Weighless or Precision Nutrition?

We’re often asked about how the Weighless program compares to Precision Nutrition’s program. Both are 12-month programs that promise to create sustainable behavior change. Both incorporate nutrition and fitness. Both cost about the same.

Let me start by saying, I have a ton of respect for what John Berardi has created there. From what I’ve seen, the concepts and philosophy of Precision Nutrition are 100% aligned with our approach–although the name might suggest otherwise.

The name “Precision Nutrition” implies that they focus on getting exactly the “right” number of grams or percentages of various nutrients. In reality, their approach focuses more on making small sustainable shifts in habits and setting up the systems that support your goals: very much like what we do in the Weighless Program as well.

(This is the opposite of what we’ve seen of the Noom program, by the way, which promises psychology and behavior change but delivers the same old, doomed, calorie-obsessed diet.)

How Weighless is different

So, for those who have already tried Precision Nutrition, or are trying to do decide between the two, here are the three things that set the Weighless program apart:

Your Curriculum. In the Weighless program, we don’t just have a method. We also have a process for teaching that method. Our 52-week curriculum guides you step-by-step through an incremental, cumulative process of behavior change. You’re not only learning how to weigh less without dieting, you’re learning a method that can be used to create any change you’d like to see in your life.

Your Coaches. Brock and I didn’t just create the Weighless curriculum. We’re there personally, throughout the program, to help you understand, implement, modify, and problem-solve, and to offer insight, feedback, and support. We do not outsource this support to free-lancers. And unlike Precision Nutrition, we do not run a training or certification program for other coaches. Your success is our primary bottom line.

Your Community. In Weighless, you’ll go through the entire program with a small group of people (we’re talking dozens, not thousands)–all of whom you will know by name, and all of whom will be working through the same material at the same time. The private member’s forum (not on Facebook) becomes an information hub, a co-working space, and a place to connect with us and your fellow members. It’s available to you 24/7 and with members located around the world, the lights are always on. This tight-knit community becomes an invaluable source of support, ideas, and camaraderie.

Other questions? Need more help deciding whether or not Weighless is a good fit? Feel free to email us.

Bait & Switch – My Noom Adventure

Photo of a woman eyeing a single leaf

When Monica and I saw that there was another program out there which promised to be a “weight-loss program designed by psychologists & scientifically proven to create real, sustainable results” we were pumped!

Sometimes when you are the lone voice in a space, you start to question your sanity. But Noom’s ads talked about all the stuff that is near and dear to our hearts here at Weighless. Phrases like “create new habits and healthy behaviours that stick” and “practice and master healthy lifestyle habits” were music to our ears. It was both validation that we were on to something, and reassurance that the world was truly fed up with diets and ready for something better.

Then one of our new members told us that she had actually quit Noom to come over to the Weighless program because they had put her on a 1200 calorie per day diet and she was tired of feeling hungry all the time.

Well, that doesn’t jive with their messaging, does it?

So, I decided to sign up for their service and see what was going on.

Now this wasn’t some undercover, stealthy, nefarious, creepy infiltration. I was completely honest with them, including my goals and my name. I told them I only wanted to lose 2kg and was simply focussed on being healthy and strong as I approached my 50th birthday.

They had access to my demographic info (height, current weight, BMI, age, gender and so on) so what happened was a complete surprise to me.

They immediately adjusted my goal weight to 72kg (instead of my actual goal of 75) and put me on a 1400 calorie per day diet. What?!

I am a 6 foot tall, quite muscular, very active, 48-year-old man. 1400 calories per day is about 1000 calories less than I have been eating for the last 25 years. And even when I was a 21-year-old professional ballet dancer, I never weighed in at 72kg (158 lbs).

But the good news was, the Noom app told me, that if I exercised more, my calories allowance for the day went up.

Well… that also doesn’t jive with their messaging, does it?

Here’s the thing. After working in this space for as long as Monica and I have, we have learned to recognize these behaviours as two of the cornerstones of disordered eating.

