By Dr. Iman Sadri
Chapters : Master The Psychology of Weight Loss
1 You’re Not Missing Out !
2. The Ramifications of Over-Eating are NOT worth the Consequences
3. No Bread, No Rice, No Pizza, No Pasta, No Fries
4. Intermittent Fasting + How to Not Eat After 6 PM
5. The Water Balloon Effect
6. At the Drive Thru
7. Digest Yourself : The Body Does the Weight Loss On Its Own
8. How to Be A Skinny Foodie
9. The Hidden Perks of Skipping Breakfast and Dinner
10. Obesity : It’s a Killer
11. Intent-full Eating / Intent-full Living
Chapter 1 : You are NOT Missing Out !
If you are reading this book, Congratulations ! You have taken the first step to losing weight. Deciding that you want to make a change in your eating habits. The title of this book, Master The Psychology of Weight Loss implies that we have control over our thoughts. Our thoughts leads to actions that we take and habits that we form. By changing our thoughts we can change our behaviors and thus the outcomes in life that we experience. This book is not a simple recipe book to tell you what to eat and what foods to avoid. More than likely you already know which foods you should NOT eat to avoid gaining weight. If you go to a drive-thru and you have a GOAL to lose weight you probably already know that you should eat a salad instead of a burger and fries. I will elude to healthy, low-carb options in this book, however the premise of this text is to change your thought process about eating, entirely. The overall message in this book is to teach you how I began to eat healthy by changing my Psychology in regards to weight loss.
I lost 43 pounds going from 201 pounds to 158 pounds and keeping it off 2 years later. I did this by 1) Cutting out starch based carbs (bread, rice, pizza, fries, pasta) +2) Intermittent Fasting (eating only main meal of the day, ideally between 11 AM and 2 PM – and sticking with it. I changed my eating behavior by changing my thoughts and becoming more intent-full about what I ate. I no longer blindly ate whatever I wanted and then accept the consequences that came with it. I initially lost 24 pounds in 10 weeks going from 201 lbs to 177 pounds by cutting out : Bread, Rice, Pasta, Fries, Pizza and all high carb snacks. I eliminated all starch based carb food items. Including, crackers, chips, nachos, cookies, candy, cake, popcorn and anything considered junk food. When I was 201 pounds I was eating about 3500-4000 calories per day. My height is 5’11 and when I was weighed 201 pounds I was considered overweight. Not obese. I thought I was obese, however I was only overweight. Over 70 Million Americans are considered obese. Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30. In the state of Michigan over 35 % of the population is considered obese. Obesity is a major contributor to a series of systemic illnesses. As the saying goes, “You never see anyone who is obese above 90 years old in a nursing home.’
Ultimately that’s what’s it’s all about. To live until at least 105 years of age. With a high quality of life. With energy, drive, focus and productivity. Life is about getting one’s talents out into the world. Not just existing. But living fully. I started to realize the three times a day I was wolfing down excessive calories were having long term deleterious affects on me. When I was 201 pounds five days a week for breakfast I had an egg, sausage, and cheese sandwich on a buttery croissant. For lunch, I used to have a large burger, medium fries and a large soda. For dinner, I used to have a large Persian stew dish – served either with kabob or chicken accompanied by a large side plate of rice. A few nights per week, before I slept I would have whatever cereal that was in the pantry, as dessert. I was playing basketball at least three nights per week and yet I was still overweight.
In the Fall of 2018 I stepped on the scale and the number screamed at me : 201 Pounds. I thought to myself it was the first time I had ever seen 200 pounds on the scale. Seeing that 200 + number made me jump off the scale. ‘There was no way I weighed over 200 pounds.’ – I told myself. But that week I had not played any basketball and had eaten several very late, high-carb dinners. That same day, a Sunday, I went to the mall and tried on a pair of Size 36 pants. They absolutely didn’t fit. I tried on size 38 pants and they were feeling very tight. Then I tried on a large button down shirt, which also didn’t fit. In fact, one of the buttons nearly came off. An Extra Large buttoned down shirt was also feeling extremely tight. I was perplexed. I asked myself, ‘What was I doing to make this weight gain so excessive ?’ I assumed that I was entitled to a certain amount of calories per day. Clearly I was eating way more calories per day then I was supposed to for maintaining an ideal weight.
