Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Ep 33: Sustainable Weight Loss, Emotional Awareness, and the Dieting Mindset with Paul Salter

November 22, 2022 Paul Salter Episode 33
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Ep 33: Sustainable Weight Loss, Emotional Awareness, and the Dieting Mindset with Paul Salter
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Show Notes Transcript

Joining me on the show today is Paul Salter, a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Sustainable Weight Loss Expert. Since 2013, he’s personally coached over 1,500 women to lose 20 pounds or more and KEEP IT OFF (without feeling like they're dieting). 

He’s done so by taking an inside-out approach that focuses on cultivating feelings of self-love and self-worth from day one—not after weight is lost—and by paying much more attention to one’s mindset and emotional intelligence, in addition to the nutritional Xs and Os. 

He’s a twice published Author, host of The 5% Way Podcast (make sure to subscribe), and Founder and Head Coach of The 5% Community.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Sustainable weight loss and why it's difficult for most people
  • The role of self-talk in achieving sustainable weight loss
  • The role of emotional intelligence in sustainable weight loss
  • Self-talk / identity / transformational model of change
  • Prioritizing self-love
  • Where to begin with "deep work"
  • An example of a "destructive and self-sabotaging pattern"
  • Cultivating more intentionality to transform your relationship with food
  • Your thoughts on willpower and discipline
  • Your thoughts on "good vs. bad" foods
  • The value of the pre-diet maintenance phase
  • Weight loss as a goal vs. body composition (adding muscle)
  • Going on your own vs. hiring a coach


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Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast, where we discuss getting strong and healthy with strength training and sustainable nutrition. I'm your host, Philip Pape. And in each episode, we examine strategies to help you achieve physical self mastery through a healthy skepticism of the fitness industry, and a commitment to consistent nutrition and training for sustainable results. Welcome to another episode of Wits & Weights. Joining me on the show today is Paul Salter, a registered dietitian and sustainable weight loss expert. Since 2013. He's personally coached over 1500 women to lose 20 pounds or more and keep it off without feeling like they're dieting. He's done. So by taking an inside out approach that focuses on cultivating feelings of self love, and self worth from day one, not after weight is lost. And by paying much more attention to one's mindset, and emotional intelligence, in addition to the nutritional X's and O's. He's a twice published author, host of the 5% Whey podcast, make sure to subscribe, and founder and head coach of the 5% community. Paul, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Paul Salter:

Philip, thank you, as we were just talking about before we hit that big record button, really looking forward to sharing some great conversation because of how aligned our values and beliefs are. So thank you for having me.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. And I'm really excited to see what we talked about today. And I hope to learn a lot and hope the listeners want a lot. So I've been listening to your show, I think it's good stuff. Why don't we start at the high level here. Tell us about your background in nutrition. I know you're a registered dietitian as well, and sustainable weight loss specifically.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, so that story requires us going back in time quite a little bit. So I've been a registered dietician for nearly 10 years at this point. And my early work as a dietitian actually began specifically working with those who were on the brink of bariatric weight loss surgery. And my role in that outpatient clinic was to either help those who are on the decision fence, if you will make some of the emotional and mindset changes to avoid surgery altogether, which was a bit would be a great outcome, or should they have chosen to follow through with the surgery, make sure that you know the surgery is only going to do so much they still have to make behavioral and lifestyle changes. So make sure they were in fact mentally emotionally prepared as well as nutritionally because there are several new limitations and guidelines in place when you have you know, half of your stomach removed or some other variation of the bariatric surgery. And that proved to be a truly, you know, instrumental experiences in my life when it came to helping me understand through the guidance of wonderful mentors, how to really work with someone in a one on one intimate setting, you know how to candidly yet kindly speak to them to provide education yet also hold them accountable, accountable, to make sure make sure they follow through on their promises and commitments. But all great things must come to an end. And I found myself you know, a couple years later on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum, working closely with elite college professional and Olympic athletes helping them to maximize performance, of course, recovery, body composition and their relationship with food. And I had an absolute blast doing this except I realized working 75 hours or so every week was not my jam was not a sustainable approach for just how I wanted to live life, which is when I began to go off on my own but it was during both of these experiences, I was simultaneously using myself as a guinea pig. So during the job working with the athletes, I was simultaneously completing my master's degree in exercise and nutrition sciences, I was already a twice competitive, Natural Bodybuilding participant as well. And just continuing like I said, every piece of information I learned I would apply to myself, I was fascinated with human performance what the body was capable of when you make the correct diet or exercise modifications to achieve a desired outcome. And it was through this body building experience for me that I developed a love hate relationship or marriage with my fitness pal. I was meticulously meticulously and obsessively beginning to track my food, skipping out on social occasions, missing out on holiday foods and favorite meals treats all the above and quickly found myself in a position in which I had an unhealthy relationship with food and was like oh shit, this is not a way to live life. So, you know, candidly, I was never someone who struggled with my weight growing up or at any time during my adulthood. But I have so much compassion and relatability when it comes to being ruled by food, rather than letting me be in charge of dictating how I navigate social occasions, food choices, et cetera. And that was something that really continued to push me in the direction of learning more outside of nutrition in X's and O's, I knew there was an emotional component, I knew there was a mental component. And at that time, I very much struggled to see where I was coming up short or deficient in information. But the more I push forward and acquire that information, I was able to get myself out of that position to a place in which today I don't track or measure my food using the food scale, unless I really, really want to eyeball freely, I eat whatever I want, whenever I want and navigate social occasions with ease. And I've been able to take what I've learned, and now have a just a wonderful opportunity to serve women from not only the nutritional X's and O's standpoint, but really to pour into them from an emotional and psychological perspective to help rebuild their relationship with food, fall in love with themselves again, while simultaneously rebuilding their foundational eating habits. And that's what I've had the pleasure of doing for a couple of years now. Well, so

