The Psychology and Brain Science of Sustainable Weight Loss

The Psychology and Brain Science of Sustainable Weight Loss

Video 2: Don't Make the One Huge Mistake...

Video 2: Don't Make the One Huge Mistake...

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I wanna talk about your transformation, the transformation you need to have, the transformation that takes you from being overweight, feeling heavy in your body, not liking the way you look when you put your clothes on, knowing that you're not taking as good care of your health as you wish you were, bones creaking, body aching, waking up in the morning lethargic, hitting snooze a million times, not living your right life to losing all your excess weight, having a spring in your step, feeling good in your body, feeling awesome in knowing that you're taking care of your health to the best of your ability and watching your blood work come back awesome, and just generally living what I like to call, Happy, Thin, and Free. Odds are, if you're watching this video, you could use a transformation like that.

Who wouldn't, right? I know about transformations like that because it's a transformation that I had. It was a long time ago, well over a decade ago, in 2003. I was 28 years old, I had climbed up into the obese category on the BMI chart, and I was miserable. I was uncomfortable in my skin, I could hardly tie my shoes, and I frequently wrote letters to God with tears streaming down my face, praying for some kind of answer to my food problem because I had tried everything.

What happened for me is that someone came along in my life and showed me a different way to eat. Just like I'm talking to you now, someone just shared with me some magic secrets that totally transformed my life. I didn't know it at the time and actually, she didn't put it in these terms; I have since gone through and figured out the psychology and neuroscience underlying why this system works so well. I got a PhD in Brain & Cognitive Sciences and I started teaching a college course on the psychology of eating. What I pieced together is that there is one huge mistake that really just about everybody makes when they try to lose weight; I was making that mistake for sure. Absolutely I was making that mistake. My guess is that almost everybody who tries to lose weight makes this mistake. This whole video is gonna be about the one, huge mistake, but you'll ...

And I'm gonna cover it in a second, so just hold on for a second, but you'll notice that this is video number two of a three video series, so video one has already happened; if you haven't seen it, there's a link right above my head to where you can click to watch that video. Don't do it now; you can stay with me here. Lots of you have already seen that video and you've commented down below and I just want to say: thank you for your comments. I have been reading them, I've been replying to as many as I can, and your comments have honestly really taken my breath of way. Those of you who took the time to make a comment after video one: thank you so much for that. Those of you who shared it on Facebook and gave it a Like, awesome; I'm so grateful to you.

Video one started off talking about the Susceptibility Scale™, which is a really critical concept. If you haven't taken the Susceptibility Scale™ quiz and you don't know yet what your score is on the Susceptibility Scale™, find the link on this page, not now; click it after this video is over. You wanna definitely take that quiz and get your score. Then, go back and watch video one and learn all about hunger and cravings and the neurobiology of food addiction and how that traps people into eating more than they intend to eat and feeling out of control with their food.

That video really talked a lot about how hunger and cravings affect people differently, depending on where they're at on the Susceptibility Scale™. If you're higher on the Susceptibility Scale™, you're gonna naturally, biologically be more susceptible to overpowering cravings and totally derailing hunger. This video is about the one huge mistake and it affects everybody pretty much equally; we all fall prey to the one, huge mistake. Now that we're all grounded and we know what we're talking about for today, are you ready? Do you wanna know what the one, huge mistake is? Let's get to it.

You wanna know what the one, huge mistake is? The one, huge mistake that keeps people from losing weight is that they rely on their willpower. What does that even mean? What does it look like? People don't know, consciously, that they're relying on willpower; people don't think that at all. Instead, people do what I used to do, which is they decide that they're gonna get fit, they decide they're gonna get health, they decide they've had enough and they're gonna lose weight once and for all and they go setting about to figuring out what kind of plan they're gonna do. Whether they buy a book at Barnes & Noble or they go to a gym and sign up there or they figure out their plan, they learn what they're gonna eat, what they're not gonna eat, they figure out how they're gonna exercise, and then they go to it. They start, day one comes, they feel great, they eat better, they exercise more. Then, a couple weeks later, what are they relying on as they grab their plate and head down the buffet line to make sure that they choose the broccoli and not the fettuccine Alfredo? Well, they're relying on their willpower, right?

