; it was ingrained in them due to their own upbringing. In regards to people like you and I, we also reached a point where we started gaining weight over and above what made us feel good. There was a distinct time when we noticed our weight was a problem. Whether that was by looking in the mirror, whether someone else told us, or whether we compared ourselves to models on the front covers of magazines. Basically, we came to the conclusion that we were overweight. Now, inherently, we knew that if we consumed less then we should lose weight. But when we tried, for whatever reason, it didn’t work. Fundamentally, this was because we were missing key pieces of information regarding The Psychology of Weight-Loss. That’s why you’re reading this book now. First and foremost, I want to be super-clear. Here’s the cold hard truth about weight-loss—and this is everything, and I’m going to emphasize this point many times—if you take only one thing away from this book, it’s this: If you consume less energy than you output in energy you will lose weight. I call it the Weight-Loss Law. Here’s the thing: do you see anyone that stopped eating and magically still stayed fat? Of course not. When you stop eating your body starts using up all its fat stores. And if you continue to do so you’ll become so thin you’ll be diagnosed with a medical condition called anorexia—a life-threatening illness. Fact: no one in the history of histories has stopped eating and not lost weight. It can’t happen; it simply can’t, ever! The Weight-Loss Law. Let me explain. The human body, your body, your heart’s beating, you’re breathing, your blood is pumping, your brain is processing information. All of these functions require…let’s call them energy points: you need energy to function. Fact. Living requires a certain amount of energy. And to keep living we need to replenish our energy points. Currently our delivery system of energy is through food. Maybe one day it will be something different, but at this point in time our body converts food into energy to keep us going. So, now we have the basic functions down. And I’m sorry if this sounds simplistic or stupid. I’m not trying to talk down to you or make you feel silly.
Not at all. Only the basics are very important to understand The Psychology of Weight-Loss fully. That way, you’ll never be brainwashed into thinking anything other than the truth again. Okay. So, your body uses energy, then you replenish with food which converts to more energy and the cycle continues. Now our bodies are brilliant at one thing—SURVIVAL. That’s right. The human race has become the dominant species for one reason and one reason only: because we are the best and most adaptable species and have survived for thousands of years. One of our most amazing tools is our energy storage system. It’s incredible! In primitive times, when we had to hunt for our food, we could eat as much as humanly possible and overeat our energy requirements. Not only for the day, but for many days in advance. And our bodies would actually store these energy points! That’s right: our body will actually take and produce cells (today we know them as fat cells) and then inject each cell with a little bit of energy to store for a rainy day. Or when food isn’t accessible, like when my dad biked all that way and the bread and cheese ran out. His body would store the energy so he could continue living and not DIE. We have the best system in the world. And here’s the thing: even though most creatures have this system for storing fat, we’re the only creatures smart enough to use it. So, yes, you guessed it: it’s a mental skill. Because in the wild you will rarely see a fat animal—birds, cows, sheep— they just eat until they’re replenished and won’t overeat their energy stores. We are one of the rare species that use mental cognitive thought to consume more energy points in order to store them for a rainy day. Not everyone does this. But make no mistake, if you’re reading this book, you’re someone who does. Here’s the good thing: if you’re over the weight you want to be, it’s because you’re the superior race in terms of survival! Yay! Yep, you are smart enough, intelligent enough, with enough survival instincts that you have overfilled your energy stores in order to survive for longer. Well done. You’re a great survivor. And let me tell you, I was a great survivor, too. If we got into a famine, most people would be screwed. Not me. I stored away all that energy. By my late-teens, I was around 120 kilograms (18 stone) and counting. And I’m not a tall person, only around 170cm (five-foot-eight), so being that weight was no small feat, but I was the best at surviving! So, you get fat by simply overeating more energy points than you expend. Not because you ate carbs. Not because you drank to excess. Not because you
ate the wrong food. NOOOOOO, stop. Let’s be super clear about this: you got fat because you ate more than you expended. End of story. Now you know why! And now here’s the answer: you’ve got to consume less than you expend and then your body will have to take the energy from somewhere else. That’s right. It does have to take it from somewhere. You don’t run on gases or fumes, or water or magic fairy dust. We run on energy points. If you need more energy points and the food stores that you have eaten have been depleted, your body must take it from your storage. And because fat storage weighs something, when it gets used up your weight drops. That’s it; that’s the answer. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you wanted to know how to lose weight that’s how simple it is. Oh, and by the way, if you don’t have any energy stores left (no more fat to burn), and you haven’t eaten, and there’s nowhere else to take it from, your body starts shutting down, one organ at a time. Because there’s no energy to get from anywhere else, and you will die. It’s not rocket science. We run on energy. Accept this cold hard truth! Right about now, I can hear you shouting: but what about metabolism, what about carbs, what about fasting, what about sugar, my body this, my body that? Stop! Look, I promise, you have my word, that when you read this chapter again, all those reasons, all those excuses will no longer be relevant. You’ll see this as bona fide fact, if you don’t see it already. A Few Last Words In time, this book may make a few dollars after all the fees I have to pay, but I’m not making huge money here. No personal gain or sixty bucks a session. No twelve-week diets for eighty bucks that will get you shredded. No sneaky marketing campaigns. I promise that by the end of this book you will never need to buy another weight-loss product again, because you will have full control of your weight for the rest of your life! You see, I went through majority of my youth hating the way I looked and felt, and tried every single diet under the sun. If there’s a weight-loss program on this planet, I’ve tried it. Over thirty-forty different exercise plans—keto, no keto, fasting, intermittent fasting, lemon diet, juice diet for sixty days straight, not eating for two weeks straight, carb cycling, carb loading, cheat meals, cardio for two hours a day. All in the hope that I would become skinny. In fact, that’s how I came to finally understand how to make a shift personally and easily, and I’m going to share it with you. I came to the answer simply
because I ran out of diet and training regimes to try! That’s right. I’d purchased everything, from tablets to fat burners. There was nothing else they could sell me. I admitted defeat. And that’s when I accepted those cold hard truths. Therefore, I’m telling you once again that everything else other than the Weight-Loss Law is smoke and mirrors. Losing weight is eating less energy points than you expend, so your body has to use the energy from its stores because it has none anywhere else. That is fact. Remember it, learn it, understand it, and never forget it. No matter what information you hear to the contrary, or what your mind tricks you into believing. It simply isn’t true. Countless studies have been conducted: eat less than you expend and you will continue to lose weight until you die. End of story, period. And I hammer this home time and again because a funny thing starts happening when we eat less than we expend: our brain really does start playing tricks on us; it tries to convince us that there’s something wrong. Maybe I should eat more. Maybe I should change my diet. Maybe my body needs more fuel. And before we know it, we’re back to where we started from, more frustrated, more deflated, and more resigned than ever before. If you ever catch your brain saying something other than eating less than you expend to lose weight then re-read this chapter, and get it clear, once and for all. Take-Home Points Our eating habits are based on past experiences and upbringing Food worldwide has never been as easily accessible as it is now Weight-Loss Law – in versus out – the only thing that is fact If you consume less energy than you expend, your body will take the stored energy and use it up, causing you to lose weight
CHAPTER THREE But if losing weight really is as easy as in versus out, then why are you reading this book now? What’s getting in the way? What’s holding you back? I’ll tell you. In order to make a difference to your weight permanently, you must change your habits. You must start consuming less than you use. The problem: 99% of people don’t know how to effectively implement change in their lives. Over the years, I’ve changed many of my own personal habits, and learned many new skills. What you yourself need to do is learn how the concept of change itself occurs. Now, most people will relate to the problem, that weight-loss is a difficult, some may even think impossible challenge. By the end of this book, I promise you that you will be able to lose weight easily, at your desired pace, at will, and at any point in time you so wish. What we’re about to discuss is revolutionary, a concept that I have lived my life by, and shared with hundreds of people just like you. What we are about to discuss is how change occurs. Now, most self-help books will try and enforce change: Eat the salad now! Put that doughnut down now! But you can’t simply enforce change. It doesn’t work. Most self-help books will tell you that you lack discipline. And that without discipline you won’t accomplish anything, that you won’t be able to effect a positive change in your life. Not very empowering, eh? What we’re going to look at is how natural change occurs. Because change in life occurs naturally many times a day, a week, a year. For now, I will ask you, as I did earlier in the book, to put your former beliefs about change to one side. What we are about to introduce you to is The Equation of Change. How and Why We Change? Have you ever stopped and thought: why do we make changes? Why do we get out of bed in the morning? Why do we put on our shoes? Why do we drink a glass of water? Why do we buy the latest gadget? Why do we do what we do, period? Thousands and thousands of decisions made on autopilot all the time. And before we can go through The Equation of Change it’s important to know how and why we make decisions. Fact: studies show that 95% of the decisions we make are based on how
we’re feeling. In March 2000, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a ground-breaking discovery. He studied people with damage to the part of the brain where emotions are generated. After rigorous tests, he found that the patients were normal, physically, only now they weren’t able to feel emotions. In addition, they all had something else peculiar in common: they couldn’t make decisions. They could describe what they should be doing in logical terms, yet found it very difficult to make even the simplest, most every day of decisions, such as what to eat. Most decisions we make have pros and cons— shall I have the chicken or the turkey? With no rational way to decide, these test subjects were unable to arrive at a decision. Fact: feelings at the very core drive decisions and choices in our lives. Furthermore, hardwired into our DNA are survival instincts: we instinctively overeat to survive for longer. Now, in modern society, it’s much easier to survive. We don’t face many threats—lions and tigers preying upon us, wars or famine. We have roofs over our heads, police- and firemen, nurses and doctors to protect and care for us. Yet, at a very core level, we as human beings still have those survival instincts built into us. We relate to this by the experience of feelings—pain and pleasure; we gravitate towards pleasurable experiences and avoid things that cause us pain—thus facilitating our “survival”. Two examples. Take our morning cup of coffee. The pleasure: it wakes us up, makes us alert and ready to face the day. The pain: to dispel listlessness, that sleepy feeling that makes us want to go straight back to bed again. And if we accidentally cut ourselves, we wouldn’t sit and watch ourselves bleed. We wouldn’t say, “Ah, that’s painful”, and do nothing about it. No. Pain receptors will shoot through our brain making us think: “I’ve got to fix this” (I’ve got to survive). Then we would wash the cut and put a band-aid on it. Therefore, because we make most decisions based on feelings, it means that, generally, when we experience painful events or feelings, we retreat from them and seek out a more neutral or, ideally, pleasurable state. With me so far? Good. Now let’s discuss how the actual process of change works. What actually transpires in terms of events that make us want to change? What compels us to move away from a painful feeling towards a pleasurable one? Because to
understand natural change, it’s very important for us to know our motivations, on both a conscious and unconscious level. Let’s start with something simple: a pair of jeans. Most of us, at one time or another, have owned a pair of jeans. One day, you’re wearing these jeans and the unthinkable happens: in broad daylight, while you’re walking down the street, your jeans rip. Not just a minor rip you could easily conceal. No. But a rip across the entire crotch! Other people can see your underwear now. You’re embarrassed. You don’t know where to look. Your face goes red. But what do you do? Go home, change, then go to shops and buy a new pair of jeans? Sounds simple enough, right? But before we go on, let’s examine the basic thought process involved: I ripped my jeans and had to buy a new pair. An everyday occurrence. But, in fact, what you did constituted a considerable “change”. Without the event transpiring (the rip in the jeans), your day would have gone a certain way, but because of that event the day ahead changed and different actions were undertaken (going to the shop to buy new jeans.) Now, let’s consider another option. Instead of throwing the jeans out, you wait until the hole gets even bigger, even though, at some point you know you will have to go and get a new pair. Why does that happen? Why do we delay change? It’s an old joke that men will wear their socks and underwear down until they’re literally falling apart. Only then will they buy new ones. They also delay change. Why? You may have never looked at it like this before. But what you just did, by throwing out the jeans—today, or two months down the line—was make a change. Let’s go through this again to understand why it constitutes a change. You were going about your normal everyday life, with no intention of buying a new pair of jeans. Then something happened—an event, an unexpected occurrence—and you made a choice to stop what you were doing, and go out of your way to visit the shops. You made a choice to take your hard-earned money out of your wallet and purchase a new pair of jeans. Money that could’ve been spent going to the movies, or having drinks with friends. Previous to this event, this change wasn’t on your radar. But after the event you consciously made a decision to make a change. Have a think about that to ensure that it makes clear sense to you. Then ask yourself: why do we make changes? Most people wouldn’t want to be seen with a ripped crotch in their jeans, right? That’s why it’s a “painful feeling”.
At this point, you may have skipped ahead and thought, simply: I had a problem arise and so I fixed it. Without the problem there would have been nothing to fix. So, yes, the first basic concept to grasp is that we make a change “naturally“ when a problem occurs that we have to remedy. Two More Everyday Examples 1. New House/No Kettle You’ve moved into a new house. You’re thirsty. You go to the kitchen and grab some instant coffee from a cupboard. But then remember that you forgot to buy a new kettle? What do you do? You make a “change” to your day. You make time to go to the shops to buy a kettle. Problem solved, right? We make purchases to solve problems. But what about, as in the case of the ripped jeans, when we delay making purchases? What’s that all about? Why do we do this? Why do we delay making a change? 2. Cracked Phone Screen Most people have a smart phone these days. If not, I’m sure you’ve seen your friends using one. Let’s invent another scenario that we can all hopefully relate to. You’ve got your phone in your hand, and are about to make a call, but, and we’ve all done this, I know I have, the phone, for whatever reason, slips out of your hand and crashes to the floor. Damn! When you pick it up you see a tiny scratch on the screen. Again: an unexpected problem has occurred. But at this stage, you wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy a new screen, right? But what happens, a couple of months later, when you drop the phone again? Only this time, when you pick it up there’s a crack across the top section of the screen, although the phone itself is still working fine. Now, most people, maybe even yourself, still wouldn’t make the change and buy a new screen? Why not? My clients usually say because a screen is expensive and the phone is still usable. Or: the shop’s too far away and I’ll have to wait an hour while they fix it, and I don’t have the time to do that. Okay, great, with me so far? Another week goes by, and you drop your phone again. This time, when you pick it up, the screen is completely shattered. What do you do now? Go and get it fixed, right? So now something has happened in your brain that
compels you to make a change now as opposed to delaying it again. But why now and not earlier? Let me put you out of your misery. Let me introduce you to The Equation of Change!
So, let’s discuss what we’re looking at here: on the left side we have the pain of staying the same. In our case example: the pain of having a cracked screen, or the pain associated with having a cracked screen. Then there’s the right side: the pain of changing. Now let’s look at that the pain of changing in the case of the phone: driving to the shops, forking out money, waiting an hour to get it fixed. When I say pain, I’m referring to the perceived or actual feeling that we imagine in relation to the change itself. Now, let’s see what the equation would look like when no change occurs, when we don’t bother to fix the phone and we delay the change. And remember, this is just an example:
Clearly, we can see that the perceived or real pain of staying the same (not changing the screen) is a lot less than the pain associated with going and getting it changed: taking time off work, waiting an hour, the drive to the shop, et cetera. So, change simply does not occur. As humans are hardwired for survival, we instinctually take the path of least resistance. Both sides are painful! BUT it’s more painful to change, so we don’t! “Naturally”. Therefore, we can see that when the pain of staying the same is LESS than the perceived or real pain of making a change, then change doesn’t occur. Now, let’s elaborate on this example in a different way. The phone still has a small crack but is still usable. Incredibly, your next-door-neighbor has just started a phone repair business, where he actually repairs phone screens from home! How lucky is that? He’s right next door and he offers to fix your phone for free. And his service only takes five minutes instead of the hour it would take at the shop in the city. So suddenly we have decreased the pain of changing. No longer do we have to drive for half an hour. No longer do we have to spend money, or waste a sizeable chunk of our time. We’ve drastically reduced the pain of changing. This is what the equation looks like now:
As you can see, we have shifted the perceived and actual pain involved, by removing the time commitment, the financial burden, and providing a very minimal path of resistance. For that reason, it seems silly not to fix the small scratch now, as it doesn’t annoy you and you like having your screen intact. The equation flips and change occurs.
And you can guess what happens when we drop the phone a third time and it becomes almost unusable. At this point, the pain has drastically surpassed that of staying the same. You need a phone to function, to hear from your family and friends. So even if you had to drive to get it fixed and spend a lot of money, the pain is perceived as less than the pain of having a shattered phone!
I hope you’re still with me right now. This is a very important concept to understand, because this is how ANY CHANGE EVER occurs PERIOD. Picture the Scene The alarm goes off. It’s cold outside and the bed is warm and toasty. It’s Monday morning. You’ve got work in thirty minutes. If you don’t wake up and get out of bed, you might get fired, you might lose your job. Then you wouldn’t have a roof over your head. No food. You’d have to look for a new job. That’s the pain associated with ignoring the alarm. So, you jump out of bed, even though it’s cold and painful to get up, shower, dress, and head off to work. Fast forward to Saturday. The alarm goes off. You don’t have to go to work. It’s even colder outside and the bed is warmer than ever. There is no pain or repercussions from not getting up at all. You hit the snooze button and drift back off to sleep; you don’t make that change. This applies to anything and everything you ever change; it runs second by second. We can break it down to the most finite, granular level. But still, most people are completely unconscious to it. Not you, though, because you have now learnt The Equation of Change. To recap: the equation is this—the real or perceived pain of staying the same must be greater than the real or perceived pain of changing in order for us to make a change naturally. Another very important point to clarify: why do we say real or perceived pain? Why not just real? Well, you see, we are very intelligent creatures. Through evolution we have acquired the ability of conscious thought in order to protect ourselves and survive. Often, we’ll imagine future scenarios based on information we have gained in the past to determine if something will be
painful or not. It’s the reason you don’t touch a hot stove. You don’t need to touch it to remind yourself that it will be painful to do so, based on past experience. It’s a survival mechanism. To avoid danger. To avoid painful feelings. Perception of past events creates our current reality. The only way we learn is by experiencing painful events which teach us not to do them again in the future. Therefore, we view our life through a filter, warning signs. Survival mechanism at its core. Remember this, as it’s something we will discuss again later in the book. A helpful exercise: think of things that you have changed in your life— the time you serviced the car, changed energy provider, bought doubleglazing. Map things out for yourself, using examples from your own experiences. What was the perceived or real pain on both sides of the equation when change occurred? Can you see that the pain of staying the same became greater that the pain of changing? Or, alternatively, can you see why you delayed changing? Was the pain associated with changing greater than staying as you currently were? Doing this with examples from your own life will help make this more real for yourself, as you begin to see that every decision, every change you have ever made was actually based on The Equation of Change. Now you’ve been introduced to the equation, let’s examine the ultimate change we are hoping to make a reality: weight-loss. Take-Home Points Change occurs naturally all the time in our lives We make decisions based on feelings Our survival mechanism gives us feeling of pain and pleasure We instinctually avoid pain in order to “survive” The Equation of Change states that change only occurs when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing
CHAPTER FOUR In the previous chapter, we talked about how everyday changes in our lives come about. And while you many never have had the misfortune of ripping your jeans in broad daylight or smashing your phone time and again (maybe that’s just me, ha!), you will, undoubtedly, have found yourself in similar situations: a punctured tyre, faulty wiring, a broken lawnmower, a broken anything, really. As a result, you then took action to remedy that situation. It’s important for you to understand that you made a change because the real or perceived pain of staying the same outweighed the real or perceived pain of making that change for the better. And that is, on a very accessible, everyday level, the essence of The Equation of Change itself. With me so far? Great. Alright, so now that we know all about the equation, and how change occurs on a psychological level, we now need to discuss the kind of change that we want to implement: weight-loss. In Chapter 3, we established that to lose weight we need to consume less energy than we expend in order to use up our fat stores and decrease our weight. That being the case, why have you not been successful in losing weight thus far? The answer should be super clear to you by now. The real or perceived pain of losing weight has been greater than the real or perceived pain of staying the same weight as you currently are. That’s the reason. No more, no less. Simple. Weight-Loss Firstly, let’s take a look at the left side of the equation.
For most people who want to lose weight, there’s already fresh pain in your mind associated with staying the same as you are now. It’s important for you to visualize all these points for yourself. Because perceived pain exists for each individual differently. Positive results for other people are just that:
solutions which worked for them but might not necessarily work for you. And since this is the last book that you’ll even need to read in relation to weight-loss, it’s time you started doing things for yourself, time you started to take control of the situation. Below I’m going to list potential pains associated with staying the same weight you are now: Lack of confidence Lack of health Potential risk if not already of disease Social anxieties Shame of oneself and one’s appearance Vanity Comparing mentality and thoughts of not being good enough Physical abilities Energy Vitality Limited mobility Activities that you simply can’t do Limited physical activities open to you Sex life (lack of) Romantic life (lack of) Judgement from others Judging yourself too harshly Feelings of helplessness Less income based on your appearance and self-respect Attractive people, research suggests, earn more money on average Early death
Skin issues Breathing issues Asthma Diabetes Loneliness Depression Risk of suicidality It’s certainly a long list, but not every negative consequence will resonate with you. These, after all, aren’t the kinds of things we often think about. On a personal level, in high school, and throughout most of my childhood, I was constantly reminded that I was fat; that was my daily reality —no friends, no hope, feelings of shame, fear of being laughed at, rejected, excluded from everyday activities. In addition, I suffered from all the pains associated with being overweight, not that I was consciously aware of them at the time. Only when I started to associate weight-loss to The Equation of Change was this clearly visible to me. And only then was I able to lose weight permanently, easily and effectively. By the end of this book, you’ll be able to do the same. Personal Pain Points At this point right here, you need to start thinking about what pain points exist for you if you stay the same. For most people it’s probably why you started reading the book in the first place. So, take a moment to think about why you set out on this journey; why you’re on a mission to lose weight. Now, to the right side of the equation:
The right side is where it gets funny—it’s not a side that most people look at or examine for THEMSELVES. Instead we rely on other people to sell us an EASY, painless solution towards losing weight, don’t we?
So, if weight-loss occurs when we expend more energy than we consume, this means (as previously noted) that there are two ways to impact the energy balance: consume less energy, eat less energy points, consume less food or expend more energy to use more energy through movement and various activities. Both of these have perceived or real pains associated with either consumption or movement. Next, let’s split the right side in to two pain sub-categories:
On the right side, we can actually impact change in two ways. Therefore, we need to examine both carefully. What are the potential pains associated with consuming less energy or moving more? Again, put your beliefs to one side during this exercise, and start looking at what the pain is for you, specifically, because this is where you start looking at your individual feelings and thoughts. To help you, here’s another list of general pain points on the left side of the equation: Painful to exercise Don’t have time to exercise Don’t have the will to exercise Don’t have the physical ability to exercise I love alcohol too much I emotionally eat, so when I can’t eat I’m emotional I feel faint without carbs I don’t have time to cook Healthy food is expensive
I go crazy without lots of food leading up to my period There’s always bad food in the house that I’d have to throw it away if I didn’t eat it I don’t have self-control, so I can’t change who I am I get hungry easily I go out for lavish dinners and I don’t want to cut them out I don’t want to cut out sugar I don’t want to cut out burgers I don’t want to cut out pizza I don’t want to cut out take-out food, full-stop I don’t want to cut out fizzy drinks I don’t want to cut out meat I’m a vegan so I can’t get enough protein I can’t live without ice cream I can’t live without chocolate What resonated with you while reading the list? Did some of the examples not relate to you at all, but others matched your situation perfectly? Can you come up with your own? Again, it’s time for you to take some initiative and write down what pains exist for you. Remember: there is no right and wrong here. Whatever you’re dealing with and whatever your perception is becomes your reality. Before moving forward make sure you brainstorm and include at least three to five things on both sides of the equation. This, by no means, is what you’ll end up with. But it’s still important to get in the game and make this personal now. It’s all good and well to just sit and listen or read, and think, Andrew’s right and I can see how that would work. But you’re not going to make this real until you wake up and start taking control—right here, right now. This is your life, your weight, your vitality, your longevity, so get on the court and jot down some points for yourself on both sides of the equation. On the next page is a space where you can make a list for yourself (and if you’re reading this in digital format or listening to the audiobook, then grab a
piece of paper and make your own list now). To help you get started, I’ll give you an example of what the equation could look like on both sides:
Instruction: fill out or jot down the pains that a real for you of your own equation of change in terms of weight-loss. Here’s a blank one that you can fill out for yourself:
At this stage, you should be acutely aware that there’s pain associated with both sides of the equation, especially in how it relates to you. It’s the constant balance of this equation that has made your attempts to lose weight easily, effectively and permanently, without yoyoing, fail so miserably. The constant back and forth of these pains that causes the equation to swing in your favor and out. Now that we know the equation and exactly what we’re dealing with, let’s examine why the very basis of a diet or an exercise regime is a recipe for disaster; a billion-dollar industry that has failed to address the psychological change involved in getting the results you want.
