Weight Loss Without Willpower with Katie Gill RD

Weight Loss Without Willpower with Katie Gill RD


All right. There we go. We
are live. So welcome everyone. Welcome to today’s interview. We’re going to be talking about
Weight Loss Without Willpower. I’m your host today, Grayson Carter,
founder of NutritionistNear.Me, where we help connect health- conscious
individuals with local practitioners. And I’m joined today by
Registered Dietitian Katie
Gill how are you doing today, Katie? I’m doing great.
How are you Grayson? I’m doing great. So I’m, I’m s I think
this is such a hot topic right now of, you know, with all the
information out there about, uh, losing weight, there’s a million
different strategies and, um, I think this is really interesting that
so many people are relying on willpower to try to lose weight.
Um, so I think this is going to be really
helpful for a lot of people today. Um, before we hop into that, would you
mind just giving us a little sense of, you know, who you are and what
you do, um, in your practice? Yeah, absolutely. So I’m Katie. I’m owner
of kg wellness, registered Dietitian. Um, I also teach fitness. I’m
a health coach. I, you know, I work with primarily
women in their twenties, thirties looking to really improve
their relationship with food, lose weight possibly, but also to just maintain a happy body
weight for themselves where they’re not kind of constantly going up and
down and fluctuating in weight. Um, so for a long term
weight management, um, and I also work with a lot of
plant based eaters, so vegans, vegetarians who are also just trying
to maybe lose weight but also improve energy levels. Awesome.
So what do you see is like, there’s more information than ever online
these days and there’s more programs than ever and it just seems like we’re
bombarded with information about how to lose weight.
Why do you think, or what are some of the challenges
that you see your clients, like when people are reaching out to you, what do you see some of the challenges
that people are having of why they haven’t been able to be successful so far?
Even though we’re, we have all this information
at our fingertips. Yeah, you’re right. So we do, we
have so much information nowadays. And I think like one of the biggest
things that I noticed right away is knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate
into practice. Uh, and there’s, you know, if you were like living
in a lab and I gave you a meal plan, I was making all of your food for
you and measuring all of it. Oh, I think you probably would have
an easy time sticking to it. But then you throw in,
you know, now that we’re getting into
summer and into a warmer seasons, you throw in while we’re
away for the weekend, we’re traveling or I went out to
happy hour with coworkers or um, you know, it’s graduation and we were
eating out a lot more than we usually do. So the biggest thing is not that people
don’t know that an apple is a better choice than a donut is. But there’s a lot of reasons why either
just being around other people who are eating a certain way can change
your behavior with eating. Um, what you have access kind of in the
moment can make a big difference. Um, and what’s like close by to you
will make a big difference, you know, if it’s within arms reach. So we can
talk kind of more about that. Um, but I think it’s that people think they
just need to know more and that will change their behavior. But really what I see is if that you’ve
got to focus on the behavior change first and your environment first. Um,
and not rely on education. You know, it’s funny,
like I’m a dietician, I’ve put like years and years
and years of practice into this, but if you put chocolate in front of me, it doesn’t matter how much knowledge I
have, I’m going to eat the chocolate. Like regardless,
I’m not going to beat the like, so focused on portion control with it.
So knowledge is really great, but it’s just, it’s a piece of the
puzzle. It’s not the whole thing. So that’s why I think, you know, so many
people think they just need to know more. Um, but really a lot of times is that you
just need to know how to act differently in the moment.
Does that make sense? I think so. Uh, I, I’m sure you can help
us clear it up a little bit to that. Yeah. Um, so, so you mentioned a number
of things there. So the environment, some of the habits that were like,
that we’ve developed how we were raised, um, just who were hanging out with.
So it sounds like, um, you know, there’s a lot of things that can either
either just derail us from what we want to do or just kind of lead us to maybe
doing it without thinking about it. I’m not even being conscious that we’re, that we’re making decisions that may
be not in our best interest or what we would choose if we were
consciously aware of them. Yeah, absolutely. And it’s,
you know, I always say, like when I first started
out as a dietician, I would like have these great sessions
with people and we would go over all this knowledge and I would say like, all right,
so these are your goals for next time, come in and do them.
