The 4 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight and How to Fix Them

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Real-Life Insights and Takaways

  • Most people have lost weight. You can temporarily lose weight by starving yourself, but once you stop starving yourself, metabolic changes happen in your body. Starvation then becomes less effective and you will gain weight more easily in the future.
  • A healthy lifestyle “works” when you are healthy and happy and able to thrive for the rest of your life.
  • Eating less and exercising more is failing you, you are not failing it because:
    • It is difficult to go through life hungry and tired and rock your life.
    • It is a quick fix that doesn’t bring lasting results as each time it becomes more and more difficult.
  • By choosing to prioritize our health in a sensible way, we can make sure we are prioritizing other things that are important to us.
  • SANE allows you to maintain a quality level of health even during times of stress.
  • It may take 3-6 months for the body to heal when you initially go SANE.
  • You may not see external results during the healing process. During this time your hormones are balanced, your body’s ability to burn fat into balanced calories is restored, inflammation in your brain decreases, and your gut is healed.
  • If you want to be even more SANE you can:
    • Increase the quality of your eating and exercise.
    • Eat double digit servings of vegetables EVERY DAY.
    • If you are already eating 12 servings of vegetables per day, and you still want to see more results, then you can choose more optimal sources in each category. (i.e. less carrots, celery, etc. instead eat more kale, swiss chard, etc., less conventional beef and chicken and instead more fish and grass-fed beef, etc.)
  • Be sure to eat whole food fats in the context of a complete SANE meal: Vegetables first, protein second, whole food fats third.
  • Consider how you are measuring your results. Rather than valuing what the scale says, consider your improved energy level, sex drive, mental clarity, waist circumference, etc.
  • Studies have been done on rodents in which they have been put on a yo-yo diet. When the rodents ate less and exercised more they lost weight, but once they ate a regular diet again and returned to the diet, it was more difficult for the weight to come off.
  • The longer you eat vegetables, the easier it becomes to eat vegetables.
  • Some people fear that if they stop counting calories and adopt a SANE lifestyle their weight and habits will spin out of control. However, SANE allows you to live a healthy life without the stress of daily calorie counting and obsessive exercising.
  • Some people eat SANEr than they used to and are satisfied with the results.

—NEXT ACTION—
Track your non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats, and other foods using either the SANE app or sticky notes for one week.

Stretch goal: Take your SANEity to the next level. How can you make it just a little bit better?

Reflection Questions

  • How do you measure the success of your healthy choices?
  • Can you thrive for the rest of your life with your current eating and exercise habits?
  • How can you see more dramatic results if you are already living SANEly?
  • What will a quick-fix approach to health do for you long-term?
  • Are you aware of which types of nutrition you are fueling your body with each day?

SANE Soundbites

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  • 3:12 – 4:02, “Weight loss isn’t the issue. We’ve all temporarily lost weight. We’ve all done that. We’ve all starved ourselves at least once and it’s worked at least once. Here’s the challenge. When we say “work” we really have to be clear on what we mean by that. What we mean by that is “we can successfully temporarily lose weight,” then yes, starvation will accomplish that. Here’s the challenge and this is what the science shows clearly and digs into this in the book, “The Calorie Myth,” which is if you starve yourself and then you stop starving yourself, of course, you gain all of the weight back and then some, but the most important thing to keep in mind is when you starve yourself and then stop starving yourself, you actually make metabolic changes happen in your body that makes future episodes of starvation less effective and future weight gain after you starve yourself more rapid.”
  • 4:39 – 5:19, “Works,” means, at least in a SANE context, that I am healthy and happy and able to thrive for the rest of my life. So by that definition eating less and exercising more fails you. You don’t fail it, it fails you for two reasons. One, you can’t do it long term, because no one can go through their life hungry and tired and rock their life, and two, it fails you because every single time you do it, it will make the next time you do it, even harder. When you go SANE, for example, the longer you eat vegetables, the easier it becomes to eat vegetables. So those are the two primary reasons, eat less and exercise more is failing you, you’re not failing it.”
  • 5:57 – 7:06, “I was just listening to a podcast and I heard this popular fitness instructor say, “Okay, you want to see the scale move by next week. What you need to do is you need to jog for 90 minutes on Saturday and 90 minutes on Sunday, carry your vegetables with you, don’t eat out, don’t eat too much, limit your calories, then you’ll see the scale on the Monday,” giving hope to people. I listened to that and I thought, prior to meeting Jonathan and becoming familiar with SANE, I probably would have done it. I probably would have set on my calendar and said, okay, I’m going to run for 90 minutes today, and then I’m going to run for 90 minutes tomorrow. I’m not going to eat. I’m going to make that scale move. I would have done whatever I could because I would feel like I could do this. I could take this on. What would have happened is I would have been totally grumpy with my family the whole weekend. I would de-prioritized my husband, de-prioritized my children, wore myself out and the only measure of my success as a person that weekend would have been what the scale meant on Monday.”
