What is Intuitive Eating?

New diets are continuously emerging onto the health and wellness scene. The latest and greatest, however, is not so much a diet but more of a non-diet and a lifestyle choice. This most recent trend to show up has, in actuality, been around for decades but thanks to social media, wellness experts and influencers turning away from the diet culture, intuitive eating has made its way back to the health scene. Intuitive eating breaks away from the traditionalism of diets and instead embraces a mind-body holistic approach to eating and nutrition. Intuitive eating believes that nothing is off limits and “good or “bad” foods don’t exist.



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Forget bikini bodies and bigger arms: Here’s the real secret for getting motivated to transform your body.

The magazines got it wrong. Sure, the promise of “six-pack abs” might be motivating at the airport newsstand. But as soon as your flight’s delayed, it’s an easy goal to forget. Because stress, frustration, and… a conveniently-located Smashburger. (Same as every day, really.) There is a fix, though. If you’re willing to ask—and answer—some hard questions, you can discover a much deeper purpose for change. One that’ll ignite passion and drive you to get the results you want—no matter how badly the airline screws you.

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I could already see the pain in Michelle’s eyes as we sat down to talk.

“What are you hoping to achieve by hiring me?” I asked.

Michelle shrugged. “I just want to lose some weight and get fit again.”

After 10 years as a fitness coach, I knew there was more to the story. There always is.

“Have you always been overweight?” I asked.

She looked surprised at the personal question. I didn’t flinch.

After a moment, Michelle told me she’d been fighting her weight for more than 15 years. Now she has prediabetes.

“How does that make you feel?” I asked.

She hesitated again, but then said, “Scared. My mom was overweight and had diabetes, and I feel like I’m following in her footsteps.”

At this point, Michelle stopped holding back; tears trickled down her cheeks.

“It all hit me two weeks ago. My daughter said she didn’t trust me to be alone with my granddaughter because I’m too overweight and immobile to keep up. I was so devastated. So embarrassed.”

Many of us are like Michelle: Ashamed to talk about what’s really bothering us.

But since I started encouraging my clients to dig deep into their pain, their results have skyrocketed.

Why? Because to achieve real, lasting change, many people have to confront the emotional pain that’s making them want that change.

Once they do, their true motivation is crystalized. And that’s often far more powerful than any single exercise plan or diet approach.

The challenge is uncovering it.

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You never start with the pain.

When it comes to goals, people usually talk about losing fat or moving better or getting healthy. All fine aspirations, indeed.

But for many of us, these goals aren’t very meaningful in the context of our everyday lives. They’re more like health and fitness clichés.

Our true motivations run much deeper than having a “bikini body” or “sleeve-busting arms” (as the ads and coverlines promise).

That’s the surface level stuff we think we want.

Sure, these types of goals might inspire you to show up for six weeks of training and cut back on alcohol for a while. But for most people, how much do they really matter? How easy are they to give up on?

On the other hand… you know what’s way more motivating?

Michelle wanting to be able to take care of her granddaughter so badly that months of new habits, tiring workouts, and saying no to cupcakes in the break room seemed like the only choice. It wasn’t just a “look better” fitness goal—it was her burning passion.

Discovering why you really want to change gives you resolve.

A wise person (okay, it was Tony Robbins) once said: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

There’s just one problem: A lot of us never actually get to the root of what’s bothering us. We don’t face our pain because it’s uncomfortable. As a result, we’re much more likely to stay the same.

Find your pain… to stoke your passion.

Sometimes, pain will be obvious: divorce, a scary diagnosis, the loss of a loved one. This kind of pain is easy to identify. It’s right there in front of you, flagging you down.

Other times, pain can be more subtle: It’s hiding in a dark corner of the basement—always there, even if you aren’t constantly aware of it.

Maybe it stems from all those times you were picked last as a kid. Or from that “harmless” comment a loved one made about your body… or about someone else’s body (who looks like you).

These hits of pain may not feel that impactful in the moment, but over time, they accrue power and influence over your actions and self-worth.

