40 Ways To Shame Yourself Into Shape, Wait, What?!

Why Shame Makes You Fat (and How To Break Free from It)

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Real-Life Insights and Takaways

  • Shame is not an effective way to change behavior. Positivity and celebrating health is a good way to change our long term health habits.
  • Our country’s obesity epidemic is partially due to shaming individuals into losing weight which usually leads to long-term weight gain.
  • There is an underlying belief in our country that food is bad and we need to eat less of it. Until this underlying model is replaced, no tactics or techniques will change long-term health.
  • Food is what nourishes us and makes us happy, healthy, and whole.
  • Eat more of the foods that nourish you.
  • There are many strategies you can use to lose weight, but they do not bring a high-quality of life long-term. SANE is about long-term health.
  • Compare shame-based dieting with SANE-based living:
    • Don’t close your kitchen, instead eat SANE food wheneveryou are hungry.
    • Eating slowly is a good idea because it gives your food a chance to help you feel satisfied, but eating slowly shouldn’t be used as a diet tool.
    • Food journaling is helpful, but focus on what you eat, not on tracking calories.
    • It is true that if you add 10% to your daily caloric intake you will have a closer indication of the actual calories consumed, but calorie counting is not recommended as nutrition labels are inaccurate.
    • Rather than having a diet buddy, find a friend or community to encourage you to eat more vegetables.
    • Replace shame-based, diet mantras with SANE ones, like “Eat more, smarter.”
    • Instead of only eating before noon and skipping meals the rest of the day, eat the right foods and listen to your brain when it tells you when you are hungry or full.
    • Rather than finding methods to keep yourself from eating food or too much of it, (i.e. brushing your teeth after a meal, ordering a small portion, serving food on a small platter, sniffing a peppermint instead of eating, staring at the color blue, eating in front of a mirror, etc.), just eat the right foods when you are hungry.

—NEXT ACTION—
Learn the right foods to eat and eat them in abundance. Prove to yourself that eating more food is beneficial by increasing your daily intake of non-starchy vegetables.

Reflection Questions

  • Have you ever felt shamed into eating less?
  • Do you have food rules that keep you from enjoying food?
  • How can you experience joy rather than shame when eating?
  • Do you have a personal mantra that helps you to eat healthily?
  • How can you avoid following shame-based diet lists that just make you feel guilty?