Just having a plan of what you're gonna eat and what you're not gonna eat and how you're gonna exercise leaves the weight of the choices up to a part of your brain called the anterior cingulate cortex, which is completely ill-equipped to make good decisions for you day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out. Let's talk about what willpower is a little bit because I promise you that the secret to getting happy, thin, and free lies in a thorough understanding of willpower and a very clear action plan that's designed to take the load off of willpower.

Willpower, fundamentally, is a thing. I know that sounds weird to say; stick with me. Willpower is a thing. Scientists didn't used to know that. Willpower is an idea that was postulated by philosophers millennia ago and, coming all the way up to the modern age to 1998, up until then, scientists didn't really know whether willpower even really existed. In 1998, researches proved that willpower exists. They did this with a very clever experiment; it's gone down in history as one of the famous experiments and I wanna tell you about it because it's so clever.

It's called the Radish Experiment by Roy Baumeister and colleagues. What they did was they brought people into the lab and they told them to come hungry; they said, "Skip a meal. We want you to arrive hungry". As they walked into the lab, they were hit by the smell of freshly-baking chocolate chip cookies. The researchers had taken a portable oven and had baked chocolate chip cookies in the lab right before people arrived. They arrived to this smell and they're hungry, right, so their tummies are growling and they sit down at this table with two big bowls at it; a bowl of red and white radishes, freshly washed radishes, and a bowl of chocolate chip cookies with little chocolates sprinkled around the base of the mound of cookies.

Some people were told to please eat two or three radishes over the course of five minutes, at least, and other people were told to please eat two or three cookies or the course of five minutes, or a handful of chocolates; whichever they prefer. There was a control condition who arrived hungry but weren't met with any food at all. After people ate, they filled out a lengthy questionnaire as they sat there with the food right in front of them and then they were taken into the next room to do what they thought was the real experiment. They thought that it was a test of their cleverness, but really what it was was a set of impossible geometry puzzles, like, just impossible to solve; geometry tracings that couldn't be done. The measurement was: how long would people persist at those.

Researches didn't expect the results to be as dramatic as they were. People who had eaten the radishes and therefore had had to resist the cookies and the chocolates were not able to persist at those impossible geometry puzzles for very long. They, on average, were only able to do about eight minutes of work before they got frustrated and gave up. The people who were allowed to eat the cookies and the chocolates, so really didn't have their willpower stressed at all, persisted two, two and a half times longer; 18, 19, 20 minutes, on average.

That may not sound a lot to you; eight minutes, 20 minutes. But in the world of science, on average, that is a massive difference; it's a massive effect. What researchers went and did after that, after 1998, was they did a whole bunch of studies that showed that anything that we do that taps our self-control, whether it's making decisions like ... Have you ever noticed how much checking email is making decisions? When you sit down to go through your email inbox, each and every email that you open, it's like, "Who is this? What are they telling me? Do I care? Am I gonna file this? Am I gonna label it? Am I gonna delete it? Am I gonna respond? If I'm gonna respond, what do I say?"; really, you have to make like eight decisions to just process one email.

Making decisions, monitoring our emotions ... I'm a mother of little kids and, man, I have to keep my emotions in check with my little kids. I have three little kids. They're beautiful, they're gorgeous, I love them, and I wanna wring their little necks sometimes and I can't say, "I wanna wring your little neck!"; I have to keep my emotions in check. Making decisions, regulating our emotions, making sure our task performance is good, so, like, giving a public talk and not making a lot of errors or saying, Um or Uh; what I'm doing right now is tapping my willpower, right here, right now.

