Take Information Vacation
Unless you’re living in the closet, you’ve probably searched online about nutrition or weight loss-related topics. In fact, one every sixth person from the US is either dieting or thinking about it.
So we all search on the web, talk with our friends, our colleagues, watch inspirational pictures, transformation videos, blogs, books, magazines, news, and articles. We basically jump from one diet tip to another. So it’s very likely that you too have your head already full with fitness information, as we speak.
But unlike any other industry, health and fitness are extremely confusing. First of all, we have to understand that nutrition science is hard to do. It’s not like a randomized control trial, where group A is taking a placebo and group B is on the pill, and then we follow up with results.
You cannot ask divide people into two groups and ask them to diet on one thing or another for 5 -10 years.
What they do instead is something which is called an observational study. They give questionnaires to people with questions and based on the answers they draw conclusions.
But the problem with that approach is that results will be inconsistent. And that’s exactly what we see in the available information. There are so many different opinions and facts about nutrition.
And if you’re not passionate about studying this information, and keeping up with the changes, then it is easy to be steered to one side or another. Feeling lost and hopeless.
So let me throw you a life-jacket here. Reduce the amount of information that you consume. More conflicting information leads to anxiety, where less leads to clarity.
There is so much information out there that we could be bathing in it. And it is humanly impossible to absorb, process, filter, and apply everything you know.
Plus, knowledge alone doesn’t change the behaviors. We all know drinking, smoking, taking drugs, and over-eating are bad, but people still do it. Just because people know stuff, it doesn’t guarantee they will apply it.
Too much knowledge simply overwhelm us. It creates a decision paralysis that leads to uncertainty and anxiety. We don’t need more information. We need less.
Lastly, gathering or seeking out more knowledge can be a way to avoid action.
Just one more book. One more blog post. One more video. One more best exercise on how to get a flat tummy.
And then I will start. You see, hunting for information may feel like we doing something, but it doesn’t move the needle.
It may feel like we are productive, but the reality is that we are still in the thinking stage. That’s why I recommend taking a vacation from all the fitness information (including my blog), write a plan, and start doing. It will pay you in spades.
Find Your Reason Why You’re Doing It
As you already know, the information doesn’t create a change. For change to happen you need to have a strong, compelling reason why you doing it. It has to be the emotional reason, not logical.
Otherwise, you will get crushed before you even started. The first roadblock will scare, paralyze and choke you. So to create this evergreen motivation you need to find your deep reason why you want to make that change.
You can do it by applying the simple system of discovering your why. It’s called 5 Why’s.
5 Why’s was developed by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyoda companies and Toyota Motor Corporation. He was referred to as the “King of Japanese Inventors”. The 5 Why’s system is a method to cuts to the core of why we are doing something.
The goal of this method is to find the root cause or the defect why something is not working. You simply doing so by asking why to your main question. Then whatever your answer come up you ask why again that that answer. And so on.
Here is just some of the example.
Why you are doing OMAD? Because I want to have a healthier lifestyle and leaner physique.
Why do you want to have a healthier lifestyle and a leaner physique? Because when I have a leaner physique I can fit into slimmer clothing.
Why do you want to fit into slimmer clothing? Because I feel more confident and happier.
Why do you want to be more confident and happier? Because I can set a better example for my family.
Why do you want to set up a better example for your family? Because I can live a more fulfilling life.
As you can see, the more you dig down, and push the button why you want what you want, it becomes so much more apparent that the real reason why this person is doing OMAD is something more than his own “I want to be fit”.
This is an emotional reason.
Now is your turn. Take a moment to break down what is your motivation behind your goals.
Time to switch the gear. This is what will change your approach to motivation once for all.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter manufactured in the brain. Basically, it works like a messenger that is released during certain activities of “pleasure”. Dopamine is released when your brain is expecting a reward. Not only that.
Even when you anticipate some activity, or event that’s enough to raise dopamine.
For instance, when you feel thrilled about the upcoming holiday and you can’t sleep because you know that tomorrow you’re going to the airport, that’s dopamine.
Or when you feel good about yourself after you just helped your friend do something important for her that could potentially save her job, that’s dopamine too.
Or when you feel pumped and alive after a challenging workout, that’s dopamine as well.
Or when you feel excited to find a parking spot in a busy downtown area, or when you feel this sense of achievement after you learned a skill that you could apply immediately, and it worked.
