If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight and keep it off, then this episode is for you. There are many different ways to lose weight - cutting calories, cutting carbs, cutting out snacking, more …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 164 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners, and today: how to achieve weight loss success. If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight and keep it off, this episode is for you. There are many different ways to lose weight, cutting calories, cutting carbs, cutting out snacking, or fasting, eating less meat, eating only meat, eating only cabbage and celery and on and on and on right.
Some of these weight loss methods are more successful and more sustainable than others. But they all work to some degree for some people. But despite all these different weight loss methods and their relative effectiveness, there is one master principle that you must follow if you want to achieve long term weight loss success. This one principle will also enable you to achieve success in every other aspect of your life, not just in terms of your weight loss or your health or your fitness.
So in this episode of the podcast, I’m going to share this one master principle with you that will show you exactly how to achieve weight loss success and more. But first, one of my favorite clients Kelly had this to say about her experience she said, “Before finding Patrick, I was not in a good place. I was struggling mentally, drinking alcohol and eating garbage. I felt like other women were faster and stronger than I was. And this program has helped me to break through those limiting thoughts and really take control over my life. I started eating real food, I started lifting weights, and I’ve become more determined. I’m a stronger runner. I’m 20 pounds lighter, I ran a 50k and I even did an Ultra Ragnar. Trusting the process and gaining the confidence to keep moving forward helped turn this into a lifestyle change. I now have goals that I feel I can meet and feeling weak is in the past. I feel physically and mentally stronger than ever. You are one of a million and you changed my life.”
Thank you, Kelly. But here’s the thing, Kelly’s story is not uncommon. Every day I watch your owners like Kelly, take back control of their diet, lose weight, get stronger, and do things they never thought they could do. So think about this, what limiting thoughts are holding you back? And are you finally ready to ditch those limiting thoughts and take control of your life? If so, maybe coaching is an option for you. To learn more and apply, just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply.
Okay, so let’s talk about how to achieve weight loss success. So like I mentioned, during the intro here, there’s many different pathways to weight loss success, you can cut out calories, you can, you know, ditch the carbs, you can cut out snacking and you can do more fasting. You know a lot of people do really well with intermittent fasting or even some extended fasting.
Some people do really well doing more of like a carnivore diet, they eat just meat, some people do better if they’re eating zero meat, some people do better if they’re doing the cabbage juice diet, I don’t even know what that is. But there’s just so many different methods of achieving weight loss. Now, some of these are more effective than others. I think some of these, especially when we get into things like really drastically reducing calories, you run the risk of slowing down your metabolism. This is not something that would really be sustainable.
I think if you limit a lot of nutrients, like if you’re just doing the cabbage diet, I don’t even know, is that a thing? But whatever if you’re just doing something where you’re just eating like cabbage for months on end, can’t be good for you. Like you’re probably not getting enough protein, probably not enough micro and macro nutrients in that. So anyway, some of these are more effective than others. Some of these are better than others. Some are more sustainable than others.
But here’s the thing, every diet that’s out there will work to some degree for some people. There isn’t just one thing that works for everybody. And I’ve said this so many times. Every person I work with I make sure we really understand that there isn’t one method, there isn’t one diet, no fad diet or whatever, that’s going to work perfectly for everybody.
Now, for me personally, I tend to gravitate toward a more low low carb sort of higher protein approach. So this isn’t no carbs. This is not like a totally carnivore type of approach. But I tend to eat lower on the carb scale. I definitely eat a higher protein than the average American for sure than the average runner definitely. And I don’t eat constantly, I’m not eating six or eight times a day.
And this approach seems to work well for a lot of endurance athletes who want to get fat adapted, who want to improve their fat burning capabilities, who want to run longer, who want to lose weight. But you know, even with this low carb approach, there’s a lot of room for differentiation, no two people are going to do this the exact same way, we’re all going to have our own sort of set point, as far as carbs go, like how many carbs do we need to feel good to make sure that our running is is still improving, to make sure that our weight loss is happening?
We don’t want to go too high on the carb scale. But we don’t want to go too low either. Like, are you making improvements at the gym? Are you seeing improvements in your running numbers, like all these things are worth considering. And it’s going to look a little bit different for each person. Okay, so just understand that there’s lots of pathways to success and weight loss, lots of different methods, lots of different quote unquote, like diets, you know, and to some degree, they all work, you know.
But if you want to achieve long term weight loss success, there is this one master principle that you must embrace if you want any of these things to work. In fact, this principle is just one word. But it’s a very, very powerful word. This word is so powerful and so important that I’ve made this one word, my mantra for the year for this year 2023. I printed out this word, I have it taped to my monitor. I’m looking at it right now. And I see this all the time, I’m constantly being reminded of this one master principle.