SANE Soundbites

Scroll up to pin and share the sexy infographic versions of these 😉

  • 2:47 – 3:18, “And as I was reading these, some of them kind of seemed to make sense, and some of them made me want to cry because I was picturing myself listening to advice like this my whole life and thinking that it was a checklist that I needed to follow and trying to do all of these things drove me crazy because I couldn’t do all of them, I didn’t like myself when I did all of them, and it never gave me an opportunity to celebrate food and celebrate the beauty that comes with eating.”
  • 7:01 – 8:03, “Or looking in a mirror while you eat.  I shared this with my husband.  I said, “Look what it says, we should look in a mirror while we are eating.”  And he’s like, “Yeah, that’s a great idea, so you can just loathe yourself and see how bad you look while you are eating so that you won’t want to put anything else in your mouth and you can be shamed into eating fewer calories.” I’m looking at this and thinking to my past, preSANE, and thinking about what I did to my daughter to try to help her lose weight, and thinking about all the women and men and boys and girls who are out there struggling to lose weight, and if they do an Internet search this is the number one search that is being shared thousands of times?  I can’t say enough about how that disturbs me and I just feel so grateful, though, that I’m not just here at our podcast to complain, I’m here to point people to you and your message…”
  • 9:44 – 10:43, “…but saying that creating a negative perception of food and that food is bad and that you just need to eat less of it is—until we get off that nothing else matters.  And the beautiful thing is that on some level we know that.  It is like we forgot it, but in our core we know it’s true.  We know, by definition, that you die if you don’t eat food.  Food is food!  It’s what nourishes you.  It’s what makes you happy, healthy and whole.  So, eating the right foods, that’s the shift we are going through as a culture.  Instead of saying that eating food is bad and you just need to eat less of it, we are identifying that a calorie isn’t a calorie and that not all foods are the same, so it’s not just eat less of all food, it’s eat more of foods that nourish you, and celebrate food, and celebrate health.
  • 11:56 – 12:16, “Yes, there is all kinds of crazy stuff you can do.  You could handcuff your hands behind your back and as long as you keep them handcuffed behind your back you will eat fewer calories.  But it’s not something that you can keep up.  And that’s why the shame model doesn’t work.  Calorie restrictions is not something that can be kept up with a high quality of life long term.”
  • 15:53 – 16:37, “Get an online weight loss buddy to lose more.  True.  Get a buddy.  Any lifestyle change is easier when you do it with other people.  Do not try to do it alone no matter what you are trying to do.  So, that’s true.” “But having a buddy to help you starve yourself—you don’t recommend that.  Because that’s what I’m seeing, and that’s what I used to do.  You have these online people—“I’m counting my calories, my husband is counting his calories and we’re comparing together.”  We’re just starving ourselves together.  So, having a friend, though, and having a community to help you go SANE—that’s a whole different story.  Then my friend is dropping by with her new SANE pancake, and I’m sharing with her my recipe, and we’re having fun together and we’re encouraging each other to eat vegetables.  100 percent on that.  But having a buddy to help you starve yourself—I will never do that again.”
  • 17:40 – 17:51, “…you could still have a mantra, but the mantra is something like, “I’m going to nourish my body, I’m going to care for myself, and I’m going to feed my body whole foods.”  That’s a great mantra!  I can stand by that all day.”
  • 18:55 – 19:29, “…believe it or not, we have a really awesome thing above our neck.  It is called our brain.  And it has actually kept us obesity and diabetes-free for a really, really, really long time, before we had top 40 lists of shame like this.  And there is this thing called your ventral medial hypothalamus, which tells you that you are hungry, and it’s pretty smart.  It tells you that you are hungry when you’re hungry, and it tells you that you are full when you’re full—when you eat the right foods.  But when you don’t eat the right foods, that thing breaks, and if you want to learn the deep science about that, you can read The Calorie Myth.”
  • 20:24 – 20:56, “That’s why it gets down to, “Jonathan, why don’t you have more top ten lists?  Why don’t you just give me the quick cheat sheet that is going to allow me…?”  Because this isn’t a cheat sheet problem.  It’s like trying to learn how to drive with a cheat sheet.  You have to understand the rules of the road, you have to understand traffic laws you have to wrap your mind around the system.  Because if you don’t, you are going to get in wrecks, on the road, in real life.  The model, the underlying philosophy of eating, can be used for good or bad with these practices.”
  • 24:07 – 24:49, “…let’s keep in mind that the number one approach that people use to lose weight is absolutely shame-based.  Go to a gym and have someone scream at you?  The most popular personal trainer in the world is popular because she screams at people and shames them and makes them feel terrible on national television as we embarrass them and we all judge them.  And the most popular company in the world that “helps” people lose weight puts people together in groups and does public weigh-ins so that we can shame people into losing weight.  As soon as someone tries to shame you into changing your life, I would recommend that you go SANE instead because that is not a good approach.”
  • 25:34 – 26:57, “I don’t believe in ever shaming my kids and I think anyone who is listening to this would think, “Of course, we don’t want to shame our children.”  So then, why do we allow ourselves to shame ourselves when we want to make a change, we want to make a difference?  Jonathan, you have changed my life and you have changed my family’s life by helping me, because I would have believed all of these things a year-and-a-half ago, because I know SANE, because I know how to eat now. Just the other night I was eating my dinner and I had this huge salad, probably about six servings, I had grilled chicken on top, I had some avocado, and I was still hungry afterward so I had this awesome banana bread that was totally SANE, just a little banana to sweeten it, and I was so full and happy by the end of my dinner, and I just thought, “Bless Jonathan Bailor for helping me to be able to enjoy food and not have to be ashamed that I just had a wonderful meal that I loved, and not have to go to bed thinking, “Tomorrow I will starve myself better.”  That’s something that I know people are thinking every night when they go to bed.  “Tomorrow I’ll starve myself better.”  They might not be using those words, they might say things like, “I’m really going to count my calories better tomorrow,” or “I’m going to run for two hours in the morning to make up for what I just did at dinner,” but that hurts my heart to know that people are still thinking that, and they don’t have to any more.”
  • 27:04 – 27:25,“… do whatever it takes to help you to stop believing that food is bad, learn the right foods that you need to be eating and eat them in abundance, and find joy in eating.  And then any time you hear any of this nonsense again, just don’t believe it and come back and listen to this because we’re telling you the things that will help you to be happy long term.”
  • 28:17 – 29:06, “If food is therapy,” which it is, “if food can heal my body in a fundamental way,” which it can, “how would I look at the world differently if that was true?  If that’s true, how would I look at this differently?”  I think that is a really, really powerful mindset and I think as a stretch goal, the stretch goal for me here is to prove to yourself that eating more food is helpful, and the easiest way to do that is to eat radically more non-starchy vegetables, so getting that intake of non-starchy vegetables up this week to five, to ten, to fifteen servings per day, and showing and proving to yourself that eating physically more food can help you to overcome that fear of chewing and putting food into your mouth, I think is extremely important, so that would be my stretch goal.”