All of these things seem like different types of activities, including just flat-out resisting temptation like those poor people who ate the radishes; they were resisting temptation. All of these things tap the same part of the brain and leave us in a state of willpower depletion and then what happens is we fall prey to something that I like to call: The Willpower Gap™, which is we grab our plate at the buffet, we head down the line, and suddenly, we're rationalizing that it's a nice night for fettuccine Alfredo. Or, "We haven't had pizza in a while; it'd be nice to have some pizza". Or, we think, "We're going out with friends and we've had a really hard week, so we deserve a little something-something"; "It's a good night to have some wine and some nachos because we've been good all week". Or, we think, "We exercised earlier, so we deserve to go out for ice cream with our kids".

Whatever it is, we spin some story that rationalizes some kind of exception or some kind of deviation to our plan. We don't know it, but we've just fallen prey to The Willpower Gap™. Essentially, willpower is a thing like a battery pack that quickly loses it's charge; it's like a rechargeable battery that drains really quickly. It drains and depletes because of all kinds of activities that we engage in on a daily basis; making decisions, regulating our emotions, resisting temptations ...

I just wanna tell you something about resisting temptations. I don't know how often you think you resist temptation, but researches wondered, "Really. How much time do we spend resisting some kind of desire or craving?" So, they gave people little beepers to wear and they beeped them at random intervals throughout the day and asked, "Are you resisting some kind of temptation or desire right now? If so, what was it? Or, have you just been in the last 15 minutes?" They sampled well over 400 people and what they discovered was that we, on average, spend four hours a day resisting temptations. That's one of the key things that drains willpower.

All of these things that we do drain our willpower and then leave us in a state of vulnerability that we don't even know that we have. There's no marker that says, "You're now susceptible to The Willpower Gap™". There's no state of mind or being that you can really identify that tells you that your willpower is depleted. The only sign is that you might find that the volume on life is turned up a little bit; how like, if you have kids, if they're agitating you more than usual. Or, if you're in a relationship, your partner is agitating you more than usual. Or, sounds sound especially loud; that kind of thing. If you sense that the volume on life has been turned up a little bit, you might be in a state of willpower depletion.

Other than that, there's no marker to it. There you are, having just not done anything wrong, you're just fully engaged in living your life. Checking your email, being with your friends, being with your spouse, engaging in activities at work that make you monitor your task performance; all of that stuff is great. Then, it comes for lunch time or break time or dinner time, and there you are, driving home, maybe in traffic, again, depleting your willpower. Right then, you're supposed to decide what you're gonna have for dinner? It's like the world's cruelest joke. The time when you need to make a choice about what to eat is exactly the moment that your willpower is depleted. Right then, you fall prey to The Willpower Gap™ and you're susceptible to making a choice that's off your plan or not exactly what you and your fully-rested willpower-bolstered fabulous state might choose. We often are making choices in a state of willpower depletion.

That's what The Willpower Gap™ looks like and that's what the one huge mistake is. What are the alternatives? How, since we have to live our lives-

What are the alternatives? I mean how, since we have to live our lives, right? How could you not fall prey to The Willpower Gap™? Well in this video I'm going to share with you exactly how to bridge The Willpower Gap™. Because, there's a system you can use so that you almost never have to rely on willpower to make your food choices. That my friends, is the key to longterm, sustainable weight loss.

Let's talk about this system that takes the load off of willpower, so you can get happy, thin, and free. It's a really powerful system. Just to illustrate how powerful it is, I want you to imagine that there was a way that you could construct your life such that you could do something a couple of times a day, or maybe even more, and never miss. Never forget, never mess it up, never not do it, never do it wrong. Can you imagine having something so dialed in that you could do it with complete consistency no matter what? No matter how tired you were, no matter how late you'd stayed up, no matter what mood you were in, no matter how depleted your willpower was. Can you imagine that?

