101 - How to Lose Weight the Easy and Hard Way

5 min

After four years of being on our own weight loss and health journeys, we’ve learned a lot from our experiences and things have subsequently changed in our protocols. We often see so many people making their weight loss journeys so much harder than they need to be, so this week, we’re helping you see where you might be doing this, and how to make it easier. 

If you currently believe weight loss has to be a miserable experience, and you constantly find yourself laser-focused on how things aren’t perfect, or how you’re not yet where you want to be, you’re in the right place. We’re big advocates of making the process as easy as possible, and we believe suffering doesn’t have to be a part of the equation because this is the key to sustainability.

Join us this week if you find yourself struggling on your weight loss journey and don’t know why this is happening or where to start to begin making the process easier. We’re helping you recognize what might be going on, identify where you’re making it unnecessarily hard, and how we’ve made it easier for ourselves. 

We want your help to get the word out about the new podcast, and to show our appreciation, we’re giving away two of our favorite things: an Ōura Ring and a pair of AirPods! To enter, screenshot this episode, post it to your Instagram stories and tag us, and you’ll be entered into the drawing! 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How so many people make losing weight harder than it needs to be. 
  • Our experience of making weight loss both easy and unnecessarily difficult. 
  • The driving emotion that makes weight loss hard. 
  • How planning too restrictively perpetuates a cycle of binging. 
  • The one thing that gets in people’s way the most when they’re trying to lose weight.
  • Where to begin to make your weight loss journey easier.

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Full Episode Transcript:

On today’s episode we are going to talk about how to lose weight the easy way and the hard way, and we’re going to talk about how to make those difficult things more easy.

Hi, I’m Maggie, I’ve lost a combined 90 pounds after having my two kids and struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. I teach you how to lose weight a different way, how to fix the thoughts in your head holding you back from finally taking weight loss off your to do list. Losing weight doesn’t need to be a struggle. And it’s my mission to help you love the process all the way down the scale. If you’re ready to lose weight a different way then let’s get it.

Maggie: Welcome to the podcast.

Ryan: Good morning. How’s it going?

Maggie: Going pretty good. We’re getting ready to leave for a trip next week.

Ryan: Yeah, I feel like we say that a lot.

Maggie: We’ve been going places more this year, which is weird.

Ryan: Which is weird for us.

Maggie: It’s very weird for us. It may just seem like we’re people who travel a lot, but I would never say that to describe us. We also travel to the same places over and over. So.

Ryan: Yeah. We like what we like.

Maggie: But we’re going somewhere this month, nowhere next month, and then California again in December.

Ryan: Yeah.

Maggie: So yeah. We've got to figure out what the plan is for that, but what are we talking about today?

Ryan: I had a good idea for something to talk about. How to lose weight the easy way and the hard way. Because I feel like people make it harder on themselves than they need to. I feel like throughout our experience, the four years of experience we’ve been doing this, we can kind of look back and be like, “Yeah, we didn’t really need to do that. That was harder than it needed to be. Do this instead.” You know what I mean?

Maggie: Mm-hmm.

Ryan: So looking back when you first started keto, what were some areas you feel like you made it harder on yourself than you needed to. You know what I mean?

Maggie: I do know what you mean, but I also feel like I made it pretty easy on myself. Does that make sense? Like I don’t feel like I made it unnecessarily hard.

Ryan: Well, you lost your weight twice, and the first time it took a lot longer.

Maggie: Yeah. Well, I think it was just way more haphazard. So I wouldn’t say that was a harder way. It was just all over the place like flying by my coattails. I didn’t have many rules for myself when I first started. Maybe it’s because I didn’t really understand what I was doing.

Ryan: The only rule for you was to be in ketosis, right?

Maggie: Yeah. It was just like really eat keto. That was kind of the problem with losing a little bit slower was I was eating it if it was keto. It’s funny looking back now at how little structure I had. Because you kind of feel like keto is enough structure. Because at the time, I had to cut out so much of what I was eating.

What I was doing was so polar opposite, but then within what I was doing I wasn’t doing anything crazy. I wasn’t doing anything that was…I don’t even think I implemented intermittent fasting until it started just like really—I've never been a breakfast person really. I don’t wake up hungry or anything.

Ryan: When you say haphazard, what exactly do you mean?

