Episode 161. Good Mood, Healthy Food

Grapes or M&Ms?

  • A 2010 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research looked at three studies showing that healthy choices are more likely when in a good mood, but temptation is greater when mood is negatively affected.
  • People tend to choose the healthier choice when in a good mood.
  • If a stimulus negatively affects positive mood, the unhealthy choice is more likely.
  • Test subjects were given a snack choice of grapes or M&Ms.
  • Better mood led to greater resistance to the M&Ms.


Real world examples

  • People constantly bring sweets to work and encourage you to try them. You resist at work, but their teasing negatively affects your mood, and you choose an unhealthy snack later in the day.
  • Your diet alone adds stress, making healthy choices tougher.
  • In recent years, dislikes and hating on social media’s has been a source of negativity.


Stressful eating?

  • Devices like FitBit, and strict exclusionary diets like keto, add stress which makes resisting temptation more difficult.
  • By comparison, lifestyle eating plans like The Cycle Diet, reduce stress and make healthy choices more likely.



Fedorikhin A and Patrick VM, “Positive Mood and Resistance to Temptation: The Interfering Influence of Elevated Arousal”. Journal of Consumer Research. Vol. 37, No. 4 (December 2010), pp. 698-711


Episode 160. Scott Strikes Back (Now, It’s My Turn)

Episode 160. Scott Strikes Back (Now, It’s My Turn)

Show Notes

Social media is notorious for personal, “ad hominem” attacks. Scott asks for first impressions of pictures of himself and clients, before and after adopting a plant-based diet.


Before and After: which looks healthier?

Muscle and Health

  • The bodybuilding subculture considers anything less than jacked as unhealthy looking.
  • The vegan diet isn’t strongly associated with muscularity. Scott doubts that he would have been called weak and frail if his vegan diet weren’t public.
  • The person who trolled Scott online hasn’t seen Scott in person in 25 years, from his bodybuilding days.
  • People who’ve seen photos from his bodybuilding career, who didn’t know him then, routinely tell Scott he looks better today.
  • Scott’s about the same size and body composition as an NFL player.
  • Health measures aren’t always visible. Lab results reveal what’s going on inside.
  • Scott gives details of his comprehensive physical exam in Episode 125 of The Smarter Sculpted Physique.

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Episode 159. Metabolism Porn – It’s Diet Fantasy

Episode 159. Metabolism Porn – It’s Diet Fantasy

Show Notes

Fantasy over reality

Fad diets promise satisfaction, gratify in the short term, but disappoint in the long term. Scott compares the techniques used by the diet and diet food industry to those used by the porn industry.


Diet fiction

  • Metabolism has become a keyword in internet searches.
  • Fad diets outsell diet science.
  • The immediate gratification of fad diets is what attracts people. Reality is much less exciting, requires discipline and consistency.
  • Metabolic compensation system operates in three realms of time: immediate, residual and cumulative.
  • Deprive the body in immediate time frame, it compensates shortly thereafter in the residual realm, but lasting damage [digestive] metabolism occurs in the cumulative time frame.
  • Quick fix diets rely on short term results that can be quantified by the weight scale. The bathroom scale is a terrible indicator of progress.


The shape of water

  • Most initial weight loss is water weight. This is due to how the body metabolizes stored glycogen. For every gram of glycogen, two to three grams of water go along for the ride.
  • Weight loss might continue but the weight that’s lost is often lean mass.
  • The body’s fat storage mechanisms are turned on when the body is deprived of energy.

Using Low-carb as an example, here’s how the fad diet process [and cycle] works:
Dieter cuts carbs > loses water weight quickly > believes they’ve lost fat, so eats carbs again > retains water weight > thinking they’ve gotten fatter, dieter convinces themselves that they’re carb resistant > eliminates carbs forever > damages gut microbiome, fat storage mechanisms are activated > fewer food types can be eaten without consequence > believing food or themselves are the issue, dieter looks for next fad diet.


Believing a fantasy?

  • Hope over experience; belief over reason.
  • Food, like sex, is something we are hard-wired to desire. Appeals to basic wants and needs.
  • Porn isn’t something that satisfies ultimately or in a wholesome way long term. Neither do fad diets. Marketing fad diets is similar to porn.
  • Prepared diet food industry teases with the very foods that make people fat in the first place: brownies, shakes, etc.
  • Focus instead on the long term. What’s your 12-month goal, not your 12-week goal?
  • Metabolism is optimized in the long term. The diet industry uses the term “metabolism” as a lure but only provides short-term gratification with long term negative results.
  • Short term weight loss doesn’t prove a diet works.
  • Diets are categorized to appeal to diet “fetishes”.
    Example: people who believe carbs are the enemy gravitate to low-carb fad diets.