I want to propose that you probably can. Did you brush your teeth this morning? Did you brush your teeth last night? You think you're going to brush your teeth tonight and not miss? How do you do that with such consistency? Do you wake up every morning and say to yourself, "Today's the day. I'm going to brush my teeth twice, I'm going to get it done in the morning, I'm going to get it done at night. I'm not going to miss this time." Do you have a sticky note on your mirror that says, "Brush your teeth?" How do you get it done so consistently?

I'm not sure, but I think it's possible that I've gone a couple years now without forgetting to brush my teeth once. How is that even possible? The answer is, that we don't rely on our willpower to brush our teeth. We rely on a system that's way more powerful. It's our automatic brain. Automaticity is brilliant, and once something becomes automatic, you don't have to use willpower to achieve it at all.

As a matter of fact, it takes just about zero cognitive load to get it done. Let me give you an example of how powerful it is. Do you remember when you first learned to drive a car, and the first time you were trying to accelerate onto an on ramp, onto a freeway or a highway, and then merge lanes into the flow of traffic so that you could go along with the flow of cars? Do you remember how stressful that was? Do you remember how much you had to focus on it? And now, what's it like when you zoom onto an on ramp, and merge into the flow of traffic? It's like nothing, right? You can do that while you're changing the station on the radio, and drinking a latte. It doesn't hardly take any cognitive resources at all.

Do you see the difference? You've practiced that until it becomes automatic. The system that takes that automatic part of the brain, and uses it in the service of our eating habits, is called, "Bright Line Eating™." Bright Line Eating™. What's a bright line? Well, a bright line is a clear, unambiguous boundary that you just don't cross. Like most people who try to quit smoking, throw up a bright line for cigarettes. They say, "I'm not going to smoke anymore. It doesn't matter if it's Saturday night, and I'm at a party. I now have a bright line for cigarettes."

NAA, they have a bright line for alcohol. You just don't drink, no matter what. It's a clear bright line. A bright line rule actually is a legal term, it comes from the field of law. And, a bright line rule is a rule that you apply the same way every time to produce consistent, and reliable results. Consistent and reliable results. Don't you want that when it comes to your food, and your weight, and your health? Don't you want consistent and reliable results?

Well, with bright lines, a lot of people have felt that we can't have bright lines for food, because you have to eat to live. As a matter of fact, in Roy Baumeister's number one New York Times best selling book he says, "Bright lines are incredibly powerful to bolster willpower, but they won't help you with your diet because you have to eat to live." I read that sentence and I thought, "Oh Roy, oh. You totally can have bright lines when it comes to your food." You have to eat to live, but you don't have to eat candy bars to live. You don't have to eat off the dollar menu at your drive through restaurant chain to live. You have to eat food to live, but you don't have to eat those foods to live.

I've been using bright lines to handle my eating choices since about 2003, when I lost 60 pounds in six months, and went from a size 16 to a size four. Now I spend pretty much every waking moment of my day showing other people how to use bright lines to handle their food. Bright Line Eating™ is incredibly powerful, because it reduces our choices, so that we're not making choices in the moment when we're vulnerable to The Willpower Gap™. The choices we do make are automated, and systematized with bright line rules, and other aspects too.

Let me tell you about the three aspects of Bright Line Eating™. First of all, there's bright lines. I'm going to go into those in a lot of detail in the third video. Second of all, there's planning and preparation. Planning and preparation is what reduces the number of choices we have to make in the moment. Choices are a big issue when it comes to our eating. This researcher, who's brilliant. You should YouTube him, he's hilarious, Bryan Wansink of Cornell University. That's Wansink, W-A-N-S-I-N-K of Cornell University. He has done studies on this, and he's shown that we make 119 food related decisions each day. Am I going to eat now or later, am I going to eat this, what size am I going to get? On and on and on, all day long throughout the day.

