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Why Diets Don’t Work & What To Do Instead (Interview with Libby Babet)

By May 17, 2018March 11th, 2019Free Videos

Weight loss diets fail 97% of people who try them, and are related to eating disorders, depression, body image issues and even weight gain.  So how do you get off the yo-yo dieting cycle, say goodbye to diets forever, and develop naturally healthy eating and exercise habits that last for life?

In this juicy 20-minute interview super trainer, BUF Girls founder, and trainer from The Biggest Loser: Transformed, Libby Babet and Weight Management Psychology Founder Glenn Mackintosh discuss:

✔︎  Why diets and deprivation simply don’t work long-term
✔︎  Your brain’s natural response to diets
✔︎  The “Nike Swoosh” of weight loss and weight gain
✔︎  If not dieting, then what?
✔︎  The solution scientifically proven to work
✔︎  Creating healthy habits that last
✔︎  Practical ways to make your new habits stick
✔︎  Where does exercise fit into the picture?

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Libby:                      Hi everyone. I’m Libby Babet and this is the lovely-

Glenn:                     Glenn Mackintosh.

Libby:                      Your PT and trainer for these couch chats. Now, we are going to talk about something pretty cool today. We’re going to talk about how to set up naturally healthy habits and maybe we’ll talk about some not so naturally healthy habits, too. You never know where this will go. But, obviously Glenn is the weight psych, so he knows a lot about this and is used to working with people that don’t have naturally healthy habits. And I’m trying to open as many people as I can to help them set naturally healthy habits. So great topic for the day.

What I would love to know, the big million dollar question, really we all know that diets don’t work long-term.

Glenn:                     We do. We all know this.

Libby:                      But why not?

Glenn:                     Okay, this is a big question, but it is so true that if you want to get healthier, the first thing people do is a diet and it’s crazy because everyone knows that it kind of doesn’t work.

Libby:                      Yeah. It works for a short period of time until X, Y, Z, et cetera.

Glenn:                     Yeah. Yeah. Researchers, we talk about the Nike Swoosh of weight loss.

Libby:                      Oh okay.

Glenn:                     So people lose it and then gain it all back [crosstalk 00:01:27].

Libby:                      I’ve never heard of that.

Glenn:                     Yeah. And the Nike Swoosh of weight loss.

Libby:                      Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Cool.

Glenn:                     And 97% of people who will try have the Nike Swoosh.

Libby:                      Wow.

Glenn:                     Mental. Not what the diet advertising industry tells you, not what you see in the before and afters.

Libby:                      Yeah, that’s really intense. That means only 3% of people are able to, what? Maintain their results long-term.

Glenn:                     Maintain weight loss long-term.

Libby:                      Maintain weight loss long-term.

Glenn:                     Yes.

Libby:                      Okay. That’s interesting.

Glenn:                     Yep.

Libby:                      Yeah, so why is that?

Glenn:                     I think about it like if you’re trying to lose weight, I’m going to be a bit controversial here.

Libby:                      Go on. We love that.

Glenn:                     It doesn’t matter how you are trying to do it. Whether you’re trying to do it through shakes, or paleo, or 5:2, or now we’re hearing that keto.

Libby:                      Or 1,200 calories for everyone.

Glenn:                     1,200 calories. If you’re trying to do that, it’s prescribing yourself under-eating.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     So diet is really prescribed under-eating.

Libby:                      Yeah, yeah. It’s true.

Glenn:                     And what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to out-smart your body and you think of it from a very instinctive, instinctual level. If you’re not feeding yourself enough, your body will do all that it can to make you eat more.

Libby:                      Yes.

Glenn:                     So over time you get-

Libby:                      [inaudible 00:02:52] hungry.

Glenn:                     Yeah, you get a change in your hormones. So you get more ghrelin after your diet, which is the hunger hormone.

Libby:                      Makes you go, “I want food.”

Glenn:                     Yep. Less leptin, which is the fullness hormone.

Libby:                      Makes you feel like, “I’m good.”

