Can You REALLY Eat What You Want and Still Lose Weight?

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.

After a lifetime of hearing that you have to eat healthy or low calorie foods to lose weight, or you have to give up carbs or fats or desserts to lose the weight you want – well, overthinking menopausal women like you are understandably skeptical when my answer to the question of “Can you REALLY eat what you want and still lose weight?” is unequivocally “Yes, you can.”

When I was preparing for this week’s episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, I went back into the Pahla B archives to watch a Masterclass I had put on about eight or nine months ago. I knew I had made a couple of points in that class that I wanted to share with you on the podcast, but I had honestly forgotten just how useful and actionable the whole class was.

So today, instead of just sharing a few points from that Masterclass, I’m sharing the entire thing, including the viewer Q&A at the end, which was super valuable as well.

And let me give you a little heads up. While I was in the vault, I found a couple of other Masterclasses I’m excited to share with you, too. So, over the next three weeks, you can enjoy these longer episodes that get super in-depth on the weight loss mindset topics you care about most.

Today’s Masterclass was recorded last fall, and it’s all about how to navigate “eating season” while you’re losing weight. Enjoy!


After a lifetime of hearing that you have to eat healthy foods to lose weight, or you have to eat low calorie foods to lose weight, or you have to give up carbs or fats or desserts to lose the weight you want – well, overthinking menopausal women like you are understandably skeptical when my answer to the question of “Can you REALLY eat what you want and still lose weight?” is unequivocally “Yes, you can.” Hello, hello GOALfriend, and welcome to the podcast. I have such a special treat for you today. When I was preparing this episode, I went back in my Pahla B archives to watch a Masterclass I put on about eight or nine months ago. I knew I had made a couple of points in that class that I wanted to share with you here on the podcast, but I had honestly forgotten just how useful and actionable the whole class was. So today, instead of just sharing a few points from that Masterclass, I’m sharing the entire thing, including the viewer Q&A, which was super valuable as well. And let me give you a little heads up. While I was in the vault, I found a couple of other Masterclasses I’m excited to share with you, too. So, over the next three weeks, you can enjoy these longer episodes that get super in-depth on the weight loss mindset topics you care about most. Today’s Masterclass was recorded last fall, and it’s all about how to navigate “eating season” while you’re losing weight. Enjoy! So you guys, let me tell you a little something about what we're going to do today. I have a fantastic class set up for us called Navigate Eating Season With Ease (and lose weight too!) because the part of my bio that I didn't mention you guys, I'm a girl who likes to eat. And I needed to figure out for myself exactly how I could get through this part of the year every year for the years that I was losing weight and now that I've been in maintenance for several years. And I wanted to share with you today my strategy for how I handle getting through this time of year. Now I want you to know there are plenty of health coaches and fitness coaches and weight loss coaches who want to talk to you about these strategies about how you can fill up on salad before you go to a cookie exchange party. Or you can set yourself a very strict two drink maximum and really hold yourself to it. Or if you're going to go out to dinner for a nice New Year's Eve prime rib dinner, you could just skip the bread basket and that's the way to lose weight. And I want you to know that those are not the kind of tips that you are going to be getting from me ever. This is actually not the sort of webinar where I'm going to tell you how to restrict yourself. This webinar, this masterclass is for you if you are ready to learn something new and if you are ready to change your mind about weight loss because that is what we do around here. My friends, I am going to tell you quite literally the opposite of what you will hear from most people in the weight loss world. During our time here together today, I'm actually going to show you that you can lose weight during this long cold, sugary time of year, not by changing what you do and trying to squeeze yourself into a restrictive dieting box, but rather by changing how you think and setting yourself free. You guys, when my kids were little and my kids are not little anymore, let me just tell you, I've got a 23 and a 24-year-old. In fact, my oldest is turning 25 next week. When they were very little, there was this cookie exchange party that we used to get invited to every year and I loved going because I mean, not only am I girl who loves to eat, but I am a girl who loves to eat sugar. Cookies are my thing. I love to bake them. I love to eat them. I love to be around them. I love to have new recipes for them. I love a cookie exchange party and I used to love going to this party and simultaneously hate going to this party. I was filled with social anxiety. I mean that's kind of a blanket statement for how I was in the world constantly. I had a lot of social anxiety, but also at this very specific party I had a lot of self-consciousness, a lot of just keeping up with the Joneses. I would go to this nice party at this nice house with these rich ladies and their beautiful cars and jewelry and I worried about my kids. I worried about myself. I worried about my weight, I worried about what I was wearing. I worried about talking too much and laughing too loud and drinking too much and eating too much and with all that anxiety in me, what I would do, I would tell myself something like I'm just going to enjoy myself, but also I'm going to be really good. And then I would walk in the door and I would talk too much and I would laugh too loud and I would eat too much and I would drink the right amount because of course I was driving my kids home, but I needed that little social prop in my hand with the eating and the drinking and I would always come home and just beat myself up. This was long, long before I understood anything about life coaching and mindset management and I think back to those days and first of all, I'm simultaneously grateful for and have that little bit of a “Gee, I wish I could go back and do things all different.” I know I cannot, so I choose to think about it in terms of how much that helped me understand the exact strategy that I'm going to share with you today. If I would not have had experiences like that, I wouldn't be able to come to you so powerfully and let you know what does work because I know very well what doesn't work. I know how I tried to get through things and how I'm guessing you might be trying to get through eating season right now. You are probably trying to wing it. That was my MO for most of my life in terms of how I would go places and do things, I thought for sure that the sheer force of my will, my deep desire to be in control of myself and know how to keep a lid on myself was going to be the thing that got me through, so I would just go and try and wing it. That didn't work for me. I would also get there and