Episode 156. Six Weight Loss Approaches to Avoid, and How


Show Notes

Scott outlines six approaches that consistently lead to weight loss failure, offers alternatives that work, and answers questions from his live audience.


A Goal, or a Wish?

  • Achieving a goal requires following a process.
  • Goals and deadlines to meet them aren’t for everyone.
  • Let go of the pressure to perform.


Approaches destined to fail:


Numbers goals
  • Starting a body transformation goal with numbers in mind
  • Examples of numbers-related goals: weight, dress size.
  • No numbers goal tells you what’s going on inside the body.
  • The scale can’t tell you if the weight gain or loss is from fat, muscle, or water.



Deadline goals: high school reunions, weddings, beach vacations
  • Imposes unnecessary pressure to achieve within an arbitrary time frame.
  • Doesn’t consider what happens once the deadline has been passed, whether the goal is attained or not.

“Deadlines are dead ends.”



  • The absolute mindset: Lose weight or die trying.
  • Ask:
       -“Then what?”
       -Is the diet sustainable?
       -What happens if you achieve the goal?
       -Or, what happens if you don’t?



Expecting an obstacle-free path
  • Life gets in the way.
  • Real people with everyday lives sometimes compare themselves to others who make their living by looking good, with hours to spend in the gym.
  • Don’t let setbacks set you back.



Belief that success follows a linear process
  • Achieving a goal is more like walking through a maze.
  • Be realistic about how the process will actually progress.
  • Commit to the process and resolve to enjoy the process itself.
  • Aim for habit goals. Establishing a good habits should be the goal.
  • What three or four “habit” goals can you create and aim for that will lead to success.
  • One good example: Early to bed and early to rise.
  • A good habit: automatic, non-draining behavior, like brushing your teeth.
  • Replace a current destructive habit with a new productive habit.



Believing in the outliers
  • Beware the exceptions.
  • Exceptions are held out by fitness and supplement industry to be the rule.


From the Audience

  • “People who obsess over numbers drain their emotional battery and it frequently negatively impacts their personal relationships.”
  • “I can’t stand it when people ask how long it took me…doesn’t matter how long it takes.”
  • “Last week I weighed the same as the week before but I lost two inches on my waist. The scale lies sometime.”
  • “The best thing I ever did was throw out my scale.”
  • “How I feel is the best judge for me.”
  • “Invariably the scale becomes a mood ir-regulator than just a tool.”
  • “How does one properly get off the keto diet?”


Diet Resources by Scott

The Cycle Diet course  |  Lean Without Trying  |  Metabolic Damage and the Dangers of Dieting



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Episode 155. Eating Disordered Diets Disguised as Healthy


Show Notes

Deprivation diets attract people susceptible to eating disorders, and they are showing up on social media disguised as legitimate weight loss methods.

The Coach discusses them and shares tips for how to spot a dangerous diet.


Expert appeal?

  • Some social media influencers with large followings advocate diets that appeal to people already pre-disposed to eating disorders.
  • They often combine deprivation diets: keto + IF; vegan + IF; vegan keto, and so forth.
  • Some advocate [almost] complete starvation.
  • Pinballing between deprivation diets is common among these influencers: keto, to IF, to One Meal a Day, etc.
  • Just because someone calls themselves a health and fitness expert doesn’t make them one.
“Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”


Physique competition and eating disorders

  • Eating disorders are rampant in the bikini and figure competition world.
  • Female physique competition attracts women who are already obsessed with food and the body.
  • Two eating disorder terms to know:
    EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified), and Orthorexia.

or·tho·rex·i·a  /ˌôrTHəˈreksēə/


  1. an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.
  2. a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods in the belief that they are harmful.


How to spot a potentially harmful diet

  • Otherwise healthy diets applied in unhealthy ways, with deprivation in common.
  • Deprivation Stacking: eliminating meals, or entire food groups.
  • Restriction of specific foods, such as a vegan diet that restricts calorie-dense plant foods, like nuts.
  • Extremes, such as drinking urine.


Sustainable, healthy weight loss

  • Losing weight is one thing. Sustaining weight loss is another.
  • A coach can help [by providing accountability and guidance.]


Diet Resources by Scott

The Cycle Diet course  |  Lean Without Trying  |  Metabolic Damage and the Dangers of Dieting


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Episode 154. Three Reasons Why Coaching Matters for Physique Transformation


Show Notes

Why does one-on-one coaching consistently deliver sustainable results where DIY approaches fail to transform and then maintain physique?