  • Starve yourself using an extremely low-calorie diet.
  • Reward yourself with more food by exercising (usually excessively).

And to top it off, I was meant to record all of my meals in their app, tracking every bite. Just like every diet and calorie counter I had ever encountered. A practice that has been shown in studies to decrease quickly over time.

Sure there were daily lessons that were surprisingly aligned with what we teach in the Weighless program – but by that point, the damage had been done.

Any possibility of “developing healthier habits that last” is lost when any of the weight loss I would experience (and I would definitely experience weight loss had I stuck to that absurdly low-calorie intake) is obviously coming from a diet that is exactly like all diets before it.

This is a true case of bait and switch.

They promise a lifestyle overhaul but that promise is purely window dressing on yet another diet that is doomed to fail in the long term.

Exercise is making me ravenous

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

One of our Weighless Community members recently emailed with a dilemma:

I recently started hiking 5-10 mi a day and I am now ravenous all the time.  I eat my usual sized meal and I’m still hungry…or I’m hungry again 30 minutes later. I have upped my calories a bit, but that didn’t seem help. I also tried eating more frequently. No luck there either.

Eventually, my body acclimates, but if I increase my speed or add more miles, it starts over again.  Is there a way to control this? I was hoping to lose 5-10 lbs, not gain it!

In fact, there are some strategies for dealing with this.  But first, I needed to know what KC’s motivation was for continuing to increase the intensity and duration of her hikes.  It’s usually one of three things. 

Exercising to lose weight

If you’re exercising more in order to burn more calories in order to lose weight, then you may be shooting yourself in the foot.  

Exercise can stimulate the release of hormones that increase appetite. This is your body’s well-meaning (but perhaps unhelpful) attempt to replace those lost calories.  And moderate intensity, long duration activities like hiking, cycling, and jogging are the ones most likely to have this effect.   (Consuming a lot of gels and goos during your workout can make it worse). 

Exercise has so many benefits–and we want you to enjoy them all!  But as a calorie burning strategy, it often backfires.  You log more minutes on the treadmill in order to burn more calories but then end up hungrier as a result.  And this is why, in the Weighless program, we don’t encourage exercising in order to burn calories or lose weight.  (More about that here.)

Exercising to get fit

If the goal is simply to get fitter (which we certainly DO encourage!), you might want to opt for shorter, higher intensity workouts or interval training. These (when combined with a generally active lifestyle) can get you fit a lot faster. And they are also less likely to stimulate the appetite to the same degree. 

Training for a challenge

Now, as it turns out, KC was not hiking in order to burn calories or simply to get fit.  She wanted to get to the top of a certain mountain.  Just for the satisfaction of meeting the challenge (and, of course, enjoying the view).  This is an awesome reason to train!  But in that case, part of the challenge will be figuring out how to manage the impact of endurance training your appetite without overeating. 

We tackled that question on this episode of the Nutrition Diva podcast.  But in the meantime, we’d like to hear from you!  What is YOUR motivation for the various types of exercise you do? Are you exercising to get fit? Training for a challenge?  Or in an attempt to manage your weight? 

8 Ways to Know Whether Weighless is Right for You

Maybe you’re still on the fence, wondering whether or not it’s right or you.

And we don’t blame you for for having doubts. It’s a big commitment we’re making to each other. How can you be sure it’ll pay off?

Here’s the truth: The Weighless Program isn’t right for everyone.

If you’ve attended one of our free workshops, watched the interviews with our past members, read through all the testimonials, and combed through the enrollment page, then by now you’ve probably got a pretty good idea what we do.

But if you’re STILL not feeling like you have the confidence to pull the trigger … we want to make this decision a bit easier for you.

We want to help you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether this program can help you finally leave behind the yo-yo dieting cycle and become someone who weighs less.

8 Ways to Know Whether Weighless is Right For You

1. Solving this problem is important to you. This needs to be something you really want for yourself and not because someone else, like your doctor, spouse, kids, or society, thinks you should care about.