Take-Home Points The Equation of Change applies to weight-loss as well There is pain involved with staying the same weight The left side has two associated pains with changing Consuming less has pains Expending more has pains
Every person’s pains are different so it’s important to know your own Constant balance of the equation has caused you to not achieve your goals thus far Instruction: compile your own list before moving forward
CHAPTER FIVE Why All Diet and Exercise Plans Have Failed in the Past This next chapter is probably the most important chapter you will ever read about weight-loss, dieting and exercise programs. Ready? Now, have you ever wondered why your previous attempts at losing weight haven’t worked? Here’s what some of my old clients had to say: “I wasn’t disciplined enough to follow it.” “I lost about 20lbs, then, after my divorce, regained over 10, but I’m working on it again.” “Lost some, then put some back on, but overall lost around 10kg.” “Well, I had weight-loss surgery so it all fell off. But of the 50kg I lost, I’ve put 30kg back on.” “Lost weight then within the same year I put it all back on again.” “It always starts well, but then I find it hard to fit into my daily life and get into a shame spiral.” “I was always hungry, I kept binging.” “I lose weight at a slow pace and then find it very easy to put weight back on quickly.” “Hardly exercised, didn’t have motivation to eat proper foods, overate constantly.” “Frustration, loss of interest, motivation, alcohol.” To understand the true, universal answer, we must first examine what happens to us when we take the leap and buy a weight-loss program. The Psychology of Selling Having worked in sales for many years, I know that a salesperson’s main function is to remove the barrier of entry surrounding any purchase, the pain
associated with a customer buying a product. First off, let’s look at diet plans. Are they easy? No, definitely not. But in order to sell you a plan, how does a salesperson remove the pain of dieting? Simple. They just tell you it’s an easy-to-follow diet—You won’t feel hungry, It won’t even feel like you’re on a diet, You can still have your favorite foods, It only lasts eight weeks, maximum, The lemon detox lasts only three days and you drop over five kilograms. HA! I think I’d do anything for three days for those kinds of results—swim with sharks, walk over red-hot coals, climb Kilimanjaro. To sell you on a product, they have to remove your perceived pain of buying by glamorizing the product they’re selling. Welcome to a billion-dollar industry. Now, I know I’m not going to make friends with any health professionals by saying this, because it could potentially cost them a fortune. But when you examine any diet plan out there, look at the language they use to convince you that there’s no pain associated with buying their product, that you’ll get better results than you ever dreamed of. Now, inherently, there’s no problem with actually stating that it’s easy—IF IT ACTUALLY IS—but it isn’t. It’s one of biggest lies in history!!! Make no mistake: diet programs are designed, marketed and packaged solely to make you buy them. However, in the vast majority of cases, they leave out the essential psychological shift associated with weight-loss. Still not convinced? Let me provide you with an example. For argument’s sake, let’s say I’ve just picked up a leaflet for the new whiz-bang-flash diet, a four-week program guaranteed to get results or my money back. On the front of the sales letter, the author is pictured with washboard-abs that you could grate cheese on and a white, pearly-toothed, trustworthy smile. Tick every box: he looks good, like he really knows what he’s talking about. Amongst other things, the diet claims that I’ll still be able to eat most of my favorite foods. “Oh great, I don’t even have to cut anything out”. Naturally, I’m liking this diet more and more. Not only am I promised a picture-perfect body but I won’t have to give up any of the unhealthy foods I love. On the next page there’s a photograph of a guy called Bob. In the murky “before-diet” snapshot provided, Bob looks much fatter than me, he looks depressed, so sad he almost makes me feel okay about myself. For that reason, I can relate to him. And when I read the testimonial, it says that Bob did this diet for four
weeks and look at him now! On the opposite page is a dazzling snapshot of Bob, his waist shrunken, almost non-existent now, with big, bulging, defined muscles in his arms and legs, and a smile from ear to ear, as if he’d just won the lottery on a rollover week. Now I’m jealous of Bob. I thought I was doing okay until I saw his “after-diet” photograph. Now I want to be just like him. I want to get on this EASY diet as soon as I can. But wait. There’s more. Because I’m the lucky one thousandth visitor today, I’m entitled to a discount. Normally, this whiz-bang-flash diet costs $99—and for good reason, with such stunning results as Bob’s, and the fact that I don’t have to cut out any of the foods I like most—but today, especially for me, it’s only $19.99. All I have to do is click the BUY NOW button, and off I go to the land of Bob’s results. Sound familiar? Now, I’ve got the diet plan in my hand. Okay, so they were right: I don’t have to cut out all unhealthy foods; I’m allowed to eat my favorite things once a week. Fine, I guess that’s still okay, especially if I get results like Bob (please note what just happened here, as the perceived pain of dieting just went up a little, because I thought it was going to be a lot easier than that when I purchased the plan). As we continue to read on it says you might get hungry but the secret is to drink a liter of water. Wait. So you can’t actually eat, then?…Okay, I guess I could do that too. And so the diet continues. With care, I read every last word, and decide that I’d do anything to look like Bob (or Jane) in the photos. So I start the diet…and guess what?—a day goes by and I’m hungry. I’ve drunk a liter of water and I’m still hungry. Day Two I’m even hungrier. I really want some of my favorite foods, but I’m not allowed them until Day Seven. Confused, frustrated, I go on-line and read an article about motivation which says that I need to have discipline. Discipline. Okay, I can do that; I can be disciplined. So, reenergized, I tell myself to be more disciplined. I make it to Day Three, but I still feel like shit. I don’t even want to get out of bed, but the weight on the scales has gone down by one kilogram. Which makes make happy. So, I continue to Day Four, maybe even Day Five before I crumble completely; I ignore the plan and start eating my favorite foods again. I convince myself that the next day I’ll get right back on track with the diet. But come tomorrow and my weight is actually higher than it was before. Distraught, I break down; I daren’t tell anyone about what has happened, and I just go back to eating what I used to eat, feeling sad and ashamed of myself. But not once do I attribute the failure to the diet. Instead I attribute it to myself, my lack of discipline and resolve. It looked so easy for
Bob and Jane but I simply couldn’t do it. Who knows? In the days and weeks that follow, I may even read a book or an article about the different reasons why the diet plan didn’t work for me. Maybe I have the “wrong body” type or the “wrong blood” type. Are you kidding me!!! Shame Spirals On a personal level, this was one of the hardest chapters for me to write, because I went through the shame spiral hundreds of times. Whenever I failed at a diet program, I blamed myself. I actually increased the perceived, or for me, real pain of dieting. As a result, each time I tried a different plan it would be harder and harder, until the words “easy” or “you can eat your favorite foods” didn’t elicit a positive reaction. Instead, I was convinced that nothing would work for me, that the whole thing was just a spiral of self-shame, excuses, denial, desperately hoping that something would change. If only the industry addressed the psychology involved! That’s why I wrote this book! THIS is the truth I need you to acknowledge, right here, right now. You’ve been sold on easy solutions for way too long. Instead of acknowledging that something was missing with the mindset, you’ve been conned into blaming yourself!! DON’T. Let me tell you, when I came to understand the truth about how permanent and lasting change occurs through the equation, it set me free. How Diet Plans Affect the Equation Let’s recap and discuss exactly what happens when you buy or take on a diet plan. Firstly, you’re told or are made to believe that the pain of the diet will be minimal—pain of hunger, of sticking to the plan itself, the pain of spending money. Secondly, by whatever method, the devisors of the plan will remove all traces of perceived pain. Therefore, you start the diet with a certain perception of the pain involved. At this point, it’s far less than the perceived pain of staying the same weight as you are today. Hence the reason you started the diet in the first place. But then the lies slowly start to emerge, and the perceived or real pain becomes greater and greater until it’s far larger than the pain of staying the same weight. Because, as we now know, the equation flips and change stops completely. Let me show you examples of what the equation may look like when you start a diet plan, with the perceived realities marketed to you (or sometimes recommended by a well-meaning friend).
Right, so here we can clearly see that the pain of staying the same weight looks a lot greater than the pain of the new whiz-bang diet that you either read about or your next-door-neighbor recommended. And when you start the diet this is what happens as the equation flips:
As you can see, as the pain builds on the right side, the left side becomes less than the real/perceived pain of the diet. When the equation is imbalanced by the pain on the right side—BANG—the change stops. We’re back to square one again. Only now we’ve added a perceived belief in our mind: that the pain of changing is very painful and very hard. In fact, we may reach a point where we’re so resigned that we don’t want to try again because the pain is all too fresh in our minds. Timeout. I want you to pause for a moment now, and let that fact sink in. Look at all your previous attempts. Can you see what happened? Can you remember when the equation finally flipped and you fell off the diet plan? Can you see how you attributed this to your own failure, even though the
marketers only got you sold on their plans in order for you to buy their product? Relax! You can take a breath now. Because let me tell you: it’s not your fault. You weren’t given all the necessary information to succeed. The fault lies with them. What we’re going to do next is uncover all the great myths surrounding weight-loss. By the end of this book, you’ll know the truth, and will never be sold on a diet plan again or fall for another of their easy quickfix methods, or their sales jargon. Now, if you’re reading this and thinking, Well, I sometimes succeed or I can stick to a diet longer than five days or I’ve dropped weight before and stuck it out but then it just comes back again, it’s BECAUSE you used discipline and force to get there. You believed in the myth that only willpower and dedication or secret brain tricks will get you through. But discipline can easily crack and you’ll be right back where you started from, back to your previous eating habits, your old weight. It’s a vicious, neverending cycle of self-loathing and flimsy excuses. All discipline does is try and cheat the equation. But cheaters never win; it’s never permanent, and it’s never easy to be in a state of constant discipline. For now, let’s look at the similar ways they try to sell exercise programs, not so much by what they say but what they don’t say… The Truth About Exercise Programs On the front cover of every exercise program you’ll see a toned, athletic model—Twelve weeks to get ripped, Twelve weeks to your beach body, Six weeks to get abs like hers. So, you pick up the program and have a read. It looks okay. A few crunches here and there, a few weights. Then you make a start, and what they didn’t tell you is that your body will be sore after a workout, that by the next day you won’t have much energy and will barely be able to move. They also didn’t tell you that without a proper eating plan you won’t lose any weight, either. Therefore, your results aren’t shaping up as you thought they would. After a week or two, you miss a day, and the same spiral of shame takes over, the same self-reproach: I’m obviously not good enough, I’ll never look like those people on the front of those magazines, I’ll never get the before and after photos like they told me. Again: similar story. They avoid telling you about the real pain; they avoid telling you the truth. Because the truth would sound like this: this exercise regime is grueling.
Every day you will feel sorer than before. You will lack motivation and energy with each passing session. Results are slow, really slow. You may not see any noticeable difference in the mirror for the first four weeks; in fact, your weight might actually go up during the first two weeks. Oh, and if you don’t eat the right diet (which we didn’t include with this plan, by the way), you won’t lose any weight at all. So now that you know all of this, why not buy another workout plan, more tailored to your personal needs? How many people would buy a plan like that? Yep, you guessed it—none. That’s why they do this; they hide, conceal or skew the truth. And if I wanted to make a fast buck then that’s the route I’d go down. I’d be rich while other people suffered, while they became more ashamed of themselves for not being able to stick to any plan for long. Look, I’m not here to judge these people and neither should you. After all, they didn’t have the know-how that forms the basis of The Psychology of Weight-Loss to share with you, the missing link. But this book, right here, right now, uncovers the truth without any magic mirrors or fairy dust. By the time you finish the final chapter it will be within your power to easily control your weight without using huge amounts of discipline. The balance of the equation will be in your favor; you will be in full, complete control of your very own equation of change. Take-Home Points In order for us to purchase something, marketers will remove perceived pain to convince us to part with our money When the true pain is uncovered, we blame ourselves, instead of seeing what actually happened All diets and exercise regimes work on paper, but making sure you have the right balance in the equation is the only thing that will keep getting you results Don’t blame yourself for failing in the past, you weren’t given all the right tools to get the job done Be excited, as you are now on the way to learning the things you need to take control into your own hands forever
CHAPTER SIX How the Rest of the Book will be Structured Well done for getting this far. Often when people look to make a change in their lives, they’re haunted by past failures. They’re so consciously aware of their own pain points, and how they held them back before, they find it difficult to move forward. Put simply: weight-loss is no easy task. And I know it may seem daunting right now, but that’s perfectly natural. I too struggled when I first started seeing how change occurred in my everyday life; because it made me painfully aware of my own inner struggles. All I wanted was to know how I could make things work in my favor. If that’s how you’re feeling right now: great. Don’t worry. The answers are coming. Patience is a virtue, remember? Together, we’re embarking on a mission towards changing our whole physical self. No small feat. Think baby steps. And by the end of the book all your questions will be answered, and all your fears will melt away. Permanent Change Alright, so if diets and exercise programs don’t work, if our loved ones’ advice fails us, and if you can’t trust any information out there, what do you do? The only way to change something effectively and permanently is through use of the equation. End of story. As long as the equation is balancing towards change, moving you away from your current pain, then change will continue to occur. Naturally, with ease, and without having to use discipline or mind tricks to get there. It’s really quite simple: you must understand the concept of in versus out, and how to balance the equation in your favor, at any point in time. That’s exactly what the rest of the book is about. Now, from here on out, the program will be split into two main sections. The Left Side of the Equation The first section will work on the left side of the equation; the perceived or real pain of staying the way you currently are today. In subsequent chapters, I’m going to teach you how to increase your perceived or real pain in such a manner that it becomes unwavering, recallable at any time, and
painful enough to influence The Equation of Change in your favor, naturally and with ease. For most people, mastery of this side alone is enough to make a permanent shift in their weight for the rest of their lives. The Right Side of the Equation The second section will look at the right side of the equation. Here I’m going to show you how to decrease the pain of changing, so that the changes you make cause minimum pain. This will ensure that the equation keeps balancing out in favor of change, naturally and with ease. By the end of this section you will effectively know when the pain is increasing or changing and stop it in its tracks. Therefore, yoyoing will be a thing of the past and progress will continue at your own pace. Here we will also uncover some of the biggest myths about the industry which made your previous attempts at weight-loss so much harder. Again, it’s really quite simple. Once you know how to impact both sides of the equation at any given time, either decreasing or increasing the pain, you will successfully be able to create any change that you desire to your weight. And because of the equation balancing naturally in your favor it won’t require massive amounts of discipline. From that moment on, you will be forever in full control of your weight. As a result, your health, energy, your whole life experience will change. This is my promise. But that promise—and I’ve said this before—comes with a caveat: you must follow all the instructions. When prompted, you yourself must get on the court and complete the set activities, thus taking control of your own life. This will take effort on your behalf and will potentially become uncomfortable—it won’t be an easy ride. You will have to confront a lot of the pain associated with staying the same as you are today. But if you only passively read these pages, without following the instructions, then I can’t guarantee that you will get what you need out of the program. Don’t let that happen! Be Excited – It’s Not Against the Rules! You’ve made so much progress already. At this point in the program, you should be experiencing feelings of excitement, be on the edge of your seat or bed or wherever you happen to be reading this. And rightly so. Because you
are closer to gaining lasting control over your own weight than you’ve ever been before. Let’s get to it! Take-Home Points Analyzing your life and how changes occur in your life is not easy and I commend you for setting yourself this challenge The rest of the book will be split into two sections—the two sides of the equation How to increase the pain of staying the same How to decrease the pain of changing There will be instructions for you to follow, instructions essential to achieving the desired the results, even though it may be an uncomfortable ride Get excited—you’re already so much closer to getting control of your weight forever
CHAPTER SEVEN Okay, let’s discuss the left side of the equation now. For most people this is the easiest part of the program, because we’re going to focus on your reason for losing weight; your Why. Put simply: if there was no present pain to begin with, then there wouldn’t be any desire to change, right? Be warned, though. Don’t assume that you already have this side locked down. Remember, if you were truly aware to the pains of staying the same way, and that pain was great enough then the goal of weight-loss would have already occurred. There are some very specific instructions for you to follow in the next few chapters, and some simple written exercises to carry out. All of which will profoundly affect your way of looking at things in terms of your own pains and motivation. With me so far? Good. Now, in the past, you may have read countless books or listened to countless motivational speeches on how you’ve got to find your Why, your purpose, why you’re doing something in the first place. Most of the content will be in relation to positive things: how I want be able to do this, do that, how my life is going to be transformed from here on out—with a multitude of hi-fives, firecrackers and empowering sound-bites. Things that make you feel good about yourself. Things that truly provide momentary motivation and perceived pleasure, when that image of what you want is so clear. But this can be a very deceptive mind-set. The Problem with Motivation From personal experience, I know how hard it is, almost impossible to stay motivated in that way. Because—yep, you guessed it—you’re still using discipline to enforce change. You’re trying to fix an image of pleasure clearly in your head. You’re trying desperately to be positive. When pain in relation to change starts to develop, that image gets duller and duller. Eventually you’ll forget all about it and cave in, or let yourself off with some flimsy excuse: Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow, Maybe I’ll start the diet again in the morning. Now, I know what I’ve just said goes against all motivation techniques that exist today, in the twenty-first century. Which would be fine if my clients and I had never tried any of those techniques. But think about it. Haven’t you already dreamt of having a six-pack? Or of being healthy
enough to run marathons? Or slim enough to get into those skinny jeans? Think about the positive imagery you’ve used in the past. What have your reasons been? Found any? Cool. But haven’t you ever asked yourself why they didn’t work for you before? It’s pretty good sexy imagery, isn’t it? Stop. Rewind. Let’s put it another way: if those techniques had been in any way valid, they would have produced results already. If we look at The Equation of Change the distinct problem lies in the fact that we’re not actually applying the equation at all. On the left side, we’re not focusing on the pain but the feel-good stuff instead, the stuff that makes you feel temporarily positive about yourself. There’s no pain in: I want a six-pack. There’s no pain in: I want an incredible sex life. There’s no pain in: I want to feel energized all day. There’s no pain in: I want to have a beach body. It doesn’t stimulate your survival instincts. Those statements we keep repeating to ourselves, even though they stem from pain, in our heads, are framed positively. And that doesn’t work. You need to continue using discipline to keep it going. Believe me. I did it. I tried living my life by every positive statement there was. Seriously. I would plaster them on my walls, on the dashboard in my car, all over my desk at work. I would listen to recordings of my own voice for positive reinforcement of why I wanted to lose the weight. I kid you not. I was a lunatic for this stuff, was as determined to lose weight as a person could be. But nothing worked—nada, no good—not in a lasting, healthy and permanent way. If I did manage to force a change through discipline, it would inevitably fail after a few weeks or months. Then I was back in the same shame spiral thinking that I just didn’t do it right!!! Well, guess what? Only a very simple change is needed to remove the massive amounts of effort required to make the change. It’s all about the way you frame it up in your mind. Want to find out how? Here goes… Step One Now, I’m going to ask you to get on the court again to go through this exercise with me. As we do so, I want you to focus on your feelings.
Specifically, on how motivated you feel towards making a change, in regard to your current intake or expenditure of food and exercise. I want you to choose one of the positive reasons you have and write it down on a piece of paper. Here are some examples of what they could be: I want a six-pack I want to be popular I want to be the manager of our company I want an amazing sex life I want to live longer I want to be an inspiration Et cetera Get the picture? Good. Now I want you to choose one that’s real for you. Once you’ve done that, we’re going to alter the statement slightly. Instead of: here’s what I want—we’re going to change it to: what it’s like for us now not having that thing, the reality, truth, fact. I currently don’t have a six-pack but a flabby belly that weighs me down I’m not part of a popular group My current sex life is non-existent My current health isn’t going to help me live a long life Instead of I want a six-pack, we’re going to write: I don’t have a six-pack or I’ve got a fat stomach. Instead of: I want an awesome relationship, I’m currently single with no relationship. Do you see the difference? For now, we’re reframing the imagery into concrete, here and now, present day fact. We’re making it personal, to you. As if, for the first time, you’re confronting the pain involved with change. Step Two We know ourselves, and we know, as human beings, that we take the path of least resistance. If we can, we avoid change at all costs, unless we
experience something more painful than changing itself (The Equation of Change). So, if you continue the way you are with your weight for the foreseeable future, let’s say the next twelve months, without any changes, what would that look like in terms of the one thing you jotted down? For example: I’m currently single, with no relationship. Next year will be a lonely one for me. I won’t be satisfied, or have anyone to share my life with. I’ll probably spend my nights watching TV alone, hoping that Mr or Mrs Right will come knocking on my door, knowing full well it won’t happen. See what I mean? So now play out a little story in your head of what your year looks like and the impact on your life if you don’t make any changes. Good. Now imagine what the next ten years will be like if you still don’t do anything to change: I’ve come to terms with being single. I’ve gone on a few dates here and there. And I might get a bit drunk, because I’m not very sure of myself these days, and ruin things. It will probably get to the point where I get too old, where I just feel embarrassed to be dating so I don’t go on dates anymore. But it’s okay because I’ve got Fluffy the cat now and she keeps me company. Not great for conversation, but at least she listens to me. I guess I just wasn’t meant to be with someone else, especially not now my health is deteriorating. Even if it would be nice to have someone to cuddle at night, but I don’t have anyone. I can’t even remember the last time someone gave me a hug. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep when I think about it. Get creative here. But, at the same time, be brutally honest with yourself, unflinching. Nothing is going to change unless you make that change happen yourself. Don’t shy away from imagining what life is going to like for you in the foreseeable future if don’t make any changes. Go to work. Imagine the full impact, the more detail the better. Okay, and how do you feel right now? By rights, you should be pretty upset with the little movie trailer of what your life is going to look like soon. You should be clearly present to your future pain if no change is made. Make no mistake —this is your reality. As a result, a funny thing should be happening to your mind: you should feel more motivated to make a change than ever. Not happy-go-lucky motivated, but the kind of motivated to refuse a packet of donuts if I offered them to you, a burger, a kilo of pasta. In fact, how motivated are you to eat everything that’s
in the fridge right now? Can you even think about eating? Are you craving any foods, after reading back over your movie trailer? If you did this correctly then the desire to eat should be pretty much gone. Know why? Because you’re not using force anymore. You’re not using any will-power. You’re directly impacting the equation. You’re simply not interested in any of that old stuff from before. So well done. You’ve just experienced the first glimpse of The Equation of Change working. Now, please don’t worry if you’re not feeling all of this just yet; we’re going to expand on this a little more in the next chapter. Take-Home Points Focusing on what you want is positive imagery and requires discipline Discipline has to be constantly front of mind and is a forceful way of impacting change The Equation of Change is a natural way for your mind to empower change as it moves away from pain Instead of focusing on what you want, imagine what it’s like not having that one thing and the impact it creates Describe, in imagery and vivid detail, the next ten years of your life, focusing on the true pain of not having the things that you want
CHAPTER EIGHT Firstly, let’s recap on what we did in the last chapter; let’s analyze it. We focused on your Pain Points in relation to your weight—whether that was to do with image, relationships, popularity, health (whatever was real for you). We then looked at the positive reasons/goals behind losing weight, and reframed them in a way that elicited a powerful pain response. We imagined how painful staying the same way as you are today would be, and the impact of your current state of affairs prolonged over a significant amount of time, should nothing change. With brutal honesty, we assessed exactly where we’re currently at, what we’re currently dealing with, and its long-term impact. The Steps We Went Through 1. Admit to Where You Are Right Now Instead of looking at what you want or at your dreams, hopes and desires, admit to where you are currently at in your life, not having your goals and dreams realized, just being the way you are now. 2. Map Out What the Next Year Looks Like Without You Changing Look into the future, at how your life might shape up in the next year, if you continue to look and feel the way you do today. Remember: this is your life. So make sure you go into as much detail as possible. Be specific. Leave nothing out. No matter how hard or painful. Because you know your life better than anyone else. 3. Map Out What the Next Ten Years Will Look Like Without You Changing and the Impact Long-Term Ideally, you’d like to do this for your whole life, if only to increase the effectiveness of this exercise, but ten years is a good start. Those are the exact steps towards building your Why, and how you can impact The Equation of Change!!! Again: well done for getting this. It’s not an easy topic to grasp, especially when you do it for the first time. Uncovering the True Pain Associated with Change Here’s the thing: what you’ve just learnt is a great tool. But to create
permanent, lasting change our pain needs to be deeper and truer to ourselves. The things we often see on the surface, what’s bothering us, are just that: on the surface, superficial. Many of you may go through the exercise, imagining what it’s going to be like not having a six-pack for the rest of your life, and plan it out over a decade. But still the pain may be too mild for the equation to work long-term. Because you aren’t really hitting home on your core wants, desires, hopes and dreams. One of the biggest pain points associated with being overweight is a negative impact on your self-confidence. Therefore, ask yourself what are you going to miss out on in life due to a lack of self-confidence. Below I have inserted some questions that I use with my clients, questions to elicit a response on a much deeper psychological level. For example, what impact is your weight really having on your life? What’s the true pain for you right here, right now? What’s the real thing you’re missing out on? What sort of effect would it have on your family and friends if you died twenty years prematurely? Be aware that we will naturally avoid thinking painful thoughts, but I’m going to ask you to go against your instincts and examine the true pain for you. Below is a list of those examples, by no means an exhaustive list. So feel free to use Google for additional information regarding the impact that your weight has on you. But be sure to look the information over and start thinking for yourself. Dig deeper. Ask the hard questions that you may have been avoiding. Think about what I’m missing out on? How do I feel at dinnertime? What do I avoid because of my weight? What have I told myself is not for me because of my weight? What daily thoughts do I have about my weight? What thoughts do I have about my health? What do I feel like when I wear clothes? What do I feel like when I’m in stores? What do I feel like when I see my reflection?
What do other people think of me? What do skinny people think of me? What do my parents think of me? What kind of example am I setting for my kids? What kind of example am I setting for people around me? What does my partner think of me? What is it like to have sex with me? What do I avoid thinking about in relation to my weight? How do I really feel about myself? Important Exercise Now, take out a piece of blank paper. In a moment, I will ask you to start listing your current pains. (Important point: write this out longhand, don’t type it out on a computer keyboard, as there’s a subconscious link between thought and expression when pen meets paper). Like I said, I want you to really dig deep here. Get personal—if you’re going to take control of your life, the equation needs to be yours. It’s just you and me and this book. You don’t have to tell anyone about what you’re writing down. But it’s time to get honest; to lift the veil once and for all. What are you not dealing with? What have you allowed yourself not to think about in relation to your weight? Instruction: take your time. THINK about your life as it is now. I know this isn’t an easy exercise. I know how hard it is. When it’s time to start writing, keep writing until you’re finally being honest with yourself. Don’t stop until you can’t think of anything else to write. To be effective, truthful, honest, these things should be painful. The stronger the impact the better. If it upsets you—good. If it makes you want to cry—even better. The more honest you are the more rewarding the exercise will be, okay? Make it real for yourself. If you want to make a personal change this is where it starts to count. If it’s painful, write it down. If it’s not, throw it out. What are you missing out on in your life? What things bother you? Keep going. Keep asking yourself the hard questions. And in time,
naturally, you’ll want to respond to them and write them down. To reiterate, this is one of the hardest tasks in the whole book, a task which will make or break your efforts at permanent change. When you start writing, if you can fill an A4 page, great. If you can fill more, even better. If you need inspiration, go online and search: The negatives of being overweight, The downsides to being overweight, Health risks associated with being overweight. Again, when you do your own research, each example won’t relate to everyone, specifically. Pick and choose the ones that are real for you, that cause a little pain, and write them down. Instruction: go ahead and start writing now! How are you doing so far? What kinds of things are you listing: What is it like to go shopping? What clothes do you miss out on wearing? Get it all down on paper, everything—the current painful sensations, where you experience negative feelings from being over the weight you want to be. Don’t build movie trailers of what your whole life will look like in the future, just as it is now, currently. For most people this will be more than enough. But I have collated some additional cold hard facts about being overweight for you to read over the next few pages. For inspiration, to help build your list and to uncover the things you’ve been avoiding for years. Again, this is not a full list by any means. There are millions of different pains for different people. But the following will reveal some truths that you may or may have not thought about previously. I would suggest, therefore, that you build your own page of pains now. And only when you have fully exhausted the whole list should you move onto to reading the rest of this chapter and making further additions. Cold, Hard Truths About Being Overweight Being overweight or obese can lead to: Increased risk of kidney disease Diabetes Cancer Osteoarthritis
Potential health problems for both mother and baby during pregnancy The development of a ‘fatty liver’ (a condition known as cirrhosis that is often irreversible) High blood pressure (and other metabolic syndromes) Heart disease and hardening of the arteries which could lead to a stroke Sleep Apnea (which causes people to stop breathing for brief periods during sleep) and other respiratory problems Psycho-Social Effects—In a culture where often the ideal of physical attractiveness is to be overly thin, people who are overweight or obese frequently suffer disadvantages. Overweight and obese people are often blamed for their condition and may be considered to be lazy or weak-willed. It is not uncommon for overweight or obese conditions to result in people having lower incomes or having fewer or no romantic relationships. Disapproval of overweight people expressed by some individuals may result in bias, discrimination, and even torment Basically, at the very core of it, something in the vicinity of 90% of modern-day illnesses can be linked directly and indirectly to being overweight. To illustrate the point, there’s a saying I really live by, and I apologize if this offends you but it’s the truth. The reason you don’t see old overweight people is because they’re all DEAD. The coldest, hardest truth of the matter is: your lifestyle choices and your control of your weight are having a very real and serious impact on the quality of your life. But straight up: overweight people just aren’t going to live that long…and for the life that you do live, because of your low self-confidence you will miss out on some many wonderful experiences and pleasures and won’t be able to be your true unapologetic self. You undoubtedly will lead a sub-par existence. Okay, now that you’ve read some more facts and figures (and please feel free to read even more online as well), add them to your list if you haven’t already. How Do You Feel Now?
