Ep #7: Creating a Comprehensive Weight-Loss Plan

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On this episode of It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight, I'm addressing a huge cause of why many of us have weight issues and what we can do about it now.

I was inspired to share this insight into why so many of us are where we are by Oprah's Golden Globe speech in which she told all of the young girls and women watching that,  "a new day is coming." But how can we be equipped to handle the new day if we are continuously suffering and focusing on our weight?

By taking control of our health.

Today, I'm walking you through Step 1: Creating a Protocol, or how to create a comprehensive weight-loss plan. I'm breaking down each element of a successful plan so you can understand the importance of food quality, quantity, and timing, as well as your habits, desires, and thoughts about food and yourself.

Click "play below to get started!

Make sure to download the Quick-Start Guide to a Successful Weight-Loss Plan. If you have any questions, please email them to me at pat@beauprecoaching.com

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why it’s almost impossible to lose weight on the Standard American Diet (SAD).
  • Understanding the importance of food quality and quantity.
  • The 3 kinds of hunger we experience and how to differentiate between them.
  • The importance of properly timing your meals and how to do it the right way.
  • How I implemented the weight-loss protocol in my own life.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight, podcast with Pat Beaupre Becker, episode four. Welcome to It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight, a podcast for women approaching 60 who have been successful at everything but reaching their weight loss goals. Tune in each week for tools and strategies to help you lose weight, create a strong body, and support a healthy mind. Here's your host, certified weight and life coach, Pat Beaupre Becker.

Hello my dears. I’m getting ready to give a workshop to a group of Girl Scouts who are also in high school, so I’ve been reconsidering the inspiration that I took from Oprah’s Golden Globes talk. And the part of it that really excited me was this idea that there’s a new day on the horizon. So fascinating that as evolved as we are as a society and as women, women have been afraid to speak up.

It’s taken one woman after another woman after another woman who had the courage to speak up and take the risk, and that is what has woken us all up. You know, as a society and as a culture, we put up with having our boundaries broken, but that was because we didn’t think there was another way, right? We were ashamed, we were told not to tell, and for some reason, to protect ourselves, to protect our families, we protected the abusers to protect our jobs. And protecting the abusers is just part of our history.

Now, I have my own “Me Too” story, and I want to share with you how that experience was transformed by another public outing. It was 1984 and I was 31 years old, and a TV movie came out called Something About Amelia, that was produced and directed by two women, Michelle Rappaport and Randa Haines. And it was actually the most watched network television show during the week of January in 1984. And it changed the trajectory of my life and my mother’s life.

We didn’t know that there was a bigger story. My mother and I were stuck in what we thought was a private nightmare, and we didn’t know what to do with it. We didn’t know how to get out of it. And we both made it mean that we were at fault; that we were broken. It was really causing us a lot of pain. But as we saw this public demonstration that incest was a problem that existed outside of our little family. We got to see that we had to accept what happened, but that didn’t mean that we were going to condone it. It didn’t mean we were going to put up with it.

And that’s the new day that young women are bringing forth today, because they’re saying, “Are you crazy?” And you know what’s happening as a result of their speaking up? They’re being put down; they’re being made fun of. But that’s okay, because you can call us names. And I have to say, we are not perfect throughout this time because people are being hurt and it is unfortunate. But I also think it’s so unfortunate that as a culture and as a society we have been putting up with this for so long.

So when Oprah says, “I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon. And when that new day dawns, it will be because of a lot of a lot of magnificent men and women. I am inspired to say thank god, because now we know it is safer to speak up.” And the thing that is really amazing, or fascinating or sad or whatever – it just is what it is – is that many of us have weight issues because we didn’t learn how to keep our boundaries. We were too fearful to speak up. We didn’t learn how to take care of ourselves.

At the same time, we grew up at a time when technology is moving so fast and food is changing. From the time you were a child to now, food has transformed. And in the meantime, there was those TV dinners, we have fast food, we have convenience food. We’re working long hours and we don’t have time for cooking. And we’re taking advantage of all this amazing tasting food, but we happen to be using it to help us deal with our personal problems; because at least when we were eating we could say we felt good.