That is all dopamine.
You feel good not because of the actual thing you did. This thing you did stimulated a certain part of your brain called VTA (ventral tegmental area) that released dopamine so you feel good.
These I call intrinsic sources. They all robust, make you feel like-a-million-dollar-bill [snapping fingers] moments, with a profound impact on your self-esteem. That feel-good “high” can last for days, even for weeks.
But dopamine is also stimulated by anything that pulls you out of emotional pain, even temporarily, that is not so healthy and robust.
Anything that is short-lived, stimulating, making you temporarily feel good (even just a few seconds), but in the end, leaving you worse than you’re before, and craving for more.
Things like drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, social media, watching TV, binge eating, violence, negative self-talk, etc.
These I call extrinsic sources. This means they don’t come fro within. They are all stimulated by some things, substances, resources, etc.
They all come with nasty side effects on your health. That’s why alcoholics, drug addicts, or gambling addicts are willing to sacrifice their families, their health, and their future. Not because they love drugs.
They’re willing to do it because those drugs temporarily dull the pain that they have. They provide dopamine.
And here’s the thing. Dopamine is critical to be resilient, psychologically healthy, and equipped to learn, grow, and solve problems, both through life and through your OMAD adventure.
Which means your brain will always find a way to get your dopamine.
That’s why building habits that are intrinsic sources of dopamine is the single best thing you can possibly do for your mental, physical and emotional health.
What are these sources?
These are 4 killer ways to stimulate your left prefrontal cortex, your VTA (ventral tegmental area) to release dopamine.
Meditation. That’s can be any form of meditation.
Exercise. Any physical challenge and/or fun exercise (e.g. dancing).
Kindness and helping others. Being kind to others is a huge buffer of positive emotions.
Learning. Stimulating your brain, acquiring new skills and knowledge is powerful (that really explains why many are hooked on reading self-help books.)
I will explain all of those to you so you may have found something that you know you can do right off the gate. This will help you take off your motivation and energy to the next level.
In 2019 when I came back from my 5-months backpacking trip in India and South-East Asia, my Dad asked me what is yoga? In his mind, people who do yoga have a shaved head, wear orange robes, and are living in celibate. Seriously.
That’s when it hit me.
He didn’t know anything about yoga. He had his beliefs shaped based on other people’s opinions, media, TV shows, and advertisements.
The same goes for meditation. When people don’t know what is it, they may create some misleading beliefs about it, which can unconsciously prevent them from exploring the subject further.
So I assume that people may have a totally different understanding of what is meditation. Just because meditation is not so common in the western world, people may have their own ways of interpretation.
According to the world sports encyclopedia, there are over 8,000 different sports. Crazy, right? That includes all of the competitive physical activities and games.
The same thing goes for meditation. There are many different forms of meditation. And they all come with great benefits. However, just like in sports, you must do it to see the results.
Here’s how it works.
Imagine you’re on the job interview trying your best to show off your qualifications while two interviewers stare at you, unimpressed.
The cold look on their faces shows zero empathy, they hardly even notice you. During this intimidating interview, you’ve been pressured to make some complicated arithmetic calculations on the spot. And the interviewers rushed and pushed you to do it faster.
This interview turns out to be a cocktail of gigantic stress, an awful lot of anxiety, and self-doubt. You’ve been subject to rigid evaluation, rejection, and ignorance.
That’s the typical scenario of TSST, which stands for Trier Social Stress Test, a sneaky research tactic.
In fact, that’s one of the most reliable ways known to science to trigger stress and the avalanche of stress hormones into your brain.
Anyway, they compared control group (people who haven’t practice meditation prior to test) with a group of people who spend couple hours meditating, one day before test.
The results? Meditators had a minimum rise in cortisol (stress hormone) during the interview. Also, they haven’t perceived that Trier test as stressful, comparing to the control group.
But there’s more!
Another study of volunteers, who had never meditated in their life, received an instruction to practice meditation for just 20 minutes a day, for the 7 days followed by an fMRI scan (functional magnetic resonance imaging, the scan that can see how your brain changes).
During this scan, they’ve been shown pictures ranging from horrifying burn victims to domestic violence victims (source).
All in the name of science, I guess.
People who practiced meditation had a significantly lower stress response.
