How is it possible?
How do the ultra successful seem to have all their pieces in order? Incredible health, ripped physiques, successful businesses, great family lives, time for spirituality and religion.
Are they some kind of other species, or are they just one of us – with a few special tweaks and alterations?
You might be surprised.
I try to rarely talk about myself here.. and instead focus on you and how I can help.
But I figured today I’d share some personal stuff hoping that it may help some of you. For example, how I have a six pack 365 days a year, how I eat virtually no sugar and never have cravings, how I haven’t had soda in 10 years, and a lot more.
And I also show you how I practice everything that I preach – including the very specific techniques I’ve taught to many of you in my programs in order to preserve health, burn fat, and reverse chronic health issues.
I Haven’t Had Soda in 10 Years (maybe more) – Here’s How
People don’t seem to believe me when I say that I haven’t had soda in over 10 years.
What!? How is that possible!?
Well, first, I changed my habits.
I’ll give you a few examples:
A. I stopped walking down the aisles with soft drinks. These days, I don’t even remember the last time I saw soda in the market, because I don’t go near it.
B. I stopped stocking it in my house – initially I only let myself buy it when I was out of the house.
C. I started packing my own lunches instead of going out to lunch.
You might be thinking “yeah yeah yeah, but what about when you’re surrounded by this stuff at home?”
Here’s the thing: even when I hang out at parties or hang out around soda (which is VERY frequent) I never feel tempted.
This is crucial. It’s easy to keep good habits when you’re surrounded by people with great habits. But what happens when you sit down and work in a cafe and there are a bunch of young kids drinking coke?
One technique I use involves changing your identity and how you view yourself.
When people ask, I literally say that I “do not drink soda.” It’s not, “I rarely have soda.” I do not drink soda.
I’ve tried desperately to find the studies supporting this (I’ve seen them before, just can’t find them), but it has been shown (repeatedly) that once people identify with a new “identity” (going from a soda drinker, to a non-soda drinker), they are much more likely to adhere to new habits.
But it takes no effort for me. I’m surrounded by soda if I go to parties, and I have never once in 10+ years been seen with soda in my hand. The only time you’ll see me with soda is if I’m in a bar with friends and someone buys a drink that is mixed with soda -and I’ll only take it out of respect.
Most Weeks I Have Zero Sugar… And No Cravings
#1 Don’t stock it in your house
#2 The availability rule (if it’s there, you will eat it)
#3 Eat every 3 hours, and eat high protein meals(hunger management).
#4 Once you’re off sugar… it’s really easy to stay off. But once you start eating more, the cravings come on strong.
Most days, I have my meals all cooked in bulk. On the weekends I let myself eat out 1-2 times, and generally let myself eat whatever I want (I always focus on protein & veggies though).
Here’s when I usually get cravings:
– When I haven’t slept enough
– When I’ve gone too long without eating (remember the 3 PROVEN ways to beat sugar cravings)
– When I’m stressed or bored and I haven’t eaten recently
If you know how to plan for those situations, figure out which ones set you off, and then prepare for them, you are much more likely to not have cravings.
The Food Control Program goes into this stuff in-depth.
Most Days I Don’t Use Willpower or Effort To Change My Habits
Very few things I do are based on willpower and effort. Do I have the occasional rainy day where I just don’t want to drive from work to the gym? Yeah.
But most days I focus on intelligently re-writing my habits. I’ll give you an example below, about how I watch less than 1 hour of TV per week.
How to Watch Less Than 1 Hour of TV/Week
Habits. It’s what I talk about in almost every article – make systems that don’t let you fail. Real success comes from habits, great planning, and making smart systems – and not willpower and discipline.
In my case, I’ve created two habits to avoid watching TV:
A. Go to the gym right from work (because I won’t otherwise)
B. Go to a cafe to hangout for 2-3 hours before going home (to do work or prepare for tomorrow)
Most days I get home around 9-10 pm – which is on purpose.
Another key thing I talk about in the Food Control Program is what I call “confliction” – for example, if you don’t want a new habit to occur, schedule something that “conflicts” with it.
So I know that I’m mostly likely to watch tv at 5pm when I get off work, because I’m tired. But if I go to a cafe right from work instead, there’s no way I can watch tv right? So it’s very deliberate and intentional.
I shape my daily (and even weekly) schedule around the habits I want to have.
If I know I want to read more, and not watch TV, I first spend a week doing the index card method to figure out what times of the day I am usually watching TV. From there I can use various habit methods to swap that behavior out.
Systems and planning, not willpower and effort.
P.S. Imagine how much you could do in life if you stopped watching TV? Based on a very quick look around at my friends and family – you could easily regain 15 hours per week if you turned it off for good. What could you accomplish with those extra 780 hours a year? The answer: just about anything.
Year Round Six-pack
This is not a health and fitness site – I want to focus mostly on helping people attain health and regain a great quality of life. Reverse disease, have insane energy, beat depression, then lose weight.
But, since “flat abs” and a six pack are one of the most in-demand things we constantly see on the covers of diet books, here’s how I look like that 365 days a year.
I use all of the techniques I’ve shared here:
– I eat every few hours (just because I hate being hungry – not because eating more often boosts metabolism).
– I focus on what – not how much (a core tenet of eat more lose more)
– I eat a big piece of protein with each meal – a ton of veggies, and then a “side” portion of carbs. The more active I am that day, the more carbs I eat.
– I lift weights 4 days a week (not longer than 1 hour each time)
– I only drink water, tea, and coffee
– I allow for cheat days (going out to dinner on the weekends). But over time, the less you cheat, the easier it becomes. These days I rarely have sugar cravings unless I spend too much time around sugar or it’s the holidays (eek!)
Nope I’m Not Superman… I Did This All With Habit & Lifestyle Change
All of this stuff might give you the idea that “I” am different from “you.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
I built these habits over months and years. Now it’s mostly effortless. Like I said, I don’t force myself not to eat sugar, or force myself to go to the gym. Avoiding soda is effortless, and I can’t wait for the high I get from working out.
There’s one other big thing though.
Health Is More Than Just How You Look
I also place a major emphasis on the intangible aspects of health.
For example: I’ve never told you that I’ve been meditating since I was 12.
And my goal for this new year is to get up to two hours of meditation a day.
It’s the first thing I do in the morning, and the last thing at night.
I also read spiritual or ancient “health” texts almost every day – one of my favorites right now is the Huangdi neijing – the Chinese medicine classic:
There are also many other intangible aspects of health like meaning, purpose, and happiness – sometimes we’re just unhealthy because we’re miserable.
Just check out this 2007 study profiled on the Harvard School of Public Health site:
In a 2007 study that followed more than 6,000 men and women aged 25 to 74 for 20 years, for example, she found that emotional vitality—a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance—appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The protective effect was distinct and measurable, even when taking into account such wholesome behaviors as not smoking and regular exercise.
My point is that I spend a lot of time emphasizing the inner aspects of health and happiness, and not just the physical stuff. The thoughts in your head, how much you love or hate your job, and your overall feelings about purpose and meaning dramatically affect health (and your quality of life) as much as your diet and exercise.
Your New Secret Power
Those of you who have been reading Modern Health Monk know I emphasize habits and psychology as much as the physical stuff.
But for those of you who are new, it can be overwhelming – it can seem like experts or people with perfect health have always been that way. It can seem like they have superior levels of discipline and willpower, and that they’re freaks of nature.
But in reality it’s all about habits. And the sooner you start, the more effortless it will be later. So get started.
P.S. All this kind of realistic habit/lifestyle change I’ll be teaching you about in the upcoming free training. Make sure to reserve your spot.