Because, we don't live in a society anymore that just relies on breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There's food available pretty much every moment of every day no matter where you are. 119 food related choices each day. Now, given everything we've talked about, about The Willpower Gap™, and how willpower becomes depleted through the activities that we do each day. Doesn't it make sense that if you're showing up in your life, and just walking through your day without having planned anything in advance, and you're encountering 119 food related choices each day. That, at some of those choice points, your willpower's going to be depleted, and you might make a choice that you wouldn't make if you were in a fully, replenished, well healthy state of mind? Doesn't that make sense? That's what's happening. We're falling prey to The Willpower Gap™ all day long.

With the second part of Bright Line Eating™, with planning and preparation. We reduce the number of choices we have to make in the moment, down to almost nothing. Almost zero, really. How do we do that? By writing down our food the night before. Simple. Quick little tip. Go buy yourself a little journal, like a little pretty journal, whatever you like. Or, I don't care. Get a spiral notebook. Stick it by the fridge, near the fridge or the microwave, somewhere like that. Put a pen with it, and after you finish dinner, go over to your journal, open the fridge, and write down what you're going to eat the next day. Precisely, exactly what you're going to eat the next day.

Then the next day, you show up for the day, prepare some of that food in advance. Pack it with you, put it in a lunch cooler bag. So that when you're out and about the next day, the right thing to eat, the healthiest thing to eat, the thing that's most in alignment with your values, and getting happy, thin, and free, is the easiest thing to eat. 'Cause it's right there with you already, and you've written it down in your little book, and you've already pre-imagined yourself having exactly that, and there it is. Now it's lunch time, you open up your cooler bag, you eat your food, brilliant.

When you make those actions automatic, now you're in a groove where your food related choices are accomplished just like brushing your teeth. Every day right around the time you brush your teeth, you're writing your food down in your journal. In the morning right after you've brushed your teeth, you're putting some of that food into a cooler bag, you're off for the day. And boom, you're going to get through your day, and arrive home with all of your food immaculate, with no more effort than it took to brush your teeth that day.

Okay, I did say that there were three aspects to the Bright Line Eating™ system. The first one is Bright Lines. I'm going to cover that extensively in the next video. The second one is planning and preparation, and we just talked about that, right? It's writing down your food the night before, packing it up in the morning. One of my favorite sayings is, "If you fail to plan, you've planned to fail." So, planning and preparation. The third one is habits and rituals. We've implicitly talked about that already, right? As you follow Bright Lines, and plan and prepare your food in advance, you turn those behaviors into automatic habits that then serve you for the rest of your life, just like brushing your teeth. So eventually, eating the right thing is done absolutely automatically.

Now, I suspect some of you are thinking, "This all sounds great, but if I did this, wouldn't I still fall prey to temptation? I mean, just 'cause I've got my lunch packed with me, doesn't mean I'm not going to be tempted to go out for pizza when all my co-workers say, 'Hey everybody, we're going out for pizza. Who wants to come?' Or, when somebody brings in a box of donuts into the office, right?" It is true that even if you have your food planned out already, packed with you, written down the night before, all that stuff, there are still going to be moments of temptation. Especially at the Friday night party, at the end of a long week when your willpower stores are really low. There you are at a party, and everybody's having pizza, and beer, and ice cream, and you really want to have some.

What then? Well, in that kind of situation I invoke something I like to call the, "Emergency action plan." It really is a plan, and I really do have it written out. I recommend that you do this too. Go get a piece of paper, I'll wait. Just hit pause. Go get a piece of paper, and write down the actions that you will take when you feel tempted to deviate from your food plan. I want to share with you some suggestions, if I might. Because, there are several things that have been scientifically proven to replenish willpower in the moment. Literally, refill your willpower stores. Isn't that gorgeous? The first one is, human connection. In the moment of temptation, can you excuse yourself and get your smartphone out, and text somebody, or call somebody supportive? Or, if you're in the Bright Line Eating™ community, we have an online support community, which is accessible from a smartphone. I just go in there and I'm like, "Hey my Bright Line Eating™ family, I'm feeling really tempted." And instantly I get likes, and comments, and people just give me love. It's beautiful.