Maggie: I mean I teach so much about planning right now, and there was none of that. There was none of that. I worked full time. Not when I first started. About six to eight months into keto, I started working full time. I would be in the office, and I would just have deli meat and cheese in the fridge. I would have almonds in my cupboard. I would go get a salad, a salad with no lettuce but a fatty salad from the grocery store. It worked really, really well for me.

Ryan: Did you just eat whenever you were hungry then?

Maggie: Yeah.

Ryan: Do you think there was some overeating there?

Maggie: Definitely, yeah. I had no sense of hunger and fullness. I didn’t have any idea about that. I really do think that’s the difference between the way I was eating before and the way I was eating now was so different, probably calorically, because I was eating so much fast food and so much stuff that was loaded with calories that even eating keto, which has more denser calories, still wasn’t enough to make me gain weight or not lose weight. I still think there was a big decrease. There was a big decrease in inflammatory foods and a huge decrease in sugar.

Ryan: Yeah. I'm thinking back to like when I lost weight last year. What about it was more difficult than it needed to be.

Maggie: Where was this unnecessary suffering?

Ryan: Yeah. I just felt like looking back on it, maybe I was just trying to fit myself into a box that was unnecessary. Like what I know now, especially with eating times. Like you don’t have to force stuff. Do you know what I mean?

Maggie: Yeah. It can feel really force-y sometimes.

Ryan: Yeah. What is that?

Maggie: I think it’s just because you're trying to control the controllable, and that feels really controllable for you. Like I can control when I eat. A lot of yours was like a lot of mental drama around it’s not time to eat yet. It’s not time to eat yet. Well, yes you can fight that mental battle. Is it necessary? Is it necessary to be like, “If I want to go until 5:00 before I eat, is that a necessary thing to do?”

When I was eating that way, it was because life was so crazy with a newborn that it made perfect sense for me. It was just like the first time I would get a chance to even cook a meal. A lot of the time I feel like you felt like to lose weight, you needed to go as long as you could without eating. Because, and this is just my guess, if you had eaten sooner than you would end up overeating because then the calorie window gets spread out further. It’s like, “I’ll just keep getting hungry. This is a way for me to keep myself in control.”

Ryan: What I was doing is I wanted to eat dinner, and I wanted to eat until I was really full.

Maggie: Yeah.

Ryan: That’s what I was doing with the time controlled windows. I want to sit down at dinner and eat as much as I want to eat and still be fine.

Maggie: If you're eating four times a day, you can't eat a lot ever.

Ryan: You never really eat until you're stuffed. You're just kind of, “Oh that was enough. I'm not even full really.”

Maggie: But at the end of my day with my math equation, it’s going to add up to enough.

Ryan: Right. Right. What I've learned recently is that eating throughout the day is like, how do I explain this? It isn’t as dramatic as I was making it in my mind. I thought to myself if I eat a small meal at noon and a small meal at three, I'm not going to have enough food at dinner time.

Maggie: Yeah. Well I think the main thing to point out is that most of us make choices like that from fear. It’s the fear that you're not going to get to eat enough. The fear that after this whole day, you're still going to be left hungry at the end of the day. It’s like this distrust with this math ain’t gonna add up. There's no way I can eat three times a day and feel like I got enough food and lose weight and not be hungry. We just believe that you can’t have all of that at once.

Ryan: Yeah.

Maggie: If you want to eat, eat one meal a day and then you can just feast. That feels better. That also plays into this desire to eat until you're stuffed, to which if you can get used to eating until you’ve had enough and learn to trust that process, you find that you're not going to be left hungry when you start listening to your body in that sense.

Ryan: Yeah. For sure. Another thing is I used to do HIIT cardio and workouts all the time. That was just killing myself for no reason.

Maggie: He would. Anytime he would re-spark his desire to lose weight, he’d be doing insanity and just dripping sweat and jumping with his high knees and smacking the top of his—Like I can see it in my brain.

Ryan: I did that stuff a long time ago, but even like a year and a half/two years ago I would be in our basement swinging kettlebells dude.

Maggie: Really? I don’t remember what was happening then, what you were doing down there.

Ryan: I would do these resistance workouts with timed rest times where I would rest for 30 to 60 seconds.

Maggie: Where it would be like keep your heart rate as high as possible.