Philip Pape:

there you have a great story, it sounds like, of course, you had the credentials in your work with the athletes you came from. There was a medical component to it. Bodybuilding, we can go off and talk talk about that for. But the the fact that you came to it from a different perspective, right, a lot of people maybe struggle with weight, you didn't struggle with weight, but you struggle with the mindset and emotional components of eating, which, you know, plenty of people have success losing weight, it's the keeping it off part. And it's the losing it in the right way. And the big word sustainability, which again, you and I are completely aligned on that, that the X's and O's are, what 5% of the equation 10% The equation. And the rest is, is everything else. So let's talk about that. Everything else? Let's start by, you know, before we get into the steps people take, what do we mean by sustainable? You know, we throw that word around. What do we mean by sustainable weight loss? And why is it so difficult for the vast majority of people?

Paul Salter:

Yes, I mean, you know, some of the recent research suggests that the average American diets four times per year, and we all know how, how it feels or what it looks like to diet hop and start that new diet every other Monday. So it seems and if we take a big step back and look at dieting for what it really is, dieting is a major physiological, emotional and psychological stressor. And if we continue to subject ourselves to that experience a week or month after month, not only does weight loss actually become harder, but we end up regressing taking multiple steps backwards, because we're just constantly under this threat of stress our biology, our nervous system doesn't want anything to do with it. So when we talk about sustainable weight loss, we mean being able to achieve a weight loss of 1020 30 pounds, whatever your personal goal is, and no longer feel the need to irrationally approach these rash decisions related to your food choices, restricting different choices, the times you eat whatever extreme approach it may be in order to maintain that weight on the scale, or further lose it. But the problem is, we are a culture a society who is conditioned to want results yesterday, and weight loss is sexy, I mean, the number going down on the scale provides a huge hit of dopamine, we're feeling good, we're seeing results in the mirror. Contrast that with weight maintenance, and we don't want to see the number go down or up. That's really boring. It's it's really boring. And what we have to understand, which is much easier said than done is that all success and all aspects of life can be traced back to consistency and simplicity, while falling in love with monotony. That is the absolute opposite of what we are wired to seek out, we want excitement, we want the highs and lows, the sexiness and the adventure. And wait maintenance has absolutely none of that. So it doesn't sell. Therefore, it's a lot less likely to want to seek it. And even more, a lot less likely to actually want to do some of the deeper work looking inward into our self talk our self love our beliefs, to be able to get out of our own way and actually achieve those sustainable results.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, so I'm trying to remember what you said there, but it's consistency and simplicity while falling in love with monotony. And maybe another way to put that is you know, falling in love with the process. And taking that day to day step and not worrying so much about the results which are gonna come and I love that approach, too. Because Because weight loss is sexy, and even the term weight loss. Some of us cringe a little bit because at the end of the day, we're I think we're focused more on body composition and fat loss. But you know, we have to talk the language that people understand to begin that conversation. So you mentioned self talk then, and what is what is that idea in general? What is its influence on your thoughts, your actions and the ultimate result of what we're trying to do? And what role does it play in sustainable weight loss?

Paul Salter:

Great question. So I'm a big believer, and I think you'd agree all of our success starts and in the mind, and you know, one of the methodologies of transformational change that I teach, you know, in our 5% community is this very loosely labeled needs a much better name, but what it is right now is this have talked to identity transformational model of change that basically practices that our self talk and our word choice influences our thoughts and our beliefs which influence our actions or inactions which influence our results, our identity and our reality. It's a very downstream ripple effect. But it all starts with our self talk in our word choice. And if we are constantly, you know, repeating phrases such as I'm fat, or always be fat, I suck, I'm a failure, you know, those words carry such strong emotion. And emotion is just simply energy in motion. So we're transmitting this negative energy into our thoughts, you know, we have, you know, 10s of 1000s of thoughts every single day, the majority of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday, and even more of them are just negative thoughts. So we're just reinforcing this flow of negative energy down that downstream effect example I just shared. So negative energy pours into our beliefs, if we continue to tell ourselves, we'll never look this way, or wear this this size, or weigh this much, we begin to believe that about ourselves. And that strong belief is simply a thought anchored with intense energy, it begins to bleed into our action. So no longer are we doing the things we're supposed to, to achieve those goals we supposedly have. And it just as you can imagine, snowballs into the results that we really, really want. But our personal results don't reflect that because we're speaking so negatively to ourselves. And I have found time and time and again, you know, when diving deep with clients and community members, that their lack of results, or the stories that they're currently telling themselves, both consciously and subconsciously, can all be traced back to how they're speaking in themselves, they're not giving themselves grace, they're not giving themselves patience, they're not speaking to themselves as if they were speaking to a child or a loved one, we are always our harshest critic. And our inner critic can be incredibly nasty and cruel. More often than not, we have got to bring awareness to that and start making positive change. They're planting that seed of positivity.