then I would overeat and overdrink, much like my story from emotional discomfort, that feeling of less than that feeling of self-consciousness, that feeling of comparing myself to others, that to me was how I would get through my social anxiety by overeating and overdrinking and trying to stuff down how I was actually feeling. The other thing that I would do is I would deeply restrict myself. This one was a less common strategy. It's why it's number three on here, but it wasn't usually my go-to, but there were definitely occasions where I would really restrict myself and then when I would, I would be bitterly resentful of how easy it looked for everybody else and how I was the one who had to watch every single bite that went into my mouth. Otherwise I would gain 10 pounds overnight and it just wasn't fair and I know that you know what all of these things feel like. This is how so many of us try to white knuckle our way through eating season and then on top of this we do get overwhelmed with these messages about how you can restrict yourself further or have these little tips and tricks for eating the salad or skipping the bread just so that you can keep a tight lid on yourself. And what I want you to know is that I have discovered a much, much, much better way to get through this time of year and it's not even getting through this time of year. It is walking easefully joyfully through this time of year without feeling restricted and with losing weight and my friend, the solution is actually very, very simple. There are three steps to it. Step number one is you're going to think about minimizing pain. Now here's the thing I'm not talking about necessarily physical pain. I'm talking about emotional social pain that you might feel from being in situations where you believe you are out of control of your environment. We're also going to prioritize pleasure because you know what? Your brain is doing this anyway. You are a biological specimen, which means that you are biologically primed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. This strategy that I'm going to offer you rather than trying to work against yourself using willpower or tips and tricks, you're actually just going to work with your brain and your body so that it feels easy. It's like floating down the river that your brain and your body were already going down anyways, and then you're also going to make decisions ahead of time. Now, this is the part where you're actually using the prefrontal cortex of your brain. You're using that evolved part of you that isn't just seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. We're going to use all three parts of what you were naturally born with in order to navigate this season with ease. Now, here are some of the questions that I offer you to ask yourself while you're doing this work. What do I want to avoid either emotionally, socially, or physically? The truth of it is that anytime we go out in the world and we are out of our routine, there's something that we feel a little bit uncomfortable with. It could be as simple as this is not my normal routine, but if you are anything at all like me, there's also the social aspect of it which has an emotional aspect of it like I was talking about with my self-consciousness, my comparison itis, my feeling of awkwardness and also physically. Again, when I would get to these parties and I would overeat and overdrink, I would feel physically too full in addition to the social and emotional pain that I felt. The other question is what do I want most? When we take the time to think beforehand about what kind of a situation we'll be in, there's a great opportunity to prioritize pleasure by thinking about what you want most from the situation and then what will be available. Now, of course, sometimes this is a tricky question to answer. You don't always know exactly what's going to be available to you, but having a general idea, making use of your prefrontal cortex in your brain to think about the future and think and imagine and make decisions from what you think will be available puts you in the driver's seat so that you can make decisions ahead of time. And that's the last question here. How do I make it fit? Because this is the magic my friends, you can eat anything you want in portion sizes no matter what they are that fit into your daily calorie target, you can eat what you want and lose weight too. When you put this into practice, what I do personally is I like to think about exactly what sort of a situation I will be in and spend. I'm going to say at this point in time, because I've practiced this so much, 10 to maybe 15 minutes, taking my time and noodling it out, and what I want you to know is that the first time you put this strategy into practice, you might take a little bit more time to put all the pieces together. Your brain is very likely to offer you that you can't possibly be in control. You can't possibly know what's coming. You can't possibly minimize pain or prioritize pleasure or make decisions ahead of time, and I want you to know that that's completely okay. These are skills and you can just practice them. There's a thing that my family and I like to do every single year. There's a place nearby. I live in Sacramento, California, and there's a place nearby that's up in the Sierra Nevada foothills called Apple Hill, and so this time of year is all about the apples. Now, I happen to know, even though I have never visited any of the vendors who do it, but there are wineries, there are pick your own pumpkin pumpkin patches because it's October. There are also Christmas tree farms, but me and my family are all about the apples and really specifically we are all about the apple fritters. We go there. We started going there when my kids were really little. My oldest, oh my gosh, my oldest would've been six years old. Oh my gosh, and he's about to be 25. Oh, it's been so many years. The first time we went was 2004. It's about an hour away. We pack up my mother and the kids and sometimes my husband and we will go and spend the day eating because there are vendors there that make every kind of apple concoction that you can imagine. It's not just pies, my friend. There are cobblers and crisps and fritters and donuts and ice cream and something called an apple stick. There's an apple empanada. There's what else is there? They have some really, really delicious desserts and I say desserts, but here's the thing that I've noticed over the, what is that 19 years that we've been going there, Apple Hill is a whole day extravaganza. Apple Hill is actually a meal my friends. I want you to know that you do not have to limit or restrict yourself to make something delicious, squeeze in with your day and you do not have to add it on to your day. You can have what you want and make it fit. So now after these years of experience of going to Apple Hill, I know how to ask myself the questions that allow me to have a beautiful time, eat exactly what I want, feel absolutely no guilt afterwards, and for me personally, maintain my weight. There were a couple of years though in between where I was losing. The thing is for me personally, what do I want to enjoy now for this particular social situation? It's my kids. It's my mom, okay? Sometimes there's a little social avoidance going on there, but nothing like I used to have when my kids were younger and we went to that cookie exchange party. For me, socially, this one