Archive for the tag - release weight

Weight Loss Strategies that Work!

If you have a goal of losing weight, I’m a big fan of moving more and eating smarter. It’s healthy, sustainable and - best of all - it works.

But what else can help dieters achieve their weight loss goals? A new study set out to answer just that. Published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the study looked at a number of weight loss tools, tips and strategies by following 120 overweight women on a twelve month diet guided by registered nutritionists. The women were charged with losing 10% of their weight in six months - and then keeping it off for the next six months.

Based on the data, researchers found three key strategies that worked for the participants.

  1. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals - as I mentioned in a post last week - is bad for your health and you waistline. It deprives your body of nutrients, slows your metabolism and causes you to overeat and crave unhealthy food options. According to the researchers in this study, meal skippers lost 8 fewer pounds than non-skippers.
  2. Journaling. Many weight loss coaches recommend journaling - and for good reason. The study found that journalers lost 6 more pounds than non-journalers. Each day, journalers record the foods consumed and the amount of calories contained therein. Doing this helps dieters track calories and provides some level of accountability for the food eaten.
  3. Don’t go out for lunch. With many restaurants loading their dishes with fried foods, butter and salt, eating out can be a real challenge for health-conscious individuals. In fact, researchers found that individuals who ate at restaurants for lunch at least once per week lost 5 fewer pounds than those who didn’t. Those extra calories really add up!

Have you ever tried any of these weight loss strategies? Did they work for you? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Ways Dieters Sabotage Themselves.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Weight loss is challenging enough without getting in your own way. Learn to stop self-sabotage and take charge! Here are five common pitfalls and how to overcome them.

Self-Sabotage #1: You disregard the power of your thoughts and think weight loss happens only through physical effort.

We’re conditioned to believe that releasing weight is only about diet and exercise. Of course, that’s important. But the thoughts in your mind are just as important as the calories you consume.

Solution: Discover what limiting beliefs hold you back. If you’re not sure, listen to your self-talk and how you speak to and react to others. Become aware of fears or doubts that hinder your progress. Learn new strategies to empower yourself with encouraging words.

Self-Sabotage #2: Instead of focusing on your goal, you dwell on being overweight.

Until you shift negative attention away from your current weight, and focus on where you’re going, you’ll remain stuck. Criticizing yourself keeps you attached to what you don’t want. It’s like trying to drive forward in your car while still in “park.” You’re not going anywhere.

Solution: To keep the image of your goal in mind, regularly practice visualization. This helps you create the feeling of excited anticipation of having the body you desire. This new mental model of success gently guides you towards your goal.

Self-Sabotage #3. You punish  yourself for setbacks instead of moving on.

Every path to dieting success has its ups and downs. What you perceive as a setback stops your progress only when you think it does.

Solution: Be gentle with yourself. You will make huge strides when you simply say “I’ll make a different choice next time” and let it go. Practice self-forgiveness. When you release shame and guilt, minor slips become meaningless.

Self-Sabotage #4: You want to change your body, but don’t accept it as it is now.

It may seem strange to think of accepting a body you want to change. But, ironically, what we resist, persists. Remaining at war with your body keeps you stuck and keeps weight on. Being at peace isn’t about accepting excess weight, it’s about accepting yourself.

Solution: Give your body a daily gift. In doing so you’re honoring yourself, and your body. Your gift could be a ten-minute walk, a glass of water, or lotion on your hands. By consciously offering your body daily devotion you’re creating a pathway to self-acceptance and self-love.

Self-Sabotage #5:  You become discouraged when you don’t see immediate results.

Permanent weight loss takes time. Patience is necessary to emotionally grow into the new person you’re becoming. Allow inner transformation to happen along with the outer change of reducing pounds. One reason yo-yo dieting is so common is that weight is released but self-sabotaging thoughts are not.

Solution: Even when you don’t see visible results, have faith. You are making progress. Recognize that your tendency to find evidence of failure is your fear-based mind trying to discourage you. Hold faith in your heart. Just because you haven’t reached your goal yet doesn’t mean you won’t. You will.

How will you stop sabotaging yourself and move forward?

New Study: Weight Loss Pills Don’t Work.

According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, weight loss supplements make up a $2.4 billion industry in the United States - and yet not a single one of those supplements has been proven effective.

A lot of people are looking for a magic pill that results in fat loss and muscle gain. And when you read the labels of weight loss supplements, they all sound very promising. Many of them even cite so-called research and data to back up their claims. But when this data is scrutinized by third-party researchers like Melinda Manore, who led the aforementioned study, it all falls apart.

According to Manore:

For most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact… What people want is to lose weight and maintain or increase lean tissue mass. There is no evidence that any one supplement does this. And some have side effects ranging from the unpleasant, such as bloating and gas, to very serious issues such as strokes and heart problems.

