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Episode 57: There is probably a better way.

Video Highlights

- Your current plan is probably your default plan.
- There is probably a better way.
- A simple exercise to change eating habits.

Hi, everybody. Dr. Cobb back with you.

Hope you’re having a fantastic week.

We have just finished up our course called “Sustenance and Spirit,” which is a Z-Health take on nutrition.

Now, we did talk a lot about nutrition in that course, but more importantly, we talked about the habits and behaviors around food and how we eat, and why we eat, and all these different things.

The goal of that course is not to tell our trainers and our coaches how to tell people to eat, but rather to help them make the behavior changes around choosing better foods and choosing healthier lifestyles.

So what we’re going to do today is we’re going to take one of the basic tools from that course and we’re going to do an exercise around it. I think you’re going to find this fascinating. So to get you set up for the idea, I’m going to introduce a book called “Switch”. It’s by Chip Conrad. It’s a fantastic book about both personal and organizational change efforts. You need to read it. It’s fantastic.

One of the basic ideas that he presents in the book is this. There is a high likelihood that there’s a better way to make the change that you want to make in your life than you’re currently using. I love that. It’s one of the reasons we have coaches and why we train coaches because coaches help you figure out faster, smarter, more efficient ways to make a change.

The second thing he then says is, in most cases, the current plan that you’re using was the first plan you ever came up with. So a lot of us have a default plan around food. We say, “Listen, I need to lose some weight, so I’m going to try and give up sugar, or I’m going to try to give up gluten,” or whatever the flavor of the week is in terms of fad diets.

You try that and you attempt that, and maybe have some success, but then you really struggle because your willpower gives out, because you’re having problems at work, and now you’re back to eating those donuts every morning, or whatever the case may be.

So one of the things that we talk a lot about with our clients is, “Listen, before we start taking away your food, let’s just talk about how you eat.” It’s a really simple idea. I have runners that come to me all the time with knee pain. I say, “Listen, rather than telling you not to run, let’s figure out how you currently run, and see if there’s a technical issue that we need to fix before we say, ‘Hey, give up running.'”

So we want to approach diet from the same perspective. So our first exercise, and this is the exercise I want you to consider doing this week, is to take two meals, and pay attention to how many times you chew your food.

Now, that may sound ridiculous, but there’s actually a huge correlation between people that chew little and weight gain. Because what happens whenever we eat food is it takes a little while for the flavors to come out.

Now, fast food and chips and all kinds of stuff that are manufactured or processed are actually designed to bypass that, and in fact, whenever you eat manufactured food, you’ll get a burst of flavor really, really quickly, and then the food kind of dissolves in your mouth. That’s intentional.

That food is designed to make you hungrier and allow you to eat more of it before you actually are full. That’s really good for their profits, but it’s really, really bad for your body.

So what we’re going to ask you to do, as I said, is to pick two meals, and just pay attention. Just keep a little journal like, “On average, I chewed about fifteen times.” Then once you have a number established, I want you to pick another meal in the following week, and I want you to try to chew double the average number that you chewed the week before, and just pay attention to what the meal is like.

See if you can taste real food better. Or, conversely, if you’re eating a fast food meal, notice what it tastes like after you’ve chewed that burger from McDonald’s thirty or forty times. You may go, “You know what? I’m not sure I really enjoy this anymore.”

Now, this is a simple idea. It’s all about how you eat, not what you eat. But it’s a powerful thing and a powerful tool. Many of my clients over the years have actually told me that the number one thing that helped them lose weight and keep that weight off over the course of their life and change their body composition radically was not worrying and obsessing so much about good foods and perfect foods, but instead simply paying attention to how they ate the food.

Now you may have heard this before. People say, “Hey, take the time to enjoy your meal.” That doesn’t make sense to me. I actually have to have something harder or more firm to work with. So in my case, as I said, I always like to start with chewing. Because if I chew my food, I take a little bit more time, maybe I actually talk to the people with me, and it can change the environment around eating really fully, but the point is that you have to start with something trackable, and that is, “How many times did I chew?”

So it’s just a basic thought, but I think it’s a profound one. Because like I said, what you want to take from this is not only an experiment around your eating, but also as a reminder that there’s probably an easier way to accomplish the things that you’re trying to accomplish in your life, and if you’re not sure, get a coach.

So if we can help you in any way, I hope you’ll give us a call, drop us an email. I’m actually really curious to see what you find out. So if you’ve learned something about yourself in this experiment, please let me know.

Thanks.

Have a great week.

I’ll talk to you soon.

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