Now you may be thinking, what’s that got to do with OMAD? Everything! The more you can work on your mental fitness, the more you will condition yourself to bounce back and recover from setbacks.
This means a Big Problem won’t seem to you anymore as a roadblock. You will be able to crush with an iron fist all the troubles that will get in your way. That’s what meditation is about.
The most popular question I get from people I work with, people I talk with, and even from my mother.
Can I lose weight without exercise?
And the answer is YES. It really doesn’t matter if you exercise or not. So if you hate physical activity, being out of breath and sweaty. I get it. You don’t need to. And as long as you follow the rest of the steps, you’ll be able to start OMAD and maintain the results.
So why so many people exercise? Why some are willing wake up before anyone else and start their their with being uncomfortable?
Apart from the usual health benefits, like cardiovascular improvements, better strength, and even anti-aging, exercise releases dopamine. It also releases serotonin, another feel-good chemical.
So ironically, when you huffing and puffing, feeling like you hate your life during a workout, you’ll actually feel better than before.
And here’s the secret.
That secret I’ve learned from Dean Zweck completely transferred the way I look at exercise and how I teach it. Dean was a sales trainer in one of the biggest Fitness Clubs, Virgin Active.
He showed me how to retain clients. In other words, what is it that makes people keep coming back for my service, knowing they can exercise for free? Was it the knowledge I have? Nope. Maybe the experience I have? Well, to some extent. The results? NOPE. So what is it?
They’re challenged and they’re having fun.
Because that’s what exercise is all about. To have fun! When you having fun you feel good, and most importantly, you forget that you are physically active.
Every time when I had a client, and I could sense that they had a rough day, instead of doing squats and push-ups I would take a tennis ball and go out to run after the ball. Or to chase after the balloons.
5-minutes later, they smile came back up. It was amazing to watch.
Think back to your childhood when you’re engaged in some fun games and activities. How did that make you feel? You probably laughed a lot and you most definitively lost track of time.
Even if you were “exercising”, fun activity never really felt like “work”.
That’s the power of fun and play.
What is play? I’m sure if you’re seven years old, I don’t need to tell you how to have fun. But as you growing up, you may have forgotten. So let me quickly recap for you what is fun.
The fun happens in the “fun world” rather than the “real world”. It is an always-welcome break from seriousness, responsibility, and maturity.
Not only it makes you laugh, but it relaxes you at the same time. You wanna see real fun? Give a couple of the balloons to two grown-up people and watch what happens.
It motivates us because we like to do that activity, not because we have to do it. There is no material reason besides having fun of doing it. Plus, it’s got holistic and healing properties.
And because it release dopamine, it can be addictive.
Can you even remember when was the last time you did something like that?
Here’s your chance.
It’s called Deck of Cards.
In this workout, I teach you the simplest way to have fun while burning fat from your body faster than anything else on the market.
Choose four exercises that you want to focus on. You can do a full-body workout, lower-body workout, upper-body workout, cardio workout, or abs workout.
Step 1: Each exercise assign with a playing suit in the Deck. For example:
Diamonds = Push-ups
Hearts = Squats
Spades = Jumping Jacks
Clubs = Sit-ups
The number on the card represents the number of reps you’ll do. For example, a card with the number 4 represents 4 reps, and a card with the number 9 represents 9 reps.
For face cards, you assign each face as a number higher than 10. For instance, Jack’s 11 reps, Queen’s 12 reps, and King’s 13 reps.
It’s really straight forward.
Write down on a piece of paper how you assigned your cards to help you remember. This way you can quickly check which exercise you’re supposed to do when you pull a card from the whole deck.
Track your time, see how fast you can finish whole deck.
Invite others to join, you’ll be surprised how fast people start a smile and laugh doing this.
Change exercises, if you decided to do it daily, rotate with your workouts.
Kill Them With Kindness
The term “Kill Them With Kindness” I heard first from one of my Jamaican friends, Shaniqua.
This is by far the most underrated habit that can turn to your secret weapon during any setbacks. Kindness is a component of self-compassion. And the more love you share with others, the better you will feel. Here is how it works.
Think about the important people you know that really made a difference in your life and developed a good connection with you.
That could be your teachers, friends, coaches, or other mentors. Now think about what did they do, and how did they relate to you?
I guess that they demonstrated a mix of skills.