Scott expands on three reasons why.


Information, with guided application

  • You’ll need someone—a coach—to guide application of knowledge.
  • Do you think all you need is motivation? A coach can’t provide motivation. Inspiration comes from within.
  • Act, don’t just gather information. Information without action is powerless.
  • Actions that yield results provide more motivation than information alone.
  • A coach or mentor provides guidance, direction, support and accountability. Scott describes how his Master’s thesis advisor did this for him.
  • The third party (advisor/coach/mentor) needs to be a real person and not an app. Three former clients recently re-hired Scott after trying to go it alone.


Hire a change agent. It’s worth it

  • Replace a habit, don’t change it.
  • Stress makes habits harder to break.
  • It takes a habit to break a habit. Don’t fight a bad habit. Replace bad habits with good ones.
  • The chains of habits are too light to be felt until they’re too heavy to break.
  • Examining and challenging preconceived notions is a crucial first step to habit-breaking.

Real coaching is an investment, not an expenditure.


It’s easier to quit when no one else is watching

  • Do you make goals, or excuses? Goal orientation comes from a positive mindset.
  • Doers and dabblers: The doer is committed and learns from mistakes; The dabbler exhibits little commitment.
  • People value what they invest in.
  • Even talented aspiring professional athletes pay to attend [instructional] camps.
  • A client doesn’t care how much the coach knows until they know how much the coach cares.


Diet Resources by Scott

The Cycle Diet course  |  Lean Without Trying  |  Metabolic Damage and the Dangers of Dieting

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Episode 153. Dr. Erin Simmons: Gettin’ Real on Women and Fitness


Show Notes

Dr. Erin Simmons earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition from Texas A&M University, where she performed research on muscle protein synthesis and sport performance. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biology from Florida State University, where she competed as a javelin thrower for the FSU Women’s Track and Field team.

Following graduation, she worked as a laboratory technician for the Navy Experimental Diving Unit before heading to Texas A&M University. Her research focus shifted to nutrition and exercise physiology, a decision facilitated both by her time at NEDU as well as her role as a volunteer assistant coach with the multi-year national champion A&M Track and Field team. Over the course of her six years with the team, she coached jumpers and multi-event athletes, led mobility and flexibility sessions for multiple event groups, and was involved in team-wide rehabilitation and prehabilitation.

She completed her dissertation in June of 2018 and shortly thereafter took a position as a Department of Defense contractor working as a research physiologist to study human performance and nutrition for the Navy Experimental Diving Unit in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Erin’s a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a PADI Divemaster, and is working toward her Yoga Instructor Certification, expected this year. She enjoys reading, travel, watersports with her dog Hank, and cooking healthy food that still tastes delicious.


Erin pursued fitness modeling following her D1 track career but abandoned that pursuit once she learned what was involved.

I discovered that “fitness modeling” meant selling out to supplement companies and posing on stage like a show pony with an oompa loompa tan. It wasn’t for me.

Erin Simmons Fitness today:

I [turned] ESF into a community of people interested in health and fitness. I started posting workouts, recipes, and articles to give followers fresh ideas. As I have progressed…I’ve shared cool new science and debunked common fitness and health myths. I’ve only ever shared or promoted things that I use and believe in and have thoroughly researched.


In spite of excellent credentials, qualified women need to consistently defend their expertise to get respect, much more than their male counterparts.



Erin on social media

  • Social media, in general, has become almost all visual.
  • Pictures are required. Posts often get Likes based on the visual alone, before the viewer ever knows what the post is about.
  • Posts presenting interesting science get comparatively few likes…unless accompanied by a catchy photo.
  • Even in the university setting today, visuals are vital when teaching.
  • Social media allows a person to paint a completely different version of themselves.

Women, figure competition and body image

  • Fitness modeling differs from athletics. Aesthetic musculature may or may not actually be functional.
    Example: Why do we have abs? They’re for core strength. Abs—for aesthetics’ sake only—misses the point.
  • Women’s physique competition saved bodybuilding. It later progressed into fitness (which required some gymnastic skill), and then figure, and then later bikini competition, which only requires making four turns on stage…yet costs thousands to compete.
  • Expectations for women’s physiques tend to be more unrealistic and unsustainable than for men.
  • A victory or defeat in athletics teaches lessons on performance improvement, rather than sending primarily a self-esteem message.