Glenn:                     So it’s your body is actually telling you, saying, “Uh oh. I don’t trust what Lib’s doing because she’s under feeding me. I’m going to turn up her physical sense of hunger and I’m going to turn down her sense of fullness.” And you know, ask yourself if you’re watching this if you’ve done some yo-yoing before. Have you ever gotten to a period, you’ve been losing weight, [inaudible 00:03:23] heaps of clients like this, Lib. Suddenly, the weight loss sort of slows down or stops.

Libby:                      Stops and goes the other way. And [inaudible 00:03:30] the same thing.

Glenn:                     Yep. Or the eating plan that they were following, they just can’t keep with it.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     It’s like why-

Libby:                      Because they feel hungry.

Glenn:                     Exactly.

Libby:                      They don’t feel full.

Glenn:                     At that stage, even as a psychologist, this is when I get a lot of people come to me and say, “Glenn, you have to help me get in the right mindset.” But what I say to them is that your body is so powerful. Your mind is actually doing exactly what it should be doing. It’s saying, “Uh oh. I don’t trust Glenn, so I’m going to play all of these mental tricks that are going to get him to think about food more and when he eats that food, I’m going to turn off his sense of fullness so he over-eats it.” And so all of these things that dieters get, that they feel like, “Oh, I’m going crazy. Why am I obsessing over chocolate and why when I eat chocolate can I not stop eating it?” These are normal responses that your brain has when you’re under-feeding your body.

Libby:                      So it’s kind of like your mind starts versing your body in a little fight off.

Glenn:                     Totally. Absolutely.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     And it doesn’t matter how strong your willpower is. Eventually your body wins and that’s a good thing because you don’t want to starve yourself.

Libby:                      And I think that’s as well that’s it’s different. We’re talking specifically here about obviously kind of weight loss goals [crosstalk 00:04:45], not necessarily about if you’re trying keto because, for example, you want more performance at work and so you’re adding extra whatever.

Glenn:                     Totally.

Libby:                      So different, but for that situation, 100% because those two people are … I mean someone doing it for performance and that doesn’t have weight concerns will probably not deprive themselves, but for this situation and that’s what most people do. It’s like, why isn’t this the magic bullet?

Glenn:                     Yep, yep. And that’s interesting, Lib, because and that’s a very good distinction because when … My area is weight management so I’m constantly thinking about people who are trying to control their weight and that’s actually what dieting is.

Libby:                      Yeah. Yes.

Glenn:                     So if you’re … Doesn’t matter how you frame it, if a person is when you’re making that food choice, you’re thinking, your main focus is-

Libby:                      Is on going on a diet. I’m doing this to shape my body a certain way.

Glenn:                     Exactly.

Libby:                      Yes. Okay.

Glenn:                     Whether it’s to lose weight or not gain weight or to maintain my … whatever it is, if you’re thinking about your weight or your shape or your size when you’re making food choices, you’re dieting.

Libby:                      Yeah. Okay.

Glenn:                     Doesn’t matter how you frame it to yourself. So I get a lot of people come into my session say, “Glenn, I’m not dieting. I’m doing this, but it’s really all about weight loss.” Or, “It’s not about weight loss, it’s about fat loss.” Or, that’s dieting.

Libby:                      Yes. Yes, yes, yes. It’s dieting. Okay. So we’ve covered over why diets don’t work and we covered this a little bit, but what do you define then as diet?

Glenn:                     A diet?

Libby:                      Diet. Yeah.

Glenn:                     This is a great question because we do know that dieting is, at best, it’s ineffective. So of those 97% of people who fail, about half of them it just doesn’t work for so it’s a bit of a waste of time and energy. The other half that it fails for, they actually get worse.

Libby:                      They go the other way and we see this so often. Yeah.

Glenn:                     Yeah. You kind of diet yourself to higher and higher weight. So you get several Nike Swooshes. And you typically-

Libby:                      [inaudible 00:06:37] Swooshes build.

Glenn:                     Yeah. Yeah you typically every time the average person will lose a certain amount of weight and gain back 10%-15%. So yeah.

Libby:                      Yeah. Wow. Yeah that’s decent. It adds up.