Philip Pape:

Now, there's self talk, I mean, if we trace it back in time to an individual person's life, like, and I was thinking about this the other day, how I used to think, Okay, I it is what it is, maybe it's my genetics, I'm never gonna achieve the results I'm gonna get or I'm a fat kid, or whatever the self talk is. And I suspect a lot of that comes from just the self training and the the lack of results that we've had over the years. How much of that do we do we care about? Or do you explore in terms of the ultimate root cause? Or does it really matter as much as just what do we do going forward?

Paul Salter:

No, you're absolutely right. Our identity is based on all of our past experiences. So if we now work backwards from that model, I briefly described all of that identity results, actions, beliefs, thoughts, and self talk, all goes back to our childhood. And you know, between ages of zero to seven, you know, a lot of the latest research suggests that about 95% of our belief system is formed, we're incredibly malleable and sponge like during that period. And as crazy as it sounds in our Adult Day present hood, our unkind self talk are those terrible limiting beliefs at once they served us, they protected us in some capacity. So for if we kind of carry on with this example of weight loss of you know, I'll never weigh this much, I'll always be this way. It's a way of protecting us our ego, keeping us in our comfort zone, because you and I both know, in order to achieve those drastically different results, we might have to make some drastically different changes, that change is uncomfortable. It's a threat. It's scary compared to our status quo. So our ego, kind of devil on one shoulder age on the other, it feeds that negative self talk in to convince us to just stay put and hanging out where we're comfortable in this for this familiar territory.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, the status quo. It's like the cost of change versus the cost of staying the same. And trying to weigh the two. I was just reading a novel seems totally unrelated, but in the novel that talked about hope and and that when you give somebody hope the only two paths are salvation or damnation. I wonder if it's a similar concept of, you know, people don't want to allow themselves to have that hope. Because if it doesn't come to fruition, like all the times in the past, then it's just going to lead down a darker path. So I don't know maybe it's getting a little profound, but it's tied into your emotions here. And what is the role then of I think this is emotional intelligence we're talking about of developing the awareness and implementing a different self talk or a different way of talking to ourselves or self love and managing our emotions. So what what is the role of that?

Paul Salter:

Yeah, so I like to describe emotional intelligence that's just simply your emotional awareness and then your emotional management because at the end of the day here you know stripped amongst our bones and flesh we're just energy into our being is energy and you know, emotion is energy in motion. And behind all of our grandiose scale goals are I want to wear this size or look this way. Yes, we probably do want all of those but they're all surface level bullshit goals. What We really want is a collection of feelings. And I'm sure you've come across this when you work with clients, they tell you, Oh, I want to weigh this much on the scale because I waited at this age and I felt a, b and c. And it's like, boom, screw the scale number. It's what did you feel? Well, you know, I've asked this question probably almost 1000 times. So women, it's like, I want to feel confident, I want to feel strong, healthy, sexy, in control, energetic. And if we can get really clear on the feelings that we are seeking, what that does is it creates an opportunity, or an opportunity for us to kind of reverse engineer our steps to take the most effective and efficient action steps and to align them appropriately to bring about those feelings. And we both know that we're very emotional beings and food, we live in a food centric culture, food and emotions go hand in hand, it's like you can't have one without the other, whether it's the high grade emotions or the down negative emotion. So when we circle back now to connecting the dots with emotional intelligence, it's starting to just step A, if you will, is what is what is my awareness about my emotional state, what is what are my emotions, when I'm speaking unkindly to myself, when I'm eating foods that I know don't help me feel the best. And as we gain more awareness of the pattern, the predominant emotion two or three of them, that is the consistent theme in our life. And we are also simultaneously working on gaining clarity on how we wish to feel, it becomes very apparent where the disconnect is, and the more awareness we have of our predominant emotional states. And also, the more awareness we have on how we want to feel, we can now begin to take action steps in favor of helping us get to how we want to feel that pulls us away from how we currently feel.