Amazing work. You’ve gotten this far already. Take a breath, take a moment to collect yourself. By now you should be feeling very, very different. You should be experiencing a range of emotions: embarrassment, upset, disgust, horror, depression, anxiety, nerves, a whole multitude of feelings up and down the negative spectrum. Right now, I appreciate that you’re in a very vulnerable state; I know this is quite a raw experience. If you need to take some time before you read on, please do so. Be responsible for your mental state. This is a huge undertaking, one that will affect every aspect of your life… …If you feel ready, though, it’s time to take each of the points you wrote down earlier and play out the movie trailer of your life. I want you to write down what your life will look like if those changes never occur. Just like we did before. The more detail, the more vivid imagery you can use to describe what your foreseeable future will look like if you don’t make any changes, the better. Focus on what impact your weight will have over the course of your life. The mind responds better with images, if it can clearly picture things, to help avoid that painful sensation in the future: The Equation of Change. So be as detailed as you can here. Get creative. Get personal. Leave no stone unturned. This exercise will take some time. I want you to dedicate maybe an hour to this, or more if need be. The title of your document should be: My Life in the Here and Now and in the Future if I Stay as I Currently Am and the Impact on Myself and Others Around Me What you are about to do is build the most powerful left-sided equation in relation to weight-loss, specifically to you, imaginable. Please note: people pay mindset coaches thousands of dollars to discover their Whys. They go to silent retreats. It can sometimes take over a year of counselling for them to get down to the honest truths. But you are now smart enough and capable enough to get it done right away. For many of my clients this exercise alone has such a powerful impact on The Equation of Change, some don’t even need to read the rest of the book—they already have full control of their weight. Not that I’m encouraging you to do that. This exercise is not a joke; It’s not a maybe it’s a must. If you aren’t going to do it, stop reading this book. Stop wasting your time. Because you won’t change and you won’t get what I promised. Period. You need to get present to the raw truth of the
impact that your way of living and your weight is having on your life. If you’re not going to do this exercise in full, don’t continue to read. This is the hardest part. In comparison, the rest of the book is easy. Because the rest of the book will be removing, piece by piece, all the pains associated with changing. This is the part where we need to increase the pain. Therefore, it’s important that you get real with yourself. You have to do it. Write it all out. Set yourself a time to do this (I suggest right away, while it’s still fresh in your mind), and do what has to be done. How to: Pick the pain points true to you—describe your current pain, describe what your life will look like in the future with this pain and impact surrounding it. Then map out how your whole life will look, assuming you don’t change. Instruction: Now take out a pen and paper again, write your movie trailer, extrapolate it over the next ten years, the rest of your life, all the pain involved in not making a change…Go and do that now… Postscript to Chapter I want you to know that I love and respect you for taking this on, for taking control of your life. This is a hard thing to do. This is no easy feat. But it will change your life forever, just like it did mine, and all the people I’ve worked with. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for doing this for you yourself, just as you will thank yourself later. Trust in the process! Take-Home Points Step 1—Admit to where you currently are and the impact it’s having on you now Step 2—Have a look at the impact of staying the same way over the next year Step 3—Now build a clear vision, a picture of you and your future over the next 10+ years if you stay the same way Those are the steps to realizing your true pains, by asking questions of yourself that you don’t really want to ask
The more honest your responses are the better this will work The more vivid imagery you can use in your movie trailer of your foreseeable future if you don’t change, the better it will work Do the exercise—don’t skip it!
CHAPTER NINE Alright, great work so far! Now let’s examine what we’ve actually done; let’s bring things back to The Equation of Change. Because, believe it or not, you’ve just successfully brought the concept to front of mind. You’ve increased the perceived and real pain of staying the way you are now. This is one of the single most important parts of the entire program! To have completed it so soon should give you a massive confidence boost; a massive sense of achievement! For we now know that the greater the pain on the left side, the more geared you are towards changing.
As you can see, we’ve already swung the equation in favor of natural and instinctual psychological change. So even if we didn’t work on the right side at all from here on out, this would already impact upon your weight. Because you have already swung the equation in your favor. This is also why it’s crucial to dig deep and really extrapolate what the impact will be, over time. This will make the pain stronger, clearer and permanent, over time. Things to Note When Change Starts Occurring
Firstly, your pains are real right now, based on your current state of affairs—whether you’re ten, twenty, fifty or even one hundred kilos overweight. So, when change starts occurring—which it will—the left side pain will naturally start to diminish, as some of the pain has disappeared. For example, your current pain might be that you never get a second look from the opposite or same sex. However, you may drop some weight and suddenly start receiving admiring glances, getting the attention you once craved. So that original pain point starts becoming duller, nowhere near as painful. A good, positive thing! It’s what we’re hoping for: to be able to remove all your real and perceived pains until you’re the exact weight that you want to be. Fully under your control. In fact, when I used to build my own list of Whys, the main focus of motivation was towards attracting a partner. Invariably, this is what would happen: I’d drop a lot of weight while my pain was strong. Then suddenly, I’d start to receive attention from someone I was attracted to. Often, we started dating. But it was then something strange happened. Because the pain wasn’t present anymore, I put all the weight back on again. And before I knew it, I was blaming my partner for making me fat. It was her fault because I was too happy! Ha-ha. Can you relate to that? Can you see the contrary, inexplicable things that happen to our minds when we remove the real or perceived pains from our lives? In addition, what you’ll find, at times, is that you will plateau. Or the weight-loss and drive or motivation to change will be less than it was before. When this happens it’s a signal; something you should be observant enough to recognize. It means that the pain has subsided. When this happened to me, I would throw all kinds of discipline at it—you’ve got to work harder, be more focused, six-packs, fireworks, the same old rubbish that never worked for me before. But don’t worry. It’s easy to rectify. Instructions for When Pain has Subsided or Motivation has Decreased All you have to do is revisit the exercise. Start afresh and write it all out again. Become present to the pains and the reality of your situation and understand what it will be like if nothing changes. It won’t take long. Besides, what’s twenty minutes or half-an-hour out of your day, if you can reinvigorate your motivation? But beware. By the point you plateau, you’ll
notice that some pains will no longer be real or true to you. They may’ve subsided, no longer exist, or the pain may’ve become duller. Like I mentioned earlier, you may now be receiving those admiring glances you once hoped for. Therefore, the pain has subsided. When this happens, ask yourself about your current pains. It could well be that you have new pains, new goals that create new sources of pain. Now, when I say goals—you may’ve dropped a few pounds and now want to try for the six-pack you’ve always wanted—again beware. Remember not to fall in the trap of thinking in a positive or goal-orientated way. If you do, you’ll lose focus of the pain. Therefore, frame it up in the same way, of what it’s like for you now, not achieving that goal or not having what you want, and the impact that will have over the course of your life. Play it out through your movie trailer. Again, pen to paper always works best. If you find that you have hit your goals and there is no more pain, but the weight seems to be creeping back on, all you have to do is revisit your original pains to remind yourself of what it’s like if you go back to the way you were. So, great, simple. We’ve covered a few new concepts. We’ve increased the pain, and you now know what to address when motivation seems duller or not as strong. By doing so, guess what?—you’ve just cured yourself of yoyoing. That’s right. I’ll say it again: you’ve just cured yourself of yoyoing. But what is it? What is yoyoing? Yoyoing: What to Look Out For Yoyoing is when you drop weight and, for whatever reason, put the weight back on again. As a result, you get disheartened and can’t quite figure out why. Here’s the reason, in relation to The Equation of Change, why yoyoing occurs. You experience pain—the reason why you make a change— then the change happens, and suddenly that pain is gone. You’re now happy with where you are and aren’t thinking about the potential pains of going back to where you were before. So, naturally, you start eating more and moving less. Over time, your weight creeps up. The moment you realize this, the pain is back. But it’s already too late as you have put most of the weight back on! That’s yoyoing. Having the pain present, changing until the pain isn’t present, and then not being aware when the pain returns or motivation recedes. Now you know what signals to look out for, and the very simple way to get right back on track.
Now, as the book progresses, we’ll teach you more ways to catch and be present to your yoyos. Yoyoing is a big thing. Because, historically, people have always been successful at losing a few pounds here and there (and if you haven’t, don’t worry, I’ll help you drop the weight anyway). Catching yoyos is one of the most important factors in this your journey to gaining control over you weight; something we’ll discuss at greater length later in the book. Important Points to Remember To recap: the simplest way to get back on track during a plateau is to bring to front of mind the pains that you suffered being the way you were before—so you may reach your desired weight, your goals, and all pains will be removed. It’s all very straightforward. Read back over the pains you once had to remind yourself of what pain you are avoiding by staying at your ideal weight now. This will manifest easily. Like the hot plate on a stove reminding you not to touch it. See your hot plate. See your pains. And you will stop it in its tracks again. Simple. It’s just a different way of looking at it. And The Equation of Change makes all of this effortless. Biggest take-home point thus far: you now know how to impact the left side of the equation, and if you ever feel motivation slipping, it’s a signal that the pain has decreased on the left side. Therefore, you need to address the new and current pain to reignite your change equation and become present to pain again. Perfect. For now, let’s move on to the right side of the equation. Take Home-Points Addressing the current pains of staying the same and the impact they have over a long period of time, increase the perceived and real pain of staying the same This is a direct hack, like a cheat code, for the equation of change by swinging it positively towards natural change If you reach a plateau or motivation drops, the easiest way to get back on track is to repurpose and refocus on your pains Your ability to identify the moment when motivation or change
plateaus will allow you to stop yoyoing, thus stopping weight gain after weight drops You now know how to impact the left side of your personal equation of change
CHAPTER TEN The Right Side of the Equation Why, oh why, is it so difficult to lose weight? Why does it have to be so painful, filled with sacrifice? Why do I have to cut out carbs? Why do I have to reduce my sugar intake? Why do I have to eat broccoli? Why does there have to be such a lack of enjoyment in life? Why can’t I just have the best of both worlds? Why can’t I be skinny and eat cake too? Well, you can. Big statement, I know. But remember what I promised if you followed all the instructions?—that you’d have full control of your weight, easily, reach any weight goal you wished, easily, and be able to get there with a skip and a dance along the way. Look, I’ve been losing weight since I was a teenager. From sixteen to twenty-six my weight fluctuated, up and down, and from side to side. Like I said, I’ve done it all; I’m a failing to lose weight expert! An expert in the wrong information! But having been through all of that, for so many years, I can now say that I’ve mastered it, and shown other people how to master it, too. If only I’d had the right information before I started dieting, my life would’ve been so, so different. If only I’d have been given the right knowledge when I was sixteen, I wouldn’t have had such intense self-doubts, lack of energy, health problems. The dark thoughts you don’t even notice that rob you of your natural shine and self-confidence. The feeling that you’re not at peace with yourself, feelings that are worth more than money could ever buy. If only I’d have known what I know today! Reducing the Pain of Changing To reduce the pain of changing is quite straightforward. First, we need to: Address the pain that exists in changing Separate the pains into two parts: real and perceived Through the power of truth and knowledge remove the perceived pains You are now left with only real pains
Learn how to minimize and avoid real pains which are individual to you Therefore, with the perceived pains gone, and with a number of available tools to help alleviate the real pain, you will drastically reduce the pain of changing—directly impacting The Equation of Change Simple. Now, I’m going to let the cat out of the bag here: you’ve been brainwashed. You lack the true knowledge that surrounds weight-loss. I know this because if you had the knowledge you wouldn’t be reading this book today. But it’s not as hard as the sales and marketing teams that sell health and weight-loss products every day make it seem. It’s not; it really isn’t. Believe me. Remember, way back at the start of the book, when we said that losing weight came down to one thing and one thing only—in versus out—that if you consume less energy than you expend you will lose weight? Do you know that as fact yet? Or are you still not convinced? For purposes of this exercise, let’s say that is indeed the case: in versus out—that that’s the only way to lose weight. Our bodies don’t run on gasses or fumes. We run on energy, which has to be taken from somewhere: your fat. So, it seems fitting that the next natural question would be: how much energy do you consume? Then: how much energy do you expend? Wouldn’t that be logical? Now, I think it would be fair to say that the penny should’ve dropped right about now. But…but still people don’t know how much they consume. Still they don’t know what they consume; what the food they eat is made up of. They think they know, but really they haven’t got a clue…But still they want to lose weight, without knowing the only thing they need to know to do so! Madness! This book is all about giving you the right tools, the information, the knowledge to make lasting and permanent change. So, by the end of this book, you will know exactly what you need to make lasting change happen for you. Knowledge is Power
Here’s the thing. Once you know something, you can’t unknow it. Once you’ve learnt that touching a hot plate hurts, you won’t touch it again. Or, at the very least, you would hesitate before touching it again, wouldn’t you? Have you ever fallen off a bike or a swing? Do you remember how reluctant you were to climb on again? When we experience pain, we naturally avoid experiencing that pain again. Makes sense, right? Therefore, the biggest, most powerful method of reducing your pain of changing is LEVELING up your real knowledge and removing the garbage knowledge that has filled your head. Knowledge that confuses you and makes everything seem much harder than it actually is. You’ve always wanted to be in control of your weight, right? You’ve always wanted to be a certain way, to have health, longevity, be an inspiration to your kids, run marathons, jump, play, be happy, just like the people you see in the advertisements on the television. You’ve always wanted it, right? But you’ve always relied on other people to tell you what’s the best thing for you…Nah-ah, not gonna happen this time. If you want control, you are going to have to reach out and grab it. Once you get control you will never look back! Now, as mentioned before, there are two pains on the right side: the pain of consuming less and the pain of expending more. As you are no doubt coming to realize, there are many myths surrounding the pain of expending. So much misinformation, in fact, that we need to properly level up your knowledge before even attempting to approach it. Right now, we’re going to focus on the biggest challenge you face in regards to losing weight: consumption. Take-Home Points The right side is the real and perceived pain of changing The perceived pains are caused by misinformation and myths— by uncovering these we will get rid of the perceived pains for you Real pains of changing will be the only things left, and with the right tools and tricks you will learn how to keep the real pain to a minimum
Knowledge is the biggest factor in the right side—you will need to acquire knowledge in order to successfully impact the right side Once you learn something once, you can never unlearn it, each learning point will be stepping-stone to you having full control of your weight for the rest of your life At this point, your motivation for the rest of the book should be through the roof! You’ve already accomplished so much. Be positive. Excited. Real, lasting change is now within your grasp
CHAPTER ELEVEN Consumption Basically, anything that goes into your mouth that you eat, chew, drink; anything you consume that contains energy points, that’s what we’re going to define as consumption. Now, consumption of energy points, at the very core, is survival. What we consume to stay alive. What we feed our body with to help us function. Commonly, we refer to that instinct to consume as hunger. However, in the twenty-first century, with how is food is set up right now, that hunger has started to be misdiagnosed as addiction to sugar, habitual eating, emotional eating, peer pressure, eating just for the sake of eating, boredom, et cetera. All of which shows that we have gone well above and beyond the survival necessity of consuming to function. Now we consume for a multitude of reasons. Herein lies the problem. We no longer consume solely to fuel our body’s energy needs. Earlier in the book, I spoke about how my family related to food and how that played a big part in my own consumption, personally. By now, I hope you can see that your upbringing, how you dealt with food while growing up, undoubtedly impacted upon you, too. Only we don’t really know the full extent of that impact because, as discussed in the last chapter, you don’t have the data relating to your current consumption yet. Consumption, if you think about it, is our entire life. To function, to breathe, to pump blood, for your nails and hair to grow, to have enough brain power to process the words you read or listen to requires ENERGY. It impacts upon your feelings, thoughts, muscles, your lymphatic system, your EVERYTHING. Imagine consuming something—an apple, a slice of toast, a bar of chocolate—imagine it spreading through your body, being broken up into thousands of mini-energy blocks that feed your whole system of movement. All without you even noticing. All as you go about your daily business. It’s important for you to see your body that way, at the very core of it. Because energy consumption is like fuel for your body, fuel for your car. But please, understand that your car doesn’t just run on fuel; it needs fuel to live. What we need to do, therefore, is reduce the size of that spare tank of fuel we’ve
built up over the years. Because that fuel is old, dirty, way past its expiry date. All it’s really doing is sitting there making a big mess in your body. We need to empty the spare tank, do an oil change, so your car will run like brand-new again! I hope you get the analogy because that’s how it really, truly is. Knowledge Changes Everything Knowledge requires no discipline, no self-control, no money. Knowledge really is POWER. If you lack power in something, level it up with knowledge. To help you understand this, let me give you an example of what knowledge does to your brain. When growing up, most teenagers, at some stage, had their first taste of alcohol. Most will no doubt remember the first time they drank to excess, when alcohol poisoning occurred, when they threw up violently. For everyone, it’s a painful experience, a painful feeling, overdoing things like that. An experience forever hardwired into the brain. Moving forward, you instinctually know not to drink to excess again. Sure, you may have slipped up now and then, but instinctually you know not to do it! You don’t crave it. “I hope I drink to excess and throw up again”. Does this take will-power? Does it take discipline? Does it take Jedi-mind tricks? Does it take positive reaffirmations? Do you sit in the car listening to motivational recordings: “I will not drink to excess, I will not drink too much”? Of course you don’t, right? Because, once again, your knowledge has made a direct link between two things—drinking to excess and sickness (pain). It actually creates a new brain pathway that hardwires into your survival instincts so you can’t avoid it. It becomes unconscious, effortless— you can’t unknow it. Just like the hotplate analogy we used in a previous chapter. If you burnt your finger, and it hurt badly, you’d never touch another hotplate again. Lasting change comes through pain. Here’s the thing: you don’t understand your consumption yet. You don’t know what quantities of food you’re eating and what it’s made up of. You’ve never monitored your consumption and related it to how you feel or how you act. For that reason, you can’t actually make a link between specific things that you feel emotionally and its correlation between what you’re consuming. You probably put it down to you being you: oh, exercise isn’t for me. I just prefer to stay at home. I’m more of a couch person, I don’t mix with other people very well, even if being alone makes me so sad I overindulge, binge
eat and make myself sick…But once you make that link, once you see it for yourself, you can never unsee it. It will be like a lightbulb moment. Because you’ll see that your actual consumption makes you feel certain pains, that previously you have attributed to yourself, your own identity. Like I said before, we never intentionally cause pain to ourselves. We avoid it at all costs. Once you see the correlation, it creates a new neural pathway and change becomes easy because you will NATURALLY be steered away from doing the thing that causes you pain or discomfort. I hope you’re following this. If not, don’t worry. You’ll get it yourself soon enough. So, the biggest thing to change on the right side of the equation is the level of correct knowledge that is personal to you. Knowledge of what you’re consuming and connecting the dots with your physical body and how it responds to your consumption. Now, again: don’t worry. You won’t need to do any mind tricks here either. The connection will happen automatically, if you have knowledge of what you’re consuming. But before we go into how we’ll do this and what we’ll monitor in relation to our consumption, it’s important to first and foremost dispel one very important myth that the industry has tried to make you believe. The myth is, you ready for it? “You need to eat healthy to lose weight!” Yup, you heard me correctly: it’s a myth. Why? Well, you tell me, in facts, what has eating healthy got to do with IN versus OUT? What has eating healthy got to do with consuming less than you expend? Because that’s how you lose weight, right? So, what’s that go to do with anything? ABSOLUELY NOTHING! Eating healthy is just a tool—that’s right: just a TOOL. But please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not encouraging you to indulge in unhealthy foods. This program isn’t a carte blanche to go on a junk-food eating binge. I just need you to be aware of the distinction between losing weight as a process, a mind-set, the psychological shift I’m trying to instill, and an obsession with healthy foods. How people are often misled into believing that all they have to do is go organic or replace their chocolate ice cream with a bowl of fruit and all their weight-loss issues will disappear. In this book we aren’t going to monitor what vitamins or nutrients you
consume, or if you’re getting enough vitamin C or X-Y-Z oils or anything of that nature. Because that’s one of the biggest problems with the industry: they simply lump healthy eating and weight-loss together when, in reality, they don’t have to be connected. Which only makes things harder. Think back to the analogy about the car. The backup fuel tank is your extra weight, and the oil tank is all the healthy, nutrients, micronutrients, oils, et cetera. So, they tell you to change your oil and lose the excess fuel in the tank at the same time. When you don’t have to at all! It involves far too much knowledge and far too many changes to make the process painless (which doesn’t help The Equation of Change). First, you get rid of the old fuel tank, all the old rubbish that’s doing untold damage to your body and mind. Then—THEN—the oil change is the next natural and easy step. In this book, we’re not going to be covering the oil change at all—which nutrients your body needs, what to eat and when to eat it. Because, frankly, there are enough books and material out there that covers this in more depth than I ever could. But if you’re here to lose weight, healthy eating has nothing to do with in versus out! So, guess what? You don’t have to give up your ice-cream or bars of chocolate to achieve your weight-loss goals ☺ Get excited! Now, to keep things simple, next we’re going to look at what we ARE going to be monitoring in the next chapter and why. Take-Home Points Consumption—primarily requirements
Any consumption outside of the body fuel parameter is linked to pleasure and has been ingrained in our consciousness since an early age In order to understand in versus out you need to know what your IN is in terms of what you’re consuming (see definition at the start of chapter) Knowledge—once acquired you will no longer need will-power or discipline to keep it front of mind. Important point: once you learn something you can’t unlearn it Healthy eating and losing weight are not the same thing—you don’t need to eat healthy to lose weight
Get ready to dismiss the wrong knowledge and apply the right knowledge. In doing so you can make a permanent shift in your own personal psychology of losing weight
CHAPTER TWELVE Calories The first thing we’re going to be monitoring is calories. Calories are the actual metric units that energy is measured by in terms of what we consume. Any food that you eat, any drink that you drink will have an energy component to it. This equates to how many energy points it provides for your body. In today’s world, the universal global measurement is calories. Why is this important? Because in the in versus out equation you need to know how much you consume in relation to energy points. Therefore, we need to know how many calories we put into our bodies at any given time. If you’re reading this book and don’t know, it’s not because it’s hard or hidden. Not because it takes a science degree or a constant reminder or fancy methods. It’s because you’ve simply never learnt how. Instead, you consumed based on feelings, instincts and conditioning. Now, as with all knowledge, once you learn something you can’t actually unlearn it. Think about riding a bike or driving a car. The first time you try, it’s scary, right? But once you know how, once you’ve gained the knowledge, it’s with you forever. So, the first thing we’ll be monitoring is calories. Simply because we need to know how much energy is being consumed. Once you learn how, you’ll naturally and instinctually see food and calculate the rough energy points it provides. In fact, as time goes by, you’ll even be able to feel how many energy points you’ve consumed after eating. Wow! I know that sounds far-fetched right now. But stay with me. Remember, I was the person that failed every single diet regime out there. When I found the solution, it became easy. In time, I’ll teach you ways to make it easy, too. Don’t get me wrong. It will still take work on your behalf, but I’ll make the process as painless as possible. The second thing that we’ll be monitoring is what we call MACRO nutrients. But, Andrew, didn’t you say we weren’t going to need to look at nutrients, and that we weren’t going to mix up healthy eating and weightloss? Yes, I did say that. But we aren’t going to be looking at macronutrients in that way at all. We’ll only be looking at macronutrients in relation to The Equation of Change.
Oh, and if you don’t know, macronutrients are the three main components found in all food: Protein Fats Carbohydrates (under carbohydrates we will look at sugar as well) The only reason we’ll be monitoring them, is that consumption of these —macros we’ll call them from now on—makes a big difference in reducing or increasing the pain of changing your consumption. Remember, I promised that I’m going to teach you how to make changes that have the least perceived or real pain involved. This will ensure that The Equation of Change keeps working without you needing to use any will-power or discipline. So that’s it. Those are the two things that we’re going to be monitoring. These will make the biggest difference to the right side of the equation, and will be our main focus going forward. What to Look Out For: When Preparing to Track Your Calorie Intake Before we go into further detail though, I think I need to pre-frame what the next instruction will be. To ensure that you’re ready and prepared in your mind. In real terms, the whole book up until now has been intentionally designed to bring you to this point. We have recognized the big pain associated with staying the same way as you are now. You understand The Equation of Change. How it works and how it doesn’t work. You should now be hugely motivated to get started, to take control of your weight. Because you know that the right side is all based on knowledge—knowledge that you don’t currently have, or knowledge that is incorrect, causing the right side to be painful for you. But once you have this knowledge, the right side will take care of itself. Again, without any self-control or discipline. Therefore, we’ve been leading you up to a crescendo point, where we’re going to ask you personally to level up your own knowledge regarding consumption. Around about now, a funny thing happens to people: they don’t want to! That’s right. You heard me correctly. They don’t want to take the biggest step towards changing their weight, their health, their vitality forever. This is a perfectly natural feeling. The concept is new; something that sounds as if it will involve a lot of work. Or maybe you don’t have the skills to do it. But please don’t be afraid. We’ll go through this step by step together. Before you
know it, it will be like second nature to you. Don’t Run Around in Circles Without knowledge of what you’re consuming, you yourself—not the dog, the next-door-neighbor, or models from the front cover of glossy magazines—will never understand the relationship between consumption, your body, your feelings and your weight. Without it, you’re going to be running around in circles, just like I was, for the rest of your life. You’ll be bouncing from one diet program to the next wondering why oh why does nothing work. You’ll live a sub-par existence, not half as good as it could be, suffering all the pains that you saw for yourself, the pains you wrote down. This is it. This is the moment. Where you consciously decide to expand your knowledge in order to live a better life. For a lot of people monitoring your consumption sounds painful. Not least before you’ve started or given it a proper try. Therefore, the best way to minimize the impact or the pain of monitoring your consumption, is to do just that: monitor it and nothing else. There’s no dieting or changes to what you’re eating. Nothing. You’re just going to monitor and observe and learn. You can continue to eat as normal. If you eat ice creams every day, eat ice creams every day. If you eat chicken and broccoli, eat chicken and broccoli. If you drink beer, drink beer. Just track and monitor it. Only slowly, day by day, meal by meal, you’re going to level up in knowledge. Sounds simple, right? But with this new knowledge comes greater power. When the time inevitably comes to act (which you can’t possibly see yet from where you’re at right now) you’ll make changes that will cause almost no pain whatsoever. You’ll probably laugh at yourself for not picking up this book sooner. Case Study: Jack and How Monitoring Helped Increase His Enjoyment in Life Let me give you an example. One of my clients, Jack, a great guy, a blokey kind of bloke, mid-late thirties, came to me one day, almost embarrassed. To preface his story, Jack had two kids, owned his own company, and had just built a second home. ”I know you’ve helped some people lose weight. They tell me they’re finding it quite easy. Not that I want to lose weight as such. Maybe a few kilos. But I don’t want to change anything. Which seems quite hard. Because I like everything I eat and I hate exercise. There’s no way in hell I’m doing that.”