Glenn:                     Yeah and even if you don’t, Lib, you would see this too in the gym, there’s a certain amount of people who they do use the dieting to maintain a healthy weight, but it actually gives you a risk of disordered eating and mucks up your social life, so it’s [crosstalk 00:07:02] to a whole lot of psychological problems as well.

Libby:                      And you know, I’ve seen this as well. I think it was a couple of years ago this kind of shake diet started going around where I live and a lot of my clients started doing it and they did get some initial results in the short-term. Long-term, a lot of them put on the weight again and more because just exactly that reason.

Glenn:                     And that’s the sneaky allure of dieting is that it does work and no one can deny for most people, it works in the [crosstalk 00:07:32] short-term.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     So it is a bit like a drug. I say to people and this is a weird analogy. I say … You know, people say, “Yes, Glenn, but I have lost X amount of kilos before.” And typically this might be a person who’s done it three or four times. And they say, “It worked then.” And I say, “This is like me saying to you, ‘I’ve done a study on the effects of cocaine using a 30 minute time-frame and I figured out that it’s really good. You feel really happy. [crosstalk 00:07:59] You feel really excited.'”

Libby:                      Conversation’s flowing.

Glenn:                     Yeah, but if we take that to two years of daily cocaine use, then it’s not so good.

Libby:                      No and you’re going to have to have more and more of that substance, or in this case, more and more of the dieting [crosstalk 00:08:13].

Glenn:                     And I actually believe that dieting is an addiction or it can be.

Libby:                      Yeah. It really is. Yeah. Yeah.

Glenn:                     Yeah.

Libby:                      Yeah. I totally agree.

Glenn:                     We can totally get addicted to the scales and that’s a probably … this is the core of my work, Lib, is helping people really, not just say they are, but really fundamentally let go of the focus on weight and develop these naturally healthy habits.

Libby:                      Yeah. I love that. Okay, so why diets don’t work, very clear on that now.

Glenn:                     Got it.

Libby:                      What I would love to know is. Now I know what a diet is and why they don’t work, if not dieting, then what?

Glenn:                     Ah, totally.

Libby:                      When people in this situation where they’re kind of like, “Okay. I want to lose weight.” Or, “I want to feel healthier. I want [crosstalk 00:09:04].” I love the word detox.

Glenn:                     Yeah.

Libby:                      I like that word. Anyway, but it’s like-

Glenn:                     I was going to say.

Libby:                      It’s the most hilarious word because your body naturally detoxes, but it’s like a lot of detoxes put you in a really bad place. So, if not dieting, if not detoxing, then what?

Glenn:                     Then what? That is the best question because, of course, you don’t want to go the other way and think, “Okay well now that this is not going to work, nothing is going to work.”

Libby:                      Yeah. And I’ll just eat whatever I want because that’s not a solution either.

Glenn:                     Absolutely. And most people, I mean there are a small amount of people that like that and just don’t really mind about their physical health, but that’s not most people. Most people, you actually do want to be healthy. It’s actually one of my mentors wrote a book about that, Dr Rick Kausman, called If Not Dieting, Then What? And that is the question.

Libby:                      Oh cool. Yeah.

Glenn:                     So, for me, the answer is intuitive eating.

Libby:                      Okay.

Glenn:                     So you might’ve heard about intuitive eating. You probably heard about mindful eating.

Libby:                      Yes.

Glenn:                     Yep. The words are the same and basically intuitive eating comes from some research over the past probably 10-15 years. And it comes from research. You know hey, you have those friends that you know, who they just eat well without trying.

Libby:                      Yes. Yes.

Glenn:                     You know, you offer them some delicious chocolate and they go, “Oh no thanks. I don’t really want that.”

Libby:                      Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely.

Glenn:                     Or they have a bit and they go, “Oh that was really yum.” And they don’t want anymore.

Libby:                      And they don’t want anymore. Yep.

Glenn:                     Yep. Yep.

Libby:                      We’ve all got those friends.

Glenn:                     Yep. Those-

Libby:                      I might sometimes… I might be one of them.

Glenn:                     You know, I think you are probably one of them. She’s-

Libby:                      I could definitely put the chocolate down after one square.

Glenn:                     You annoy my clients. I say to my clients, “You know that your friends that really annoy with their ability to do that.”