tends to be very easy and as a life coach now I've actually worked through a lot of my social anxiety, so this one doesn't tend to be the thing that I focus on emotionally. I do love to spend this day feeling connected to my family, so that's actually part of prioritizing pleasure versus minimizing pain, but the minimizing pain part for me means that I want to take part in all of it. I don't want to be the one sitting to the side saying, no, thank you, I'm not going to have any of that. Minimizing pain, interestingly, is interwoven with prioritizing pleasure. I want to make sure that I can have at least a bite or a couple of bites of everything we order, but then physically my main priority, the thing that I want to avoid is being overstuffed. That over full feeling that doesn't feel comfortable in my body emotionally. Socially, I feel like I've got this navigated, but physically this is still something that I really want to prioritize. I really want to make sure that I'm minimizing the physical pain of really overeating, but so what do I want most? Okay, this one's easy. It's apple fitters. That's a very easy answer for me. I have zero questions in my mind. I know for sure. Well, I don't know for sure. You guys we're going in two weeks. Last year when we went, the line for the apple fitter because there's only one place on Apple Hill that I know that has apple fritters. The line was an hour long. Now, did we go at the busiest time of year? Yes, we did. Did we go on a weekend? Yes, we did. Did we go at the busiest time of day? Yes, we did. Are there ways to avoid that? Probably, but also we're going on a weekend this year. We're going at a busy time of year. It's probably going to be a long line, so my apple fritter might not be number one. I'm still going to put it in the number one position. I'm going to make a plan for it. I'm going to know what the calories are. I'm going to know how much of it I want to have. I'm going to make that my number one priority, but I'm also going to have a really good backup of number two, which for me is the apple empanada. It's basically like a little turnover. That was the word I was trying to come up with earlier. There's an apple turnover that they have, but there's something different about the empanada and I couldn't explain to you what it is. There's also a walking pie. I'm thinking of all the fun delicious things they have there now. They have foods that I had never heard of ever before, ever in my life. It's why we love to go, but the empanada is going to be number two because that one has a really delicious caramel sauce over it. So those are my number one and number two main priorities, and then after that probably the apple crumble. I like it. I like it. It's not my favorite. It's not the one that I need to have. If we get an apple donut, that's okay. I can have a bite and feel totally satisfied if we get the apple ice cream. I’ve got to be honest, the older I'm getting, the more sensitive my teeth are. A cold apple ice cream is not really like my number one thing. I'll have a bite. I'll be satisfied. It's not going to be the thing that I am clamoring over and really everything else like regular apple pie, I mean I could eat that anytime. That's not a priority for me personally. We don't tend to prioritize that one, but so anything else, I know for sure I can have a bite, two bites, feel really good about it. Where I'm going to put my bulk of calories for the day is in the fritter or the empanada, and I'm going to make sure that I have that front and center. I make that decision right now knowing how much is probably going to be available. Generally speaking, when my family and I go, we'll order two or maybe three desserts for the four or either five of us, and then we'll split it between us when they're all on the table. I know which one I'm heading my fork for. It's going for the fritter first, and I let everybody else take their share of the other things and then it's going for the empanada and then if there's bites left over of everything else, that's where I go. So what will be available to me for this particular example? I mean honestly anything, if it's got apple in it, it is available to me, so I don't really have to worry about that too much. What I will do is spend a little bit of time on Google trying to get a good estimation of approximately how many calories may or may not be in an apple fritter and whether or not there's any kind of a recipe that might break down an apple empanada or the crumbles or anything else that I might have, just so that I can get some round numbers. I want you to know that this is part of the minimizing pain and prioritizing pleasure that might be the most important for you personally. When you are Googling and guessing, really listening to how much self-doubt creeps in and recognizing that the decisions that you are making are for one day and that you can do this and fit it into your overall weight loss routine without worrying about one or two or even three or even five very specific numbers. Part of minimizing pain is recognizing your, I'm going to call it risk tolerance for the Google and guess and prioritizing pleasure of making estimates that feel right to you. Now, what do I need to do to make it fit? This is where it gets super fun. My friends, I have a routine that I love. I have a breakfast that I eat every day. I have a lunch that has very few variations to it because I eat it all the time and then I have a dinner routine that, I mean there's some variety to it, but also I have a list of about 30 dinners that I'm willing to make that I rotate through all the time, and some of them are seasonal, so really I've only got about 10 days of dinners at a time, so I'm going to go ahead and call that a very beautiful routine as well. So when I do something like this, when I spend the day, and by the way, the day is like a couple of hours, but it feels like the whole day is at Apple Hill indulging and eating everything I want, I take the time to make sure that I can make the parts of my normal routine that I love fit with this thing that is out of my routine. Like I said, I spend a little bit of time on Google. I actually have a pretty decent risk tolerance for the Google and guess. I will Google and I will guess and I know that it's going to all come out in the wash. You might spend more time on that part depending on what feels best to you, and then because I already know the calories or approximate calories in my normal routine personally, and let me just quickly to the aside, let you know that here in maintenance, I actually do not count my calories every day. When I was losing weight, I did. I still have those numbers. I don't have them memorized. They're somewhere I can look them up, but what I will do, my normal routine is a pretty decent sized breakfast, a pretty small lunch. I tend to be busy in the middle of the day. I don't like to stop and spend a lot of time on lunch, so I have a pretty small lunch and then my dietary budget goes towards dinner because in dinner I include dessert, so my pie, in fact, you know what? Let me draw you a little bit of my daily pie. If this is how many calories I eat in a day, this would be breakfast, so breakfast, lunch, and then dinner and dessert. When I'm going to Apple Hill, I'm going to steal a couple of calories from breakfast. I'm going to steal most of the calories from lunch, and because I don't need a dessert with my dinner, I'm