How to overcome inconsistency, end failure and frustration, and make your healthy habits stick for life — with Kevin Geary

Do you have a hard time making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes stick? If so, this is one conversation you will not want to miss. Kevin Geary and I dissect what underlies things like cravings, bad habits and the inability to stick with a health plan. This was one of my favorite conversations, as we burrow down into deeply seated imbalances we all struggle with, the societal problems from which they emanate, and how to identify and take steps toward addressing them.

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Topics:
Kevin Geary Bio and Background … 1:14
Addiction vs. Dependence vs. Moderation … 9:50
Cravings … 24:40
Common Areas of Imbalances or Neglect … 28:10
Perfectionism … 32:39
Relationships … 42:40
Trauma and self-medication … 49:24
Resources … 1:01:07
Episode Wrap-up … 1:06:59
Download Episode (Right click on link and ‘Save As’)


Links:

  1. When the Body Says No by Gabor Maté
  2. Decode Your Cravings
  3. Rebooted Body Website
  4. Rebooted Body Podcast
  5. Rebooted Body Plan

How to overcome inconsistency, end failure and frustration, and make your healthy habits stick for life — with Kevin Geary

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hey, everyone. Welcome to Dr. Ruscio Radio. This is Dr. Ruscio. I’m here with Kevin Geary. And I’m really excited to pick this gentleman’s brain about how to make your attempts at healthier diet, healthier living, any kind of healthy change, how to make those changes stick, and how to get past whatever it is that’s preventing you from making the healthy changes that you’re trying to make into something that would become habitual.

So Kevin, welcome to the show.

Kevin Geary: Thank you so much for having me. I’m glad to be here.

DrMR: Absolutely. My pleasure.

Kevin Geary Bio and Background

Tell us a little bit about how you got into what you’re doing. I know offline we were talking about how one of the things that you’ve observed is people know what to do, but they have a hard time maybe making it part of their habitual day-to-day.

So I’m assuming there’s a thread of that that got you to where you are. But tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to what you’re currently doing.

KG: Yeah, of course. In 2009, I was about 60 pounds overweight, so I was about 220 pounds. And I was frustrated. I was stuck. I was in the yo-yo dieting model. And I went to get a physical at the urging of my wife at the time. And they basically said, “Look, you have high blood pressure. You’re a borderline diabetic. You may want to start making some changes.”

And of course, their advice was, “Eat less. Move more. The typical stuff that you get.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: So let me back up a little bit. Up to that point, it’s not like I wasn’t trying. I say that I dieted up to 220 pounds. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to be in better shape. I was a martial arts instructor. Now, as an instructor, you’re not working out as much. You’re leading classes, but you’re not doing the intense workouts that I had done growing up.

So I was being active. But the exercise that I was doing was very sporadic. I would get super motivated. I would do a lot of hard workouts for weeks or even a few months. And then, of course, I would lose motivation. And I’m sure a lot of people can definitely resonate with that. And that would just repeat as a cycle over and over and over again.

And then during those times, I would also drastically cut my calories. And of course, that didn’t work out. I would be successful because I could will my way through that, again, for a few weeks or a few months. And then it would all come crashing down. I would end up binging.

So I would lose 10 pounds, 15 pounds. I would gain back 20 or 25. And you repeat that cycle enough and you end up 60 pounds overweight. And you have no idea what you should be doing next. And the doctor doesn’t know either. They know you should do something. But they don’t really have any great advice for you.

DrMR: Right.

KG: So I got online. I was like, “Look. I’m going to start looking for somebody that’s saying something completely different than I’ve ever heard before. If I hear anything about calories, if I hear anything about the same types of exercise, I’m going to skip that. I’m going to keep searching for somebody saying something different.”

And thankfully, I came across the Real Food Movement, people saying, “Look. Why don’t you try putting stuff in your body that was previously alive basically, actual food, and not worry so much about calories? Just start worrying more about actual nutrition.” And that made a lot of sense to me.

And then of course, there is a lot of functional movement talk in that same space. So instead of running yourself ragged with cardio exercise, why don’t you try more functional forms of exercise? So I started employing that.

And I got great results. My body changed pretty rapidly. I got down to about 185-ish pounds. I was a lot healthier. I was more fit. And then, it all came crashing down again. And I was like, “Look, I’ve got to be the only person on planet Earth who now has all the right information — I’m very confident that the information that I’m following is correct. I see that before, the information was a big part of the problem. But now, I feel like this is the right information. So what is the problem? Why can I still not be successful?”

And that’s when I started to realize that the mindset — the psychology behind behavior change, making habits stick, why I’m making the choices that I make on a day-to-day basis — that is really the important part, at least for me.

So I started focusing on that. I started shoring up some things, figuring out some things, putting new stuff into practice. And lo and behold, I get down to about 165 pounds. I maintain that progress for a long time.

As I said, I’m teaching martial arts. So the parents who were bringing their students in are seeing all of this happen. They start asking me for advice. I say, “Okay, look. I’ll lead you guys through a little program. I’ll put a little program together based on what I did. I’ll lead you guys through it. We’ll see what happens.”

Well, lo and behold, I get 16 couples. And we put them through this program that I come up with — again, all the right information. And they run into the same problems that I run into. Not all of them. But about 80% of them run into the same exact sticking points. So they make great progress. They are on track. And then everything falls apart for them.

And again, I’m interviewing these people as we go. And I’m like, “Well, what’s going on?” And they start telling me all of these things — how they have these great intentions. And they’re confident that what I’m telling them is the correct information about what to eat and how to move.

But then they tell me, “I just can’t do it consistently. It’s like I’m not even the one making the choices. I know what the choice is supposed to be. But for some reason, I choose a different choice.”

So that resonated so much with me. And I finished the program. We worked through it. And that’s when I realized I’m not the only one. And if we’re going to address this problem, we have to focus on the mindset and psychology piece.

We have to figure out why so many people have a relationship with food that leads them down this path to where they can’t consistently feed their body real food and consistently engage in functional fitness day after day, week after week, year after year long-term.

I realize that everybody can do this short-term. I am only interested in long-term results. So that’s where I’ve chosen to focus everything. And that’s pretty much the mission of Rebooted Body at this point.

DrMR: One of the things that I have noticed regarding cravings — and I’d be really curious to get your perspective on this — is the craving isn’t an issue until you hit maybe what I would term your low point. And I’ll use an example with myself to help illustrate this.

Coming off of finishing the book, I had been using too much caffeine. And I’m trying to wean myself off that process. And in the moment when I’m thinking about it earlier in the day, when I’m feeling good, I say to myself, “Okay, later on in the day when I typically have caffeine, today I’m not going to have caffeine,” which is all fine and good until, three hours, later I get to that point where I typically have it.