Ryan: Yeah. It’s just not necessary. It’s not necessary.

Maggie: Well, I think it’s not that you shouldn’t ever do those things. It’s not that there's any benefit to them, but I just think that the belief that we have that that’s the stuff that must be done in order to lose weight, that’s where it’s incorrect. Again, it’s like who cares? If you want to do high intensity, if it’s good for you, if it’s good for your brain. If you want to incorporate that. Most people are like, “If I'm going to lose weight, I have to eat within a three hour window and I have to do HIIT training seven days a week.”

They just think is what it takes is that big, huge transformational action versus the what if instead of moving my body zero days, I moved my body three days or one day just to start? We’re so resistant to that because we just get so fed up with ourselves that we just are like, “The quicker I can change this, the quicker I can feel differently. I've got to get there as quickly as possible.”

Ryan: Where do you see your clients making things more difficult than they need to be?

Maggie: For the most part, the most repeating thing I see is just like hearing what I say but also being like, “Hm, I don’t think…That’s not for me. I need to plan more restrictively. I can’t eat until two.” Then I’ll hear that they're doing it. I’ll coach them or something, and they’ll just be like, “Yeah, I've been planning.” It always comes down to just planning too restrictively.

When they plan, they don’t plan realistically. Therefore they keep sabotaging and then thinking that the answer is they need a stricter plan. Your brain will never go, “Maybe my plan is too strict. Maybe that’s what's getting in my way.” Our brain never goes there. It goes, “It’s not strict enough.”

Ryan: Why? Why does our brain go there?

Maggie: I think it’s just because of the rigidness, we just believe it’s going to get us there faster. I really do think that it’s like…See, you're screwing around. You need to tighten it up even more.

I remember coaching someone recently, and at the end of the day the coaching ended up being like, “You're being too restrictive. You're planning too restrictive. That is what’s leading to the overeating, the binge eating on the weekends.” Which I know a lot of people can relate to. In the end, the coaching was like you need to be planning more food during the week. She said at the very end, “Before I got on this call, my next game plan was to have a smaller lunch.”

So her plan wasn’t working because it was leading to overeating. She felt like she was never eating enough food. She was planning way too aggressively, but her next step was going to be a smaller lunch. That is where she was going to go next.

It was like after already feeling like things are too restrictive, I'm always done first when I'm eating. I use smaller plates. She was doing everything to do less, less, less, less, less because less must be better not realizing that when you puss less too much then you inevitably binge. Then you inevitably eat for two days straight. Then you inevitably go YOLO on Friday night. Which if you had just been eating more, listening to your body, planning a bit more realistically during the week. I need to come up with a good analogy or metaphor for what it is.

Ryan: I have an image in my mind. Have you seen people put rubber bands around a watermelon?

Maggie: No.

Ryan: They’ll wrap rubber bands around a watermelon. They’ll just keep doing it and keep doing it. It’s got this intense buildup. Eventually it snaps and the watermelon explodes.

Maggie: Okay. Yeah.

Ryan: So it’s like the rubber.

Maggie: So it’s like you're making tighter and tighter. It’s like yeah, it will hold on for a bit. One that I can think of that I remember hearing in my training was like keeping a beach ball under the water. Where you try as hard as you can. It’s kind of wiggly, but you can keep it under. Eventually it just bops up and smashes you in the face. You think that you're doing a good job of just, “No, we’re keeping it under. I don’t see this beachball. I've got it. I've got it.” But all it takes is one slip. Once it gets out from under your arms, it hits you in the face.

So it’s kind of like that when it comes to your planning. We don’t realize, and our brain goes, “More restriction.” Then we resist more. We don’t want to restrict more. We already feel like we’re restricting, but we think the only next move is to restrict more. We just don’t realize that in time it’s going to hit us in the face in the form of, “I can't do this another day. There’s so much stuff I don’t get to have. It’s not fair. Nobody else has to do this.” Our whole kind of victim story pops up, and then we feel terrible. When we feel terrible, it’s very easy to eat to try to stop feeling this terrible.

Ryan: What I'm hearing is like one of the biggest things that’s making it more difficult for yourself is the desire to do it quickly and get results and to go fast. Which if you remove that you're like I'm going to do it slow. I'm going to take six to 12 months to lose weight. That trickles down to all the actions you're taking.