Philip Pape:

And is there a process you go through with clients to identify those to identify what you feel now versus what you want to feel? Yeah, so

Paul Salter:

I always like to start with the positive, like, how do you want to feel waking up every day and I encouraged you know, give me three to five adjectives. Hell, if you're on a roll, kind of word, vomit, 10 adjectives and then we'll work backwards and filter them down to the top three, or five. So we'll get really clear there. And, you know, Ed, my lead, I don't know if you're familiar with him. And he has a new book out called, I think it's called The Power of One more, but he describes this concept of like, living in an emotional house, we all have emotions that we come back to consciously and subconsciously, whether it's anxiety and worry, it's pain, it's frustration, again, that can be traced back to our childhood, how we were raised, what emotions kept us safe back then. And he does a really good job articulating that we need to be able to identify what emotions do we typically come back to. So for example, I grew up with a lot of limiting beliefs around money, financial scarcity, for one, scarcity for one reason or another. And through a lot of work, you know, working with a therapist for for many years, I've been able to identify that a lot of my self sabotaging behaviors, when things are really good, knock me back a step back to that familiar territory of financial scarcity or financial anxiety. And as we just sit in plenty of silence solitude with prompts like some of the ones I'm sharing, were ultimately able to see that theme, like What emotions do I predominantly feel? Or do some of my actions lead me back to and again, it just comes through time, and through awareness, and really just having that top of mind like, what emotional state of my living in and as we begin to think and open our eyes to that more and more, we get the clarity of like, Oh, crap, it's anxiety. It's guilt. It's frustration, it's shame. And with awareness comes the opportunity to take action to move forward.

Philip Pape:

And and that taking action and moving forward. I believe that's what you talk about with acceptance or the concept of self love. Is that Is that something we want to prioritize?

Paul Salter:

Absolutely, you know, that the diet industry has kind of conditioned us Oh, you love yourself, love your body. When you weigh this much, or you wear this this size clothes, no women get the get the brunt of it. It's terrible. But men and men are exposed to it, you know, almost equal amounts. And I think it's asked backwards, like, why not love yourself now, because what we're doing if we can constantly and consistently find things we love about ourselves, or practice gratitude, or something we'd like to do as we always share our wins or our positives. What that does is it starts to just reinforce how many positive things or items we have to be grateful in our life right in this present moment. So we get to feel the good feelings of that via the emotional cocktail of those feel good feelings on a regular basis. And guess what, when we feel good, both consciously and subconsciously, we start seeking out behaviors to repeat or reinforce those feel good feelings, which by the way, eating well and moving often helps create more of those feelings. So by starting on this self love first approach, what happens is you begin to fall in love with yourself again, while simultaneously all of your diet and exercise challenges kind of fall into the background. Some of those good behaviors now start to become second nature because you focus on the crux of the problem, which is you didn't love yourself.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, you really hit hit the nail on the head. head with what how the industry frames all of this. I love your enthusiasm and positivity. How you approach this the idea that we should love ourselves or because we love ourselves. That's why we're trying to do XYZ, you know, get healthier change our habits change what we do. And, and like you said, it's not even about the specific thing, which is kind of, I don't want to say easy, but it's it's really the what you're trying to get as a result from that and the love that comes with it. So I mean, where else do we go with the the deep work, you talked about deep work for this meaningful insight out trance transformation, what else is involved there, maybe maybe break it up into a little bit of concrete set of steps?

Paul Salter:

Yes, and let me just add one more thought to self love, I think it's really valuable for your listeners is the most important relationship we have is the one with ourselves. And if we can reframe it and see it through that lens, while we can then see if we begin pouring into the relationship with ourselves by speaking kindly to ourselves by picking ourselves up, rather than picking ourselves apart, and practicing gratitude and self love that directly flows into our relationship with food, our relationship with exercise our relationship with our significant other friends, family, etc. But it all starts from within.

Philip Pape:

And, and I know I asked the question, then you wanted to continue the previous one. I want to ask a follow up to that one. Yeah, we'll get back to where does where does the support structure and this could be loved ones, family, friends are a coach come into that, because I imagine some people really struggle to get to that point.

Paul Salter:

Gotta have a community of some sort. Some people are very blessed, and their significant partner significant other is right there with them their biggest cheerleader, you know, unfortunately, not everybody has that luxury. So you've got to seek it out. And more often than not, it's not your closest friend group. It's not your parents, your co workers or colleagues or your significant other, you have to go find it. And that's hard. That's intimidating, because it's like, how do I go show up with a bunch of strangers, introduce myself, and then pour out all my thoughts and feelings much easier said than done. So I, you know, obviously community being in the name of what we do and what I do, and you having a wonderful community, yourself, we know the value of community actually, I loved what you shared when we kick this thing off about the power of hope. I couldn't agree more when we're going at something on our own. We're operating from a place of isolation, lack and hopelessness. A community provides hope, inspiration and positivity, if we can provide someone with that sense of hope, you have the opportunity to drastically alter the trajectory of their life. So you've got to go find a community of like minded individuals and virtual communities have proven to be just as effective as in person, physical communities, it's just, you know, you have to go find that community.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I totally agree. And I think I think that applies to life in general, with anything you want to work on anything you want to work on for, for skill development, if you want to get better at something is finding people out there and because the people around you aren't necessarily experts, nor do they always care, so to speak, like, they may be supportive. But you can start talking their ear off about macros, or your plan or this snack, it's like, okay, you know, I'm gonna go have my pizza now. But yeah, that's an interesting concept. So yeah, it gets back to the deep work now, the. So I'm looking for a little more concrete. I want the listeners to have something to run with here. Yeah,