That’s what he said to me. Naturally, we first went through (you guessed it) the left side of the equation. Now, he was only maybe five, ten kilograms overweight; in fact, his clothes covered it quite nicely. His pain was that when he looked in the mirror, he didn’t really like what he saw. He remembered himself being skinnier, with no bags under his eyes. He remembered being one of the boys. Now he feared what he’d look like in ten years if he carried on getting bigger and bigger. He feared he wouldn’t be able to kick a ball around with his son. He feared that he’d never feel good about himself again. He was used to be being the father figure, the man around the house. But more than anything, he feared that if he continued, he’d need to buy new jeans, in a larger size. Now, can you see that the Why for him was very specific? That his perceived pain point was very real for him? Can you see that? Good. Because that’s what we did: we nailed down his Why. We nailed the left side of the equation. As a result, he got very excited and motivated because he was present to the pain of staying the same way he is now. “Okay, but I don’t want to cut out anything I eat or drink”. I said, “Fine, but what are you eating or drinking?” And he made a list: “I don’t really eat breakfast. For lunch I just buy something here and there, like a burger or chips. In terms of drinks, I have two or three cans of coke a day. My dinners are pretty small because my wife cooks healthy stuff. But here’s the thing, I think I know why I’m gaining weight: I drink four to six bourbons a night after the kids go to sleep. And I have some snack chips to go with it. But there’s no way I’m giving those up, no way in hell. Maybe I could drink less but I don’t want to and that’s it. So, I guess I’m doomed to keep on getting bigger and bigger”. I listened to all this and asked, “But how many energy points are you consuming per day, per meal?” You guessed it: he had no idea. Therefore, I prescribed for him, just as I’m going to prescribe for you (and this was a huge step), that he monitors his intake for one month without making any changes. I showed him how to do it. Easily, simply, taking most of the work out of it—just as I’ll do for you in the coming chapters. One month later, he came back to me and said, “Well, I’m down three kilograms, and it’s only been a month. I’ve actually managed to not only not reduce my drinks. In fact, sometimes I have a few more. I also realized that
some of the meals I eat are so high in energy points, and I don’t even like them. So, I replaced them with foods I actually liked”. You heard me right: for food he actually liked, compared to food he didn’t like. Not only did he have no pain in changing, he actually improved his pleasure in life! “I also had a look at a can of coke, after you told me how sugar works on the brain in regards to hunger (which we’ll cover later) and replaced it with diet coke, which tastes exactly the same. I can’t believe I didn’t do this earlier. Hey, presto. It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done”. Three months went by and he was back to the same weight he was in his early twenties. It was that easy. Now he enjoys his food more. He can have more of what he wants and never once needed my help throughout the process. But most importantly of all: he will now have full control over his weight for the rest of his life. And so can you! You’re about to go on this monitoring journey, making new neural pathways and connections which will produce lightbulb moments that will change everything! I promise. Instruction: Take the time to think about your consumption over the course of a month, the type of foods you eat, the different varieties. There’s nothing for you to do here other than to start to think about what you actually put into your body on a daily/weekly basis. In a few chapters’ time the instruction will be, just like it was for Jack: monitor your consumption for One Month! My Promise to You Be sure to remember what I just promised: that you will have full control of your weight, easily and forever, so long as YOU FOLLOW ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS. This is a non-negotiable. For now, we’re going to discuss ways in which to monitor your consumption. Take-Home Points You will be monitoring Calories—as you need to know how many energy points you’re consuming You will be monitoring Macronutrients which are—Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates
Monitoring is non-negotiable, as you require new knowledge in order to make new changes To make it as painless as possible, monitoring is the only thing you will be instructed to do, so no changes will have to be made initially Get excited—monitoring will allow you, as it did for many of my clients, to eat more of your favorite foods and still achieve you weight-loss goals
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Before you start feeling too daunted by the idea of monitoring your intake, let me put a few things into perspective. Firstly, we as individuals are creatures of habit. Unless we experience some sort of pain we don’t change. Because that would be against The Equation of Change itself. If everything’s great, why do anything different? Therefore, what you’ll actually find is that your food intake is relatively more or less the same over the course of a month. You will eat around ninety percent of the same foods over that timescale. There’s only around a ten percent difference, on average, where we try new foods we haven’t eaten before. Think about it. We have similar dinners, similar breakfasts. Whether it’s every day, on a weekly or fortnightly rotation. In reality, for most of my clients, we found that they probably eat anywhere between fifty to one hundred and fifty different types of foods a month, maximum. That being the case, food monitoring is a lot simpler than you might think. For example, if you eat meat, there only five to seven different types of meat out there to buy! Take seafood. Same deal: only five to fifteen different types on the market. That’s it. So you may monitor it once or twice, and before long, you’ll know, instinctually, the energy value of those foods for the rest of your life. Right here, I guess I’m trying to reassure you. If this appears to be a daunting task then the perceived pain is much larger than the real pain. Therefore, I’ll ask you to trust me and follow the instructions in full, as intended. Then you’ll see that it’s not as hard as you think. First off, we’re going to provide information on how to track and monitor your consumption. At this point, there’s nothing for you to do other than read and learn more about the processes involved. Next, we’ll tie all the relevant information together and show you how track your own consumption in a tracking diary. For now, therefore, sit back and relax. No matter where you are on the scale of competency in regards to tracking calories this information will still be useful. Food with a Nutritional Label Alright, let’s look at nutritional labels now. In the modern world, it’s become increasingly mandatory to have nutrient labels standardized on all packaged foods, even on some fresh foods now. Thankfully, they do most of
the heavy lifting for us by telling us exactly what’s in any given product. On most products calories will be listed under a sub-heading of Calories. Pretty simple, right? See below:
The highlighted column says 200 calories. Now, a lot of people will get confused and assume that means 200 calories for the whole thing. Wrong! What the sneaky food companies do, knowing that you’ll be looking at these labels to make sure the product doesn’t contain too many calories, is state how many calories per serving size. As you can see: serving size 82g. There are eight servings per container. Therefore, if you actually ate the whole container, you’d be eating 200 calories times eight servings: a total of 1600 calories. Pretty straightforward, right? Fun fact here: did you know that there are no laws regarding serving size? For example, the label featured above is for one packet of caramel popcorn. That’s right. To make it look like less, they split the packet on their label into eight separate servings. But who in the world would not consider one single packet of popcorn a single serving! I mean, we don’t usually have only half a
cup of popcorn, do we? If I go to the movies, I can’t order a half a cup of popcorn, can I? Therefore, take the calories on the label and ask yourself how many servings you’re going to have. If you were to have roughly half the packet, you would estimate that to be 800 calories. Again: simple. Note: Instead of calories, some labels have “Energy” and the metric until will be measured in “kJ”
Now, the easiest way to convert “kJ” into calories is to divide it by four. In this case 644/4 = 161 (the kj calories by the number of servings). The actual division is by 4.184 but 4 is close enough. You need to make this as easy and painless as possible, and rounding up intake always gets you there in the end. Keep it simple : if you see kj instead of calories just divide it by 4 to get the calories and you’ll be good to go. So, we’ve got our calories down on packaged foods: we simply estimate the servings we are going to have from the food label, multiple it by the calories, and bang we get our energy intake. Two things you’ve just learnt: Calories Per Serve * Amount of servings = Total calories Energy in kj / 4 = Calories Macronutrients As you can see by the label, our macronutrients are clearly marked up as
well. Very easy.
And if you look closer, underneath the energy calorie line, you’ll see a description of everything the food’s made up of. For now, we’re only focusing on three things: fats, proteins and carbohydrates (and a separate line for sugar). You don’t need to know why we’re tracking these yet, but all will be revealed later in the book. Back to the example above. All those macro numbers are per serving. Whatever servings you’re going to consume times that by the relevant macro number to get your total. To clarify: If I was to have two servings then I would multiply the relevant macronutrient by two to get my total for protein, fat, and carbs. Therefore, if I had two servings of the above label my carbs would be 17grams by 2 servings = a total of 34 grams of carbs. With me so far? Great. How to Measure Serving Size Accurately But what happens if you can’t estimate the serving size you’re going to have? This is important, as we often underestimate the servings we consume (hence why we’re above the weight we want to be). I don’t know about you, but I can’t easily, without measuring, tell what 20 grams of peanut butter
looks like, or 10 grams of tomato sauce, or 3 grams of sunflower oil. For that reason, some foods—sauces and condiments specifically—are the servings which people struggle with most. It’s difficult to get a correct estimate of the serving size they have eaten or will eat. The following tool is for those items, or for those people who like to be more exact. Most importantly, it’s a method you can use for anything. Food Scales For this next exercise, you’re going to need some food scales. If you’ve got this far in the book, this far on your weight-loss journey, you should be willing to spend $10 or even less on a set of scales. If not, read back over your pain points to remind yourself why you’re doing this. Then get yourself those damn scales! They’re cheap, easy, and available at pretty much every supermarket, two-dollar stores or home depot outlet. Any set will do. They have a very simple job of weighing things that usually weigh a lot less than your body weight: food. Here’s what a traditional set may look like:
They will usually have an on button, a unit button, for what you’re measuring in grams or pounds (usually serving sizes are in grams), and a tare button. Now the tare button basically calibrates the scale to zero even if something is on it. If you put an empty bowl on the scale it will show you what the bowl weighs. If you press the tare button this will bring the scales number back to
zero. It will assume that whatever is on the scale is counted as zero. This means that if I put something in a bowl, it would only show me the weight of what was in the bowl and wouldn’t count the bowl itself as part of the measured weight. Here’s an example. You may be having some cereal: one serving equals 45 grams. But you have milk with your cereal: 250 ml/g. Here are the steps to take to measure it out accordingly: 5. Press the on button on the scale 6. Put cereal bowl on scale—it will then show you how much the bowl weighs 7. Press tare with the bowl still on the scale—which will bring the number back down to zero on the scale 8. Start pouring the cereal into the bowl, while its still on the scale. The numbers will keep going up. Stop pouring the cereal when you get to 45 grams on the scale—this will show you just the weight of the cereal as the bowl is already counted because you pressed tare 9. You have now successfully measured out one serving of cereal 10. Press the tare button again with bowl and cereal still on the scale. Again, this will bring the whole number down to zero 11. Now pour the milk in until the number reaches 250g (1 serving size of milk)—because the bowl and cereal is already counted 12. You have now successfully measured out one serving size of milk as well 13. Now enjoy your cereal ☺ Put simply: the tare button can be used to measure individual components in the same meal without having to measure them out separately. Without having to use more than one bowl. How good is that! Don’t worry if this sounds daunting. It will all become so much easier in practice when you actually do it for the first time. It’s not as hard as you imagine. I promise. Instruction: go get yourself a food scale ☺
Share Your Knowledge Be sure to share this stuff with people. Share this book with them. I mean, already you’re not the same person you were when you started reading it. As you continue to get results, as you begin to feel better, look better, people will ask you how you did it. Share your knowledge. Recommend this book. Help other people. Because one of the biggest differences you can make is not only to yourself by monitoring you own results, but by making a difference in other people’s lives. For me, I lost all my weight which not only made me happy, but inspired me to write this book to help others. With every individual who gets control for themselves, it cements my own weight-loss for me, too. It fills me with so much love and gratitude that people are passing on the torch. My mission is to cure the world of obesity. Done. Game over. It’s an epidemic. And I’m here to make a stand. But again, I digress. So now you have full knowledge of HOW to measure your consumption for any product that has a label. Go Visit the Website Now, I would like to direct you to a members’ area specifically designed for you. All you need to do is go to www.andrewv.com.au/psychologyofweightloss/ On accessing the site, register your details, to have full access to a library of materials and videos to help you on your journey. There is a specific section called Tracking your Consumption. There you’ll find videos of me demonstrating how to track your food, how to weigh it, how to do that tare trick and heaps more free content to assist you on your journey. In addition, there’s a forum where members can share information and help each other out. So, join the community. This is my gift to you, for taking yourself on. The support doesn’t start and end with this book. I take the transformation of your weight very seriously and will be here with you every step of the way. Alright, so we’ve covered how to track foods with labels. Now let’s look at how you track stuff without labels. Take-Home Points
Most prepacked foods that you purchase will have a nutritional label Calories and macronutrients will always be listed Calories will sometimes be listed as kj under the heading energy To convert kj into calories you must divide kj by 4. All Labels will be listed as per serving and there are no regulations regarding serving size To get the full quantity of the thing you’re tracking you must multiple the calories or the carb or the fats et cetera by the total amount of servings you had to get the accurate representation of your intake Buy food scales ☺ Using food scales will give you an accurate representation of your intake For more examples and tutorials of how to track foods visit the members section on my website for free www.andrewv.com.au/psychologyofweightloss/ It is natural to feel overwhelmed at this point. Don’t worry. Like riding a bike, you need to get the hang of it before you can enjoy the full benefits. Stay calm and focused. Work through the exercises. Follow the instructions until they become second nature to you. At the back of your mind, remember how much joy and pleasure you got from riding a bicycle when you were younger, when you mastered how to work the pedals and maintain your balance. Your psychology of weight-loss journey applies the same logic and provides the same benefits
CHAPTER FOURTEEN To Show and Track Products Without Labels For most people, products without labels appear hardest to track. But, in actual fact, there isn’t that much work involved. As we only eat around fifty to one hundred and fifty different meals in total, the only time that it will be hard is the first time. In this respect, we’re extremely lucky to be living in the information age. What once used to be difficult is now not so difficult at all. Google.com is your best friend here. In all likelihood, you own a smartphone which has all the accessible features at your fingertips, within seconds! Quite simply, you can type any food into a search engine. For example, banana. And then type directly after it: nutrition facts (e.g. food type i.e. banana, nutrition facts).
This will generate the exact same nutritional label that we saw in the previous chapter. Yup, same one. Easy as that.
Pretty straightforward for simple foods; single items like our example: a banana. But what if you were to eat a banana split from your local café? If you don’t know what a banana split is, it’s a banana cut in half and filled with ice cream and sprinkled with toppings such as nuts and syrup. I call these foods Complex Foods. Complex Foods are simply defined as meals that have several ingredients or components to them. This is where most people get confused and frustrated. But if you follow the simple instructions; if you use modern technology to your advantage (how long did it take you to do the Google search above: thirty seconds? Maybe less) you needn’t be thinking about throwing in the towel just yet! How to Track Complex Foods If you’re eating a complex food, you’ll need to break all the ingredients down. Let’s use our example, a banana split. Let’s separate it into individual components: Banana Three scoops of chocolate ice cream Some almonds I can see peeking out as well
Three strawberries And strawberry topping That’s all there is to the first step: splitting the dish into the individual foods that you see. Then, one-by-one, type each separate ingredient followed by nutritional fact into Google. Hey, presto. It will display a label for you. Nice and easy. Estimating Serving Size Now, if the complex food that you’re eating has already been preprepared, or you’re in a restaurant, you won’t be able get an accurate representation of the serving size. If that’s the case, you’ll be estimating. Please understand that estimates are just that: guestimates. If you’re eating at a restaurant and try guessing what serving size the food is, most of the time you’re going to be wrong. Take that as fact. Also, because you’ve never tracked foods before, your guestimates aren’t going to be very good. But as time passes, you’ll begin to know, instinctually, the values of certain foods. Your guesstimates will become much more accurate, like second nature. But for start, a guestimate will have to do. In my experience, I’ve found that 95% of people (me, included) when they start out with estimates, severely underestimate the calories they ingest. Because most of us didn’t intentionally try to get fat. It just kind of happened. Obviously, we thought we were eating less than we actually were. Hence, if you’re over the weight you want to be, that’s probably a sign that you underestimate the amount of food you consume. For that reason, let this be one of your first lightbulb moments in regards to tracking your consumption. Here’s how I would do it: Take one banana, a regular banana, the label says one serving size. Type one serving of banana into Google. Now, on the ice cream label it shows me the unit in grams…hmmmm, it says one serving is 25 grams. Since I know that I’m most likely underestimating, let’s put down four servings of ice cream just to be safe (instead of underestimating—overestimate). And the almonds I can see—what, six or seven of them?—and the label says one serving is about twelve. Type in the amount for whole one serving—much better to be over than under. And the strawberries I can see: three. I can be exact with that. So, I track down three strawberries. Now the topping, well,
wild guess: a serving says one tablespoon. Let’s just call it five tablespoons, because it’s all over the dish (instead of underestimating—overestimate again). Simple. I’ve just taken you through the mental process of how to estimate —while strongly leaning towards overestimating rather than underestimating your calculations. Always Overestimate As you can now see, there’s a huge margin for error. The serving sizes may be off. You may miss a few ingredients or components and so on. Undoubtedly, you’re going to get it wrong from time to time, especially when you’re just starting out. Therefore, my rule is, always be safe and overestimate. By overestimating, even if you counted an extra 100 calories, then great. At the end of the day, you ingested 100 calories less than you thought. Everyone’s a winner! On the flipside, if you underestimate you may think you’re eating less than you’re expending, but, in actual fact, you might not be. Remember: none of this is scientific. None of this is hi-tech. But we live in a world where there are so many things to eat. The reason diet and exercise programs have failed in the past is because they limit what you can and can’t eat; to try and ensure that everything gets tracked precisely. It’s either one way or the highway. But why wouldn’t I want to go out to dinner at a restaurant from time to time? If I’m prohibited from doing normal, everyday things, things which bring me pleasure, it’s going to make the choices far more painful for me. And you guessed it—the more painful the changes we make, the more we swing The Equation of Change back in favor of staying the way you are today! Something we should try and avoid at all costs. So, get comfortable estimating as best you can. That way you can still enjoy life, and hit your goals at the same time ☺ Be safe and overestimate—that’s my recommendation. Practice Makes Perfect Over time, say when you eat a banana split, you’ll realize you were wildly off in your calculation. What you thought was a 25gram serving of ice cream was actually a 50gram serving. Well, with that in mind, the next time you eat a banana split again, your estimate will be a lot more accurate. Again:
simple. As you track and level up in knowledge you’ll get better and better at this every day. Like I keep hammering home: once you know something you can’t unknow it ☺ I hope I’m not losing you here. The estimating of prepared foods is probably one of the stickiest points for people, especially those who like to be exact. If you’re a perfectionist like I used to be, don’t worry. The more you practice this in real life the easier it will become and the better your guestimates will be. The secret is not getting it right first time but figuring things out along the way. Something all my clients have done in the past, and something I’m certain you’ll be able to do soon too ☺ Useful Tips and Tricks to Help You Get Started Below are a few tips to help you avoid the big, BIG underestimations that can throw your tracking out of whack. 1. Always split the complex meal into individual ingredients in your tracking. For example, if you type in burger and nutritional facts, you’ll get a random burger from god knows where, because there’s probably over one billion different burgers out there. Therefore, do the work, split it up into individual ingredients and search: burger bun white bread nutritional facts beef meat patty nutritional facts onion nutritional facts bacon nutritional facts lettuce nutritional facts egg nutritional facts mayonnaise nutritional facts This will give you a much better guestimate than just typing the whole food in at once. If you split up the complex food into ingredients, your estimate will be much more accurate. In addition, you’ll learn more about what’s in your food and its energy density! Again: a level up in knowledge. 2. The biggest thing people underestimate or forget to track entirely
in complex food are sauces and oils. For example, they’ll include everything in a burger but forget the mayonnaise. Or they’ll eat a salad, put in all the vegetables, but forget the oil or dressing. This is another big, BIG mistake. As you’ll soon learn, missing out mayonnaise, for example, in a burger, could equate to 200 calories alone. Or the lean salad you thought didn’t have a lot of calories actually had 300 calories worth of oil in there. Be on the lookout for condiments in your complex foods. They often get missed. And a 200-400 calorie underestimation per day, over the course of a week, may be the difference in half a kilo of actual underestimation in terms of fat. Be warned! Keep that at the forefront of your mind. 3. If you’re still unsure at the end of your calculation and still feel like it’s not correct or you’ve underestimated then just add 20% on top for good measure. Remember, your estimates will only get better and better over time. But if you feel like you might be underestimating, you probably are. By adding 20% as a safetynet you’ll get closer to the ball park figure. I know this sounds like a lot to take in, but trust me, the pain is larger than you think. After you do this a few times, you’ll be a natural; it will become second nature. Practise makes perfect. How to Track Alcohol Alcohol is also very simple to track. One thing to bear in mind though: most alcoholic drinks don’t contain any macronutrients, such as fat, carbs, protein. Therefore, there’s no need to count them. Calories? Again, very easy. It’s the same process: Google will list the calories in any beer, wine, spirit (and remember to include the soft drink, if a mixer is added, as that’s a separate ingredient). Got that? Good. What We’ve Learnt in this Chapter To recap: we’ve covered a lot of information on how to track and read labels. All of which may seem a little daunting. But don’t worry. In the next chapter we’re going to put it all together and illustrate the best methods for tracking your foods. This will help minimize your pain and distress, and still
get the results you’re looking for. We are going to introduce you to the Tracking Diary! Take-Home Points Google will have most foods listed and their nutrition—learn to use it—we’ve all got phones so there’s no excuse Complex meals are foods that are made up of several ingredients To track the complex food, split it up into its individual ingredients Always better to overestimate your serving size if you can’t be sure The more you track your nutrition the better your guesstimates will become This may still feel overwhelming for you. That’s okay. My job is to provide you with all the information you need. But when you start tracking, you’ll learn so much more for yourself. You’ll be equipped with the knowledge to cut your learning curve in half. Don’t stress. You’re in exactly the right place now. As I said before, it’s just like riding a bicycle. At first it may seem impossible. But once you master the basics, you won’t know how you ever lived without it ☺
CHAPTER FIFTEEN How to Track Your Consumption Through a Tracking Diary It took me a while to figure out the best way to track my own consumption. Nowadays, there are lots of apps available on phones that do this for you. The most widely used is MyFitnessPal. But just because these apps are easy to use doesn’t mean they’re going to give you the best bang for buck in terms of hardwiring your newfound knowledge about your own consumption. Having read countless scientific studies on the subject, pen to paper subconsciously works better. It helps cement the knowledge in your mind without you really thinking about it. If you want to use apps, that’s fine. But know it will be less effective. Why? One of the main differences between typing notes and writing longhand is that writing helps you process information. A study published in Psychological Science found that writing forces you to be more selective, which adds a layer of processing. As you jot down what you hear or see you subconsciously select the most important information, you reframe it in your own words and form context—rather than just tapping on a screen. So the actual physical process of writing your tracking down engages the mind in a way you can never replicate with a digital screen. That’s why, at the end of the day, I would still recommend a pen and paper. What is a Tracking Diary? Simple. It’s going to be the book where you track your consumption and other relevant information which we’ll cover later. On the next page I’m going to include a template of what it might look like, but it’s very easy to draw in a blank book of your choice. Or, alternatively, I have some premade tracking diaries that you can pick up from the website directly. First and foremost, you’re going to create your own food glossary on the back of the book. This is going to be a master-sheet of all the foods you track. So, once you actually track a food you don’t need to Google it again or go anywhere else—it will be there in your book. Your own personal food glossary.
As you can see its self-explanatory. Master Glossary The Master Glossary becomes increasingly useful because it actually cements that one food type and its energy values into your subconscious. Instead of going day by day, having to search up specific foods again, you will write each one in to the glossary. This knowledge of each individual food will seep into your mind—you can’t unsee it. That simple. All you have to do is write it down. Therefore, when you search for a food or weigh a food for the first time, you simply record it in your glossary, before you put it in your daily tracker. What this will do is create a master list of the fifty to one hundred and fifty foods you eat regularly. For example, most people have a morning coffee— the exact same coffee every day, whether you have it with milk or sugar or whatever. In this way, you’ll be able to create a master-sheet for your consumption. A sheet you can refer back to time and again, instead of having to Google answers. As time goes on, and some people like to plan ahead, you’ll be able to go to the master glossary and pick which foods you want today. This can be quite exciting. Because you can look forward to what you’re going to be having for breakfast in the morning, or lunch tomorrow. Planning ahead always produces better results in all facets of life. But that’s all for later; it’s not something you have to do just yet. All in all, the master glossary will, over time, give you the knowledge of all the foods you consume and their energy values. That way, you’ll develop an instinctual understanding of the energy values of the food you eat, without much thought, until it becomes second nature. Daily Diary Tracker Pretty self-explanatory. This will be what you fill out to track your daily food consumption.
We’ll have a sub-heading for each different type of meal. For example: breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack. Each day, you’ll be able to see when you consumed your calories and which meals have the most energy points. This will become increasingly useful. As it’s important for you to separate your meals out. Then, at the end of the day, you’ll have a total. Still all pretty straightforward, right? As most people we will have maybe three meals a day and maybe one to three snacks, this only needs to be done a handful of times every twenty-four hours. That’s it for your tracker. Daily Weight Tracking We’ll also be tracking your daily weight (which we’ll record in the top left-hand corner of the chart, after we weigh ourselves in the morning, every day at the same time, before any meals or water). It’s important to weigh yourself at the same time every day, so you can accurately monitor any emerging trends. In addition, we’ll also discuss any weight fluctuations on the scale. It’s also important to know your daily weight to see the correlation
between your consumption, your macros, and the numbers on the scale. In fact, there’s a little something you should know right about now. By simply weighing yourself every day, you’re establishing a habit of being present to your weight full-stop. In the past, when I let my weight go up above what I wanted, I wasn’t monitoring it at all. Only when I got myself in to gear and started weighing myself daily did I start to progress. If the numbers went up, I’d feel shame and disappointment, and, you guessed it— as The Equation of Change stipulates—if I experience pain, then I’ll naturally try to lose weight to avoid it. Therefore, weigh yourself every day. It works on the left side of the equation and always keeps that pain front of mind, if the numbers start going up. This again will help stop yoyos. But is something most information out there tells you not to do, to stop you from getting “discouraged”. In actual fact, this is akin to putting a blindfold on and hoping that everything will take care of itself. If you want full and lasting control of your weight, the blindfold has to come off. Weigh yourself daily. Exercise Tracking For now, we aren’t going to track exercise at all—because this is your consumption tracker not your expenditure tracker. So, all you’re going to do for now is track your current intake, and create a master glossary of the food you eat. That’s all. Nothing else. Simple, right? If you still think It’s hard, don’t worry, like our old friend, the bike riding analogy, you’ll soon get the hang of it. Now, psychologically, I’m going to give you a few tips on how to make tracking easier. You can do as many or as little of these as you want; they’re just tools. In regards to tracking, remember The Equation of Change. Remember to do what works for you; whatever’s easiest. Tool 1. Track your food and write down the calories and macros before you eat. Why? Because, subconsciously, food will be your reward for tracking it. Picture this: you’ve just finished cooking dinner, you’re hungry and the food smells amazing. You’re anticipating the pleasure of eating the food. But before you get the pleasure of enjoying your meal, you delay the gratification in order to track your calories. Getting into this habit will make it that much easier. It will also motivate you to eat your food, because by the time you want to eat, you’ll usually have the pain of hunger to deal with. Therefore, if you say to yourself that in order for me to relieve this pain, I
need to track my calories first, your brain will have a surge of motivation. Works every time. Tool 2. Let’s say you’re at a wedding reception. Not the best time to pick up your phone and go through your numbers, right? Or maybe you don’t have your book with you today. What do you do? Simple. You take a photo of what you’re eating with your hand or a familiar object next to it. That way, you can better gauge the size of the portion/serving. Then, when you get home, or when appropriate, you can guestimate, go through the numbers, and write them down. Tool 3. Do your totals for the day right after your last meal. This will help you set up one of your very first and most powerful habits of change. By going through the effort of totaling up your daily intake, you’ll be reluctant to go through it again on the same day. You won’t actually want to eat anything afterwards. This is a great way to gain control over your late-night binges. Again, just by working on a mini-equation of change. “Sure, I could snack on some nuts, but I’ve already done all my totals, so I can’t be bothered doing it all again. I’ll just leave the nuts for tomorrow”. The pain of doing the numbers again is more than the small rumble of your stomach when you fancy a snack. Know Yourself There are many more ways to track your consumption. But, again, you’ve got to find a way for yourself that causes the minimal amount of pain. That way, it gets done and the intention is met. Remember, no one else is you. No one else knows how you feel at any given time, so do what works for you. Okay, good. That brings us to the instruction chapter, where I will give the exact instruction of what to do and the rules you must follow in relation to tracking your consumption. Take-Home Points Get yourself a tracking diary or a blank book in which you can record your own tracking At the back of the book you have a master glossary where every new food that you track gets listed down. Therefore, you don’t have to go back to Google afterwards, thus cementing the item
into your head Even if you use apps, everything should still get written down, pen to paper Find a way that makes it the easiest for you to track to reduce the pain of tracking
CHAPTER SIXTEEN To many, this book is an uncomfortable challenge. But that’s a good thing. Believe me. It has been specifically designed to challenge your beliefs: how you work as an individual, why you do what you do. First and foremost, you’ve got to understand that you’ve had this relationship with food, your body, ever since you were born. We assimilate things through our identity— how we walk, talk, how we dance—all of it. This also applies to energy, consumption. What you’ve been feeding your body has determined the quality of your life. It’s been conformable because it’s been familiar. Therefore, it’s going to take a special effort to transport you into an unfamiliar zone, to make you learn something new. But it will change your life. Why People Don’t Like Change Here’s the thing with change: it took you a long time to get to this point. In contrast to the unsatisfactory results associated with magic eight-week diet books that never work, lasting change won’t happen overnight. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. I’m not going to tell you exactly what you want to hear. What’s the point? You’ve been down that road so many times before. We both have. It will take a lot of work on your behalf. Because it’s all related to how much you’ve actually filled your spare fuel tank with over the years. If you’ve spent a decade or more overfilling it, don’t expect it to put itself right with the click of the fingers. Patience and faith in the concept of In versus Out are what is required. You know that yourself by now. It’ll take time to make a change psychologically, mentally and physically. But it will be lasting change that you have complete control over. As I’ve outlined before, the biggest difference you can make to the right side of the equation is gaining knowledge about your consumption before you make any changes. Through that knowledge will come power. Just like Jack’s learning curve regarding his own consumption. After making a few small, painless tweaks he was not only able to reduce his intake, get the body he wanted, but have more of the food and drinks that he actually enjoyed. It all becomes much easier the moment you know more about your own consumption and learn about your intake. By this point, you’ve gone through what needs to be done and know how
to do it. It’s natural to feel nervous, silly, unsure of yourself—am I doing it right, will it even work? This seems stupid. No one else is doing stuff like this. Whatever you’re feeling, please remember, it’s just your instincts throwing a hissy fit. Don’t listen to them. What I promise is that by doing the following exercise you will be well on your way to gaining control of your weight and being able to be stay at the weight you desire, easily, at your will, without having to use major discipline or mind tricks. But you have to do the work. Instruction and Rules Get yourself a tracking diary (whether you buy it premade or make one yourself, make sure you have one). Set a date—and there’s no time like the present. Start NOW, while the pain is fresh—and start tracking your consumption. There are three rules I need you to be aware of, though: Rule 1: You must track everything that you put into your mouth, other than straight water. PERIOD! Rule 2: You don’t go to sleep until the tracking diary is filled for the day just passed. Rule 3: You track your food for ONE WHOLE MONTH (minimum). That’s it; that’s all you have to do. Don’t make any changes. Don’t do anything other than track your foods. Because before we make any changes, we have to level up our knowledge. If you’ve been down the tracking path before, you probably failed because you tried to change too many things, too quickly. By tracking and making changes the pain on the right side of the equation shoots up. So, unlike all those other methods, the only thing you are required to do here, is track. Because you’re not making any changes to your food intake, it becomes a much simpler process, one that is crucial for you to get the hang of before making any changes. Keep Reading, Keep Listening The rest of the book is designed is to compliment your tracking. While you undertake this, I invite you to keep reading or keep listening, and over the next few chapters we will uncover some of the greatest myths you’ve ever been told by the industry (or sometimes even your loved ones). In addition, we’ll look at different ways to analyze your results, and what you may start to notice happening. For example, while you track your foods you might read
something about what you did that day or the day before, or something you didn’t do. By trial and error, therefore, you can start to build neural pathways and brand-new connections with your own food intake against true facts. Now, if you don’t follow of the instructions regarding tracking your food, the rest of the book won’t be effective. Because you won’t be applying it to yourself and your own intake. Because you won’t be making those subconscious connections. For that reason, you simply won’t get control of your weight. You may get the knowledge, and feel good about it, but without getting onto the court and playing the game, so to speak, the results just won’t be there for you. There are “No” Shortcuts Many people will try and avoid the tracking portion of the program because they think they’re smart enough to do without it. Or they somehow think they know better. I avoided tracking my food intake for eight years. I had a major issue with all the diet plans out there that told me to make changes to my intake AND track my foods. They would throw two massive changes at me at the same time! Even if I did track the new foods they recommended, I learnt nothing in relation to the foods I actually liked, and how I myself operated. In real terms, if you don’t know your own intake, inside and out, the cold hard facts, then lasting change won’t be on the menu for you! Look, at the end of the day, I don’t really care what your feelings and thoughts are about tracking. You purchased this book to get results, right? It’s my mission it to help bring those results to fruition. Not be your best friend. Not, as I said earlier, to tell you what you want to hear. That would be pointless. That would be a waste of our valuable time. Recognize How Far You’ve Already Come! You’ve made it this far. You didn’t give up after the first few chapters. You’ve already showed your commitment and dedication. For that reason alone, I want to take time out here to say well done. By now you’ve been on a voyage of self-discovery, and really lifted the hood of your metaphorical car and seen what your pain points are in relation to your weight. If you’re anything like me when it comes to cars, you’ll avoid looking under the hood until the car is completely run into the ground! This is important.