In the Bright Line Eating™ community I also recommend something called a, "Mastermind group." Which, is a group of four people who support each other, who meet on the telephone once a week for 90 minutes, and become super close. For me personally, I would reach out to my mastermind group if I were in a state of temptation in the moment. That would be the first thing on my emergency action plan, is to make some human connection. It is gorgeous how human connection can replenish willpower right in that moment.

The second thing I want to suggest, is a little bit of quick meditation. Research shows that just sitting quietly, and you can do this even if you're at a party. Let's talk about that party with pizza, and beer, and ice cream. You can excuse yourself to the bathroom, there's always a bathroom, right? Go and sit, and take just three minutes of deep breaths. Just breathe deeply, watch your breathing. This is why people who smoke often get so much benefit from the smoking, because they're breathing deeply. It might be the only time during their whole day when they take a deep breath. You don't have to have a cigarette to do this. It's better without the cigarette. Go sit, and take three minutes of deep breaths. That will also replenish your willpower.

Number three is, prayer. Which, for many people is a different kind of connection, right? It's connection with a higher being that they believe in. Once again, excuse yourself to the bathroom and say a prayer. Say, "God, please remove this craving." You'd be surprised how effective it is.

Number four, is gratitude. Research shows that cultivating a grateful heart, replenishes willpower. In my experience, and this is one of my favorite sayings, "Grateful hearts don't eat." Grateful hearts don't need to be shoving their face with cookies, and beer, and ice cream. Really, grateful hearts don't eat. A way to practice this might be to take out your smartphone, or a piece of paper and a pen, or maybe in your mind. But, I think writing it is more effective. Write a quick gratitude list. Just write down five things you're grateful for. Big, small, it doesn't matter. Just focus on gratitude.

Then the last one is, go get into service. Go back out to the party, and find a way to be helpful. Stop thinking about yourself so much. Craving and temptation is a very inwardly focused, and therefore self absorbed state of mind. So get out of yourself, go back to the party, see who's sitting alone and looks like they could use a conversation partner. Go pick up plates, and bring them into the kitchen, and help the hostess. Go refill people's drinks, go find the kids at the Thanksgiving party, and play games with the kids. Here's one of my favorite ones, whenever I go to a social engagement and I'm nervous about the food, I always pledge to myself ...

And I'm nervous about the food. I always pledge to myself that I'm going to go into that party, meet three people that I've never met before and leave the party remembering their names and remembering three things about each of them.

Now, I've given myself a game to play that involves human connections, and it involves service, because I can go through the party, find somebody that's standing alone, learn their name, ask them about their lives, learn three things about them, and I have to be paying attention because I'm going to have to remember those things later to win my little game.

Those are some suggestions for your emergency action plan. I have clients and people in my Bright Line Eating™ Network and community who have other things on their emergency action plans like take a bath, take a walk, read a book, knit, listen to some nice music, play the piano. You have your own life. You have your own hobbies. You know what feels great to you. Do some yoga. Do downward dog. Whatever works for you, but make an emergency action plan of five actions you will take. By the time you get through those actions, my prediction is that you'll find that the craving has lifted.

The one huge mistake that almost everybody makes when they try to lose weight is that they rely on their willpower. Once you understand The Willpower Gap™. Believe me, this really is the hugest thing that keeps people from taking off all their excess weight and then keeping it off long term. It's the reason that I, with my 60 pound weight loss over more than a decade, am actually in the top one one-hundredth of 1% of successful weight loss maintainers. It's crazy how few people who ever make it into the obese category will ever lose all their excess weight and keep it off. It all boils down to The Willpower Gap™.

When you understand the issue that willpower is when people are trying to lose weight, you will understand how conventional wisdom falls flat on its face when you look at it from this angle.