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     The bad news is that dieting gets you out of touch with that natural intuition so if you’ve done a bit of dieting because it gives you all the rules, eat this now, don’t eat this, eat at this time.

Libby:                      When your body’s saying different things.

Glenn:                     Eat this now.

Libby:                      Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Glenn:                     And so you learn to ignore your own natural senses, but the good news is they’re always there. So whether you’re one of these people that does it naturally or not, if you’re not one of those people, you can learn.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     Yeah. So it’s intuitive eating. So I definitely encourage everyone to really look it up, but there’s five main principles of intuitive eating.

Libby:                      All right. I love when you get the lists out.

Glenn:                     Yeah. You want me to talk you through them?

Libby:                      I would love to know the five principles.

Glenn:                     Okay. So the first one is, and this is probably the core of it, you’re allowed to eat all foods. So there’s no [crosstalk 00:11:25] foods.

Libby:                      Yes. That’s important. Soon as there’s a forbidden food, that’s all you can think about.

Glenn:                     Yeah. We call it the forbidden fruit effect, you know?

Libby:                      Exactly. Like Adam and Eve.

Glenn:                     Totally. And I think of that story of Adam and Eve because I think, according to that story, there was every fruit in the world available and someone very important said, “You can’t have the apple.” And I like to think about, think, Lib, if … imagine that we had all the fruits and veg available in the world, would you choose the apple?

Libby:                      No.

Glenn:                     You wouldn’t choose the apple? But it became so powerful.

Libby:                      I do love an apple, but-

Glenn:                     Apples are good, but-

Libby:                      I could do without it.

Glenn:                     Go mango.

Libby:                      But if it’s in my … But immediately no, but see this is the thing. Because we’re talking about the apple, now I want a juicy apple.

Glenn:                     You want more. Exactly. And this is why dieting [crosstalk 00:12:09] stuffs your brain up and this is why an intuitive eating, which is really the antidote to dieting, we allow all foods. Doesn’t mean you’re going to eat them all. You might decide not to eat them.

Libby:                      Or eat a lot of them all.

Glenn:                     Totally, but you allow-

Libby:                      But you can.

Glenn:                     Yep. Absolutely. And that is important because people often feel like they can’t trust themselves, but if you learn intuitive eating principles, you will over time. You’ll learn to trust in yourself, so you’ll be able to eat all foods in moderation.

Libby:                      Yeah. That’s cool. All right.

Glenn:                     So that’s number one. Number two is when we’re eating, we eat. So we’re present.

Libby:                      Yes. That’s such a big one because if you’re flicking your phone, if you’re on the TV, that’s over-eating central.

Glenn:                     It doesn’t even register.

Libby:                      It doesn’t register. You just like the whole bag of popcorn’s gone before you know it.

Glenn:                     Yep. Absolutely. So, we want to acknowledge that we’re eating.

Libby:                      Yes.

Glenn:                     I call that the price of freedom. You’re free to eat whatever you want, but the price is you have to eat when you eat.

Libby:                      Yeah. Sit down. Don’t do it at your work desk.

Glenn:                     Totally, totally.

Libby:                      Yeah. [inaudible 00:13:04].

Glenn:                     We know that for more nutritious foods, actually acknowledging, this will freak you out, acknowledging that you are eating them, you actually get more nutrition in your bloodstream.

Libby:                      You know what? That does freak me out, but at the same time, I feel like that should be the case because often if we’re not paying attention, we’re not chewing properly, which releases the nutrition, we’re not resting and digesting as we need to be. We’re in that fight or flight state if we’re working while we’re eating. So you don’t digest. It goes straight to your bowels instead of to your … all your blood and all that stuff.

Glenn:                     Totally. There’s even this thing they call the cephalic phase of digestion, which is where all of your saliva and all of your stomach enzymes get going just because of the smells, the tastes.

Libby:                      Yes. We all know that.

Glenn:                     And so it actually makes you digest the food better.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     But even with less nutritious foods. What’s your favourite food that’s not very nutritious?

Libby:                      I like cake, a good [crosstalk 00:14:10] chocolate cake or a muffin. Those kind of cake-y things.

