Welcome to Get Your GOAL with Pahla B. I'm your host Pahla B. I'm a weight loss and menopause expert, certified life coach and author of the book “Mind Over Menopause”. On this podcast we dive deep into the mindset tools and proven get your goal formula that will help you lose weight for the last time. Are you ready to get your goal? Me too. Let's go. Hello, Goalfriend. Welcome to episode number 270 where we're talking about calorie confusion. This is going to be such a great conversation today and I already can feel it because this is something that I get asked about so, so very often and even more so really recently. I mean if you are not brand new to the podcast, you have heard me talking over the last couple of weeks about how I've been revamping and changing and making some updates to some old programs. And so you've probably heard me talking about The 5-0 Method, which I just recently; I did not give it a complete overhaul; I gave it a both a cosmetic overhaul and a little bit of tweaking in like the messaging of how we do things.
My goal overall was to make it simpler and yet what I have found is that for some people I have made it more complicated. Because, I really specifically, I made a change to the way that you calculate your calories, your target calories for weight loss. First of all, if you don't even know what I'm talking about, like in general, let me tell you that you can get The 5-0 Method from my website, GetYourGOAL.com. It is my free proven weight loss program for women over 50 where every day, we do five things that make you say, “Oh, I had no idea it could be this simple to lose weight after 50.”
And I'm laughing at the word simple really specifically because as we're talking about today, for lots of you, the changes that I make, the small differences between the version that I used to have and the version that we have now has actually created for you a lot of confusion about exactly how to calculate your calories. So anyways, one of the things that we do is we eat the right number of calories every day. Actually the very first thing that we do is we manage our mindset by finding our thoughts, deciding if they're helpful, we eat the right number of calories, we drink the right amount of water, we get the right amount of sleep and we exercise moderately every single day. All of these things are an every single day type situation. And so what I've been hearing from a lot of you is that because the numbers are different that it feels very confusing and I will tell you that one of the reasons that I changed to the newer method, which is to say generally speaking this is a rule of thumb and there are some adjustments to be made, but generally speaking what you'll do is you'll take your current weight and you'll add a zero to the end of it.
You'll take your current weight in pounds. By the way, I did have a couple of questions about that , I posted a YouTube short about this very recently. I was like, just take your weight and add a a zero and literally everybody who weighs themselves in kilograms was like, ha and I totally apologize. I did not even remotely, this is how American I am. This is definitely how I see the world. I assume that y'all are weighing yourselves in pounds and of course most people in the world are not. So let me start to really think about how I'm saying that much more clearly. Take your weight in pounds and add a zero to the end. I don't know if there's a super simple way to do that in kilograms other than uh, maybe you know, multiply by 2.2 , which is not that simple. That would not be as easy of a conversion for you as adding the zero on the end to your weight and pounds in any event. One of the reasons that I did that is because the old method that I had you doing was going to a bunch of different calorie calculators on the internet, which by the way is just problematic in general because if you Google calorie calculators, first of all there are literally hundreds of thousands of them and second of all, most of them have cookies and are trying to gather your data and trying to you know, sell you things.
Like a lot of these websites are truly problematic for a lot of reasons. So that's one of the reasons why I didn't wanna be sending you to five websites anymore. And the other confusing, in my opinion, thing about those five websites is that they all calculated your calories very differently. They all had different ways of asking you for your information, different ways of calculating your information. And originally that really was my thought process that I wanted you to see that there is no correct one right number that the reason I was sending you to five different calorie calculators is because all five of them with the exact same inputs of your age, your height, your weight, your activity level would give you a different number. This was my thinking for years that by simply seeing that, that you would recognize, “Oh, none of these numbers are right, nobody knows what's the right number for me.”
However, it never had that effect . So therefore this is why I have offered you something more prescriptive in the sense of this at a zero to the end of your weight in pounds and there are some adjustments because there are some things that do affect, I'm gonna call it the algorithm, the number that you would calculate and that is things like your age. The younger you are, the more calories you are burning every minute of every day because of your metabolism. I mean as we age, our metabolism slows down because uh, or one of the other factors is your height because of how it affects like the ratio of your height to weight, it gives the algorithm some information about how proportional your weight is. A taller person is going to at a healthy weight weigh more than a shorter person. So there are some adjustments to be made for your age, for your height and just for your general activity level.