Right. And then two weeks later people
would come back and I’d be like, so how did those go? And they’re like,
well, I didn’t do them and I’d be like, but why? You nodded, you smiled, you
said you got it. Like what happened? And they’re like, well, my
husband was a, that speaks. So I didn’t have time to make
what I normally make. And um, I got a flat tire on my way home and I
came home and there were cupcakes on the counter and I just ate them, you
know? So it’s a lot more complicated, but it’s still can be simple.
It’s not super complicated, um, than just knowledge there. Got It. So let’s talk about, uh, will,
like how will power plays into this? Yeah. I imagine that most people would want
to like have the discipline and the resilience to take a plan and
be able to take that knowledge, that information that you’re talking about
and put it into practice consistently without wavering. But that’s
not how things happen. Right? Like life gets in the way. Things
happen. Situations Change. Yes. So how does willpower clay into
trying to stick to a plan like that? Well, I think, um, you know, I’m pretty popular phrase that willpower
is like willpower is like a muscle. So it’s something that you
can build up over time. But the problem with
willpower is if it’s low, like you can’t go pick up more
of the store that day. Right. You also don’t tend to know how much
will power you’re going to have each day. It can be like a varying thing.
So it’s great if you’ve got it, but we don’t want that to be the reason
why you didn’t stick to your diet that day or why you didn’t hit the jammer.
Any of the reasons that you know, anything that you’re trying to change.
Um, so I always say,
you know, it’s not about setting up the willpower, it’s about setting up the environment
where the willpower sort of becomes optional for you. Like almost
a, you can tune into it or not. So sorry, can you repeat the
question? A specific question there? Yeah, I was just more curious like how
does, um, it was fairly broad. Like, how does willpower play
into, you know, people want, I think people truly want to make good
decisions and, and if they have a plan, like you said, you know, you sat together
in your sessions and they’ve nodded, they smile and they’re
like, Yep, I can do this. And then two weeks later they’re
like, I didn’t do it. Um, so how does willpower play into,
into that? Yeah, so I think the biggest thing with like
how it plays into it is people think like when I have enough willpower or enough
motivation, I’ll make those changes. Um, the reality of that is like, you
might have enough willpower tomorrow, but you also might not have that
willpower for like another year. So are you willing to wait until
you feel like you magically, like, have this more like greater amount of
willpower than you did yesterday? Um, so I would say like, let’s not
wait for the willpower. You know, I think it’s kind of this idea that
people want the motivation to drive the action, right? They want to have
enough motivation to eat healthy, but the reality is the
total reverse of that, that the action will drive the
motivation or the willpower. So if you start eating healthier today, you’re probably going to have more
motivation to keep up with it tomorrow. Does that make sense? So it’s kind of like flipping, putting
the, uh, we put the cart before the horse. Most of the time we think we’ll
wait until we have the willpower, but really we need to do the action
and that’s going to drive more of, of the willpower. Yes. Got It. So you mentioned a few minutes ago
about a decision fatigue and maybe like, could you,
would you mind elaborating on that? Yeah.
So willpower, there’s a few studies where they link
willpower to decision fatigue that aren’t necessarily about nutrition, but
I can kind of tie it in. So, um, the research really shows that
the more decisions you make, the less willpower you’re going
to have as the day goes on. Um, and that’s kind of just with anything. So if you think about it from
a food based perspective, um, most people from uh, you
know, breakfast, lunch, dinner standpoint tend to feel like
breakfast is fairly consistent, stable.
Um, if the meal we tend to be like the
most emotionally unattached to cause, I’d be like, are you usually running
out the door onto the other thing? But also a lot of times,
like from a diet based perspective, people don’t feel like they
like blew it at breakfast. They feel like pretty on track and
solid from that decision based fatigue. Like you haven’t made a ton of decisions
at breakfast time, hopefully, right? Like you’re waking up, you’re just
starting your day as the day goes on, you make a million decisions from what
you’re gonna wear to how you’re going to get to work, to what’s on the
agenda for the day. So lunch time, staying on track with your eating might
feel a little bit harder than breakfast did.