But in some ways, haven’t we given our power away to advertisers, to these pleasure hawkers. And what happens is as a result today, here we are, standing before you, and how many of us have problems with our hips and our knees and our ankles due to being overweight? Or diagnoses of bone disease or pre-diabetes, diabetes, obesity? And we may be looking at our 60s and 70s looming in our future. But I have some great news, because just because you have accepted it up to now, just because you haven’t seen a way out, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. And I’m going to offer you just one way out; one way to a healthier you. And that is by taking control of your health by taking control of your food, and taking control of your heart and your thoughts.

So my solution really starts with becoming aware of what it is you’re eating, what it is you’re feeling, what you’re thinking and how you’re planning. So for today’s episode, I’ve created a guide which is a quick start guide to a successful weight loss plan.

So I want you to go to www.never2late.info/guide and pick up a copy of the plan. So the plan is going to include the quality of your food, the quantity of your food and the timing of your meals. It’s also going to include your habits and desires and your thoughts about food. It will include the habits and desires and thoughts you have about yourself, about your past, about your future. And it’s going to include your ability to visualize the future, even if it’s not one you’ve ever been to before.

So today’s episode, we’re going to focus on that first step, and I call it creating a protocol. And a protocol is your design for eating. So what you’re going to do is look at your day, look at your life, look at what you like to eat and we’re going to create a plan. And that plan is going to include when you will eat, how much you will eat and what you’re going to eat.

So let’s look at the quality, the quantity and the timing. So, when we talk about food quality, I bet you already know what I’m going to say, because many of us who are in our 60s and our 70s, we have been dealing with food issues for so many years. We are so educated about food. We know everything there is to know. But do you understand why it’s impossible to lose weight on the standard American diet?

Are you really aware of what happens when you eat these artificially concentrated calorie-dense foods? Because what’s happening is your hormones are being imbalanced and this food is actually betraying your brain with dopamine reward, right; which is like what happens when you take drugs. Also, it’s disrupting your signals for are you hungry, are you full? You can’t even tell anymore.

Now, I can tell you that a cup of ice cream – right, we all love ice cream, but there’s so much junk in ice cream. And the truth is, one cup of ice cream is the same amount of calories as 25 cooked carrots. And you could never actually eat ten apples, but all of the fiber and the polyphenols that are in apples, if you ate ten apples, that would be the equivalent of the calories of one cup of ice cream.

And wait for it, it’s also the equivalent of a half-gallon of raw salad, three ears of corn and one pound of ripe cherries. Crazy, huh? Do you think you’re going to feel a little different after one cup of ice cream versus a half a gallon of raw salad, corn and cherries? You are going to feel more satiated. You’re going to have more balance; more nutrition and you’re going to have more fiber in your body. And that is going to last longer than that cup of ice cream.

So when you create a protocol, I want you to put in it whole foods, full fiber foods. I like to think about them as one ingredient. That would be chicken, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, maybe beans, and of course, you could add onions and garlic and spices. But the main part of the meal is that one word.

You can also find this food – mostly you’re going to walk around the edge of the supermarket; that’s where you’re going to find most of these whole foods.

Then we’re going to talk about the quantity of your food. And do you know that the biggest reason why people give up on the weight loss plan is because of hunger? Nobody likes to feel hungry. We have this idea that hunger is an emergency. And it makes sense because of course your primitive brain needed you to eat food so that you were not going to starve. But there is so much food around us. We have access to so much food, your brain really doesn’t have to be worried about you starving.

But yet, when we have hunger, we panic sometimes. So I want to talk about three different kinds of hunger. The first is toxic hunger. So if you have been predominantly eating a diet that has lots of high sugar, highly processed food – once you stop eating that, your brain is going to be going into rebellion, and your body’s going to respond as well. So you may get a headache, you may feel light headed, but really, what’s happening is you are experiencing toxic hunger. It doesn’t mean you’re going to die, it doesn’t mean you’re going to faint. It just means your body is going through a transition. And with my clients, it takes anywhere from two days to two weeks, and most people will get through that toxic hunger. We can take care of that by drinking more water, getting more sleep and really preparing ourselves for the transition between a not so healthy food plan and a healthier food plan.