  • 8:06 – 8:53, “So if you want to make a $1,000.00 really fast, there’s a lot of things you can do to make $1,000.00 really fast. I don’t know if I’d recommend them, but if you really need money by Monday, we can figure out a way to do that. It’s probably going to hurt you long term, but we can get you a bunch of money by Monday if you want to.  That’s kind of what eating less and exercising more does. It’s that quick fix approach. It’s that get something immediate right now. Contrast that to the get money by Monday to get an education and get training that will allow you to generate an income sustainably and healthily for the rest of your life. Nothing is going to happen by Monday. If you said, my bank account didn’t change by Monday, clearly this isn’t effective, and then you’re going to take a much different approach, right?”
  • 9:27 – 10:21, “If you define working by the “scale is moving by Monday” then SANE isn’t the right approach for you because SANE is in fact, especially for a lot of the most successful SANE success stories, who are females, these are individuals who have never strength trained in their entire life. Since they have never strength trained, once they do Eccentric exercise, once they start developing calorie hungry lean muscle tissue, here is what happens. They burn 10 lbs. of fat, but then they develop 10 lbs. of lean toned awesome sexy muscle tissue. So in fact, the scale didn’t move at all, never mind the fact that their body fat percentage dropped like 10 or 15 percent and they looked totally different. In that scenario, which is incredible, if you dropped 10 lbs. of fat and put on 10 lbs. of calorie hungry lean muscle, you will look radically different, you will feel radically different, but the scale will not change at all.”
  • 12:17 – 13:26, “Imagine you have a beach ball and your goal is to keep the beach ball in the air. So keeping your weight down is analogous to keeping the beach ball up. So there’s at least two ways you can keep the beach ball up. One is to smack it up and if you’re watching the video, you can see me smacking it up. Smacking the beach ball up. Beach ball falls down and as long as you focus on nothing else, your kids are talking and you’re like, quiet kids, I’m trying to keep this beach ball in the air. You knock the beach ball down. Your boss says, I need you to get this work done and if you get it done I’ll give you a promotion. You say, stop, I’ve got to get this beach ball in the air, leave me alone. The beach ball is in the air most of the time, it’s “working.” If I stop doing that, the beach ball is going to fall on the ground. You’re right, it will fall on the ground. Let’s pause for a second here. Imagine you could build a shelf and instead of smacking that beach ball up in the air and spending your whole life putting that beach ball up in the air and essentially making you serve as what a shelf could do automatically without you doing anything, you actually gave yourself permission to temporarily not worry if the ball was on the ground.”
  • 16:46 – 17:21, “…my life right now has had more stress in it. A lot of good stress and some not so good stress than I’ve ever really had before in my life. Even if I were not SANE right now, now is the part of life when I probably would have gained 15 lbs. or more because I don’t have the bandwidth to be able to devote as much time to counting calories and being at the gym every day. I feel like SANE has totally saved me because I can maintain a level of health that works for me even when things are stressful and busy.”
  • 18:05 – 18:25, “Again, no one is saying that eat less and exercise more can’t work. It can absolutely work. Any person who was trying to get to three percent body fat to be a fitness competitor has to count calories. Bottom line. Because to get to three percent body fat, you’ve got to do crazy things. So it’s not that it doesn’t “work” it’s that our definition of “work” is something very different than the definition of work on NBC’s Biggest Loser.”
  • 19:32 – 19:44, “Three to six months is a really good barometer for how much time it takes to heal your body. So it’s three to six months to get to the point where your body is healed and then can actually restore its own ability to burn fat.”
  • 23:54 – 24:29, “The scale will tell you how much weight you’ve lost and if you want to lose weight, you should never, ever, ever resistance train—ever. And that’s a terrible idea. Resistance training is unambiguously one of the healthiest and beneficial things you could ever do, but it’s going to develop muscle tissue which will make you weigh more. That in and of itself, you need to throw your scale away. I’ve said this before, but unless you have a child who you need to weigh for medical purposes, having a scale in your house is a little bit like having a butter churn in your house. It is obsolete device that does not need to exist anymore.”
  • 25:46 – 26:11, “In the quantity world, the answer is you would eat less food and you would do more exercise. In the quality world, it’s similar, but the exact opposite, if that makes any sense. So you’re going to increase the quality of your eating. You’re going to increase the quality of your exercise. So, first and foremost, a lot of people that think they’re eating SANEly, are eating SANEr. So they’re eating SANEr than they used to eat, but they may not actually be eating SANEly.”