The result? Pain that’s hidden can crop up as:

  • avoiding activities that are fun or good for you, like going to a party or trying that new gym down the street
  • feeling your heart race when someone asks if you’re okay
  • revisiting some mortifying moment over and over, using it as evidence that you’re the worst
  • turning down exciting opportunities because your inner voice says, ‘No way, I can’t do that.’
  • living well into your 20s with the assumption you’ll never find companionship… because you got rejected on the middle school dance floor… and you assumed it was because the boys thought you were too big… so that must mean men don’t like you. (Is that TMI?)

These examples all suggest there’s trouble below the surface. Pain is discouraging you and holding you back. If you can access the source of this emotional discomfort, you can use it to achieve serious change.

Here’s how to do just that, in three steps.

Step #1: Find your true “why.”

Michelle wanted to lose weight, sure.

But more importantly, she wanted to be trusted to take care of her granddaughter. That was her real reason for wanting to lose weight.

In the Precision Nutrition coaching method, we call this “finding your why.”

Your “why” is the reason behind the reason… behind the reason… behind the surface reason you want to make a change in your life.

Finding your “why” is a shortcut to finding your pain.

Because often, your deepest reason for wanting to change your body or habits dredges up yucky stuff.

For example, the shame of having gained 30 pounds after having kids. (‘Why does every other mom seem to have it all together?’).

Or the helplessness of realizing you can’t even bend down to pick up a pencil off the floor.

Or the regret that comes with admitting you’re not the kind of active, inspiring father you want to be.

These are the “whys” that drive change.

Don’t settle for the easy answer.

Getting to your “deepest reason” requires some introspection. An exercise called the “5 Whys” can help kickstart the process.

Here’s how it works: Take your initial reason for wanting to make changes to your nutrition, workout routine, or lifestyle, and use that as a starting point.

Maybe you want to get fit. Now ask yourself “why?”

(If you’re a coach, you can go through this exercise with a client. You ask the questions, but let them do most of the talking.)

Keep asking—remember, it’s called the 5 Whys—until you feel like you’ve identified the real reason you want to change. The illustration below shows what this might look like.

Put in the work.

Some people can define—and confront—their “why” quickly. For others, it requires a little more time and effort.

Practicing meditation and/or mindfulness can help you access uncomfortable thoughts you’ve been avoiding or pushing away. To get started, try this simple mind-body scan.

Find a quiet place. Take 5 minutes and find somewhere you can be without interruptions. This could be just before bed or just after waking. Or in your office, resting on a park bench, or sitting in your parked car.

Notice physical sensations. Scan your body from the top of your head down to your toes, part by part. Note how you feel along the way. Don’t judge or rush to change anything.

Notice emotions and thoughts. Once you’ve done your “body scan,” do the same exercise for your emotions and thoughts. Again, don’t judge or try to make sense of it. Just observe.

Ask yourself 3 questions. Right now…

  • What am I feeling physically?
  • What am I feeling emotionally?
  • What am I thinking?

You may find it helpful to jot down a few notes after each session. (It’s okay if you can’t find the perfect words.)

Over time, you’ll notice feelings, thoughts, and ideas that crop up consistently. These can be important clues to revealing your “why”… and your pain.

Step #2: Turn your pain into action.

Let’s start with an example.

When Nivi Jaswal entered Precision Nutrition Coaching, she was overweight, stressed, and had prediabetes. Through lots of reflection, Nivi uncovered the pain that was holding her back: a deep fear of not being good enough. If she couldn’t do something perfectly, she wouldn’t do it at all. So now what?

Do the hard thing.

Once you’ve defined your pain, you have a framework to experiment with an exercise PN calls “difficult-easy” and “difficult-difficult.” (No, those aren’t typos.)

Difficult-easy describes things you do that are hard, but still within your comfort zone: going to work every day even though you hate your job, for example. Or giving up carbs again even though you love pasta and cookies.

In Nivi’s case, difficult-easy was spending countless hours researching diet and exercise routines, looking for the “perfect” answer.

Difficult-difficult, however, is the stuff that’s truly challenging—the actions you shy away from because they seem overwhelming or even impossible. This is the place where you grow.