And then all of a sudden, the internal dialogue shifts. And I’m saying to myself, “Well, gosh, maybe I can have a little bit of caffeine.” And you go through this whole self-justification thing.

KG: Yeah.

DrMR: And then eventually you end up having caffeine.

Now, certainly there are some things that I think can be simple to help with that. For example, I had some caffeine today before our call. And I reflected back on why that was. And I went from too much book work and then transitioning right to our call.

I didn’t give myself a break. I should have given myself an extra 15 minutes to get up, get outside, go for a walk. And I know that would have remedied it.

But I’m piecing these things together. So I’m trying to kind of reflect on my mistakes and figure out how I can design my life out of this dependency upon caffeine. So I think self-reflection can be helpful.

But I’d be curious to get more detail along those lines of if you think that’s accurate or if you would modify that at all. So I guess, a two-part question here I’m building toward. One is, what kind of lifestyle changes do you find helpful to help people design their way out of some of these cravings?

And the other thing I’d be curious to hear your take on is pressure. One of the things I find in the clinic is that when a patient thinks that they must adhere to a diet 100%, they often fail. There’s such a small margin for error that if people think it’s 100% or failure, they’re very easily going to just revert to failure and give up.

But typically, I have the conversation of, “Don’t put all that pressure on yourself. Do your best. Try to be compliant with whatever dietary change we’re making 80% of the time. And if you can hit around 80% of the time, I look at this as a success. There’s no need to put this pressure on yourself. There’s no need to look at it like black and white or succeed or fail.” And that little bit of taking the pressure off themselves seems to be very helpful.

So what would your comments be regarding maybe reflecting and designing your life to get yourself out of craving, so to speak? And then the piece of pressure — I’m curious to hear how those factor into your experience with focusing on the area of cravings and habit change.

Addiction vs. Dependence vs. Moderation

KG: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so hang onto those two questions. They’re great questions. Hang onto them. But something else you said about caffeine specifically, I really wanted to touch on because I think this is a huge point of contention where people start to get confused.

So we have an addiction issue, and we have a dependence issue. And I’m glad you brought up caffeine because that’s looked at a lot differently than something like sugar, for example. But both of these fit the exact same model. So in terms of caffeine, for the most part, what I have found is that people when they have a relationship with caffeine will call it a dependence on caffeine. That is a physiological dependence that your body has.

So when you take away the caffeine, what do you experience? You experience physiological withdrawal symptoms.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: And these are limited to a very small scope, a very small range of time. Let’s call it 2 weeks to 30 days. So if you get through the 2 weeks to 30-day period where those cravings are super intense for the caffeine — you’re going through the withdrawal symptoms, you feel like crap, all this stuff is going on in your life.

You get through all that. You get through the major hurdles there. Then you don’t have to use caffeine ever again. And the cravings kind of go away. They dissipate slowly over time. It doesn’t continue calling to you. You’re fine. You escaped it. That’s a dependence.

And the same thing can happen with sugar. If you feed your body loads of sugar day after day, week after week, month after month, you’re going to get a physiological depending on sugar to where you remove the sugar, you feel like total crap. Your cravings spike. They go crazy. Your body is screaming for sugar.

Same thing with caffeine — you make it through the 2-week/30-day period. And you’re fine after that. And the sugar doesn’t call to you anymore. So in this situation, you’re dealing with a physiological dependence.

An addiction is different from dependence. So people with an addiction to sugar or an addiction to certain types of food or, we’ll just call it, this relationship with food, they get through the dependence period. The physiological symptoms go away. Guess what? They are still being called psychologically to eat sugar, to eat food in a way that’s extremely unhealthy, a disordered relationship with food.

So what we have to do first is figure out, am I just dealing with a physiological dependence to these things? Or is there something much more involved here? Is my relationship with sugar, is my relationship with food disordered in a way that even if I get through the physiological dependence, my psychology is still craving this thing, still calling for this thing?

And that’s the biggest thing to figure out up front because if it’s just the dependence, that’s easy. We can get through that no problem. You can will your way through that. Willpower is perfect for 2 weeks or 30 days.

Where willpower is not perfect is in the long-term. Willpower totally fails long term. In fact, willpower long-term actually becomes what I call a manipulator — a manipulator of your behavior. And it will trigger your inner rebel. And your inner rebel will stand up and say, “Enough is enough. I’ve had it with the rules. I’ve had it with the restriction.” And it will lead to binging.

So if we have a poor relationship with these substances, then we cannot use willpower. We cannot will our way through. So I wanted to make that distinction right there so everybody is very clear on that because I hear the words addiction and dependence used interchangeably as if they’re the same thing. And they’re not the same thing. So just to get that out of the way.

Now, I think your question was, number one, about healthy lifestyle habits and, number two, about kind of perfection, trying to go 100% on these things.

DrMR: Yeah, and I think to your point of not using willpower because of the inner rebel, that’s why I don’t really like the approach of giving people these, “You can’t have any alcohol for the next 6 months” things or giving people these hard mandates.

KG: Yeah.

DrMR: Exactly what you said is what I find. Eventually, they go, “Screw it.” And they go right back to whatever they wanted to do. So I like to build into the recommendation some leeway to have a little bit of fun for that among other reasons. I also have said many times I think it’s important that people can have a little bit of fun so they can maintain a social life and such. So I think it’s good to leave people that leeway.

But yes, I think you spoke to that pretty well. But I guess the question I’m curious about — and I think your points were great — how does one distinguish the psychological aspect? And I’m wondering, does lifestyle — like maybe coming back to my example — is lifestyle what’s triggering what might be a psychological dependence?

Let’s say I get through the few weeks and I get through the physiological period but I still am coming back to that. Is that because I built into my psychology this dependence? How can we identify and sort through that?

KG: So that’s where we start to look into, what does food or whatever the substance is — of course, I say food all the time because that’s what people come to me for. So we look at, what does food represent in your life? What is food doing for you? What are you using food for?

Well, a person with a healthy relationship with food is primarily using food for fuel, for nourishment.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: So we see that they have this eating pattern that’s relatively healthy. Does that mean that they are health perfectionists or health Nazis? No, my argument is that if you run into somebody who appears to be a health Nazi, that they’re 100%, that they won’t eat anything “off-plan,” that they have a disordered relationship with food. That’s not a healthy relationship with food.

DrMR: Agreed.

KG: Yeah. So if we’re talking about, what does a healthy lifestyle look like? A healthy lifestyle looks like somebody who primarily eats to nourish their body, to fuel their body. Then they have some fun foods on the side. They don’t consider it cheating because, again, cheating comes from the dieting paradigm, the perfectionist paradigm, the unhealthy relationship with food paradigm.

Whereas, we look at somebody who does have an unhealthy relationship with food, they use food primarily for comfort or for fulfilling other voids in their life and then secondarily for fuel and for nourishment.