  • 27:24 – 28:01, “We always talk about progress, not perfection. This is about what you want. Even if you’re at 12 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 4 servings of nutrient dense protein, 4 servings of whole food fats, and that totally fills you up, we can take it to the next level, because if your vegetables are coming from carrots, and celery, we could throw some kale in there. We could throw some Swiss chard in there, we could throw some optimal vegetables. If your protein is all coming from conventionally bought beef and conventional chicken, maybe we’d throw some salmon in there instead. Maybe we’d throw in some grass fed beef. Maybe we’d throw in some mollusks.”
  • 29:49 – 30:00, “Whole food fats should always be eaten in the context of a complete SANE meal, which includes vegetables first, first—protein second, whole food fats, third.”
  • 31:57 – 32:35, “Honestly, for a week, write down the number of servings of non-starchy vegetables, nutrient dense protein, and whole food fats and then “other” that you eat in a day.  I think you will be shocked by what you see. And I think in the past, you would have said, let’s just go run for an additional hour. What you’re going to say instead is, let’s just take three of those servings of inSANEity, and replace them with three servings of vegetables and that’s going to do so much for your results. I think writing it down or putting in an app, is really important because what we think we’re doing sometimes will actually might not be the same thing.”

Read the Transcript

April: Hi Everybody, this is April Perry and Jonathan Bailor back with another episode of the SANE show. And Jonathan, today you are going to be answering a question that millions and millions of people are asking themselves every day, which is “Why am I not seeing results?”
Now there’s a couple of things I want to talk about today, because I’m getting emails from everyone asking me and I keep saying, “I’ve got to ask Jonathan, because I don’t know all of the reasons.” I know some of them, but I really want to hear it from you.
Number one, is people are going through the traditional route of trying to lose weight. They’re eating less, they’re exercising more, taking classes, counting calories, doing everything they can, not seeing results. So I think this is a really good chance to just reiterate, clarify, why this is not happening for them.
Number two, there are people who are going SANE, or starting to go SANE and maybe they’re not seeing the results they expect or hope for and so we want answers. Are you ready to provide those today?
Jonathan: Absolutely. So let’s do each in order. The first one was, why aren’t I seeing results when I eat less and when I exercise more? Is that correct?
April: Yes.
Jonathan: The second one is, when I eat more and exercise less, but smarter, I’m still not seeing results. So what else can I do?
All right, so for the first one, the why does eating less and exercising more not work or what might even be more common, is why does it seem to stop working or why doesn’t it work anymore? Maybe I have starved myself in the past and it worked, but it seems to get harder and harder and works less and less well over time is what a lot of people experienced. Does that sound about accurate?
April: Yes. I actually had a friend who said, I get up at 5 o’clock every morning and I go to a boot camp in my neighborhood where I am working out. I’m sweating and exercising hard for a full hour. Then I count my calories all day long. I’m eating sub-1,200 calories every day. Nothing is happening. I’m not losing any weight at all. I still have 15 to 20 lbs., or maybe more to lose. Not losing it.
The reason why I think we need to talk about this specifically is because there are people, men, and women everywhere who are listening to this right now who are hungry, who are tired of being hungry, who are so frustrated thinking that they failed, thinking they just need to get up earlier or maybe eat less and they’re grumpy and stressed out and frustrated. I know because I used to be that way. I want to make this really clear for those people in that situation.
Jonathan: They’re totally justified to be grumpy and stressed out and frustrated. I always like to tell people that if I had to be hungry and tired in order to be healthy, which in and of itself is an oxymoron, I wouldn’t be healthy either. So we don’t need that. So the key thing to keep in mind here, with the eat less and exercise more paradigm is that what most people experience is they don’t just do that once.
I always tell the story because I think it’s great. I was talking with Jay Jacobs. He’s one of the finalists from Season 11 of the Biggest Loser. He said Jonathan, I’ve lost 100 lbs. 7 times in my life.
Weight loss isn’t the issue. We’ve all temporarily lost weight. We’ve all done that. We’ve all starved ourselves at least once and it’s worked at least once. Here’s the challenge. When we say “work” we really have to be clear on what we mean by that. What we mean by that is “we can successfully temporarily lose weight,” then yes, starvation will accomplish that.
Here’s the challenge and this is what the science shows clearly and digs into this in the book, “The Calorie Myth,” which is if you starve yourself and then you stop starving yourself, of course, you gain all of the weight back and then some, but the most important thing to keep in mind is when you starve yourself and then stop starving yourself, you actually make metabolic changes happen in your body that makes future episodes of starvation less effective and future weight gain after you starve yourself more rapid.