Here are some examples:

  • For the mother who always prioritizes her family’s needs over her own, difficult-difficult might be carving out two hours per week for her favorite yoga classes.
  • For the business executive who chooses to work 60 hours a week, difficult-difficult might be hanging out with friends twice a month (to start).
  • For Nivi, difficult-difficult meant making small nutrition and lifestyle changes instead of going all-in. She was skeptical of this approach. It seemed like it wouldn’t work, and she was afraid she’d be wasting her time and effort. That’s what made it difficult-difficult.

Ask yourself:

What are you afraid of? Difficult-easy tasks tend to annoy us. Like when you say “yes” even though you don’t actually have any room on your plate for another task. Because saying “no” is too scary. The things that scare us are usually the difficult-difficult ones.

What would you do if it were Opposite Day? Difficult-easy stuff grinds you down, but you keep doing it anyway. Take a moment to consider: How’s that working for you? What could you do that’s new, that would force you to grow and put you on a new path? That’s your difficult-difficult.

Make one change at a time.

Once you’ve identified your difficult-difficult, chip away at it one small piece at a time. It might sound weird, but focusing on less can help you achieve more.

Pick one small, new habit.

Select one habit that supports progress toward the body and health you want. Make it something simple and reasonable, that you think you can practice every day.

Let’s say you want to get fitter, but you’re terrified of the gym because you feel like an outsider. Your difficult-difficult is hitting the gym on a regular basis.

Consider starting with a habit that gets you closer to that goal, but doesn’t go all the way.

For your first habit, you might choose one of these options:

  • foam rolling for a few minutes every morning
  • taking a 10-minute walk after dinner each evening
  • doing a 15-minute home workout twice a week
  • going to the gym once a week, but only committing to one exercise you’re comfortable with, and then leaving

Maybe one of these seems excruciatingly hard, while another is hard, but doable. Go with the latter.

Practice your habit.

Do your new habit every day for at least two weeks. Some days, it’ll feel like a grueling climb up Everest. Other days it may feel like you’re flying. Eventually, there’ll be more flying days than Everest ones. That’s how you know you’re ready for the next step.

Build on your habit.

Now maybe you’re ready for four home workouts per week, or two exercises when you go to the gym. Practice this new habit for another two weeks. Keep repeating this cycle.

With this practice, your difficult-difficult will become easier. As a result, you’ll get better at facing your pain and fears… and better at changing.

Step #3: Share your pain.

I once had a client named Nadia. Her commitment waxed and waned, and eventually she stopped showing up for workouts—a story any trainer knows all too well.

Two years later, Nadia asked if we could meet up. Over coffee, she explained she has a learning disability, but she’d been embarrassed to tell me about it before. During our workouts, she’d felt lost and anxious.

Armed with this new information, we figured out how to make her more comfortable this time around. She started showing up four days a week and made tons of progress.

Talking to people about your pain can:

  • take some of the pain’s power away (you could realize you’re not at fault)
  • make previously hidden solutions seem more obvious
  • open up new sources of support that weren’t available before
  • help you connect with people who are going through similar changes
  • let others know that you’re open to help, if they’re able to provide it.

Start with the people you love.

Even once Michelle opened up to me, she still had no intention of telling her husband or her daughter about her pain. At first, she didn’t even tell them she had joined a gym.

After a few months, she’d lost some weight, but her motivation started to dwindle, and she was still angry at her daughter. I asked her what she thought might happen if she talked to her daughter about it.

“I was really hoping to avoid conflict,” she said.

What resulted was the opposite. Michelle’s daughter and son-in-law were highly encouraging. In fact, both committed to making nutrition changes with her to show their support. Michelle’s husband even purged all the junk food from their house.

While there are no guarantees, most of the time, if you allow yourself to be vulnerable with the people you’re close to, they’ll rally to support you.

And that can make all the difference in continuing to make progress.

Give yourself permission to take it slow.

If you don’t feel ready to reveal your pain to someone else just yet, you can use the principles of stress inoculation training (SIT) to help you start sharing little by little.