Diet Resources by Scott

The Cycle Diet course  |  Understanding Metabolism  |  Metabolic Damage and the Dangers of Dieting


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Episode 158. A Trained Metabolism – Results of Overeating Experiment

Episode 158. A Trained Metabolism – Results of Overeating Experiment

Show Notes

Scott lost weight after 17 days of overeating and only three days back on diet.

Beginning date and weight: Aug 15 207 lbs., 8 oz.

Ending date and weight: Sep 5, 206 lbs., 14 oz.

Food he ate during his vacation: included donuts, cake, brownies, pizza, burritos, nachos, and beer.

NOTE: Scott didn’t record everything he ate, so he actually ate more than he reported.


Metabolism is either compromised or optimized.


What exactly is overeating?

  • Anything over and above an individual’s usual consumption is overeating.
  • There’s a difference between extreme overeating and extended overeating.
  • At one meal, the table waiters made a wager that Scott couldn’t finish one of the meals he ordered.
  • Metabolism slows as we age. Excessive overeating isn’t recommended for middle age and older.


Guilt-free eating

  • JOMO (Jealous of Missing Out, aka FOMO, Fear of Missing Out) can happen when someone religiously follows a strict diet regimen on vacation and regret not relaxing it a little.
  • A trained metabolism allows temporary deviation from diet.
  • Diet should be food-inclusive, not food exclusive.


How to train your metabolism

  • Exercise using resistance training (not cardio).
  • Achieving supercompensation mode (depleting glycogen levels).
  • Relative energy deficits (not absolute ones). Use tolerable hunger (not ravenousness) as a guide.
  • Diet heavy in carbohydrates*.
  • Eat a Whole Food, Plant-Based (WFPB) diet.
  • Refeeds must be planned and calorie-dense.

* “Carbs” here doesn’t refer to foods made from highly-processed flours.

An optimized metabolism makes it harder to store fat.


Select questions from the audience:

Q: Would the results have been different if you weren’t following a vegan diet?
A: Scott loosened up on the vegan diet, but the high fiber elements of the vegan diet seem to definitely be having a positive influence.

Q: What about the science behind the experiment?
A: It was based on The Cycle Diet and the science that went into developing it.

Q: What did you do differently this time [vacation/overfeed]?
A: Nothing. Scott didn’t want to tweak anything and [bias the results].

Q: Do you think it would have made more difference [during your experiment] eating more meat and dairy?
A: Yes. Scott thinks he would have gained more weight.


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Episode 157. Three Ways to Stop Self-Sabotage – Lessons from Clients

Episode 157. Three Ways to Stop Self-Sabotage – Lessons from Clients

Show Notes

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

Scott shares three practical keys to stopping the cycle of failure in weight loss and physique transformation.


“A body under constant surveillance can never be free.”

  • It’s hard to help people who refuse to accept their problem.
  • True struggle or laziness? There’s a difference.
  • Internal struggles can be masked as external.
  • Lack of self-acceptance is the real struggle. Weight loss and physique transformation is just the middle-man.
  • Diet and fitness industry capitalize on body insecurity.
  • Common beliefs, lies people tell themselves:
    • “I just need the right diet.”
    • “If I could just find the magic program…”
    • Keto, Intermittent fasting, etc.
    • Honeymooning: early success that fails long-term, then self-blame for program failure.
    • “Just tell me what to eat and I’ll eat it.”


Three simple steps to winning internal struggles


1. Uncover the deeper issue.

  • It’s not about the program; it’s about the mindset behind the program.
  • Continuing to try, fail, then feeling defeated is a signal of an internal struggle.
  • This leads to falling prey to quick fix diets and exercise programs.
  • A coach’s honesty with them won’t work if the client isn’t honest with themselves.


2. Accept yourself.

  • The only mindset that works [long term] is self-acceptance, without exception.
  • Self-esteem is something you experience. Self-acceptance is something you do.
  • Refuse to be in an adversarial relationship with yourself.
  • New neurosis, Facebook Envy: it’s a thing.


3. Build self-acceptance daily.

  • Progress takes place a little at a time.
  • Use a few specific exercises.
    • Rubber band exercise: wear a rubber band on the wrist and snap it when thinking self-sabotaging thought.
    • Sentence completion. Answer these four questions:
      • Food is my enemy because…
      • Food is my friend because…
      • Food is just food because…
      • Food represents something else entirely because…


Questions to honestly ask yourself to uncover deeper issues:

  • Do you feel pressure to abandon a diet strategy when dining out?
  • Are you self-conscious about eating meals you prepare when others don’t?
  • How much does drinking alcohol get in the way of weight loss efforts?
  • Did you grow up in a home with a parent who constantly dieted or obsessed with body image?
  • Do you seek approval from a parent?
  • Are you swayed by diet or exercise trends?
  • Do you follow enviable physical specimens on social media?


Diet Resources by Scott

Permanent Weight Loss  |  The Anti-Diet Approach  |  The Cycle Diet course

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

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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