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It’s a little known fact…..
Dog Food Can Help You Lose Fat

I was reading a book earlier this year called “Mass Made Simple”, by my own real life super hero – Dan John (click here for a link to his blog). He got an idea from a guy who got an idea from Tony Robbins who said he got this idea from another guy about a sure fire way to lose weight. Here is how it works:

1) Invite 10 good friends around to your house
2) Have a can of PAL** dog food sitting in the middle of the dining table
3) Commit to all these friends that you will lose (choose your own number) kgs of weight by (choose your own date too)
4) If you don’t hit your goal, you will invite them all around to watch you eat that very same can of PAL dog food the very next day

(**Dan John actually referred to the US equivalent brand – Alpo. And as an aside, anyone who has any interest at all in fitness and conditioning should read “Never Let Go”. It’s brilliant.)

The idea behind this is that people actually are more pain averse than pleasure seeking. This means that we will take far more drastic steps to avoid pain than we will to seek pleasure.

I whole heartedly agree with this. If you have any doubts, let me give you this simple example. We treat a lot of people both pre and post hip and knee replacements. In almost all cases, the orthopaedic surgeons put these patients on a pre-surgery fitness program to strengthen the muscles around the joint prior to surgery. The threat is a simple one, namely that the rehab following the joint replacement surgery will be far more “difficult” (which really means “long and painful”) if the patient doesn’t do it. I can tell you from many years in practice that the surgeons are spot on. And I can confirm that pretty much everyone who is told to do a pre surgery program does it. They don’t do it because they think that the rehab will be a more fun and pleasant experience – no they do it because they are scared of a long and painful post surgery rehab experience. As well they should be.

Here is the thing. We all know that in the majority of cases, these joint replacements could have been avoided. In a few cases like mine for example, by not doing stupid stuff that results in injuries requiring knee surgery in the first place. But in the absolutely, overwhelming majority of cases, simply leading a more active life and keeping the excess kilos off. We all know that we feel good with a more active lifestyle and keeping the extra kilos off the middle BUT so few people actually do it.

THAT is the difference between pleasure seeking and pain avoidance. In pleasure seeking, you do it because you “should” with the side effect that you will likely enjoy the benefits. Pain avoidance on the other hand, well its self explanatory – you just want to avoid the pain associated with NOT doing it. So get that can of dog food out, invite your friends around. Use pain to your advantage. You will be better for it.

Let’s just side track for a moment to examine that term – “weight loss”. Rarely will you hear me refer to it. Instead I use the term “fat loss”. This is no accident. The problem with weight loss alone is that there is no distinction with HOW the weight is lost. You see there is a HUGE difference between losing fat kilos and losing muscle mass. You see its the extra muscle tone and mass that has us simply living longer and better. I would also add that mobility is just as important because without this, you can’t do the exercises necessary to prevent the loss of muscle mass as we age.

So at first I thought that the dog food diet was a good idea but then I decided its a bit soft. So I thought I would add a few more rules:

4) You also have to GAIN muscle mass. This ensures that all the weight loss is in fat kilos only.
5) Even if you hit your target. You must agree to check in again in 6 months and if you back slide – you have to eat 2 cans of PAL. That’s right – the original can AND another an extra one!

Whilst not a rule, I would also keep that can of PAL in plain sight at all times so you can see it when you decide to “reward” yourself with that cookie. In fact, given that most people do indeed back slide soon after losing weight, buy 2 cans, leave one in plain sight at home and the other at work. That pain avoidance at its best.

Until next time!