SIT is like a stress vaccination. The basic idea is to slowly get comfortable being… uncomfortable.

Think of it like this: Exposing yourself to small amounts of stress regularly—in levels that don’t overwhelm you—trains you to handle much tougher situations. Just like with exercise.

In this case, tell your story in pieces, at your own pace, until you start to adapt to the stress of sharing. Or maybe reveal your pain in a journal first, then with a stranger, and then with someone you’re close to.

Because you can do this alone, but you don’t have to.

If it feels a little uncomfortable, you’re on the right track.

Remember, we call it difficult-difficult for a reason.

But if you’re willing to dig deep, find your why, and uncover the root of your pain, you may discover the purpose and passion you’ve been missing.

So move past thinking you “just want to get fit” or “can’t lose weight.” And open yourself to the possibility there’s more to the story.

That’s where you’ll find the motivation you really need… for the results you really want.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—by helping them discover their true motivation—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

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AFPA Graduate Spotlight: Andrew Schuth, Personal Trainer

During the last 25 years, we’ve certified over 110,000 professionals. To celebrate our 25th year in business, we’re selecting 25 grads to showcase this year. Meet our next featured grad, Andrew Schuth, an AFPA Personal Trainer, who’s been certified with us for 10+ years and has used to his certification to build a successful group fitness and personal training business.



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230 Elias Scarr – Essential Actions for Onboarding New Members

Elias Scarr is the Membership Director for Results Fitness and the sales and communication coach for Results Fitness University, which is a consulting group for gyms world wide.

Elias has over 20 years of sales experience in the service industry and has presented for many organizations including IHRSA the NSCA and Perform Better.

 

 

 


What you’ll learn

  • Essential steps of a customer journey in the first 30 days
  • New member gifts, gestures and actions that make an impact
  • Universal language that connects your team to your members
  • Communication in the 30-90 Day growth period
  • Two things you must AVOID doing during the onboarding period
  • 3 ways a club can ensure a new member has an unforgettable fitness journey

Episode Timeline

  • 00:31  Thank you to our podcast partner Precor
  • 01:01  What’s coming up on this weeks show
  • 02:47  Message from our podcast partner Precor
  • 03:55 Essential steps of onboarding in the first 30 days
  • 14:38  Communication in the 30-90 Day growth period
  • 17:08  What to do in year one
  • 20:56  Two things you must AVOID doing during the onboarding period
  • 23:19  3 ways a club can ensure a new member has an unforgettable fitness journey
  • 25:37  Precor Quick Fire Five with Gemma Anderson
  • 28:01  Thank you to our Foundation Partner Active Management

Precor Quick Fire Five Guest, Gemma Anderson

Gemma Anderson

Resources our experts shared in the show

Elias Scarr: Website | Instagram

Dual Transformation recommended by Gemma Anderson

Sponsors

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5 significant reasons to lose weight: Forget heart attacks and skinny jeans. This is why weight loss is important.

Avoiding heart disease and looking ‘fab’ aren’t always great reasons to lose weight. However, here are 5 immediate and significant ways your life can change when you trim the fat.

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I’d like you to join me in a thought experiment.

I promise there’s a point to it. In fact, we’ll soon talk about why most popular reasons for losing weight are either uninspiring or scientifically worthless.

But, for now, let’s begin by setting our feelings, insecurities, assumptions, stories, and beliefs about body fat aside.

You might feel confused. Or defensive. Or saying “Yes, but…”

Please bear with me. Just for a few minutes.

Forget, for a moment, about looking good.

Forget about “thin privilege”. Forget about “fat privilege”.

Forget about personal rights or civic obligations.

Forget about abs and guns and lats and whatever other laundry list of nonsense is now used to describe various body parts.

While you’re at it, forget about whatever other wretchedness the Internet has spawned this week. (Thigh gap? Duck lips? Bikini bridge? Manscaping?)

So, yeah, forget about body image.

Forget, for a moment, about disease.

Forget about all the big-name medical scares including atherosclerosis, arterial plaque, cardiac arrest, pulmonary hypertension, stroke, all the cancers, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

And forget about what some randomly chosen biomarker says.