Glenn:                     So why do you like a cake or a muffin?

Libby:                      I think it’s the texture.

Glenn:                     Totally.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     So it’s something to do with the experience. It’s not for nutrition.

Libby:                      Yeah, no.

Glenn:                     So when you … Say if you get something like a beautiful cake and you’re watching TV, you’re not paying any attention, say you need 10 Libby units of pleasure [inaudible 00:14:31] that cake.

Libby:                      Yes.

Glenn:                     If you just scoff it down, you’re not really paying attention, you’re watching TV while you’re doing it, you might only get three units of pleasure. So what do you need? More cake.

Libby:                      I need 10 … Oh more cake [crosstalk 00:14:45] to fill up. So I need three plus three plus three is nine, still not there. Plus … four pieces.

Glenn:                     Exactly. Exactly.

Libby:                      Oh yeah. That’s intense.

Glenn:                     So when you pay attention to food, whether it’s nutritious food to help you digest it better, or it’s the non-nutritious stuff, I call them mind foods. Foods that are just for your mind. [crosstalk 00:15:00]. Not bad foods or naughty foods.

Libby:                      I call them soul food.

Glenn:                     Soul food. It’s perfect.

Libby:                      So it’s nothing to do with nourishing your body, it’s just because your soul needs [crosstalk 00:15:08]. You know, if we’re hanging out on a summer’s day and we’re like, “Let’s get gelato by the beach.” That’s soul food. But, if I’ve got a tub of gelato on the couch watching TV, that’s not soul food. That’s not.

Glenn:                     Totally. [inaudible 00:15:18] and that’s what you’re talking about a difference between bingeing on food, which is not mindful, and mindful eating.

Libby:                      Yeah. Cool. All right. Makes sense.

Glenn:                     So number three is listening to your hunger and fullness.

Libby:                      Yeah, yeah. That’s an important one.

Glenn:                     So we talked about that before. It’s just your natural signs to start and stop.

Libby:                      How hungry am I?

Glenn:                     Yeah.

Libby:                      A little bit or I need to eat?

Glenn:                     Yep. And that’s just listening to the body hunger.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     Now number four is about the non-body hunger. So it’s about recognising all those non-hungry cues. Is it just because there’s food there or because someone offered it or because this is my habit or because I’m bored or?

Libby:                      Like after you have dinner and you’re like, “Must have dessert.” Why? I’m full.

Glenn:                     Totally. It’s just something I always do. Exactly. So that’s the fourth principle is … and this takes a bit of time.

Libby:                      Yeah. Yeah, of course.

Glenn:                     You really have to start to identify why you’re eating and non-hungry eating is totally cool, but at the same time, it is the cause of a lot of our health problems and a lot of our weight gain.

Libby:                      So it’s in moderation.

Glenn:                     Yeah. We want to just start to become aware so you can choose to non-hungry eating, or choose not to.

Libby:                      Yes. Again, mindful.

Glenn:                     Again mindful.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     Yep, yep. And number five is my favourite.

Libby:                      Yes.

Glenn:                     And you’ll see all the principles, they kind of … I think about dancing around the principles.

Libby:                      Yeah, yeah, yeah. [crosstalk 00:16:37].

Glenn:                     Yeah. They’re not rules. So you don’t want to turn these principles into dieting rules because you can turn anything into a diet, but number five is just eating in a way that your body likes and it’s as [crosstalk 00:16:49] simple as looking at foods and thinking, “Okay. How’s that going to make me feel at the time, but also half an hour after, two hours after?” And what you’ll find is if you take off the food rules, the this is good, this is bad, this is healthy, this is unhealthy, I should eat this, I shouldn’t eat this. You take off those and you just listen to how food affects you. Naturally of course, the more nutritious food makes our body feel better, energised, and light, and likely to pay attention. And the less nutritious stuff, it don’t make us feel too good.

Libby:                      No.

Glenn:                     Especially if we eat it lots and especially if we’re eating large amounts. So if you just have that mindfulness and how food affects you, you’ll develop not a should, but a want.

Libby:                      But a want to.

Glenn:                     A want to eat well.