Come with me and look from this angle. Let's think about some conventional wisdom through the lens of The Willpower Gap™, shall we? Conventional wisdom says you got to eat several small meals a day. Think about all the major diets you've ever known of or tried. Did any of them ever say eat three meals a day and nothing in between or did they all include some sort of free foods or snack portions or whatever? You can think for yourself. Right? Snacks are part of the common place way. Right? People just eat all day long. If you go to the gym, and you talk to a personal trainer, they're going to tell you eat several small meals a day.

Now, why do people think that that's such a good idea? I think conventional wisdom is it's supposed to keep your metabolism revving. Is that really true? No, it's not true actually. Researchers have tested this. There have been several studies done on it. I'll tell you about two of them.

First of all, researchers had morbidly obese people go on a reduced calorie diet, and the fixed number of calories was divided either into three meals a day or six meals a day. People stayed on those diets and there was no difference in the rate of weight loss in the two groups. There was no difference in hunger ratings, overall health, successful sticking on the diet, none of it. There were no differences between the two groups.

In another study, James Hill from the University of Colorado and his colleagues took people and put them in a closed chamber that was sealed, and they measured the molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide in that chamber. As they were breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide, you can actually measure the rate of their metabolism by that exchange, molecule for molecule. Over three days people ate either in one condition three meals a day or, in another condition, six meals a day. Completely standardized by what foods they were, and the amount of calories total for the day, and there was no difference. If you eat six small meals a day, it does not keep your metabolism revving compared to three meals a day.

There is a big difference when it comes to the ability to automate and systematize your eating. If you're eating six meals a day versus three meals a day. Think about this with me from the perspective of The Willpower Gap™. If your goal is to reduce the number of choices you have to make in the moment, you can make the choices, just make them in advance, so that you don't fall prey to The Willpower Gap™. Doesn't it make sense that you want to eat fewer times a day and at times that are locked to certain temporal and location cues just like brushing your teeth is? You brush your teeth every morning and every night and you never miss because there are certain cues associated both time of day cues and location cues that remind you to do it.

There is something about your waking up routine that reminds you to brush your teeth and something about your going to bed routine that reminds you to brush your teeth. If you can lock your breakfast and your dinner into that same kind of rhythm, into that same kind of habit, where you come out of bed, you come downstairs, you get out your bowl and you make the same healthy breakfast that you usually eat. All of a sudden you have automated breakfast, and you can do a pretty similar thing for dinner. Now, lunch is a little trickier because people are out and about during the day, but thank goodness there still is in our messed up food culture some notion of lunch still going on around places. I mean, yes, people are eating all day long, but still, come midday, there's a feeling that it's time to stop now and eat lunch. You're going to get triggered to eat the healthy lunch that you've pre-planned and pre-packed by that time of day and maybe even a location cue too. If you work some place and you're some place where okay, now it's midday and I need to stop for lunch.

If you allow yourself to eat all day long, all of a sudden the location and time of day cues completely break down and it's really hard to automate and systematize those random encounters with food. Suddenly, you're out and about and there's a pretzel stand on the corner and you're eating there. Doesn't it make sense if 70% of us, or I guess it's technically 68% or 69% of us, over two-thirds of us are overweight or obese, that giving ourselves carte blanche to eat whatever and whenever we want is probably not the best strategy?

Well, I want to propose to you that three meals a day is a really good idea. The reason three meals a day works so well is because you can automate those meals. They succumb to the process of habit formation so much better than eating six small meals or all day long. That's one example of how you can look through the lens of The Willpower Gap™ and get a really different take on things than conventional wisdom would say.