“My glucose tolerance is good. I’m healthy and fat!”

“My triglycerides are low. I’m healthy and thin!”

“My cholesterol is excellent. I’m healthy and jacked!”

For a moment, let all of that go. (More on why in a second).

And, most of all, forget about “health at any size”.

Yes, obese people do have the right to be treated with dignity.

Absolutely and certainly.

And, yes, obese people should be supported in efforts to become more healthy outside of weight loss. As we all know, health isn’t a direct function of your weight.

However, the “health at any size” movement goes one step too far in suggesting that obesity is harmless. That it’s not bad for you. That having excess body fat is of no more consequence than wearing a red sweater or driving a Nissan Sentra.

This is simply not true; it contradicts most of the available evidence.

So, for now, forget a) looking good, b) disease, and c) “health at any size”.

Each of these obscures the real, significant reasons people should consider losing weight.

For example: The mainstream conversation about fatness and health focuses on medical conditions that can kill or disable us. While these make for great headlines, this angle isn’t very compelling.

Why not? Well, imagine that bacon (or broccoli, or some other food) causes a 10 percent increase in some horrible cancer-type disease. Scary, right?

Not when you realize that your chance of dying from that horrible cancer-type thing without bacon (or broccoli) is only 1 in 100,000 (or 0.00001 percent). And that a 10 percent increase from eating bacon (or broccoli) means your chance rises to 1.1 in 100,000 (or 0.000011 percent).

Meh.

Since we’re all going to die anyway, medical scare tactics simply don’t come off as scary (especially when you know what the data really mean). Nor do they motivate change.

The fitness industry, of course, takes another approach.

In fitness it’s all about looking great in a certain type of clothing, or on the beach, or at your high school reunion. And while that can seem inspiring for a minute, it’s not proven to be a sustainable way to achieve long-term weight loss and maintenance.

5 GOOD reasons for losing weight.

In the end, the most popular incentives — scary disease statistics and fitness industry vanity trips — aren’t very effective, useful, or scientifically valid ways to promote weight loss.

That’s a huge missed opportunity, because there are much better reasons to lose weight. More pressing, more evidence-based, more quality-of-life focused reasons.

Sadly, they’re not often talked about in the public debate.

(Notice that I said public debate. Scientists and doctors talk about them all the time. They’re well established in research. They just haven’t made it to the public yet).

So let’s talk about them now.

Reason #5: Your knees and elbows will thank you.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, in which we lose cartilage and gradually destroy the bones of our joints.

Imagine two rocks grinding together and you get the idea of how fun that is.

In my experience, healthy people don’t think much about osteoarthritis because it’s common. Aging makes it more likely. Everyone’s grandma has a twinge of arthritis.

So we think it’s normal.

This hides the degree to which it can be very unpleasant and debilitating.

Like most chronic illnesses, osteoarthritis is a vicious cycle.

  • Your joints hurt, so you move less.
  • Moving less means your joints don’t get loaded.
  • Less joint loading means muscle weakness.
  • Muscle weakness means force doesn’t get cushioned correctly.
  • Less cushion means the condition worsens.
  • More osteoarthritis means more pain.
  • And, onwards, we circle the drain.

The point? Obesity makes it much more likely that you’ll get osteoarthritis.

In one study comparing the heaviest patients to the lightest, the chance of being diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee was more than 6 times in the heavy group. For both knees it was almost 18 times.

(Naturally, other studies over the last 20 years have investigated the same relationship. Some estimates are higher, some are lower. But the association between body fat and osteoarthritis has been replicated several times.)

The reason this happens is complicated.

It isn’t just that heavier people put more weight on their joints, and those joints then degrade over time. It’s also that there seems to be a relationship between the presence of excess fat tissue and inflammation.

Thus, osteoarthritis probably comes from a combination of excess joint loading plus the inflammatory chemical and hormonal environment that having too much body fat creates.

Bottom line: One important reason to lose weight is to reduce joint pain and improve your movement. These are things you can benefit from almost immediately.

precision-nutrition-joints-reasons

 

Reason #4: You’ll get a good night’s sleep.