40 ways to get in shape?

April:Hi, this is April Perry and Jonathan Bailor back with another SANE show, and I’m actually feeling a little emotional just starting the show because the topic that we are going to be covering today. It is so close to my heart. This is kind of getting to the point, I think, of why so many people are listening. I have been receiving a lot of emails and messages lately from people who have been struggling with their weight for a long time, sometimes more than 20 years, 30 years, their whole lives. And as they are writing to me they will even say things like, “I’m embarrassed to even admit this,” but because they know I have gone through similar things that they are okay to start talking about it, which I am so grateful to be able to experience.

But what we are talking about today is how to debunk a lot of the “best” advice that is out there as far as losing weight. And how this started was I got online about a month ago and to my daughter, Alia, I said, “Hey, Alia, search ‘how to lose weight.’” And of course, in an ideal world, sanesolution.com would come up and everybody would meet Jonathan. However, that’s not what came up. The first unpaid response, the first unpaid search that came up was an article that had been shared, I think, 24,000 times, or something like that. And it has these 40 reasons from a credited magazine—this is real stuff, and I’m not going to go into specifics here, but it is a respectable magazine, explaining 40 ways to lose weight.

And I read through them, and we are actually going to discuss some of these on future podcasts, but I divided them into three categories and one of the categories was how you eat, when you eat, and what you do about what you eat, kind of a category not around the exact foods you are eating and that type of thing, your movement and exercise, but it is more about how and when, that type of thing.

And as I was reading these, some of them kind of seemed to make sense, and some of them made me want to cry because I was picturing myself listening to advice like this my whole life and thinking that it was a checklist that I needed to follow and trying to do all of these things drove me crazy because I couldn’t do all of them, I didn’t like myself when I did all of them, and it never gave me an opportunity to celebrate food and celebrate the beauty that comes with eating. So before I jump in to share these, any initial thoughts that you have, Jonathan, that you would like to share?

Jonathan:You hit the nail on the head, there, April. When you shared this list of 40 with me I wanted to republish the article as “40 Ways to Shame Yourself into Short-Term Weight Loss and Long-term Weight Gain.” And that is really the fundamental thing that I highlighted in my notebook just now—the difference between shame and SANE. And part of the reason we have an obesity epidemic is that we have been trying to solve it with shame. Take five seconds in a beginning psychology class to see how effective that is with human behavior change. Shame—not a good way to get people to change their behavior. SANity and positivity and celebrating health absolutely is, so let’s dig into the list.

April:Okay, I’m going to read through them pretty rapid fire, and then, I just said, “Jonathan, I just want to talk after this.” So, I will read through them, and let’s just have a conversation and let’s help heal our world from all this—I love how you call it nonsense, because it is, and we have to call it what it is. So here are some of them, and some, of course, are more crazy than others.