I have found that this is one of the questions that I get a lot. I use the word kind of I, I actually don't remember the exact word. I know I use the word sedentary and I don't remember what I say for the other one. I'm pretty sure that I said the word fidgety because that's how I describe myself. Like when I'm talking I'm always using my hands even when I'm sitting at my desk all day, I move around a lot. I'm constantly fidgeting my body, I'm changing my position. I am a person who does not technically speaking sit completely still like even now while we're doing this podcast, I am not sitting right now, I'm crouching, I was sitting, I'm crouching now. I'll be like on my knees here in a little bit like I'm trying to sit facing my couch because it's the softest surface in my house and it tends to give me a slightly better audio quality, not great, but slightly better than if I am facing a hard surface like my desk or sitting at my kitchen counter or something like that.
So it's not very comfortable where I'm sitting. Gosh, this is a longer conversation and I apologize for taking a left turn, but you know how we are . You know how we are. No, you know how I am . One of the things on my vision board this year, one of the goals I have for myself this year is to figure out a more permanent podcasting situation. Whether that be renting a podcasting studio or creating a studio in my home or some kind of podcasting solution so that I can be more comfortable and have even better audio quality. This is one of the things I'm really looking forward to this year, is really upleveling the podcast, which will not mean by the way that I will not take left turns because I absolutely will. In any event, the words that I used about being active and being sedentary, I'm getting a lot of questions about what that means exactly and so I wanted to really address what I see as being a more of a macro problem rather than all of the little, and I don't mean that to diminish it, I mean that they are very specific. That's a much better word.
The specific questions that you have about your calorie calculation, what I'd like to talk about is being confused about your calories in general because here's the thing: you can't know how many calories to eat to lose weight and it doesn't matter or rather it almost doesn't matter how many calories you are eating, especially when you first get started. So let me explain what I mean by both of those things because I know that right now that sentence actually just created more confusion for you and I totally apologize. Except for the fact that I think that this podcast episode is really gonna clear it all up. So let's actually start with it almost doesn't matter because that's science. So let's talk about science, let's talk about the science of calories and let's really specifically talk about the science of just the human body in general.
Here's the thing: you have some biological imperatives. The number one biological imperative that you have is to stay alive. In order to stay alive, you need to take in energy, to convert that energy into all of the body processes that keep you alive. This is a fact of all life, not just human life but all life on earth takes in energy, converts it into processes and then expels different kinds of energy and or waste. Okay? So that is number one, your number one biological imperative is to stay alive as much as possible. Your number two biological imperative, and by the way, I'm pretty sure that there are other biological imperatives. I'm really talking about a hierarchy of imperatives as they relate to weight loss. Very specifically biological imperatives in the big, big, big picture like all of the things that we do as biological specimens would also include things like reproduction because that doesn't affect us very much.
Reproduction actually is number two on the biological imperative list, but because it doesn't really affect weight loss, it kind of does like hormonally but it's not enough of a factor that I ever mention it, but here I am mentioning it anyways, the number two for our purposes is that your body wants to stay the same as much as possible. The number three biological imperative is to adapt when necessary so that it can stay the same as much as possible. The reason your body wants to stay the same as much as possible is actually in support of staying alive as much as possible. Your body would rather use the least amount of energy for any of its processes so that it can live as long as it can because of its, I'm gonna say uncertainty of the amount of resources you might have at your disposal over the millennia.
This is how we have evolved because of the resources that were available to us over the last, you know, hundreds of thousands of years as human beings, our bodies have adapted to two really be okay with a wide variety of resources and have learned how to make adaptations to either a wide variety of resources or a lack of resources so that we can stay alive. And what this means for us now is that on the, your body can actually take in a huge variation of an amount of calories without really changing your weight very much. I'm gonna take a quick sidebar here to talk about how much your weight does actually change from day to day. Your body is supposed to fluctuate, you have billions with a B of biological processes going on every single minute of every single day inside your body. All of them are taking in energy in some form and producing waste in some form and producing energy in that they're doing whatever it is that they're supposed to be doing.