Paul Salter:

absolutely. So one of the best recommended recommends recommended there, the steps that I can share with you is every single day writing down one to three things you are grateful for. This is a wonderful, simple opportunity to begin rewiring our subconscious to constantly scan our environment for things that are positively going on in our life are things that we should be grateful for. Because biologically, we are wired to scan our environment for the threats to find the negativity. It's an innate survival mechanism, traceback, you know, centuries and centuries ago, so we actually actually have to do the work, to find the positives and train our brains to find them on our own. And the way I like to teach this, because sometimes we might sit there and think like, oh, my gosh, what do I have to be grateful for today, as I like to first offer the reminder, it can be as simple as I am grateful for this morning's cup of coffee, I am grateful for my dog, it absolutely doesn't have to be diet or exercise related anything in your life. But to give a framework, I personally like to practice identifying one thing I am grateful for in my personal life. One thing I am grateful for about myself, and then one thing that I am grateful for in my work or community, so that kind of helps guide my thought a little bit and kind of get me thinking in that right direction. So it's not like you know, opening up a blank Microsoft Word document and starting like, where do I begin? So it's got to start practicing gratitude. Number two, is you want to get very clear. And this is kind of a multi step, step two, so bear with me, but you want to get clear on like, who is the best version of Phillip, who is the best version of Paul, how does he speak to himself? What thoughts does he have? What does he believe to be true about himself. And this is kind of a big exercise in one. But what I'm getting at is, if you're clear on what you know, the highest version of yourself the best version of yourself how he he or she thinks, speaks and talks, well, now you can start emulating that, you'll have awareness about where the disconnect is and how far away you are from that. And with that awareness, now you can start offering substitutions I'm not, you know, instead of saying I'm fat, I'll never get there at cetera. I've come very far, I've made a lot of progress. I'm trending in the right direction, subtle word choice changes can begin to bleed into your thoughts and beliefs. And it's just awareness and action. I think, you know, going a little all over the place, I recognize that. But if I had to distill that into one step, some type of journaling practice, I think just goes a long way in being able to emotionally vomit and start getting more comfortable identifying what how you are feeling thinking and talking on a regular basis, because with that awareness comes opportunity for change.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I like the both the gratitude piece, especially when you mentioned categorizing it, and including something you're grateful for about yourself, because oftentimes, we externalize and we don't want to come back to that. And then I can tie that into the second piece you mentioned about imagining the best version of you or a better version of you in the future. And I know you talked about we talked about earlier, the awareness of disruptive and self stop sabotaging kind of pattern. So now this is the inverse, right? The maybe constructive and self building or self supporting patterns of thought, from where you want to be. It's great stuff. So journaling and gratitude. Very awesome. Hey, this is Philip pape, letting you know that applications are now open for one on one coaching. If you're a busy working professional, who has tried dieting, and exercising for years, with little in the way of results, and you want to lose fat, get lean or feel confident in your body without excessive dieting, cardio or restrictions, just go to wits & weights.com/coaching, to apply. Talking about how people think about food and nutrition in this context, a common challenge I see all the time is the relationship with food, right? And this and this often comes out in the weekends and social events and situations where you have to make in the moment decisions and are outside of your routine. I mean, this is extremely common. anybody listening knows this? We all know it. How can someone I guess either take control or I think you call it cultivate more intentionality. I saw that in your work somewhere to transform their relationship with food.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, that's so well said. And with that intentionality. Again, I think we're all victims of kind of outsourcing how we want to feel or what this ideal relationship would look like to the diet industry. And one of the biggest things we do that that's proven to be really transformational for our clients is like, what is your desired relationship with food look like? And feel like? How do you want to navigate the social occasion? So one of the prompts I like to use when talking with someone through this is like, let's say you're navigating a social occasion on Saturday, how do you want to feel waking up on Sunday, and it didn't get clear, like I want to feel I don't want to feel bloated, I don't want to feel like a like an asshole, I don't want to feel you know, hungover or whatever it may be, again, the beauty of identifying how we want to feel it gives us the opportunity to reverse engineer steps. So that's kind of the overarching introductory prompt, but from there, you know, a social occasion is not an excuse to eat like an asshole like you still do have control like, I don't know, I don't know why we're all conditioned to think like, Oh, we're not at home, we can't control anything anymore. We have to have the pizza, the pie the cake, we can't have vegetables or protein first. And it's just through a lot of, you know, reinforcement of education that they probably know or have heard at one point or the other, but giving them actionable strategies. So there are several little tweaks and recommendations we can make to better arm them to navigate cravings, temptations and when I hit the most, you know valuable one I have to share as I always like to teach like when you're going into a social occasion. And you know, there's going to be deserved temptations, your favorite foods, whatever it may be. And you want to be mindful of your nutrition goals macros, portions, whatever it may be, use a rating scale. And what I mean by that is if this dessert is a 10 out of 10 Eat it prioritize making memories over memory or over. Managing macros. Memories are always more important than macros. But the example I like to use for that, like let's say you make a bomb cheesecake and you only make it twice a year. I'm having cheesecake twice a year every time you make it but if you know Betty Liu makes cookies and brings them into work every Friday and they're the same damn cookies. They're not a 10 out of 10 on my scale there there may be a two out of 10 They're good but I don't need them. They don't really provide me much bang for my buck in this sense, but your cheesecake is a twice in your opportunity. That's a ton of a 10 I'm not turning that down where I'm absolutely going to turn down buddy loose cookies more often than not.