So you see that they make choices regarding food for completely different reasons than somebody who has a healthy relationship with food.

So you start to look at your patterns and ask yourself things like, why am I eating? Why am I choosing the food that I’m choosing right now? It’s a big symptom if you have great intentions of eating healthy but you still make choices that are antithetical to that.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: So that’s the prime symptom. If you had a healthy relationship with food and you have these goals, you would just make choices that align with the goals. If you can’t make those choices consistently, obviously there’s something else going on here. So looking at the pattern of behavior and starting to ask some of these questions turns up what you’re actually dealing with here, whether it’s dependence or whether it’s something much deeper.

DrMR: Sure. And that even comes back to my example in which I went through that process of reflection. And I think we can really learn a lot just from the simple art of reflection. But I’m reflecting back on why I failed in my desire or my goal not to have any caffeine today. And the reason why, upon reflection, was because I didn’t leave myself enough time to take a break between tasks. And so it sounds like we’re in the same philosophy of how we approach that.

KG: Yeah. So how long had you been off caffeine? Or how long had you been trying to get off caffeine before that happened?

DrMR: Well, what I typically do is — because I’ve noticed a pattern in myself where, if I have caffeine every day, after a few weeks, my system just crashes. And I’m brain-dead for a day.

So what I do now is I only have caffeine on the days that I write, which is typically Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. And then Wednesdays and Fridays, I’m in the clinic. And the nature of being in the clinic, going from room to room, seeing person to person, that’s stimulating enough.

For me, I found it more difficult to be in front of a desk for 6 hours, just me in a room. So that’s where I found I had to be better at creating an environment that keeps me going. So I’ve been doing a lot more short breaks, taking walks. But also caffeine has crept onto the scene. So I take a few days off every week.

But what I’ve been noticing is that, as I’ve been trying to curtail some of my caffeine, the days that I’m most successful are when I haven’t tried to cram too much into a day. And the days where I’m least successful are the days where I try to do too much.

And coming back to today, what I really think I probably needed was to get up and get a little bit of movement for 10 minutes outside to kind of shake off that little bit of mental fatigue. But since I didn’t have that time, the only way to shake off the mental fatigue was a chemical solution that takes no time because I had no time.

KG: Right.

DrMR: So I’m not sure I completely answered your question. But that’s kind of the context of where I am in relation to caffeine.

KG: Yeah, it gets complicated with a drug like caffeine because it’s such an immediate stimulus. It’s such an easy solution. And of course, when you’re stressed, you’re going to start looking for easy solutions.

DrMR: Yeah, an easy solution. I think that’s a good way of describing it.

KG: Yeah, exactly. And so if you haven’t gone through a full 30 days no caffeine and seeing how you are after that, it’s kind of hard to figure out where you’re at with it because if you’re doing this like, “Okay, I’m going to only have caffeine on days that I write,” you’re never really getting rid of the physiological withdrawal.

DrMR: Right.

KG: You’re experiencing a little bit on the days you don’t have it. And then on the days you do have it, you’re just re-feeding it. So you’re never really escaping that pattern.

So in order to figure out really what’s going on here, my suggestion would be: Let’s just go 30 days with no caffeine. Now, our plan is not going to be to say, “We’re never going to drink caffeine ever again.” My plan is to say, “Let’s get off it for 30 days. Let’s escape the physiological withdrawal period and then see where I’m at with it.”

DrMR: Sure.

KG: And if I’m still just like, every day, every time a little stress creeps in I’m still looking for that hit, okay, now there’s something else going on here. I’m using caffeine for something other than what people who have a healthy relationship with caffeine use it for.

And I also want to clarify here that my argument is made very clearly that drugs, no matter what kind of drug it is — caffeine, heroin — I don’t care what drugs it is. It’s never the problem.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: A drug just doesn’t grab you and take hold of you and overcome all of these areas of your life and destroy your life the way that’s kind of painted in the media. There are people who are susceptible to having that happen. But it’s not the drug.

If it were the drug, you would see it happen in way more cases than it happens with. The majority of people who try heroin don’t become heroin addicts. It doesn’t just grab them and pull them in, and they can’t escape from it.

And that’s kind of the story that we’re told. And same story with alcohol. We know that there are far more people who use alcohol in a healthy manner than there are alcoholics.

So to pin this demonization on the drug itself points to factors that are external from the person who is struggling when the real challenges are internal with the person who is struggling. So if we focus on the external, of course we’re not going to solve any of the internal challenges. We’re not really going to help this person. So I wanted to make sure we stray away from doing that, certainly.

The way that you’ve talked about caffeine, you realize that if you use it daily, it starts to negatively impact your life. Like you said, it crashes your energy levels. You don’t feel great — that kind of thing.

DrMR: Sure, yeah.

KG: So you’ve made this attempt to moderate it. And moderation is a strategy that often fails. So this is perfect because this allows us to get into additional content.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: And there is so much content in this topic. It’s extremely complicated. But moderation is not a tool. So if you set out at the beginning of the day and you say, “I’m going to moderate. I’m just going to moderate my behavior.” If that’s your plan, that’s absolutely going to fail 100% of the time. And I’ll tell people that up front. Because moderation is not a tool. Moderation is an ability.

So if you think of a hammer as a tool, you go out and hammer things. You’re not going to end up with a house unless you have the ability to build a house. You have the knowledge, the insight. You’ve done the work. You’ve done the study. You’ve done all the other stuff that is required to build a house.

The same is true for having a healthy relationship with food, a healthy relationship with caffeine. If these things are causing issues in your life, if you have a poor relationship with them. So you have to do the internal work that gives you the ability to then go out and moderate.

So back in 2009 when I set out to moderate, I failed time and time and time again. When I did the work to figure out, what was I using food for in my life? Why am I making the choices that I’m making? Why can’t I consistently align my behavior with my good intentions? So answering those questions, doing the work there gave me the ability to moderate because it repaired my relationship with food. It completely changed what I was using food for.

So now I go out. And I can, by all appearances, be moderating my behavior. But I’m not doing that as a strategy. Moderation is not my strategy. It’s just what happened as a result of the other work that I did. Does that make sense?

DrMR: Yeah, complete sense. And I think you’re speaking to something I’ve heard you discuss, which I believe you term “fulfilling your core cravings.” Is this kind of what you’re discussing now — which I think is brilliant, by the way — which is examining what’s underlying where the cravings are coming from?

KG: Yeah, this is part of it. So yeah, core cravings. We’ll get into that. That’s part of it.

Cravings

So this is important because my argument has been that we need to reframe our view of cravings because we tend to see cravings as these things that we need to run away from. They’re bad. We need to step on them, squash them, get rid of them, silence them. And that’s what people do as part of a strategy.