Often, when people make significant changes, it’s already too late; the car is literally steaming, a wreck, with flames coming from the engine. When the pain and reality become unbearable, there’s no way a person can’t be aware of it. But hopefully you’ve picked this book up before any permanent damage has been done. If not, you still have time to redesign and reshape the quality of your life from here on out. Do it for yourself. Do it for your life. Do it for the people around you. Raise your standard of living. Get the kind of life you want for yourself. I promise you it’s possible and I sincerely hope you succeed! The instruction is: don’t read on until you’ve started TRACKING. Take-Home Points Starts tracking your consumption—all of it! Tracking your current intake is the only thing you need to do Starting is the hardest bit, before you know it will be second nature Tracking over a long period of time will create the biggest difference to your psychology in regards to weight control that you’ve ever experienced I plead with you. Do this step—don’t read on until you’ve started tracking! There’s nothing else you have to do. it’s easy. Just learn how to track by tracking every day. Feel free to consume as you do normally
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Tracking Energy Points In regards to tracking, clients often say, Okay, well, I’m eating x amount of calories per day but what does that actually mean? And what do I do with that information? In this chapter, therefore, we’re going to discuss calories, at length. As discussed before, we need a certain amount of energy points or calories (and we’ll refer to them as calories from here on out) to survive, to go about our daily business, to function. Generally speaking, if I eat less calories for the day than I expend, my body will take the rest of the energy required from my fat stores. Simple. That’s what they’re there for. Subsequently, if I overeat in calories then my body will store them as fat for another day. Again: simple. Now, at this point, I’m going to challenge you. Because I bet you aren’t always aware when you’re overeating or undereating, right? Therefore, on a very basic level, we need to develop a connection, to help you recognize when you’ve overeaten or undereaten for the day, or for a particular meal. To do so, we first need to look at the data. Tracking Your Daily Expenditure Basically, we need to examine how many calories you actually expend, and how many calories you actually need. The answer will also be very, very individual to you. And it varies all the time. Let’s first look at how 99% of people who track will calculate their total daily energy expenditure. As mentioned above, this is where we’re about get a little technical with numbers, in terms of the formula. Expenditure calculations are split into two portions. Firstly, what they call Base Metabolic Rate, the basic amount of energy points you need to stay alive, breathing, without any movement, as if you’ve been sleeping for twenty-four hours straight. This is the bare bones of what your body requires in energy, excluding any other factors. BMR Equation (without any exercise of movement) Women’s Base Metabolic Rate = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 x
height in cm)—4.7 x age in years) Men’s Base Metabolic Rate = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm)—(6.8 x age in years) So, let’s say I’m a woman, I’m thirty-four years old, and I weigh 84kg and I’m 170cm tall. 655 + (9.6x84kg) + (1.8x174cm) - (4.7 x thirty-four years old) = 1,461 + 313 -159 = 1,615 calories That’s a guestimate of calorie expenditure, without any movement. Once you add in other factors, like your movement, for example, this is what you do to work out the guestimate of your total TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). This includes your normal daily tasks: what you do, how much you move, et cetera. Amount of Exercise/Activity
Little or no exercise/desk job
TDEE = 1.2 x BMR
Light exercise/sports 1–3 days per week
TDEE = 1.375 x BMR
Moderate exercise, sports 3–5 days per week
TDEE = 1.55 x BMR
Heavy exercise/sports 6–7 days per week
TDEE = 1.725 x BMR
Very heavy exercise/physical job/ training 2 x per day
TDEE = 1.9 x BMR
If I was that same woman, and I worked at a desk job and went for a walk a couple of times a week, I would consider myself in the lowest banding there is: sedentary. Therefore, I would calculate: 1,615 x 1.2 = which would give me 1,938 calories for the day.
To ease the pain of working all of this out, you can get your own free calculator from the website. Again, if you haven’t registered into the free members’ section yet, I suggest you do so now. You’ll find more motivational tools and detailed resources that will make your whole weightloss journey that much easier. www.andrewv.com.au/psychologyofweightloss/ Please don’t be daunted by all these calculations. They’re just a best guess! Because… One Size Doesn’t Fit All Most dieting websites and books will have you believe in a one size fits all equation. But that’s simply not true. Have you ever seen two people look exactly the same, act exactly the same, move exactly the same, have the exact same energy levels? Of course not. At best, such an equation is only ever a decent guestimate and guideline. Each of your individual requirements are actually based on a multitude of factors. By taking these calculators as facts, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Let’s look at some of the factors that can send these calculations way out of whack. Muscle Versus Fat The first factor to consider is how much muscle you have versus fat on your body. Why this makes a difference is simple. All cells in the body require energy to stay alive and keep functioning, fat cells and muscles included. Put simply: if you put muscle cells and fat cells side by side, a muscle cell is denser, it weighs more, and will require more energy points or calories to stay alive. If you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dwayne Johnson (think big, big bodybuilders) the energy requirements to keep your body functioning will be higher than someone with less muscle. Pretty straightforward concept to grasp. Another thing you might’ve known already. Because it’s one of the first things people consider. What I’ll do is put lots more muscle on, because muscle will help me burn calories. That’s where the proposition comes from. Because the more muscle you have the higher your calorie expenditure is. How Old You Are Age also plays a major part. Imagine you’re sixteen, running around, full
of energy. Imagine the amount of movement and energy expenditure of a sixteen-year-old in comparison to someone of sixty. The sixty-year-old will move much slower, jump less, take less steps. Therefore, age plays a big part in how much your body requires in terms of energy. The older you get, the less expenditure you’re going to use. It’s a fact of life. Gender Considerations Your gender! Yep, you heard me right. Women have it much tougher. On average their energy requirements are 10-15% less than that of men. In fact, a lot of women complain about eating the same amount as their partner but gaining weight while he isn’t. Well, here’s your answer women: you require less calories than that of your counterpart male. Muscle mass is also a factor, as males are more predisposed to having higher muscle synthesis. Hormones Then we have hormones, like estrogen, testosterone and cortisol. Especially cortisol; your stress hormone. One of the biggest myths is that we all know one really skinny person who eats everything under sun but never puts on any weight. Well, cortisol plays a major role in that. Because sometimes we experience times of major stress in our lives—break-ups, deaths, or other major cortisol lifters—that cause a huge increase in energy expenditure. Or we may suffer anxiety or panic attacks. All of these, you guessed it, require a lot more energy to function. Hence their expenditure is more. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All in all, what you need to understand is that the energy expenditure is INDIVIDUAL. Not only for you forever, but on any given day, or at any given period of your life. Your expenditure will always fluctuate, and it’s all super personal to you. Therefore, even though the calculator itself is a good tool, it only provides a ROUGH guideline. So, Andrew, how in the hell am I meant to consume less, if I don’t know how much is going out, and if I know that it can change on any given day? I’ll be back to square one! Well, guess what? You’re in luck. Your body has actually gone through evolution and designed a signal system just for you! Yep, that’s right. A signal telling you when you’ve replenished your energy requirements.
Listen to Your ST Signal (ST Signal stands for Smell and Taste Signal) When your body has been replenished with enough food, your food stops tasting as good. It doesn’t smell as good. Have you ever noticed that the hungrier you are the better your food tastes and smells? And what happens when you binge on a big bowl of pasta when you’re already full, when you can barely fit it all in? How do those last few forkfuls taste? Anywhere near as good as the first few forkfuls? Have you ever paid attention to the difference in ST signals that you get? I certainly didn’t until I found out about this. See, we’ve been brainwashed into believing that overeating is pleasurable, that stuffing our faces with large quantities of food is enjoyable. But have you ever actually checked that out for yourself? Is it actually enjoyable to overeat like that? Or is it more an unpleasant struggle? Well, this may be a good place to start, to notice when food tastes and smells really good and when it’s not so good, bland, unpalatable. Remember, we’re generally eating the same types of foods, so it’s not that the food tastes or smells different on different days, or different types of day. We’re usually eating the same kind of stuff. It’s all related to your actual hunger! It’s a signal! When food doesn’t taste or smell so great, you’re done. Your energy stores are replenished. Pretty easy, right? It’s called mindful eating. Start to look out for this yourself. Sugar: Beware There’s one exception to the rule regarding signals, something that actually hijacks your brain, sending out a constant signal that makes you feel like you’ve never had enough—and that’s sugar. We’ll talk about sugar later on in the book. But for now, remember that the sugar signal will keep telling you to consume more and more, well past the point of you being full up. Mindful Eating: What to Look Out For Now that you’re tracking your food, I want you to start paying attention to your natural signal system, which tells you how food tastes and smells in relation to the quantity of calories consumed. That way, you can start making that connection for yourself. As you do, a funny thing will begin to happen: you’ll notice that when you’ve overeaten, food tastes boring, like you’re going through the motions. In contrast, when you’re hungry you’ll start to appreciate how good food actually tastes. By becoming hungry you increase the pleasure of eating itself!
Nifty trick! Remember I told you how you’d start to enjoy eating food more while regaining control of your weight! Well, this is how. Mindful eating. The time you really start being conscious of how you feel while you’re eating—the taste, smell—your whole body will send signals to you. In the past, you may’ve noticed this when you’re really hungry and smell a doughnut or bacon sizzling in a pan. The hungrier you are, the more your senses heighten. Your body is saying I need food, my energy points are running low! Let me give you an example. Once I undertook a diet, where I fasted on water for two weeks. About a week in, I promise you, I could smell a watermelon being sliced open from two hundred meters away! At the time, I worked in a really large office. I was so hungry; I could barely breathe. I thought I was doing all the right things, using discipline, will-power, and I still remember how I could smell that damn watermelon! At times like this your body is saying I need food; my energy points have run low. Pure instinct. Isn’t it funny how our bodies come predesigned with the systems to keep us at a healthy weight, yet we’ve simply never learnt to listen to them? Average Calorie Expenditure As mentioned above, the calculator is just a guideline. Great for people who want a formula. But as you now realize, we’re all subject to so many individual changes, it’s impossible for us to know our “exact” daily expenditure. For that reason, we’re going to have to come up with a solid working average going forward. If we can make it say, 95% accurate, it’ll be a great starting point. Below is a good guideline regarding average calorie expenditure: Average Calories Needed to feed the body.
1900 – 2100
2600 – 2900
Choose the lower estimate if you’re short and not particularly muscular or active, and higher if you’re taller and bulkier and move more. These can be your rough benchmarks of what you most likely on average expend per day.
Keep this in the back of your mind when you total up your daily intake and see if you’re well over or well under those numbers. Then start correlating it, gently, to how you feel about the food in question. Ask yourself: if my numbers were low today did my food taste better? Did I enjoy it more? Or maybe my numbers were very high yesterday, but did the food taste as good? Or maybe I had a really large breakfast and lunch just didn’t taste very nice; like I was going through the motions. Start making those little connections between the total estimated numbers you require to survive and how your food tastes. This link alone will help you be conscious of it, and help you begin the process of rewiring your brain in relation to food. In time, you’ll start to naturally enjoy food more as you begin to notice it tasting better when you’re hungrier. As a result, you’ll actually start to seek out these pleasurable experiences. Feeling hungry and then relieving that pain by eating is one of life’s natural pleasures, pleasures we experience multiple times a day. However, to experience the pleasure you first have to be hungry. But don’t take my word for it. See it for yourself in your own food in your own way. I’m just here to guide you through. It’s up to you to start taking notice. Take-Home Points How to track your daily calorie expenditure using BMR and TDEE Remember: one size doesn’t fit all!—your individual requirements are based on a multitude of factors which can throw the equation out Listen to your ‘ST Signals’, when your food doesn’t taste or smell so good anymore. Your body is telling you that your energy points are full Beware of sugar—it will hijack your signal system making you think that you’ve never had enough (a topic we will cover in much more detail later in the book) Mindful Eating—start making those connections yourself now that you’re tracking your calorie intake, seeing how food tastes in correlation to how much you’ve eaten in calories
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN Calories: Surprising Facts and Figures Now we know what to look for in terms of calories, that in versus out is the only thing that makes a difference between weight-loss and weight-gain. Common question: But, Andrew, how does that actually correlate to fat mass, our spare tank? Well, the numbers might surprise you. Put simply, 1kg of fat holds around 7,700 calories worth of energy. In turn, 1lb of fat holds 3,500 calories worth of energy. So, let’s say that I estimated my daily OUT of energy expenditure as a male at 2,800 calories, and then I ate 2,300 calories a day for one week. That would mean every day I’m 500 calories under my estimate. Therefore, my body would have to make up the deficit by taking it from my fat stores. By the end of the week, if I took the 500 calorie deficit times seven days, I would be in a deficit of 3,500 calories, having used up 1lb worth of my fat. That’s it; that’s how fat loss works. Make sense? Similarly, if I was to estimate my daily expenditure at 1,900 calories a day as a woman, and I ate 3,000 calories every day, that means that I would be adding 1,100 calories to my fat storage. In one week, therefore, I would add 7,700 calories, 1kg worth of fat mass. A gain of 1kg of calories that were not used since I ate over and above my energy requirement to function. This is the science, undisputed, proven time and time again. Weight-loss and weight-gain are simply a matter of in versus out. The Weight-loss Law. Overeating Now, as you can imagine, if you’ve started consciously paying attention to how food tastes, you would’ve found that it tastes bland when you’re overfed. Therefore, if you were eating 1,100 calories over your daily estimate, you would basically have a pretty pleasureless eating week, filling your body time and again with bland, tasteless food. Hard work, when you really think about it. If you take a closer look at your own eating habits, you’ll soon recognize that overeating is no easy feat; especially over a long period of time. It takes will-power and strong discipline. Because your body is signalling to you that it’s not hungry anymore. In addition, you’ll feel lethargic, full, bloated, uncomfortable. To push on and continue eating really
is a challenge in itself! Which begs the question: why do we do it? I know this may sound strange, if you’ve only just started mindfully paying attention to your natural signals. But, as time goes by, you’ll undoubtedly experience what I’ve just described: overeating is a painful process, not anywhere near as enjoyable as you’ve been led to believe. Due to years of conditioning we’ve been genuinely manipulated to think that way. But do the marketing teams and advertising people ever show the results of overindulging?—people clutching their aching stomachs, moaning and groaning, subject to sharp, stabbing abdominal pains. No, of course they don’t. As pain doesn’t sell ☺ Thankfully, we have the natural signals in our bodies to let us know when it’s time to stop eating. And remember, the better you get at listening to those signals the better your control will be. Other Important Facts About Calories This isn’t one of those regimented diet books that says you must eat a certain food at a specific time, without any deviation. No. Because that’s not true to everyday life, to the way normal everyday people live. Because, quite simply, people don’t eat the same thing every day. Let me give you an example. For sake of argument, say a person’s daily expenditure is 1,900 calories. And one day, they eat 1,500. Meaning: 400 calories would come out of their fat storage. On another day they eat 2300—(400 calories over their daily expenditure) The question I’m often asked, therefore, is does that balance out? And the unequivocal, unapologetic answer is Yes, it does! We as human beings base our decisions on feelings. One of the biggest factors affecting our feelings around our weight is overeating. It makes us feel shitty, lethargic, food doesn’t taste as good. We then correlate that feeling to having “gained a lot of weight”. This is Perception, based on the feeling that we have when overeating! When, in actual fact, it’s very hard to gain weight. Because it takes a whole 7,700 calories over your daily expenditure to gain 1kg. So, if the next day you reduce your calorie intake by the amount that you overate, your body will have nowhere else to go but to take it from its stores. You will then become hungry again, and not lethargic or bloated, and the feeling of energy and vitality will return. Easy.
All you’ve got to do is stop eating. By doing this you will restore the balance of your intake, you will restore your senses, and food will taste good, and you’ll be hungry and able to enjoy food and drink again. Your body comes predesigned with all of this! Please bear in mind, this isn’t an easy thing to grasp, especially if you’ve never paid attention to your signals before. But I promise you those signals are there. You were born with them! What You’ve Just Learnt Let’s recap. What I want to instill here is a mind frame to help avoid any bounce back or yoyoing. A few days deviation of your calorie targets won’t ruin all your hard work or the changes you’ve implemented. Just because you ate a pizza and ice cream today worth 2,500 calories, or ate in surplus of 1,000 calories or 2,000 calories doesn’t mean you’ve got to rip everything up and start again. You may’ve only gained 200 or 300 grams. All it takes is two days to eat 500 calories less, and you’re back to square one, feeling good about yourself not gaining any weight. Because you’re being mindful and listening to your body’s signals. This is the first and, for many, most important step towards both gaining control of your weight and learning how to create a balance towards not increasing weight over the long-term. For some this will be a massive breakthrough on its own; I know it was for me. When I could lose 2 kilos in a month and not put those 2 kilos back on, THAT was a real game changer. If I could do that every month, that’s 24 kilos in a year! That made a big difference to my life, vitality, to my EVERYTHING. A Common Rebuttal But my scales show that I went up by one whole kilogram after yesterday’s pizza. Again, this is one of the biggest things that take people out of the game when trying to gain control of their weight: major fluctuations on weight scales. The actual numbers themselves. Or your reflection in the mirror. Both of which we will discuss at length in later chapters. For now, we need to examine how macronutrients work in our body and the psychology surrounding macronutrients before we can fully understand these weight fluctuations. For now, take this as fact: the numbers don’t lie. If you eat under your estimated expenditure, you will lose fat. Conversely, if you ate over your expenditure, you will gain fat. All of which will directly correlate with the
numbers themselves. Nothing more, nothing less. Fact. Take-Home Points 3,500 calories are equal to 1lb of fat 7,700 calories are equal to 1kg of fat Repeated weight-gain is unpleasant—your food tastes bad, you feel bad in body and mind One or two days deviation is not going to ruin all your hard work All you have to do is stop eating and reduce your calorie intake until you feel good again, until your food tastes good again, therefore returning you back to balance An important skill to learn to refrain from yoyoing: any weight you lose, you maintain. This skill alone could help you get the results you want
CHAPTER NINETEEN Protein Let’s examine what you need to know about protein. Don’t worry, though. This isn’t a science book. Nothing in these pages will increase the pain or confusion surrounding weight-loss. We’re going to keep it as simple as possible. Now, protein, as a macronutrient, always gets lots of media attention due to its correlation with weight-loss, muscle building, et cetera. In that respect, I’m here to lay a few myths to rest and make sure you have the required and correct information going forward. First off: 1 gram of protein is equal to 4 calories. That’s how much it actually equates to in energy points. Therefore, 10 grams of protein equals 40 calories. And protein, generally speaking, is quite a large molecule. More volume for less calories. This will become more important as you start to make changes. Because a lot of people take on more protein as there’s more of it for less calories. If, for example, one person’s pain points are not feeling full, then the macronutrient protein is one they should have more of, to reduce the pain of not feeling full. Myth: you need to eat lots of protein to lose weight Fact: to lose weight in versus out is the only thing that’s true—a calorie is a calorie Myth: if you don’t eat heaps of protein you will lose muscle Fact: you need to eat a lot less protein than commonly told by the media in order to retain muscle More Protein Myths Debunked Let’s examine the statement: if I don’t eat a lot of protein, I’ll lose muscle. Your body has a system designed to be able to take a muscle, in dire straits, break it down, change its molecules, and synthesize it into glucose for energy for your body. Sounds like a lot of work; that’s because it is. But your body will only do this if it’s the path of least resistance, or if it feels like your body is in threat of dying, because you don’t have sufficient fat stores, or have dropped your calories to starvation levels, making the body think that you’re in danger.