Diets and habits

  • Build healthy habits first. Start making the right choices. There are lots of ways to loose weight quickly, but those aren’t sustainable and leaves the person in a worse state than when they began.
  • The anti-catabolic phase of diet is when fat is easily surrendered and the dieter feels good. Longer term, the body goes into emergency mode and “thinks” it’s starving and then stores fat.
  • There’s research showing that a stairstep method to dieting allows the body to reset its metabolism. Obtain a slightly-lower weight, let the body reset, then reduce again.
  • Erin eats pretty much whatever she wants [because she has a healthy relationship with food and exercise and a history with fitness and athletics].
  • Whatever your journey is, if you make small changes that you’re dedicated to, you’ll make progress, much more than you would by seeking magic potions.

Erin and Scott talk dogs

  • Erin’s a dog lover. She rescued her dog Hank from underneath a trailer following the traumatic death of her previous dog.
  • Erin and Scott share some memorable quotes about man’s best friend.
    • “My new goal in life is to be the person my dog thinks I am.”
    • “I work hard so my dog can have [its] best life.”
    • “Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” – Mark Twain

More from Erin


Erin on her P(her)form brand from mPowHer Athlete

My p(her)form design was created to empower women and female athletes. Women are stronger than we think we are, but we sometimes hold ourselves back with self-doubt and insecurities. We hear that we are strong or fast or good…for a girl. Or that women’s sports don’t matter. Or that we should be seen, but not heard. I designed this shirt to remind all the strong women out there to stand up, stand out, and P(her)form!


Selected Erin blog posts

Loving your Body in Actions Not Words

How to Sleep Like an Athlete

Why I Don’t Do Crossfit


>Follow Dr. Erin Simmons<

Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Website


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Episode 152. Krista Scott-Dixon – The Professional Coach and the Impact of Women in Fitness


Show Notes

Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD., fitness and nutrition coach and author, has two decades of experience in adult education and curriculum design. Krista (“KSD” for short) is the intellectual powerhouse behind Precision Nutrition’s coaching program development, and earned her PhD in Women’s Studies from York University in 2002.

Krista views health and fitness as path to the larger goal of changing people’s lives. She has authored several books and dozens of academic publications, and inspires the loyal readers of her groundbreaking women’s weight training website, Stumptuous.com

Krista has competed in martial arts and stays active by training in boxing, judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, cycling, running, rock climbing, and weight training.


“Trust the simplicity.”  – KSD

  • Cursive Knowledge: A coach can forget what she or he knows when communicating with clients.
  • The coach faces the same things as clients: busy schedules, set-backs, and so forth. Many coaches struggle with their own health and fitness. The same approaches a coach uses for themselves will work for their clients.
  • Clients expect that a workout or diet program be complicated. In reality, the tools in the coach’s toolbox are extremely simple.
  • There are no secrets to the human condition.

Precision Nutrition is writing its fourth version of its coaching certification to reflect the way they coach today.


  • Krista learned the importance of basics from her martial arts training. Judo blackbelts have exceptional control of the fundamentals.
  • Boring [fundamentals] is the stuff of success.
  • Krista screens clients by people who are interested in working on their “inner game.”


  • Basic questions for the prospective client
    • Will you reply promptly? Will you answer a few questions for me?
    • Have fitness professionals—coaches—set the example and been the advocates for the behaviors they teach?
    • As a consumer, how do we know we’ve identified an expert when we think we’ve found one?
    • To the client, “You need to be the boss of you.” I’m not your mother.
  • Krista wants to coach other coaches how to coach.
  • When a person’s life is being ruined by the thing they’re pursuing it can’t be [accurately] called high achievement.
  • Using the wrong tool to reach a destination makes it dissatisfying and pushes someone into greater dysfunction, as in the diet deprivation that goes into bodybuilding competition.
  • The more complicated the coach makes it, the more it leads the client to confusion.
  • A coach who allows themselves to be vulnerable and authentic can connect better with their clients.
  • A supportive coach can also be a coach who challenges the client to achieve.
  • We achieve our best when in a state of ease and flow.


  • Women’s sports is a fascinating lens through which broader societal issues can be viewed.
  • Women’s sports have opened up different ways to play certain sports just due to the body types and differences.

>Follow Coach Krista Scott-Dixon<

Website  |  Instagram  |  Facebook


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without "worrying" about it?

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