And that’s what willpower is designed to do. Willpower is supposed to keep the cravings at bay. Moderation is supposed to manage the cravings so that they don’t get out of control. So these are two control/restriction-type strategies that we put on ourselves hoping that we’ll having a great outcome.

Well, my argument is that cravings are actually something deeper. So sugar, desserts, comfort food, salty foods, crunchy foods, things that we normally see as cravings, those are very superficial cravings.

We actually, as human beings, have these much deeper cravings. We have cravings for safety, cravings for mobility and movement. And when I talk about mobility, I’m not talking about physical mobility necessarily. I’m talking about, if you want to travel, can you travel? Do you have financial mobility?

DrMR: Sure.

KG: Love and relationships, connection with other human beings, social acceptance. Are you fulfilling your life’s purpose? Or do you feel like you’re stuck in some soul-sucking day job, and you’re contributing nothing to the world? These are what human beings actually crave. These are just examples.

So when these things go unfulfilled, it causes a deep level of stress, a deep level of unhappiness. And many people, not all people, but many people choose to medicate that stress and that unhappiness with food.

So if we look at these cravings as going unfulfilled, we can say, “All right. How can I start running away from these superficial cravings?” By the way, as I just explained, when those core cravings go unfulfilled, it triggers the superficial cravings.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: If we just run away from the superficial cravings and, again, because we’re saying, “Oh, food is the problem. Oh, sugar is the problem. Or my eating habits are the problem” — all these things external to me, I’m never empowered to actually do anything about the actual problem, which is those core cravings going unfulfilled.

So I ask people to look inside themselves to see where the challenges are. And then we can actually attack the core challenges. For example, if I’m in a horrible relationship that’s causing massive amounts of stress in my life, do I think that willpower and moderation strategies are going to allow me to stay on track when I’m using food as a coping mechanism for that massive stressor? Of course not!

I have to look at that massive stressor and say, “How can we shore this up? How can we resolve this issue? How can we repair this relationship or escape this relationship?” And when that happens, suddenly, we’re doing work on ourselves. We’re gaining forward momentum. We’re becoming happier.

When we become happier in our lives, when we start to see the bigger picture, get these core needs fulfilled. We start to love our lives more. We start to love our bodies more. We’re now more empowered to nourish our body with food and movement. It creates a very positive momentum in our lives as opposed to, “Oh, food is the problem. Cravings are the problem. Sugar is the problem. I’m going to run away from these things. I’m going to moderate these things. And that’s going to be my strategy.” That’s a terrible strategy. That’s a strategy that’s doomed to failure.

DrMR: Sure, because it’s very superficial in scope.

KG: Yeah.

Common Areas of Imbalances or Neglect

DrMR: I’d like to ask you more about what some of the most common imbalances or areas of neglect that you see there are in a second. But I just want to offer some of my own reflections on this issue.

If you had asked me maybe 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have had the level of appreciation for some of these deficiencies that you just described, like friendships, relationships, what have you. But as I’ve spent more time in the clinic and had the good fortune to be able to interface with different types of patients, I’ve seen a much more common thread, much more common than I thought it was initially, which is that these problems are fairly prevalent.

And I was at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Boulder, Colorado, over the weekend. And I was listening to one gentleman lecture. And it really struck me, what he said, which reflects how different we are than kind of indigenous, tribal societies.

He was making the point — I’ll just paraphrase it loosely. But if you were to ask one of these tribesmen about their health or about themselves, they couldn’t help but answer you in the context of their entire tribe because the individual identity was so small compared to the identity of the tribe.

So you would ask someone, “Who are you?” And they would tell you who their tribe was. And you would ask them how fit they were. And they would tell you how fit their tribe is.

And it just really struck me as to how deeply ingrained the need for tribal relationships, or just close family and friends, are to our existence. And so I’m guessing that that’s probably a really key area, which is people, friends, relationships. But I’m wondering, what are some of the core deficiencies that you see that really underlie cravings?

KG: Well, first of all, that’s huge. And again, yeah, if you look at our modern society, how do most people go through life? They wake up in the morning. They separate from their family because they go off to work. And at work, they have these kind of superficial relationships with coworkers where they gossip a lot. And normally, they just kind of keep their head down. They do their work. They get through the day, all of which is very stressful.

And on the way to work, they’re sitting in rush hour traffic. And on the way home from work, they’re sitting in rush hour traffic. They get home from work just in time to kind of clean their kids up, get everybody fed, and then stuff people in beds. And they repeat this process 5 days a week.

And on the weekends, they’re so tired that they just want to sit down and relax. And maybe they do a family activity here or there. They don’t really have a lot of time to see friends outside of work. If they are seeing friends, it might be at happy hour after work with coworkers where, again, they’re sitting around medicating themselves from all of the stress that’s been going on in their life.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: So yeah, where is their tribe? Where is their consistent tribe? Where is their consistent connection? The people they love most are the people they’re most often separated from. And so, yeah, of course you see a massive deficiency here.

And a lot of people just dismiss this as a normal aspect of our modern life. And they discount the significant impact that it has. I know it impacts me. I have four or five core friends. And unfortunately, they’re all in full-time jobs. Every time I want to hang out, they’re either too tired, or they’re too busy. We can’t connect as much as we should.

And that’s a massive stressor in, I think, most people’s lives. I think a lot of people are going to resonate with that. So I’m glad you brought that up because that’s a huge one.

In talking about the other issues, I call these biopsychosocial manipulators because it’s not all psychological. It’s not all social as we just talked about. So there are physiological issues that can manipulate your behavior just as there are psychological issues and just as there are social issues.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: So biological, psychological, and social. So we just talked about a social one. You are writing a book on gut health. Is that right?

DrMR: Yes.

KG: Okay. I’m not going to get too much into the details. But that’s an example of a biological one — how an unhealthy gut can lead to cravings, can lead to nutritional deficiencies, can lead to a bunch of things that manipulate your behavior.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: So that’s the example of a physical one.

Let’s go into another psychological one because I want to bounce off this into something that I think people are going to find very helpful.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a huge psychological manipulator. And you touched on this a little bit earlier.

So if you set out with your plan, as most people do, because this is the typical dieting model — or even the ancestral model is applied this way. So you set out and you say, “Look, I’m going to be as perfect as I can.” And you may even say in the beginning, “If I make some mistakes, I’m not going to make a big deal out of it.”

Of course, that’s just all talk because when a mistake does happen, you guilt yourself massively. You run online and start asking people a bunch of questions about, how bad has this messed you up? Did this delete all of your progress? And so on and so forth.

Or you still weigh yourself. So if the scale has a number on it that you didn’t hope for — boom! — here comes the shame again. Here comes the guilt again. And this causes a lot of problems. So this is the perfectionist cycle that most people are in.

