This week we’re talking about Weight Loss — the myths, the methods, and the massive struggle it represents for the majority of Americans today.
Starting with our own frustration with the muddled messages often broadcast on this topic, we strive to set the record straight.
From the madness of trying to control one’s weight through low-fat eating, calorie counting, and “portion control,” to the sensible strategies that work a whole lot better, we share what we know, and what we wish more people knew, about the keys to managing your weight in a healthier, happier way.
Pilar shares her Healthy Deviant approach to weight loss, and Dallas draws from his two New York Times bestsellers to help you rethink not just the way you’re eating, but also the way you are managing your thoughts, your energy, your daily patterns, and your biochemistry.
And of course, we offer you some experiments to help you recast your assumptions about weight, and weight loss, for the long haul.
“Weight Loss” Episode Highlights
- Seeing excess weight as one symptom of our many intersecting physical, social, and cultural imbalances
- Our societal tendency to focus on the superficial indicators that are right in our face rather than looking for root causes
- Why junk and fast food is so hard to resist — the insidious practices of the processed food industry and their marketing machine
- The role of stress in weight gain and chronic undernourishment
- Finding a balance of being well-fed and well-nourished
- Why giving in to food cravings is not a failure of willpower or moral fiber
- Pilar’s Healthy Deviant perspectives on self regulation, ego depletion, and learned helplessness — factors that help explain our daily patterns of impulse and reactivity
- Why heavily-marketed diet crazes, surgeries, and pharmaceuticals are not sustainable “magic bullet” solutions
- Losing weight in the pursuit of a healthier, more authentic, pleasurable life (vs. to meet popular culture’s impossible attractiveness standards)
- Looking beyond conventionally desirable attributes to notice what actually attracts us to others
- Why the best decisions are made from a place of self love and compassion rather than fear and self criticism
- Dallas’s basic principles for maintaining a healthy body weight — whole foods and complete proteins, regular short-duration/high-intensity or long-duration/low-intensity body movement, and consistent circadian rhythms
- Challenging the popular presumptions about how to lose weight and learning how to do what works for you based on your own experience and observations
Examine something you think you “should” do — “I should lose 10 pounds” or “I should be working out harder” — and ask yourself whether those “shoulds” are based in self love or fear. If your motivation is fear, can you restructure the “should” from a more loving perspective? Alternatively, could you modify the behavior (or drop it altogether) to make it a more loving act?
Rather than focusing on a specific diet strategy or a dietary goal, shift your attention to preemptively warding off and repairing the depletion and anxiety that tend to result from stressing, rushing, and white-knuckling it through your day. To help you get a sense of how this Healthy Deviant strategy works, start with one of Pilar’s Renegade Rituals:
1. Try a morning practice (listen to the “Morning” episode for suggestions)
2. Take Ultradian Rhythm Breaks (as described in the “Pause” episode)
3. Develop a nighttime wind-down ritual (check out the “Sleep” episode)
Notice how performing these self-sustaining practices improves your ability to self-notice and self-regulate, and helps you better manage your eating choices throughout the day.
Healthy-Living Wisdom, Delivered to Your Door
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- From Experience Life magazine: “Rethinking the Rules of Weight Loss”, “The Smart Way to Weight Loss”, “The Fit Way to Weight Loss”, “5 Tips for Losing Weight — Without Calorie-Counting”
- Also from Experience Life: Pilar’s video interview with obesity expert and New York Times bestselling author Dr. David Ludwig, and her article, “Your Body, Reframed”, about important psychological barriers to weight loss
- Dallas’s books It Starts With Food and The Whole30, and his “More Social Less Media” program
- For more on the nutritional aspects weight management, check out our “Nourished” episode
- Our “Healthy vs. Hot” and “Questions” episodes
- Dr. David Ludwig’s Always Hungry? — the science behind food cravings
- More on Dr. Martin Seligman’s positive psychology from TED
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