Libby:                      I think that’s really important, but it’s such an important thing to do.

Glenn:                     Yeah.

Libby:                      A very simple example of that, I love chocolate and I used to love eating it after dinner, but then I’d find that because I’m quite easily stimulated, I would go to bed and be awake.

Glenn:                     Totally.

Libby:                      And so you know, eventually, I went, you know what? I’d go for the [inaudible 00:17:49] block of chocolate out, my husband, and I’d be like, “I want the chocolate.” And then I’d stop go, “But I really want a good sleep tonight.” And that’s a little simple thing. It’s like, “Well yeah, I do want the chocolate, but also there’s other things more important right now.” So.

Glenn:                     Yeah and-

Libby:                      Like tomorrow.

Glenn:                     Yeah. The interesting this there, Lib, you weren’t thinking about, “Oh I can’t eat chocolate because it’s going to make me fat.” You weren’t thinking about, “I shouldn’t do that.” You were actually thinking about-

Libby:                      I want a good sleep.

Glenn:                     I want to. And that’s what [crosstalk 00:18:16] intuitive eating does. It turns the have to into a want to, and that’s why you get such good results in the long-term.

Libby:                      Okay. That’s so much to process, but also we can boil it down to one really simple thing which is whenever you sit down to a meal or a snack, just take a moment to be mindful and go, “Am I hungry? How hungry am I? Is this the best kind of meal that I could eat right now to give me all the things I want this afternoon like energy, et cetera.” It’s just creating that mindfulness. Yeah.

So, of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ask an exercise question.

Glenn:                     Got you. Okay.

Libby:                      So just before we finish this one on naturally healthy habits, can I ask you how could we apply some of these kind of naturally healthy habit thinking to exercise?

Glenn:                     Yep. Excellent question. Excellent question. And it’s the same thing. Don’t focus on weight loss because focusing on weight loss, exercise runs a risk of becoming a chore you have to do to lose weight or at worst, a punishment for being too fat. And that’s not fun. So, we talk about creating a positive relationship with exercise. So you think about, you’ve got a relationship with a person, but I think … Sometimes I say to people, “Think about your best friend.” Right?

Libby:                      Yep. Got it.

Glenn:                     Thinking about your best friend? Think about your best friend. And think about if they said, “Hey, let’s catch up and have a coffee or a beer or have a meal.” Or whatever they said in the next two weeks. You’d make it happen.

Libby:                      Yeah. Yeah. You could make it happen.

Glenn:                     You make it happen. You’d juggle things around if need be.

Libby:                      Yeah, definitely.

Glenn:                     Now think about and we don’t have to mention who it is, think about the most annoying person in your circle. Might be a friend, might be a family member. Think about the person who bugs you the most.

Libby:                      Got it.

Glenn:                     Got it? All right. No names. Think about if they said, “Hey Lib, let’s catch up and have a coffee or something to eat or something to drink.”

Libby:                      And then you’re like, “Oh, I’ve got the busiest two weeks ever.”

Glenn:                     You’ll make any excuse not to [crosstalk 00:20:15] and it’s the same with exercise.

Libby:                      Yeah. Yeah.

Glenn:                     So exercise is obviously. You want people to be committed to it because it’s an act of healthy living, but if it’s just something that you should do, typically you’re not going to keep doing. That’s why over half the people drop out of exercise programmes within six months.

Libby:                      It needs to be something they want to do.

Glenn:                     Exactly.

Libby:                      Yeah.

Glenn:                     So you think about then let’s go back to the person that you really love.

Libby:                      Yes. Got it.

Glenn:                     Think about how you formed the positive relationship with them and it was through some version of repeated positive experiences. Every time I see them, I feel good. They make me feel good about myself, they make me feel positive and we want to do that with exercise. So, as I say to people, “[inaudible 00:20:59] the physical benefits for a second.” And I think … I’d be interested to hear what you think of this as a trainer [crosstalk 00:21:05], I say … We’ve got a few trainers on at WMP and I say, “The worst trainers, they focus on the results without considering the person’s preferences.” I feel like good trainers do both and you know I work with everyday people and not athletes.

Libby:                      Yeah, yeah, yeah. Of course.