going to squeeze a few calories from there too. Now, the way I've drawn that, it totally looks like half my calories for the day because it's, I know that Apple Hill is something I want to enjoy. It's something I am going to minimize the pain of feeling like I am restricting myself, maximize the pleasure of enjoying foods that I eat once a year and enjoying time with my family and you better believe I'm going to make it fit, so I'm going to eat a slightly smaller breakfast. I'm going to eat a significantly smaller lunch and I'm eat well. I'm going to eat probably a more or less normal sized dinner, but I'm not going to have the dessert afterwards because the dessert was the rest of my day. Knowing that I can fit it all, including pie if I wanted to into the pie chart of my daily calories means that I can enjoy the day. I can feel easeful with the day and because I contained it within what I consider a normal eating, if not routine, normal eating amount. I have avoided the physical pain of being over full. I feel zero guilt afterwards. Apple Hill, even though it's out of my routine, absolutely 100% fits in my routine, my friends. This is available to you. I want you to know the biggest part of this puzzle is simply thinking that you can, and recognizing that you have probably, because we have all been socialized to think that if you are losing weight, you have to restrict, you have to keep yourself in this box. You have to eat only healthy foods, you have to do things in X, Y, and Z order and this is the only way that it all works. When you open up the cage of restriction and diet nonsense and recognize that literally anything is available to you if you are willing to minimize pain, prioritize, pleasure, and then make decisions ahead of time to make it all fit. My friend, the world is your, I was going to say oyster, but the world is your Apple Hill. The world is your Thanksgiving dinner. The world is your New Year's Eve, the world is your cookie exchange party. You can go anywhere and eat anything and make it work for weight loss. And the other thing that I want to let you know is that because these are skills, it is a skill to actually get brutally honest with yourself about where do I think the pain is here? Where do I really feel that social awkwardness that less than that comparisonitis, where do I feel the uncomfortableness of being out of my routine and what is my real pleasure? Because have you ever asked yourself what you really want? Lots of us, I didn't used to. Actually getting honest and intimate with myself about what do I really want and really allowing the answer to be apple fritter. That's what I want, an apple fritter. When you start practicing these skills and then the making decisions ahead of time, I mean, let me not minimize this one. We generally speaking make decisions in the moment from a place of what do I think would work right this second? I'm already awkward and uncomfortable, so let me just do something so that I can get out of that awkward, uncomfortable. We make decisions from urgency in the moment in a way that I'm offering you here. You can make decisions from authority when you feel good, when you make decisions from a place of feeling like you've minimized pain and prioritized pleasure, that authority will stay with you most of the time in the moment, and here's the part that I really, really want to normalize for you. These are skills which means that as you are practicing them, you are not going to be good at them. The first couple of times you try to minimize your pain and prioritize pleasure and make decisions ahead of time, it's probably going to feel pretty good. You're probably going to be like, okay, I think I know where my pain is. I think I know where my pleasure is. I've definitely made some decisions. I feel like I can stick with it, and then you're going to go to whatever it is and it's kind of going to go sideways, and I want you to know it's not because this strategy doesn't work, this strategy works. This strategy has gotten me through many, many a sticky social occasion and it might take practice. I'm going to tell you one more story about how I have tried to use this in other areas of my life and I want this to be a little bit of a note for you about how far reaching this work actually is. I talk to you as a weight loss coach because that's what I do. We talk about weight loss, we talk about calories, we talk about sleep, we talk about exercise, we talk about weight loss as though it is this really confined thing, but as a life coach, what I know is that the work that you are doing here in weight loss is so far reaching the way that you will learn how to make these kinds of decisions. Minimizing pain, prioritizing pleasure, and making decisions ahead of time will reach out to other areas of your life that you don't even know right now, and I really want to offer you that these are skills that I'm still working on too. I've got it on lockdown for eating and weight maintenance, but there are other places in my life where I'm really seeing how these skills benefit me and I'm still trying to work on them. A lot of you will know that at the beginning of this year, I made a business pivot away from YouTube and into full-time life coaching, and when I made that pivot, I had actually been running the Get Your Goal group for at this point, it's been almost four years. In fact, on January 1st, it will be four years of the Get Your Goal Group, but beginning to actually 100% focus on it. At the beginning of this year, I was making some business decisions at the end of last year about how I could minimize pain, how I could maximize pleasure, how I could make decisions ahead of time that felt like they were going to be for me, and so what I did was I made some changes to the platform of the Get Your Goal group and I raised the price. I know that I have always known that the Get Your Goal Group is frankly amazing. I mean the resources available to you with the other members and the coaching calls and the replays. It is a fantastic place to get your goal, but when I raised the price at the beginning of the year, what I noticed is that there was a hidden pain that I didn't know was coming. There were some hidden pleasures that I thought I was prioritizing that I actually wasn't, and the decisions that I made ahead of time didn't pan out the way I expected them to. I have actually spent the last, well, what is it? It's October 10 months talking about the Get Your Goal Group in this very restrictive way, I found myself every time I was talking about it feeling very tight in my body. I know the Get Your Goal group is amazing, and yet the words really struggled to come out of my mouth. What I recognized about, I'm going to say a month, maybe two months ago, what I recognized was this hidden feeling of stinginess. Now, stinginess and I have a long history. This is a pain that I have worked to avoid and I didn't expect to feel it here. What I was feeling, I was offering the Get Your Goal Group, but there was a part of me that was like, this is pretty expensive. This feels like I'm offering you something and kind of pulling it away at the same time, and I had been prioritizing the pleasure. I had wanted to feel expansive and open like, this is a really valuable group. I want you to come and join it, and yet it didn't feel that way. When I talked about it and a couple of months ago, I sat down with myself. I got real