In other words, there’s no weight loss shortcut and some of these supplements do much more harm than good. Losing weight requires a combination of proper nutrition, exercise and personal growth - none of which you’ll get from a diet pill. It takes time, energy and effort.

If you want to transform your body with lasting weight loss, I recommend The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. And if you’ve ever tried a diet pill, please share your thoughts in the comments below. Did it work? Would you recommend it to others?

Dear Davey: I Want to Feel Loved.

Dear Davey,

I’m trying to lose weight and get in shape. So far, I’ve lost a few pounds and some of my friends think that I look great. Even so, I still overhear strangers snickering at my weight and kids pointing me out to their parents. I try to laugh it off but it kills me inside.

When I look in the mirror, I see a fat guy with a big heart but an even bigger belly… and I know that no one will give me a chance. I just want to feel loved and wanted, but I don’t think anyone will give me the time of day.

I’m hoping you can give me some advice so that I can see what my friends see in me.



I’ve always said that what other people think of me is none of my business. Some of your friends might have wonderful things to say about you as a person or your weight loss journey - and then some people might not. If you measure yourself through the eyes of others, you’ll always be at the mercy of the world around you and subject to the ups and downs that come with it.

To really feel good about yourself, you have to seek validation from within. I know that it sounds sappy and unhelpful, but hear me out.

Just last night, I was watching a great TED talk by Brené Brown, Ph.D. A while back, Brown decided she was going to study the differences between people who felt a tremendous sense of self worth, love and belonging and those who struggled. She committed a year to the research. One year became six and a common thread emerged from all the interviews, focus groups and data points. Brown discovered that there is one - and only one - difference between those individuals who felt self worth and those who don’t.

People who have a strong sense of self worth, love and belonging believe that they are deserving of those things. That’s it. They weren’t smarter, taller, prettier or skinnier.

Sometimes we use exercise or dieting to try and treat the symptoms of deeper issues. If you want to feel better about yourself, changing the way you look on the outside will have a limited effect on how you feel in the inside.

Through her research, Brown suggests that we learn to look at our so-called imperfections or vulnerabilities as things that make us beautiful, real and human. Whether it’s the beer gut, grey hairs or anything else, all of these things are part of you. It’s not even that in spite of these vulnerabilities that you are worthy so much as it is because of these things.

You are worthy; it’s your birthright.

Ironically, when you make this shift to be kinder and gentler to yourself, a new relationship is born. And from the more loving relationship, it’s easier to make healthier and wiser decisions - whether it’s going to the gym or making better food choices. As you become motivated to strengthen and nourish your body with movement, good food and love, your transformation comes from a place of true power.

James, you are enough. Know this.


Davey Wavey Was Fat.

A lot of people are surprised the hear that I was once overweight.

I casually mentioned my own fitness transformation in a recent post, and a number of people expressed interest in knowing more - and learning how I released my excess weight.

So here it goes.

As I very young child, I was healthy and active. But somewhere around second grade, I started really adding on the pounds. As many of us know, pounds have a way of adding up - and I was significantly overweight within a year.

Children can be very mean, especially if you’re an overweight gay kid. But of all the torment, it’s my mom’s teasing that I remember the most. Whenever an obese person would appear in a movie, nearby on a street or on television, my mom would say, “Look! It’s David!” I still remember that, and often still hear those words when I see someone that is significantly overweight.

Such things have a way of eroding self esteem in a young person, and so I decided to change my body in a very unhealthy way. By sixth grade, I was quickly losing weight through anorexia. Looking at pictures of myself in middle school, it’s very clear that I had an eating disorder; my face was gaunt and pale and I looked quite sickly.

As a male, it’s easy (though perhaps less so today) to get away with an eating disorder; many people associate eating disorders with women. In a single year I grew 4 inches but lost 10 pounds, and so the doctor expressed concern. “Are you eating?” he asked. “Yes,” I said. And that was that.

It wasn’t until age 15 or 16 that I finally took a much healthier route. I started exercising and adding muscle mass to my frail and malnourished body. I began to eat again and repair my relationship with food. Step by small step, I became healthier.

When I talk about the challenges of being healthy, I don’t do so theoretically. I’ve been there. It’s the driving reason that I write this blog and develop fitness products to share with you; it gives me great purpose to help others find strength to transform their bodies and their lives. There’s nothing that brings me greater fulfillment than sharing what I know to help others better themselves.

And even today, I’m still learning new things. My body and its needs continue to evolve. My fitness journey and transformation isn’t over. It never is.

How to Make Your Kitchen Sacred.

In a few hours, I’m heading out on a week-long pilates adventure in the south of France. My summer reading is (finally getting through) Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss. It’s a spiritual approach to weight loss, and one that resonates with me as someone that was once overweight. If losing weight was just a matter of nutrition and exercise, all of us would be at our ideal weights. Weight loss, for most people, is a spiritual issue.

