Ep. 289: Easy Weight Loss

Ready to change your mind about weight loss? Grab The 5-0 Method to lose all the weight you want and keep it off forever.

Everybody wants weight loss to be easy, right? But also, you value hard work and want to be proud of your efforts. On this episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, we’re exploring how to get the best of both worlds while you’re losing weight.

On the one hand, you definitely want weight loss to feel easy. Easy is pleasurable, it’s what your brain craves, and it requires virtually nothing from you. So nice, right?

On the other hand, though, you’ve been socialized to value hard work, and truly believe that nothing good comes without it. Weight loss actually has to be hard to be worthwhile, doesn’t it?

Navigating these opposing ideals is tough, and can stop your weight loss in its tracks.

So, on this week’s episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, we’re finding the middle ground, evaluating the thoughts we have about easy weight loss and hard work, and managing our mindset to get where we want to go.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Why you don’t REALLY want weight loss to be easy
  • Why you don’t REALLY want to work hard, either
  • A better way of THINKING about your weight loss journey (that gets results!)

Working with your brain to create a weight loss mindset is all part of getting your GOAL, and this episode of the podcast has actionable steps that can help.


Hello, hello, GOALfriend, and welcome to episode 289, where we’re talking about easy weight loss. Because that’s the dream, right? I mean, how awesome would it be to lose weight easily? To just get on the scale every day and have it be going down down down until you reach your goal weight and get on with the business of living your confident, active life. And even better than that, what if the tasks for weight loss were easy, too? Like, it’s no big deal to track your calories, and hit your targets, and get a good night’s sleep, and drink your water, and manage your mindset. What if it was all just simple and easy and took almost no effort on your part at all? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Hmm. Well, maybe. But also maybe not. Because on the other hand, you also kind of like working hard and getting that sense of accomplishment. Everything in your life that you’re super proud of is something that you really worked for, maybe were very dedicated to, and sacrificed for. And that feels amazing! So, which is it? Do you want easy weight loss, or hard weight loss? Well, as it turns out, when you kinda sorta want both easy weight loss AND hard weight loss, you’re likely to get yourself stuck in “no weight loss” limbo. I usually see this issue show up in one of two ways: One is that you’re making one or more of your weight loss tasks (journaling, eating your target calories, drinking your water, getting your sleep, and exercising moderately – the five things we do with The 5-0 Method) you’re making them super complex and complicated. Or two is that you’re just not really doing the task or tasks at all. I had a client a long time ago who tracked her calories in four separate trackers, plus she calculated her Weight Watchers points. Every single day. And to be clear, I did NOT ask her to do this, nor would I ever. And as far as I could tell, she was only doing it to kind of drive herself crazy with calculating and recalculating and spinning out over whether or not the numbers were really “accurate.” And so I finally asked her why she was doing it, since it was clearly taking up a lot of her time and her brain space. The long and the short of it that we got to after asking her lots of questions, was just that she thought counting her calories was “too easy.” Using any one of the apps felt very simple to her, she had no trouble with weighing or measuring her portions. It was EASY. And her brain thought it needed to be hard. Another time I had… not even a client. I had a consultation with a woman who really wanted to lose weight, but absolutely outright refused to even consider any of the tasks I wanted to assign to her. This was many, many years ago, before I was a life coach and before I developed any of the … I hesitate to call it tough love, but I’m sure if you ask anybody in the Get Your GOAL group, they’ll tell you that my love is pretty tough sometimes. I’m not afraid to ask difficult questions and sit in silence while you want to squirrel away from them. This is actually the power of coaching! I’m not afraid of your thoughts, and I will point them out to you. But I didn’t do that way back then! So this woman and I were having a consultation in a coffee shop and I was, you know, a young, eager personal trainer, describing for her what we’d do and the results she could get, and every single thing I suggested, she shot down. Everything was like, “Oh, no, that’s way too hard. Absolutely not. No.” And I was just like, “Ummmm, okay, well, maybe we can figure something else out.” And eventually we both just left the coffee shop with “Well, let me know what you decide” and I never heard from her again. I do wonder about her sometimes. Essentially, she wanted to make absolutely no changes to her eating or her exercising, while also getting completely different results, which I think a LOT of us can relate to. Which is not how biology works. Except that these examples are exactly how BRAIN biology works! You have a lifetime of messages and socialization that tell you weight loss should be simultaneously easy, but not too easy, and also hard but not too hard. And for the most part, that just leaves you completely STUCK. So, on our way to getting you unstuck and finding the Goldilocks solution, let’s pull this easy weight loss versus hard work puzzle apart and take a look at the pieces. WHY YOU THINK YOU WANT EASY WEIGHT LOSS First up, the reason you think you want weight loss to be easy really is just simple biology – it’s the Pleasure Principle at work, and there’s nothing wrong with this. We humans are hard-wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. And advertisers have been capitalizing on this since the beginning of time. Take a look at any ad for any product and you’ll find some version of the word “easy” in there – simple, time-saving, money-saving, fast, enjoyable, fun, convenient, and sometimes they’ll just straight up say the word easy. WHY YOU DON’T WANT EASY WEIGHT LOSS But interestingly, you simultaneously don’t want things to be… let’s call it “too easy.” When something comes to us easily, our brain discounts and discredits that result, as though it’s not really ours, but must somehow be a byproduct of circumstances. This happened to a friend of mine in the Get Your GOAL Mastermind group. She’d been working on weight loss really diligently for months and was super close to her goal weight when she got really sick. She was out for over a week, with low appetite and