Maggie: Yeah. Because then you don't have to work out seven days a week. You know that three days a week for six months to a year is going to be way more powerful than seven days a week one week every fourth month. Because that’s what it ends up being. A lot of us will go hard. I used to do this so much. I would just be like it would be Sunday night. It would be like tomorrow, I'm eating the meal prep. I'm going to the gym. I'm waking up at five. I was classic for like, “This is the week where I change my life.”

There's a really funny tweet that goes around every once in a while. She said like, “My future depends on…” I cannot remember the wording. I need to share it next time I see it. It basically depends on me doing things that I've never in my life shown I have the ability to do. All of it changing tomorrow based on no reason to believe that I can do any of those things, especially at this level, especially consistently.

But that’s what my whole life transformation hinges on is me being a completely different person starting tomorrow. My entire day looks different. Everything I do looks different. I go to the gym. I work out. I manage my mind. I do everything you can do that a self-development book would tell you to do. That starts tomorrow and it never stops.

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Ryan: It’s so delusional to think that you're going to change everything at night too. It’s exactly not how it works.

Maggie: Yeah. The speed is the thing that gets in people’s way the most.

Ryan: I would say the most. The most, hands down.

Maggie: Because like, “Well, how do I do this the fastest?” I was like listen. I want you to do it as fast as possible too, but other than comparison of what was different the first time from the second time. Other than that, I never, ever, ever have one day where a thought pops up that sounds like, “Damn, I wish it didn’t take me nine months to lose my weight after I had Mooch.” Nine months. That’s three quarters of a year. I never think that.

When I first lost my weight, it took me 18 months. Never ever was like damn, that was a long year and a half. I never think that. So I want you to consider that when it comes to your future self and thinking, “What’s she going to think?” She’s not going to think about the time that it took. She’s not going to think. It’s just not part of your existence after you lose your weight.

Ryan: Did you see that post I reposted in my stories yesterday?

Maggie: About what?

Ryan: Life is short, and time always moves fast.

Maggie: Yeah.

Ryan: Then comparing it to weight loss of six to 12 months to lose weight the proper way seems like forever. Which is it?

Maggie: Yeah. It just depends what we’re talking about. It’s like, “Oh life is so fast.” I went to write in my journal yesterday and I wrote 2020. I wrote October 5th, 2020. It’s like it’s almost 2022. You know like life does move very, very quickly.

Ryan: I guess it depends on what…

Maggie: It depends the suffering you're doing. It moves quickly when things are busy, and you're distracted. When you're spending so much time focusing on something and your main focus is on what do you want and more so the fact I want this, but I don’t have it. I want this and the lack of it makes me miserable. I want this. You know what I mean? We do so much focusing like that in weight loss where it’s not rosy. It’s I want this and the lack of having it makes me feel miserable.

Ryan: And you wake up every morning and get on the scale, and it’s not where you want to be. You're focusing on that every single morning.

Maggie: Yeah. That’s going to make life go really slow. You're dragging it out at that point.

Ryan: It’s just a perspective. It’s so weird. It’s just so important to make the process easy for yourself. Because if it’s not easy, you're going to suffer.

Maggie: Yeah.

Ryan: I think that’s the point of this episode is to try to take things where you're making it a little more difficult than it needs to be and try to make it easy on yourself.

Maggie: Well, yeah. Because the places that you are making it difficult on yourself is like siphoning energy from you, you know what I mean?

Ryan: Totally.

Maggie: I was telling my clients something similar to this the other day where I didn’t want to focus so much on one thing. I wanted my focus to be somewhere else. I knew in order to focus on something else, I had to not focus on this other thing for a while. Where it’s just like you only have so much energy to give.

We’ll use Ryan’s example as the example. If your entire day is spent being like, “I'm hungry. I can't eat for five more hours. I can't eat for four more hours. Drink some water.” If that kind of thinking and that kind of energy, that is taking your energy, you know what I mean? The quality of the thoughts that you're having are all focused on don’t eat until it’s time to eat. You have to ask yourself if it’s helpful.

So if there's other stuff that you're doing, that’s one example. Other stuff that you're doing is feeling like it’s draining you and more so you're thinking about it all day. Not just thinking about it, resisting something all day. In this case it would be hunger or just wanting to eat. It’s like you can put your energy there, but know that if your energy’s there, there's less energy to give to other places.