The second one has to do with exercise. Eat right and exercise. Right? That's how you lose weight. Eat well and exercise. Eat less, exercise more. Exercise more, eat less. Your doctors are telling you you got to eat less and you got to exercise more. Is it really true? Is it really working? I want to propose to you that not only is it not working, but it's not even true. Exercise is pretty worthless when it comes to weight loss. Now, I'm not an exercise hater. Those of you who love your exercise, I promise you I'm not an exercise hater. Exercise is amazing. Exercise is amazing for your mind, for your memory, for your mood, to protect you against Alzheimer's Disease, to help you to grow old gracefully. It's good for your cardiovascular system. It's good so that you feel good in your body. It's good for your sex drive. It's good for your self-esteem. It's good for just about everything except losing weight. It's pretty worthless for weight loss. There's a lot of research on this. I have a blog on this. I've written about this extensively. It really is true. Just Google it. Exercise doesn't help you lose weight. Really. Just Google it. You will see so many studies about this.

Now, why doesn't exercise help you lose weight? Let's look from the perspective of The Willpower Gap™. When you workout, you do burn some calories. Great. That's helpful. Then, there you are in a willpower depleted state, because exercise takes a lot of effort and it drains your willpower stores. There you are, with depleted willpower, free range driving around and suddenly it dawns on you that you want to stop at your coffee shop and have a muffin and a latte. Now, you have the perfect rationalization because you just worked out really hard, so you totally deserve it. You pull in there, you get your food and you have just completely obliterated the calories that you exercised off. You've just tripled what you just burned off in your consumption. You go to bed at night feeling good that you worked out and totally not even realizing that you're no closer to your weight loss goals.

This vulnerability to rationalization and justification turns out to be a really huge problem. Now, it is true that if you weigh and measure your food and eat immaculately according to a digital food scale and you exercise more, you will lose a little bit more weight. What I want to propose to you is that even that's not a good idea because exercise takes willpower all the way through. It takes willpower to get to the gym. It takes willpower to stay on the treadmill. Regardless of what exercises you're doing, right? Fill in the blank. It takes willpower all the way through and then it leaves you in a willpower depleted state afterwards.

What I tell the people who come to work with me is, unless you have a really well oiled exercise regime already set up that has been running for years completely automatically with no willpower necessary, unless you're one of those people, do not start an exercise regime while you're trying to lose weight. Don't do it, because weight loss is not about exercise. It's about food. It's about getting your food right and putting the focus in to completely revamp your relationship with food and the way you systematize your eating habits. To get that job done is going to take every last ounce of willpower you've got, because at the beginning, you don't have automatic habits. At the beginning, you need to use your willpower to set up the system. It's worth it to take a few months out of your life to set that up and then afterwards you can start exercising.

Remember Lepton from the last video? Lepton is the hormone that tells you you're not hungry anymore and you want to get active. In just a little bit, on the Bright Line Eating™ Plan after you let go of sugar and flour, Lepton is going to come back on board and you're going to feel like exercising. Just hold off for a little bit until your food habits are automatic and then you can start exercising later. I promise you it's worth it. By that point, you'll be in a body that is begging to put on some little gym short and a little top and go workout.

That's another example of how if you look from just a different angle, you get a completely different recommendation when you keep in mind The Willpower Gap™.

Now you know all about the one huge mistake that keeps people from losing weight. You know how to not make that mistake yourself anymore. Re-watch this video. There's a lot of really practical tips in there. We've come to the end of the second video. I want to just foreshadow a little bit. What's coming up in the next video is not only the details of the Bright Line Eating™ System, especially the four bright lines that are essential, but also the ways, there's at least five ways that your brain re-wires on this system to support your weight loss efforts and make it easier and easier and easier over time to maintain a slender figure and really get happy, thin and free.

I promise you, if it were hard, I wouldn't still be doing it all these years later. It gets really easy. That's in the next video. For now, I want to thank you for spending this time with me. Go ahead and give a like and give a share. Everybody likes likes and shares. Please do that, but mostly I would love it if you would leave me a comment. Won't you please scroll down and leave a comment. Let me know what you thought of this information. If you hated it, I know some of you are going to write in and say I love to exercise. Don't take away my exercise. Whatever you want to say. Go ahead and scroll down. Leave me a comment. I love the dialogue that happens down there. I can't wait to see you in the next video. Until then.
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