Episode 135. How to Never Fail on a Diet Again

Episode 135. How to Never Fail on a Diet Again

★★★★★
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Show Notes

It’s no secret that dieting is a popular New Year’s resolution. It’s also no secret that many people fail to achieve their diet goals. Scott shares a proven approach to dieting that leads to long-term success.

 

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
Paul “Bear” Bryant

  • There are no magic diet pills, or workout programs.
  • It’s not about can you do it. It’s about will you do it.
  • Making the diet about the “numbers” leads to failure. Instead, make it about character development.
  • Character is why some succeed and some fail.

“Character is a set of dispositions, desires and habits that are slowly engraved.” – David Brooks, The Road to Character

  • We tend to eat how we live, and we tend to live how we eat.
  • Cheating on your diet is just cheating on yourself.
  • Commit to yourself, not to a diet.
  • Treat yourself like you are someone worth taking care of and committing to, then act accordingly.
  • The more difficult the [diet] rules, the harder the diet will be to adhere to.
  • Invest in following rules which are grounded in a set of principles.
  • Escape the battle mindset: battling cravings, or battling hunger.
  • More backbone. Less wishbone.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

 

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Episode 134. The Value of Mono-Meals

Episode 134. The Value of Mono-Meals

★★★★★
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Show Notes

One food. All meals. Several days. The Coach outlines the benefits and guidelines of “mono-meals”:  a single food eaten as an entire meal for a few days as a healthy, convenience, gimmick-free weight-control method.

 

Diet doesn’t need to be complicated. This is a simple approach.

 

Benefits

  • Convenient
  • No number-crunching of calories or macros.
  • Simplifies life and approach to diet.
  • Great way to kickstart a weight loss program and begin an ongoing healthy diet strategy. Not a gimmick.
  • Terrific for people who are not in control of their own schedules, like business travelers.
  • Can jumpstart a weight-loss program.

Two reasons mono-meals work well

1) Aid digestion.

2) Re-connects you to your biofeedback: hunger-satiety feedback loops.  Forces eating only when hungry.

 

 

Guidelines

  • Limit meals to one [healthy] food and one food only for a few days (nine days up to as long as three weeks.)
  • Select whole foods that are unprocessed and nutrient-dense. Good choices would be:
    • Brown rice.
    • Potatoes or sweet potatoes.
    • Roasted, unsalted nuts.
    • Soft fruits like bananas. During a recent business trip, Scott ate seven to nine bananas for lunch each day.
  • Broccoli, carrots, or other fibrous veggies would be poor choices for mono-meals because they’re not as energy-dense as the others listed.
  • Choose something that’s simple to prepare and simple to consume.
  • Eat until you’re satisfied.

 

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Episode 133. The Self-Sabotaging Mindset

Episode 133. The Self-Sabotaging Mindset

★★★★★
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Show Notes

 

Why and how can some people achieve then maintain physique transformation when others can’t? Scott covers characteristics of two opposite mindsets: those doomed to fail and those destined to achieve.

 

This subject is addressed in Scott’s book The Mindset of Achievement”, which can be found for free on his website, scottabelfitness.com.

 

 

 

Quality of mindset determines quality of behavior.

 

  • Trying to change behaviors doesn’t address the underlying mindset.

 

People who struggle with weight loss exhibit the following characteristics:

 

  • Make excuses for every scenario and condition.
  • Play the blame game. Never your fault.
  • Focus on too much on food and eating.
  • Focus on all the things you can’t have and all the foods you’re trying to deny (instead of focusing what you’re trying to include.)
  • Focus on weight instead of feeling better.
  • Become skeptical of your own ability to change.
  • Set unrealistic goals.
  • Don’t change mindset about significance of food and its proper relevance.
  • Play the “poor-me” game.
  • Are overly judgmental. See the Anti-Diet Approach.
  • The judgmental mindset often gives birth to the perfectionist mindset.
  • Unrealistic expectations and assumptions. Plateaus happen. Progress isn’t linear.
  • Focus on external circumstances instead of internal indicators of character.

 

Those successful at sustained physique transformation do these things:

 

  • Develop lifestyles that support weight maintenance.
  • Accept that weight maintenance and physique transformation is your responsibility.
  • Stop following trends and see through them.
    Stop having the mindset of sheep and adopt the mindset of shepherd.
  • Remind yourself that physique maintenance is health maintenance for life.
  • Embrace this as “what is” and not “what you want it to be”.
  • Focus on the little accomplishments, not on the sacrifices involved.
  • Use long-term imagery and visualization to counter impulses to cheat.
  • Transition from making efforts at behavior modification and more about character.
  • You notice, observe and embrace even the smallest personal victories.
  • Embrace transformation as a choice, not something forced upon you.
  • Understand the importance of positive and nurturing self-talk.
  • Avoid being judgmental. Learn from mistakes.

 

Nothing can taste as good as lean feels.

 

A few tips for a mindset of achievement:

 

  • Be habit-based and process-focused.
  • Until you change your mind, you’ll never change your habits.
  • Taking care of your physique should be like brushing your teeth.
  • Plant seeds of faith, not seeds of doubt.
  • Remember: The process is the goal and the goal is the process.

 

When you change the way you look at things, the way you look at things will change.