low energy, and she was drinking lots of water to feel better, and sleeping all the time. And wouldn’t you know it, by the time she was fully healthy again, she was at her goal weight. And it was 100% because she’d been doing all the things to lose weight – she was resting, she was taking care of her body, she was fueling for the activity she was capable of (which is to say, not very much because she was sick, but it was an appropriate amount for what her body needed), she was hydrating, and she was journaling. She was doing all of The 5-0 Method things! But her brain didn’t think so. According to her brain, she “cheated” her way to her goal weight, so it didn’t count. It was too easy. And then, unsurprisingly (at least to me it was unsurprising, because I’ve seen this happen countless times over the years) – she gained some of the weight back. Y’all… this is how brains work! When you think you didn’t really “earn” something, some good result in your life, you will sabotage it and find your way back to a place where you have to work hard to get it. This is how lottery winners end up spending all their money and going broke again! So, she found herself with those couple of pounds to lose again, but this time – according to her brain – she had to do it the right way. What’s the right way? The one that requires hard work, of course. WHY YOU THINK YOU WANT HARD WEIGHT LOSS Because this is the thing we’ve been socialized to believe our whole lives – that things that are truly valuable only come from hard work. Even if your family of origin didn’t necessarily instill this particular value in you, you’ve been surrounded by messages like this since forever – “no pain, no gain,” “go big or go home,” or “dreams don’t work unless you do.” Seriously, I Googled the phrase “hard work” and thousands of supposedly inspirational messages and memes and images popped up. We humans LOVE the idea of working hard. WHY YOU DON’T WANT HARD WEIGHT LOSS But also? We really don’t. Like, biologically. Remember, we are hard-wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, so we don’t naturally seek out hard work. And, in fact, the idea of “hard work” is what stops lots of us from completing our tasks and/or achieving our goals. On the daily, I hear from women who tell me things like, “It’s too hard to track calories,” or “It’s really hard for me to get all my water in,” or “Weight loss is so much harder after menopause,” – which, by the way, is simply not true, weight loss is different after menopause, not harder. Another friend of mine from the Get Your GOAL Mastermind was lamenting recently about how hard it is to figure out the calories in something like a soup or a casserole, where you’re just throwing in ingredients without necessarily measuring them. So, unsurprisingly – at least to me, because, just like my other friend’s dilemma, I’ve seen this one happen hundreds of times – she just wasn’t tracking those calories at all, which meant that she maybe was or maybe wasn’t hitting her target each day, and was really struggling to lose weight. Which, of course, she summed up by telling me, “It’s really hard to be consistent.” But what if that wasn’t true? And what if there was a better way – not easier, just better – of navigating through this easy versus hard conundrum? Because there is a better way, and here it is: THE ANSWER IS NEITHER EASY NOR HARD Step One is to recognize how often your brain offers you “too easy” or “too hard” as a problem. When you start listening for it, you are going to be amazed at how often it shows up in your head. And, just so you know, this simple act of recognition can be enough, all by itself, to take care of a lot of what you struggle with. Step Two, if the thoughts about “too easy” or “too hard” still feel very true, or very “sticky,” is to resolve the underlying issue, which is to say that you will feel the feeling the thought creates. For my friend who got sick and felt like she got cheated out of losing weight the way she wanted, the feeling was anger. She was SO mad about being sick, and how it coincided with reaching her goal. And for my friend who didn’t know how to calculate the calories in soup, the feeling was incapability. She felt… dumb. And for both of these friends, they were both able to just FEEL the feeling. It took about two minutes, as feelings do, to exist and then dissipate on their own. And when you’ve done this, you’re ready for Step Three, which is to identify how you’d like to think about your particular situation, and possibly use different language around it. Here’s what I mean: In the case of my friend who got sick, she’d been telling herself that her goal was “too easy” and that she “cheated” to get there. But after feeling through the feeling of anger, she realized that SHE was the one who had put forth all the effort, not the illness. SHE had rested and taken care of herself, SHE had eaten for her energy levels, SHE had kept herself hydrated. When her brain tried to offer her that it was too easy, she reminded herself that, in reality, it was the same amount of effort she’d been putting in for the rest of her weight loss. And for my friend with the soups and casseroles who’d been telling herself that it was too hard to track – once she felt through the feeling of incapable, she was ready to take a look at the math. Quick tip here: just add up the calories of all the ingredients in the whole recipe and divide by the approximate number of servings the recipe usually makes. Once she did that, she realized that calculating the calories for a whole dish is the same amount of effort as any other calculation. And this is where I want to leave you on the “easy weight loss” conversation: there’s really no such thing as “easy” or “hard” when it comes to weight loss. Everything you do is going to take you some amount of effort, and it’s all worthwhile, because it’s taking you where you want to go. I hope this was helpful for you today. Thanks for listening, and I’ll talk to you again soon!

Listen to the full episode here, and be sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.

Originally aired May 28, 2023
Everybody wants weight loss to be easy, right? But also, you value hard work and want to be proud of your efforts. On this episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, we’re exploring how to get the best of both worlds while you’re losing weight.
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Meet Your Host

Mindset expert and certified life coach Pahla B knows a thing or two about changing your mind to change your weight and your life. She’s the creator of The 5-0 Method, Amazon-best selling author of the book “Mind Over Menopause,” and former yo-yo dieter who has cracked the code on lifelong weight maintenance. Join Pahla B each week for the personal insights, transformative mindset shifts, and science-backed body advice that can help you lose all the weight you want and keep it off forever.