honest, Pahla, what's the pain that you'd like to minimize? What's the pleasure that you'd like to prioritize and how can you make this decision from a powerful place of authority instead of urgency? And what I recognize, I want to minimize that stingy feeling. I don't love it. It feels tight in my mouth. It feels tight in my shoulders. It feels tight in my whole body. What I want to prioritize is generosity, generosity and spaciousness and openness. What I wanted to prioritize and what I am prioritizing for you is a group that is for you in every way. I have recently increased the resources within the Get Your Goal group to include four full courses that cover all four phases of the weight loss process, the first five pounds, losing all the five pounds in the middle, losing the last five pounds, which is its own can of worms and maintaining forever, effortlessly. I have also, in fact, let me turn the page here and show you all about it. I have also really gotten intimate with how amazing the community is. I've always known this, but when I started really coming to this prioritizing pleasure and thinking about how wonderful it is to normalize with other women my age, the ambition, the goal-getting, the struggles, the hard parts, the emotional work, the mental work, having a group of people that are not in the same place on your weight loss journey necessarily at all but in the same space as you is incalculable. The asynchronous learning, that's the four courses that I was just talking about that I lovingly refer to as the four courses of the apocalypse, but there are also multiple coaching calls per week. This is something that I have been really maneuvering this year from that place of generosity and expansion and spaciousness and love and desire to be truly helpful to you. We've got so many coaching calls per week that you can attend and get actual answers, actual eyeballs on to help you on your weight loss journey. I also, I am the most accessible you will ever find me. I am accessible in the dms. I'm accessible in a dedicated ask the coach thread and as anybody who is in that group will tell you, I'm a lurker too. I read all the threads, so when you come to the coaching calls and you're like, oh, this thing happened to me last week. I'm like, yes, I read about that. I know and my friends here was the thing about minimizing pain, prioritizing pleasure, and then figuring out how to make it work. I lowered the price. I cut the price by more than half. The Get Your Goal group with all of its amazing resources is now just $50 a month, and I want to tell you, the minute I hit on that number, I was like, duh. It felt like Legos clicking together, that very satisfying snap where you're just like, yes, obviously I help women over 50. I have The 5-0 Method. Of course the price is 50 of course, and then I was talking with my OBM, which is my online business manager and I always want to call her my official business manager because I was talking with my OBM about this and she's like, Pahla, it's a perfect price. It's absolutely fantastic and also what you need to do is offer an annual price, and I was like, it's funny you should mention that because I just got quite a few suggestions. Thank you so much to all of you who responded to the poll that I put out, whatever that was just a couple of weeks ago now, I had so many people ask for an annual option. I honestly hadn't considered it, so my OBM and I were throwing around numbers and figuring it out and she goes, well, the industry standard generally speaking is going to be if you buy a year at a time that you get two months for free, and then I did the math, which wasn't even hard math because 50 times 10, it's just 500, it was a Five - Oh. Again, I tell you what, when this all came down, it just felt right. It was prioritizing pleasure in every way possible. My friends, the Get Your Goal group is $50 a month or $500 for a year. It's easy, it's peasy. It is lemon squeezy and this is the kind of conversation that we have there. We talk about making Apple Hill part of your life. We talk about how to make things work for you. I am never going to come to a coaching call and tell you to give up the bread. I'm never going to come to a coaching call and tell you to restrict yourself or put the lid on or put yourself under your thumb or use more willpower. I am always going to work with you to make sure it feels right for you. This is how you lose weight for the very last time, my friend. And I will answer questions, you guys, you guys, I hope that this was as exciting for you. I'm watching all the hearts and thumbs up. I love it. I'm super, super happy that you guys are excited about it too. This is where you can go. It's and you can actually learn even more about it, learn about the four courses of the apocalypse and then click the join button and come and join us. I'm going to take a drink of water because my throat got very, very dry while I was doing the talking and I'm going to check on the questions. If you have a question that you haven't already put in the q and a, go ahead and pop it in there now. If you can start it off with the word question, that'll make it easier for me to see. Oh, I got a question really quickly that Vicky says. I'm wondering if you will ever do workout videos again. You know what? I do not believe in saying never, but I do not have any plans at this point. It is as close to a never as it's going to get. I do not have any plans to come back to making workout videos. I love my work in the Get Your Goal Group, being a life coach so much. I loved making workout videos when I made them. It was such a beautiful place and time in my life. It was such a perfect, perfect season and this season that I'm in now also feels perfect to me. Might there be a time when a different thing feels like the perfect season maybe, but it's probably not going to be workout videos. From Sacramento too. The apple donuts are insanely good. See, that's interesting. I love donuts and yet the donuts just, they're not my number one thing. I can have a bite and I can walk away from an apple donut, but the fritter, I'm going to have my share. How do you just not feel guilty when you eat these, my friend? This is such great work. What I do is I listen to the thoughts that create the feeling of guilt and I recognize them for what they are. The thing about guilt is it's your brain asking you a question. It's asking you should you be doing this, and it's also answering, no, you should not, and the truth of it is you can do anything. Truly anything, anything you want to do can fit into weight loss and here's why. Let me hand this to you from the life coach perspective in terms of you can expand your mind. You can think about your thoughts, you can recognize the feelings they create. You can see how this all works, but also just biologically, here's the thing. Weight loss takes time. If weight loss takes, let's say for example, if you are me, if weight loss takes nine months to lose seven pounds, which is what it has historically for me, then you have seven, no nine months of how many days. That would be why did I start this? 270 days? If a month has an average of 30 days, you have 270 days that you can make work for you. If one of them is apple fritters for part of breakfast, part of lunch and part of dinner, that's one 270th of your weight loss journey. It all fits. It all works. Really making sure that you are minimizing pain, listening to