There’s a study we go into in the book where they can’t do those studies on people because it’s inhumane to do this to people in a laboratory setting, although it’s perfectly fine to do it on national television, but you can’t do it in the laboratory setting. They’ll take rodents and they’ll yo-yo diet them. They’ll take a rodent, they’ll make it eat less and exercise more and then the rodent will temporarily lose weight, because starvation does cause temporary weight loss. Then they will give the rodent access to a regular amount of food and every single time the rodent yo-yos, they lose weight slower than they did the previous time and they gain the weight back faster.
So, let’s be very clear. “Works,” means, at least in a SANE context, that I am healthy and happy and able to thrive for the rest of my life. So by that definition eating less and exercising more fails you. You don’t fail it, it fails you for two reasons. One, you can’t do it long term, because no one can go through their life hungry and tired and rock their life, and two, it fails you because every single time you do it, it will make the next time you do it, even harder.
When you go SANE, for example, the longer you eat vegetables, the easier it becomes to eat vegetables. So those are the two primary reasons, eat less and exercise more is failing you, you’re not failing it.
April: I really appreciate you saying this and I think it’s important for all of us to remember what you’ve just taught us and I think it’s sounds so logical. You think of course, if I went on a yo-yo diet, if I keep hurting my metabolism over and over again, pretty soon it’s not going to give me those quick results that I got when I was 15, 16 years old or something like that.
What I think is so challenging is that every voice out there, except yours, and most of the mothers who have gotten on the right track keep telling people how to eat less and exercise more.
I was just listening to a podcast and I heard this popular fitness instructor say, “Okay, you want to see the scale move by next week. What you need to do is you need to jog for 90 minutes on Saturday and 90 minutes on Sunday, carry your vegetables with you, don’t eat out, don’t eat too much, limit your calories, then you’ll see the scale on the Monday,” giving hope to people.
I listened to that and I thought, prior to meeting Jonathan and becoming familiar with SANE, I probably would have done it. I probably would have set on my calendar and say, okay, I’m going to run for 90 minutes today, and then I’m going to run for 90 minutes tomorrow. I’m not going to eat. I’m going to make that scale move. I would have done whatever I could because I would feel like I could do this. I could take this on.
What would have happened is I would have been totally grumpy with my family the whole weekend. I would de-prioritized my husband, de-prioritized my children, wore myself out and the only measure of my success as a person that weekend would have been what the scale meant on Monday. Do you hear that a lot?
Jonathan: I hear that a lot April and in fact, in telling that story, you are bridging the gap here in terms of eat less, exercise more, why is or isn’t that working and then eat more, exercise less, or the SANE approach where we focus on the quality of food, like “why isn’t that working?” It lies in that story you just said, which is making the scale move by Monday. That’s a really important distinction. Let’s be very, very clear here. If I was getting paid millions of dollars to take people who are morbidly obese and make the scale move as quickly as I can on national television with no regard for their health or long term wellbeing, I wouldn’t necessarily put them on a SANE lifestyle.
April: Okay.
Jonathan: That’s really important, right? This is just how life works if you want to make the scale move really quickly. We treat exercise and eating different from every other model in the world. So if you want to make a $1,000.00 really fast, there’s a lot of things you can do to make $1,000.00 really fast. I don’t know if I’d recommend them, but if you really need money by Monday, we can figure out a way to do that. It’s probably going to hurt you long term, but we can get you a bunch of money by Monday if you want to. That’s kind of what eating less and exercising more does. It’s that quick fix approach. It’s that get something immediate right now.
Contrast that to the get money by Monday to get an education and get training that will allow you to generate an income sustainably and healthily for the rest of your life. Nothing is going to happen by Monday. If you said, my bank account didn’t change by Monday, clearly this isn’t effective, and then you’re going to take a much different approach, right?
The challenge is and it breaks my heart to hear some of these popular voices encouraging the quick fix, the short term approach, but in some ways, it’s going to break my heart to defend them, but I’m going to defend them for a second. If people keep saying I want the scale to move by Monday, then it’s really hard.
I’m going to segway into why isn’t SANE eating working? If you define working by the “scale is moving by Monday” then SANE isn’t the right approach for you because SANE is in fact, especially for a lot of the most successful SANE success stories, who are females, these are individuals who have never strength trained in their entire life.
Since they have never strength trained, once they do Eccentric exercise, once they start developing calorie hungry lean muscle tissue, here is what happens. They burn 10 lbs. of fat, but then they develop 10 lbs. of lean toned awesome sexy muscle tissue. So in fact, the scale didn’t move at all, never mind the fact that their body fat percentage dropped like 10 or 15 percent and they looked totally different. In that scenario, which is incredible, if you dropped 10 lbs. of fat and put on 10 lbs. of calorie hungry lean muscle, you will look radically different, you will feel radically different, but the scale will not change at all.
We have to define what “works” means. We have to be really crystal clear on what “works” means. Does that make sense?
