One of the reasons why we indulge and/or overeat is because we’re stressed. Stress can make us go against our best intentions.
When we fall into the habit of overeating and/or eating junk when we’re stressed, it gets easier to repeat that behavior.
When our brain is under stress there is a vicious cycle that gets created. In a study of chronically stressed rats the brains atrophied in the areas of decision making, while becoming overly developed in the area of habit formation.
This might explain why when we’re under stress we abandon all that we know we ‘should do’, and all that we consciously want to do, and fall back into old habits.
However, scientists note that behaviors can stick more quickly in stressed animals than in the controls.
Although stress is a killer and can lead to many diseases it’s also necessary for us to survive.
Fortunately (I think), we no longer stress about what our ancestors did. We stress about very different things.
And even if we’re stressed out because our boss is yelling, or a client is being impossible, or our kids are being disrespectful, or we have a million things to do at home and work, or there’s traffic and we’re running late —-> if we feel stressed, we’re stressed.
Perception is reality!
So, what do we do??
Well, there is a big opportunity for us to change…
IF (caps for emphasis) we plan ahead what we’ll do before we’re stressed.
If we do that, it’ll increase the likelihood that we’ll do it next time we’re stressed. Lucky for us (because we’re stressed) our new behavior will become a habit more quickly as well.
Our biggest opportunities for growth are always when we’re most uncomfortable.
Here are six ideas for you to use next time you’re stressed:
1. Listen to your favorite music.
2. Gather a few favorite emails or YouTube videos and read and/or watch the videos when you’re stressed. Be sure to save them all in one place so they’re easy to get to.
3. Get up. Take a big deep breath and go for a three minute walk.
4. Read a juicy gossip blog that might make you feel otherwise guilty for doing so. (We’ll feel way less guilty reading than eating!)
5. Look at pictures.
6. Text your tutor.
Pick one and try it next time you feel stressed.
Though it might be feel uncomfortable at first (doing anything different, especially when we’re stressed, will feel uncomfortable), if we do it the next time we’re stressed, it’ll be a tad easier to do it again…and again and again.
If we look at our next stressful situation as an opportunity to create new habits (and it truly is), it’ll feel less daunting and more empowering.
If you don’t like any of the ideas above it’s worth thinking of other ways we can calm ourselves down. The key, of course, is to think about what we’re going to do…before we get stressed.
And soon enough…when we feel stressed, we’ll reach for something else.
I read an interesting article about NBA player, Mike Miller.
Don’t worry! If you don’t like basketball this is still applicable to you.
It was about how the only way to win an NBA Championship is to sacrifice. (He’s won twice.) And after hearing so many of the players and coaches on the Golden State Warriors – the 2015 NBA Champions – talk about sacrifice after they won, I wanted to share some take-aways with you.
In the article, he was quoted as saying, “The only way to win an NBA Championship is to sacrifice.”
“Individuals must sacrifice their own game for the collective benefit of the team. That means they might not play as much, score as many points and their stats won’t be as high as they could be.”
Here’s the interesting part to me: He said, “Everyone wants to win an NBA Championship but not everyone is willing to sacrifice in order to win one.”
Everyone knows they need to sacrifice for the collective benefit of the team but they don’t want to do it.
“Most players don’t want to sacrifice because there’s no guarantee of winning.”
Ha! If only.
Of course that’s not possible. What is guaranteed is that most teams won’t win a championship because so many players are unwilling to make sacrifices.
(This is why you often hear about cultures of the winningest NBA franchises. You hear how certain players might do better in that kind of culture. A big part of that is the idea of sacrificing for the team. Easier said that done. The past 32 championships have been shared among only 9 franchises!)
Now, when it comes to our fitness sacrifices are a key ingredient…
First off, the word sacrifice is often misunderstood.
Many people think it means to give something up. They think of depriving themselves of something.
What sacrifice really means is giving up something of lower value in the present to get something of a higher value in the future.
Too often we only focus on what we’re giving up vs what we’re gaining. We’re focusing on the broken eggs vs the beautiful omelets that are being made.
Thinking about sacrifices in a different way can help tremendously. You’re not missing out, you’re gaining. Just maybe not this second.