Closing the kitchen for 12 hours. So, at a certain time of day you just stop, you are going to eat 300 less calories a day—I love this—or 31 pounds a year because it’s a calorie math. So, I will lose 31 pounds a year if I close my kitchen for 12 hours. Could that happen to me? Could I even stand up?

Okay, put your fork or spoon down between every bite, write down what you eat for one week, add ten percent to the amount of daily calories you think you are eating because most likely your math is wrong, so, add ten percent. So, as I am using my calorie counter I actually need to take ten percent off of the 970 calories it told me I could eat, and eat even less, so that would be what? 800 and something?

Okay, then, get an online weight loss buddy to lose weight, because buddies help you.

Get a mantra.

Get most of your calories before noon, so don’t eat very much after lunch and don’t eat a big dinner, and don’t even think about late night snacking.

Brush your teeth after every meal, especially dinner.

Don’t eat with a large group.

Order the smallest portion of everything.

Eat three fewer bites of your meal.

Serve food on your plate instead of on platters. Put less food out and you will take less in.

Eat 90 percent of your meals at home.

Wait until your stomach rumbles before you reach for food.

Sniff a banana, an apple, or a peppermint when you feel hungry. Just smell it.

Stare at the color blue.

Eat in front of mirrors.

Honestly, I am looking at this and I’m having—I just want to share a couple of things with you and I’m just going to let you unleash here, because I feel like—I feel, not angry, because I know that the person who wrote this was writing it with the best intentions. I have no doubt that this was written as ways to look at different studies but each one of these was based on a study or some piece of science, supposedly, that is supposed to help you.

But as I’m looking at this, the idea of sniffing something—I’m having memories back to when I was a little girl and I would have something that I got at a fast food restaurant or some dinner, and I would say to my mom, “Do you want a bite?” And she would say, “Oh no, but just let me smell it. I’ll just smell it, because then I can kind of experience it with you, but I can’t eat it because I’ll get fat.” That was the feeling.

Or looking in a mirror while you eat. I shared this with my husband. I said, “Look what it says, we should look in a mirror while we are eating.” And he’s like, “Yeah, that’s a great idea, so you can just loathe yourself and see how bad you look while you are eating so that you won’t want to put anything else in your mouth and you can be shamed into eating fewer calories.”

I’m looking at this and thinking to my past, preSANE, and thinking about what I did to my daughter to try to help her lose weight, and thinking about all the women and men and boys and girls who are out there struggling to lose weight, and if they do an Internet search this is the number one search that is being shared thousands of times? I can’t say enough about how that disturbs me and I just feel so grateful, though, that I’m not just here at our podcast to complain, I’m here to point people to you and your message and so, there you go, take it away, Jonathan.

Jonathan:April, this is such an important topic, and I think there are two directions I want to take this in. One is, I want to specifically want to go through each one of these, but I also want to—the reason this is so crazy is the fundamental model—and this is why people are like, “Jonathan, sometimes you talk metaphysically, and some people like that, but some people are like, ‘Well, what should I do? Why don’t you have more top 40 lists like this?’” And it is because if the underlying model is wrong, if the underlying belief that we have and that we are being taught is wrong, no amount of tactics or techniques matter.

If you believed, back in the day, before Semmelweis discovered bacteria and all that—viruses—we were like, “Oh, the problem is that we just need to bleed people. And if we bleed people when they are sick and we just drain blood out of this body, they’re going to get better,” you could have the top 40 ways to more efficiently slit people’s wrists, but that is not going to make you better, because the underlying model is wrong.

Here is the underlying model, and I believe that Oprah Winfrey just bought 10 percent of the company that perpetuates this model, which is Weight Watcher’s. There you go, watch yourself in the mirror—Weight Watchers. Their company is called Weight Watchers. Watch your weight, watch yourself in the mirror. And they have a point system, and they say to count calories. Call it whatever you want, they do some things right, we’ll get into it. Like, social support—brilliant. That is absolutely true.

April:(inaudible 9:42) vegetable.

