I’m going to start this with one of my favorite questions: Why?

Why are we in the middle of a national obesity crisis? Why are we, as a civilization, struggling with an obesity epidemic in a way we have never experienced before? Why now? How did we get here?

Obviously, the answers to these questions have been hunted down for years and years. They’ve been picked apart, monopolized, and manipulated in a way that causes innocent people to empty their pockets into the wrong hands.

Truth be told, our obesity epidemic is due in large part to those who claim to be solving the problem.

  • The Nutrition Industry.
  • The Fitness Industry.

The lies and dangerous false information have taught us to feed our bodies in ways that are (quite literally) killing us.

So today I’m going to pause on the science. I’m going to set aside the facts about human metabolism, glycemic load and endocrinology to get to the core of our issues with obesity: belief.

To create real, lasting change, we have to get at the core of why we eat the way we do, why we move the way we do and why we live the way we do.

We’ve been lied to. Over and over and over.

It’s time to change that. Let’s look at the top three myths I deal with daily that have infected our minds and bodies thanks to lies the nutrition and fitness industries tell.

Myth #1: To Lose Weight, I Have to Count Calories and Eat Less.

  • Fewer Calories = Less Weight.

  • Eat Less, Move More.

  • Calories In, Calories Out.

All of this popular propaganda has led us to believe that to lose weight (or even to maintain a healthy weight) we have to count calories, eat a little, and move a lot. Obesity is becoming more rampant simply because our bodies are naturally responding to how we carry out our lives according to these beliefs.

They make it sound pretty simple, don’t they? It even seems pretty scientific: eat calories, burn more calories than you eat, lose weight… Yeah! Makes total sense!

But wait…

If it all makes so much sense, why then, are we in the middle of the biggest national obesity crisis we’ve ever experienced?

Hmm…

Let me tell you something. If you’re dealing with excess weight right now, it’s not your fault. You have been fed bad information, and you are being targeted daily by corporations and organizations seeking to increase their bottom line. It’s not your fault.

You can change your current reality and your future. All you have to do is stop believing what you’ve been taught, and start considering the exact opposite.

Imagine a world where you believed and lived like this:

  • Eat More, Move Less.

  • More Calories, Less Weight.

Sounds a bit insane, doesn’t it? It’s not, I promise you.

I go into the science behind this in AMA #22 – Back to Basics: Fat Loss, but right now I want to deal with the root issue I was telling you about earlier.

I want you to think about how you have felt, in your head and in your heart, when in the past you’ve assumed you’ve eaten too much. What’s the first thing you think about?

If you believe that eating more calories will cause you to gain weight, what’s the first thing you’re going to feel after overeating?

I bet I can guess: GUILT.

The number one thing you feel is guilt. Everyone deals with this. You aren’t alone in it. It’s a natural response we experience after doing something we think isn’t good for us.

Once the guilt happens, we find ourselves in a bit of a rabbit hole, don’t we? After the guilt comes shame, and shame often sends us into a spiral of self-pity, embarrassment, and weariness (sometimes sending us straight to the pint of choco-mungo-chip-o-gooeyness sitting in the back of the freezer).

In its under-nourished state, your poor body is just telling you it’s hungry, and you’re responding in a very natural way by eating. Yet, you feel horrible about yourself because you believe that fewer calories equal less weight.

So what do you think would happen if you flipped that belief around? Literally turned it on its head?

Welcome to my world. It’s beautiful here. (And we get to eat a lot.)

Eat more calories, lose more weight. That’s the world I live in, that’s how I experienced my own transformation and led hundreds of others through their personal life-changing health transformations.

I imagine you may be wondering, “why in the world are we talking about emotions right now? How is this going to help me lose weight?”

I’ll tell you why. Here comes the juicy part.

We’ve just learned that under the belief system of “eat less, move more” when we eat more than the supposed “experts” tell us to, we feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, and self-pity. What’s the underlying emotion to all of these feelings? (The nasty infection I was mentioning earlier?)

