Diets are inherently contradictory. They demand you to fit a new set of instructions (the diet itself) into your old lifestyle.
Instead, you should be working toward building a new lifestyle.
Diets promise short-term solutions: “try our 10-day quick-fix, magic elixir, ultra-secret, fat-scorching solution!” Well, that’s great, but what happens after 10 days?
Think of it this way: diets are like cramming for a test. You might pass the test but what did you get out of it? Do you really think that you’ll be able to override an entire lifetime’s worth of habits with a new set of rules in a snap of the finger?
The answer is No. And if you’ve ever tried and failed a diet before, that’s proof.read more
“And that’s your norm? OK. Not much sleep. And how many cups of coffee?”
“Six or seven, and then two or three energy drinks after dinner.”
“What’s for dinner?”
“Take out, every night. Chipotle, or pizza, or yea…mostly Chipotle. Plus then I’ll have a bag of chips and maybe a Snickers from the vending machine at the office depending on how late I am.”
“And how often do you prepare your meals?”
“Never. I don’t have time to think about it.”
This is an exact excerpt of a conversation I had with a new client the other day. Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence. I have these conversations all the time.
As a high performance dietary strategist and lifestyle designer, I work with dozens of entrepreneurs, executives, and in-demand badass human beings who battle their health on a daily basis to achieve a nearly impossible standard of success.
Time is the enemy. “There’s not enough time to take care of myself and support my business,” is a constant refrain I hear.read more
If there’s any group of people you’d think would value cold, hard, pure results, it’s professional athletes.
After all, that’s what they get paid for, right? Not to “play well” or to “have fun”, but to win.
Let’s take a look at 3 of the greatest athletes of all-time: Tiger Woods, Lebron James and Michael Jordan.
What can we learn from the way they played their games when it comes to our health?read more
For some, it kicks in immediately. For others, after a few weeks. For a particular few, it never happens. When you cut your overall carbohydrate intake, chances are you’ll experience the “low carb flu.” The more drastic the cut, the harder it hits.
It feels like you’re having the flu, only you’re not sick – you’re just cutting carbs.
So what gives? Isn’t a low-carb diet supposed to make you feel better, not worse?
Yes it is – and yes it will. But for some people, there’s an initial period of adaptation while your body switches gears.
Here’s what to do to mitigate the effects of the low carb flu…read more
I received this question from a reader the other day.
“Hi Daniel, I’m so excited to watch your online course and pray this works. I need your help with my eating. It’s just gotten out of hand. I’ve gained 70 pounds after the birth of my third child and cant get it off…even though I want to get it off, it feels like I don’t really want to. There’s no motivation. Or the motivation is to eat. It’s like the one thing I look forward to at the end of the day. I love ice cream and eating fast food. How can I overcome my emotional eating?”
Thanks so much for your question. I know it’s a tender subject matter so I’ll leave your name anonymous.
Here’s my lengthy response. It’s a good one, so please take the time to read it if you struggle with emotional eating (like I do).read more
Laura repressed a lot of things.
Her marriage, her ambitions, her feelings.
She was taught by her parents to stuff things down. She was taught to think her wants were selfish. To speak up for herself was considered selfish if it would “disturb the peace.” Things were a certain way and Laura had a duty to preserve that way.
She let a bad marriage go 10 years because of this mindset and worldview.
With few outlets, Laura turned to food for relief.
In a backward sort of way, she could enforce a sense of control over satisfaction, which was largely absent in her life. Food provided what life could not. Or so she thought.
As is to be expected, food got the best of her.read more
Your life isn’t linear.
Progress is not linear.
Nothing is inevitable. Your current state does not define a future outcome, nor does it represent a fixed identity.
We must embrace the lows, we must scrape and fall, in order to grow. Growth may only occur from investing in your vulnerabilities, in your weaknesses, in the unknown.
How could you possibly know how to deal with the unknown until you face it?
Your inability to immediately master a foreign concept or problem doesn’t render you weak or stupid; it renders you fierce for facing it. Stare it dead in the eye and your confidence will grow. You’ll come back to center when you see that on the other side of fear is life per usual, only a little different.
You’ll have gained something. An understanding, intuition, dexterity…confidence. Commit to the process. Face your fear.read more
Without fail, all of my clients lose weight without even trying to lose weight, and without any formal exercise besides walking and some light cardio or aerobics a few times per week.
Question: Do you think you need to exercise every day to “be healthy”? Are you fixated on the outcome of losing weight? Do you value quick weight loss over learning, adopting, training, and mastering an entire new life-skill (“being healthy”)?
I’m here to discuss your relationship with food and the process toward mastery, as opposed to chasing desired outcomes (i.e—losing weight, looking good, feeling good, etc.)—all of which will happen if we construct a lifestyle and mindset that support success.
If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, then you already know my stance: “Dieting” is fundamentally at odds with learning and is the explicit reason why you haven’t been successful achieving or maintaining health and happiness.
Regarding diet and exercise and everything else the media pushes at you…
Your goal should not be to lose as much weight as quickly as possible; your goal should be to master your diet. Exhausting yourself to death at the gym confuses your bodily needs and, paradoxically, will make you fat.read more
The education system missed a fundamental component of teaching skills: there’s a relationship between you and the thing you’re doing, the instrument you’re holding, the task at hand.
If you think of skill acquisition as a relationship, one that needs attention and cultivation and constant reinvention, perhaps this whole dieting thing will be an easier concept to digest. (Horrible pun intended.)
Rather than approaching your diet with a “dieting mentality” – forcing something that doesn’t feel right, I encourage you to treat your relationship with food as you would a relationship with a person. Ultimately, you are. You’re cultivating a deeper relationship with yourself.
Why do people throw themselves so hopefully into new relationships, only to undermine themselves?
Why does that sound eerily like dieting?read more
One of the most important concepts I teach my clients is the difference between the “fixed” mindset and the “growth” mindset.
It’s a bit like “nature vs nurture”:
People with a fixed mindset believe that you have fixed qualities. Your intelligence, character, and personality are what they are, because that’s how you were born. They’re unchangeable.
People with a growth mindset believe that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your own efforts. Everyone can grow and change through application and experience.
Which one would you instinctively say resonates more with you?read more