the guilt that you have, recognizing it for what it is. It's a thought in your brain, prioritizing, pleasure, and making it all fit. I don't go to Apple Hill every day. I don't go to Apple Hill more than once a season even because that one day fills me up both mentally, physically, emotionally, and all of the things. It feels incredibly pleasurable to go once. I don't need to go more, and that helps me recognize it for what it is. It's part of my whole journey. It's not my whole journey. I love that question. Thank you for asking that. Oh, and then Sandy says, how do you calculate the calories for such an event as Apple Hill or when you don't know what's going to be available? I love Google. Google exists for this exact reason, and as we talked about, I do have a pretty high risk tolerance. I will Google and I will go to at least a couple of different websites and see what they're saying and kind of take a look at, okay, if you're making something with these ingredients, this is approximately how many calories it'll have and I recognize that it's going to be a guess, and I have, like I said, worked through that. I have really recognized the thoughts that I have in my brain that were telling me, oh, guessing isn't good enough. It actually is the truth of it's your body is not calculating calories the way the internet does. Your body is its own beautiful biological specimen of one. You are a special unique snowflake. The way you personally digest food is actually different from other people, so even if let's say a food has an amount of calories that is allegedly fixed, the amount of calories that your body actually gets from that food is different than what somebody else gets from that food because of your microbiota. It's all the bacteria that live in your gut. The way you personally digest food is possibly different even from a package that has a very specific number on it that seems like, oh, this food absolutely 100% has this number calories. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't. For you being really on board with the fuzzy edges of biology, meaning how your body works, means that a guess actually is good information. Okay, and Michelle has a great question about this. How do you get around the idea of good and bad foods so you don't feel guilty about not eating fiber? Such a particularly funny one because fiber is… I eat fiber certainly. I mean, I love my fruits and vegetables. Well, I love my vegetables and I tolerate fruits and it is not a thing that I spend a lot of time worrying about. Here's how I personally have worked through my issues with good and bad food. I have done a fair bit of research and understand just how new and how amorphous the science of nutrition actually is. The truth of it is that because you personally are a unique and special snowflake and each piece of natural food … Not all apples are made the same. Not all bananas are made the same. Not every slice of meat is made the same. Not everything is the same. Natural foods actually have a great deal of variety as well. Recognizing that we scientists don't know everything and that I have the authority over myself to really pay attention to what feels good. When I'm thinking about what feels good in my body versus what feels less comfortable, what feels like I'm not digesting very well, what feels really full and heavy, what feels sometimes, especially when I go to Apple Hill, what feels right on the edge of over sugared. There's definitely, I love me some sugar, but there is definitely a point of diminishing returns on how much sugar I will eat in a day that doesn't feel good. Really taking my own authority here, rather than saying, oh, there is a good food, there is a bad food. Some foods make you lose weight and some foods don't. The truth of it is that in order to lose weight, the main driver of weight loss is believing that you can and eating in a slight caloric deficit over time. It doesn't matter what the foods are, what the foods will do is affect how you feel physically, whether or not you are full and satisfied or if you are hungry or if you are over sugared or if you have no energy or you have plenty of energy. Food affects how you feel, but the quality of your food does not either create or reduce weight loss. It's the amount, it's the calories that create weight loss. For me, taking on that authority of this is my body and this is what feels good, recognizing that nutrition science is kind of fuzzy at best and very new and food changes every day because of how we're modifying it and how we using it, recognizing that there's only so much I'm in control of and really listening to the thoughts in my brain, really putting in the journal of work and recognizing that if I think a food is bad, it's not because the food is bad, it's just because I think that I have a thought in my brain. It feels very different to take agency over it like that than to simply believe that it's all outside of me and I think that this is honestly some of the very best work that we do in the Get Your Goal Group is really talk about and work through some of those thoughts about what works for weight loss and what is good and what is bad and how can I live within the rules because I love following rules and I also love knowing that I can make my own anytime I want to. Julie says, thank you for making sense of all the mind junk. Yes, teaching freedom in the process. My friends, I'm all about the freedom. Pamela says, joining today! And while I know where to go to learn how to figure out the calorie count. I know you said basically add a zero to your weight, I just don't know how to figure out how much to eat at a meal in calories and allow myself a sweet. Here's the thing. There is not a specific set way to allocate your calories through the day. What I offer you with The 5-0 Method is a framework for you to fill in however you want to, and I know that right now that might sound like, okay, but I don't know what to do and I know that the process of really getting inside your own brain, getting intimate with yourself, asking yourself the same questions we asked here, I mean honestly, the questions that we asked here about minimizing your pain, maximizing your pleasure, and making it all fit, that is exactly what I teach you to do in the Get Your Goal group and exactly what I offer you with The 5-0 Method. If, because you could eat anything, how would you like to allocate it? How would you like to fit it in your day? There is no standard that says this is what you have to do. You get to set that standard, and I know when you first hear that it feels like, but I'd like some edges to cling to. I think of myself in a swimming pool. I really want to know that I can get to the end and grab onto the side of the pool and take a deep breath. It's what I offer in the Get Your Goal Group. This is the kind of work that we do in the coaching calls literally every day. We just had a conversation about this last night in one of our coaching calls about how to make choices that really take into account what you want to do and make it fit. You can eat anything you want. I know it's super fun and exciting and a little tiny bit scary to recognize that you're the one making the rules. Anonymous Attendee says, I really want to lose weight, GYG sounds great. I am fearful that I will not follow through because I am dealing with a loved one with a serious brain disease and the stress makes me not prioritize. What