The other kind of hunger is psychological hunger. And this is where we grab something when we’re bored, when we’re upset, we had an argument, something has happened in our lives, we’re just not happy and so we seek food for comfort. And so this is another way that you can see how mostly the psychological hunger asks us to grab for some comfort food, which is highly processed, highly sugar – it’s very rare that you want to satisfy that with a piece of broccoli and a piece of chicken, right. Mostly we want to reach for potato chips or we want to have a donut or a cookie or macaroni and cheese.

So if you are experiencing psychological hunger, it’s really important for you to understand that food will never solve that problem. If you’re seeking comfort, we have to learn to find other ways of comfort. If you want more joy in your life, then we want to find other ways to give you joy.

So the third hunger that we want to talk about is normal hunger. So once you start eating a diet of 100% whole foods, your hunger is going to be different because it’s going to be not as urgent as toxic hunger or psychological hunger. It’s kind of this low grumbling and you kind of fell it in your stomach. Sometimes you feel it in your throat and your mouth, right. And what happens once you adapt to eating whole foods, you can actually go longer without eating, especially if you have weight to lose, because what’s happening is your body will stop burning the sugar that it’s used to getting and it will start burning fat. And that’s exactly what we want. We want our bodies to dine in. we want our bodies to eat the fat on our bodies when we have excess fat.

So when we talk about the quantities of food and we talk about hunger, we want to make sure that your protocol has enough food so that you feel satiated and you get the nutrition you need. So generally speaking, quantity for healthy lunch or healthy dinner as you are trying to begin to lose weight would be about 4oz of protein. That would be any kind of meats, if you were going to do beef or chicken, or if you’re a vegetarian it could be 4oz of tempeh. And if it’s beans, it could be 6oz of beans.

Then you want to have at least 10-12oz of vegetables with each meal and two tablespoons of healthy fats. So that would be with your lunch and with your dinner.

So when you do this, when you actually create a protocol, you have to follow it for at least two weeks because what you want to do is understand, is this the right amount of food for your body to release weight? Is this the right amount of food for you to be satiated, enough to sustain this weight loss plan? Because you can’t be starving, right. You want to get through that period of toxic hunger, but there has to be a transition where you actually become fat adapted and you start burning your own fat. So doing this for two weeks will give you information, then you can tweak that protocol if that’s what’s required.

Now, the third part of the protocol is timing. [bad stumble 0:14:37.4] This is called intermittent fasting. Now, there’s been lots of research about our biological clocks, which is the circadian rhythm. And what happens is, as we are sleeping or as we stop eating at the end of the day, and then we start eating in the morning, what’s happening is our body is digesting. Our mitochondria is actually regenerating; our cells are regenerating. Lots of processes are happening and are really important for our health and for our weight loss over the course of the evening.

They’ve done some studies where they have seen that the disruption of circadian clocks actually predisposes animals to insulin resistance and obesity. And so, we really recommend that you get a good night’s sleep and you actually do not eat over the course of the evening. And how we do this is by creating a feeding window and a fasting window. So we create at least 10 to 12 hours of fasting.

So part of the reason we do this is that many of us are insulin resistant. And basically, each time we eat, and if we eat throughout the day or if we eat six means, actually our insulin is being raised each time we eat. And if we’re eating high sugar and highly processed food, our insulin is also being added to our bodies. And what happens is then we become resistant to it and that’s when our hormones are out of balance and our hunger gets all out of balance.

You can do a seven-hour feeding window or you can do a 12-hour feeding window. Many of my clients like to just do two meals where they start eating at noon with lunch. So maybe they’ll have a coffee with some heavy cream in the morning, then they’ll have lunch at noon, then they finish eating between seven and eight. Then that gives them from, say eight o’clock to 12 o’clock the next day, which would be their fasting window. Or I have clients that eat three meals, and that’s what works for them. And that would be 12. Let’s say they start their breakfast around seven and they finish eating around seven or eight, giving their bodies 12 hours of digestion; of integration.