So what I want to do is I want to help people escape the perfectionist cycle. And the typical advice is, “Okay, just be 80/20. Be 80% on plan and then 20% of the time, you can go off and do whatever you want.”

So this is the moderation strategy employed as a tool. And we already talked about why that’s going to fail. And I know for a fact that the vast majority of people — and again, I’m not going to say everybody because there are people who can just moderate. And these are people, by the way, who don’t generally have an unhealthy relationship with food.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: So if you can just go out and moderate — you didn’t know what you were supposed to be eating. Somebody enlightened you — and you said, “Okay, I’m just going to do this 80/20,” and you can go out and be 80/20, you probably don’t have an unhealthy relationship with food. So you don’t need me. They just need you.

DrMR: Right.

KG: But for the people who do try to employ that and it fails and it backfires and they become 70/30 and then 60/40 and then 50/50 and then 0/100, those people need to come and talk more with me so we can figure out why that didn’t work.

So what I am going to propose as a strategy is to have a bank account philosophy. You look at a financial bank account, and you say, “How will I be successful financially?” You make more deposits into that account than you do withdrawals. And you stay out of debt.

So let’s talk about how that applies to health. What is a deposit? A deposit is eating real food. It is going to bed at a decent hour; making sure you get 7, 8, 9 hours of good quality sleep; keeping your stress low; doing a lot of the inner work that I already talked about; seeing which one of these core cravings is really going unfulfilled in my life and how can I do some work to fulfill that core craving. Those are all deposits.

Then we have withdrawals. What is a withdrawal? All right, maybe eating packaged food, processed food; having dessert; eating comfort food, whatever; going to bed at 1 a.m. after watching a stressful football game and not getting great sleep, getting up early, going to work the next day. These are all examples of withdrawals.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: What is debt? Debt is borrowing success and then having to pay for it later. Debt is calorie counting. Debt is going on a crash diet. Debt is taking diet pills. All of these things work. I’ve never said that diets don’t work. I just want people to define the word “works.” They work for very short amounts of time. And then they fall apart.

So if we want long term success, we want to stay out of debt. We don’t want to borrow it short term and then have to pay for it later in terms of our health, in terms of our psychological health. We just want to stay away from that.

So our goal every single day is to get up and say, “All right. I’m going to make more deposits than I do withdrawals.” So what happens when somebody makes a withdrawal? That’s part of the plan because, guess what? If you, in terms of finance, only make deposits and never make withdrawals, what’s the purpose of having money at all?

DrMR: Right.

KG: You can’t spend it. You’re not going to be happy. So what are you even doing this for?

DrMR: Just something really quick I want to chime in here that has always stuck in my head.

KG: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead.

DrMR: I have always remembered Robert Kiyosaki said something. I read one of his books in college. And he said, “The problem with being rich and cheap is you’re still cheap.”

KG: Yeah.

DrMR: So I try to keep that in mind with money. And it sounds like the with health bank analogy, it applies with that too.

KG: Exactly. Exactly. And the reason I’m outlining this, by the way, is because most people just need permission to do this. They’ve been stuck in this programming mindset that perfectionism is actually necessary for them to achieve their goals. And that’s completely false.

DrMR: Right. Which is why I tell my patients those exact things from before — have a little bit of fun; don’t freak out — because I agree. I think it makes a very un-fun life if you’re not spending. Using your analogy, if you’re not making any withdrawals or spending, then life isn’t very fun.

KG: Yes.

DrMR: Yeah.

KG: So if you’re in this mindset of this bank account philosophy, this is much more proactive than trying to use moderation as a tool because if you are looking at your financial situation and you make a big, expensive — your family goes on vacation. That’s a huge withdrawal. You don’t go, “Aw, man. I can’t do this. I’m just going to give up on my finances altogether. I’m not cut out for this. I’m never going to be financially successful.”

You say, “Holy crap! That was a big withdrawal. You know what I need to do? We need to make more deposits. We need to go get some—”

DrMR: Yeah.

KG: And I’m going to switch back to food here. We need to go get some nutritional food. We need to go do some nutritious movement. We need to go get better sleep. We need to figure out a way to make more withdrawals here.

So it’s much more proactive. And what it avoids as well, because if we understand that withdrawals are all part of the game and all part of having a healthy relationship with food, we don’t shame ourselves. We don’t guilt ourselves.

And this is very critical because people always tell me, “I ate the whole carton of ice cream. It has completely destroyed all of the work that I’ve done.” And so I have to correct them and say, “Listen, your body is extremely resilient.”

DrMR: Yes.

KG: “You can eat three tubs of ice cream. And in the grand scheme of things, absolutely nothing is going to change.” The damage comes from what you think about having eaten the whole tub of ice cream.

DrMR: Totally agree.

KG: Yes.

DrMR: Yeah.

KG: So that guilt and that shame is going to drive what? More stress. And then that stress is going to drive what? More coping. And that’s going to drive day 2 of eating tubs of ice cream, and day 3, and day 4, and day 5. And now, you’re completely in the wrong mindset, an unhealthy mindset. And you are crashing.

And so that didn’t happen because you ate a tub of ice cream. That happened because of your analysis of eating the tub of ice cream.

DrMR: Yeah, the way you frame it, the way you look at it. Yeah.

KG: Exactly.

DrMR: Yeah.

KG: So as long as you stick to this bank account philosophy — okay, so this is a perfect example. Somebody goes gambling. If you have an unhealthy relationship with gambling, what happens when you make a massive withdrawal from your total chip count? You go, “Holy crap. I need to put more in the pot.”

DrMR: Double down.

KG: Yes.

DrMR: Yeah.

KG: And if they run out of chips, they go get more. So they are on a total binge. And this is the exact same thing that happens with food. This is the key. This is the symptom of, “Oh, wow! I really have an unhealthy relationship with what’s going on right now.”

So again, looking at patterns of behavior is very important. But this liberates so many people almost instantly. I get feedback all the time from people where they start employing the bank account philosophy.

And they write me back. And they’re like, “Instantly, I’m in a completely different mindset with this. I made some withdrawals. And it was totally fine. I didn’t shame myself. I didn’t guilt myself. The next meal, I made deposits again. And I felt right back on track.” And I’m like, “Yeah, but you were never off track.”

DrMR: Right. Right.

KG: Helping them shore up this really solid healthy mindset around their behavior is very important.

DrMR: I love that analogy because, exactly like you said, it doesn’t make these things right or wrong. It’s all a part of the game. You’re going to spend money. And you’re going to save money. And as long as you’re saving a little bit more than you’re spending, you’re going to maintain a positive balance.

KG: Absolutely.

DrMR: I really, really like that. And I could see how that would be really freeing for a lot of people.