Now, the reason most people want to keep their muscles while losing weight is simple. Muscle, remember, burns more calories than fat mass. In an ideal world, if we held onto the majority of our muscles then our calorie expenditure would remain elevated while losing fat. Also, muscle, in general, correlates to feeling strong and powerful, a feeling most people would like to nurture. In addition, for purely vain reasons, if you’re able to maintain muscle while dropping fat, you’ll look more defined and aesthetically pleasing. Simple. That’s what most people think about muscle. Here’s the big thing, though. On average, we only need about 50 grams (female) or 70 grams (male) of protein per day to maintain muscle. A lot less compared to what the media would have you believe! This only changes slightly when you get very lean, VERY LEAN—borderline visible abs lean. At that point, your body’s survival instincts take over and new strategies need to be applied. For your body to break down muscle for energy instead of ready-made fat stores is a feat in itself. Your body will naturally take the most easily available source to fuel your body. Put simply: fat is much easier to process than breaking down a muscle and turning it into energy points. This is true up until you reach athlete level lean. That said, this book isn’t intended for proathletes or bodybuilders, people who’ve already got psychological control over their weight. Please don’t confuse the two. As long as on average you’re getting the minimum protein per day or over the course of a week that’s all you need to maintain healthy muscles, hair, nails et cetera. But How Does This Correlate to the Equation? Protein is actually the hardest macronutrient to digest. It sits in your stomach for longer, and will keep you mentally full for longer, and requires a little more calorie expenditure to process than other macronutrients. However, none of these differences in expenditure will be life-changing (maybe an extra 10 calories your body uses to process it for the day, if you stay at under 100 grams of protein). But it’s something to be aware of, if, for example, you feel like you’re not getting full, or are always hungry. If that’s the case, take a look at your tracking chart to see your protein intake. Chances are you’re causing yourself more pain on the eating side by eating foods that process quickly. Tool: If you find yourself not feeling full, and find this empty sensation
painful, then add more protein to your diet In regards to all the macronutrients we’re going to discuss, start thinking about them in relation to the equation and how it correlates to your own dieting. See what pains you struggle with in terms of changing your food intake and see where you can alter things to make it more pleasurable for yourself. The aim to keep in the back of your mind is to decrease the pain or the right side! To recap: protein keeps you full for longer. You don’t need as much of it to maintain muscle as you probably thought. If you don’t feel full, introduce more protein into your stomach, as it takes longer to break down. Again: simple. That’s all you need to know about protein in terms of the psychology of losing weight. Reminder: The Importance of Tracking Well done for tracking your calories on a daily basis. Congratulations for keeping going with the program. Hopefully, you’re having many lightbulb moments regarding your intake. If you still haven’t taken the leap, I urge you to start tracking now! It’s the most important factor in terms of making the needle move in the right direction and taking control of your weight. I commend you for getting this far in the book, as it shows your commitment and dedication to yourself, striving for a better life, one you can be truly proud of. Take-Home Points 1 gram of protein equates to 4 calories 50 grams for women, 70 grams for men is the daily requirement to help healthy functioning muscles to stay intact Protein is filling and will take longer to digest
CHAPTER TWENTY Fat—the Most Calorie-Rich Nutrient Okay, let’s look at the macronutrient FAT now. In terms of basic numbers, 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories. So, for every 1 gram of fat you consume, you actually ingest more than double the calories contained in protein or carbohydrates! That’s why it gets such a bad rap. In fact, marketing slogans used to claim that fat makes you fat! But again, that’s a myth. What makes you fat is eating more calories than you expend. In versus out. Period. Yet still we have heaps of heavily advertised fat-free products out there to keep the myth alive. Therefore, it’s time to undo a little more brainwashing. As you’re probably aware, the body requires fats to survive, to keep your hormone balance in check, and assist in a range of other functions. It’s important to know that Omega 3 fats are crucial for your body’s health and well-being. As a necessary requirement, you only really need 5-10 grams a couple of times a week. Having said that, I’m not a health professional and don’t know your individual requirements. Just be aware of the fact that we don’t need a lot of fat in our diet to keep things running at an optimum level. It’s not something you HAVE to overindulge in. As a general rule of thumb, 20-30 grams + of various fats per day should be more than enough to maintain a healthy hormonal balance. What We DO Need to Know About Fat Fat is quite dense in calories for very little volume. This is something we need to be on the lookout for. Why? Because many food companies will actually place more fat in their products on purpose. Remember how our body’s survival mechanism looks for the path of least resistance? For that reason, your body will naturally prefer, psychologically, to eat a gram of something that has 9 calories in it rather than a gram of something that contains only 4 calories. It’s literally hardwired into our instincts. That’s why most junk food, or any food we gravitate to, makes us feel good. Because, generally speaking, it contains a lot of fat. However, fat itself doesn’t taste good. Yep, you heard me right. Fat doesn’t tantalize the taste-buds or have any flavor to it. It doesn’t stimulate the senses. It doesn’t make your mouth water just by thinking about it. Have you ever tried to eat straight fat, without any salt or condiments or anything
added? It’s far from pleasant! In terms of mindful eating, tracking your foods and the macronutrients they contain, you should start to recognize this anomaly. Be on the lookout for taste patterns in relation to the fat content itself. Often just observing this relationship will allow you to see things you didn’t necessarily notice before. You may even, as highlighted above, find that some foods you gravitate towards aren’t particularly tasty, yet still you crave more of them. Invariably, this will be because they have a high fat content, geared towards you eating to excess. Even in foods that aren’t to your actual taste! In the past, some of my clients would change those foods to something that tasted better, something less calorie dense, and enjoyed it more because their taste-buds were stimulated. While, at the same time, they dropped the calories they were ingesting because of the lower fat content. So again, it’s something to be mindful of regarding your fat intake: what particular foods satisfy your taste-buds more than others? Beware of Hidden Fat in Condiments, Sauces and Oils Fat also lurks in a lot of your condiments and sauces and oils. In fact, that’s why most people love to douse their food in sauces. I myself used to be that kind of person; I used to literally drown my pizza in sauce. In fact, it became a real problem! I loved all kinds of sauces. I would cook with sauces, put sauces in my salads. Why? Because sauces, including the best brandname varieties, are high in both fat and sugar content. In reality, you’ll find that just one single tablespoon of oil in your salad can contain over 100 calories! Let’s put that into perspective: Fact: two tablespoons of oil in your salad is almost the equivalent of one whole ice cream, or a whole chicken breast. Please, take a moment to visualize that in your head. Two relatively small measures of oil on your salad is the same, calorie-wise, as devouring one WHOLE ice cream, or a WHOLE Chicken Breast!!! Enough to make you wonder whether oil is really worth it. I mean, did you enjoy it that much? Or would you prefer something even tastier? When I found this out for myself, I couldn’t believe it. I was brought up in a house where we always had dressings on our salads. Back then, I always
equated salad dressing with healthy eating. But when it came to ice-cream— no, no, no, I had to limit my consumption. But when I actually tracked the numbers and saw how much oil added to my meals in terms of calories, I got rid of it in the blink of an eye. I replaced it with balsamic vinegar (which, you’ll soon discover, has no calories at all). Which meant I was able to have an ice-cream every night if I wanted! It’s the same as cooking with oil instead of cooking with just water. Not that I’m saying you have to go to these lengths. I just want you to be aware of the calorie dense foods you may eat. No direct action is required at this point. Only ask yourself whether your food was as nice as you wanted it to be. If not, is there another food on your master list with the same or less calories that could provide more enjoyment? More than anything, it’s a shift in the way of thinking. Instead of causing pain by cutting out certain foods, what can you replace them with that will give more pleasure, therefore reducing the pain on the right side of the equation? How Tracking Leads to Positive Change Soon we want to get you to a place where you’ll start making changes to your diet. Not painful changes, but pleasurable ones. It’s all well and good cutting certain foods out, and replacing them with lower fat alternatives, but only if it makes your food more enjoyable. If you can strike this balance, it will help you gain control of your weight, easily and effectively for the rest of your life. Just like Jack from earlier in the book: drinking more bourbons and eating more snacks simply by cutting out high-calorie meals he didn’t really like anyway! As you go on tracking and analyzing what you’re seeing, you’ll start making small connections, without any pressure, as you don’t have to make any changes yet. Just eat mindfully, track and observe. This is your life, your consumption. Everything is individual to you. There is no right or wrong. For now, just observe. Take-Home Points 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories—the most calorie rich nutrient Fat doesn’t taste good Instinctually we’re hardwired to gravitate towards higher fat
content foods as they have more calories per gram (survival) Sauces, condiments, and various other foods all have hidden high fat content—be on the lookout for foods that you eat, and their correlation towards fat content Start observing your own foods—if there are things that you’d rather eat that taste better, and have less fat content, hence less calories, could that be a change you would make?
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE Carbohydrates—The Feel-Good Macronutrient Okay, on to carbohydrates: 1 gram of carbohydrates is equal to 4 calories, just like protein. Myth: carbohydrates make you fat. Fact: eating more calories than you expend makes you fat. Again: in versus out. And again: if you take anything lasting away from this book it should be: in versus out is law when it comes to weightgain and weight-loss. It’s the Weight-Loss Law. Carbohydrates are an energy macronutrient. Why? Because the body finds it easiest to break down a carbohydrate into glucose and convert it to usable energy. That’s why most people feel energetic after ingesting carbohydrates. Since carbohydrates are easily turned into energy, the body also instinctually provides you with positive reinforcement for ingesting them by releasing a small amount of serotonin into your brain; a feel-good chemical connected to your pleasure/reward systems. That’s why, when some people are sad, they eat ice cream and lots of pasta. Because the carbohydrates will release the serotonin and make them feel happier.
Carbohydrates—What We Need to Know In relation to the equation: carbohydrates shoot out a happy feeling into our brains. If you aren’t conscious that your body is now fed, you may still get shooting signals of serotonin making it feel like you want more. Now, this is different from the hunger signal. This, at the very core, is actually a ‘mild addiction response’, commonly misrepresented as hunger. It’s wise to pay attention to it. When you actually feel hungry, you’ll feel it in your stomach, your tongue will start salivating, and your smell senses will be heightened. In contrast, when you’re overfed, these specific signals will be duller, even if your head/brain is still firing signals searching for more pleasure, because of the serotonin reward system associated with carbohydrates. At first, it’s hard to distinguish between the different signals. Because we’re usually hungry when we start to eat, only to be bombarded with two pleasure responses simultaneously. One, as your body is actually replenishing its energy stores. The other—serotonin—from carbs providing quick energy for use. As you become more mindful of eating, start noticing the difference between hunger which generally will be lower in your body, stomach, mouth and sense of smell, and the chasing carbohydrate/serotonin pleasure in the head/brain space. Then you’ll be able to distinguish between hunger and the pleasure chasing sensation itself.
I know it’s not very scientific but it’s difficult to describe this process, more something you have to experience and take note of for yourself. How Carbohydrates are Misused and Misunderstood Now, our relationship with carbs and everything around them is very, VERY twisted. We’re marketed carbohydrates to eat while we aren’t actually using energy. We sit down to a big pasta meal and then watch a movie! Have you got your popcorn and chips with you? Basically, it’s all about being as immobile as possible after eating a fuel source that gives us the quickest access to energy. Crazy, right? Especially for sedentary people who don’t have control of their weight yet. Over time, you’ll start to notice these patterns for yourself: start noticing when you eat carbohydrate-rich foods that aren’t being used for energy in the hours afterwards. If that’s the case, you should slowly shift towards eating carbs and using the energy they provide 1-2 hours after ingesting them. Remember: use carbohydrates as a tool towards energy expenditure, time eating them around periods when you’re going to be physically active. It’s the logic behind the old saying: have a big breakfast to set you up for the rest of the day. Well, that’s both true and not true. By having carbohydrates for breakfast, you’ll provide yourself with quick and easy access to energy. That’s why marathon runners will have big carbohydrate meals for breakfast and the night before they compete. They’ll ‘carb-load’ so they have plenty of carbohydrates on board for use. In fact, they eat carbohydrates or drink carbohydrate-rich drinks during the race itself. Again, this is something to keep in the back your mind and see for yourself: carbohydrate is the energy macronutrient. In real terms, it’s actually unnatural and goes against your body instincts to eat carbohydrates, to have a spike of energy and not use it. The closer you analyze your life and your body and how food and consumption works in line with your natural instincts, the more power you’ll have over your weight and the mind/body connection will intensify. Now, let’s look at a type of carbohydrate which deserves a chapter all of its own: SUGAR. Take-Home Points
1 gram of carbohydrates is equal to 4 calories Sugar is also a carbohydrate Carbohydrates are the easiest macronutrient to turn into glucose, supplying energy points to your body Carbohydrates will elicit a chemical response of pleasure over and above satisfying hunger—this may cause you to want more when you’re already full Carbohydrates should be used for energy—pay attention to when you eat carbohydrates and don’t use them for energy, but instead stay immobile for long periods of time Start to further distinguish in your mindful eating between hunger and craving for carbs—they’re two different things
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO Sugar Now, let’s take a look at sugar (classified as a carbohydrate). In terms of its energy value, it’s the same as our two previous examples: 1 gram of sugar is equal to 4 calories. Myth: sugar makes you fat. Fact: eating more calories than you expend makes you put on excess calories that get stored as fat. In versus out. Period. By now, you should be catching on to the common theme, eh? Ha-ha-ha! Why Sugar Deserves a Chapter of its Own Due to its actual properties, sugar causes the biggest confusion to our natural hunger signals. Remember those signals you were paying attention to: the taste, the smell, whether you feel hungry or not? In short: sugar is addictive. It only takes one bite of sugar to stimulate the brain to release dopamine, a natural chemical that drives our cravings and motivations. It's the same chemical that causes alcoholics and drug addicts to constantly seek a “high”. When you consume sugar, your brain will fire signals at you saying it wants more, whether you’ve eaten or not, or are hungry or not. And it will keep on doing so, making you crave more and more. You’ve probably heard the saying: I have a separate stomach for dessert. Have you noticed that you might already be extremely full, can barely breathe, in fact, but when the cake and ice cream or sugar desserts come out, instantly there’s room available? Why? Sugar is A Drug As mentioned above, sugar activates the same receptors as illegal narcotics. A recent test carried out on mice showed just how dangerous a drug it can be. In this test, scientists gave two mice two different water tanks. One tank filled with plain water, the other with cocaine water. The first mouse kept repeatedly going for the cocaine water, kept increasing its consumption until it died. In the second test, they used sugar water instead of plain water. The results: nothing short of astonishing. The cocaine water remained untouched! The mouse kept going for the sugar water instead. Proving that sugar was more addictive, more pleasurable than a Class A
narcotic like cocaine! Incredible, right? The major food companies are well aware of this; that’s why most products have a high sugar content. In the industry it’s called the Bliss Point! When it comes to the formulation of food products, the Bliss Point is the amount of an ingredient such as salt, sugar or fat which optimizes deliciousness. Pioneering work on the Bliss Point was carried out by American market researcher and psychophysicist Howard Moskowitz, known for his successful work in product creation and optimization for foods ranging from spaghetti sauce to soft drinks. Moskowitz describes the Bliss Point as "that sensory profile where you like food the most”. The Bliss Point for salt, sugar or fat is a range within which there’s neither too much nor too little, but "just the right" amount of saltiness, sweetness or richness. The human body has evolved to favor foods delivering these tastes: the brain responds with a "reward" in the form of a jolt of endorphins. Your body remembers what you did to get that reward, and makes you want to do it again, an effect run by dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Combinations of sugar, fat and salt act synergistically, and are more rewarding than any one ingredient alone. In food product optimization, the goal is to include two or three of these nutrients at their Bliss Point. Now, I’m not trying to scare you or tell you to stop eating sugar. Quite the contrary. I say this because it’s important to understand that sugar overpowers the brain on a very deep level. To be able to distinguish between hunger and addiction to sugar will undoubtedly be one of your biggest breakthroughs to date, especially if you have a problem with sugar itself. Hidden Sugar: What to Look Out For Some people say: I don’t have a problem with sugar, I don’t eat ice cream, I don’t eat cakes. When I was growing up, my dad’s favorite saying used to be I only eat one ice cream a year, I couldn’t care less about sugar. I took this as fact. But, many years later, when I went through what he was actually eating, I found that 80% of his foods had sugar in them. For example, his healthy daily yoghurt contained a whopping 15 grams of sugar! Have you ever poured out 15 grams of sugar? If not, I suggest you do so—it would be a very useful exercise indeed. In fact, the next time you do your total macronutrients for the day, in your tracker, total up your sugar intake. Then take that amount of sugar and, with the help of your scales, pour the
same amount of sugar into a bowl. Have a good look at it. Because some people can’t visualize what 15 grams of sugar looks like. Or, alternatively: my can of coke has 30 grams of sugar in it, that’s not much, is it? See what I mean? This will help to lift the veil from under you in relation to how much sugar you’re actually consuming. For many this exercise will be truly shocking. But it’s not your fault! The food companies know that sugar is addictive. At this point, it’s important to mention something about food companies and how to look at them from a different perspective, in a way you may not have thought about before. A food company is a business geared towards making a profit. There is either one owner or shareholders interested in that one thing: profitability. Nothing wrong with that; a business is there to drive a profit. And, for a business to make any money, it has to sell a product. If you don’t sell anything, the business will cease to exist. Now, imagine you have a business that produces a very tasty, popular food product. People like it a lot. But then I come along and I say that if you put this ingredient in your product, you will triple your sales, because it’s addictive. Wouldn’t you put that ingredient into your product too? If you had $50,000 of sales, and I said, add this ingredient and you’ll get $150,000 in sales, wouldn’t you do that? Well, I certainly would! In fact, over 95% of the food you see in your supermarket has sugar in it! Don’t take my word for it. Look at the labels on almost every food on the shelves. Why? Because it sells; it leads to increased consumption. It’s not rocket science. Don’t get angry at the companies. You’d do the same. It all comes down to profitability. If you have a favorite food that you can’t get enough of, most likely it has sugar in it. Because when you crave a certain food, rather than be hungry for a certain food, it’s more often than not a craving for sugar, not actual hunger! The distinction here to start to distinguish between hunger and craving. Craving will nine times out of ten be an addiction response to sugar. An Easy Way to Check for Sugar Content Look over your diary at which foods keep coming up, every day or every couple of days. Invariably, they will all be linked to sugar. Have a look.
Check. Find out. But, Andrew, what do I do with this information…? Well, nothing just yet. See, I’m not preaching, telling you to cut things out because that causes pain, remember? When you cut out sugar, you’ll experience actual withdrawal symptoms, like a drug addict—irritation, mood swings, sleeplessness. The approach to sugar starts with awareness of foods that have sugar in them. For now, just start observing a product’s sugar content and consider whether you could replace it with lower sugar alternatives. Or perhaps look at it like this: if there wasn’t any sugar would you still enjoy a particular food? A decrease in your sugar consumption will allow you to decrease the addiction signals. Therefore, you’ll get more in line with your true hunger signals as you continue your journey. Once again, this is another thing to be aware of: the link between sugar and the brain. Hell, I still love my occasional ice cream or chocolate bar. But I’m aware of the link. I know that when I have a sugary food, I’ll most likely, over the next couple of days, be craving foods with sugar in them, over and above my natural hunger signal. With sugar, the more you consume, the more you send out the pleasure signal to your brain, and the more your brain will keep craving that chemical. Sugar Can Make A Big Difference For example, I spoke about Jack before, how he traded his cans of coke for diet-coke. Let’s break down exactly what we did: He went from two to three cans containing 30 grams of sugar to cans with no sugar at all, saving 90 grams of sugar—90 grams of carbohydrates = 360 calories. Work that out: 360 calories over ten days equals a saving of 1lb of fat! No small change! A kilo a month. Twelve kilos over an entire year! As a result, he got more aligned with his natural hunger response. How he did this was simple. You too can follow the same rules to wean yourself off a sugar product of your choosing. A Simple Three-Step Guide to Removing Sugar from Your Diet 1. We slowly weaned Jack down to less cans of coke per day, so as not to cause too much pain of changing. 2. He then chose a three-day window in which he would cut the
cans out completely—but not immediately replacing them with something else altogether (I suggest you do this on the days you feel the highest motivation, because there will be some pain or discomfort associated with withdrawing from sugar—so plan accordingly.) 3. After three days, believe it or not, the craving will go away, disappear. All done. As long as you don’t replace the product with a sugar-rich alternative, you’ll have reset your addiction stimulus to sugar. That easy! Then, when Jack picked up a can of diet-coke, he couldn’t taste the difference. For him, the taste was pretty much the same. What he was craving before was sugar. Now people will argue that coke and diet-coke taste different; and they do. But when you reset the sugar response, you get rid of that craving, then diet drinks or foods, or sugar alternatives with less or no sugar taste just as good. Again, a useful tool if you want to do what Jack did. So how much sugar are you having on any given day? Have a look at your tracking diary and start making some mental notes in terms of your own sugar intake. I know this is a lot take in. But you’re doing great. Just observing stuff and not making any knee-jerk reactions can be difficult. If I ever observed something on my own weight-loss journey I would have to immediately wade in and try and do something about it. But for now, it’s just a case of one foot in front of the other. I promise this will become much clearer to you as time goes on, and that you’ll be able to get your weight fully under control for the rest of your life. Take-Home Points Sugar is a carbohydrate 1 gram of sugar = 4 Calories Sugar is an addictive drug—it will override the hunger signal Eating more sugar, makes you want more—start observing the
relationship between your craving signals and how much sugar you’ve had over the past one to three days, and note the correlation Eating less sugar makes you want less Most of your favorite foods will have a sugar component to them Be patient with yourself and just observe. There’s nothing more to do now other than to track, observe, and level up in knowledge of your own consumption
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE Alcohol Now it’s time to mention alcohol. The reason: alcohol is often a stickingpoint with lots of people. There’s so much discussion today about weight-loss and drinking, how people feel doomed to be overweight if they don’t cut alcohol out of their diets. If this applies to you, what you are about to read will be the light at the end of the tunnel ☺ . The reality is there’s lots of misinformation out there surrounding beer-bellies or I’m fat because I drink too much alcohol or because I drink I can’t lose weight. And again, you guessed it: it’s all a myth. In versus out. Alcohol is in no way, shape or form nutritious or healthy, but it sure as hell doesn’t magically bypass the equation! Another simple search on our good friend Google will show us exactly what we need to know to track alcohol. For example, below is the nutrition label that shows up when we Google a Corona beer:
As you can clearly see, alcohol is just like anything else you consume—it has trackable calories.
Reminder: if you eat less calories than your body uses for the day then you will lose weight. Therefore, if you thought alcohol was your problem— it’s not ☺ Things You Do Need to Know About Alcohol Firstly, alcohol messes with the natural hunger systems we’ve been discussing. While intoxicated your brain’s natural signals are not as easy to pick up on. You may find yourself craving starchy, fatty foods. Or your sugar cravings may be higher. This is because the alcohol in your body acts like a mild poison. As a result, it sends messages or signals to the brain to try to dilute the poison or mask the sensation. Or it sends out various signals or cravings which, when sober, you may not be inclined to listen to. But when alcohol is involved, you begin to be more susceptible to these signals. Beware. When intoxicated (and often the day after) your natural signals are a little more flawed than usual. It’s important, therefore, to be even more aware of what you’re putting into your body in relation to calories. During these episodes, your signals, as much as your judgement, are all out of whack. Often, we’ll throw everything else out the window and end up at McDonald’s for a late-night burger and fries! Ha-ha-ha! I’m sure I’ve done that a few times too many, as I’m sure we all have. Secondly, and this isn’t common knowledge, but believe it or not, you may wake up the morning after a night out drinking alcohol, looking leaner and weighing less than you did the day before. In fact, you may even have overconsumed your daily calorie expenditure but look and even feel lighter. Why is that? Did we somehow magically cheat the in versus out equation? Well, yes and no. What most people don’t realize is that alcohol causes dehydration; it’s a diuretic. What happens is that alcohol helps you get rid of some water storage. As water weighs a certain amount it will look and feel like you’ve got leaner. But over the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours, when the water inevitably replenishes itself, you’ll be back to square one again. In the interim, however, your scales may show that you’ve dropped a pound or two. Don’t be fooled! This didn’t actually happen. Not really. Because the numbers in your
diary didn’t correlate to that. To reiterate: water caused a drop in weight, and the water will return soon. Again, you can’t cheat the in versus out equation, in terms of calories. It’s LAW in the weight-loss and weight-gain world. Take-Home Points Alcohol is not nutritious, but it does contain calories Alcohol, being an intoxicant, will mess with your natural hunger signals You generally make poorer choices when drinking alcohol (or the day after) as your signals are flawed—be careful to observe and moderate your intake These are the times to be especially mindful of what you’re eating and in what quantities, but if you’re tracking this should be standard for you anyway ☺ Alcohol is a mild diuretic and will encourage temporary waterloss (thus a temporary loss in weight)—this will return within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after consumption has stopped
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR Exercise We’re going to look at exercise now. Specifically, in relation to movement over and above your Base Metabolic Rate (BMR), your normal daily requirements. To many, this might sound like a straightforward proposition. Exercise is a good, positive thing, right? Well, yes it is. But in terms of pure weight-loss, on a granular, trackable level, exercise can only ever be viewed as a complimentary activity, not a magic remedy that will melt away your entire spare tank. Want to know why? Well, as you now know, weight-loss is all about in versus out, expenditure against consumption. And the bare facts of the matter are, that even when you do feel motivated to go and workout, the expenditure isn’t going to be anywhere near to what you think it is. Let me give you an example of what I mean. A one-hour workout down the gym with weights will probably only burn around 200 calories. That’s it! Now, think back to all the foods you’ve been tracking over recent weeks. That 200 calories doesn’t sound like very much now, does it? Put simply: you can’t eat to excess and then burn all the calories off at the gym. To do so, you’d have to spend hours and hours in the gym every day. More to the point, exercise takes a huge amount of effort and discipline, especially if you’re not naturally athletic or never participated in sports when you were younger. Going to the gym involves a whole lot of pain in terms of the right side of the equation. And if you don’t get the kind of results you’ve been brainwashed into believing you’ll naturally get, you’re going to get discouraged very quickly, and The Equation of Change will stop working. What You Need to Know About Exercise In the past, you might’ve heard the saying: Abs are made in the kitchen. Meaning that weight-loss is affected more by your food intake than the hours you spend at the gym or the physical exercises you perform. This a very basic concept to grasp. Yet, due to media brainwashing, many now believe that getting the physique they want is linked solely to exercise. But what makes us think that exercise will get us the body of our dreams or help us lose weight? The answer: most fitness athletes are presented, packaged and marketed with rock hard gym bodies to sell us an exercise plan.
All you have to do is x amount of crunches and bicep curls and you can have a body like mine. The imagery used in these marketing campaigns invariably involves a half-naked demi-god showcasing their lean, tanned bodies and rippling muscles, whilst performing some kind of mind-blowingly arduous exercise routine. Naturally, this creates a link in our heads between leanness and exercise itself, because we’re bombarded with this imagery every day. The reality: to get one of those bodies all you have to do is drop body fat. Eat less than you expend. Again: in versus out. But that information is hard to sell as a proprietary method—it doesn’t sound very appealing. Or look anywhere near as good as a hardbody doing an exercise you’ve never seen before. In turn, making you believe that’s the secret to getting the body you want. Believe it or Not: We All Have Athletic Physiques Under Layers of Unwanted Fat If you’re reading this book then I’m going to make the assumption that you’re over the weight you want to be. Therefore, every day you have to carry your heavy body around with you. You walk, run, move, lift stuff, et cetera. All of this requires muscle contractions and movements. The heavier your bodyweight, the bigger your muscles need to be in order to sustain your daily activity. So, in reality, you already have all the muscles those hardbodies have, the abs, that toned hourglass shape that women desire. You have it all! Only it’s covered by your fat stores, your spare tank! Therefore, if one of your goals is to look and feel like those people advertised, all you have to do is use up your fat stores, your spare tank, and then you’ll reveal the toned body THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. You don’t need to do any weights, don’t need to run, swim for six hours a day et cetera. You’ve actually done all the hard work already, by carrying around your extra spare tank. Now, when I came to realize this myself, I was devastated. I spent years in the gym. YEARS! Lifting weights, doing cardio, everything. My entire focus was on exercise. Only the results were incredibly disappointing. You Can Never Out-Exercise Your Food Intake As discussed at the start of the chapter, exercise won’t solve all your weight-loss problems. Forget everything the marketers and big companies have ever told you. Weight-loss, as you’ve heard me hammer home time and
again, is all about in versus out. Simple. When it comes to exercise, most people seriously overestimate how much they actually expend. Remember: that big one-hour long weight session, if you’re lucky, will only burn or use up 200 calories. Shit! My morning coffee has more calories in it than that! Okay, a lot of people may say, But I only do cardio. Fair enough. But imagine sprinting for sixty minutes, full-blown, drenched T-shirt, until you can barely breathe, hardly walk. And for what? You’d be lucky to burn 600700 calories…Well, frankly, that’s the size of an average lunch for me! Here’s the thing: you can never outrun or out-exercise your food intake. PERIOD. Personally, I really struggled to come to terms with this—the math didn’t work for me. I have a very scientific brain. If I burnt 600 calories, why couldn’t I eat an extra 600 calories? This is the same issue, the same psychological struggle that exists for many people when it comes to exercise. Most will eat poorly and begin to feel awful about themselves. Then, because of the pain associated with their current state, they try and make a change by going to the gym, thinking that it will nullify all that excess intake. For me, it was a never-ending spiral. And sadly, I still see lots of people fall into the same trap. Eat poorly, feel shit about yourself, go workout, feel better, eat to excess again, and repeat. A vicious cycle that actually produces minimal to no results, leaving you in a constant shame spiral. For many weeks, I struggled to think of how to best to approach this chapter. Ultimately, I want to help lift the veil from your eyes, to make sure you don’t fall into the same trap I did five years ago, in terms of exercising. The best way to go about it, I decided, was to tell you what I would have told my previous self. Advice I Would Give Myself of Five Years Ago Andrew, I know exercise feels good, and because you’re sweating and your muscles look fuller because the blood rushed into them, you think that you’re losing a lot of weight. I know you feel great right now. But, in reality, you’re not going to get the body you want by doing this, and not focusing on your intake. Just because you sweated today doesn’t mean you can consume
more calories. It doesn’t mean you actually made progress in terms of using up your spare tank. Andrew, you feel good because you released some endorphins, happy chemicals into your brain. You haven’t lost a lot of weight, 200 calories at most. Go on, Andrew, count your calories, understand what you’ve eaten, and make sure that by the end of the week you’ve eaten less calories than you expended. Don’t count exercise at all! In fact, just consider exercise a bonus, the cream on top. If you burnt an extra 50 calories, great, burnt an extra 100, great, burnt an extra 600, great. But don’t count on it. You’re not running a 40km marathon for five hours every day, now are you? So stop. Your intake is all that matters in regards to lasting change. Focus entirely on that. Movement and exercise will change as your circumstances change. You may have injuries, kids, holidays—we don’t know what the future holds. But getting control and power over your intake will, hand on heart, create permanent change to your physique. That’s what I’d tell my ‘five years’ ago self’ today. And that’s what I’m going to recommend to you. Do NOT count your exercise as extra expenditure. That’s right. The whole right side of the equation of increasing expenditure…Don’t count it. Cross it out. If you exercise, great. If you don’t, great. For the purpose of having lasting control of your weight, and being at any weight you wish to be, I repeat: do not count your exercise. The Perils of Overestimating Your Expenditure Scientific studies show that most people severely overestimate the calorie expenditure they burn. They read on the internet that one hour of running burns 600 calories. So, they mark that down as a given, as fact. But every person runs differently. I run different to you; we have different stride patterns. We’re different heights, weights, sizes. When we run, therefore, we’re carrying around differing weight quotas, which makes a huge difference on how much each of us expend. Our genetic make-up and hormones run differently. Our energy saving mechanisms run differently when we’re exercising…I mean, there are so many factors to consider. There’s simply no logic whatsoever in focusing on exercise as a strategy. DON’T COUNT IT!
