I was reading Paradox of Choice the past couple of weeks. It was in my book queue for 14 years before I finally got around to it.
BTW, if you recommend a book, I might not get to it for another 14 years. Just keep that in mind.
Anyway, one thing Barry Schwartz said really stood out to me:
“But adaptation is so fundamental and universal…that there is very little we can do to mitigate it directly. However, simply by being aware of the process we can anticipate its effects, and therefore be less disappointed when it comes.”
Notice the word, “aware.”
I don’t think willpower is as important in weight loss and addiction recovery as many think. It’s not that it’s not important, but what it’s important is being aware of the processes in your head.
Your brain has various ways of deceiving you and making you do things you would prefer not to do.
But once you’re aware of those processes, then you...
One of the most overused words I see in marketing and health is the word “ninja.”
Everybody wants some “ninja tactic” that will magically transform his or her life.
I see stuff like “one funnel away” for marketing and “one meal plan away” for dieting.
You need more than a tactic to get the results that you want. What you need is a strategy.
Strategies win battles and battles win wars.
Tactics are just what you use day in and day out.
Can you imagine if a great general like Genghis Khan, Atilla the Hun, Napolean Bonaparte, or George Patton had asked his advisors:
“so, fellas, which tactic are we going to use today?”
“Uh, I dunno, Atilla, maybe we should use swords or sumthin’”
I don’t think we would have remembered the great feats of these men (sorry, ladies, I can’t think of any great female generals in history. Maybe Boudica?) if they had focused on...
I bet you have come across Dr. Joseph Mercola at some point.
I remember when I was a new personal trainer and I had this patient come to me with a question about vitamin D.
He said he had an article that he wanted me to review.
I said sure, I'll take a look. I was expecting something from WebMd.
Nope. It was from Joseph Mercola. And that was 10 years ago!
I have to give it to Dr. Mercola. He's done a fantastic job as a marketer. He has an e-mail list that's >100k. Not bad! I certainly can't compete with that.
One tragedy of health care is that the best marketers tend to be quacks and people who make the most outrageous claims. Kevin Trudeau, anyone?
There are researchers and health-care practitioners out there who toil for years doing great research. But they never learn to market their ideas and they languish in obscurity.
It's the Mercolas and Fungs of the worlds who get most of the attention. Great message. Appealing offer. No research to back it up. But...
I picked up the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
The articles were very informative. The pics of women wearing nothing, thongs, or maybe a bikini were well done, as usual.
But I couldn't help but notice the ad on the back of the magazine.
Was it golf clubs?
Was it beef jerky?
Was it Dick's Sporting Goods?
Was it a supplement?
Was it a health drink?
Was it Whole Foods?
Nope. It was an ad for a Snickers bar!
The dichotomy between the rest of the magazine and the Snickers bar couldn't have been more striking.
It's part of the conflicting messages that society sends. On one hand, we tell people (primarily women) that they should look a certain way, that they should be able to achieve an ideal weight, that they are slobs if they weigh a pound more than they should.
On the other, we think it's acceptable to eat anything, anywhere, at any time.
Why would Snickers advertise in this edition? Because it sells!
I'm sure Mars Inc. has done their research....
I had a patient who had a horrible case of diarrhea this week.
I asked him what happened.
He said, "I had low-sugar candy."
He offered me a bag.
I looked on the back below the nutrition label and it said, "may cause diarrhea or loose stool." Imagine if they had put that on the front of the package!
I'm not a big fan of "low-sugar" or "no-sugar" candy for a variety of reasons:
1) it never tastes the same. I don't care what sweetener they use- saccharine (remember that back in the '80s? The pink stuff as my mother used to call it), aspartame, or sucralose, or whatever "-lose" they want to use. It's just never the same as pure sugar.
2) it's a sign of a bad relationship with food. It's an indication that you're not giving yourself what you want. Nobody with a good relationship with food would eat sugar-free candy with Diet Coke. You want that sweet taste, but you instead get a hit of an imitation product. Many anorexics and bulimics use it to curb appetite and to replace...