This word is so powerful, that it not only allows you to achieve weight loss success, but if there’s anything that you want to achieve in your life, in any area of your life, this one word principle is how you get there. And if you only embraced one mindset concept, this is what we’re talking about today. This is a mindset concept.
If you were to just ditch everything and just adopt this one mindset concept. This is the one that you should embody in everything that you do. Because if you do, your success is basically guaranteed, you basically cannot fail if you embody this one principle. Okay, I’m trying to be very dramatic and build this up. I don’t know why. But it’s fine, I guess. So I’ve probably teased this out enough for you.
So here’s the one word principle that you need to embody: discipline. That’s it. Discipline. That’s the word that I’ve chosen as my mantra for the year. That’s the word that’s taped to my monitor right now. And this is the way that you achieve success and anything that you want for yourself.
So what is discipline? The definition of discipline is to train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way. Another way of saying this, and I liked this definition a little better, it’s sticking to the plan, even when you don’t feel like it.
Alright, so your plan might call for chicken and salad for dinner tonight. But your husband just brought home a large pizza. And it smells amazing. And he opened up that box. And he said that pepperoni is all glistening with the grease on top of it and you can smell the cheese and you know how doughy that crust is going to be and how, oh my god, it’s like, you know, you just your whole brain is lit up now.
Your desire has increased like crazy. Being disciplined means in that moment, you eat your chicken and your salad because that’s what you said you were going to do. No one feels like eating chicken and salad when there’s pizza right there. But being disciplined means you do it anyway. Discipline means you go out and run for an hour because that’s what’s on your schedule. It said you run for an hour today. Even though it’s cold outside, even though it’s raining outside because your training plan says you run for an hour. That’s what you do no matter what.
Now I have an interesting story about this today. I have to tell him myself a little bit here. I run outside in whatever conditions and I have this whole training season I have for years actually And it’s very, very rare that I will ever skip a run. I really don’t skip runs but instead I’ll go run on a treadmill, which I have access to in my building there are a bunch of treadmills.
I could do this anytime I wanted to. But I don’t, I run outside. Today, I had this one, you know, hour block of time that I could run. And that was it. I didn’t, I don’t have time to go later. During that one hour block of time that I had to run, and I had to run an hour. During that one hour block of time, we were under a severe thunderstorm warning, there was lightning, the rain was coming down so hard with lightning and thunder, it was insane outside.
And I made the decision in that moment to go run on the treadmill. And that was a tough thing for me to do. Because I was like, oh man, I know that I need to be disciplined about this. And I know that I’ve committed to running outside no matter what. And I don’t mind getting wet. And it wasn’t warm outside. It wasn’t too cold, like 50 degrees, it was actually pretty decent temperature for like a rainy thunderstormy day.
But I was feeling really undisciplined about like not running outside. I was like, oh, I gotta go run on the treadmill. But then I started thinking about running on the treadmill. And I hate running on the treadmill. I hate it. I do not like it. The time on the treadmill just seems to go by so slowly. It’s not interesting for me, it’s boring.
My pace never really matches up to what I know my pace is like I can run at a certain heart rate. And I kind of know my paces. And on the treadmill, it’s like, you know, normally that’d be like a 10 minute mile or something like that, for me it’s a super easy pace. And on the treadmill, it’s like a 12 minute mile. I’m like, that’s not right. It’s not right. It’s boring. I don’t like the way it calculates my pace. It takes too long.
There’s all kinds of reasons why I don’t like the treadmill. So for me, being disciplined today meant putting aside my, whatever ego and getting my run in and doing it on the treadmill, just sucking it up and just, you know, not being a big baby about it. And just getting it done. And I did, that’s when I did I ran on the treadmill.
The only reason I didn’t run outside is because of the safety factor with all the lightning and stuff because I don’t mind getting wet, whatever, my skin is still waterproof. So I’m not concerned about that. I didn’t want to get struck by lightning. And it was pretty crazy out there this morning.
Okay, so being disciplined means you get it done. Even when you don’t feel like it. I didn’t feel like running on a treadmill, I did it anyway. Being disciplined means you do the things that you don’t want to do. So that you can become the person that you want to become. Discipline means choosing the hard things. When the easy thing is right there, the pizza, the couch, the warm bed, Netflix, the cookies, whatever that is for you.