Jonathan:Yes, that’s absolutely true, but saying that creating a negative perception of food and that food is bad and that you just need to eat less of it is—until we get off that nothing else matters. And the beautiful thing is that on some level we know that. It is like we forgot it, but in our core we know it’s true. We know, by definition, that you die if you don’t eat food. Food is food! It’s what nourishes you. It’s what makes you happy, healthy and whole. So, eating the right foods, that’s the shift we are going through as a culture. Instead of saying that eating food is bad and you just need to eat less of it, we are identifying that a calorie isn’t a calorie and that not all foods are the same, so it’s not just eat less of all food, it’s eat more of foods that nourish you, and celebrate food, and celebrate health.

And when you do that, when you get that sort of underlying mindset and you move away from shame-based eating and toward SANE-based eating, then now we can just kind of crank through this list and understand how in a different model, like in the flat earth model, I’m over here, and if someone believes that the earth is flat and I’m like, “Hey, let’s go sail past the horizon,” they’re going to say, “You’re crazy, we’re going to fall off the earth.” So no list matters until we can understand that, yes, Internet, you can lose weight by eating Oreos. You absolutely can. That’s not what SANE is about. SANE is about long-term health and fitness, and you will experience better health if you eat fewer Oreos.

Study number one, University of Texas—close the kitchen for 12 hours and you can save 300 calories. People read the study and they say that closing your kitchen will cause you to eat fewer calories and you will lose weight. That’s not what the study says. What the study says is that for the duration of this study, people who closed their kitchen ate fewer calories. Yes, there is all kinds of crazy stuff you can do. You could handcuff your hands behind your back and as long as you keep them handcuffed behind your back you will eat fewer calories. But it’s not something that you can keep up. And that’s why the shame model doesn’t work. Calorie restrictions is not something that can be kept up with a high quality of life long term.

Let’s look at each one of these, contrasting shame-based dieting, starvation shame-based dieting, to SANE-based living.

April:And I’ll just share, as far as this goes, I don’t close my kitchen. If I’m hungry at night, I go eat something SANE. I never have to just sit there on my hands and go hungry. And I am healthier and stronger than I have ever been in my whole life. So, there we go on that.

Jonathan:Nor should you. It is hardest to stay SANE when you are unbelievably freaking famished. Try to resist fresh-baked cookies when you haven’t eaten for 14 hours.

April:But if you have coconut flour cookies that you have already made it’s not even a big deal because they taste great, too.

Jonathan:Exactly. But you understand my point, this idea that it’s really hard to make smart SANE food choices if you are super hungry, right?

So, put your fork and spoon down between every bite. This is true for SANE eating, as well.

April:Eating slowly is good.

Jonathan:Eating slowly is great. So, the motivation here is not to—for whatever it is worth, the biology of satiety takes a second to kick in, and I have to tell this joke, because it is actually very funny. There is a comedian by the name of Louis C. K. Very funny. Not appropriate for children, but very funny. And he says, “How messed up is the human body? If you stub your toe, it hurts immediately, but it takes 20 minutes for you to feel full. Darn it! You know, pain is immediate, but satiety takes a lot of kickin’.” So this is actually true, eating slowly, giving your food a chance to help you feel satisfied is a good idea. So you should do that, but not to shame yourself, but because it’s healthy.

April:And that’s smart.

Jonathan:Write down what you eat for a week and you will lose weight. Food journaling is a great idea. Absolutely. We built a SANE app to help you journal food, but I didn’t say calorie count, I said food journaling. Track how many vegetables you are eating, how much protein, how many fats, very simply, writing that down, making it conscious. Great. Food is what you eat. Calories are not what you eat. That’s math, that’s nonsense. You eat food, track food.

April:Yes. If you want to, though, because you don’t have to your whole life if you are in good habits and you know what you are eating and you are eating 10 plus servings of nonstarchy vegetables.

Jonathan:Absolutely. Ask me when the last time I tracked anything I ate was.

April:Yeah, when was it?

Jonathan:Back when I was in my 6000 calories per day Excel spreadsheet in college.

April:Someone can journal and journaling what you’re eating, that can be a good thing to help you change habits, but it is not a required thing.

Jonathan:And in fact, I would encourage you to do this while you are trying to change habits, because you will be like, “Oh my gosh, I am only eating two vegetables per day. I didn’t realize I was eating so few vegetables.”