In the book, Williamson recommends creating an altar to love in your home. According to Williamson, we already have an elaborate altar for fear: Our kitchens. And it’s filled with cabinets, pots, counters, foods, pans and appliances. For many people, the kitchen is the headquarters for some of our deepest fears. By creating an altar for love, we invite transformative energy and true power into our lives.

Interestingly, I already have a love altar in my home. I sits on a small shelf and contains a few candles, some quote books, a small Buddha and a jar containing wishes, dreams and hopes that I’ve written onto paper. It’s a very real way to make love more present in my life.

Moreover, Williamson asks her readers to make their kitchens sacred by reciting the following prayer:

Dear God,
I dedicate this room to You.
May only love prevail here.
May fear have power no more,
in my heart, in my body, or in my house.

While some of Williamson’s language is a bit too religious for my own belief set, I understand the concept. If we view our kitchens as a sacred space that is used to nourish our bodies, we’re less likely to stock its shelves with foods that poison on our bodies - like sugary snacks, chips, soda, etc.

Smudging, which involves burning sage over a bowl, is a technique used by Native Americans to purify a space of negative spirits or energy. For the more adventurous and open-minded, Williamson believes it’s a worthwhile strategy to employ in your kitchen.

It reminds me of a story that I once heard called called Anna’s Box. It went something like this:

Many years ago a young child grew up watching her mother prepare their family meals. And towards the end of her food preparation she noticed that her mother Anna would always reach up over the stove and bring down this beautifully carved old box. Anna would open the box and take a pinch of the ingredients out and add this to the food. The young child asked her mother, “What is in the box?” Her mother would always reply, “An old family recipe - a family secret.” She watched her mother repeat this ritual many times over the years that followed. When the young child was grown with a daughter of her own, she was given the carved box upon her mother’s death. She, too, performed the daily ritual of Anna’s box, and told her young daughter that it’s a family secret. The young daughter was very curious about the contents of this magical box and could hardly wait to find out its mysterious secrets. The years passed and she forgot about the special box.

Then one day, many years later, her mother passed on - and she inherited the carved box. She was so excited to finally receive this box; she held it gently almost afraid to finally discover its hidden secrets. With held breath she opened it only to find it empty. This can not be she exclaimed. She lovingly closed the lid and smiled. She now realized that the box did contain a secret recipe. It was a recipe for the love a person has for her family - a reminder to cook with love. It was the action of looking into the box and remembering to add a pinch of love to every dish prepared that created the magic of Anna’s box.

Replacing fear with love, for many people, really has everything to do with releasing extra body weight. It’s very easy to talk about diets, nutrition and exercise - but sometimes we treat the symptoms without addressing the true problem.

Does Williamson’s advice resonate with you? Or is it too “out there” or extreme? Let me know in the comments below.

4 Ways to Get Motivated to Lose Weight!

Dear Davey,

I’m 14, and bassically obese. What can I do to inspire myself to lose weight?



Thank you for the email.

I, too, was overweight growing up - and so I understand what it takes to transform one’s body and one’s life.

First things first, it’s great that you recognize the importance of self-motivation. While many dieters look for external motivation, I firmly believe that the best kick-in-the-butt comes from within. So here are four ways to get yourself fired up!

1. The “So That” Strategy

Why do you want to lose weight? Get a piece of paper. At the top of the sheet, write the following:

I want to lose weight SO THAT…

Now fill the sheet will all of the many reasons why you want to lose weight. You might want to lose weight so that you’re able to live longer. Or so that you can go hiking or climb a mountain. You might want to lose weight so that you’re able to experience life with improved health. Spend several minutes thinking about all the “so thats” you might have - and record all of them on the piece of paper. The more, the better!

I recommend keeping the paper somewhere visible - like on the fridge or the pantry door.

2. Educate Yourself

A lack of education or understanding often prevents people from embarking on a weight loss journey. There can be an overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start. Moreover, much of the weight loss information seems to be contradictory.

Turns out, a very basic understanding of exercise and nutrition will help demystify weight loss. And in all actuality, the fundamentals are fairly simple - and supported through decades of research.

When it comes to releasing weight, ignorance is not bliss. My “Weight Loss 1o1” article is a great place to start.

3. Play The “If I Do” Game

Find another sheet of paper. Ask yourself the following the question:

What will happen in the next week, month, 6 months, year and 10 years IF I DO take action now to release my extra weight?

Starting with one week, fill the paper with your answers. Indeed, the short and longer-term transformations to both your body and life will be massive - and you could fill many pages with answers. For example, if you do take action to lose weight right now, you may be 10 pounds lighter in another month. You may have lost 5 inches off of your waist in six months. Or you may have overcome diabetes in another year. The list is endless - but make it your own.