April: It makes a lot of sense and I want to be able to jump into what if I do go SANE? Before we get there, though there is a little mind shift that has to happen. And I know this because I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who are worried about making that shift.
People who seem to have the hardest time starting to go SANE are the ones who are seeing at least some results or maintaining some results by limiting their calories and exercising more.
So there are some people who are able to really be disciplined, they count their calories every single day, they work out every single day to be able to maintain a certain weight. For a lot of these people, the conversations that I’ve had with them are very emotional because I hear things like, I never enjoy eating. I’ve been stressed my weight my whole life. Every day I worry how many calories I eat. Every day I’m concerned that I’m not getting enough exercise and I’m really, really tired of it, but at the same time, I’m afraid to go SANE because I’m afraid if I stop counting and stop controlling and stop doing all of these things that everybody else tells me to do, I’m going to completely spin out of control and I’m going to end up worse than I am right now. What do you say to that?
Jonathan: That really resonates with me and you actually jogged a metaphor. Some people say that they like my metaphors. I’m going to actually bring up a metaphor that I forgot. This is a metaphor from five years ago, so thank you for bringing this up.
In the story, I can do this, I’m very diligent about it. I’m eating less and exercising more and it’s “working for me.” Here’s my analogy. Imagine you have a beach ball and your goal is to keep the beach ball in the air. So keeping your weight down is analogous to keeping the beach ball up.
So there’s at least two ways you can keep the beach ball up. One is to smack it up and if you’re watching the video, you can see me smacking it up. Smacking the beach ball up. Beach ball falls down and as long as you focus on nothing else, your kids are talking and you’re like, quiet kids, I’m trying to keep this beach ball in the air. You knock the beach ball down. Your boss says, I need you to get this work done and if you get it done I’ll give you a promotion. You say, stop, I’ve got to get this beach ball in the air, leave me alone. The beach ball is in the air most of the time, it’s “working.” If I stop doing that, the beach ball is going to fall on the ground. You’re right, it will fall on the ground.
Let’s pause for a second here. Imagine you could build a shelf and instead of smacking that beach ball up in the air and spending your whole life putting that beach ball up in the air and essentially making you serve as what a shelf could do automatically without you doing anything, you actually gave yourself permission to temporarily not worry if the ball was on the ground.
April: I love that.
Jonathan: So the ball is on the ground. Be transparent. Here’s the catch. You give yourself permission to spend three to six months building the shelf.
April: What’s going to happen to the ball during that time? That’s the question.
Jonathan: This may be where the analogy falls down. So the ball is just chilling there. The ball is not rolling around and destroying anything because the act of building the shelf, what that’s doing is actually you rebuilding your metabolism. It’s you rebuilding your biology, it’s you healing your body.
So where the analogy breaks down is there is either a shelf or there isn’t a shelf, but what will actually happen in this scenario is a shelf will gradually appear and the ball will only be sitting on the ground for a short period of time and it will slowly rise up off the ground on the shelf. If your goal is the ball is not on the ground, bottom line period, aka the weight on the scale is changing and that’s my thing, you have to spend three to six months giving yourself permission to pause on that, saying I’m going to rebuild, I’m going to reset, and I’m going to invest for the long term and then I’m going to set the ball on the shelf after three to six months of work and then I’m going to be able to live my life. But you have to give it that three to six months of work.
April: Okay. I love this metaphor. I like your metaphors a lot. I think that that’s really helpful because exactly what I’ve experienced in my life.
What I will say is that sometimes that shelf that you’re going to build with SANE, isn’t going to be maybe as high as you wanted it or on the scale as low as you wanted it. This is where let’s go into what happens when you are SANE because what I found is that if I starved myself consistently all of the time and exercise like crazy, I could get maybe 7 to 8 lbs. lighter than I am right now, but by being SANE, not ever being stressed about calories, or exercise or anything, I’m happy and healthy, but I’m not seeing those results of being super skinny like I did when I was really, really starving [Inaudible 15:50].
Jonathan: Makes total sense. I’m definitely not hearing you say SANE isn’t giving you the results you want. What I hear you saying is that, with 10 percent of the effort, I can get 80 percent of the results and none of the negative side effects that I got with eating less and exercising more and that’s with 10 percent of the effort. If you really said, I want to be at a better body composition, you could be SANE harder.
April: That’s what I want to talk about.
Jonathan: If you put the same level of effort and time commitment into SANEity, as someone does eating less and exercising more, not only will you get as good as results, you’ll get better results and they’ll help your health, whereas, the health will be compromised in the other model.
April: I love this. Of course, I think that’s exactly what I’m saying is that my life right now has had more stress in it. A lot of good stress and some not so good stress than I’ve ever really had before in my life. Even if I were not SANE right now, now is the part of life when I probably would have gained 15 lbs. or more because I don’t have the bandwidth to be able to devote as much time to counting calories and being [Inaudible 17:12]. I feel like SANE has totally saved me because I can maintain a level of health that works for me even when things are stressful and busy. Does that make sense?