I just think let’s take the energy and disperse it to the little things. Rather than taking all your energy and focusing it in one place that you think is going to be this game changer but to actually just cause you suffering and a lack of energy to give to anything else. Because I feel like you were thinking about it most days all day, right. Sometimes were easier than others, but it would just be easy for a couple days.

Ryan: Yeah.

Maggie: It would be like, “This is fine. No big deal.” Then all of a sudden it would be like dude. I'm starving today.

Ryan: It got to a point where I got to a tipping point where I was like, “I've got to try something else.”

Maggie: Yeah.

Ryan: Because this isn’t working. I mean it’s not going to kill me to try something else for a few days and see how it goes. Guess what? It was so much better for me.

Maggie: It’s a good thing you tried.

Ryan: So much better for me.

Maggie: Because the idea is, and I believed this too. I did believe it too. I didn’t ever push myself. I mean, I did eat in a smaller window but not from the same place. I just believed that if I started eating earlier, I would eat all day. I'm not saying that would never happen. Like I definitely did do that. I also think I did do that because I believed if I start eating, then I'm just going to want to eat all day. I'm just going to be… I think I called it like the hunger monster. If I start eating at 8:00 a.m. watch out because I will be eating for the whole rest of the day.

So it just comes down to a lot of the times, the decisions we’re making we’re making because we’re afraid. We’re afraid we’ll get too hungry. The way that I help my clients with this is to be like you can play around with this. If you get more hungry, you can eat. Most of us are just trying to do everything we can to prevent ourselves from ever getting hungry. Not knowing that a little hunger isn’t a problem, and you can have more food, but it gives you the chance to kind of play around with, “Have I had enough? Am I still hungry?”

When you start eating doesn’t dictate how much you're going to eat all day. I think a lot of us get into that point where we’re like, “Oh if I start in the morning, yeah you won't be able to stop me until 9:00 p.m.”  

Ryan: I wonder what percentage of people are doing intermittent fasting just to control the amount of food that they eat as opposed to the health benefits of it. You know what I mean?

Maggie: Well, sometimes I think it gets twisted. Like we do it in the name of health, but really, it’s like intermittent fasting is just what we’re doing. The question is why are you doing it? So some people are like, “Oh it’s good for health. Whatever.” I'm not saying that that’s a bad reason, but I find more often than not it’s coming from more of a weight loss perspective of I'm making it easier on myself to not have to stop myself from eating all day if I just tell my brain you get to eat at five. We don’t eat. If you get hungry before five, figure it out. Do something else.

Ryan: Yeah. Maybe it’s just more mentally difficult to manage the amount of food.

Maggie: I mean for you, you had to be willing to be like, “Let’s see what happens if I try to eat…” So like right now, you eat oatmeal at noonish, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Maggie: So then you had to try that and be like what happens after that? Does that mean now I've started the hunger monster, and I’ll be hungry until five? What you found was no. Because also what's important with what you did is you chose something that’s satiating for you.

Ryan: Yeah.

Maggie: So it’s like you're not going to have the same problem. I've been eating breakfast lately. Like avocado toast with a soft egg or whatever, over easy egg. Then my lunch email is always higher fat, lower carb. It works really well. You have to figure out the way it works for you. It’s like yes if you decide to eat and it’s a bag of Doritos, you probably will set off being a little bit more hungry, being a little bit more snacky. Because what you did just turned on your little hungry monster. What you did didn’t actually help with hunger.

That’s where we make sure we’re eating because we’re actually physically hungry. Because that’s just like a little safeguard question. Because when it comes to, I want to eat, I want to eat early in the morning and you follow that up with, “But am I actually hungry?” If that answer is no, then this is something else entirely.

If the answer is yes, then it’s like then let’s eat. When we eat, let’s make sure we’re taking care of our future self. Even our future self later in the day who doesn’t want to just be wanting snacks and sugar and crap all day. I feel like what you start your day out with is the most important for how the rest of your day goes now. That’s just how I feel.

Ryan: To wrap this up, what's one thing that listeners can do today to try and make their process a little bit easier on themselves?

Maggie: I think probably what you said earlier, which is like take an inventory and try to identify if there's any places where you're making it unnecessarily harder.