Um, then who knows what the rest of the
afternoon is going to bring you. Um, if you’re going to have
a hard commute home, if you’re trying to exercise what you’re
doing with your family after work. So most people tend to have,
like from a food based perspective, a harder time of day where to
stay on track what they’re eating. And that’s usually later in the day,
whether that’s mid afternoon or nighttime. And it’s because you’ve made so many
decisions. Does that make sense? Absolutely. I remember, um, I think where I’ve seen this show up,
uh, and he was probably one of the people
that brought it fairly mainstream was a Steve jobs wearing the same thing every
single day. I remember hearing that, you know,
if you look at his wardrobe, he literally wore the exactly
the same thing for decades. And I remember him saying,
it’s because like, I don’t want to waste that
decision making willpower. That decision may waste, uh,
decision making muscle on one. I’m going to where I want to
put it towards things that
are going to make a dent in the universe. And so I can totally see how that would
apply to even the small decisions about, you know, what we eat on a
regular basis throughout the day and you can totally apply that. And so he took the decision
making out of that. Right. And so from like a food based perspective,
if you know, like in most of us know like Oh yeah,
mid afternoons, my hard time or at
nighttime as my hard time. So if you know that’s like your
lowest willpower time of day, then I would say then don’t
make the decision at that time. Like make the decision in the morning
what the mid afternoon snack is going to be. So, and if you are someone who
likes choices, then it’s like, okay, um, I’m going to give myself an option
between this snack or this snack. And at three o’clock I can decide
if I want this one or this one more. But that’s so different than you like
waiting until three o’clock and opening cabinets in the fridge and being
like, hmm, what should I eat? And same thing at dinner time, right?
Like, or after dinner time. Like, you can’t control how many decisions
you have to make, you know, unlike same deal you can
with like clothes and stuff, but not the rest of the day. So I would say just don’t wait until that
low willpower time to try to make the best choice, set it up at your highest willpower time
when you haven’t made so many decisions of what you’re going to
eat later on in the day. So it sounds like,
uh, a lot of this is just having
the foresight to know, look, I’m not going to have the same amount
of willpower in the afternoon as I do in the morning, so how can I engineer my day or engineered
my life so that I don’t have to make those decisions when I’m at my
weakest are my lowest point. Absolutely. So, um, so if the decision fatigue is, you
know, or is a kind of a consequence of, of lower willpower or, or vice versa,
where the more decisions we make, the less willpower we have. If
we can’t rely on that, you know, what should we be relying on? Like,
how, knowing what we know about that, how can we use that to our advantage? Yeah, absolutely. I think it really
can be used to your advantage. Um, so one of the things like,
I think we’ve, I think I talked about that a little bit
on is setting up your environment for success. So, and that doesn’t
just have to be your home, but let’s just start with home
just to kind of start there. Um, I almost say it’s like if you set
up your environment where for you, you’re going to almost
eat healthier by accident. And so a great example of that is,
you know, if you can think to your
kitchen currently, um, when you walk into it, is there a
ton of food on the countertop? Um, are there things kind of all over the
place or is everything put away and in cabinets? Right? So it’s that same
idea. Like going back to that example, you come home,
you had a flat tire, you had a crappy day and there like a
fresh plate of cookies sitting on the counter. The chances of you
reaching for those are pretty high. But the way that you would set up
your environment differently is, I wouldn’t say you necessarily
have to get rid of the cookies, but put the cookies out of
sight. So putting them, um, and a cabinet up on like a higher shelf
where it’s not your first line of sight when you open the cabinet.
Um, and instead having like
a healthier alternative, right in your first line of sight, you’re
going to reach for that by accident. Um, another example is like in your
fridge. So I always say, you know, you think of like the traditional fridge
and like the produce stores are down at the bottom and that’s where
most of us keep our produce. Um, and then we’ve got whatever leftovers
from the night before or from the weekend or the alcohol kind of more when you
open the fridge and that first line of sight. So I would say like the way
to eat healthier by accident
to set your environment up for success would be to
totally flip flop that. You know, take the vegetables out
of the produce drawer. Even better if you can like
chop them up ahead of time, put them in like a seat for dish and
put those on the first shelf where your eyes tend to gravitate towards the fastest
and then put more of like the alcohol or the unhealthy things down at the bottom
of the produce store just by accident. You’ll reach those chapter bell peppers.