FEAR.

With those ludicrous belief systems mainstream media and nutrition preached at you, they also fed you a heaping dose of FEAR. Society has taught you to tie your self-worth to your weight and size.

FEAR is why we’re obsessed with calories, pant sizes, waistlines, food intake, and thigh-gaps. Because at the core, we’re afraid if we don’t fit into the right categories we will wind up alone.

Before we deal with any calories, science, or movement habits, we have to deal with this first.

Everything I can teach you about nutrition and health will be a wimpy band-aid on a gaping wound until you deal with the fear, first.

To achieve the health you deserve, you first have to deal with the voice in your head that tells you,

“If I get fat… my husband will leave me.”
                  … I won’t be able to play with my kids.”
                  … my family won’t accept me.”
                  … I won’t ever find someone to love me.”
                  … I’ll wind up alone forever.”

This fear drives us to make stupid, rash decisions that are detrimental to our health and the health of those around us.

My advice? Deal with the fear, and the waistline will follow.

Myth #2: To Lose Weight, I Have to Exercise Regularly.

The only industry that closely rivals the nutrition space in lying to innocent people is… the fitness industry. Let me just start off by saying this:

THE FITNESS INDUSTRY IS CRAZY.

When people first come to me, I commonly find them believing some version of the prominent fitness industry lie: To lose weight, you must exercise regularly. And by “regularly” they actually mean six times a week for three hours a day or you’ll get harangued, guilt-tripped and shamed into “getting your lazy ass back in the gym.”

I can’t stress this enough: THIS IS CRAZY.

The mainstream fitness industry tells us the more we’re in the gym, the more worth we have as a human being. They say if we do more reps and run more miles, we’ll have smaller waists, bigger butts, and more first dates.

Why do you think all these group workout classes have absolutely blown up the past few years? We’ve begun to build our lives and self-worth around these cult-mentality workout classes like Crossfit, OrangeTheory, SoulCycle and the like that are literally designed to make us feel bad when we’re not there every time the door is open.

Exercising like this is not healthy. Yes, I said it. It’s not healthy.

Intense, daily exercise is literally counterproductive to sustainable health and fat loss. It goes against our genetic makeup. There’s loads of science behind this: metabolic flexibility, heart rate variability, time under tension, etc. etc. etc. If you want to know more about all that, you can click here. But let’s be honest, you probably don’t give a shit. You just want to lose weight and feel better. So I’m here to help you do that.

Trust me, excess exercise does not help you lose weight.

In fact, one of the first things I do on my 30-day Clovis protocol is significantly decreasing my clients’ daily exercise. Specifically, if the person I’m dealing with is 30lbs or more overweight, I ask them to stop all intense workouts for at least the first 30 days. It is simply not healthy to be exercising when their body is carrying around that much excess weight. Exercising, in this state, would be completely counterproductive to their health goals. A nice, leisurely walk, each day, is all you need in the beginning. I’m going to help you heal.

In transforming health, Mindset is #1 for me. I learned a long time ago that to create a healthy body for life, we must first address the issues of mindset and our beliefs. You can’t just hear me when I say, “excess exercise will not help you lose weight.” You actually have to believe me.

Let’s be honest, for most people going to the gym in the first place evokes a crazy amount of panic, embarrassment, insecurity, and fear. They run into confusion about what to do and how to do it, and end up on the treadmill, magazine in hand, head down, eyes forward, hoping to go unnoticed.

What a miserable experience! Yet we put ourselves through it time and time again. My question is, why?!

I’ll tell you why: because the fitness industry’s lies have led you to believe that your self-worth is tied to how people see you. This “fitness first” mindset puts us in daily spin classes and weekly WODs that leave us depleted, hungry and sore AF…

There is a better way. I promise you.

We’re genetically designed to eat more and move less. No matter how hard we try, we can’t go against that. That’s why this dangerous fitness industry mindset is entirely unsustainable. Instead of working against our genetic wiring, I’ve developed a way to work with it with my “I Am Clovis” Protocol.