2. You’re willing to try a different approach (after all, how is the old approach working for you?)

3. You want something that’s grounded in science and not hype, woo, or magical thinking.

4. You’re ready to take a closer look at the ingrained patterns keeping you stuck

5. You’re willing to take ownership of the process. Don’t worry: you won’t be alone, we are there to guide you. But this is ultimately your journey.

6. You’re willing to make your health a priority. Even if that means that others in your life might have to step up.

7. You can commit 30 minutes a week.  We know life can get crazy. But if you can set aside 30 minutes each week, you can reap the rewards.

8. You’re OK with losing weight more slowly in exchange for never having to lose it again.  We’ve been trained to expect fast weight loss.  But the truth is, slower weight loss is easier on you, your body, your metabolism, and far more sustainable. (Plus, you actually look better faster.)

If you feel you can say Yes to all (or even most) of these questions, we would love to have you join us.

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Three Ways Weighless Can Change Your Life

From the outside, the Weighless program probably looks like a weight loss program.

But it is so much more.

Every day we hear from our members that the skills and tools that they are learning aren’t just changing the number on the scale:

This work is changing the way they live and think, how they communicate with others, how they show up at work and with their families, how they understand their own motivations and behavior, even their goals for the future!

Here are a few of the ways that the Weighless program can change your life and not just the number on the scale.

#1. You will finally have your own back.

So often, when we struggle with our weight, it feels like we are literally at war with ourselves. We sabotage our progress. We make choices that know are moving us away from our goals. We are our own worst enemy. The worse we feel, the worse we treat ourselves.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a just few of the notes of that we’ve gotten from our members:

“I have never felt so confident in my ability to take care of my own self and my own needs. It’s actually impacting several areas of my life and I am so so grateful. I have lost weight, but more important is the perspective, skills and confidence I have gained. For the first time in my whole life I don’t feel like I’m my own worst enemy. I’m proud of myself”  Zahra H.

“When I started the program, I was praying that I could get control over my food thoughts and choices. I was always thinking about what I was going to eat next. I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I felt like I had no control. Fast forward to today where the grocery store holds no fear for me thanks to this program. It has totally changed the way I think (or don’t think) about food. I routinely walk past food that once had so much power over me. Today I had a realization about how far I have come. I feel normal and not alone and for this I am truly grateful.”  Terri J.

“Instead of making food choices in order to lose weight, I’m now making decisions that improve my health So my resulting weight loss feels like a welcome side effect to my food choices. It’s a pro-health and pro-me approach to food and life. This non-diet, this Weighless approach, has been free from the backlash, setbacks, binge eating and guilt that has plagued me with diets.”   Gila G.

“I have benefited enormously from your program and especially the discussions, support system, encouragements and ideas from the group.  I have lost almost 10% fairly easily and have become a much more mindful and self aware non dieter.  I have found strengths I did not know I had. I never could have gotten here on my own and I am very grateful for your program.”  Fran W.

#2. Holidays and vacations will no longer be a source of dread and anxiety.

“Can I lose enough weight before we leave?”
“How much weight will I gain before its over?”
“How can I stick to my diet with all this temptation?”
“How can I enjoy myself if I’m trying to stick to my diet?”
“This will probably erase all the progress I’ve made and put me back at square one”

These are the kinds of thoughts that vacations and holidays often dredge up. To the point where you don’t even look forward to them anymore.  Again, from our members:

“Yesterday when I got home from being gone for the holidays, I stepped on the scale. I’m the same as when I left 2 weeks ago! A surprise, considering the haphazard schedule and occasional treats. Then it hit me. I’ve shed the yo-yo dieter skin. Last year and every previous year since God created the earth I’ve started some crazy new diet come the New Year. Not this year. I’m happy. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m on the path that will take me there. Thanks, everyone! Happy New Year!”   Beth G.

“I made a goal that I would not gain weight in December. I just got off of scale and am down 2.4 pounds! I ate cookies, participated in family events and a holiday party at work, and bypassed countless doughnuts at work, ‘weighing less’ on the last day of the month. Yay me and this wonderful program!”   Louanne S.