Those billions of processes that are constantly taking in energy and putting out waste and doing what they do means that your weight can vary by, I'm gonna say easily three pounds in either direction every day. I've heard stories of people who have wider variations than that. I've definitely heard stories of people who have like significantly less variation than that. I'm always surprised there are people who report their weight on the internet sometimes in either my free Facebook group or my paid coaching group, the Get Your GOAL group, they report their weight and I'm always like, oh my god your weight does not vary at all. Like it's so shocking to me. My personal variation is very easily in the one to two pounds range every single day and pretty frequently in the three pound range either up or down. And when it varies very little, I'm always surprised, I'm always like, oh god, it only went up, you know, 0.2 or it only went down 0.4, like that's so bizarre for me.
So your body is supposed to fluctuate all the time and that fluctuation is your body's way of actually staying the same. This is what I mean over the course of a long period of time, that little bit of fluctuation actually still averages out to more or less the exact same weight even if you have a huge variation in how many calories you are taking in every day. And most of us left to our own devices just living our lives, we do actually have a pretty decent amount of variation in our caloric intake from day to day. So because your body is capable of handling and in fact is more or less designed to handle a wide variation of caloric intake from day to day, the thing that drives weight loss is consistency. Being in a consistent slight caloric deficit over time is the thing that drives weight loss.
So this is what I mean by it almost doesn't matter for many women. And I'm not even gonna go so far as to say most, and I'm definitely not gonna say all, like definitely not gonna say all, but for many women, it is the simple act of being consistent that drives weight loss for, I'm gonna say a, a pretty decent amount of time. Your results can and will vary from that and this is where we start to get into calorie confusion at some point. It's not only about consistency; for some women that actually is pretty immediate. Especially, and this is totally a working theory in my own mind right now working with, I mean over the course of the years I have quite literally worked with thousands of women. I haven't been able to follow enough women over enough time to really prove a lot of my theories, but this is where I am right now in the amount of women that I have worked with and I'm getting to see more data over more time as my audience grows and as so many of you stick with me for so long and thank you so much and frankly as so many of you share with me your data over time, I am developing this theory that it is the women who started off eating kind of consistently every day anyway, who butt up against this.
It's not really consistency faster than others for me personally. For example, if you know me at all, if you've been around the Pahla B fitness world for any length of time, you have definitely heard me say how much I love my routines. Way, way, way back in the day I was one of those women who was eating a wide variety of calories. There was days at a time when I would eat almost nothing, days at a time when I would eat lots, even back and forth from day to day. One day I'd be super busy and not eat much of anything, another day I would be, you know, sitting around and munching like I was one of those women who had a huge caloric variety. So when I lost weight, and this was years before I knew anything about losing weight, like… this was honestly I'm, I'm thinking about times when I have lost weight when I was like in my twenties and in my thirties much more so than more recently, which actually also corroborates my story. Because more recently having had a routine for so long I butted up against the, it's not the consistency, it's the number much more quickly than I did when I was in my twenties and thirties, when I was in my twenties and thirties.
All it took was me being consistent with my calories. I lost weight like almost instantly. So let me first of all reassure you that there's nothing wrong with you if you are not getting weight loss results quickly. Like, meaning you start trying to work on weight loss and you start getting results in the first week or two as opposed to anything about like how fast you lose, how much weight. I'm not putting a number on this, I'm talking about losing weight at all. If you have been eating with a wide caloric variety, being consistent at all will probably start moving your needle within the first week or two much more so than somebody who has already been eating more or less the same things every day. Kind of in that instance, in the instance of somebody who has already been eating relatively consistently, that is when it's time to fine tune the actual number and this when it's time to fine tune the actual number is when y'all come to me with calorie confusion and let me actually be really clear about this, I actually just kind of liked the title “Calorie Confusion”.
Sometimes what you come to me with is calorie frustration, sometimes, sometimes, that frustration even turns into calorie anger, . Sometimes that there's a wide variety of things you might feel it might be calorie defeat. I get a lot of comments about, there's so much information out there, I can't figure it out. It seems like I shouldn't even try or I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean by sedentary versus active. There's a wide variety of how this might present to you, so let me give you kind of a big picture. If you haven't been able to, for one reason or another, choose a calorie target and move forward with it, you are in what I am calling for the sake of this podcast, calorie confusion, and that's gonna hit you at any time. In fact, what I noticed was when I came out with the new 5-0 Method, I had people who had been really like successful in losing weight for a rather long time message me or email me or leave comments in any number of social media places saying, well now I'm confused because this number that you've offered me with the add a zero to my weight and pounds is different from what I have been eating. What should I do?