Think of what happens when a rockslide blocks a tunnel.

That’s sleep apnea: The upper airway collapses while you sleep, cutting off that oxygen tunnel.

Just so you know, sleep apnea is more than a little snoring.

Sleep apnea means you stop breathing. Over and over and over. As you sleep.

Which is bad.

More body fat means more potential for sleep apnea. This comes from a few combined factors:

  • Fat in your airway narrows the space available. This makes your airway more prone to collapsing.
  • Fat in your upper body puts weight on your lungs and reduces the space available to them. You need more oxygen but you can’t get it as well.
  • Fat — a hormone-producing organ — changes your hormonal signals. This rewires your respiratory systems.

While around 25 percent of adults have sleep apnea, 50 percent of obese adults have it.

Even more scary: If you have mild sleep apnea, and you put on weight, the chances of you graduating to moderate or severe sleep apnea are:

  • 5 percent weight gain = 250 percent increase of severe sleep apnea
  • 10 percent weight gain = 650 percent increase of severe sleep apnea
  • 20 percent weight gain = 3,700 percent increase of severe sleep apnea

(And it’s scariest for children:  46 percent of obese children have sleep apnea, while the typical incidence in children is approximately 3 percent).

So, why is sleep apnea bad?

Sleep is a major regulator of our metabolism. If our sleep is bad, so is our metabolic health.

This means things like elevated inflammation, rapid cell aging and oxidation, and hormonal disruption (and, yes, higher risk for all kinds of nasty chronic diseases in the long term).

Bottom line: Another important reason to lose weight is so that you can sleep better. Not only does this help regulate metabolism, hormone systems, and more. It helps you feel, think and live better right away.

Reason #3: You’ll actually start to taste your food.

This may sound weird, but it seems that people who struggle with their weight don’t taste food as well.

Wait, what? People who often eat more food can’t taste as well? Exactly.

Why? We’re not sure. We don’t yet know whether excess body fat changes your tastes. Or whether your tastes change your appetite and cause weight gain.

We also don’t know whether this is an issue of:

  • “wanting” tastes: seeking and craving the reward of tastes
  • “liking” tastes: actually enjoying tastes
  • chemical signaling: how taste is created in the mouth and interpreted by the brain

Here’s what we do know.

People vary in how well and sensitively they can perceive different flavors and textures such as fattiness or sweetness.

One hypothesis is that if we can’t taste as well, we eat more food to compensate.

On the flip side, people with high BMIs seem to avoid bitter foods more, and have a stronger “disgust” response. As it happens, many vegetables are bitter or astringent (think of kale, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, etc.).

So there seems to be a relationship between:

  • excess body fat;
  • wanting and liking fat / sweet foods and pleasant tastes;
  • eating fat / sweet foods; and
  • avoiding unpleasant tastes.

How might this happen?

Animal models are handy here since we can control their food intake and they don’t seem to care much about food advertising.

So, in animal models:

  • Overfeeding obesity-prone mice changes how their taste cells function.
  • Rats with obesity-related changes in fat/sugar reward can at least somewhat reverse those changes with weight loss.
  • Rats given weight loss surgery (yes, that’s a real thing) appear to go back to their “normal” liking/wanting behavior.

Put simply, what this could mean is:

  • Many people with excess body fat also have altered flavor perception.
  • The flavor perception could pre-date gaining fat.
  • Or, the flavor perception could be caused by gaining fat. Or both.

The only observation I’ll add is that the foods we consider to be the most responsible for obesity just happen to pander directly to this dysfunction by having aggressively over-sweet, over-salty, over-fatty, etc. flavor profiles.

We eat and eat and eat them, but they never seem to satisfy. It’s a Sisyphean irony.

The good news is that in both humans and rats, tastes are changeable.

This means that losing fat, getting fit, and consistently building healthy habits can actually change how we perceive flavors. In a good way.

(One day, you might just find you like Brussels sprouts after all).

More importantly, when you truly enjoy food, you eat less, but you feel much more satisfied.