No more 6-days-a-week misery followed by guilt and ridiculously sore muscles. Sounds pretty great, right?

Myth #3: I Can’t Afford to Eat Healthy.

“Eating healthy is so damn expensive! I just can’t afford to buy food that costs that much…”

I get this all the time. “Organic is too expensive Justin! Grassfed is too expensive! I can’t afford pasture-raised eggs.”

Having the Clovis Academy community in my life has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective that I would have never experienced without it. I have a lot of mom’s coming to me looking to improve their health, which gives me a big fat window into the life of 21st century American motherhood. I have a mom, but I’ve never been one (and uh, never will be), so getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse into this critical role has given me some crucial insight.

Regarding food cost and grocery bills, I hear a lot of similar stories from moms in the Clovis Academy (beware, I might be stomping on some toes here):

“I have 4 kids Justin. I make X at my job, my husband makes Y and weekly groceries cost Z. We’re barely making ends meet as is, and you’re asking me to start buying grass-fed meat?! Are you crazy!?

“You’re lucky Justin. You’re a 30-year-old single guy with a great career. Of course, you can afford grass-fed meat. I just don’t have that luxury.”

Or my all-time favorite bogus excuse…

“If I was still single and didn’t have kids like you, I could afford to buy those kinds of foods… but with my 3 kids and family to provide for, I just can’t afford to take care of myself the way I want to anymore.”

Ouch…

To attack these bogus excuses as to why you, “can’t,” I want to focus on the underlying belief system we’re dealing with here. Regardless of what story we choose to employ, excuses like these ones are coverups for our veiled feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, and fear.

We must deal with this first if we want to get anywhere with our health. I can’t help you lose weight if you don’t believe you’re good enough to provide good food for your family.

Logistically, I can give you dozens of tricks to cut your expensive grocery bill. One of the best things about the Clovis Academy is the amazing way the community works to support each other by sharing tips, tricks and hacks to buying quality meat, produce and supplements. I can cut your time in the grocery store in half (it takes me no longer than 10 minutes a week now), I can rid your life of expired labels, canned foods and annoying grocery aisles full of confusing and contradictory messages.

You don’t need to increase your grocery budget… You simply need to reallocate the funds. If you stick to my Clovis Approved Foods List, you’ll be baffled by just how much money you save when you remove all of the processed junk you’ve been buying each and every week. Soda, fruit juice, sugary cereals, milk, Goldfish, chips, bagels, crackers, granola bars, cheese, pastries, Hot Pockets, pizza, beer, blah blah blah. All of these items can quickly add up to hundreds per month! Ditch the junk… and ta-da!… you suddenly have plenty of money left in your grocery budget to spend on high-quality foods!

But what’s the big fear here, for most parents?! “My kids will hate me.” Here we go again with the fear of isolation and loneliness. I need to be clear here, feeding your kids junk is not an act of love. Quite the opposite… It’s time to start giving a crap about what your children are putting in their bodies.

But before you can adopt this new lifestyle, I need you to believe in yourself and in your abilities to provide freedom and health for you and your family, no matter what it takes. I need you to believe that you are doing what is right for the future of your family.

I need you to stop believing the lie that “it doesn’t matter where my food comes from as long as I’m burning it off” and start accepting the truth that food quality makes all the difference for our long term health and weight loss goals.

You can eat healthy, on a budget, guaranteed. It starts by doing simple shit and believing that freedom is attainable.

When we start here, when we begin with the beliefs, we get at the core of why we’re struggling to lose weight as a society. It’s step one, in every regard.

From here, we get to move on to the TRUTH. We get to move on to progress and science and strategy, but we first have to believe the right things and believe that we actually can transform our health when we utilize the right tools.

I want to help you. I want to help you so badly it hurts me sometimes. Are you ready to find the truth?

Start right here, right now.