Even now, I remember how I would exercise hard every day, sometimes twice a day. How good I’d feel, thinking that the weight was going to fall off me. But then I’d get sick. Bang! And I couldn’t exercise. My brain would go into meltdown because I’d still keep eating as if I was exercising. Therefore, I’d quickly regain the weight I’d lost because I wasn’t expending anymore. In turn, the psychological impact would leave me disempowered for months. It’s not healthy for you brain. Your brain will hate you for it. Because you have to use force and discipline. You have to sometimes motivate yourself to exercise when frankly there’s too much pain involved. So don’t. if you want control and lasting weight-loss, my sincere recommendation is that you don’t count exercise in your expenditure. Think about it when you next go to the gym. Look at the many, many people exercising, the majority of whom are not particularly lean or look anything like the people marketing the exercise programs…For the few that are, I promise you they have psychological control over their intake. That’s what got them there. Not the weights, not the running. Fact is, with vigorous exercise comes down-times, pains, injuries, periods of rest. During these times you will not be expending as much as the days that you were exercising. Without control over your intake you will simply be on the yoyo weight train for the rest of your life, and in a shame spiral when you don’t have enough motivation to go and workout. It’s a never-ending cycle, one that I became accustomed to for years and years. If you’re still resistant, if you’re the kind of a person who thinks, Well, you don’t know me, I really work out a lot, I would still underestimate what you think you’re burning first. Then halve it again. Because it’s just not going to give you the control that you want. Let me give you another example to illustrate my point: what happens when you’re on holiday and can’t exercise? Suddenly you’re going to put on 5kg. Oh shit, I can’t exercise here. You see? Exercise requires extra engagement, extra movement. Whereas with eating you’re already consuming; it’s much easier to control and understand that side of the equation than it ever will be with exercise. Consumption will always be there; consumption doesn’t require effort. Only through control of your consumption will you get freedom and power over your weight. Not in the extra movement you have to convince or force yourself to do. So What is Exercise Good For?
Having said all of this, from a psychological viewpoint, the act of exercising does have a link to mental health. Daily movement or activity has shown positive results, helping people to be more self-conscious of their intake. Because of all the marketing slogans that bombard your brain of fit athletes at the gym, a subconscious link exists for most people between going to the gym and being healthy. Because of that link when you do exercise you will “feel” healthier and “feel” more empowered because endorphins are running through your bloodstream. In addition, you’ll potentially make better choices regarding your intake. This will happen because you’ll relate to yourself as a fit/healthy person. So naturally, you’ll make decisions more aligned to that way of thinking, i.e. healthier living, eating less, et cetera. So, in terms of aging, control of your weight and losing your spare tank, easily and permanently for the rest of your life, that’s where I think exercise really shines and should definitely be used as a tool. Purely for the mental/mindset side, not the in versus out side. Take-Home Points Exercise isn’t required to lose weight Most people overestimate their calorie expenditure through exercise—I recommend, therefore, that you don’t count the expenditure associated with any exercise If you consume less than your body requires for the day, that will be more than enough to lose weight, consistently, with control Exercise requires extra effort, and is not as consistent as consumption. Therefore, having control over your consumption should be your main focus If you do exercise, see it as the cream on top; a complimentary activity; a lifestyle choice, an added bonus, some extra calories expended Or purely for the mental factors associated: feeling better and more empowered to make better food choices throughout the day
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE Weight Fluctuations—What You Need to Know Have you ever wondered if the equation of in versus out really is fact, then why oh why does the weight on the scales fluctuate so much? Or why one day we look leaner, but another day, bigger, bulkier, even though we still ate under our daily calorie expenditure? There are many factors involved in why this happens. Our bodies process, assimilate and break down everything we consume in ways which often appear inconsistent. As a direct consequence, our feelings about ourselves and our weight are also inconsistent. What you first need to understand is that pure weight-gain isn’t as simplistic as many of you may think. In truth, putting on weight is very difficult. Fact: to gain a kilogram overnight you would need to eat 7,700 calories over and above your total daily energy expenditure. For most people that would be well over 10,000 calories in one day. And frankly, I tried this for myself once and I nearly vomited by the time I reached 7,000! It’s simply not possible to gain that much, physically. Your body will reject it! By the end of this chapter, you’ll understand not only why weight fluctuates, but be fully aware of the scientific reasons behind it. Instead of throwing in the towel when you see your weight fluctuate, thinking that all your efforts are in vain, you’ll be consistently motivated to achieve your goals. The Complexities Surrounding Weight Fluctuations In the past, to protect you from weight fluctuations, you may’ve been told: Don’t weigh yourself every day or Just keep at it. Disregard such advice completely. Because it doesn’t really explain what’s going on; it’s like covering your eyes with a blanket! Remember, to have full control, you need to level up on your own knowledge. It’s now time, therefore, to remove the perceived pains in relation to weight fluctuations, so you see them for what they actually are: water fluctuations.
But firstly, we need to address the crux of the issue: weight loss isn’t linear. If, for instance, I eat 1,000 calories less today, it’s doesn’t mean that tomorrow I will weigh 1,000 calories less than yesterday. Why does this happen? Here’s the answer: Basically, I want you to picture a fat cell in your head. Now, when you’ve under-eaten your expenditure for the day, your body will draw the fat/energy out of this cell for usage. This may happen at any time over a twelve to fortyeight hour period, depending on when your body has run out of its energy points. However, your body is under the illusion that this fat cell will still be used, that you’ll soon fill it by overeating again. Remember, just like our minds, our body is also geared towards not making any changes and taking the path of least resistance. Because of this, your body will actually refill the cell with the equivalent weight in water! What a cruel trick! Therefore, you may well have lost 100 grams worth of fat for the day, but your body has refilled the cells with 100 grams of water. Therefore, to all intents and purposes, your weight looks exactly the same. Now, I wish I could provide a scientific stat that would say After x amount of time the water will get drained and the weight on the scale will drop. But, unfortunately, there simply isn’t one. Because a body can hold on to the water for one day, two days, three, sometimes even weeks. Because often your hormones or the amount of exercise or the amount of cortisol floating around your body will have a say in whether your body is holding onto water or not. If you’re a female, your cycle, where your hormones are at, will all contribute to this—for some parts of the month you’re bloated, for others you’re not. It isn’t fat; it’s water. So now you know. The equation of in versus out is still and always will be LAW. Anything outside of that is water retention in the fat cell. In simple terms, your body will not immediately shrink down the fat cell, it will fill it up with water first. Therefore, the best way to look at it, psychologically (and I tell this to all my clients), is if I calculate that I ate 1,000 calories less today, expect them to be visible on the scales in a week’s time. That way, you don’t get disappointed
the following day, and increase your own pain by thinking, Oh, but I’m so hungry, I made a reduction in my daily consumption but still the scales don’t show any weight-loss. This is I where used to fall down all the time. By expecting the scale to move the same day or the next day, based on the effort I put in by reducing my calorie intake. I would then weigh myself and if I didn’t see the correlated result expected, the pain would shoot up on the right side of the equation. Because it looked as if my efforts weren’t rewarded. By moving the expectation to a week’s time, you remove any potential pain involved with not seeing the result immediately. I hope that’s clear. Other Forms of Water Retention Now, we’ve already touched on water retention in regards to alcohol. Remember we said it’s a diuretic? Therefore, you actually urinate out a lot of excess water when you drink alcohol, which can cause a massive reduction in what the scales say—another element of water fluctuation at play. To examine water retention further, we’re going to look at the professions of bodybuilding, power-lifting and competitive fighting. Case Study—How Water Retention Can be Manipulated All these sports have different weight classes. This is for the purpose of separating strength and power. For example, a person that weighs 200kg will be able to lift more than a person who weighs 100kg. Common sense, right? Therefore, the different weights are put into different classes. Let’s say I’m an athlete who wants to get into the lowest class possible while holding onto all my muscle so I can still overpower my opponent. It’s common practice in these sports for an athlete to purposely drop 2-4kg, or 4-10lbs in weight within a matter of days in order to qualify for the lower weight range. Now, as we know, in versus out is law. It’s physically almost impossible to lose 2kg in a day—you’d need a deficit of 15,400 calories. Frankly, that’s what I sometimes eat in a week! So, what they actually do is drop excess water and shed their water weight. By understanding what they do to drop the extra weight you’ll begin to understand for yourself how your own weight fluctuates based on a range of factors. Three Techniques to Alter Your Water Weight
1. The standard protocol is to drink a lot of water for days prior to competing—as much as three to five liters. This primes the body into releasing water as it knows that you’re constantly taking on more so it doesn’t need to hold onto it. 2. They then get rid of all the salt in their diet. Sodium actually holds water. If you remove the sodium from your diet for a day or two, you’ll shed more residual water, causing the scale to drop again. 3. But the biggest thing they do is drop their carbohydrate intake to zero for two to three days. Why would they do that, you may ask? Well, what you might not know about carbohydrates, is that they are the energy macronutrient that your body doesn’t immediately convert into fat. In fact, it stores a lot of the carbohydrates as glucose to use over the next couple of days. The carbohydrate/glucose will usually be stored in your muscles. And depending on your size, your body can store anywhere between 300-900 grams of carbohydrates in your muscles alone. In addition, every single gram of carbohydrate in your body can store 3 grams of water. So, get this, if I have 500 grams of carbohydrate/glucose sitting in my muscles, that means that I’m also holding on to another three lots of 500 in water—an extra 1.5kg. If I stop eating the carbohydrates, my body will first use up all 500 grams. And since it’s used it up, they will no longer be holding onto water, so then there’s another 1.5kg dropped. By cutting their carb intake alone, the weight-lifter or fighter drops 2kg in weight, with the sodium potentially another 200-400 grams. Then they abruptly stop their water intake so the body keeps excreting water as if it’s ready for more. Only this takes a while to show up. By then you could have urinated out 1-2 liters of water before your body realizes that you’ve stopped drinking water altogether. In total, that’s almost 4-5kg worth of weight reduction on the scales…but not a single gram of fat reduction if they maintained eating the same calories they were before. If you’re hearing this for the first time and it doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will. Haha! How this Relates to Your Own Weight-Loss Journey
Now you know why all those lemon detox five-day diets claim that you could lose 3-5kg in five days! It’s all just water loss mixed with a little bit of fat reduction because of the limited calories. All they’re doing is playing with your water/carb/sodium retention. None of this is in relation to actual fat loss. Remember the big fad diet of the year Keto? How it got people so motivated? For the first three to four days all the carbs and all the water drops, your scales show much less, but then it slows down because you simply can’t lose fat that fast. So now you are one of the few people in the world who know how all these diets actually work, and how they claim to show miraculous results. Still unconvinced? Let me give you an example of how this might relate to you: You may’ve eaten a pizza last night. On your tracker, therefore, you overate by 1,000 calories. This roughly equates to an extra 150 grams of fat that you would have put on. By rights, the scales should say that you only weigh 150 grams more. However, pizza contains high levels of carbs and sodium. The carbs and the salt will have absorbed a significant amount of water. In turn, the weight scales will show an increase of a whole kilogram the next day! Naturally, this would freak you out and make you think the whole thing’s pointless. But not now; not with the knowledge you’ve just acquired. Because you now know that it’s all just water! All you need to do is return to eating as normal or under your maintenance level and reduce your carb intake. Then, within one to three days, all of that water will again drop and you’ll be right back to where you were before. Boom. No more yoyoing. You don’t have to stress because of weight fluctuations anymore! Understanding this point fully is crucial. I believe it’s actually the biggest psychological breakthrough you can make for yourself: knowing that in versus out is fact. KNOW—that if you’re tracking your food, if the scales show anything other than what you should have put on, then know and trust that’s it’s all just water! You can watch it all drop off again in the next three days. By knowing that it’s only water fluctuation, you remove any perceived pains on the right side of the equation. In the process, you keep the equation balanced in favor of change and keep natural motivation high.
If only I’d known this ten years ago! For I can’t tell you how many times I got on so well with a dieting program—through discipline, motivation, through throwing everything at it —and the inevitable happened: I had a cheat meal or a cheat day, vowing to myself that tomorrow I’d get right back on track. Only to realize the next day that scales went up by 2kg, making the pain shoot up on the right side of the equation. In despair, I’d throw in the towel and think that all my efforts were undone. Awareness of water retention changed everything for me. Now you have acquired this knowledge, if you see the scales showing contrary numbers when previously you thought you were gaining 1-2kg overnight, you’ll know exactly what it is: water weight. If you know you’ve been eating under your maintenance level (because you’re tracking) for several days and the scales aren’t moving—you know that’s it just water retention. Be patient. Within a short amount of time, it will all fall off! Absolute magic. Carbohydrate Storage—What to Look Out For Now you’re tracking your food every day, your macronutrients and your weight on the scales, you might spot some of the anomalies highlighted above. Start observing for yourself a correlation on your scale weight in terms of how many carbs you ingested over the last one to two days—you should see a major fluctuation if you alter your carbohydrate intake. This link is crucial for you to start making a connection between carb intake and your weight the next day or two. You could even try it for yourself to see what I’m talking about. You don’t have to have a reason. You’re not trying to get into a new weight division, like the weightlifters or fighters we discussed earlier, but it could be a major lightbulb moment for you nonetheless. You could purposely have a lot of carbs one day and then see what happens to your weight the next day on the scales. Then reduce the carbs and see for yourself what happens to the scales over a similar timeframe. Or if you don’t want to do that you could simply make a note the next time you have a meal that is very carbohydrate-rich. Then observe for yourself how your weight will increase the next day. Understanding weight fluctuations and water retention is of paramount importance to you having power over your numbers instead of the scales or
the reflection in the mirror having power over you. It will make all the difference and stop you experiencing pain when you see numbers on the scales that don’t correlate to where they should be. You will reach a place where if you see the numbers go up, you won’t throw in the towel and continue to eat poorly, but see it for what it is. Instead of experiencing shame, or disappointment, you will simply resume regular eating and, over the next few days, watch everything return back to its rightful place. Take-Home Points In versus out is LAW in terms of weight-loss and weight-gain— anything outside of that are temporary weight fluctuations Fat loss is not linear—fat cells fill up with water after the fat has been removed, and before they drop the actual water they weigh the same Sodium retains water in your body—the more sodium you have the more water is retained Your water intake also determines how much water your body holds onto—the more water you consume the bigger discharge in excess water as your body is expecting further water consumption. Sudden changes in water intake will make changes to the weight on the scale temporarily Your body can store 300-900 grams of carbohydrates in your muscles as energy storage Every gram of stored carbohydrates holds 3 grams of therefore the amount of carbohydrates in your body at time has a massive impact on what the scales show weight, and if there is a fluctuation you now know explanation is water
water— any one as your that the
If you calculate that you ate 1,000 calories less today, expect them to be visible on the scales in a week’s not a day’s time— that way you won’t be disappointed and increase your own pain
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX At this point, if you’ve been following the instructions set out in the previous chapters, you should have already experienced many lightbulb moments. If not, don’t stress. This chapter will hopefully shed further light onto your results. For now, I want to point out some trends you may be seeing in your tracking diary and help you to analyze the data regarding your own intake. But most importantly, I want to introduce you to a major psychological tool in gaining control over your weight: Think WEEKLY! Thinking weekly instead of daily will create a massive difference in keeping your motivation naturally high. It will also help avoid the negative emotions that make you feel as if you’ve fallen off the wagon. Estimating Your Daily Energy Requirements Remember, you’ve only estimated your total daily energy requirement (the guideline: 1,900 calories for women, 2,600 calories for men). Therefore, the first thing to look for in your results is this: am I, on any given day, eating over or under the estimate? Pretty straightforward, right? If on any given day you are in fact over that estimate, you can assume that you’re gaining fat; filling up your spare tank. If, however, on another given day you eat less than the estimate, you can assume that you’re losing fat. Have a look at your tracker and check your results. It’s normal to come across a wide variety of results here. One: you may be eating over your daily energy requirements, i.e. gaining weight. Secondly, you may be under some days and over other days. To work out if you’re gaining or losing weight, take the estimate of what your requirements are (let’s say 1,900 for women) and times that by seven for the week. That will give you a total of 13,300 calories as your energy requirement. Now, add up all your daily totals for the week. If that figure is lower than 13,300, based on a woman’s energy requirements, you’ve lost weight over the week. If you are over that number then you’ve gained weight over the week. Simple as that. The numbers don’t lie, remember?
See the table below as an example:
Total Fem Total Actual Gain/loss
WEEKLY Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun TOTAL 1,9001,9001,9001,9001,9001,9001,900 13,300 2,1001,4002,7001,3001,9001,5001,700 12,600 200 -500 800 -600 0 -400 -200 -700
This is what your typical calculation might look like. You can see that some days were over and some days were under. The week ended in a deficit of 700 calories: we used up 700 calories of our own spare tank to feed our body’s energy requirements. You lost weight—simple. Therefore, the first thing to understand in relation to your own food intake is what actually happens over the course of your week. Changing Your Mindset: Thinking Weekly On days when I myself overate, my motivation plummeted; the pain of changing didn’t seem worth it. I felt, or perceived, that all my hard work was undone. When this happens, we need to bring things back to the equation. By thinking in single days at a time, if I overeat on a particular day, my perceived pain is higher because I think I’ve gone backwards, right? The first psychological shift I would recommend, therefore, is to start looking at your weekly totals instead of focusing on your daily totals. If you overeat one day, all you have to do is under-consume over the next few days (or by the end of the week) to balance it out. Play it like a game almost. For a lot of people, the first step is getting to a point where these totals are the same or balance out by the end of the week. Easy, right? I mean, if you overeat, for the next couple of days or meals you’re not going to be as hungry, anyway. So, it will be relatively easy to under-consume the next few days. This will mean that you’re actually able to take control of your weight and stop any weight gain. That’s huge! In terms of changes to your diet, intake, consumption that’s absolutely your first goal: learning how to balance your totals out by the end of the week.
But What Does that Actually Do? If you learn how to balance out by the end of the week, it means that you will no longer put on any weight. If you’re able to have a motivating week and lose a kilo, you’ll be able to hold onto that weight-loss. Therefore, any progress you make, you’ll be able to maintain. This one lesson alone is worth its weight in gold! There is a small caveat to this, however: the number we’re using is the average guestimate of total daily expenditure: the 1,900 or 2,600 calories. As we discussed earlier—each person’s requirements are different on any given day—so these figures may be off for you. With that in mind, if, by the end of the week, you have balanced out your intake but for some reason your weight on the scale has increased, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise. The important thing here is not to panic. Look at the data through new eyes. 1. What was your carbohydrate intake over the last two days before your weigh-in? Because, remember, if it was higher, you may be holding onto some water. Therefore, dropping your carbohydrates to lower points over the next couple of days and then seeing what the scales say is useful before making any changes or assuming that the total daily expenditure estimate is wrong. 2. If you’re a female, where are you in relation to your cycle? If you’re in the last week or two leading up to your menstrual cycle then you will naturally be holding onto 1-3kg extra—something to bear in mind. At that point, I would give it another week or two before making any changes or assumptions that your expenditure is off. 3. If you’re eating out a lot and guesstimating your food intake regarding complex foods, you may actually be underestimating your consumption. 4. If all those things seem fine—you’re not having a lot of carbohydrates, you’re not holding a lot of water, you’re not about
to commence your menstrual cycle, and you’re pretty spot on with your numbers—only then might your total daily expenditure be less than the average guestimate. I hope this all makes sense. I know it’s a lot to take in. Let it wash over you and remember to have a good look at your results. A Simple Rule of Thumb in Making Adjustments The first goal is to get to a place regarding intake of whatever foods you want to record, to a place where you stop gaining fat. My rule of thumb: if the scales after one week show an increase, but your numbers show that you should be balanced, wait one more week with the same intake. If the result is still the same or it went up again, assume that your daily expenditure number is wrong. If so, I would drop it by 150-300 calories per day. For example, instead of 1,900 calories I would say that my total expenditure is 1,700 or 1,800. Try and meet those weekly numbers. Then analyze the results again. You want to keep going through this process until you reach a point where you stop gaining weight and level out. During this time, a lot of people don’t have the patience, and start dropping their calorie intake in order to see results faster. I urge you not to do that. Take the time to balance out your own intake versus your own expenditure. It’s one of the most important skills to learn and master. Because once you do so, you’ll stop your weight yoyoing back and forth. This is HUGE for gaining control of your weight! It means that if you have a good week, where the equation is working in your favor, where you’re present to the pain of staying the same way, and are able to lose 1lb or half a kilo, that weight-loss will actually stay with you. Because you have the control of balance now. Imagine if you could do that over a prolonged period of time. Not just a week but two weeks, a month, six months, a year! Think about it. If every time you drop a few kilos and actually manage to keep it off, wouldn’t you be in a much better place than you were before? For many people, this alone will deliver what I promised you: full control of your weight. That’s right!
Take-Home Points Think WEEKLY instead of daily—this will stop you from getting easily discouraged and allow you to keep motivation high throughout your journey Make it into a game—try and get to a place where you can balance out your numbers by the end of the week, so your intake and your expenditure match—this will give you control of your weight and help you to never put weight on again—this means that any weight you do lose, you’ll be able to keep off This is a huge psychological shift, and don’t expect it to happen overnight—be patient and slowly shift your mindset towards thinking weekly and start enjoying the freedom it brings
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN Well done for making it this far. You’re one of the select few that has been willing to put their life, their food intake, and all your biggest challenges under a microscope. From personal experience, I know that’s a feat in itself. Not many people get to this point, but you have. Congratulations. How Far You’ve Come You’ve learnt through your pain. You’ve lifted the veil from underneath your life regarding the impact your excess fuel tank is having. This will naturally increase your motivation to change, swinging The Equation of Change in your favor. You have used your motivation to monitor your own intake and monitor the foods that you’re eating in relation to energy values. You have made mental connections between not feeling great when you overeat and robbing yourself of the pleasure of food. You’ve learnt how sugar and alcohol can hijack your natural hunger responses. You’ve learnt to watch out for those signals. You now don’t freak out when you see weight gain, because you know about water retention and the role it plays. You exercise not to burn fat but for mental clarity, when feeling motivated, by choice. You don’t experience any days where you think that all your hard work is in vain because you didn’t go to the gym. You have learnt how to balance your weight out for the week. All the steps have been building up to this point. You now have the knowledge to get to your intended destination; a place of balance and having control over your current weight. Keep Tracking Now, before we discuss any specific changes, I think it’s a good time to make the following suggestion: as you’re gaining control over your weight, I strongly recommend that you keep tracking. Having done so for several days, weeks or months now, or however long it took you to get to this part of the
book, the more you track, the more you build a habit around it. To illustrate the point, a recent six-month weight-loss trial study showed that those who tracked saw significantly better results than those who didn’t, even volunteers with a set diet plan. All of which goes to show that, psychologically, the simple act of tracking itself generates positive results even without everything you’ve learnt thus far. Still not sure? Then ask yourself this: how many lightbulb moments have I had when tracking my own intake? Do I feel like I had more control over my weight compared to when I wasn’t tracking? By tracking, you always have cold hard data to refer against your own eating habits, instead of letting your signals or feelings determine the outcome. But, Andrew, does this mean I have to track forever? Well, yes and no. Frankly, it’s up to you now. It’s all about accountability. How easy you want this to be for yourself, what standards you want to set. For example, Jack stopped tracking after a month. By then, he had made a few minor changes, as his eating patterns were pretty similar from week to week—two kids, just bought a house, worked six days a week, his wife had a fortnightly rotations of meals, and they went out once a month to eat—and he lost the weight he wanted to lose. He learned about his own food, achieved his goals, and was able to create new eating habits—he exchanged his cans of coke, cut out the unhealthy meals he didn’t even like, to ones with lower calories—and he stopped counting. Now that’s perfectly fine. But what if Jack’s situation changed? What if his wife introduced new dinner concepts and new foods into their life? Maybe they moved to a new town with new cafes? As a result, he began to notice that his weight had gone back up. At that point, he could start tracking again, to level up in knowledge if his results weren’t what he wanted them to be. Therefore, my suggestion is to keep tracking at least until you are at your desired weight goal. More Reasons to Keep to Tracking By now you know the LAW of weight-loss: in versus out. You know, unequivocally, without a doubt, that if you look at the numbers and they say that you’re okay and not gaining weight, even if the scales show something
different, or you feel like you’ve gained weight, that it’s a lie. Therefore, emotionally, you’ll always feel good and motivated about continuing your weight-loss journey. Because you always have something solid to refer back to: tracking. Remember that feelings will determine your thoughts and, ultimately, your motivation. For that reason, tracking becomes the most useful tool towards not taking yourself out of the game, psychologically. Especially when you’ve been tracking for a certain amount of time. Because this should be like second nature to you now. You should be able to do it easily and quickly throughout your day, as you’ve built a habit around it. Just like brushing your teeth twice a day. You don’t have to force yourself to do it; you don’t have to remind yourself; it just happens! Your teeth stay clean and you don’t have to worry about them. So: track your food every day. Then you’ll have control over your weight-loss without having to worry about it. It’s really that simple. Your pains of staying the same as you are now are present to you. You know your Why—your health, vitality, happiness, that movie trailer you played to yourself—and your tracking gives you the power to make changes in your favor at any time. In addition, you won’t let yourself get demotivated because of the way you’re feeling, because the numbers don’t lie. Even if you’ve started overeating consistently—tracking will naturally swing the equation back into the power of change. Imagine tracking every day if you’re consistently overeating. Your scales consistently go up. The pain of keeping going builds and builds, the shame builds and builds, the selfhatred builds and builds as you keep tracking…How long do you think you could last with all those painful feelings before naturally and effortlessly drawing a line in the sand and altering your intake back to normal, or back into a deficit? Not that long, right? Just by tracking you automatically and psychologically create a landscape where you will never ever let yourself go too much. Therefore, I’d like to encourage you to keep tracking for yourself until you reach your goals. For me, personally, it wasn’t until I started tracking permanently that I was able to gradually lose weight, without putting continual pressure on myself. For that reason, I recommend you do the same.