When it comes to our health and fitness making sacrifices, among other things, does guarantee success.
The biggest misconception is that if you have to sacrifice all of your favorite foods in order to get the body you want. Ugh. Absolutely not!
[Tara didn't...Doug didn't...Megan didn't...Shannon didn't, and countless others didn't. Never indulging is not sustainable. It's also miserable. The goal is to be fit and happy, not fit and miserable. There's a big difference between enjoying your favorite meal vs eating a package of chips because you're stressed.]
Or that you have to sacrifice the whole meal in order for it to be worthwhile…
Every sacrifice does count, no matter how big or small:
-Let’s say you’re about to eat a whole pint of ice cream. Leaving even a few bites counts.
-Let’s say you don’t feel like exercising at all. Going for a 5 minute walk counts.
-Let’s say you usually eat 3 slices of pizza. Instead you have 2. That counts.
-Let’s say you usually take the elevator but take the stairs instead. That counts.
-Let’s say you usually have a whole cookie. Having half counts.
-Let’s say you usually order too much food. Ordering one thing less counts.
Too often we think, “Well, I already indulged so why bother?” or, “I’m going to indulge so why bother at all?”
One is better than two. Two is better than three. And every sacrifice we make counts.
Unfortunately (or fortunately – however, you want to look at it) our body is the most accurate score board in the world. It never lies. You can think you’re fooling others but just remember: what you eat in private, you wear in public. (This is why accountability is so powerful because lying to yourself (and us) is an awful feeling.)
The take-away: Don’t underestimate the power of ANY sacrifice. No sacrifice is too small. Every little bit helps. Something > nothing.
And the best part?
The pay off is…guaranteed.
P.S. Quick story. Sorta. When I graduated college in 2005, I moved to New York City. Me and my friend lived in an apartment together. After a year or so he moved out so he could move in with his girlfriend. At that point, all of my friends had roommates and/or were happy with their living situation. Ughhhh. So what did I do?
I found a roommate on Craigs list. I was not happy about this. While I vetted him as much as I possibly could I still didn’t know. I had all sorts of thoughts. What if he is crazy? What if I wake up in the middle of the night and he’s standing over me. What if….? I came up with every ‘what if’ scenario possible. There were no guarantees.
I would’ve paid anything for someone to guarantee me it would be all good. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist. I had no choice. I had to take a leap of faith based on my gut…
There’s too many programs out there that require you to take a leap of faith. Not us. Since day one in February of 2007, I’ve been offering a 100% guarantee. That means you can try my program for a full month. If you’re not happy with the progress/results we’re making, ask for your money back.
There’s a reason we have all the testimonials we do. There’s a reason we have all the success stories we do. There’s a reason we’ve been featured in the press so much. There’s a reason we’ve been featured in books. MBT works!
I offer a 100% money guarantee because I know that if you trust us and the process, results are guaranteed. It’s not a question of if you get the body you want. It’s truly a question of when. It’s amazing to me how much money people spend on all sorts of stuff like diet books, fad equipment, diet pills, and the like – yet never budge an itch. Unlike winning an NBA Championship, MBT is guaranteed to help you or your money back – without as many sacrifices as you might think. What are you waiting for? Join now.
Many of you have told me that it’s very hard to pass up free food…
That there is FREE FREAKIN’ FOOD EVERYWHERE at the office, etc. Ahhh!
I know how hard it is when there is Free Freakin’ Food Everywhere – here in after referred to as “FFFE”.
Want to know the hardest word in the world to resist?
Wait for it…FREE!
We love free. We can’t get enough of it. Give someone a free piece of junk, and they’ll take it. Actually, they’ll wait in line for it!
Give someone free food, and not only will they wait in line for it but they’ll get their friends, and they’ll all wait in line TOGETHER!
First, let’s explore why we have such a hard time resisting free food (which is usually sugary/salty/fatty food).
We’re hard-wired to like sweets. Give a baby something sweet, and they’ll like it more than something unsweetened. This has been proven. (I’ve also noticed my son, Zachary, prefers fruit over things like broccoli.)
Now give anyone a combo of sugar, salt and fat and that becomes irresistible. And I mean that in every sense of the word.