Here's what I wanna offer you about that calorie confusion. First of all, it's completely normal, completely natural. This is your brain offering you some really important information about where you are on your weight loss journey. And that's why I wanted to come up a little bit and just give it a title “Calorie Confusion” and look a little bit more at the big picture of what's going on here in terms of this presents as either confusion or defeat or anger or frustration because of where you are. The bigger picture here is that you would really like a guarantee of some sort of what's going to work and you might not use the word guarantee. It might again present as something like, but I just don't know. I don't like not knowing. I wish I could just have you tell me what's gonna work.
There are a lot of ways that this might present to you, but what you are looking for is some kind of certainty, some kind of guarantee, some kind of like known quantity of like a return on your investment. You want to know that this is gonna work and this, this is the hard part , and this is why it feels difficult is because you can't know, my friend. Let me tell you something about how the world works that you already do know that none of us really like you cannot know the future. You can't. And further to that really just kind of specifically to your particular body, there are so many processes and inputs that go into weight loss. There are five that I tell you that definitely affect weight loss, but there are all kinds of other factors also and so many variations of those factors that you, nobody can give you a number that is a hundred percent going to work for you because you, my friend, are a special snowflake and you cannot predict the future.
You can't predict everything that's gonna go on with your body and you cannot predict the future of what you are doing right now. Now I know maybe I don't know because I'm predicting the future , but I suspect that a lot of you just heard that and were like then well I shouldn't even try and a lot of you just heard that and got very angry. A lot of you just heard that and got very confused. Like the same kind of thing is happening here with me telling you that you cannot know you want a guarantee and there isn't one and that is really difficult for your brain. There's a psychological principle here at play called cognitive dissonance where there are two opposing thoughts that your brain is trying to hold. On the one hand, there's the space time continuum and the fact that you cannot predict the future.
That is reality, that is truth, that is a fact. We cannot know the future and then there's this thought that we want to know the future backed by. I have to tell you this, this is something that your brain is actually really good at. Your brain wants to predict the future because of millennia of evolution wherein if we could have a guess at what's gonna happen in the future, we can make adaptation, not adaptations, but we can make changes to our environment right now to move that future in the direction that we want. Your brain really thinks that it can predict the future sometimes, like it really, really, really thinks that it knows some things based on the past and it offers you those, those opinions about how things could go in the future and sometimes it works out. In fact, it works out enough of the time that we really think we should be able to predict at least some of the future.
This is not a problem, but it kind of presents as a problem because you literally cannot predict the future, but you kind of think you can and you really want to. We want guarantees. We do. We want guarantees because we want to feel certain. We think that if we feel certain that it will be so much easier to move forward and you're absolutely right when we feel certain, it's very easy to move forward when you feel certain that something is gonna go a particular way, you step forward into it believing that this is the way it's gonna go and then it frequently does because that's exactly the way your brain is supposed to work. It creates what it already believes. Now here's the thing, when you have two options here of reality, truth, facts, which is to say you cannot predict the future and then you have on the other side here this other opposing opinion of wanting to predict the future.
That always presents that cognitive dissonance of having two thoughts that cannot be reconciled. That always presents as some kind of emotional discomfort, so however that presents for you as confusion, frustration, defeat any run of that gamut. It is cognitive dissonance and here's how I'm gonna suggest you pull yourself out of it. I actually have practical advice for you love, and here it is. Rather than asking yourself or asking me or asking the program or asking the internet for some kind of certainty, accept that you will not have it. That the way your future is gonna go is the way your future is gonna go, and accept that there are certain things that you do have control over. The future is not one of them. Knowing for sure whether or not this calorie count is going to work for you is not one of the things you can be certain of.
However, what you can be certain of is your own commitment to the process. What I'm gonna offer you is that even better than a certainty that you quite frankly cannot have. You will be better served with curiosity and commitment. Now, I have a podcast episode. I have absolutely no idea what number it was, but it's called The Best Feeling and I stand by this every day, all day. The best feeling that will take you to your goal is curiosity. What if? What if you pick a number and collect data with that number for a certain amount of time and see what happens? What if? Now, this is gonna require you to actually make the decision of what number it's gonna require you to observe with both commitment and curiosity that your brain offers you sometimes very, very, very, very, very loudly. I don't know it's true, you don't know, but you can pick.