I don't know if you noticed that story about Amanda Eller the hiker, physical therapist, and yoga instructor from Maui who broke a leg on a 3-mile hike and then was stranded for 17 days all alone.
She ate bugs and wild guavas and withered away, hoping that someone would find her. Her parents offered $50k for anyone who found her. They killed wild hogs to look for the remains of a human inside their gut.
She had a broken leg and her shoes were washed away in a flash flood, which are really common in Hawaii according to what people tell me (although, how was she going to walk on a broken leg?).
It's an incredible survival story. Imagine what she was thinking on day 15 or day 16 as she slowly dies.
You think you have it bad.
Our problems are nothing in comparison.
Her resilience and desire to survive are admirable, but I bet if she had the choice, she wouldn't do it again. And I bet if someone had been there to rescue her, she would have asked. It wasn't her choice that a...
On every plane ride, the flight attendants offer refreshments and snacks even if the flight is only an hour. Because people can't survive an hour plane ride without V8 and peanuts.
If airlines want to cut costs, this is low-hanging fruit.
Would anyone care if they stopped servings small bags of pretzels and soda?
Despite the enormous number of options at the airport, passengers still expect cheap carbs and soda on the plane.
What's the most searched word on Google? FREE!
The human brain is designed to obtain resources with the least amount of energy expended.
I enjoy soda, nuts, and snacks, but I can buy that stuff in much larger quantities at cheaper prices anywhere outside the airport.
NOTE: You can bring food thru security.
I couldn't help but notice the lack of proactivity (is that a word? It is now). Pack something ahead of time.
One of the shifts I made was being proactive instead of being reactive all the time.
To be proactive, speak with me:
Walking through the airport food court, I couldn't help but notice how much stimulation and seduction was there.
From Cinnamon to Auntie Anne's to Sea's Candy, there was so much food reward everywhere.
Back in the day, an airport was where planes landed.
Now it's like a fast food mecca. Seriously, you could binge just on your layover alone.
These restaurants pay big bucks to place their restaurants just in the right areas. They are placed between gates in the main concourses and at major intersections where they know people will pass.
You can smell the restaurants too. Who can't smell Cinnabon?
It's part of the art of seduction. These restaurant marketers know exactly what your brain wants.
If you're not aware of the seduction, you'll fall for it every time.
Seduction works best when you don't know you're being seduced.
But if you want control and you want to be aware of what is going on, then click here:
I was flying the other day to a wedding.
The airport is a great way to watch people and observe their behavior.
One thing I try to avoid at all costs is public restrooms, especially airport restrooms. You literally have people all over the country using the same toilets.
That's why I don't drink or eat when I fly, and I tend to eat lean the night before.
There were about 10 stalls, and in 6 or 7 of them, men were doing number 2.
Maybe it's different in the ladies' room. I'll never know.
I just had to ask myself, "why would you want to put yourself in that position?"
Just across the bathroom, people were eating large breakfasts that would certainly make them do number 2 in the airport.
I'm not telling you this to gross you out. I'm telling you that you need to be proactive and think ahead.
If you want to avoid public restrooms (which you should) and you don't want to put your ass on a shared toilet (which you shouldn't), then plan ahead.
I was at a wedding earlier this year.
Let's say weddings aren't my favorite events. It's nice to see a couple get married and have a good time and see everyone look nice. But there's a lot not to like.
Topic for a different discussion.
We went to breakfast the day of the wedding and a family member was sitting there drinking coffee for breakfast.
While everyone enjoyed their crepes, pancakes, and oatmeal (me!), he/she sat there with yellow packets of Splenda and black coffee. How exciting.
There's a time and place to fast, but it's not at a family dinner.
I remember my orthorexic days (regimented eating) and I would eat something different from everyone else. I couldn't just eat meat and potatoes.
Back to the family member. Is intermittent fasting (IF) going to radically improve his/her health? My guess is no. My guess it will have no effect.
IF is the newest fad, the latest thing in the quest for the Holy Grail of death.
I remember when I dialed in my...