Our brain loses its ability to regulate itself when we eat a combo of sugar, salt and fat. As humans we’re programmed to focus on the most ‘rewarding’ stimuli – because back in the day – - we actually had to worry about surviving.
BUT the combo of sugar, salt and fat (pick anyone of your favorite unhealthy tasting foods and snacks) has a pull on us. It overrides our brain’s natural ability to regulate itself.
There in lies the true problem.
Give me a bowl of broccoli and I’ll feel satiated.
Give me a bowl of cookies and I can keep eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them and eating them (you think I’m kidding?) – no matter how much I already ate!
We lose our ability to feel full when we eat irresistible foods.
If you put a plate of cookies in front of me, it’s going to be very hard for me to focus on anything else.
Well our dopamine (chemicals that make us feel good) levels are rising in anticipation of the reward. We can’t stop thinking about it…or can we?
Our brain works like that, unfortunately.
Now, without having to pay for it – which is an act that makes us STOP and think, “Wait, do I really want this?” we lose that precious time to pause.
There is nothing in our way. The floodgates are open!
So, besides me telling you the obvious to avoid situations where there is free food, we CAN fight back, and have a game plan.
In fact, having a game plan is the most important strategy.
Many times, we’re either going to a party, or a work event or some sort of planned function or even the kitchen at work – that we can prepare for. The key is to mentally prepare for it.
For example, if we’re going to our friends house who makes the best xyz – let’s decide before we go how many we will have – if we decide it’s really worth it. Mentally rehearsing what we’re going to do before we go is a great strategy. Because when we mentally rehearse, we’re thinking with our long term, rational mind.
When we’re tempted we’re thinking with our short term, irrational mind. In fact, that is my definition of a temptation — anything that makes us think irrationally.
Whether it’s picturing the ball going in the hoop before we shoot a basketball, or envisioning what we’ll order and eat, it helps a lot.
But what happens if out of nowhere there’s just FFFE?!?!
In this case, do not teeter. Do not waver. If someone put a plate of xyz in front of us right now choose immediately.
“No! I don’t want this. It’s not going to make me feel good. It won’t make me look better or feel better.”
“If I eat this now, I won’t feel good about myself later and tomorrow!”
But the second we start to entertain the idea, “Hmmm…well maybe if I have just one….” we’re going to lose. Never negotiate with yourself.
It can’t be a negotiation. It has to be a quick decision.
“Nope! Not for me!” “It’s not a part of my plan!” Next thought…
If we’re watching TV with a little kid and a commercial comes on that’s really disturbing – what would we do?
Quick! Change the channel!
We can do the same. Think about something else. Talk about something else. Snap a rubber band on your wrist. Text or email your Tutor.
Remember: change that channel.
But here’s my favorite question I ask myself (yes, I ask myself lots of questions because questions are the best way to see things in a different light, and that’s the whole point) when there’s FFFE: “If this weren’t free, would I pay for it?”
And 99 times out of 100, I wouldn’t. And by asking myself that question, I’m able to pause looooong enough to quiet my short term, irrational mind.
“I always feel hungry,” many of you tell me. In this post, we’ll address why you always feel hungry and what to do about it.
Let’s get to it…
First off, let’s ask ourselves this question while we’re thinking rationally: Is it possible to be hungry all the time?
Rationally, we know that it’s not possible to be hungry all the time. So what gives?
Well, most of the time it’s emotional hunger.
Real/physical hunger comes on gradually. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. Real hunger can be satisfied with any food. Yes, that’s right – if an apple doesn’t satisfy our hunger – or if it doesn’t seem appealing, we’re not truly physically hungry.
Emotional hunger comes with a craving for a specific food. And, unfortunately, it’s usually not for apples. You know those times when you eat snack after snack and nothing seems to be hitting the spot? That’s because we’re not physically hungry. We’re emotionally hungry.
We’re hungry for something else…
When we get “hungry” it’s worth asking ourselves a few questions:
1. How long has it been since I’ve eaten?
2. What am I really hungry for?
3. Is anything bothering me?
4. If I had a magic ‘EASY’ button (remember those commercials?) to help me with what I’m dealing with right now what would I use it for?