advice can you offer me to stick with the weight loss journey? Honestly, anonymous attendee, I want you to know that this might not be the right time. I have a very strong opinion and I'm always willing to share it with you guys. There are seasons in your life where weight loss can be the kind of priority that it takes in order to follow through and get all the way done with it. Losing weight is going to require, I'm going to say a certain amount and it's not like I can actually quantify that, but it takes a certain amount of brain power and focus and attention, and if you don't have that right now and it sounds like you don't, and I have so much respect for that, I have so much respect for that, then let it go right now and I don't mean let it go like, wow, eat anything, do anything, just let your health go. Don't worry about it. I mean, recognize that right now is a season where you are doing some caretaking. Right now is a season where your main priority… In fact, this is essentially what we were talking about earlier. Minimizing pain means setting aside a weight loss goal because you can't focus on it. Prioritizing pleasure means doing the thing that feels best. I understand that being a caregiver for somebody who is ill doesn't actually feel good, but it also really does. I put a lot of things on the back burner when my sister was ill. I was not her primary caregiver, but I did a lot of caregiving. I spent a lot of time and emotional energy taking care of her, being there for her. There was nothing in my life that was more important than that, and it felt really okay for me to put that aside and maximize the pleasure of being able to be there for her while she was dying. For me, even though it was not pleasurable in any manner, for me, that was the decision that made the absolute most sense and I really, really strongly urge you to just take on board whatever part of that story makes the most sense for you. It's not always the right time to lose weight. I'm never ever going to pressure you guys to make it your number one priority. If it's not, what I will tell you is when you are ready, the work that we do to lose weight with the 5.0 method and in the Get Your Goal group is so far reaching a lot of the strategies, a lot of the mindset work, a lot of, in fact, what I talk about in mind over menopause, my book, the journaling practice that I enumerate in mind over menopause was created while I was navigating the grief of my sister's death. The work that you do on weight loss will help you in areas of your life that you don't even think are related. It will help you at work, it will help you in relationships. It will help you with yourself in ways that it's almost like you have to see it to believe it. I know, I know when you first come to mindset work, and I don't know how new you might be to mindset work, but I know when you first come to mindset work it feels like, okay, I'm just going to get this one goal. This is very, it's in a vacuum. It's this one little lane of my life. It's this one thing, and then when you start doing the work on your brain and feeling your feelings and understanding how it all comes together, you'll recognize that it branches out to every single facet of your life, which means that that kind of deep transformation really does take focus. It really is going to be, I mean, sometimes it feels like turning yourself inside out, which means that it needs to be a season of your life where you can spend the time and the focus and the mental energy on doing that deeply transformative work. Thank you so much for asking that. Oh, Rosalyn, which I hope I'm pronouncing your name correctly, says, do you have to do some type of reset before you start to lose weight? Absolutely not. I don't believe in that at all. Your body, and this is just straight up biology, your body never resets. I mean, unless you believe in reincarnation, there really truly is no such thing as starting over. Starting over. It's a mental construct that we all have like, Ooh, it's Monday, I'm starting over, or, Ooh, it's the beginning of the month I'm starting over, or, Ooh, I'm going to really pay attention now. It's a fresh start. Your body has taken in every single perception of everything you've done, everything you've eaten, everything you've had to drink, every night's sleep you've gotten, your body has taken it all in since the day you were born and it will continue to move forward with all of that information until the very end. There's really no such thing as resetting, and I mean the typical idea of resetting your body, I will tell you that your body is always taking in whatever you give it and making some same decisions and some slightly different decisions. Your body is always ready and willing to adapt, so let's say that rather than trying to reset with a whole new diet and everything is different, what if you take six months, nine months, a year, two years, three years? If you're me, it took me three years to actually change the way I was eating. If you simply take that time to make small changes, work within yourself, take baby steps, make it all feel good, make it all feel easeful, at the end of that transformation, your body will have reset and it took so little effort on your part. It took so little mental shenanigans to be in a reset place. You can simply reset gently as long as it takes. I love that question. Thank you for asking. Angie says, I counted points for years and I know I should count calories. I love, that's not a question. I love that statement because what I want to offer you is I don't offer you any shoulds. That The 5-0 Method really is meant to work for you. I offer as a standard counting calories because it's available to everyone and simple and free. However, if you have a system that your brain likes that your body seems to like that really works into your life, stick with it. Absolutely stick with it. Oh, Laura says, question, when you go out to eat, do you bring home a to-go box or just leave it behind? It depends. I have some opinions about that and they are just that. They are opinions, and what I will offer you is that my opinions are actually based on the microwave ability of the leftovers. If something is not going to taste good microwaved the next day, I will just leave it because I'm not going to have food go rotten in my refrigerator and I'm not going to eat something that tastes gross. You guys, I'm going to keep coming back to this. I want you to be able to see where you can come and join us, but I really am going to come back to minimize pain. There is a pain, a deep pain in microwaved french fries and there is prioritized pleasure. I would just rather go ahead and make something fresh tomorrow than eating something gross that got microwaved poorly. Oh, you guys, I love these questions so much. I really want to maximize our time together. You guys, I'm going to be done with questions as soon as possible and I'm also going to take the Q&A questions with me and I'm going to be making podcasts and emails and other things like that that answer all the questions that I don't get to, so I do apologize if I don't get to all of the questions because it looks like I still have quite a few more here and I really want to make sure that we've got just the right amount of time together today. I know lots of you have places to go and things to do. Kathy says question, but how can you plan ahead when you have no idea where your hosts