Ryan: How would you even recognize something that’s difficult? You know what I mean?

Maggie: I would ask yourself what kind of things am I worrying about? What am I thinking about? What am I obsessing over? What am I really super focused on? What kind of place is that coming from? Because that could give you a really clear direction on something that you're doing that isn’t working super well for you.

Ryan: It was like me waiting. I would have the thought… I didn’t eat until 3:00 or 5:00 p.m., and the amount of times I thought about eating leading up to that was probably about 10 or 15 times during the day.

Maggie: Yeah. When do you think it started in the day?

Ryan: 10:00/11:00 a.m.

Maggie: Yeah. That’s still, for those of you who care about fasting and stuff, that’s still a fasting window. You’re already fasted eight hours while you sleep. Then you wake up. Ryan wakes up at seven. Eight, nine, 10, 11. That’s hours and hours.

You're already having a fasting window, but it’s like his body’s like, “Hey, I'm getting hungry around the time when most people will normally eat their first meal.” You're like, “Yeah, you’re going to wait seven more hours. We don’t eat yet. We don’t eat yet because if we eat now, we’re not going to lose weight. If we eat now, we’re going to want to eat all day.”

So check in with your reasons. Like yes, there are things that you're doing, but why are you doing those things? You may find, “Well because I can't lose weight if I don’t do it.” That’s going to be a flag. “Well, because this is the only way this is going to work. Because this is the only way it ever worked in the past.” That’s how you identify the reasons for why you're doing stuff.

So I would look for like what do you feel is taking up a lot of your energy right now and start there. Because another thing you brought up was the scale. We’ve been talking so much. Like I've always pretty much been a daily weigher, but I'm seeing so much of a benefit of looking week over week. I just feel like if the scale is something where you feel like I'm hyper focusing on this, what if you weighed in weekly? What are the places that you feel like are taking so much of your mental space?

I'm not saying it’s not good to do the work on the scale. I'm not saying it’s not good to neutralize that data, but some people aren’t just ready for that right out the gate. Some people aren’t ready for that for a while to just be like, “I don’t freaking care. It is what it is.” So that could be another thing where you're like, “Whatever that scale says.”

It could be ketone readings. “Whatever that ketone meter says dictates all the thinking that I have for the rest of the day. I don’t want to manage all of my thinking based on one piece of feedback.” So maybe not having that initial feedback in the morning could open you up to being able to focus on just for today I'm going to make sure I plan my food. Just for today I'm going to make sure that I do X, Y, or Z. It’s going to be different.

I think the easiest like lowest hanging fruit—And maybe that’s not true. Maybe people will be like, “No, that’s such a hard place to start.” Because I feel like it wasn’t a super easy place for you to start. Like hey, stop doing that. Stop waiting until three or five, but I think it is good to identify if there are places where you're like, “I'm thinking about this all the time. I'm obsessing about it all the time. It’s distracting me from living my life and doing my job and working and stuff because I'm thinking about it.”

Could identify a way where you're like, “Okay. What if instead of waiting until three, we ate at two. Let’s try that out. What if we ate at one?” Just the small steps that take you from somewhere that feels like wow I'm really pushing it to oh, this feels way more balanced. This feels more doable.

Ryan: Yeah, that’s good advice. I also think that having the mindset of this is a marathon not a sprint. That’s going to relax a lot of the actions you're taking and probably change your perspective a lot too.

Maggie: You won't care in the end how long it took you. I know nobody wants to hear six to 18 months. Everyone’s like, “Not for me.” It’s another one of those things where like, “Yeah, but not me. I can do it in three months.” It’s like I know, but you won't care in the end.

If you give yourself more time, what you'll find at the end of it. If you take the advice that we give you, you will get to a point where you're like, “Oh wow. I would do this forever. This isn’t a problem. This isn’t pushing me. This doesn’t require all of my brain space to focus on weight loss.”

Because then what it’s going to change for you guys is now my whole focus is keeping the weight off. You don’t want to have to keep focusing on your weight forever. You want to get to a point where you're like, “This is easy. I'm in a groove. I figured this out. I took the time it takes to figure this out, and now I'm here. No big deal. There’s no crazy upkeep of keeping the weight off.”

Ryan: Yeah. Well, I hope this helps.

Maggie: See you guys next week.

Ryan: See you.

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