Again, keep this list in a visible spot so that you are reminded of it often. This list will help drive you forward and get you back on track.

4. Talk To Your Future Self

In a way, talking to your future self is visualizing the reality you want to create. And while some people might be leery of talking to oneself, it can be a very powerful - and motivating - exercise.

Find a quiet space and give yourself five minutes of quiet time. Close your eyes and imagine your future self in a year or five years - or whatever time frame works best for you.

Ask your future self what he or she did to release the weight. Your future self might say that the transformation came from exercising and focusing on the things that s/he could eat rather than the foods to avoid. Maybe your future self will tell you that s/he fell of the bandwagon many times in trying to lose weight - but that each time it was very important to get back on.

Ask your future self how life is now different. Many of the answers from your “so that” and “if I do” sheets may come up. Through the answers that you receive, let your future self serve as a guide.

So, those are 4 very powerful ways to motivate yourself to lose weight. If you have any other tips or strategies, feel free to share in the comments below!

Why Fad Diets & Fast Weight Loss Don’t Work!

Fad diets - like the above cabbage soup diet - aren't just dangerous... they're ineffective.

We’ve all seen the advertisements telling us we can lose 10 pounds in ten days! Or a dress size overnight. In fact, according to WebMD, Americans spend $33 billion a year on on fad diets like these.

However, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, most physicians and dieticians will recommend a target weight loss of .5 to 1 or 2 lbs per week. Why?

Rapid weight loss (usually defined as anything greater than 2 lbs per week) isn’t just unhealthy - it’s not sustainable. Dieters who lose weight fast are more likely to gain it back.

When it comes to health, rapid weight loss has been linked to any number of ailments and conditions including hair loss, dry skin, loose skin, muscle loss, dizziness, fatigue, malnutrition and even heart attacks.

Beyond the health concerns, rapid weight loss isn’t sustainable. Often, extreme dieters experience quick and sudden weight loss through starvation or starvation-related fad diets. But starvation also slows down the body’s metabolism. Because of this slow down in metabolism, consumed food is stored as body fat. All the weight that was lost will be gained back - and then some.

Safe and healthy weight loss of .5 to 1 or 2 lbs is best achieved through a combination of exercise, nutrition and spirit. From a scientific perspective, effective exercise and proper nutrition will result in weight loss. But almost any dieter will tell you that weight loss is also a spiritual issue, and that a more fulfilling relationship with one’s body and self is fundamental.

The bottom line: While it may be tempting to opt for fad diets or rapid weight loss, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Target slow and sustainable weight loss for real, lasting results.

What Are Giant Sets?

Giant sets are a great way to save time, build muscle and burn fat.

Losing body fat - and keeping it off long term - is about more than just nutrition and aerobic exercise. As any trainer will tell you, strength training is absolutely crucial is sustained fat loss. Muscles are like fat-burning incinerators, and the more muscle you add - the more calories your body will burn each day. Adding muscle is one of the best ways to lose fat and keep it off.

Enter giant sets. Though their name sounds a bit intimidating, giant sets are great for people looking to burn extra body fat in a short amount of time. I’ve always said that going to the gym is about quality of the workout and not quantity of time spent exercising - and giant sets hold my philosophy to task.

A giant set really consists of four sets (usually of 10-ish reps) of four different exercises working the same muscle group. For example, a chest giant set might consists of 10 reps on a flat bench press, 10 reps of dumbbell pec flies, 10 reps on an decline bench press and 10 reps of incline dumbbell presses. You can tailor the giant set to whatever muscle group you’d like to work (i.e., back, legs, arms, etc.), and you can create any combination of four corresponding exercises.

When performing a giant set, quickly move from exercise to exercise. Your rest period should not exceed 10 seconds. It’s fast. And it’s not easy. It may take a bit of adjusting to figure out how much resistance you should be using in each exercise, as you will certainly be fatigued from the previous exercise. Nonetheless, you’ll really need to push yourself! When you finish a giant set of the four exercises, rest for 60 - 120 seconds.

Then, perform two more giant sets. When you are done, you will have performed three giant sets in total - which is really 12 sets of exercises. It’s a great, high-intensity workout packed into a short amount of time.

Beyond providing some amazing strength training benefits, giant sets get your heart pumping and your metabolism racing. Since there is very little time for rest, giant sets actually provide some decent cardiovascular benefits, too. All in all, giant sets are extremely effective at building muscle and burning fat; I’d encourage you to try ’em in your next workout routine.

The Secret to Losing Weight. [Video]

This exercise is a powerful and effective way to help you release weight. It’s simple, easy and doesn’t even require that you leave your computer check. Click below to watch the video.

A huge thank you to my friend and spiritual weight loss coach, Diane Petrella, for sharing this exercise with us.