It's why I've offered you the add a zero to the end of your weight in pounds because it's easy. It's an easy number for you to simply pick and move forward with curiosity and commitment. I want you to take a quick moment right here to see how curiosity and commitment feel in your body. For me personally, curiosity always feels amazing, like always I love it. Commitment when I actually feel it . You might be struggling with the commitment thing right now because your brain is still offering you the confusion or the defeat or the frustration. I totally get that, totally get that, which is why curiosity helps the most. When you can observe the frustration, the confusion and the defeat with curiosity and be like, oh my gosh, what if I am only feeling those things because of this cognitive dissonance? What if what Pahla is saying is exactly what's going on with me right now?
Okay, I can observe that and I can step into a little bit of commitment. Commitment is less important, honestly, it's gonna be more important in the long run, but being curious can help you be committed when you can find that committed energy, notice how it feels in your body. It feels good. Remember with the 2-step tool, that one's episode number 89, mind management, the 2-step tool, everything you need to know about whether or not you are moving forward towards your goals. Your body is telling you when you have a feeling that feels good, you are moving towards your goals. When you have a feeling that feels bad, you are moving away from your goals or at the very least you're standing still confusion, defeat, frustration, anger, none of those feel good in your body. Those are feelings that are not moving you towards your goal.
Curiosity, because it feels good in your body, is moving you towards your goal commitment because it feels good in your body, is moving you toward your goal. The number you pick simultaneously matters and doesn't matter. It matters because of the data you will collect and it doesn't matter because you will collect data and then make another decision if necessary. Here's my parameters for you to get started with this. Just because you're a biological specimen, and this is what I know about how weight loss works, generally speaking, you cannot possibly know what is working and what is not working for a minimum of four to six weeks. Minimum. You need to collect data, which is to say you need to weigh yourself and be tracking your calories and be tracking your water and be tracking your sleep and be tracking your exercise. You need to be collecting the five points of data from the 5-0 Method every single day for at least four to six weeks before you can draw any conclusions at all, at all, which means when your brain offers you every single day, when you step on the scale, oh, I wonder what I did yesterday.
Your brain is trying to analyze the data like, oh, yesterday's calories must have affected today. Uh-uh, collect the data for a minimum of four to six weeks. This is so important and this is where you're gonna need to find that the wherewithal to be curious every day to collect the data and be committed to only collecting the data. I promise you, you cannot analyze the data until you've collected it for a certain amount of time. Generally speaking, that's gonna be four to six weeks generally speaking. Now, here's what I'm gonna tell you about that data that you will collect for four to six weeks. Is that it might not offer you any information at all if you have not been consistent. When you are collecting data, you're not just collecting the numbers, well, you are, but one of the things that you are analyzing was your consistency with those habits that you've been collecting the data on.
So let's say that you get to the end of four to six weeks and you have every single day's data, but the amount of times that you actually hit your calorie target on the money, let's say what's four weeks? Four weeks is 28 days and you only actually hit your calorie target 13 of those days. I really should have picked a better number. 14 of those days, 14 out of 28, that's a much better math for me. That's math I can do in my head, that's only 50% consistency. That data of how that calorie target affected your weight loss is useless until you are actually hitting your calorie target consistently. You don't actually have data. What you do though is you have some good data to analyze what's going on with your consistency. There's more curiosity to be had. I notice that I'm not hitting my calorie target.
I wonder what I could do with this. I wonder how I can hit this calorie target more consistently. Your brain will offer you that. The problem, by the way, this is something I see all the time, your brain will offer you that the problem is the calorie target and it probably isn't. I, I'll be honest, it probably isn't. There's a world to open up here, which really could be a whole different podcast of your thoughts about the calorie target. What I'm gonna offer you is that hitting the calorie target consistently is the thing that gives you the data to analyze whether or not that calorie target works for weight loss. And until you are hitting it consistently, there's no information to be had. Now, let me offer you something. Let me hold your hand through this, love, because I know that what I just told you, , is that you're gonna have to stick with this for four to six weeks and if you can't hit your calorie target, which is very difficult for lots of us, for lots of other reasons, and that's why we find our mindset stuff.