Jonathan: Absolutely. That’s the key thing. If an individual listening to this show goes from spending ten hours a week on eating less and exercising more to spending one hour a week on a SANE lifestyle and sees slightly worse results, well then they’re choosing between having nine hours of their life back and slightly worse results or nine hours of their life taken away and slightly better results.
What they could do say is I spend two hours per week on my SANEity, and then maybe in two hours, I get what I got in ten hours of in-SANEity. I think that’s really the key thing. Again, no one is saying that eat less and exercise more can’t work. It can absolutely work. Any person who was trying to get to three percent body fat to be a fitness competitor has to count calories. Bottom line. Because to get to three percent body fat, you’ve got to do crazy things. So it’s not that it doesn’t “work” it’s that our definition of “work” is something very different than the definition of work on NBC’s Biggest Loser.
April: Okay. Got it. Now, let’s talk about people who are SANE because from the conversation we just had, I know that there are people saying are you serious? There’s a way I cannot be so exhausted, trying to keep this beach ball up in the air, trying to always count my calories, trying to always be in control and making my body smaller. I can actually heal my metabolism. I can eat food that will nourish me. I can maintain a level of health effortlessly. That sounds too good to be true, but I think people trust us and see results at this time and they’re excited. So then they start going SANE.
First of all, we talk about the three to six months which is awesome. Let’s talk about if it does take longer than three to six months because there are some cases where a person has maybe 150 lbs. to lose. Maybe they have really yo-yo dieted their whole life or maybe they have a lot of children. There’s a lot of different factors that you talk about in your book and on your website. What would take someone longer than three to six months to really start seeing results?
Jonathan: Three to six months is a really good barometer for how much time it takes to heal your body. So it’s three to six months to get to the point where your body is healed and then can actually restore its own ability to burn fat. Let me unpack that. It’s actually really important. I’ll use another analogy.
Say you break your ankle. If you break your ankle, it’s not going to seem like it’s any better on day two and it’s not going to seem like it’s any better on day three, but if you are patient and you let your body heal itself after a matter of months, your ankle will be healed and you’ll be able to walk around it forever, unless your break it again. You don’t want to break it again. Your metabolism, your hormones, your digestive system, your neurobiology is the same way. It’s going to take three to six months for you to heal that and you might not see external results during the healing process. That’s where the trust comes in to play, just like you might not see external results when you’re in school or when you’re practicing the piano, or when you’re farming your field. In the real world, sometimes you’ve got to put in effort before you see the results, which is all good. We understand that. It’s all good.
So we go three to six months, then our body’s ability to burn fat into balanced calories for us is restored. We drop the inflammation in our brain. We re-balance our hormones. We heal our gut. At that point, a lot of people experience this before three to six months. Three to six months is quite conservative.
I’m going to get a little technical here, but they experience what’s called the spontaneous reduction of caloric intake. So what that actually means is their body starts to fuel itself with the hundreds of thousands of calories of energy that’s already in the body. So if you’re 100 lbs. overweight, and if there’s 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, then you have 350,000 calories already in your body, which begs an interesting question. Why would a human being who had 350,000 calories already in their body ever be hungry? It’s because there’s a disease state in your brain and in your hormones that isn’t allowing your body to understand that information. Once that’s healed, your body understands that and it starts to say, I definitely need to eat food because I need nutrients. I need vitamins. I need minerals, I need amino acids, and I need phytochemicals. I’ve got a lot of energy already in this body. So people will start to just be full and they’ll start to naturally make healthier food choices and their body will start to supplement the food that was going past their lips with the food that is already stored on their hips. That’s when the fat loss really start and in fact, I call it the “delayed waterfall effect.”
My brother is a perfect example. My brother is ten years older than I am and he went super extreme SANE. He’s like an all or nothing guy. This was many years ago, so it was back in 2012. He went extremely SANE for three months. He was like, Jonathan, I hate to tell you this brother, but it ain’t working and I don’t know what your problem is and he was out like 215 lbs. at that time and then he gives me a call and he says, Jonathan, in one week, I’ve dropped 7 lbs. and then in another week, 7 more lbs. and he actually got down to 190 and his girlfriend at the time said, Tim what are you doing, you’re getting too thin. You need to stop.
There came a point and a lot of people see this where once the body is healed, once the body gets back its ability to burn fat automatically, then you start to see rapid, 1 to 2 lbs. per week. If you go anything above that, is borderline unhealthy.