Discipline means you are consistent with the way you eat, the way you train. How often you lift weights, when you go to bed, you’re consistent with reading and journaling and meditation and yoga and stretching, whatever that looks like for you. Whatever that thing is that helps you make progress towards your goals towards becoming that better future version of you. Doing that thing consistently takes discipline.
Alright, so what does this look like? How do you do it? How do you practice discipline, because discipline is a practice. It’s not something you just turn on. And then you’re like, good to go. It’s not something you say, well, I’m going to be disciplined. And then it’s just you never have to worry about it. It’s something you have to practice, just like learning to play an instrument takes practice or doing yoga, it takes practice.
I did yoga last night for the first time in a few weeks. It was hard, and I’m like, oh, I need to be more disciplined about yoga. I need to practice yoga more often. Because when I don’t do it for a while, it’s hard. Yoga is hard. Especially for runners. We are the tightest people in the world. So in order to be successful at anything, you have to have these three things, you have to have a plan, you have to take action and you have to get some kind of result.
Okay, this makes sense, right? So being disciplined means that you make a plan. Whatever that looks like for you, if you are wanting to lose weight, then you need to have a food plan. What is it you’re going to eat? What are you going to not eat? You know, if you’re used to eating pizza and cookies all the time. Maybe that’s something you got to take away.
So for you, making a plan might mean what foods you’re going to avoid and what foods you’re going to include. Right? Okay, so you make a plan. And then you take action on that plan, you work the plan. And this is where the majority of discipline happens, you’ve got to be disciplined about what you do, you will not feel like it, you will not feel like sticking to that plan, but you do it anyway. That’s discipline.
Because the only way you make progress is by taking action. The only way you achieve results is by taking action. And the way you take action consistently is discipline. All right, so you’ve made a plan, you’re taking action, you’re doing a consistently good job. Now you’re gonna get a result or not get a result. So what did all that action achieve for you? What are your results?
Is this what you want for yourself? Or are these results moving you closer to your goals or further away, so you got to analyze the results. And then if you need to course correct, make a change. Okay, then you repeat this process, you maybe tweak the plan, and then you start taking new action based on that new plan. And then you look at those results. And then you just keep doing this.
And modifying your plan, or course correcting, has to be part of the process. And this is part of the plan right here, this part of this process of being disciplined and getting results and achieving goals. The modifying your plan part is where a lot of people get stuck, because they try something, it may not work, you know, perfectly. And so they quit.
We don’t quit though, we look at the results. And if something isn’t working, we change something. Because a plan does not work 100% of the time for every person. That’s it. And we expect this, the people that I work with my coaching clients, we look at the results that we’re getting. And if something isn’t working, we freaking change it.
We change the plan. People are so afraid to do this, though. Why are you afraid to change the plan? Who cares? If what you’re doing isn’t working? Let’s try something different. Let’s make a small change here. Oh, you’re eating, you know, 80 grams of carbs a day? Well, let’s change that, you know, maybe you’re not improving your running speed that you want to, maybe we go to 100 grams and see how that works for you.
Maybe you need more protein in your diet. If what you’re doing is not giving you the results that you want, why do you keep doing? It doesn’t make any sense. But most people get stuck there. And that’s when they quit. And that’s one of the beautiful things about having a coach, whether it’s me or somebody else, having somebody there to help you look at the results and see specifically for you what kinds of things you can change to start getting some different results is really, really, really helpful. Okay, just keep that in mind.
Okay, so you have this plan, you’ve modified the plan, and now you’re taking, you’re practicing discipline, again, because you’re taking new action. And again, this is where most people give up, they don’t want to try different things. They’re not willing to go through this whole process of trial and error. But that’s the only way you figure out what works and what doesn’t, it’s the only way to accomplish anything – is you go to try something, see if it works or not, and then try something else and you just keep going.
This is one of the reasons why these fad diets don’t work because the same plan doesn’t work the same way for two different people. It just doesn’t they don’t work the same. People need to understand that. The same diet, whether it’s the Mediterranean diet, the South Beach diet, or whatever it is, doing it the exact same way for everybody will not work for everybody just doesn’t work that way. There’s no one diet that’s going to get everybody the same results never ever, ever going to happen.
Okay, so we make a plan. We take action, we work the plan. We do it, we stick to the plan, even when we don’t feel like it. That’s discipline. We look at our results. Do we need to change anything? Let’s be disciplined about analyzing results. Let’s be disciplined about making a new plan if we need to. And then take new action and rinse and repeat this process. Okay?