Um, because they’re the
first thing that you see, even if it’s just to snack on them
while you’re cooking dinner. You know, I do this and it’s so
amazing to me how much, like I eat more vegetables when I do
that versus when I have it kind of the other way around. Again, because
there’s no thinking required. And if you’re hungry, you’re going to
reach for the thing that’s the easiest, like grab and go. Absolutely. I noticed
this with myself, uh, over the summer when it’s hot here,
you know, I’ll work out in the afternoon and when
I get home I want something like cold and refreshing and a little bubbly. And I noticed when we didn’t have
like sparkling water in the house, I’d reach for beer because it was the
same sort of like sensation. Yeah. And then we’d get a sparkling water
like lacroix or Perrier or whatever, and it was easy to choose that
and completely forgo the beer. It’s just like I wanted
something cold and refreshing, but the choices that like when
it actually came down to it, the, if I hadn’t planned ahead
or if it wasn’t right there, I was going to make a choice
where I was like, you know, not, not the best decision I could’ve made.
So I can totally see how that, how that makes a huge impact
on what we decide to, to eat. And going back to like what
we said at the beginning, it’s not that you don’t know that a beer
isn’t like I’m healthy as a choice as the seltzer would be. But again, it’s
just that like in the moment, grab and go, you’ve got a million other things on
your mind and you just reached for what’s there. So yeah, just like
setting it up differently, it
can make pretty big impact. Got It. So it sounds like there is a lot of like
environmental stuff more so than the decision that we’re making. It’s like if we can set up
what’s around us differently, we don’t have to rely on our own,
like internal motivation to, to make that happen.
[inaudible] got it. So, um, I think this is just a fascinating topic
and there’s so many different ways we can go with this. Um, anything
else you want to add, uh, that you feel like is important for people
to, I guess, recognize, um, when they’re, if they feel like they’re struggling with
their own willpower, uh, to lose weight, you know,
what would you tell them? I would say, you know, really focus on,
um, changing your environment. Sorry, cancel that really quick. I’m sorry about that.
Uh, so changing your environment
is the number one. There’s a great book called slim by
design by Brian Wansink and you can check that out.
He’s also got like a free pdf, which kind of is a checklist of your
kitchen and how to like set it up for success. And so that’s like a really
fun resource to just check out. Um, but the two things I would say is one, set up your environment and to just
try to automate a few more things. So it’s still along the line of decision
fatigue. But I would say, you know, like picking out what’s
your hardest time of day, where are you most likely to
veer off track from healthy
eating? Is it breakfast? Probably not. Is at lunch, maybe
is it later in the day? Um, and then narrow down your choices. So give yourself no more
than three choices of what
that snack or meal is going to be ahead of time.
Um, had something else I wanted to
say about that and I lost it. No, I, I appreciate that. If you, if you
think of it, we can circle back to it. Um, as you’re thinking it, it brought some
mind. Um, I believe it was the book. Um, and it was maybe the slight edge.
Uh, don’t, don’t quote me on that, but I remember them talking
about the little decisions, how they add up to big decisions over
time. And they kind of told the story of, uh, one gentleman that would kind of like
me would come home and have a beer every day versus the gentleman that would come
home and have, you know, water every day. And it didn’t look like that big a deal. It was only like a hundred
calorie difference every day. But over the course of the year, one guy had gained 20 pounds and one guy
had lost five pounds, for example. Yeah. So that one beer isn’t
a big deal on its own, but compounded day after day after day,
right. Those little decisions
can add up to a huge work. Um, thank you. Thank you. I’m on
let, sorry. That’s okay. I’m sorry. I’m just okay. Um, can you, can you
repeat that last bit? Yeah, yeah. That’s all right. No, you know what
I think I know you’re talking about. So what’s so interesting about that is
on most Americans gain two to six pounds per year. And so, you know, it’s interesting cause I think if you go
to your physical and it’s up to pounds from last year,
that doesn’t feel like a huge deal. But if you fast forward 10 years down
the road, that’s 20 pounds. And you know, it could be up to 60 pounds.