Philip Pape:

I love that technique every time I talk to other coaches about it. There's always amazing strategies to try. And and that's a great one. Because if you go if you're on vacation, right, I was raised with the conditioning of, well, we're on vacation, right? It's like, No, we're on vacation. So anything goes. And if you were at a buffet and like, think about a kind of cheap buffet restaurant, right? Where there's just so much mediocre quality food, and he just looked at it and asked yourself like it, is this worth it? Is this something that I would is a special one? Or like thing or, or not? So I like that, giving it a rating? What's your thoughts then on? So we talked about controlling emotions and planning and not thinking in the moment, willpower and discipline, right? When people say, well, dieting and losing weight, it's just, you know, it's, it's calories, and we just need to do it. What are your thoughts on that?

Paul Salter:

Yes, so I like to say like, you know, willpower comes and goes like a bolt of lightning, anybody can follow through on a very challenging task when willpower is really high. And that comes with having a clear vision of what success is having a clear vision of what your why is making sure it's emotionally charged. But willpower is like finite energy it comes and goes, we have to recharge it. So that means that we have to have something to fall back on, which is our set of habits, our foundational habits that keep us moving in the direction we desire. And human beings are incredibly gritty, resilient and persistent, we can do just about damn anything for 3060 90 days, such as follow an incredibly restrictive diet. But if we don't have a foundation of habits to fall back on, once we inevitably reach that point of burnout, we're only going to regress to what we know best, which was the collection of habits that got us to the place of being overweight, unhappy, whatever it may be in the first place. So when it comes to willpower, we absolutely cannot rely on it. Discipline and willpower, obviously, very related here. But I like to put the emphasis when discussing discipline on those foundational habits, what are those two to three habits on a, whether it's a daily, weekly, or monthly basis that if you only did those two or three things, you're still moving the needle in the direction you desire. And if we can really shift our focus to prioritizing those and not relying on when we feel our absolute best, that helps us to continuously make progress. And it's that beautiful, accumulate accumulation of the compound effect.

Philip Pape:

And speaking of those habits, the big the big habits that that individuals should prioritize? I imagine there are a set of habits that are pretty commonly seen across clients that that you kind of, I don't want to say you select from, but you know, I'll give you an example getting more steps, right, many clients, and that needs to be their biggest habit. So is there is there a set of habits you see that are more common than not for most people, meal prep,

Paul Salter:

whether that's once or twice a week depends on the individual, of course, a minimum frequency of exercise per week, whether that's three days or five days doesn't matter. But you know, typically, if we hit our minimum, we're more likely to do more. So we can set the bar a little lower. But we also feel a lot better if we get two workouts in versus zero workouts. And we're more likely to do three, four or five, like I mentioned. So there's the meal prep, there's the workout minimum. And then there is a step goal. I love a minimum fluid intake I love but then also a consistent bedtime as well can be a big difference maker.

Philip Pape:

That's a good one. Yeah, bedtime, and there's things like protein and others as well. So, of course, yeah, of course. And so I was reading one of your articles. And you know, I know we agree on a lot and have a similar approach. One thing in particular stands out, and that is what you're talking about a pre diet maintenance phase. And I think I think I use the term myself like metabolic prep or metabolic restoration or whatever. But and we're basically preparing ourselves for weight loss for fat loss, because a lot of clients probably come in and they say, I want to lose weight, I want to get to that number, like that's what I'm hiring you for. Don't tell me I need to wait or that I might even gain a little before I do that. So, you know, let's take a step back, right? And make sure your body and mind are ready for this. Tell us more about this phase, from your perspective what actions someone needs to take so that they know they're ready and successful for the fat loss phase.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, so I think first and foremost, we need to make sure you're eating enough so that we actually have a significant amount of food to reduce from to induce weight loss. And you know, you're coming to me as a new client wanting to lose weight yesterday and you're eating 1000 calories per day, where the hell are we taking calories away from? So education around that is very, very important to outline the repercussions of trying to reduce from an already very relatively low calorie intake. So, education here, I can't stress enough it's just a lot of education to the new client at this time. But where I really like to explain even further is again, dieting the act of trying to lose weight is a significant physiological, emotional and psychological stressor. And if we're already inconsistent with our eating, exercise, lifestyle habits, that's challenging and stressful enough. It If we take that inconsistency and then enter a diet phase and put the additional stress of dieting on our plate, that's not a recipe for success, that's a recipe for short term weight loss and long term weight regain and rebound. So where the pre diet maintenance phase comes in is this might be a four to 12 week period in which we are absolutely not targeting weight loss whatsoever. So we're removing the stress of a calorie deficit from this person's plate, which all of a sudden opens up ample opportunity, and so much more mental and emotional bandwidth to begin using this newfound energy to rebuild a sustainable relation, versus a sustainable relationship with food, rebuild foundational eating habits. And we work on all of these new skill sets or fine tuning them for a period of time until consistency becomes second nature so that when it is time to diet, the only single change we make is simply the amount of food on their plate, we're not flipping their meal prep routine or their grocery list upside down, we're not adding in 10 cardio sessions per week, no, you're just eating a little bit less, you've just spent the last two or three months rebuilding these habits that are set you up to help you feel look and be your best. And now if the goal is weight loss, cool, we're gonna take a little food off your plate, and you don't have to do anything different. So what I have found is the most popular adjective used by my clients describe a dieting phase, when they take their time to go through the pre diet maintenance phase is easy, because they've done all the hard work upfront, which also sets them up for success to sustain the results after the diet ends. Because again, nothing changes, we just put a little more food back on your