I looked in the three-way dressing room mirror and my gut was sticking out. I was embarrassed of my appearance. ‘How did I let myself go ?’ I asked myself. There was really nothing perplexing about it. In fact, I was exactly where my past eating behaviors had placed me. Overeating, especially high-carb food items can add weight quickly. That’s pretty much what had contributed to my excessive weight gain. I wasn’t snacking all day, but when I ate, each meal was gargantuan and carb heavy. Driving home from the mall I thought about what I was eating that was making me expand. I DECIDED right then and there I was going to be in control of what I ate moving forward. I always had been in control of what I ate. I just didn’t realize it. I simply ate whatever I wanted and hoped I would maintain my body weight. The reality was that I was grossly overweight. I was avoiding photos and if I had to post a picture of myself on social media, I would use a face filter to shrink my face. Despite the photoshopping, my face was still large. If someone is over-weight or obese they are over-rewarding themselves too often per day. When I was overweight I was over-rewarding myself by over-eating. Many animals only eat once per day. They spend the morning hunting, the afternoon eating and the evening resting. There are cows that are obese that eat all day. There are also cows that are lean that only eat once per day. The concept of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is a Human-Made Concept. We over-reward ourselves with too much food. We make each meal a centerpiece of the day. Ultimately, the over-rewarding with excessive, high-carbs foods can become a health burden.
Driving back from the mall in the Fall of 2018 I committed to eating different moving forward. The first thought I told myself was :
“I AM NOT MISSING OUT if I don’t eat another ham, egg and croissant sandwich for breakfast.”
“I AM NOT MISSING OUT if I don’t eat another large burger, medium fries and 32 ounce soda for lunch.”
“I AM NOT MISSING OUT if I don’t eat another large Persian stew dish, with a massive plate of rice, a basket of bread and another large soda for dinner.”
“I am not missing if I don’t have another donut or cereal at 10 PM before I sleep.”
I told myself I am not missing out because I’ve had the aforementioned food items countless times over the years.
Here is a task for you to do very quickly.
Write down the 1) Most Commonly Eaten Breakfast, 2) Most Commonly Eaten Lunch and 3) Commonly Most Often Eaten Dinner items you’ve eaten the past week. Then write down the phrase :
“I AM NOT MISSING OUT EATING ……
- For Breakfast : __________________________________”
2) For Lunch : ____________________________________”
3) For Dinner : ____________________________________”
In my example from 2014-2018 Monday through Friday I ate :
- For Breakfast : Ham, Egg, Sausage and Cheese Sandwich (1200 calories)
- For lunch : Burger with bun, medium fries, medium (32 oz) soda (1500 calories)
- For Dinner : Persian Chicken and Beef Kabob, Plate of Rice (1100 calories)
- After Dinner Snack : Cereal (200 calories)
On the days I played basketball I would be consuming about 3200 calories per day. On the days I would not workout I would be taking in 4000 calories per day. When I DECIDED to lose weight I told myself I AM NOT MISSING OUT: eating a Ham, Egg and Cheese Croissant Sandwich for breakfast anymore. Tell yourself as I told myself when I DECIDED to lose weight: ‘I’ve ate this breakfast item hundreds of times in the past year alone.’ I told myself, ‘I am Not Missing out on the high carb bread, breakfast option.’ Anything with bread, rice or pasta. Tell yourself, ‘I am not missing out on the calories, and extra fat being added to me.’ Tell yourself, ‘I am NOT MISSING OUT as I’ve ate these foods countless times already.’ At the drive-thru, grocery store and restaurant, the mental battle is won or lost prior to ordering. To not give into temptation, I tell myself, ‘I AM NOT MISSING OUT.’ Because I really am not missing out on that large burger, heavy fries, massive pasta bowl and gargantuan slice of pizza. I am not missing out on an enormous burrito, balloon size bag of chips, county fair sized tacos and a heavy cake. I am not missing out on heavy carb foods with enormous portions that contribute directly to a lower quality of life. Anytime a hunger urge arises to prevent caving in on temptation, I tell myself, ‘I AM NOT MISSING OUT.’
I told myself I’ve ate the pizza, churro, burrito and crouton thousands of times in this lifetime so far. “I AM NOT MISSING OUT ON STARCH BASED CARBS.” I told myself, “No more bread, fries, rice, pasta, pizza, crackers, cake, croutons, chips, onion rings and starch based carbs.”
I decided to first cut out bread, rice, pasta, pizza and starch based carbs. I also decided to cut out breakfast. My only breakfast was coffee with cream and sugar from my condo lobby. For the first ten weeks where I went from 201 pounds to 177 pounds I had a protein bar (250 calories) for breakfast (instead of the ham, egg and cheese croissant sandwich). For lunch I went to the same drive-thru restaurant that I had ordered for two years straight. Instead of ordering a burger, medium fries and a 32 ounce soda, I ordered a chicken salad, without croutons and an unsweetened iced tea. (550 calories). For dinner instead of a Persian stew such as Fesenjoon, (walnut, chicken and pomegranate), with a mountain sized plate of rice (950 calories) I switched to a protein bar by or before 6:30 PM.