April:Yes. Okay, I love that.

Jonathan:Add 10 percent to the amount of daily calories you think you are eating. The funny thing here is, if you are counting calories, this is actually a good idea, because nutrition labels are not accurate. Calorie-counting is bogus, so calorie-counting is so ridiculously inefficient that, yes, almost every study that has ever looked at it shows that people underestimate how much they eat, they show that nutrition labels can be plus or minus 10 percent, very easily. So, if you are a body builder who is trying to compete in a fitness competition, this is probably what you would need to do because otherwise your calorie count is going to be totally off. But it is ridiculous and you don’t need to count calories in the first place.

April:Okay.

Jonathan:Get an online weight loss buddy to lose more. True. Get a buddy. Any lifestyle change is easier when you do it with other people. Do not try to do it alone no matter what you are trying to do. So, that’s true.

April:But having a buddy to help you starve yourself—you don’t recommend that. Because that’s what I’m seeing, and that’s what I used to do. You have these online people—“I’m counting my calories, my husband is counting his calories and we’re comparing together.” We’re just starving ourselves together. So, having a friend, though, and having a community to help you go SANE—that’s a whole different story. Then my friend is dropping by with her new SANE pancake, and I’m sharing with her my recipe, and we’re having fun together and we’re encouraging each other to eat vegetables. 100 percent on that. But having a buddy to help you starve yourself—I will never do that again.

Jonathan:And that gets back to the core model. All of these tips and tactics—if the approach is wrong, things that help you to do—if you are trying to drive from California to New York and you go West, the faster you drive the more effective you are at driving, the further away you are from your goal. So, if you’re using the wrong model, starvation shame-based dieting, having an online weight loss buddy will make you feel worse, so don’t do that.

The mantra. Let’s skip that one because that doesn’t even make sense to me.

April:I think it is saying things like—see, this is another one. The mantra was something like, “I can lose weight, I can lose weight.” Say that to yourself over and over again, while you are starving yourself—that’s ridiculous. I mean, it’s coming up with some reason—or people will say things like, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. So let me just not eat, because I’m going to feel so happy once I’m skinny.” And I think, you could still have a mantra, but the mantra is something like, “I’m going to nourish my body, I’m going to care for myself, and I’m going to feed my body whole foods.” That’s a great mantra! I can stand by that all day.

Jonathan:Exactly. Again, it’s where are we coming at these from? What’s the model? SANE does have a mantra, right? We say, “Eat more, smarter.” I say that like 50 times a day. Eat more nonstarchy vegetables, eat more nonstarchy vegetables. That’s a pretty good mantra right there.

April:Okay. Yay.

Jonathan:Alright. Get most of your calories before noon. So, anything that uses the word calories like that, as if that’s what you eat and that’s what you think about, is in and of itself wrong, so that doesn’t make any sense. And frankly, if you are focused on food, trying to eat ten servings of vegetables all before noon is physically impossible, so that also doesn’t work. So again, this is another way of trying to starve yourself. It is saying, “Oh, if you only eat for four hours, clearly you are going to eat less, so look, here’s a trick to make starving yourself easier.”

April:Yes. I have heard some things like if you eat in the morning versus if you eat in the evening, what your metabolism does. And I have heard things like that before, but for the normal person, if you eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, and you are eating SANE foods, you can pretty much go by that.

Jonathan:Absolutely. There is a reason—believe it or not, we have a really awesome thing above our neck. It is called our brain. And it has actually kept us obesity and diabetes-free for a really, really, really long time, before we had top 40 lists of shame like this. And there is this thing called your ventral medial hypothalamus, which tells you that you are hungry, and it’s pretty smart. It tells you that you are hungry when you’re hungry, and it tells you that you are full when you’re full—when you eat the right foods. But when you don’t eat the right foods, that thing breaks, and if you want to learn the deep science about that, you can read The Calorie Myth (laughs).

So, brushing your teeth after every meal—that’s probably a good idea for general health, so I will endorse that one.