So you might be asking how is it possible to create this kind of a protocol and stick to it. And for myself, before I was eating like this, I used to eat lots of sugar. And my daughter will tell you about the way we ate. Lots of fast food, we really did a lot of Burger King and a lot of Burritos and premade foods. I mean, I just wasn’t much of a cook, right.

And so when I went through this change of food, I did have to go through this period of toxic hunger where I was almost in a panic sometimes. But I just kind of stuck with it because, you know, I gave up smoking cigarettes and I remember that period of time was so difficult, and so I knew that this toxic hunger was going to pass.

So how I went from someone who didn’t know there was anything else to eat other than flour and sugar to someone who chooses 100% whole foods. You know how I did it? I did it with practice. And I started to see results. I started to feel really much better in my body; my emotions were a little bit more calm. Then I started to desire that feeling of waking up in the morning and not having this over-stuffed stomach, not having this hangover of regret and recrimination.

I also learned how to deal with the psychological hunger, right. I was really feeling like my past was a problem and I was always trying to solve my uncomfortable feelings by stuffing them down, by resisting them, by distracting myself. And I have to say, once I learned how to do that, I started to really separate food from my psychology. And as I became fat adapted and getting leaner, it just started to become easier.

And now, I eat simply, I eat tasty food and I give my body the nutrition it needs. But I have found that I want to have fun, I want to be joyful, but I don’t get that from my food anymore. So my pleasure is measured like I measure my protein, my vegetables, my spices, my salad. I mean, I get pleasure out of adding sprouts and Jicama, right. And I eat out, I travel; I’ve been to Italy, I’ve been to Paris, I’ve been to New Jersey, I’ve been to New York. But right now, there’s no more drama with the scale because drama comes in my life and once the drama in my life happens, I work it out.

So in summary, I want you to be aware of what you’re eating, what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking and how you’re planning. And you do that by creating this comprehensive plan. And today, we talked about your protocol, which includes the quality, the quantity and the timing of your meals. It includes your habits and desires and thoughts about food, and your habits and thoughts and desires about yourself.

So how does this work? So for myself, I actually used to eat very haphazardly and sometimes I would go on an eating plan or I would try and restrict my food, restrict my desert intake, but ultimately, I just wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted it and it wasn’t really serving me.

I was emotionally very unstable, I was gaining weight; I could see diabetes in my future. So I decided to try this new way of eating. And my brain was very confused because not only was it no longer getting this dopamine from eating sugar, it was really learning how to eat lots of healthy food. And it wasn’t very comfortable initially, and I believe that I was experiencing toxic hunger. And that lasted, for me, a good four or five days where I had a headache and I was almost light headed and I was – again, my brain was very confused. It reminded me of when I gave up cigarettes in my early 30s.

I used to smoke a pack a day, and I remember when I stopped smoking cigarettes, there was not only the nicotine I had to go through the withdrawal from, but I also had created so many habits. I actually smoked before I did everything and after I did everything. So before I got on the subway I’d light up a cigarette. When I would get out from the subway and start walking, I’d light up a cigarette. Before I made a phone call I’d light up a cigarette. After I made a phone call I’d light up a cigarette.

There was a habit of creating these demarcations of time where I would always have a cigarette; and that’s what my brain did. And in many cases, I had similar habits around food. I would drive past a store, my brain would be activated and I would go and get that food. And I would find myself in Walgreens and I’d be buying Twizzlers and Suzy Qs. And if they had Suzy Qs, oh my god, that was the jackpot because you couldn’t really find them many places. Or I would do Oreos, which never tasted as good as what they tasted in my memory of the past.

So changing my eating habits meant changing so many other habits at the same time. But what happened was, once I got past that toxic hunger, I started to feel better. My emotions started to stabilize, and that is a big surprise because I didn’t realize how much my emotions were being set off because of the high quantities of processed food and sugar.