You cannot be afraid of this process. It’s how you accomplish everything you want in your life. In fact, it’s the only way to accomplish the things that you want in your life. And the only way. In the end, the key to accomplishing all these things is that backbone of discipline, right? Being willing to stick with the process of change, even when things don’t seem to be working the way you want them to requires discipline.
You have to be disciplined enough to make a change and keep going. being disciplined means you don’t quit If you don’t ever, ever, ever give up, you keep going, no matter what this can relate to losing weight, being disciplined about food, about when you eat, when you don’t eat, how often you eat, how many times a day you’re eating, how much food you’re eating, and each of those meals, how many carbs you’re eating a day, how many grams of protein, whatever that looks like for you.
Be disciplined about how you do that. Maybe you want to get faster as a runner, you got to be disciplined about running faster, you got to do the speed work, you got to do the hard work of pushing yourself hard past the point of, of comfort way past the point of comfort. Sometimes if you want to get faster. If you want to get stronger, you want to build muscle, you got to lift heavier weights, you can’t just keep lifting the same amount of weight and expecting to get stronger, it’s just not going to happen. You’re not going to have an adaptive response. You’ve got to lift heavier weights.
Same thing with your work with starting a business being an entrepreneur as your career. You want to be disciplined about or you want to achieve big things in your business life, you got to be disciplined about how you approach the work. And same thing with relationships, and raising children. Be disciplined about improving how you interact with your children, how you inspire them, how you motivate them, how you keep them on track.
Be disciplined about how you approach your relationship with your partner, be disciplined about communicating about expressing your feelings about expressing your wants and needs. So all these things, all these different areas of your life can be improved by practicing discipline. Now discipline gets a bad rap sometimes. Because people see discipline as being negative like they see it as a punishment.
And that’s like a definition of discipline. The practice of training people to obey rules is a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience, like disciplining your child, right? This is clearly not the kind of discipline we’re talking about here. Okay. People think discipline means, you know, giving up all their freedom, you know, their free time, their sleep, not having any fun being miserable all the time, never being able to eat any good food.
Discipline is not negative. In fact, the opposite is true. Being disciplined means you gain massive amounts of freedom. When you’re disciplined with your time, and you use your time wisely, and strategically, then you have time for play and fun and Netflix. When you’re disciplined about what you eat, like 90-95% of the time, it means you can have the pizza or the cookie every now and then. And it’s no big deal. Because you know you’ve been disciplined the other 95% of the time.
Being disciplined means you have freedom to wear whatever you want at the beach this summer, because you’ve consistently done the hard work to improve your body composition. So you can take your shirt off or wear the two piece bikini or whatever it is for you. Right. Discipline is not a bad thing. It’s the means to achieving everything good that you want in your life.
Now, there are some negative consequences that go along with not being disciplined. Like if you lack discipline, you lack progress. You don’t make progress. If you lack discipline, you’re going to lack motivation. Because being disciplined actually creates motivation. You create progress, you get motivated, you lack progress, you lack motivation. If you lack discipline, you’re gonna lack consistency.
Discipline is how you stay consistent. Being disciplined is how you create massive consistency. If you lack discipline, you’re gonna lack mental toughness. You know, mental toughness is developed through this whole process of being disciplined. And if you lack discipline in one area of your life, chances are you’re going to lack discipline in most if not all areas of your life. Because how you do one thing is how you do everything, right?
And if you lack discipline, you will lack results, period. Now, the opposite is also true. There’s a beautiful positive ripple effect that happens when you practice discipline. When you practice discipline, you make progress. This increases your motivation, you become very consistent. You build mental toughness, you develop discipline in all areas of your life, you get the results that you’re looking for, or at least you get results and then you can kinda like tweak some things and then start to get better results you know, but the only way you make progress the only way you can achieve anything is by practicing discipline. Okay.
So just to recap, how do you do this? How do you practice being disciplined? Make a plan. So what are the steps required to get you from where you are to where you want to be. So if this is like losing weight, that’s your food plan. If this is improving your running performance, this is your running training schedule. So you make a plan, then you stick to the plan, no matter what.
You stick to the plan, even when you don’t feel like it. And then you look at your results. Am I moving closer to my goal or further away? Am I gaining weight? Am I losing weight? Are my runs improving? Am I getting faster, and then make changes if you need to tweak the plan, stick to that plan, analyze those results, rinse and repeat. Okay? I’ve chosen this word discipline as my one word mantra for the year. And I’m giving you permission to adopt it as your one word mantra for the year if you want as well.
Remember that whatever you want for yourself, whoever you want to become. Discipline is how you get there. That’s all I got for you today. Love you all. Keep on Running Lean, and I will talk to you soon.
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