April: Okay. This is from reading on your website, I read through a bunch of information within the premium program. Is there some information about how sometimes the fat around your internal organs will burn first? Am I remembering something wrong? It says sometimes you don’t burn the fat on your arms or on your legs first. If there’s fat around your liver or internal fat that you can’t see that that would burn first to make you healthier. Am I just imagining that?
Jonathan: You’re not imagining it. So a lot of people really want targeted fat loss or they’ll say, for example, why am I not losing fat here? Why am I losing fat here? The key thing to keep in mind is that unless you’re doing very accurate body fat measurements, you cannot use the scale to judge fat loss.
April: Okay.
Jonathan: You can’t. The scale will tell you how much weight you’ve lost and if you want to lose weight, you should never, ever, ever resistance train—ever. And that’s a terrible idea. Resistance training is unambiguously one of the healthiest and beneficial things you could ever do, but it’s going to develop muscle tissue which will make you weigh more. That in and of itself, you need to throw your scale away. I’ve said this before, but unless you have a child who you need to weigh for medical purposes, having a scale in your house is a little bit like having a butter churn in your house. It is obsolete device that does not need to exist anymore.
April: But what about those fat measuring scales? The ones that senses pulses to your body? What about those? Do they work?
Jonathan: Here’s the simplest thing to do. Buy a pair of jeans that you want to fit into that you can’t fit into. Because that waist circumference is the measure. That waist circumference is the one measure you need. That’s glorious.
April: Okay. I love that. All right. Now, let’s talk a little bit about how you would go SANE harder. These are the emails I’m getting. I’m getting messages and emails and they’re from people who are essentially saying things like, April I need some advice and I need some help. I’ll come to Jonathan.
So they’re saying things like I’m eating SANEly for several months. I’m never hungry, I’m eating well, but I don’t know if I’m eating too many whole food fats. I still have maybe 10 or 15 lbs. to lose. This is where we did that podcast of losing that last 10 lbs., is that a societal [Inaudible 25:24] or do you really need to lose that pounds? For people who are [Inaudible 25:29] I’m guessing where they would maybe like to be in better shape. They’d like to see more results, but they’re at a point where their body feels good where it is. How do you help people go SANE harder? What would you say?
Jonathan: In the quantity world, the answer is you would eat less food and you would do more exercise. In the quality world, it’s similar, but the exact opposite, if that makes any sense. So you’re going to increase the quality of your eating. You’re going to increase the quality of your exercise. So, first and foremost, a lot of people that think they’re eating SANEly, are eating SANEer. So they’re eating SANEer than they used to eat, but they may not actually be eating SANEly.
The SANE way of eating means that you’re eating double digit servings of vegetables every single day, consistently. It also means you’re eating between four and six servings of nutrient dense protein. Eggs aren’t nutrient dense protein, they’re whole food fats. Beans aren’t nutrient dense proteins, or legumes. Nuts aren’t nutrient dense proteins, they’re whole food fats, and you’re eating three to six servings of whole food fats per day. And you’re eating minimal in-SANEity. That’s it.
We have a seminar that we put on, saneseminar.com, where we provide a little SANE results planner. We just break it down. You eat these many vegetables, these many proteins, these many fats and this much in-SANEity, here’s the results you can expect. There’s also a bunch of other factors we look at. We say, were your parents overweight? Are you over 40? Are you under 40? Have you had children? Have you yo-yo dieted in the past? The bottom line is, we really to delineate.
My mother does a great job of this. She says, Jonathan, I don’t know if I call myself SANE, but I’m really happier with my SANEer way of eating. I said, mom, that’s brilliant. She’s eating SANEer than she used to eat, and that’s cool. We always talk about progress, not perfection. This is about what you want. Even if you’re at 12 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 4 servings of nutrient dense protein, 4 servings of whole food fats, and that totally fills you up, we can take it to the next level, because if your vegetables are coming from carrots, and celery, we could throw some kale in there. We could throw some Swiss chard in there, we could throw some optimal vegetables. If your protein is all coming from conventionally bought beef and conventional chicken, maybe we’d throw some salmon in there instead. Maybe we’d throw in some grass fed beef. Maybe we’d throw in some mullets.
April: Clams.
Jonathan: Clams, oysters. We’d drive up the nutrient density even further. We speed up the healing. The whole food fats. Is your whole food fat coming predominantly from—oil isn’t a whole food fat, it’s a non-whole food fat. Macadamia nuts are way SANEer than pecans. And avocados are way SANEer than almonds. So there’s many different levels of SANEity, both in terms of the types of food groups you’re eating and even the level of SANEity of the foods within those food groups.
April: I have a question on whole food fats. Let’s say somebody is eating ten plus servings of non-starchy vegetables. They’re eating four to six servings of nutrient dense proteins. What if they’re eating like eight to ten servings of whole food fats? Would that make the difference too?