KG: Now, it does have a little caveat because there is going to be, in this withdrawal/deposit paradigm, a slower gain of progress. So what you have to let go of is the race mindset, the race mentality of “I’ve got to lose X amount of weight in this amount of time. I’ve got to do this now.”

DrMR: This is more the tortoise.

KG: Exactly.

DrMR: More of a tortoise than a hare.

KG: And what it is, is developing a healthy relationship with food and body and self that’s going to serve you for the rest of your life. If you can’t get out of the race mindset, you’re never going to gain these tools. You’re going to be exactly the hare that runs from place to place and then has to stop and rest for a while. And, by the way, while you’re resting in this paradigm, you’re gaining weight again. It’s all coming back. Nothing is ever going to change.

DrMR: Right.

KG: So we have to be able to step outside of that paradigm, allow ourselves grace, allow ourselves patience, and just really focus on the core aspects of what we’re trying to accomplish here.

DrMR: I really, really like that. I’m probably going to steal that from you actually.

KG: Go for it.

DrMR: And start using that in the clinic if you don’t mind.

KG: Go for it.

DrMR: Because it’s a very easy-to-identify-with analogy, I think. And essentially, it’s what I have been recommending to my patients for a while. But I think the way you’re terming it is very eloquent. Nice job on that. I give you major props, so to speak.

KG: Thank you. Thank you.

Relationships

DrMR: There are a couple things I’d like to chime in, things that I have observed that have been helpful for me, both with the mental or perfectionist aspect and also from the tribal aspect, just in case they may spark more conversation and also to help people in any way that they might.

One thing that I’ve noticed over the past few years — I’m in an age in my early 30s where you have a lot of people kind of pairing off — falling in love, getting engaged, getting married. And I’ve noticed that some people, as soon as they find a significant other, you never see them again.

I’m sure we all know the person. And I think where this comes from is people that are socially lazy and they’re just looking for an excuse. And as soon as they have an excuse, “Oh, we’re engaged. We’re planning for the wedding. Oh, we’re so busy.” That’s their excuse card.

KG: Yeah.

DrMR: So they’re looking. They’re inherently socially lazy. And I don’t mean that in an offensive way to anyone listening to this. But they’re inherently socially lazy. They don’t understand the importance of relationships. And so as soon as they have an excuse card, they play that excuse card. “We’re planning the wedding. We just had a kid.”

And I know all these things are hard. But I really think if we told you we would give you a million dollars if you made sure to see your friends at least once a week, they would do it. It’s all an issue of incentive and how much they want to do it. So I get we’re all busy. But I don’t think busy is an excuse. So I’ve noticed that some people really just play that card.

And I’ve also noticed that there are some people—and it’s actually my friends who grew up in Europe, ironically, that are much better about, “Hey, do you want to go for coffee? Hey, you want to go for breakfast?”

And in observing this, I’ve decided. I made a promise to myself that I never want to be the guy that you never see again. So as soon as something happens, as soon as you have a great relationship, or as soon as you have a child, or as soon as you get busy at work—my goal after reflecting on this and learning some from it is to never be that person who is not available.

And there is something I think my mother used to say to me which is, “To have a friend, you have to first be a friend.”

KG: Yep.

DrMR: So you have to be available for people. And I think as I’ve been thinking about how we remedy what I think is one of the most major problems our society has of having very poor-quality relationships, you just have to make yourself available. I don’t think it’s anything crazy where you have to plan a crazy trip or do some sort of group activitiy that’s very structured or what have you or do a trust retreat or anything crazy like that.

I think it’s just as simple as making yourself available. So one of the things that I’ve tried to do is never not be available. And that might mean I’ll bring my significant other somewhere where it’s some of the guys hanging out. Or when I have kids, I know some people who still go out and do stuff. They just bring their kids.

So my plan is to always be the person — or I shouldn’t say always — but as much as I can, really be available for my friends.

Another thing that I have found helpful in recently studying stoic philosophy — which I was initially turned onto by Tim Ferris. I know he enjoys and has learned a lot from stoic philosophy. Stoic philosophy is just a form of Greek philosophy. I’ll paraphrase the little I know about it from my limited study.

But the few things that struck me about stoic philosophy are that the stoic Greeks would practice having nothing so as to appreciate what they have, which is the complete opposite of our society, which I think would be labeled more hedonistic, which is you need to have more, more, more, more, more; never happy with what you have; always needing to have more.

Stoics may spend a day — this is in ancient Greece. But they may spend a day dressed in rags to appreciate the clothes that they do have. So I thought the practice of reflecting on or visualizing not having much really can help you appreciate what you do have.

And there’s an old saying which is, “He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he wants.”

So I think it’s really important maybe to keep some of these things in mind. And I hope I’m not rambling here. But those are a couple things that have been coming to the forefront of my mind lately through reflection and observation. So I’ll throw those out on the fire.

KG: Yeah. No.

DrMR: Anything you want to throw out there?

KG: Yeah, I totally think those are on point. When you talked about availability, what came to my mind that I did want to add is that I think the people who don’t make themselves available — I think if you look at their patterns of behavior, you’re going to find a lot of times that they are, in fact, hiding. They’re not making themselves available on purpose, not because they’re tired. That’s the superficial excuse. But they’re hiding for other reasons.

And if you look at your relationship with these people, a lot of times, it’s not really super deep. And I think our modern culture contributes a lot to this.

So our modern culture, as you said, especially with possessions, tends to be very superficial. We judge people based on how much money they have or what kind of car they drive and all this other stuff. How big is their house?

And we don’t tend to have really deep conversations with people. There are a lot of very taboo topics that people tend to stay away from with people. They’re afraid that it’s going to sabotage the relationship. “Oh, I can’t talk about politics with this person. I can’t talk about my relationship with my wife really deeply with this person. I don’t want to give them that much access.” So we put up all these walls.

And what that actually does is it puts up a wall to the strength of the relationship. And so we have these, like I said, taboos. And then it becomes a self-esteem issue. So if we’re all focused on appearances, “I’ve got to keep up these appearances. And I can’t let anybody see my faults. And now I’m afraid to be vulnerable.”

And so we’re getting into a lot of areas where it’s just easier to hide. It’s just easier to, “Oh, okay. I’ll say yes to seeing this person once a month or something. And we’re not really going to deepen or strengthen the relationship.”

Going back to what we talked about in terms of having a deep relationship with the tribe and being accepted, what I just described is being in a paradigm where you can’t even be yourself. Nobody ever sees the real you. So how do you have a connection with really anybody except maybe your spouse? And I think in a lot of ways we hide from them as well.

Trauma and self-medication

So we’re living this life completely walled off in a lot of very important ways and then pretending like we don’t have any stress. “Oh, I’m not really that stressed.” That’s a massive stress. You can’t even be yourself. That’s a huge stress.