“One of my favorite things about this program is that I do not dread special events.  I’m not waiting to start a diet until all the planets align and there are no special events on the horizon.  I have navigated weddings, vacations and holidays without obsessing over food choices.”    Ellen L.

“I leave to visit my family in Ireland tomorrow. In the past, I would set myself up to fail by resolving to lose 10 or 15 lbs – usually in the 8 weeks prior to a trip like this. The weight loss never happens but the stress and anxiety and feeling of failure leads to the “what the hell” and then you gain a few more pounds!! I am glad to say that thanks to the changes I’ve made in this program, I have not been stressed and I feel  confident that I can enjoy my holiday without feeling deprived.”   Jackie L.

#3.  You’ll have more energy to deal with the rest of your life (not less)

When we’re not happy with our weight, it’s tempting to put other goals on hold until we solve that problem.  Which never gets solved. And so, life stays on hold. In the Weighless program, it’s exactly the opposite. Instead of everything staying stuck, everything starts to move in the right direction.

“The thing that amazes me most is how enjoyable this new lifestyle is. I don’t feel deprived, or like I’m having less fun (which is what I expected). If anything I feel more energetic and joyful. I would never have believed it 6 months ago.”  Kate T.

“Life has been been chaotic the last few months, but I discovered the Weighless principles work no matter what is happening, especially as they become a way of life. I’ve learned so much from Monica, Brock and all of the wonderful members of this group!”  Kathy M.

“Over the last two years, I have gone through some crazy health and family issues, I’ve gone through the mid-fifties dramatic hormonal changes, I’ve traveled a great deal, I’ve been through physical injuries that have limited activity. In the past, I would have easily added 20-30 lbs. Not any more!  I have discovered life in a whole new way. I am eternally grateful to Monica, Brock and our wonderful community for this journey of discovery.”   Manju S.

“The me that is emerging is calmer and more confident. I feel peaceful and easy about my Weighless future.  Nothing needs to be a big deal anymore. It’s very freeing! I think the best part is that a lot of these little philosophies are creeping into other areas of my life as well.”  Lisa C.

Gosh, I didn’t mean for this post to go on for so long! There are so many other things we could tell you about what it’s like to weigh less.  But hopefully, we’ve at least managed to convey that the Weighless program is more than a weight loss program.

If you’re looking for a permanent and proven solution, a chance to put dieting behind you forever, and to experience a completely new relationship with yourself, we start on March 6th.

Menopause and the Middle-Age Spread

In the Weighless Program, we have members spanning a wide range of demographics. One well-represented group is perimenopausal and menopausal women. As a result, a common question that pops up is whether or not the “middle-age spread” is inevitable.

As we tell our members, just because something is common, doesn’t mean it is inevitable.

I recently interviewed Dr. Tamsin Lewis on the Get-Fit Guy podcast.  Dr. Tam is both an Ironman athlete and a Medical Doctor as well as a middle-aged woman herself. So she understands the body both medically and athletically.

When I asked Dr. Tam if this middle-age spread is indeed inevitable, she replied: “I don’t think anything in life is inevitable, is it? Apart from death and taxes. Menopausal weight gain is certainly common, but that doesn’t mean it is inevitable or even normal.”

“Theoretically, [during menopause], your body does become more prone to storing weight around the middle.” and that is why she advises the patients that she works with to make some changes to their diet, how they exercise, and perhaps even look into hormonal supplementation.

You can listen to the complete interview here.

In the Weighless Program, we question common assumptions and dissect “conventional wisdom.”  We also encourage our members to experiment with changes in exercise and diet to learn how our bodies respond rather than accept a one-size-fits-all solution–or throw our hands in the air in defeat.