I no longer over-rewarded myself. I realized that what I looked like was a result of what I ate. I realized what I looked like stayed with me all day. What I ate took a mere minutes. I would wolf down meals in an instant and then have to live with the consequences. Eventually I realized that the consequences of over-eating are not worth the results that come with it.
CHAPTER 2 : The Ramifications of High Fat Foods +
Starch Based Carbs is NOT Worth The Fleeting Taste
The ramifications of carbs and over-eating is NOT WORTH the MOMENTARY TASTE. The AFTER effects of eating these high carb food items – including bread, rice, pasta, fries, pizza, cake, burritos, and high-carb foods items are not worth the moments of accentuated taste. How we talk to ourselves determines our behavior. What we think about and focus vivid imagery on is what we gravitate towards. When I was 201 pounds, at 11 AM, only two hours after I ate a large egg, ham and cheese on a buttery croissant sandwich, I was thinking about what I was going to have for lunch. I would visualize the image of me biting into a massive burger.
That burger image is no longer in my mind. I dismissed the IMAGE OF THE BURGER and replaced it with the THOUGHT : “I AM NOT MISSING OUT ON EATING THIS BURGER, AS I’VE HAD IT HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF TIMES IN A ROW, ALREADY. ”
The consequences for me in over-eating included becoming overweight, having multiple chins, feeling lethargic, and looking 10-15 years older than I was. These ramifications are not worth whatever momentary joy eating these foods brought. The seconds of eating can turn into added fat that last decades. I realized I AM IN CONTROL OF WHAT I PUT IN MY MOUTH TO EAT.
TELL YOURSELF : “I AM IN CONTROL OF WHAT I PUT IN MOUTH TO EAT.”
Thoughts are statements. They can also be positive affirmations once we are in control of our thoughts. I lost weight because I digested myself, literally. I literally shrank, by NOT EATING CARBS – BREAD, RICE, PASTA, PIZZA, FRIES. My body rewarded itself by burning the extra fat on my body as immediate fuel. The biochemistry of this process is what led me to burn fat and use it as energy. When I didn’t eat, my body started to use up added fat as immediate fuel. Literally, with ZERO exercise in 10 weeks I went from 201 pounds to 177 pounds.
The ramifications of actions in life have consequences. The ramifications of inaction also has consequences. This concept is related to every action and inaction in life. The ramifications of eating high carb food items, burgers, fries, pasta, pizza and junk food are not worth the consequences. The momentary taste that one experiences is NOT WORTH THE WEIGHT GAIN, possible OBESITY, and all the systemic health effects that over-eating brings. The fleeting enjoyment of tasting high calorie foods is not worth the fattening After-Effects. Eating, chewing and consuming a meal can take minutes. However, the immediate and long term effects are not worth it if the body will become over weight. If someone is trying to lose weight, then fries are not worth the momentary taste. Burgers are not worth the momentary taste. Pizza is not worth the momentary taste. Pasta is not worth the momentary taste. These food groups immediately get turned into fat, for the most part. Only a very small amount gets used as immediate energy and burned, especially if these food items are ate late in the evening.
If someone eats a high carb meal late at night, and then they sleep, there is an immediate addition of fat to the body. The excess fat will stay in the body and all of the ramifications that come with it. For me, the ramifications were a large double chin, bloated face, bulging gut, looking about 15 years older than I was, low body energy, fatigue, over-sleeping, mood swings and apathy. It’s hard to be a high functioning, high energy individual when someone is overweight. The minutes it takes to eat a high carb, high-fat meal, are not worth the lifetime of added weight and health consequences. Inclusive of Possible and Probable High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, risk of Stroke and Heart Disease. The problem also lies in the fact that often that when I was over-weight I consumed these high fat, high calorie meals three to four times per day. The body then expands as long as there is a surplus of calories. The decades of ramifications of carbs and eating too often per day is not worth the seconds of gratification during eating. As a dentist I study taste buds. I am fascinated with the science of taste. One would assume that I am being deprived cutting out carbs. Based on my own research on flavors of food and savory dishes that I eat, 95 % of my own cravings are NOT linked to bread or rice.
When I crave Short Rib Eggs Benedict I don’t crave the bread that accompanies it. The poached egg and the short rib is what makes my mouth water – Not the muffin. The flavor is from the savory short rib. The buttery texture of the delicately prepared meat makes my taste buds come alive. The soft, creamy egg leading to an oozing of yolk spilling out into my palate is what gives flavor. Not the dry, sandy bread, that could make or break the meal. If the bread is too hard then one can’t chew into the delicious inside. In addition, as a dentist I respect teeth greatly. They don’t decompose after someone dies. It’s important to not use teeth to chew on rock like ‘foods.’ If it’s hard to chew and hard to digest perhaps it should not enter the mouth. The mouth truly is the window to the health of the body. When I ate carbs : Bread, rice, pasta, it made me overweight, fast. When I deleted them from my menu my body shrank, fast.