So these are the things that I help people look at and figure out, how does this translate to your relationship with food, because as I said before, look. Food is a very socially acceptable drug. Even if you’re trying to keep up appearances in a lot of ways, you can be overweight, very unhealthy and looked at as a very successful person, a person we would aspire to be, because of these other superficial things that you’ve done.

So nobody looks at a heroin addict and says that. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. You’re a heroin addict. And your life is falling apart. People are not going to aspire to be that.

So we can use food in a way that we can’t use heroin — the same with alcohol, things like that. So it’s what people tend to reach for when they need medication because they know that everybody else is doing it.

Nobody is really going to look down on them much for doing that. So they see that as a socially acceptable way to medicate. And that makes it a massive, massive problem.

I’m always telling people, if education was all we needed about what to eat and how to move, why do we still have obesity? It’s not like these people don’t have access to the information. The problem is, the challenge is they’re using food for something totally different. They’re not interested in nourishing their bodies.

And even if they are, they can’t because they’re manipulated in their behavior and their choices. And they’re always going to reach for the medication because saying that I’m only going to eat 1,600 calories and I’m going to do a Couch to 5K program — these things don’t work long-term. So we have to start looking at the bigger issues.

DrMR: You make such a good point. And I reflect back on various women that I’ve dated throughout my life. And this is an area where they can’t really hide from you. It’s not like a friend who can hide or just try to just hide behind social outings of going out and having a drink and having superficial conversation.

KG: Yeah.

DrMR: At least not when I’m dating someone because I introspect a lot. And I hear things. And I think on things. And it’s been very interesting. And probably some of the most bonding, initiating, and deepest conversations are when I notice something peculiar in a woman that I’m in a relationship with, and if I see it a few times, I’ll, in a supportive way, kind of probe into that.

And I’ll say something along the lines of, “This is a little bit different than I would expect for a reaction in this situation.” Or, “This is behavior that’s a little bit different to what I’m used to. Where does that come from?”

And sometimes, you have to ask that question in a few different ways. And it leads you into this kind of Socratic line of inquiry that eventually gets you to the point where this person may have had negative — just as one example; it’s a cause — negative previous experiences that altered this person’s programming.

And now, they’re like a computer running a faulty program. And they don’t even really realize that they’re running this faulty social program, if you will, until someone brings their awareness to it. And then I’ve found most people are like, “Wow! I never really even put those two together.”

And I’ve seen some really cathartic changes in some of the women that I’ve dated just by helping them turn their focus inward onto a broken piece of programming from a past event that was never identified. And those have been some of the deepest conversations that I’ve had with people.

I don’t know exactly how that ties back to our conversation. But I just noticed that there’s definitely a fair amount of this stuff happening. And I think if we could have healthy, supportive conversations with our loved ones and our friends about these things, we would not only be helping each other, but we would also have a pretty nice experience of both bonding and what I think is a very interesting conversation.

KG: Yeah, absolutely. Part of what I teach on is based on the adverse childhood experiences study. I don’t know if you’ve heard much about this at all.

DrMR: No.

KG: But it was done by Kaiser in connection with, originally, an obesity clinic. And so the researchers were trying to figure out why their massively obese patients — we’re talking 500, 600 — morbidly obese patients were in this clinic to lose weight, to try to get healthy, to save their lives basically — why the dropouts. They had a pretty high dropout rate.

But they started looking at the dropouts. And they were very intrigued by the fact that every single person who dropped out was making massive amounts of progress. So they were like, “Wait a minute. How can you be succeeding and you quit?”

So they started diving deeper into the histories of these people. And they realized, “Oh, when we ask them this set of 10 questions, which the ACE questionnaire is based on, about adverse experiences in their childhood, these people scored 6, 7, 8 out of 10.” And they started to realize, “Wow. Okay.”

And then they started to do this study on a much wider scale. And they did this study, taking a section of the population that was middle class, predominantly white. In America, this was the classic American.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: So this isn’t like, oh, they went into downtrodden sections of town and talked to a bunch of minorities who had it really tough. No, no, no.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: No, they were talking to people that you would see every single day and think, “Oh, that person is a normal, functioning human being.” And what they found that people significantly had adverse childhood experiences, in the neighborhood of 2 out of 10, 3 out of 10, 4 out of 10, 5 out of 10, highly likely.

DrMR: Wow.

KG: And they started looking at health outcomes of these people. Number one thing that they found was, very commonly, these people had significant addictions, whether it was to food or some other form of socially acceptable medication — cigarettes, so on. You know what the addictions are.

They also looked at health outcomes in terms of — and what they are now attributing this to is the chronic stress that comes from having adverse childhood experiences. So we look at cancer rates. We look at heart attack rates.

We look at typical health outcomes where people say, “Oh, that’s really unfortunate. He must have had a poor diet or whatever.” Well, not necessarily. Yeah, of course he had a poor diet because he was using food to medicate.

But at the same time, there are a lot of these people who have high ACE scores who are coming up with very high cancer rates who, by all objective measures, had a fairly healthy lifestyle. They weren’t overweight.

DrMR: Right.

KG: This just seemed to come out of nowhere. Well, there’s a great book called When the Body Says No by Gabor Maté. And he’s put a lot of work into understanding the stress-disease connection. And he links a lot of this stress from trauma experience. It doesn’t even have to be in childhood. We could talk about PTSD, for example. Just any trauma-based stress that goes unresolved — how that eats away at the body over time.

Years and years and years, people deal with this stuff. And then suddenly they get a chronic disease. As the title of the book says, When the Body Says No. And one of his points is that the human body is extremely resilient. So you have an adverse childhood experience. And this may be at age 5 or 6 or 7 or 3 or 2. And you get cancer when you’re 50.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: Because the body is so resilient that it’s able to put up a fight for decades before it finally just says, “Nah, I can’t do this anymore.” And then it becomes susceptible to the disease.

And so this chronic, massive load of stress that many, many, many people are under is eating away at our health. And regardless of, “Oh, I’m going to eat healthy; I’m going to stay exercising,” it’s just so hard to overcome. It’s just a massive, massive load on your body.

DrMR: Sure. And just I guess it shows you how important probably having good relationships is because I think people can work through these things if they have a good support group or people just to talk with. I know it can get much more complicated than this. But sometimes, I think a person just needs someone who cares about them to have a conversation about this to help them kind of see some of these things and work through them.

KG: Absolutely. Because if you have this traumatic experience, or in most people’s cases, you have a string of traumatic experiences — usually, people who live in a household that’s not safe experience repeated abuses, repeated traumas. So this, of course, creates exponential issues. It’s kind of the difference between somebody who uses food as a drug and somebody who needs something much stronger.