April:Okay, but this is what my mom would do. She would brush her teeth—she called it sealing off. So, she had a seal-off time. It was usually about six o’clock. She would say, “I’ve brushed my teeth, I’ve sealed off, and now I’m not allowed to eat. And I grew up thinking that’s what you did, you just had to seal off. And so if you went to a party, you had to seal off. Actually, that leads us to the next one, too—don’t eat with a large group. So, brush your teeth before you go to any parties, and never eat food in front of other people.

Jonathan:Well, and just make sure you carry around a full length mirror so that you can be in the group, with your teeth brushed, watching yourself. So again, as you can see, almost every item in this list—eating with a large group of people, if everyone is eating SANE food, is actually a good thing because social proof will tell you, “I need to eat more vegetables.” That’s why it gets down to, “Jonathan, why don’t you have more top ten lists? Why don’t you just give me the quick cheat sheet that is going to allow me…?” Because this isn’t a cheat sheet problem. It’s like trying to learn how to drive with a cheat sheet. You have to understand the rules of the road, you have to understand traffic lawsm you have to wrap your mind around the system. Because if you don’t, you are going to get in wrecks, on the road, in real life. The model, the underlying philosophy of eating, can be used for good or bad with these practices.

So, order the smallest portion of everything is, of course—we know why that is nonsense.

Eat three fewer bites of your meal. So, let’s say that your meal was really heavy in vegetables. The person who wrote this article, by this logic, would say you should eat fewer vegetables. (inaudible 21:11)

April:Yeah, (inaudible 21:13).

Jonathan:That’s not good.

Serve your food on a plate instead of platters. Again, this assumes that eating food is bad. If you want to eat more vegetables…

April:We have a veggie platter that probably has 25 servings of vegetables on it, what I will make for my family. We had guests last night to dinner and I had a huge thing of romaine lettuce with cherry tomatoes and chopped peppers and chopped cucumbers, and some sliced avocado. And it was just, make your salad as big as you want. And we all just snacked (inaudible 21:44). It was gone by the end of the night.

Jonathan:Brian Wansink is a brilliant researcher who has done a huge amount of studies on the way your environment influences how you eat. If you think food is evil, then you are going to say, “Yes, put food on smaller plates.” But if your goal is to eat more of the right kind of foods, I would actually encourage you to put more vegetables on bigger plates, because I want you to eat more food. Where you are coming from, how you approach this problem, matters.

So, the next one is, put less food out, you will take less in. Yes, put less Oreos out and you will consume fewer Oreos, and that is a good idea. But put more vegetables out and you will eat more vegetables, and that’s a good thing. So we want vegetables at eye level in the refrigerator. We want more of them out. So again, where are you coming from?

Eat 90 percent of your meals at home. That is absolutely true, yes, because you can eat SANEly. Restaurants don’t have your best interest in mind—not that they’re evil.

April:But if you are cooking and you are taking a healthy lunch, and you are prepped for that, you can still eat plainly if you are not eating at home.

Jonathan:Absolutely. Absolutely.

Wait until your stomach rumbles before you reach for food. If this is meant to mean get ravenously hungry before you eat that is actually a really bad idea because it is really hard to make good food choices when you are really, really, really hungry.

April:Listen to your cues.

Jonathan:Yes, listen to your cues. That’s a good idea. So again, just to look at where it’s coming from.

Sniffing a banana, apple or peppermint. So, yes, it depends where it’s coming from. One thing I will shout out here is, emotional eating is real. There are people that, if something really horrible happens in their life, instead of reaching for prescription medication or illegal narcotics or alcohol they are going to reach for some inSANE food. And if there is something you can do to interrupt that pattern, that’s not a terrible idea. But if you are that model, you will never sniff a banana, apple or peppermint, because I want you eating more.

April:(laughs)

Jonathan:Staring at the color blue. If staring at the color blue makes you eat less, then when you go SANE, don’t ever stare at the color blue because I want you eating more of the right foods.