Philip Pape:

plate. Yeah, so well said because people come in thinking this is this is a switch, I'm gonna put on my dieting hat and I'm going to take it off. And when I'm in a dieting mode, restrict, restrict, restrict, and then when it's off anything goes. And you're getting them into a state where it's a matter of scaling at that point, habits are all set potentially habits for life at this point. And you've set them up for success. And now it's just kind of turning that dial in the right direction, based on where they want to go.

Paul Salter:

Let me add one more thing too. There's, there's a big misuse of the definition of the word diet, you and I and everybody listening knows that as an intentionally trying to lose weight. But there's a secondary definition that's far more valuable. And that's simply a habitual way of eating. And the example I like to use is if I tell you I follow a plant based diet, you don't automatically assume I'm trying to lose weight, you just assume I habitually eat plant based foods. So there's a big difference there. Again, opportunity for education. If we focus on the secondary definition, we want to rebuild our habitual way of eating that will serve us for life. It's sustainable, it's unique, simple and flexible. It promotes strong adherence so that when it's time to lose weight or stop dieting, we're just altering the amount of portions on our plate, but not our foundational habits.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, that's great. What if What if a client comes to you and and are, you tell them it's a four to 12 week phase, and they just really want to get going in the fat loss and you get them started with the skill development? Is it kind of an incentive based approach is it almost like a game where you kind of have to earn your your ability to go into that next phase?

Paul Salter:

In so many ways, it really is. And I'm also clear, like, sometimes weight loss still happens during this phase, because you go from eating like shit to eating pretty well consistently. And I remind them of that, but it's also again, an opportunity to educate on where outside the scale we can be and should be looking for progress. So again, consistency is the obvious one, but how you feel your energy exercise, poor performance, recovery, your relationship with food, your level of competence and control, navigating social occasions, if I can open someone's eyes to the myriad of different areas, they're going to see feel and experience progress outside of the scale, they're far more likely to stick with it. Because like, oh, yeah, like I would rather feel really, really good, regardless of the number on the scale.

Philip Pape:

That's excellent. I've seen that go both ways, when you're talking about biofeedback, how you feel your hunger, digestion, maybe your stress all of that. And I've seen it go both ways. If you're trying to build muscle, you're trying to gain weight, and you are afraid of gaining weight, then maybe you focus on how do you feel in the gym? How are your gains coming along? Right? How, what are your measurements? Like, let's not worry about the scale? He kind of goes both directions. So I think that's awesome. That's that's a great approach. anybody listening? Paul's Paul's the man here. He knows what he's talking about. And I want to so I guess this question was probably already answered. You had a recent episode about navigating maintenance with a dieting mentality. And that's, that can be a detrimental thing. But I think we kind of touched on this. Is there any more to that? That I'm missing?

Paul Salter:

Yeah, I think so. It's, it is very important to recognize that dieting is a tool of phenol lifestyle, and we use that primary definition of trying to lose weight and it is a best recommendation during that sustained period of time to minimize you know, some of those treats favorite foods and alcohol. I'm not saying restrict all together, but sometimes or not. Sometimes more often than not. We're all guilty when we finish a diet. It's like we've flipped the switch in our mind anything goes again, we're back to the highlight If it's like, Okay, we got to pump the brakes on that minute. And again, this all can be traced back to how we start that pre diet maintenance phase with those habits. So when you approach maintenance with a dieting mindset, typically the way that plays out is you don't increase your food intake, maybe you do it once and you stay there. So what happens is your body remains in a place where it's still accustomed to a relatively low calorie intake for you. And during a diet phase, many adaptations take place to kind of kick you out of that calorie deficit is your way of body's fighting back against the diet, undue stress. So the hunger, the fatigue, the cravings that come with dieting, if you don't transition out of a dive into a post diet, maintenance phase appropriately, those things still linger, you're still susceptible to cravings, hunger and fatigue, therefore, more likely to eventually reach that point of burning out or giving in. So it's important that you do move forward with these gradual diligent increases in your portions for the next, you know, 810 12 weeks, depending on how long your diet is.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, that's a great point, you touched on the metabolic adaptation that people experience. And I think we want to be very clear, when you're listening to this, Paul's saying that you don't want to be at maintenance, but still at that downregulated level of calories, you want to build up the calories. And it could be you know, classic reverse dieting, it could be recovery, dieting, whatever term you want to use, it's getting up to, I would I call it the highest level of calories, you can be at maintenance, and with your full optimal health and hormone balance, and all that good stuff. So typically, if some,

Paul Salter:

if someone's like, if we're just purely speaking of calories for simplicity, for for a moment here, that's usually getting back to eating between 85 and 90% of your pre diet calorie amount. So as you can imagine, like if you before you started dieting, you're eating 2000 calories per day, and then maybe you knocked down to 1700 1400, etc. You should be getting up around 1800. Again, for you know, you're back into your cruise control or forever maintenance, and you're not staying at 1500.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, exactly. And you mentioned that sometimes it goes up higher, because if you're new to training, if you're new to steps, and now you're all of a sudden add all these things in perhaps it, it pushes it up a little bit. We use the phrase weight loss a lot. And we kind of touched a little bit on fat loss. How do you shift the mindset? Or do you from weight loss to body composition?