Jonathan: Oh, absolutely. Yes. There are a few angry people on the Internet who don’t like SANEity, and they’re say, oh, SANE way of eating is just a sneaky way of getting people to eat fewer calories. If you’re trying to get full on McDonald’s, you’re going to have to eat a bunch of calories to get full and the S in SANE, that’s satiety. So when you start eating higher satiety foods, you will accidentally eat an appropriate number of calories.
Let’s be very, very clear. You can overeat whole food fats. You can absolutely overeat whole food fats. In fact, we say, explicitly, everywhere, in the book, on the website, every time I talk about it, that you should never just sit down with a bag of macadamia nuts. Ever.
April: Okay.
Jonathan: Ever, right? Whole food fats should always be eaten in the context of a complete SANE meal, which includes vegetables first, first—protein second, whole food fats, third. That’s another big thing, April. A lot of people, especially men, will say I’ve gone SANE. And what they’ve actually done is gone on a high fat, high protein, low everything else diet. Like not eating vegetables, not eating anything else and that’s actually SANEer, but SANE is about vegetables first. Remember that.
April: We’re looking at these proportions that you outlined, as far as serving sizes. If you want to overeat the vegetables, you could eat as many of those as you want. You could eat 20 plus servings of non-starchy vegetables a day if you want, right?
Jonathan: That’s exactly right. Yes. Your stomach would explode.
April: That’s good to know. Now what about the protein? Can you overeat on protein?
Jonathan: It would be very difficult to overeat nutrient dense protein if you’re eating natural nutrient dense proteins. So if you’re eating whey protein powder, you could very easily overeat whey protein powder, but when it comes to fish or meat, you would be hard pressed to overeat high quality fish or meat. High quality. Now if you buy junk ground chuck, which it actually gets more of its calories from fat than from protein, you could overeat that very easily.
April: Okay. All right. Now I think this is really helpful to answer these questions because I know that people are trying to navigate it. They’re trying to figure out what do I do? How do I make this better? When the answer used to be just cut my calories more or go run an extra hour that was easy. Or it just seemed like it was an easy solution. When it’s something like increase the quality of my food or let’s look at my servings, this is a little bit trickier. So it’s really helpful.
Jonathan: I think there’s also just a mental shift. Sometimes it seems like it’s harder. We have an app that will help you do this SANE, search for SANE solution on iTunes on Google play. You can use sticky notes if you want. Honestly, for a week, write down the number of servings of non-starchy vegetables, nutrient dense protein and whole food fats and then “other” that you eat in a day. I think you will be shocked by what you see. And I think in the past, you would have said, let’s just go run for an additional hour. What you’re going to say instead is, let’s just take three of those servings of inSANEity, and replace them with three servings of vegetables and that’s going to do so much for your results. I think writing it down or putting in an app, is really important because what we think we’re doing sometimes will actually might not be the same thing.
April: Okay. I love this podcast. Any kind of final words or any final words of encouragement that you want to give to those who are tired of not seeing results?
Jonathan: The number one thing is how are you measuring results? Because if the results you’re measuring are by the scale, then you are not results is not the measurement we use in the SANE world. So if you’re taking a class in Spanish and you’re like my French isn’t getting any better, that’s not the right measure, so you’re never going to be happy, however, if you are judging by your energy level, if you’re judging by your sex drive, if you’re judging by your mental clarity, if you’re judging by a waist circumference, those are valuable measures for SANEity.
The next action I would recommend for people is if you’re not already tracking your servings of non-starchy vegetables, nutrient dense protein, whole food fats and then just other, just throw everything else in a category of other. It’s going to keep it simple. Do that for a week, and see if you could move from some of that inSANEity, to some more SANEity and I think you’re going to really enjoy the results.
April: Now, I love that suggestion. That specific next action, getting the app, tracking it. I think as a stretch goal for me and I’m hoping that those that are listening will be excited as well, is to take your SANEity to the next level, wherever you are right now. I don’t know if that’s possible for you Jonathan, because you’re already pretty high up there. I think this is a really good goal for us. How can I make it just a little bit better? How can it be a little bit healthier? How can I make my body stronger? And I’m pretty excited about that.
Jonathan: Absolutely April. I appreciate you giving us the opportunity. I think this is really important topic and hopefully, this will help folks. I just want folks to keep in mind again, that remember that if you’re judging your results by the short term, like in anything in life, you have to play the long game. You have to look at it in terms of long term because when you do it that way, I think it changes everything, doesn’t it?
April: Absolutely. All right everybody, well, I hope you enjoyed today’s show. We’re so glad you’re with us. Share it with your friends. Help other people who are tired of counting calories, tired of exhausting themselves, exercising to be able to go SANE. Have a wonderful day and you remember to stay SANE.

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