It's why we look at our journal every single day. But here's the thing, even the act of working on consistency by being curious and committed, there's a very, very good chance that you can still be getting weight loss results, my friend. Your body. Well, first of all, your body's just a miracle. It's a miracle. It requires very little in the way of working with it in order to do what it's supposed to do. You even trying to be consistent to hit this calorie target, to be in this slight caloric deficit, to hit the other five, or other four things rather, of drinking your water and sleeping and taking care of yourself and moving in baby steps towards this, I'm gonna call it a standard of, you know, the 5-0 Method of hitting the exact right calories and drinking the exact right water. Those tiny movements in the direction of that standard are very likely to get you weight loss results.
Your commitment to being curious and your curiosity about your commitment are the things that are gonna get you every place you wanna go. Yes, it's the calories and also it's not, let me summarize this for you real quick, that the calories matter, but also you can't know the exact right number of calories before you start simply eating a number of calories and gathering data. So your process here is to first of all know the science, always know the science of how your body's gonna work, understand what's going on with it, understand what fluctuations are, understand what's gonna help drive the weight loss in the big picture, understanding your biological imperatives, all that big picture stuff. Having that background is the first step and you've already got that right here. Second step is understanding that where you are right now is just cognitive dissonance. This is exactly how your brain is supposed to work.
It's trying to hold two opposing thoughts and it feels desperately uncomfortable. You get to pick a side on this one and I suggest that you choose the side of reality, facts and truth, which is to say that you can't know the future and that's completely okay, because what you can do is move forward with curiosity and commitment. When you are moving forward with curiosity and commitment, what you'll do, step number one is simply pick a calorie target. I suggest you choose the easiest one and/or the one that's already been working. These are to me really obvious choices and to you when you're feeling the cognitive dissonance doesn't feel obvious. It's why I offer it to you. Let me just tell you what to do here, love . Pick the one that either feels easy or you've already been getting results from. From there, that is where you will start collecting data.
This is where it's so important to feel that curiosity and feel that commitment so that you can collect the data for at least four to six weeks on the daily. Remind your brain that analyzing the data isn't doing you any good. Analyzing the data. Is your brain actually trying to stay in that cognitive dissonance and stay confused and stay frustrated and stay defeated? Don't, when you recognize that from your curiosity and your commitment, allow your brain to be where it is because you are having cognitive dissonance. And that's completely okay, but also remind yourself of your curiosity and your commitment to simply collecting the data for the amount of time. Not analyzing it on the daily is going to be your daily work. And then the next thing is to analyze it when you have enough data, which is to say four to six weeks, but check first for your consistency before you check your results.
If there's a discrepancy on your consistency, you are aiming for at least 90 all the way up to a 100% consistency before you can truly draw any conclusions from your data. My friend, I know this sounded like a tall order, but what I will offer you is that when you can feel that curiosity and commitment, and not just in that like I'm faking it till I make it like gritting your teeth and white knuckling the curiosity, I think I'm curious. No, but like actually feeling curious. When you actually feel curious, it actually feels good, it feels curious. Moving forward with curiosity and its corollary commitment can help you with your calorie confusion. Loves. I really hope this was helpful for you and I can't wait for your data. I really do love it when you share your data with me as much as you want to.
Obviously, I understand what it's like to put numbers on the internet, but I love to hear it because it helps me formulate my theories, which helps me help you lose weight. And not just you, but like everybody, all of us, all of us who are on this journey together. When I have more data, I can be even more helpful and of course, I hope this podcast was helpful for you. Thank you so much for listening. I'll talk to you again soon. Thanks for listening. Be sure to leave a rating and review so other women of a certain age can stop struggling with the scale and start loving their menopausal bodies. And if you are ready to change your mindset while you're changing your weight, then it's time to get into the Get Your GOAL Mastermind group where you'll find my proven success formula answers to your questions expert coaching and the community support you've been looking for. You don't need to lose weight alone when you can have fun and level up your mindset with friends, with weekly coaching calls, live journaling classes and access to the tools and strategies I've used to help thousands of women lose weight for the last time. The Get Your GOAL Group is the place for you to get your goal. Learn more about group membership at www.GetYourGOAL.com and I'll see you inside the group.