There are weight loss concepts here that are fresh and simple - although they may take some time to master. I particularly love the connection to a sense of autonomy or shame around food. I appreciate the simple deconstruction of these concepts as they relate to food. I also had a 'duh' moment when the author mentioned how the body does not like the shock of sudden dietary restriction (ie going on a diet)... brilliant! So obvious but I never made that 'shock/threat' connection, knowing full well about famine response etc.. Simply and succinctly put. There is a lot here to process, but it quality not quantity, and it is worth the investment .
This book filled a gap in my living skill-set that is now so important to me I don't know how I haven't found anything like it before. From the start it was so inspiring I chose to read it slowly, knowing it would deliver. Thank you, Stephen.
Have you ever eaten a decadent slice of cheesecake, only to finish and think, "Man, I could really go for some vegetables right about now"?
If not, let me introduce you to Stephen Guise and the concept of mini habits. The idea, as conceptualized in this book, is not to take an approach of deprivation and radical change, but to make small, incremental, consistent changes that ultimately result in a permanent, healthy lifestyle. Stephen (can I call him Stephen?) is upfront from the beginning: this is not a journey of quick fixes, rapid weight loss, and cleanse diets. This is about working with the brain's natural resistance to change by fooling it into thinking you're not asking much from it. And really, you're not. If your goal is to do one push-up a day, you will find yourself down on the ground much faster than if your goal is to do 20. And once you are down there, you will do some more. It's human nature. The hard part, the decision to do a thing, is over at that point. And even on your worst day, even if you really only can do one, you've still made some forward momentum and reinforced that daily habit.
I only finished this book a couple of weeks ago, but I have already seen the changes happen. The most brilliant stroke was in never making a food craving off limits, no matter how ridiculously unhealthy. Instead, he encourages a movement toward healthy food, a letting go of the binary way we think about eating (''I'm going to eat healthy'' vs ''I'm going to eat badly.'') As he says in his book, you know what's better than three slices of pizza? Three slices of a pizza and a salad. It's pithy and funny, but there is much wisdom here. When we're at a party, we don't have to decide between carrots and cookies. We can have both. And that realization is the spark of something rather profound. The more whole foods you eat, the more you incorporate them into your daily life, the more you want them for their own sake, not because you should eat better, or because you are desperate to lose weight, but because they are tasty and make you feel good.
My nutrition mini habit, one recommended by Stephen, is to make one healthy food upgrade a day. That means a banana with breakfast, or a vegetable with lunch, or water instead of soda for a meal... just one healthy change from the norm. What I've found, as Stephen predicted, is most days I do far more than that. Some days I find myself concocting entire meals from scratch, just because I would rather eat that. But even on my worst days, I can make that one change and feel like I have forward momentum. Thus I have found myself eating fresh vegetables alongside leftover pizza, and a red bell pepper after I finished my cheesecake.
What's remarkably different from previous attempts to shift to a healthy lifestyle is that for the first time ever, it feels like a choice. Not some hard-nosed restriction I'm trying to impose on myself for my own good, but just making choices amidst the ebb and flow of everyday life (the fact that my other mini habit is sitting down on my meditation cushion before bed doesn't hurt... I am much more mindful of my eating habits based on increased meditation alone.) Even my fast food addiction is waning, not because I've forbidden it, but because I've noted that fast food generally makes me feel like crap. I'm saving my sweet tooth for higher quality desserts, stuff I really love. I'm no longer eating with an attitude of scarcity - I shouldn't be having this, I must eat it now because I can't have it later.
When there is no famine, there is never any need for feast. I ate out at three restaurants this weekend, and not once did I overeat or feel guilty about my choices. It's the difference between "What's one small thing I can do to make this healthier?" and "Screw it, I'm going to eat all the things." When you're working within a more reasonable framework, when you stop with all or nothing thinking, you make more healthy choices than you would imagine, and you don't have to fight your lazy brain to do it.
5.0 out of 5 starsI read this book. It makes a lot of ...
3 December 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I read this book. It makes a lot of sense. I stopped smoking last year, by focusing on not smoking one hour and one day at a time. I will become healthier and lose weight with the common sense strategies in this book; one hour and one day at a time. Wish me well, because that’s what I want to be. WELL
5.0 out of 5 starsThe secret to weight loss and success
25 June 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
I don't write many reviews, but as a personal trainer and weight loss specialist, I am convinced that this book addresses 95% of what most people struggle with. Diets don't work - plain and simple. It's a multi-billion dollar industry so new "diets" will continue to flood the market and people will continue to buy into them and hope that this latest and greatest fade will be the magical solution they have been waiting for. The problem with diets, as we know and as this book addresses, is that they are too drastic for most people. Our willpower weakens over time and as soon as "life happens" or we have a moment of weakness, we revert right back to our old habits. Our subconscious mind does not like change and this is what drives most of our actions. We are creatures of habit and we must make very small changes daily so our subconscious mind doesn't sound the alarm. The beauty of the ideas in this book is that they are so simple and ANYONE can do them. It doesn't matter where you are today. Anyone who has experienced success will tell you that it's the little things that we do, day in and day out, that separate those who succeed and those who don't. This book is a must read for anyone who has been unsuccessful losing weight in the past or just wants to learn how to use habits to drive success.
5.0 out of 5 starsHis tone makes all the difference!
13 December 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book came out at the right time for me. People who are trying to lose weight, myself included, are often stuck in a very negative spiral of thinking about themselves. Guise's tone is so uplifting in this book, which has made a big difference to me from the first page.
There is one passage that really stood out to me: "Mainstream motivational theory states that, in order to enact change, one must simply "want it more."...it's a pity that we're not motivated enough to save our own lives and live better. But wait...the weight loss industry made $64 billion in 2014. When that much money is spent on something, it means public interest is through the thermosphere...people have willingly suffered and paid money trying to lose weight, and they are still being told their desire for change isn't strong enough. That's so wrong it's criminal...People have plenty of desire, they just need a smart strategy that doesn't rely on doing the impossible."
Guise is on our side! He gets it. I've never heard something like this said before. I've read other weight loss and self-help books that make you feel less than human; a lot of people just aren't patient or nice to you if you're overweight or depressed. But Guise never talks down to you. He's jovial and friendly. He jokes with you! And his ideas are so well-researched and well-reasoned that you can't help but feel hopeful.
5.0 out of 5 starsLife is meant to be enjoyed, and health can happen realistically
8 February 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Loving this book and recommending to my own nutrition clients! I had already been moving to a more realistic approach with them, and this just cemented what I felt in my gut---gone are the days when I am willing to put someone on an entire life overhaul regimen...only to see them "fail" and "fall off the wagon" later for not being perfect. I would much rather they learn habits that STICK, one or two at a time, and change their lives in a sustainable. way!