Glenn:                     I feel like the best trainers actually focus on the psychology.

Libby:                      Yeah. I actually agree because my ultimate favourite thing to do and you know, it takes a longer time. It takes a longer time to do it-

Glenn:                     It does.

Libby:                      And you know, this is why … I mean we watch The Biggest Loser: Transformed. I think some people that will watch it in the very start kind of said, “You know, I was so happy and up and it annoyed them.” But actually the first step for me is to make people feel comfortable and make them feel like they’re coming to have a good time because if you don’t do that, if you show up and you’re nasty from the [inaudible 00:21:57] it’s a lot harder process to get the change, to create the change you need.

So at first is, “Hey, let’s have some fun. This isn’t as scary as you thought. This is going to be really cool. We’re just going to have a good time.” Make them want to come back. Number two is get to know them a bit. So now that you break down those walls because you’ve had some fun and a good time, is starting to get to know who is this person, what matters to them, what are their values? What do they care about in life? And then you can start to adjust their routine to be in line with their values and work through into a really great mindset place.

So I do think that’s really important and I always have. And it’s one of the reasons that for either of my business, BUF Girls, which obviously is about training women online and everywhere around Australia. And also [inaudible 00:22:38] which is about performance. I’ve never, ever put before and after photos or [crosstalk 00:22:45] weight management competitions and all that kind of stuff in there because it’s like … that doesn’t create a positive relationship because you can get the short-term results, but what happens if you don’t look like your after photo in two weeks time? And then you feel bad because your photo’s up and it’s not how you look now. You look worse so you just stop coming.

Glenn:                     Exactly. And it’s the same thing we were talking about before. You take off the weight focus and underneath that, you have values of, “I want to eat well and I want to move my body.” Your body is designed for you to feed it well most of the time with a bit of soul food and to move lots. For most of us, that’s not like an athlete would move, just someone who moves around a lot.

Libby:                      About three hours a day.

Glenn:                     Yeah.

Libby:                      And I think people also often forget that exercise doesn’t have to be exercise. It can be movement, like you said. And people forget about walking. It’s really the magic pill.

Glenn:                     Totally.

Libby:                      For me, people think, “Oh I’m not getting results. What can I do more of?” Just walk.

Glenn:                     Yeah.

Libby:                      Just walk because that locomotion, we’re made to that as humans.

Glenn:                     And guys, you’re hearing that from the trainer. You know? The trainer is giving you permission to move in a balanced, enjoyable way [crosstalk 00:23:53] got permission. It’s not just the psychologist.

Libby:                      It’s not just the psych. And it works. It works better. Then for me, getting people on a great walking programme with a bit of hidden strength training mixed into it rather than a whole lot of hidden strength and a little bit of walking or none, it gets such better results because you’re not in this always up, up, up state. So, yeah. I think that’s important.

Glenn:                     And I think so, Lib, that’s you know, at the core of what we’re talking about it’s really non-dieting. And you know, I suppose I’m a psychologist so we tend to be a bit more compassionate and be more easy going. You’re a really nice person, you know you’re-

Libby:                      I try.

Glenn:                     Yeah and so there could be this tendency to go, “Oh this is just a soft approach.” But you said it before.

Libby:                      Yeah. It’s not.

Glenn:                     We do it because it works better.

Libby:                      I mean each of us have been in this game now for 15 or so years. It’s an interesting thing because for me, my community, my clients have been with me for most of the time I’ve been set up. And why? Because it’s been sustainable and [inaudible 00:24:57] able to continue to achieve result, even if it’s a little bit, a little bit, a little bit, and then maintain for a while and then different, different. You know? That they’re still in this place where they can have flexibility, but they also will always have regression and it doesn’t have to come at a price. I think that’s the same for you.

Glenn:                     Yep. So [crosstalk 00:25:14] forget short-term. Focus on naturally healthy habits that’ll last for life.

Libby:                      100%. I’m into it. So there you go. Thank you so much, Glenn. That was an insightful one. I liked that one.

Glenn:                     Thanks for having me. That was a good one. Yeah.

Libby:                      Yeah. That was good. Hope you got a lot out of it, guys.