They probably listened to you, paid attention, and were curious to hear what you were saying.
They took time and effort to communicate their point of view and advice in a way that you could clearly understand.
They listened and observed you first before offering any correction.
They didn’t rush with judgment. They left they ego and agenda outside.
The more they showcase understanding and empathy, the bigger the impact they had on your life. That’s the power of kindness.
Kindness is a two-way street. When you’re kind to others it helps them, but it also helps you, too. It stimulates your left prefrontal cortex to release dopamine. It also releases oxytocin and serotonin.
So by helping others you become the better version of yourself.
How to create a habit of helping others? Simple.
Give positive feedback!
Giving feedback to someone is a skill. It requires ability to listen, communicate, observe, and understanding of other people.
But it doesn’t mean you must become some type of know-it-all guru. Feedback can be as simple as expressing your gratitude, appreciating someone, welcoming someone, or even acknowledging someone.
It can be verbal and non-verbal language. When you greet or appreciate someone, hug them, high-five or fist bump. To express your gratitude, give a handwritten card with a ‘thank you’ message. Create and send a video to say thank you.
Use hand gestures and facial expressions. Make it stand out. Make people feeling seen, heard, and understood. By doing so you quickly become the person to be around.
My point is, people who made a difference in our life “stick” – they stay in our heads, often forever.
Research on happiness clearly identifies ongoing learning as a core ingredient for happiness and satisfaction (source). As humans, we are wired for learning. However, learning about ourselves is a totally different level. Because it feels uncomfortable when tough feedback is coming. Many run and hide from it.
Giving someone precise, honest and constructive feedback, in non-judgmental way, is the best gift you can give to someone.
Also, people who are willing to learn more about themself are much easier to work with, to live with, they are more open-minded and just more fun to be around.
On the other hand, living and working with people who are stubborn, defensive, shut down, or argue is exhausting.
Give feedback with purpose
Help people become better. Give advice. Help someone accelerate their learning. Show where they can calibrate their focus. Help them improve. Don’t bring your agenda or ego to the table. Make it about them, not you.
“Look, this is what happened, here’s how you can make it better.” Here you empower others, and create next action step. It’s got two parts. First is what happened. Second is what needs to be done. That’s it.
“You did wrong. You shouldn’t do this”
Here you just give bold statement without providing any help, you create anxiety, and you distance yourself from people.
Always make it positive. Don’t argue your point. Why?
Because when you create friction and bring emotions with you, people who you’re trying to help, will get anxious (which floods the hippocampus with cortisol and blocks one’s ability to learn aka receive feedback).
So your intention may be good, but once someone get stressed it’s literally impossible for feedback to penetrate. That’s why people who constantly argue, can’t process the “new data”. Doors to their learning center of the brain are closed, metaphorically.
Keep it simple
Make people easy to understand you. Using metaphors and stories are great options. Don’t mix your emotions and opinions. Just use facts. Don’t get personal. Be genuine.
Give honest feedback
Honest feedback always stands out. Here’s the example.
When you post on social media picture of you new haircut, most likely you will receive lots of praises. Your friends, family members or even random people will start to compliment you.
But what happens when you ask for honest feedback from the actual expert? Like from a well-known hairstylist. Instead of giving you a biased opinion, she may actually give you a gift of advice on how you can make it better. And if so, how’s that gonna change your relationships with that person?
Is it gonna go up or down?
Of course is gonna go up! Because now not only you will look even better than before, but also you will trust that person even more. You’ve received valuable feedback, not the clutter. That’s the power of honesty.
According to Dr. Katerine Nelson’s study suggest that people may be more successful if they opt to treat someone else instead of treating themselves (source). This means the small act of kindness is much powerful than typical “retail therapy.”
Performing small acts of kindness works immediately. There is no delay here. It benefits the receiver but also improves our emotional health by triggering feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
Being kind is good for physical health too. It grounds us, relieves pain, improves cardiovascular health, lowers stress, and makes life richer.
Think of a way how you can add more value in your home, in your school, in your church, in your community. It doesn’t have to be financial value. You can offer your time, energy, or knowledge.
Go Further with OMAD
This article is part of the One Meal A Day Diet, which I recommend you read.
In the following pages, I show you everything there is to know about OMAD, benefits, tips, and how to do it properly.
Next: Click here to learn more about omad not losing weight