So that on tuna, six pound gain is from about overeating, like one to 200 calories per
day, um, that you didn’t need. So it’s,
you know, and I think people think that they have
to be really overconsuming see these big changes, but like you said, like
hundred calories here or there, it might not show up
that week or that month, but down the road it really does
impact your overall health and fitness. Um, so yeah, absolutely. So I guess to, to, to not
scare people, the, uh, on the, if a hundred or 200 calories can make
such a dramatic difference and have his gain that weight, that can be kind
of scary. But if we look on the, and on the flip side of it is like,
Oh, if we can just make better decisions on
a 100 calories or 200 calories a day, um, with like having that afternoon snack
planned out, having the things put away, not on the counter, staring us in the face and we get home
if we can just make no slightly decisions over time, that’s gonna add up to quite a bit of
weight loss if I’m understanding you correctly. Yeah. Like you could be setting yourself up to
lose two to six pounds or more per year by making those decisions and you might
be cutting out more than one or 200 calories,
um, by just not having cookies on the counter
or beer on that like line of sight. And it’s kind of, I remember what
I was going to say before. Um, it’s sort of like, also this isn’t
a great health example, but it’s, it’s like thinking about do you want
chocolate ice cream versus vanilla ice cream? Like that’s pretty like people are
usually pretty happy with whatever choice they mean between those two. Like they
usually know which one they want more. Versus like going into an ice cream
shop and having like a hundred different flavors to pick from. You know, there’s
like this anxiety of like, oh my God, there’s so many.
Did I pick the right one? I don’t know if I want
that one or this one. Um, so that’s why I say like come up with
like two to three snacks ahead of time because it’s a lot easier to stay on, on track with that when you have one to
three choices versus when you have just like a whole plethora of things.
Hmm. There is, I feel like I’m, I’ve
brought up a number of books, but a paradox of choice was another
great one that, that talked, it was all about that of how when we’re, when we’re given lots of options,
which we think like, oh, that’s great. We have so many options.
We’ll find something we liked. We just end up getting overwhelmed and
actually making no decisions or being not, not satisfied with anything.
Cause we’re like, oh well there’s so many other
things we could’ve tried. Did I make the right decision.
So that’s really interesting. Um, so just want to pause for a
second on the, on the, uh, weight loss without willpower. Uh, you
mentioned that you’re mainly plant based, uh, when we were doing the
intro. Um, can you say it, like how does that play into like
how you’re working with clients, um, and does that have any sort of effect on, on willpower or like how do you
incorporate that into, you know, the work that you’re
doing with your clients? So I mean, regardless of if you’re playing
bass or not, I think it’s the same. Um, I think like, you know, from a, from a plant based perspective, I want to answer this, it’s, it’s like, like something could be harder in terms of like protein,
like for someone who’s plant base, like they might have to seek out a
plant based protein a little bit, like more strategically
than animal based proteins, which tend to be like at
all restaurants or, um, at homes,
you know. So I think it’s still the same idea that
you would say like we’ll pick one or two ahead of time that you
want for the week ahead, either have them ready in your fridge.
Um, because I think where people are plant
based and it can be like harder to stick to that long as if they feel like
they never have enough choice, um, like readily at hand for them with that.
So I think if you can, I’m not sure if I’m
answering the question. No, I made it pretty a convoluted. I guess where I’m going with this is I
think there’s a lot of people that are trying to make that transition
to case, whether it’s for, um, whether it’s for health reasons or
for environmental reasons or, uh, they watched the latest documentary
and they’re like, you know what, I’m not okay with what’s
happening to how we, um, you know, the state of our agriculture,
our livestock, you know, how we treat animals and
I want to go plant based. And I think there’s a lot of people
that are good intentioned in doing that, but as soon as they like
try it for a couple of days, they are like, it’s just such
a different experience, um, trying to, to get on a, on a track
that they can follow longterm. I think there’s a lot of people
struggling with that. Um, so just curious how that plays
into, into what you do. Okay. Totally. And that’s the idea of like
first I would say like, you know, if you want to make that
change, that’s awesome, but, but be realistic and baby step into it. Like you don’t have to go a hundred
percent overnight, you know, you can kind of work your way
into more plant based. Me also, I’m a big fan of like crowd out your
plate with more plant based stuff and you’ll naturally start eating
less animal stuff. Um, but again, that could be that idea that like, if you really want to try to eat
a plant based dinner tonight, don’t wait until you walk in the door
at seven o’clock and you’re hungry and you’re tired and you’re exhausted to say
like, well, how do I do plan base now? If you can get some Tofu or get some
Veggie burgers or it gets some temp or whatever,
cook it ahead of time. Or you know,
the Veggie Burgers, you pop in the microwave or pop
into the stove really quick, um, you’re going to want to have two or
three different types of plant based proteins on hand to help you eat that way.