Bottom line: Obese people have altered taste perceptions leading to eating more and eating more of the wrong foods. By losing weight you’ll end up craving less high-sugar and high-fat food. You might even enjoy an extra veggie or two.

Reason #2: Your immune system will work properly again.

We tend to think of body fat like an ATM: a place where we deposit or withdraw energy. It isn’t.

Instead, fat is an active endocrine organ. That means it secretes hormones and cytokines (cell signaling molecules).

Hormones and cytokines have effects throughout the body. They “talk” to one another chemically.

Like all things, balance is important. If we have a healthy amount of fat, our hormones and cell signals work properly. If we have too much, things go wrong.

For example, with too much body fat our immune systems get off kilter.

There’s a huge, scary pile of evidence here so let’s keep it simple.

Increased BMI and more body fat is associated with greater risk for several kinds of infections including:

  • gum infections,
  • nose and sinus infections,
  • stomach infections, and
  • herpes (thankfully, the mouth kind).

Why? Too much adipose (fat) tissue can release large amounts of immune chemicals. Over time, this chronic high exposure can interfere with the body’s ability to spot and stop actual outside infections.

Bottom line: Losing body fat can mean a healthier, more responsive, more robust immune system. And that means fewer colds, fewer infections, and a healthier daily life.

precision-nutrition-immunity-reasons

 

Reason #1: You’ll survive surgery and childbirth.

People with a lot of body fat:

  • are harder to intubate,
  • have a higher risk of incisional hernia post-laprascopy
    (i.e. popping open again),
  • have a longer operation time,
  • have a higher risk of catheter site infection, and
  • have a higher rate of serious postoperative complications.

Surgery is a risky business for people who are obese.

This is a double whammy because people who struggle with obesity also struggle with more health issues that may require surgery.

So obese people may need surgery… but not be able to get it, or not recover as well when they do.

Pregnancy is a good example of this.

  • Among women who are significantly obese, about 50 percent of them must undergo Caesarean sections, compared to only about 20 percent of the general population.
  • Even if they give birth vaginally, obese women may have to have a lot more instruments and medical procedures involved.
  • After surgery, mothers with obesity may end up with more surgical site infections.

This is aside from other pregnancy complications, which also go up significantly as body fat increases.

Bottom line: Every surgery patient wants a safe and speedy recovery. And every mother wants a safe birth and a thriving, bouncing baby. Having a healthy range of body fat makes those happy outcomes much more likely.

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition

Let’s forget about all the “shoulds”, as in, “You should lose weight because blah blah terrible thing will happen.”

Let’s focus on how awesome life can get when your body is as functional, mobile, and metabolically healthy as it can possibly be.

1. Go toward the good

We’ve noticed a trend in the stories of people who lost a great deal of weight:

They focus on the small blessings and achievements of everyday life.

  • “I can live in a walk-up apartment now.”
  • “I can run around with my kids.”
  • “I don’t get tired through the day.”
  • “Food tastes better. I can’t explain how.”
  • “My random aches and pains stopped.”
  • “I can carry my two-year old without wheezing.”
  • “I have so much more energy.”
  • “I bounce back from illness straightaway now.”

And they always sound so satisfied.

2. Seek incremental change

“Thigh gap” and “healthy at any size” are the two extremes of one problem: an all-or-nothing approach to health and body weight.

Real, lasting changes in diet and lifestyle require a different approach.

Precision Nutrition Coaching clients who achieve the most success come to realize that incremental change serves them best — and, to their surprise, produces immediate improvements in quality of life.

3. Focus on the tangible benefits

Losing weight isn’t magical. Your life is still your life, regardless.

Yet with a healthy amount of body fat, your life often becomes a little bit easier and better. You’re a little more functional and mobile. A little more able.

So if we talk about fat, let’s not tell people (or ourselves) how to feel. Or how to cheat death.

Keep the focus on positive changes you could see in your life in just a few weeks’ time:

  • Knees that work.
  • Colds that go away.
  • A good night’s sleep.
  • Food that tastes nice.
  • A straightforward recovery after surgery.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that helps them make consistent progress even when life gets complicated—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

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