So I learned slowly, with practice, once I saw a little good result here, it enabled me to take the next step forward. So it was a little bit at a time, my desire for food changed. It was really fascinating. And then I had to learn how to deal with my psychological hunger. So if I felt, if I had a fight with my husband, instead of eating I would start to actually look at what was happening in my relationship.

I also started becoming fat adapted, so my hunger wasn’t toxic, it was just kind of this very – I could handle my hunger, and I always knew there was a meal coming because I had a plan that I was following. So it was never like, “Oh my god, there’s no food. I’m going to starve. I’m restricting myself.” No, there was just this plan and I knew that I could follow this plan.

So I eat very simply, but my food tastes good, right. And I give my body the nutrition it needs. And when I’m looking for fun or joy, or I really feel like I need a treat, I don’t look to food to satisfy my joy or my fun or my need for a treat.

So my pleasure is taken – it’s not as heightened in terms of taking drugs or eating this processed sugar that gives me this incredible rush, but it’s more measured, in a sense. The other thing is that I also eat out once or twice a week. I’m able to maintain this healthy diet. I travel, I’ve been to Paris, I’ve been to Sicily, I’ve been to Italy and I’ve been to New Jersey and New York and I’ve been to Plano Texas. And I’m still able to eat wholesome food with my plan.

So there’s no drama, right. The scale is not about drama anymore. And when I have drama, because I’m a human being and there is drama that arises now and again, then I deal with my thoughts and my feelings, I have my daily routine of mental hygiene. I write down what is going on in my brain. I put down my thoughts. I put down my feelings, and I have my plan, right; my food plan. It’s really easy to follow because it’s like building the tracks for a train that’s going to go to a particular destination. Only this time, the destination is actually where I want to go.

So even if I have to lay down those tracks, it’s the guidepost of my plan. So I know what I’m going to eat, I know how I’m going to eat it and what quantities. And I know approximately when I’m going to eat it, so there’s no question; no drama. It’s just a matter of the train is going along the tracks.

And now the train – I can stop that train and I can enjoy my life, but I always know that, in terms of food, I have a plan to follow. So in summary, I am asking you to create your own protocol as part of a comprehensive successful weight loss plan. So you’re going to become aware of what you are eating, what you are feeling, what you are thinking and how you are planning. And your protocol is going to include your quantity of food, the quality of your food and the timing of your meals.

And you follow that protocol for two weeks, and then you will have data points. You will know how much food it takes for you to lose weight, what foods feel satiating – you’ll have lots of information about your protocol, and then you can adjust it if required.

Now I want to introduce you to another one of my favorite things; and this is called a Motiv. It’s a ring and it actually tracks your heart rate, it tracks your steps and it tracks your sleep. Now, I’m actually new to consistent exercise. I never had a Fitbit. So I was looking into getting something to help me achieve my goals and I did some research online and I found this new product called Motiv. And what it is, it’s a tracker similar to a Fitbit except it’s a pretty cool looking ring.

So now what I do is I track my steps, I track my heart rate and also my sleep. And I’m actually obsessed with tracking my sleep and my restlessness. I know getting more sleep is crucial for health. It’s the time when our mitochondria grow and those are the energy engines of our cells. I know that’s important to the integration of any physical work I’ve done during the day, any mental exercises that I’ve done. And also, just to integrate everything that I’ve learned throughout the day.

So with the Motiv, I can track my steps, my heart rate and my sleep, and I absolutely love it. So I am excited to say that you can win one. How? If you’ve enjoyed this episode and you found it valuable, I would love it if you could review it on iTunes. Because to celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to give away a Motiv to a lucky listener who could be you if you go and subscribe, rate and review the show on iTunes.

And if you want to know exactly how to do that, you can go to www.never2late.info/iTunes to learn more about the contest and how to enter. Then, once you review the show, you’re going to email me the title of your review. You’re going to send it to me at Pat@BeaupreCoaching.com, and then I’ll enter you to win. And I’ll be announcing a winner on an upcoming episode.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed the show and I look forward to talking with you next week. Bye-bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight. If you liked what you heard and want more, head over to never2late.info/guide, to download your quick start guide to jump start your weight loss plan and begin creating an amazing life you love.

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