April:(laughs)

Jonathan:And then, eating in front of a mirror. That one is actually just kind of embarrassing and ridiculous, the idea that you would eat in front of a mirror and you will lose weight. But as ridiculous as that sounds, let’s keep in mind that the number one approach that people use to lose weight is absolutely shame-based. Go to a gym and have someone scream at you? The most popular personal trainer in the world is popular because she screams at people and shames them and makes them feel terrible on national television as we embarrass them and we all judge them. And the most popular company in the world that “helps” people lose weight puts people together in groups and does public weigh-ins so that we can shame people into losing weight. As soon as someone tries to shame you into changing your life, I would recommend that you go SANE instead because that is not a good approach.

April:I think what we are getting at is that there is such a positive way to help people to make a difference. As a mother—and I talk a lot about motherhood throughout my profession, parenting—shaming your children into behaving is one of the worst things that you can do. To try to talk about your child in front of other people—“Have you seen how bad my child is? Have you seen how terrible they are? You’re a bad boy. You’re a bad girl.” All of the things that a lot of parents do, frankly, because they are trying to motivate their kids to behave better—it is so much more effective to say positive things about your kids in front of other people and help them want to rise, to be good, or to help your children see how much you believe in them, how much you love them and you want them to be happy for their whole lives.

I don’t believe in ever shaming my kids and I think anyone who is listening to this would think, “Of course, we don’t want to shame our children.” So then, why do we allow ourselves to shame ourselves when we want to make a change, we want to make a difference? Jonathan, you have changed my life and you have changed my family’s life by helping me, because I would have believed all of these things a year-and-a-half ago, because I know SANE, because I know how to eat now.

Just the other night I was eating my dinner and I had this huge salad, probably about six servings (inaudible 26:05), I had grilled chicken on top, I had some avocado, and I was still hungry afterward so I had this awesome banana bread that was totally SANE, just a little banana to sweeten it, and I was so full and happy by the end of my dinner, and I just thought, “Bless Jonathan Bailor for helping me to be able to enjoy food and not have to be ashamed that I just had a wonderful meal that I loved, and not have to go to bed thinking, “Tomorrow I will starve myself better.” That’s something that I know people are thinking every night when they go to bed. “Tomorrow I’ll starve myself better.” They might not be using those words, they might say things like, “I’m really going to count my calories better tomorrow,” or “I’m going to run for two hours in the morning to make up for what I just did at dinner,” but that hurts my heart to know that people are still thinking that, and they don’t have to any more.

And so, as we are talking about our stretch goals or our next action, the main thing that I can think of is, do whatever it takes to help you to stop believing that food is bad, learn the right foods that you need to be eating and eat them in abundance, and find joy in eating. And then any time you hear any of this nonsense again, just don’t believe it and come back and listen to this because we’re telling you the things that will help you to be happy long term.

Jonathan:That’s exactly right. As the next action, for me, I would encourage you to say, if possible, and this is something where we talk about mantras and affirmations, any time the thought crosses your mind, and it has to do with food or weight or exercise, if it is painting food as the enemy, or bad—human psychology 101, man, pursue the positive rather than attacking the negative. So, whatever you can do to say, and this is what we say, “Eat more.” We’re not focused on, “Oh, inSANE food is so terrible,” we say, “Crowd it out with SANity.” And I want to crowd out negative foods with positive foods, and I want to crowd out negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

So any way that you can, just maybe go through this list, or if you see a list like this and say, “If food is therapy,” which it is, “if food can heal my body in a fundamental way,” which it can, “how would I look at the world differently if that was true? If that’s true, how would I look at this differently?” I think that is a really, really powerful mindset and I think as a stretch goal, the stretch goal for me here is to prove to yourself that eating more food is helpful, and the easiest way to do that is to eat radically more nonstarchy vegetables, so getting that intake of nonstarchy vegetables up this week to five, to ten, to fifteen servings per day, and showing and proving to yourself that eating physically more food can help you to overcome that fear of chewing and putting food into your mouth, I think is extremely important, so that would be my stretch goal.

April:Wonderful. Thank you, Jonathan. Thank you for helping to heal all of us and help us be able to fix all of these ideas that have been implanted in our heads since the time we were young. I am really excited, and hopeful that you have enjoyed this podcast, as well, and remember to stay SANE.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
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