A lot of health and dietary advice out there will tell you to “eat less and exercise more”. And today, I’m going to suggest something pretty bold to you…Eat more, and exercise less.
This advice is founded in my years of research about what I call your body’s FAT Programs, which are your body’s survival programs that cause you to gain weight. Understanding how to work with your body’s survival programs (rather than fighting them) will allow you to lose weight in a much more sustainable way.
So let’s look deeper into my advice to eat more and exercise less. Let’s explore that first part…
When I say eat more, I’m really talking about eating more healthy foods. That is, getting more nutrition into your body. Many of us are nutritionally starved. This type of starvation can cause chronic junk food cravings.
Also, modern day processed foods cause inflammation and digestive issues, both of which activate your FAT programs. By adding more healthy foods, you will be nourishing your body, reducing inflammation and healing your digestion.
The focus for us is always on adding. Over time, you’ll experience less junk food cravings and you’ll become more efficient at burning fat. At the Gabriel Method, we always suggest to eat more nutritious, wholesome foods and focus on what I call the Gabriel Method Big 3:
- Live Foods Like – Green leafy veggies, fermented veggies, sprouts and cruciferous veggies.
- Omega 3’s: Found in sources like chia seeds and oil, cold water fish, hemp oil, and flax oil.
- Protein: Grass fed, organically farmed meats, eggs and wild caught fish.
Eating less without adding healthy foods puts your body into fat storage mode because there is a perceived danger of starving. This is the opposite of what we want to communicate to our bodies for weight loss. So start by eating more, and focusing on adding in the Big 3 food items. You may not lose weight overnight by following this approach, but over time, you will have less hunger and junk food cravings and once you do start losing weight it will be very sustainable.
Now let’s look at the second piece of advice…
Most people get really stressed with the concept of eating less, and exercising more. For many of us, we don’t enjoy exercise, because it’s been ingrained in our minds that we have to exercise for 1 hour at least 6-7 times a week for any changes to be made.
This type of over exercising can lead to a phenomenon called ‘overtraining’. And overtraining causes your cortisol levels to be elevated, which causes junk food cravings and leptin and insulin resistance – all leading to an activation of your FAT programs.
At The Gabriel Method, we use exercise to transform your body from the inside out, working on a hormonal level, not a caloric level. So the first hormone we need to address is the cortisol that is being dumped in your body from stress and overtraining. By exercising less, but exercising right, you can lower stress levels and turn off the FAT programs. Remember, it’s not about burning more calories, it’s about creating a hormonal response that is conducive to weight loss.
When you exercise the right way you can activate what I call the “Get Thin or Get Eaten” response. This is a genetic adaptation that forces our bodies to be lean and fit, in order to escape from predators. It’s a survival response that you can tap into. And when you tap into it right, your body works with you to actually help you lose weight. Think about it – 10,000 years ago, being light, agile, and fast was necessary for your survival so you could escape predators, hunt and stay alive.
When you activate this response, you are communicating to your body that being thin is not only important, but imperative to your survival.
What I’ve discovered, is that activating this “Get Thin or Get Eaten” response before a workout helps me maximize my results, in a fraction of the time. You can use visualization and guided imagery to help activate this response, even before your workout starts. Your survival brain doesn’t know the difference between a real or an imagined experience, so you can use visualization in a very targeted way.
You can use the “Get Thin or Get Eaten” visualization further down on this page. I've also made it available for download, so you can put it on your phone and take it with you where ever, whenever.
I activate this favorable hormonal response, by using visualization…
Before I go for a run on the beach or go out for a bike ride, I love to listen to this visualization to get my mind in a peak-playful-intensity place where that wonderful biochemical change can take place.
Working with your body and enjoying the process of change is what The Gabriel Method is all about.
Now I realize that this approach flies directly in the face of the pop health dietary advice that tells us we should simply “eat less and exercise more.” But when you move away from the traditional paradigm toward a more holistic, mind-body approach, you quickly realize that this pop health advice isn't working for anyone.
Try This Way of Exercise:
15 minutes of Visualization + 15 Minutes of Movement
So give it a try yourself. One day this week set aside 30 minutes; 15 minutes to listen to this meditation, and then 15 minute to do some sort of body movement. That could be going for a walk, going for a jog, doing some yoga at home, running after your kids, or perhaps a bike ride.
Also when you exercise have a few brief moments of intense movement. Maybe sprint for 20-30 seconds 3 or 4 times during the workout and rest at least 48 hours before your next exercise session.
Then come back here and let me know what you think of the visualization. Many of our coaching clients love this new perspective towards movement and exercise, and consequently are able to start shedding the weight much easier -AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – they are able to keep it off. I hope you enjoy it as well, and start achieving the permanent, sustained weight loss you desire.