DrMR: Right.

KG: It’s severe alcoholism, severe heroin addiction. Gabor Maté says that he has not met — and he works in Vancouver. And he works in a ghetto in Vancouver, dealing with straight up heroin addicts on the verge of death, watching people die all the time from heroin addiction. And he’s like, “I’ve never met a female heroin addict who wasn’t sexually abused or serially abused as a child.” So this is the outcome.

And again, what did I say before? We’re looking at heroin. Oh, heroin is this evil thing. No! And as Gabor Maté says very often, the drug is the addict’s attempt to solve the problem.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: It’s not the problem. So heroin is not the heroin addict’s problem. It’s their attempt at solving the problem, which is the massive amount of pain and trauma that they have experienced.

And I talked earlier about hiding from people. And you just said how important connections are, how important real connections are. If this person feels safe with certain people and can really open up to them and deeply connect with them, that’s a huge impact on their recovery process versus what happens to most people, especially if they become addicts in any significant way.

They spend their entire lives hiding. They spend their entire lives ostracized and excluded. So what is that? That is, again, a trauma because, going back to evolution, when you were rejected from the tribe, that was certain death.

DrMR: Yeah.

KG: That’s a massive trigger for stress in our brains. So what we’re doing is we’re re-traumatizing addicts by looking at them in a one-down position from us. “Oh, they are losers. And they need to be excluded and this and that. And we need to make drugs illegal because of course drugs are the problem.”

It’s so complicated. But I think when you start to see it in this light, you understand how important it is that we start to look at this in a different way.

DrMR: Completely agreed.

Resources

What are some good resources for people? Let’s say someone is listening to this and they’re saying, “Gosh, that’s me. Gosh, that’s me.” And I know there may not be one resource. But are there a few resources that you think could be helpful for people to get help in this area?

KG: It’s such a complicated topic. So what I am going to focus on most is the people’s relationships with food because I think that’s extremely important.

DrMR: Right.

KG: And of course, that’s what most people come to me for anyway. So I put together a program called Decode Your Cravings. And people can find that at MyCravingsCode.com. And what we do is we go through a step-by-step process of first of all understanding what a healthy relationship with food looks like. We learn about the inner rebel that I talked about earlier.

We figure out what else in terms of our personality is manipulating our behavior. We do assessments based on the biopsychosocial manipulators that I talked about figuring out. And by the way, I’ve identified over 50 very, very common biopsychosocial manipulators. So I take people through a process of figuring out which manipulators are impacting them personally.

DrMR: Nice. Nice.

KG: Yeah, this is not a one-size-fits-all advice program.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: This is, “Let’s assess what’s going on in your specific life.”

DrMR: Yeah.

KG: We teach them how to recode their self talk. So people have very negative self talk. They treat themselves very poorly. So we have to work on recoding that because they’re never going to be successful if they can’t change how they speak to themselves and think about themselves.

We teach them a process of eating more consciously. We talk about and touch on the adverse childhood experience. We give them the ACE assessment so they can see what their score is.

And then we give them game plans. We give them game plans for fulfilling their core cravings. And again, we assess which core cravings are going unfulfilled in their specific life. We give them a game plan for addressing that, starting to make change in that area.

We give them a game plan for starting to overcome a lot of the manipulators that are affecting them. And some of these manipulators, by the way, are very easy to fix. If you have a manipulator like gut health, for example, they come to you. Fix their gut health. That’s a huge step in the right direction.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: Just that one thing has a massive impact. And all 45 are kind of like that. Any time you fix one singular manipulator, you become that much stronger, that much more empowered to tackle the next one. And your relationship with food continues to improve and, by the way, your relationship with your body and your relationship with yourself.

So we’ve kind of put together this very, very comprehensive program that takes people from point A to point B in dealing with their relationship with food and making it healthier, their relationship with their body, their relationship with themselves.

And this isn’t a diet. This program does not give people eating advice or a meal plan. It doesn’t give them fitness routines. This is strictly based on the psychology of aligning your behavior with your good intentions for the rest of your life. That’s all this program is focused on.

And in the game plan section, if somebody is struggling with any of the things that we just talked about that seemed very, very deep, we provide tons of resources for them to go off in that direction specifically and go even deeper.

DrMR: Right.

KG: I’m not saying that this program solves every single problem that we just talked about 100%. But we’re going to give people the resources.

DrMR: Sure.

KG: If they’ve identified that that’s a significant factor in their life, then we’re going to give them the resources to go off and pursue that at a deeper level.

DrMR: Sure. So at very worst, it at least starts someone on the path.

KG: Exactly. Absolutely.

DrMR: It sounds like a great program, actually, Kevin, especially the fact that you’re not making it a one-size-fits-all. And I think that’s something that is becoming much more—I don’t want to say common. But I think many people who are writing self-help books, myself included, are really realizing it has to be able to be personalized to the person. Because rarely does one thing work for everyone.

But if we can make this personalized to the person, we can have so much more effect. So I think that’ll be a great approach for people.

KG: Yeah, absolutely. And creating this environment for people to do this work was really important to me. It’s a very complicated topic. So not only are we assessing where people are at personally and what they’re dealing with personally on a challenge level, but we’re providing a support community so that they can get support from other people who are on the same journey as them.

And then we’re providing them access to one-on-one coaching so that they can really dive deep with us on any of these topics. The curriculum itself is very, very deep. And people say that. The first thing they tell me is, “Okay. This is stuff I’ve never heard before” when they log in. So this is a completely different paradigm from what most people have done.

If it was just a book, I wouldn’t be able to provide the support. We wouldn’t have really the community that’s there. We wouldn’t be able to give the assessments that are so critical because these aren’t just like you print out a paper and that’s the assessment.

It’s an interactive assessment process that’s done online. They go through. And based on one question they answer, it spits out something different and puts them on a different step than if they answer the question a different way.

DrMR: Right.

KG: So this is very, very personalized.

DrMR: So can you give us the website again just so people have it?

KG: Yeah, it’s MyCravingsCode.com.

DrMR: Awesome.

Episode Wrap-up

Anywhere else people can track you down? Or any other projects that you want to make people aware of?

KG: Yeah, so our main site is RebootedBody.com. And we have a huge platform there — lots of articles, videos. We have a podcast that people can check out called the Rebooted Body Podcast. Just search for that in iTunes or whatever podcast app you use. That’s going to be very beneficial for people.

But yeah, anything you need to find is at RebootedBody.com. Even if you forget the website for the program, you can get through it at the main site.

DrMR: Awesome. Kevin, I love what you’re doing. And I think this was a really great conversation. And I’m hoping it will benefit a lot of people. And let’s definitely stay in touch.

KG: Yes, definitely. Thank you for having me.

DrMR: Thanks, Kevin.


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