Like brushing your teeth to keep them clean: track your intake to keep control. If you track your intake, the control will take care of itself, because you’re going to be consciously eating. It’s when you start unconsciously eating and focusing on the wrong feelings that you risk falling off the wagon. In the next chapter, we’re going to discuss how to make changes to your intake, changes that cause minimal pain to the right side of the equation, so that the balance of The Equation of Change is always in your favor. This will keep you motivated without resorting to any discipline or Jedi mind-tricks. We are now going to make changes to help you drop your excess tank freely, at will. Take-Home Points KEEP Tracking Tracking is one of the most useful tools to ensure that you don’t get too far off track—psychologically it will help you to avoid you falling off the wagon Keep tracking at least until you achieve your weight-loss goals Just like brushing your teeth, this habit will become unconscious to you and seem much easier as time passes
CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT How to Make Changes to Your Intake Now, if you’re anything like me; someone who tried many different diet regimes, this is how you probably made changes to your diet: you read up on what you had to eat, changed your entire intake, and did exactly as the diet plan said, right? You’d literally remove all your comforts, change your habits, and throw them all out the window, replacing them with someone else’s knowledge of intake! As you no doubt understand by now, the spike in pain of changing like that is huge. Let me explain why. Firstly, we’re creatures of habit; we take the path of least resistance. Therefore, when we find something that we like or enjoy, we want to remain exactly the same. We’re used to it; we’re comfortable. Simple. When we change something, it’s new for our mind and body—we’re now in a vulnerable place. During times of change, the level of pain and discomfort is higher than when we’re doing what we’re used to doing. Agreed? So, as you can imagine, if you go ahead and replace all your old foods with new foods, in one foul swoop, you’re creating a massive amount of pain in relation to changing your current intake. Because it’s all so new. This is another big factor in why diets don’t really work and end up backfiring. You may be okay for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, because you use discipline and motivation to push through. But, as you’re now painfully aware, that only leads right back to where you started. What we have to understand is that there’s a natural pain increase when we change our habits. Therefore, we have to change one thing at a time, and slowly, so as not to have a drastic influx of pain. That way you’re managing your pain levels on the right side effectively, and keeping them as low as possible. How Those Changes are Made To illustrate the point, I’m going to use Jack as an example again. As you’ll recall, his end goal was to stop drinking coke with sugar. Why? He drank three cans a day containing 120 calories each, 360 calories in total. If
we could remove them, over the course of one week, he’d eliminate 2,520 calories from his diet. For the month: 10,080 calories, a drop of over 1kg of fat. Over the course of a year: 12kg. Just by this one simple change! Now imagine the difference over three to four years: a change of 3650kg. That alone would help anyone achieve their weight-loss goals. I’ve made this point again to show you that huge, lasting, permanent change can be made through relatively small alterations to your diet. You don’t have to make drastic or huge changes to get massive results. Get that idea out of your head, once and for all! But back to Jack now. He liked drinking coke; he liked the taste. If we took that away from him, he’d be robbed of something his taste-buds enjoyed. Eventually, the pain would rise until he’d fall off the wagon. The equation would flip back to demotivation, as the pain of not having coke would be larger than the pain of staying the same. Put simply: he’d be right back to square one. Therefore, we knew we had to keep his taste-buds happy. And this is how we did it: 1. We knew that because of the sugar content he was receiving two signals: one for the sugar craving from his head/mind (dopamine), and another for the taste. We knew that the sugar craving would go away after three days but that the taste factor would remain. For that reason, we had to find an alternative that still tasted good. Which we did: diet coke. 2. In addition, we had to change his habits, slowly, keeping the pain of changing to a minimum, reducing the sugar intake. Because craving, remember, will also create a level of pain. Not a large level of pain, but certainly a noticeable one. In the first couple of days, therefore, we cut him down from three cans to two. Then, when he felt comfortable, we brought that down by another can. So now he was only drinking one can a day. 3. We then prepared him for three days where he’d to go without
coke altogether, to reset his taste-buds and get rid of the sugar craving. This we planned around a weekend when he was going away, where he would be in a new environment. That way, it would be easier for him to refrain from doing what he usually did. And it worked: he dropped coke for three days. During that period, the sugar craving disappeared. He went back to work and replaced his old coke with diet coke. By this point, he didn’t mind the taste. After a few days, hey, presto, that taste became a habit for him. The change happened, permanently, with ease. And all the way through the experiment we managed his pain by keeping the change as minimal as possible! Can you see that? When making changes, focus on causing minimal pain for yourself. Remember: pain is perceived; real and individual to you. Whereas for somebody else it wouldn’t be painful to, for example, drop sugar. For those who like a certain food, it would be painful not to have it anymore. For others, not nearly as painful. So, the biggest thing is not to look at what other people are doing. The whole reason you’ve started analyzing your own data for yourself is to be able to see what your own pain points of change are: what isn’t so painful and what you’d be willing to change. Now, at this point, you might be thinking what I mean by pain. Well, forgoing our favorite meals would be a good example. We like these meals a lot; we have a lot of links to them. Or maybe I enjoy going out for dinks on a Friday night, and that’s a ritual because I get to catch up with my work buddies. If I had to replace that, it would also be painful to change, right? Making Changes: What Not to Do 1. Do not—under any circumstances—change your entire diet in one foul swoop or go on a new regime where you make heaps of changes all at once. 2. Don’t do anything drastic. I, myself, am very much an all or nothing kind of person. In the past, I made massive changes and experienced such yoyos as a result. So, if it’s a big change, it’s
probably best not to do it, or, alternatively, do it step-by-step. 3. Don’t touch your favorite meals. As mentioned above, if you love certain things, don’t touch them at first (or maybe even ever). Those meals have the most pain associated with changing. Naturally, you’ll be putting The Equation of Change in risk of not working. But, Andrew, what do I try change first? Here are two things I’d start with that commonly create the least associated pain on the right side of the equation:
Reduce Your Fat Intake The reason: because, as you now know, fat itself is tasteless. Therefore, your taste-buds aren’t really going to be affected. That being the case, I’d like you to look over your data to see where you have high-fat content products. If it’s a regular food try and change it, either by removing or minimizing the fat content. For example, choose a low-fat calorie dressing or sauce instead of a high-fat alternative. By low-fat, I don’t mean the one advertised as “low-fat”. I mean, look at the labels and see which ones are low-fat, as per how you were taught to read labels in an earlier chapter. We live in an age where there are lots of food choices out there, and you may have not noticed them all before because you weren’t paying attention to them and reading the labels. But if look out for them now, you’ll be astounded by the options available. Fat is an easy example because it provides a lot of calories for no real taste. Therefore, it’s easy to drop because the pain associated will be minimal. Be Aware of Your Unconscious Calories I call them unconscious calories because they’re calories that you eat without really thinking about them. You eat them just because they’re there; or because its routine. But you don’t have a great attachment towards them. It’s not foods or meals that we generally look forward too. Let me give you an example: most people have a set work meal, a lunch not linked to a lot pleasure or a special occasion: whatever food. Years ago, my dad changed his habit of eating sandwiches with lots of deli meats and cheese for lunch, replacing them with cans of tuna with greens. At the time, this change made a huge difference to him. But it did require a great deal of initial pain while he altered his habits. Therefore, I’d classify it as a big change. Remember: smaller changes always work best. Nevertheless, as a result, he was able to
reduce his calorie intake for five days of his week. However, his tuna cans became unconscious kinds of meals he would routinely have without much thought or pleasure. Just a standard routine lunch, just to tie him over, nothing he looked forward too. When I looked into this for him, I discovered that the tuna can had chili oil in it. He liked it because he liked spicy food. But when we looked closer, we saw that they had a high-fat content due to the oil—in fact, almost 200300 calories worth of oil, per can. Therefore, his two cans were giving him a whopping extra 600 calories (unconscious calories) that he didn’t even care about! Over 3,000 calories that he wasn’t even getting any perceived pleasure from—nearly 1lb of fat, the equivalent of forty shots of bourbon or fifteen ice creams! Please, take a moment to picture that your head. Picture forty shots of bourbon lined up on a counter in a bar! Or fifteen ice creams, side by side! These are the kinds of huge differences you can make by relatively small yet informed changes to your diet. Incredible, right? But back to the tuna now. Unsurprisingly, we made a change; we got him a different tuna in spring water, with none of the oil in it. We then went chili sauce hunting and got him his favorite-tasting chili sauce, which was even better than his previous choice, as he enjoyed the taste better. Added bonus: the sauce only added an extra 20 calories per can. Therefore, he went from 600 unconscious calories to only 40 conscious, delicious-tasting calories! In the process, he started enjoying his meals more. So again, we actually increased his pleasure and removed almost 1lb of fat in terms of calorie reduction per week in the process. How good is that! Imagine if you could lose between 1 ½ -2 kilos a month from something you are unconsciously eating and increase the pleasure of your food. You’d lose between 20-25 kilos in one year! That’s the power you now have in your hands regarding your unconscious calories. Unconscious calories are the best because often they involve only a small change to your habits. But over time, this actually equates to a much bigger change, because you don’t actually feel like you’re missing out on anything.
They don’t increase the pain. If you’re lucky enough to switch to something you actually like, it turns into not only conscious, pleasurable calories but less calories as well. You’ve hit a home run! You’ve managed to decrease the calories and at the same time increase the pleasure of your food. Please recognize that this is possible for YOU too now. You can make any changes you want. After all, this is your life, your decisions; it’s you who are in control of your weight. Feel free to play around with things. There are no rules—because rules increase pain. Eating when you’re hungry is a life pleasure. Be sure to enjoy it. There are thousands of diet tricks out there, food replacements can be found lurking around everywhere. I could write a whole separate series of books about the tools and trick you could use. But frankly it’s up to you to make the changes that work for yourself. Keep tracking. Keep discovering new things. By now you’ve seen where your calorie-dense foods are, which foods you like and which foods you don’t associate much pleasure with, but do contain lots of calories. Already you’ve had a wide range of lightbulb moments. The information you’ve compiled about your intake is specific to you. Your pains are real to you. Therefore, make individual changes for yourself that work for you. You don’t have to be like Jack or Tracey or your next-door-neighbor or the fitness model marketing the next whiz-bang-flash diet. This is your own body, your own mind. Change is something super individual to you. It’s the only way to keep The Equation of Change working in your favor. Your main task is to keep the pain of changing minimal. That’s the only real job you have to do. If you make changes that create minimal pain, you’ll keep the equation working in your favor. You will shrink the size of your spare tank, day by day, week by week. As we said before, Rome wasn’t built in a day. No matter how long it takes—one year, two years et cetera. You will literally create a brand-new look for yourself, a brand-new sense of health, vitality, well-being. Be patient. Be bold. Listen to your own mind and what it tells you in terms of your changes. Take-Home-Points When making changes ensure that you’re causing the least pain possible—absolute rule number one Don’t listen to other people’s changes—just because it worked
for somebody else doesn’t mean it will work for you; everyone’s equation of change pains are different The easiest changes to make are minimizing your fat intake and making changes to your unconscious calories—foods that you repeatedly eat but aren’t really associated with any pleasure towards the excess calories Be sure to make changes gradually and slowly, in order to minimize the pain of changing habits, to make them stick and to make them long-term Remember: a small daily change to something you eat often, over the course of a month or a year, can make a massive difference to your weight
CHAPTER TWENTY NINE At this point, you’re more than equipped to start making changes for yourself. You know all the information. You understand the concepts. Now it’s all about taking the leap and applying it—making those changes, trusting in yourself, knowing that you’re not the same person who started reading this book. From here on out, all changes will go through The Equation of Change filter in your head. You know that the changes have to cause minimal pain. You are now someone well on the way to mastering The Psychology of Weight-Loss. The rest of the hardwiring to actually start building, and continuing to build, will occur naturally as you make changes and start seeing the results for yourself. Tools to Help Make Changes to Your Intake Listed below are a series of tools. When I say tools, I mean practical, usable advice (from someone who’s tried every tool and diet under the sun!). These easy-to-follow techniques will assist in balancing out your weekly food intake and help you lose weight with control, freedom and ease. Not all of the tools here will relate to you, or be viable, for that matter. The reason: I don’t know you specifically. I don’t know what your pain points are, your favorite meals, and what you’re dealing with on a personal level. The tools I’ve selected will address a wide variety of pain points. Hopefully some will resonate and help to get you started on your journey. But remember, they’re only to be used if they don’t cause a lot of pain. Regardless of a tool’s effectiveness in reducing your calorie expenditure, it won’t work if you experience a high level of associated pain. Because it will throw the equation out of balance, and you’ll drop the change completely. Keep that in the back of your mind as you go through each tool. Ask yourself: If I did this would I be okay, or would I be miserable? Would this tool work for me? More specifically, if you think, Oh, that’s for me, that’s sounds easy to do, then maybe it’s a good one to try first. If it doesn’t cause you pain—great. Keep it as a tool. But if it causes you pain, throw it away; it’s not for you. I hope you’re catching a trend here: all this stuff is very specific to you. In time, you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t. You know yourself better than anybody; no one can tell you what to do in regards to having full,
lasting control of your weight forever. Tool #1 If you find yourself having a high-sugar intake, this may cause more craving signals, which you might confuse for hunger, making you want to consume more. The tool I would suggest for this: Find Sugar Alternative Foods for Some of Your Foods. It’s very easy to find the sugar content on any given product—just read the nutritional label on the back. Or Google your favourite high-sugar product’s sugar-free alternatives for a wide range of results. Try them and see if you enjoy the taste. With sugar, it’s best to slowly and gradually reduce your intake. The more you reduce it, the lower the cravings. Alternatively, you can replace the item with a fruit which still provides sugar. But because of the fiber content, there will be a lower insulin spike, dulling the dopamine response. Hence your hunger signals will be more controllable. On a personal level, I sometimes mix things up—one day sugar, one day no sugar. Like a reward system. In that way, the less sugar I have, the lower my cravings become. I then spread them out to one day sugar, two days no sugar. As I get more and more comfortable with the change, I move to having sugar only on special occasions, a weekend, or a monthly date night. With sugar intake, the more changes I make the more my cravings drop. The important thing to remember: take things slow to keep the pain of sugar cravings low. Tool #2 If you find yourself eating lots on the weekend or a certain day, well over your calorie intake, (because you’re tracking) plan ahead for these days. Either drop your calorie intake for a few days beforehand or a few days afterwards—or ideally, both. That way, you can still enjoy your weekends, and not feel guilty for overeating on those days. Alternatively, you’ll generally find that you’re either having big breakfasts or lunches or dinners. Choose one of the meals on those particular days, and replace it with something low-calorie instead. You’ll fully enjoy the meal to come, knowing that it will be large, and you’ll be hungrier when it arrives, thus increasing the pleasure but still lowering the calories for the day.
This is another one of my favorite tools. For example, if I knew that I had a dinner coming up tomorrow, I would purposely eat limited calories the day before and on the morning and lunch of the dinner itself. By the time the dinner came I was hungry, salivating, and the food tasted three times as good. As a result, I didn’t feel guilty about the dinner because I created a deficit over the past two days to account for the calories I was going to have. And the added bonus was that my special occasion dinner got to be that much better because my natural hunger signals were through the roof! Tool #3 If you find yourself always having conscious calories, that you enjoy your intake but don’t know how to reduce or drop your calorie count, I would suggest the following. Allocate one or two days a week, days with no special engagements for you, and make them low-calorie days, something like— 1,200-1,300 for men or 800-900 for women, or lower if you feel comfortable. That way, you create a large deficit for those days and the other days can remain untouched. Therefore, you’ll still end up in a deficit for the end of the week. I would suggest this to everyone. As low-calorie days will make you hungrier. By having those days, you will have more energy and vitality anyway, because you regain back hunger and your natural taste and smell for food. Personally, I use this tool on weeks when I have several dinners arranged. I know that there will be many treats/snacks or what have you during this period. Therefore, I’ll set aside two days where I have no engagements as my low-calorie days. These weeks don’t always necessarily end up in a deficit for me. But at least I’ll definitely balance out by the end of the week. A balanced week—where I don’t lose or gain anything—is still a massive win. In trying to lose your spare tank comes natural pain, a pain of hunger. Often you don’t want a week blighted with those little hunger pains. Therefore, you can have a balanced week or two, on the road to your goals. Remember, balancing out your intake for the week is one of the best things you can learn to do for yourself. It means that any weight you do lose you’ll be able to keep off. It means you’re always moving closer to your ideal you, and not yoyoing back and forth, and experiencing the shame spiral in your mind. Tool #4 If you find yourself overeating on a daily basis and don’t know how to
introduce your changes, I would suggest you start skipping your least favorite meal for the day, i.e. breakfast/lunch/dinner. Or replacing it with a lowcalorie alternative, just to tide you over. That way, you can easily introduce a habit which reduces your daily intake. For example, if you always have a 600 calorie breakfast, change to 100 calories, or vice versa. Remember to choose your least favorite meal; the one you don’t have any emotional connection with in order to keep the pain low. For me, this tool was quite important, especially at the start of my journey to self-control. For I experienced a lot of resistance in making changes. Through my tracking, I analyzed my days, I knew the dinners I loved and that there was no way I was going to cut them out, and the lunches that kind of made my work day more enjoyable. The least painful change for me to make was to my breakfasts. At the time, my breakfast consisted of an egg and bacon sandwich with cheese and a coffee with milk. Because I was tracking, I found out that my breakfast contained 600 calories. So I removed the milk from the coffee and changed the sandwich for a banana. I was still able to have lasting energy, and cutting out milk only took a couple of days to get used to. That’s how I saved 500 calories from my mornings. That equates to more than half a kilo a week, close to 24kg over the year. Remember, what may seem like a small change at the start, can make a massive impact over the long-term. Tool #5 For those that feel that change is almost impossible, or don’t know where to start, leave two days a week as specifically low-fat days. Aim for under 20 grams of fat for an entire day. I suggest this because it will have no impact on your taste-buds, but, depending on your intake, can reduce your calories, thus creating quite a large deficit. If you reduced your fat from 100 grams to 20, you’d be saving 80 grams. In a week that would equate to a saving of 1,500 calories. May not sound much, but that’s close to 200 grams of fat, nearly a kilo a month. Just in those two days alone! What I’m trying to explain here, is that no matter where you are on your journey, there are many change options open to you. They don’t need to be big to have a large impact. Any small change that becomes part of your routine, a part of your daily or weekly habits can make a massive, lasting change over a long time period.
Tool #6 If you’re finding yourself not feeling full a lot of the time, increase your protein intake. It’s an easy way to keep your stomach feeling full as protein takes a while to process (as discussed in a previous chapter). Increasing that over the course of the day may make a big difference. When I had a high sugar and carbohydrate diet, I found myself eating and then literally being hungry again within an hour. Even though I was ingesting a lot of calories. To counter this, I found foods that contained at least 20-30 grams of protein with every meal. This allowed me to stay full for much longer, and also gradually and naturally reduced my overall intake because I wasn’t feeling empty or hungry as much. Tool #7 This is actually one of my favorites, because I always had a problem with big meals. When I tried to lose weight all my alternative meals were invariably small. To help with this, I had a bowl of green vegetables with my food—green leaves, and if you haven’t tracked them already, you’ll find that they pretty much have no calories in them. A whole bowl of say, spinach, a half a kilo, would add hardly any calories but would take up a lot of volume in my stomach. For me, this was a great tool. Hopefully, it could be useful for you, too—if you’re okay with green vegetables and have a problem with craving large meals. It’s a good way to increase the size of your meal without increasing the calorie intake that much. In fact, you’ll find there are other vegetables as well, that add minimal calories but provide a large volume of food. When I used to work in an office, people would laugh at me, because I would eat my lunches out of a massive salad bowl. They would always look at me and say, how can you eat so much? But my lunch only contained half a bag of spinach—which only equated to 10-20 calories—a can of tuna and some other bits and pieces. So even though it looked like a massive lunch— and volume-wise it definitely filled me up—it only contained 200-300 calories. Whereas my co-workers would have a burger and a drink (which looked tiny compared to my meal) that would be well over 900 calories. This tool worked wonders for me when I really struggled with reducing my overall “volume” of food. Another very useful tool. Like I said, there are countless diets, tools, tricks and theories out there—
we could literally go on forever. To a certain degree, they can all be effective. But the important thing is results, the weight-loss LAW—in versus In out—if you eat less than you expend you will lose weight. But when you find a tool that you like and that works for you by reducing your intake, while causing minimal pain—keep it in your arsenal. From here on out, you should look at things from this perspective: if I try out that regime or that tool, will it cause minimal pain to my changes? If the answer is yes, try it out. If you think it’s too much pain, then don’t. Because it probably won’t work and will swing the equation out of whack. Striking the Essential Balance What you have just learnt will help you achieve all your weight-loss goals. For you have now fully levelled up your knowledge and acquired both technical and practical know-how towards controlling your weight for the rest of your life. You understand both sides of the equation. You know that for any lasting change to occur the pain of change must outweigh the change of staying the same. You’ve played the little movie trailer out in your head. You’ve looked into the future and know that now is the time to make lasting change in your life. You now know how to track and monitor your intake. You are now recording your calories. You have control. With confidence, you can now pick up an item in the supermarket, read the nutritional label, and understand exactly what you’re putting into your body. In practical terms, you know what to look out for if you experience any small setbacks along the way. You know all about water retention, and how it can mess with both the numbers on the scales and how you perceive your own progress. Most importantly, you are now far more aware of how your body works, functions. You know that weight-loss really is a case of in versus out. You know that exercise, whilst a positive factor in anyone’s life, won’t solve all your weight-loss problems. Take-Home-Points You’re not the same person who started this book There are thousands of tools out there to use—remember, as long
as they cause minimal pain for you specifically, then they’re a good thing to have in your arsenal In terms of intake, the best way forward is to balance your weeks out first Once you achieve this balance, start incorporating individual changes to further reduce your intake to ensure that you are in a deficit by the end of the week Focus on small changes to your unconscious calories—if you could lose half a kilo a week, that would be 20-25kg over a year —more than enough to help you reach your goals By not yoyoing (because you have balance to your week), every lost pound or kilo will stay with you and bring you closer to your goals—which will keep the equation always working in favor of natural change and keep motivation, satisfaction, confidence high the whole way through your journey
CHAPTER THIRTY Now we’re coming to the end of the book, it’s important to highlight the one thing that really takes people out of the game: patience. Look, the reality is, wherever you are with your weight at the moment, it’s okay. But understand that things don’t happen overnight. For many people, it took years to get to the level they’re at now. If you want results fast, if you want everything to change in a matter of weeks or months, it simply won’t happen. You’ll be disappointed. You’ll be using force. And you WILL be more miserable than ever before. Your weight will keep yoyoing for the rest of your life, until your discipline wanes and you ultimately give up. Be Careful with Rapid Change Here’s something else that often doesn’t get talked about: when you do lose your spare tank, gradually your life changes; people’s perception of you changes; your health, physicality, vitality changes; how you view yourself changes; how the world interacts with you changes; how people listen to you changes, your desires, physical abilities change; your dreams, wants and aspirations change. And, as we’ve touched on many times before, the impact that your consumption has on your body and mind, that change is immeasurable, too. Therefore, if you make a rapid change, you experience a rapid change in everything else around you. And with rapid changes comes a whole new outlook on life that can be quite taxing, mentally. Sometimes this process is so rapid, and the experience so new, your mind doesn’t have time to fully adjust. So be patient. There’s is no rush. As long as you’re moving in the direction of a new and improved you, enjoy the process. Embrace Change Slowly There’s much truth in the saying: we’re afraid of success—especially in regards to weight-loss. By changing our habits slowly, by changing your body slowly, you will slowly ease into a new and better version of yourself. It will allow you to revisit your pains and keep them front of mind throughout. So take your time. On every step of your journey get present to your new and improved body. How do you feel? How do you look? How does it feel to be much more mobile? How do other people talk to you? How does the world interact with the new 10kg lighter you? You may think this sounds like a big statement—saying that your whole
life will change. But’s here’s the thing that you’ll soon get for yourself. The world interacts with you from their own perception of you. The healthier you look, the more energy you have, the more vibrancy, the higher your energy vibration, the more people around you will perceive you differently. On an instinctual level we gravitate to people with higher energy, physical ability, all-round healthier people. When people perceive you differently, they’ll interact with you in ways that you’ve never experienced before. Opportunities will present themselves that weren’t previously on your radar. You will find yourself taking on things that you never thought possible, or shied away from. All of which will form new beliefs, new events, new learning, a whole new way of life. Be grateful for every step along the way. Embrace these new experiences as you get closer and closer to your goal weight. The positive things that await you genuinely fill me with excitement. For I’ve watched the whole world change around me, too, and now my life is completely different to how it would’ve been if I’d made no changes at all. You are embarking on the same journey, and if only you could see what opportunities will start to open up for you, you truly would be ecstatic also. Remember: that a lapse one day, two days, two weeks is never going to ruin all your hard work. If you catch yourself slipping and overeating, you know now what to do: refer back to The Equation of Change. Reread, remind yourself of the impact of staying the same way for the rest of your life. Get right back on track. Keep moving towards your goals. Change is PAINFUL. There’s no way around it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect every time. It’s when we think that all hope is lost by not being perfect, that we completely take ourselves out of the game, experience shame and yoyo back to where we started from. Again, I urge you to be patient with yourself, be loving with yourself. You now have all the knowledge to get to wherever you want to be. Trust in The Equation of Change By using the equation and balancing it out in your favor you can always impact the natural instinctual motivation to change. If you feel a lack of motivation, focus on the pain of staying the same way you are now. Focus on the impact that will have over your life for the next five to ten years, or even longer. This will instantly boost your natural motivation and re-presence you as to why you’re doing what you’re doing.
On the Right Side Tracking Tracking your intake will give you control, allowing you to consume consciously, and avoid any mental hang-ups or struggles in thinking that you aren’t progressing. Tracking time and time again has been scientifically proven to produce better weight-loss results. The psychological state that it creates for your mind, now combined with your new found knowledge will be more than enough to help you achieve your goals. Think in WEEKS Again, one day, two days is never enough to ruin all your hard work. By thinking weekly, you remove the daily pressure placed on individual meals. It will keep you motivated and confident in achieving your goals. In addition, it will keep the right side of the equation’s perceived pain of changing low, as you’ll never think “all is lost” just because of one or two bad meals. Be kind to yourself. Focus on Your Own Eating You know what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise, no matter how lean or skinny or fit they are. Your current pains of changing are true to you—you must work with what you have. As time goes on, what may have been a painful change before, becomes less painful because you’re not the same person that started out on this journey. Always revisit new ideas, new tools. There are no rules regarding when you can use something or when you can do something or when you can’t. It’s all based on whether it’s painful for you now. If it’s not painful then use it. As you get better with tracking start planning your weeks in advance. That way, you get to look forward to your higher calorie meals. You’re able to foresee what your week looks like in advance, by removing the stress of balancing out your equation or keeping in a deficit, because you’ve preplanned your intake. Remember: the scales lie. Because they include water retention. In real terms, now that you know and are tracking this, you’ll never feel bad again or feel as if you’re going backwards. Be patient. Trust that within just a few days of getting back to normal, or undereating slightly, you’ll drop that extra water easily, as you know it’s not fat gain.
Tracking—Your Go-To Tool I know I’ve hammered this point time and again, but it’s so, so important! Tracking should be like the foundations of a house; a hard concrete base on which you can build so your house will never fall down. If you don’t track, your weight-loss journey will be like building a house on a pile of dirt. One big rainfall and the house will collapse. Your efforts will all be in vain. Use tracking as your concrete base. It will serve you well, psychologically, and positive results will be proven time and time again. The journey of changing your reality, dealing with all your pains and having them slowly disappear will have a massive impact on your life. It’s no easy thing to take yourself on in this way. Be kind to yourself. Inspire others around you; take them under your wing. Be the best version of yourself you can be. For me, my weight-loss journey changed my life. What I’m able to do now as opposed to before, how I see myself, my thoughts, values, are radically different. The opportunities I’m now presented with are limitless. But more than anything, the very best thing I have gained is the ability to pass my message on to you. So I’m grateful for you taking the time to read or listen to this book. You invited me into your life to take on some of your darkest fears, your real pains, your lifelong worries. I don’t take this responsibility lightly. Thank you for your openness. Thank you for your willingness. Thank you for believing in yourself when I know, in the face of so many failed attempts to change in the past, it was such a hard thing to do. Thank you for letting me into your life. Thank you for letting me help make so many positive life changes for you. From the bottom of my heart, know that you matter. You’re important. Your world is now full of limitless opportunities. No matter where you started from. Get in Touch, Stay in Touch: The Website is Always There for You As mentioned before, inspiring people to make positive changes is my whole life. Myself and my team are always available via our website should you have any questions or concerns. I’m here to help build a better you. In turn, you get to build a better community around you. You can do this. The hardest part is making a start. If you’ve made it this far you already
have. Be sure to continue on your journey. You now have control over you weight, always. It’s in your power. Go out and live the best life you can. Be the star of your own blockbuster movie. You are important. You are worth it. Much love Always Andrew Vashevnik