Paul Salter:

I think by breaking it down just like you did, like you know, people always say I was just talking about this the other day, like oh, well, I want more muscle muscle weighs more than fat, no, a pound of muscle is the same way as a pound of fat muscle is more energetically costly. So if you have more muscle, you expend more energy, therefore you can technically eat more to maintain your weight. It's a beautiful situation. But I really like to go into the education like having more muscle has so many different health strength and performance longevity benefits. So when it comes to approaching weight loss, if we technically prioritize weight loss, our end result is this skinny fat, unhealthy version of ourselves. If we are prioritizing fat loss or body composition, we're maintaining our precious hard earned muscle mass while we're trying to lose fat, which is absolutely what we want to do. It supports our fat loss and our physique endeavors. And then when we're not dieting, we're trying to build more muscle and minimize fat. So it's definitely a nuanced but important distinction between the two. And we want to have that clarity there about Yes, fat loss and weight loss are different. We want to target fat loss, and therefore our diet and our exercise routine should be aligned appropriately.

Philip Pape:

And do you ever have a client that comes in saying, you know, I need to lose 1020 pounds this is this is my ideal weight, because that's what I weighed when I was 22. And you actually end up doing the pre diet maintenance and potentially go the other direction and build muscle instead of losing fat. Do you have clients that ever go that direction? More often

Paul Salter:

with men, you know, just cleaning up their eating and consistency, it'll see a complete body composition and even more often in like people who have very limited training experience, their training age is very new. So they're incredibly sensitive and receptive to just consistent exercise.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, okay. Just curious. So yeah, so we've covered a lot of awesome stuff. I like to ask this question of all guests, and that is what question Did you wish I had asked, and what is your answer?

Paul Salter:

You didn't ask me what my upcoming business idea is. That has nothing to do with nutrition.

Philip Pape:

Oh, I didn't know you know, what, what is your upcoming business idea? Well,

Paul Salter:

yes, I'm very passionate about coffee and looking forward to opening a coffee shop or maybe a coffee cart first in the near future and just really being able to utilize it as an opportunity. As you know, the bajillion people drink coffee every day. That's a bajillion different touchpoints to have a positive impact on someone's life. So it's a way for me to kind of connect all that we teach in the 5% community about self talk, self talk, self love, gratitude wins and positivity and get to share that with A lot more people on a daily basis because of that coffee transaction. So I look look at that as another outlet to just bring this sense of positivity into the world.

Philip Pape:

That is amazing. Are you going to have a high protein coffee?

Paul Salter:

I'll have to look at it I got my round one of my menus already setting it didn't make the cut but never say never.

Philip Pape:

Okay, I love myself a simple americano tiny bit of cream and maybe stevia sounds good. I'll stop by a coffee shop. Is that in the Tampa area?

Paul Salter:

It will be I'm not there yet. I'm in I'm currently shadowing local roasters and shops to learn more and one day at a time it just comes.

Philip Pape:

That's awesome. Well, good luck with that. I'm sure it'll be successful with with the attitudes you have with everything. And I the last question, of course I have is where can listeners find more about you and your work? Yeah, the

Paul Salter:

best place is to connect with me on Instagram at Paul Salter coaching, it's just an opportunity for you to just see me as I am I my authentic self, whether it's online, in person on Instagram, and, you know, come say hi, see if we vibe and we're in alignment, and we'll go from there.

Philip Pape:

Awesome. So we'll include those in the show notes. We include all your links, and social and all that. And I believe in abundance mindset. We're all coaches trying to help each other and help our listeners and help everybody get their best results. And the more education the more awareness through things like these podcasts, I think really go a long way. That's how I learned I know you probably learned a lot that way as well. So Paul, this was a value packed conversation. I really enjoyed it. And I want to thank you again for coming on the show.

Paul Salter:

Thank you so much for having me. I thoroughly enjoyed first of all, let me just shout you out for your prep work is absolutely meticulous and incredible. So thank you so much for setting me up for success and for asking such outstanding questions to facilitate a great conversation.

Philip Pape:

No problem. Yeah, it was great. I really enjoyed it. And hopefully we'll be staying in touch and connect again in the future. Absolutely. Thanks for listening to the show. Before you go, I have a quick favorite ask. If you enjoy the podcast, let me know by leaving a five star review in Apple podcasts and telling others about the show. Thanks again for joining me Philip Pape in this episode of Wits & Weights. I'll see you next time and stay strong.

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