Um, and if you focus on like doing that
with one meal a day for like a couple of weeks, you know, then you might be able
to step more and more into it or like, you know, and they’re really
popular thing. Even for
me, eaters is like, uh, um, meatless Monday, you know, so you just
try to make Monday plant based. Um, and again, if you have that
kind of set than, you know, like that when you go grocery shopping
that you’re going to want to plan to have vegetarian options readily
available for Monday night dinner. Does that make, that makes
a whole lot of sense. Um, the like I recognize that in my, in
my own life, I’m fortunate that my, my wife is a great cook and
he cooks dinner for us every
night and always cooks, uh, basically two meals for us. So we
can have lunch as leftovers the next day. Yep. And when, but if
we have like an event, like were out night and we don’t
have leftovers the next day. To me, making those good decisions is much
harder. Like, it’s not just in the fridge, you know, I get it from working and
I’m like, I need to go grab lunch. Where am I gonna go? What am I going to
do? It becomes much harder. So I can, I’m totally on board with what you’re
saying about having that planned out ahead of time and just having those
good decisions waiting for you, that it’s gonna make life so much easier
and not rely on that willpower of like, oh, I have to be good. I have to
make the good decisions. You know, right now in a moment like another, it’s like, um, another option there can be
like trying some of those, um, like meal delivery kits that also
offer more plant based options. So it might like if you’ve never really
been plant based that can be kind of overwhelming. Like, well I don’t
even know what that looks like. So maybe take that pressure off of
yourself and look for some of those kids. And what’s nice about that too, like if you guys are gone all weekend
and you know that that kid’s coming on Monday, you already have like everything you need
without even having to go to the store. So, so there’s lots of options out
there, but those are two that you know, could be good to start with. That’s awesome. Well, Katie, I really
appreciate you being on here today. Um, I know there’s, there’s so many
people out there that need your help. So if somebody wanted to find out more
about what you do or was curious about working with you, um, you know, what type of people are you able to help
the most and how should they reach out to get in contact with you? Yeah,
so I mean, anyone looking to go plant based or
someone who’s already plant based but struggling, that’s definitely an
area of expertise of mine. Um, and the weight management, it doesn’t
have to be that you’re really super, I’m unhappy with weight, but if you
like kind of like we were talking about, if you’ve noticed just over the years, the way it’s kind of like been creeping
up gradually and you want to kind of nip that in the bud and change that so it’s
not on this trajectory upward for the next 10 years. Um, and definitely
someone to reach out to. And if you struggle with willpower,
you know, we can talk about more how to
automate even more decisions. Um, I,
so you can, I offer a free 45 minute clarity call
for anyone who thinks they might be interested or wants to hear a little
bit more about my program. Um, you can reach out to me and sign up
for a clarity call on my website, so it’s just, um, Katie Gill, wellness.com for a forward slash apply. So just my name Katie Gill, G I l l than the word wellness.com/apply
and then there’s like a short little survey for you to fill out,
to sign up for a call and you know, there’s an offer to all times
of day and on Saturdays as well. Awesome. Okt I really
appreciate being on here today. I think this is something that is
only going to be more and more poor, pertinent as, as um, you
know, time goes on. So, uh, I appreciate you sharing
some of this wisdom with us. Thanks grace.
It was really great to talk to you. Awesome. All right, well that is
it for today. We’ll go and wrap up, reach out to Katie if you’d
like some helpful. We’ll put
all the notes in the, uh, or put all the links in the show notes.
Um, so you can get ahold of
her if you’d like help, uh, losing weight without willpower going
plant based or any of that other good stuff that she can help you with. So
that’s all for now. Thanks again, Katie, for being here. Thanks, Jason. Yeah.

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