Ageing happens, there is no doubt – but that doesn’t mean we have to go down without a fight!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Weighless Program

Q. I don’t live in the U.S. Will I be able to participate fully in the program? 

A. Geography is no barrier to taking part in Weighless!  We have people enrolled from Australia, Canada, the UK, Middle East, South America, and Europe, so you also will not be the only one! As long as you eat food, move your body, and have access to the internet, you have everything you need to participate. We will also be sure to schedule our live check-ins at a variety of times of day so that everyone will have a chance to take advantage of this.

Q. I will be traveling for a period of time during the program. Will this be a problem?

A. The Weighless approach goes wherever you go! The whole idea is to cultivate a healthy approach that works in the context of real life, which sometimes includes travel. If you have no access to the internet for an extended period of time, you may have a little catching up to do when you get back online. But any materials you miss will be waiting for you when you return. (If you give us some advance notice, we can also try to send some advance work along with you.)

Q. I’m a vegetarian. Will this work for me?

A. The Weighless approach accommodates any and all dietary preferences, restrictions, and requirements. There are no required or forbidden foods and no one-size-fits-all dogma. We believe there are many ways to put together a healthy diet. Our goal is to help you discover what works best for your body, metabolism, lifestyle, and preferences.

Q. My husband and I are trying to conceive. Will I have to drop out if I get pregnant?

A. We have gotten this question from so many people that I suspect we are going to have a Weighless baby boom! Although some adjustments will obviously need to be made if you get pregnant during the program, Weighless is an ideal approach for those wanting to maintain healthy habits and manage weight gain during pregnancy.

Q. I’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes? Can I do Weighless?

A. Our program draws on an evidence-based curriculum designed specifically for those at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. There is no better place for you to take steps to reduce your risk.

Q. I only have 10-15 pounds to lose. Is this a good fit for me? 

A. Absolutely! This program is not about losing a certain number of pounds. It’s about developing the mindset, habits, and lifestyle that allow you to maintain a healthy weight without dieting. Whether you have ten or a hundred pounds to lose, the process is the same. Those who have less to lose will simply be practicing their maintenance skills a bit sooner in the process. (Although even those with a substantial amount of weight to lose will have ample opportunity to practice the art of living at a lower weight.)

Q. I have a surgery scheduled during the program which will restrict my ability to exercise. Will that prevent me from participating? 

A. There is no prescribed exercise requirement or regimen. We do work on finding ways to make our lives more active, but based on what’s possible for you. Unfortunately, life occasionally serves up injuries, surgeries, and other inconveniences and we believe it’s important to have an approach that can accommodate all of that.

Q. Do I have to be on Facebook to participate? 

A. No.  In response to feedback from our members, we have move the member’s discussion forum off of Facebook and into the private membership site.  When you sign up, you’ll get access to our secure membership site where everything you’ll need to participate in the program is housed.  You’ll also receive regular emails from us.

Are you ready to stop dieting and start weighing less? Details for enrolling are here.

How does Weighless compare to Weight Watchers?

Someone in our Facebook Community recently asked about Weight Watchers.

“I would love to hear your thoughts about doing WW alongside Weighless, or does that miss the point entirely? What about portion control help?”

We have a lot of WW alumni in the Weighless program and some of them continue to count points for a while but most find that the approach that we practice eventually makes this unnecessary.

In the Weighless program, you learn how to eat the right foods, in the right amounts, and for the right reasons. It seems to me that Weight Watchers teaches you to eat the “right” foods, in the right amounts, but for all the wrong reasons: The best food choice is the one that’s lowest in points. And the right amount is determined not by your hunger or level of satisfaction, but by how many points you have left for the day.

As I said in a recent podcast, being aware of the calorie density of foods and what appropriate portions look like is certainly useful.  But if that were all it took, well, WW wouldn’t have so much repeat business!

Choosing the right foods in the right amounts and for the right reasons also requires cultivating awareness and motivation, building solid habits, and developing skills and strategies to manage social cues, environment and emotional triggers, self-talk, and so on.
 
Becoming someone who weighs less involves more than counting points. But the good news is, as you become someone who weighs less, that sort of rigid accounting also becomes less and less necessary.

 

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