 

 

 

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Episode 132. Food, Diet and the Holiday Season

Episode 132. Food, Diet and the Holiday Season

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Show Notes

It’s the Holiday season and time to start fretting about diet and weight gain, right? Not so fast. Healthy diet psychology celebrates and embraces food during the Holidays.

 

“What you resist, persists.”

  • Food has been part of holiday traditions for hundreds of years, spanning both time and cultures; it is included in the happiness of the Season.
  • Resisting food during the holidays is silly. It just needs to be managed.
  • Proper diet psychology is about “managing celebration.”
  • This isn’t the time of year to wage war against yourself.
  • Scott suggests “…a time to embrace” from Ecclesiastes chapter 3, 1-8 includes the embracing of food in its proper time:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”.

  • Scott made a practice of scheduling a two-week-long break from diet each year during Christmastime.
  • If the Holiday season has no importance for you, then go ahead and stick to your diet.
  • A free mind doesn’t mean total hedonistic approach to food indulgence… the free mind is an adult mind.
  • The Cycle Diet is a diet of inclusion, not exclusion; you can live [and maintain a great physique] in a world of food abundance.
  • The Cycle Diet allows for refeeds. These can be built into the program.
  • Lean into food during the holidays rather than fighting it as fad diet gurus would advise.

 

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Episode 131. Research and Support for Hardgainer Solution 2.0

Episode 131. Research and Support for Hardgainer Solution 2.0

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Show Notes

A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in 2017 found that training to failure slows down recovery, supporting the key tenet of recovery emphasized in Hardgainer Solution 2.0.

 

“Train like you have something to accomplish, not something to prove.”

– Scott Abel

  • The study, published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology Dec 2017, demonstrated that training to failure slows recovery.
  • The hardgainer trainee shouldn’t train to failure at any time, even for one set.
  • Following a routine used by a pro (who may be on PEDs) leads to overtraining and overuse syndromes.
  • The true hardgainer has a very specific dilemma of balancing adequate stimulus and recovery for optimum adoptive response.
  • The study looked at three different resistance training protocols using the bench press and squat. It showed that training to failure slows recovery 24 to 48 hours post-exercise.
  • Not training to failure enables the trainee to train again sooner.
  • The hardgainer is already susceptible to overtraining, so avoiding it is critical.
  • Leave the gym feeling invigorated, not exhausted.
  • HGS 2.0 is the result of feedback from hundreds who wrote and commented on the original HGS, along with Scott’s own biofeedback and that of his clients. It focuses a bit more on recovery than did the original [although the original did as well…just not to the same degree.]
  • HGS 2.0 provides enough stimulus to engage adoptive response without tapping into ability to recover.
  • Whole body training based on innervation methodology with emphasis on inter and intra-workout recovery makes the most sense for the hardgainer trainee.
  • Scott: Compound exercises tax recovery more than do single joint exercises.

[Reference]

Moran-Navarro R, et al. “Time course of recovery following resistance training leading or not to failure.” Eur J Appl Physiol. 2017 Dec;117(12):2387-2399.

 

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Episode 130. Metabolism First: How Diets Make You Fat

Episode 130. Metabolism First: How Diets Make You Fat

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Scott’s said for years that calorie restriction diets set in motion a metabolic cascade that make a person fatter over the long term. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011 comes to a similar conclusion.

What happens to the body long-term after weight loss, particularly with diets that emphasize short-term loss over long-term consequences?

 

Train the metabolism to be a fat burning machine, not a fat storing machine.

  • “Abelisms” highlighted here:
    • Metabolism must be fed, not starved.
    • Coax the body and it responds. Force the body and it reacts.
    • Coax the body = relative calorie deficits vs. forcing the body = absolute calorie deficit.
  • Low-calorie, low-carb diets, intermittent fasting, cleanses, etc., have unintended long-term consequences.
  • Diets aimed at short-term weight loss set physiological processes in motion that lead to weight gain. These happen in the immediate, residual, cumulative realms of time.
  • Metabolic resets are really just deprivation diets.
  • Deprivation, calorie-restriction diets program the body’s “computer” to store fat.
  • Ghrelin is the hunger hormone. It stimulates food intake and promotes fat storage. The study showed an increase in ghrelin after 62 weeks.
  • Lose weight fast is a recipe to gain weight slow…and forever.

Quotes from the study that speak to long term effects of low-energy dieting:

  • “Caloric restriction results in acute compensatory changes, including profound reductions in energy expenditure and levels of leptin and cholecystokinin and increases in ghrelin and appetite, all of which promote weight regain.”

  • Ratings for preoccupation with thoughts of food, as compared with baseline ratings, tended to increase at week 10 (P=0.09) and were significantly increased at week 62 (P=0.008).”

  • “…many of these alterations persist for 12 months after weight loss, even after the onset of weight regain…”

  • “…in an environment in which energy-dense food is abundant and physical activity is largely unnecessary, the high rate of relapse after weight loss is not surprising.”

[Reference]

Sumithran P, et al. Long-Term Persistence of Hormonal Adaptations to Weight Loss. October 27, 2011 N Engl J Med 2011; 365:1597-1604.

 

A whole food plant-based diet lets you get lean (and stay lean) without trying. Learn more about whole food plant-based diet at NutritionStudies.org, and check out the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Course.

 

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