Perhaps, what we’re really hungry for is affection, assistance, rest, excitement, peace of mind…
Is it possible to have the need met by someone? How about by yourself?
Here’s the challenge: Many times we feel like our needs can’t or won’t get met – so food becomes our escape.
When we’re “hungry” that is a need we feel like we can actually control.
Sometimes, it can be very helpful to explore what it feels like to have the need go unmet by simply writing about it. Many clients have reported that this eases the discomfort tremendously.
This is also how we can find out what we might really want for ourselves because typically we’d shovel food into our mouth so we don’t have to experience or face the feelings.
Because when we’re not suppressing feelings, they’ll come to the surface, and we’ll be able to see what it is we really want.
Food is only love when it is used to feed our true physical hunger and we actually enjoy and relish and savor the experience. Otherwise, we’re using food to cover up feelings.
Feelings that are preventing us from becoming the person we really want to be.
How do you like them apples?
P.S. Helping people overcome emotional, mindless, stress and habitual eating is what we do. Too many people go on what I call a ‘food diet’. The only thing they’re changing is the food they’re eating. If the only thing you’re changing is the food you’re eating, you’re not going to keep off the weight you lose.
It’s critical that you change your relationship with food and the way you think and react to food. Learn more about how and why we get the results do by clicking here. Check out some of our success stories here.
Ahhhh, Monday…June 1st. Clean slate!
New week, new month…
You know what that means, right?
Last week many of you were saying things to yourself like:
“I’ll eat whatever I want for the rest of the week and I’ll start fresh next month.”
“On Monday I’m going to start eating better and exercising consistently!”
“Okay, starting next month I’m REALLY going to get my butt in gear.”
“No more playing around. This time will be it!”
And on and on and on….
How many times have you gone through this? How many times have you said things like this to yourself?
If the only thing changing is the date, you’re not going to change for the long term.
If the only thing changing is the date, you’re relying on two things:
1) Motivation and 2) Willpower
Both are extremely fleeting. Counting on motivation and willpower to help you reach your goals is truly wishing for a better body and improved health/fitness. As the saying goes: Wish in one hand, sh*t in the other. See which one fills up first.
Case in point: Think about all the diets and programs you’ve done in the past. Did they get easier or harder with time?
Most programs only get harder with time.
You “white knuckle” it and try as hard as you possibly can to “be good” until you just can’t do it anymore and you revert right back to your old self. Ugh.
A great program gets easier and easier with time. I’ll explain in a bit but for now – I want to share a quick and powerful tactic with you to increase the odds of getting something (anything) done like exercising or eating better…
I’m going to share a very simple tactic to help you increase your chances of following through with your promises this week, this month…forever.
Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in their book, The Power of Full Engagement, describe a study in which a group of women agreed to do a breast self-exam for a period of 30 days.
100% (yes, 100%) who said when AND where they were going to do it completed the 30 day exam. Only 53% of the others did.
In another study, drug addicts in withdrawal agreed to write an essay before 5PM on a certain day.
80% of those who said when and where they’d write the essay completed it. In this case, none of the others did.
That’s pretty amazing.
If you want to get something done, decide when and where you’re going to do it. Otherwise, you’re just hoping and wishing it gets done.
Let’s go. (Right now, wherever you are.)
P.S. I said a great program gets easier and easier with time. Let me explain. This is why with MBT:
1) The plan you’ll be on is completely sustainable. That means we teach you how to eat your favorite foods – because never indulging isn’t sustainable. The goal is to be fit and happy, not fit and miserable.
2) We help you change your relationship with food. The way you think and react to food will be completely different. Too many programs focus only on what you’re eating. Big mistake. With MBT we focus on why you’re eating in addition to what you’re eating. Understanding why you’re eating is the first step to changing what you’re eating.
3) Accountability. Without accountability it’s just too easy to say, “I’ll start fresh next Monday!” Any change is hard, especially without accountability and it’s why daily and personal accountability is the cornerstone of our program. If you’d like to learn how any why we’ve been getting amazing results for our clients since 2007 click here. Success doesn’t happen by accident.