will take you or cook for you while you are on a trip? I love it. Here's what I will offer you: before you go on a trip, spend some time paying attention to sizes and shapes of food. Really thinking about the visuals of how much food is an amount of calories can help you develop what I call the eyeball system, which is to say you can eyeball a thing and give yourself a guesstimate. It's still going to be a Google and guess situation. It's still going to be a matter of thinking about what you'd like to plan for when you know that in your normal routine, let's just say for simple math that you have 1600 calories a day, more or less 1600 calories day as your target. If for example, you eat a breakfast, a lunch, a dinner, and then let's say two snacks, like one of 'em might be a dessert and one of 'em might be an afternoon snack, so you've got 400 for breakfast, you've got 400 for lunch, you've got 400 for dinner, you've got 200 for a snack and 200 for a snack. I'm not suggesting that that's the way you should allocate your calories. I'm simply saying because that's the math I can do in my head. It's what I'm going to offer you right now. Knowing that you, generally speaking, like to have about 400 calories for breakfast, you know that no matter where you go or what your host makes for you, if you'd like to take a portion that's about 400 calories, that will be about normal for you. Knowing that no matter what somebody offers you, you can make the portion size fit for you. And coming back to our questions about minimizing pain, prioritizing pleasure, you can make decisions about when would I like to really make sure that I just eat what my host offers me? Just I'm going to be a polite guest. I'm going to put a smile on my face and say, thank you so much. This is exactly what I wanted, and I'm going to probably have slightly more at that one specific meal and make sure that it comes out of, in tiny ways, other parts of my day. Or there might be a place where you prioritize pleasure when you know that there's very likely the chance of, if you're me, dessert when you guys go out to eat later, then it means that at breakfast time I can be a little bit more careful about what and how much. At lunchtime, I can be a little bit more careful about what and how much, and then at dinnertime I can have a little bit more allotment because I knew at the last minute that we were going out to a place that had a dessert that I wanted. Trusting yourself to work on these skills as skills means that any one time you go on a trip or any one time you go someplace where somebody else is feeding you, it's not the end. It is not the last time that you will have in order to make these decisions. If this time, every bit of it goes sideways and it all just goes to heck in a handbasket as I love to say, that's just information. It doesn't mean you're never going to be good at this. It doesn't mean you can't prioritize. It doesn't mean that you can't figure it out. It doesn't mean that you can't ever be out of your routine. It means that this particular time there were skills that you need more practice with. Really, truly taking it on board that these are skills versus let's say character traits. These aren't things you're born... I mean, you are born with this desire to seek pleasure and avoid pain, but you are not taught how to do that on purpose. Recognizing that this time is one time and that you can learn from it, it takes all the pressure off and feels really abundant and generous. No matter what happens here, I'm going to learn something from it and I'm going to feel amazing about the time that I had with my friends. I love, love thinking about it that way because then it means that I never screwed something up so bad that I can't just try again next time. I really hope that was helpful for you. Christie says, question, sugar calls to me. Do you have any tips not to avoid, but to be more moderate with it? Yes, and you're either going to love or not love this advice. Here is my personal philosophy and a, I'm going to call this one a character trait that I take on board lovingly, happily, and with great pleasure. I am a girl who has to go too far to know where just right is. I am Goldilocks, or at least I used to be, and I am always going to go too hot and too cold before I find just right. Sugar calls to me too and the reason that I personally know exactly how much sugar feels right in my body is because I have had way too much. I have gone so far overboard. I have gotten that over sugared feeling. I described that on purpose. I know what over sugared feels like because I've done it, and once you've done that, I'm going to say a couple of times and you really notice how it starts to feel nauseous. You start to feel sweaty. It starts to feel really, really unpleasant in your body. Recognizing that feeling without shame, not like shame and blame and I did this to myself, but like, okay, this is a feeling that I'd rather not have. This is within my control. What did I eat? How much was it? What if I had slightly less than that? What would that feel like coming to your sugar intake? Like a scientist. Okay, I know how much is too much because I've had too much. What if I had this much? How does this feel? What if I had this much? How does this feel? I know exactly how to tiptoe right up to the edge of that over sugared feeling once in a while and knowing what's waiting for me is that really yucky, sweaty, nauseous feeling. I know how to get right up to it on the occasions like Apple Hill when I want to, and the rest of the time honestly, because I spent so much time not feeling guilty, but really paying attention to the actual physical sensations in my body. I don't really have the desire to get to that over sugared point anymore. I have a deep desire to eat an amount that feels pleasurable. I enjoy being with my family. I enjoy being together. I enjoy the food, but not so much that it gets too much. Recognizing that any one time you do anything, I do notice that this is the theme that has emerged here. Any one time you do a thing doesn't ruin where you want to go. Getting to that point of eating too much doesn't mean that you can never lose weight. It means that you figured out exactly what too much is. You being a beautiful scientist, and paying attention to how it feels in your body and what you're doing and how you can make changes moving forward is actually the thing that gets you where you want to go. You guys, oh my gosh, you guys, thank you all so, so much for being here. I want to let you go so that you can get on with the rest of your day. I will take care to pay attention to all of the q and a questions. Thank you so much for asking them. Thank you so much for being here. If you feel called to come and join us in the Get Your Goal group, you are so welcome there. You belong there and I can't wait to see you. You guys have a wonderful rest of your day. Thanks so much. Bye-Bye.

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

Originally aired June 6, 2024
After a lifetime of hearing that you have to eat healthy or low calorie foods to lose weight, or you have to give up carbs or fats or desserts to lose the weight you want – well, overthinking menopausal women like you are understandably skeptical when my answer to the question of “Can you REALLY eat what you want and still lose weight?” is unequivocally “Yes, you can.”

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.