The ramifications of moments of taste are NOT worth the after effects of weight gain. In many instances I could scarf down a large burger in a matter of minutes. I could devour a slider in 30 seconds. I could wolf down an egg roll in 20 seconds. The ramifications of stuffing oneself in moments is NOT WORTH the weight gain that lasts and lasts. When I weighed 201 pounds I looked 15 years older than I was. I have a picture with Warren G in 2012. I was 31 yet looked 50 years old. I was on the verge of teetering towards Uncle Fester territory. Ultimately it’s not about vanity. It’s about added energy. Energy to live one’s best self each day. Energy to jump out of bed and tackle the day with high performance tasks that move the needle forward. That expression, ‘Move the Needle Forward’ I get from Bedros Keulian. I listen to empowering podcasts to extract nuggets of wisdom. I will name-drop these purveyors of the wisdom each time. One can better move the needle forward by moving themselves.
Millions dream of being fit and thin. Many let go of that dream when it appears to be a distant reality. I am here to tell you that I lost 24 pounds in 10 weeks. Going from 201 pounds to 177 pounds. 1) By cutting out bread, rice, pasta, fries, and all high carb food items. 2) Eating one main meal a day and no dinner after 6 PM. I then plateaued at 177 pounds for the longest time. A few nights a week at 9 PM I was having a bowl of Salad Olivieh (Persian potato salad). Which does have tiny dices of finely chopped potato pieces. Which is considering cheating in my book. I no longer indulge on Salad Olivieh. The Persian potato salad is also heavy on mayonnaise, which is never a good idea an hour before someone is about to sleep.
In July 2021 I decided to be strict about not eating anything after 6 PM. My only main meal being a Carne Asada bowl, without rice, with tomatoes, and beans, ranging from 12 PM – 2 PM. A half cup serving of black beans contains about 20 grams of carbohydrate, 9 of which are fiber, making the total (net) carbs to only 11 grams. On average, a serving of restaurant style French Fries range from 65 grams – 85 grams of carbs. A carb website for a restaurant shows a burrito bowl without rice being 1 g carbs. The same website shows a burrito bowl with rice being 75 g carbs. That is 75 X More Carbs with Rice. That is a very high difference. It is these carbs that lead to the majority of the weight gain, possible eventual obesity and possible eventual diabetes and other co-morbidities. I never understood the concept of popping diabetes pills such as Metformin that decrease blood glucose and then scarfing down a carb heavy meal. If the diet does not change the diabetes can eventually become uncontrolled leading to a wide range of systemic complications. This grim fact is serious. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in America. The obesity prevalence in America is 42 %. That is a staggeringly high and unacceptable number. Ultimately it’s about living one’s best day to day life. Moment to moment. Minute to minute. 10 Minute block to 10 minute block. Conquering each hour to conquer the day. Eating poorly does not fall in line with conquering the day.
The ramifications of heavy carbs, eating late and eating too often heavy carb meals in one day, leads to unparalleled repercussions. The mere eating of bread with an omelette takes a few minutes, tops. The 180 seconds of chewing a piece of Sourdough bread is not worth the years of lethargy attached to those carbs. The large fries at lunch catches up to the body fast.
The irony is one can eat healthy at a Drive Thru. It’s that split second decision that we make, deciding what to eat. Also the fast swallowing of our meals leads to improper digestion. In America many workers are given only 30 minutes to take a lunch. That’s barely enough time to get in line, get a meal, sit down, eat the meal and get back to the work site. The actual eating process takes minutes. Sometimes seconds. I see people more and more devouring burgers, donuts, burritos and fries in their car. That was me. All the time. Every lunch for 2200 days straight at work. Consuming a massive burger, fries or onion rings at the Mom and Pop burger stand. Lo and Behold they had salads, which I always blinded out of my view. I used to hold the vivid imagery of the massive lunch that I wanted to indulge in. I would hold the image of the egg, ham, cheese and sausage croissant which I would then devour at 9 AM. Then literally four hours later I was ‘starving.’ Holding the vivid image of the enormous burger I wanted to have. When it came to the actual eating of the massive lunch there were many issues that undermined the carb experience. The burger often fell through the moist bread. The contents of which would splatter on whatever paltry paper on my lap. The drive-thru line also could be long. Often the fries were stale, the soda was flat and the onion rings were over-fried. The ramifications of many momentary escapes are not worth it. Scrolling on your phone while driving is not worth the possible accident one could get in. Staying out late prior to an early work day is not worth the tiredness one could feel the next day – leading to a lack of productivity. Carbs and over-eating are the result of indulgent decisions, living in the moment, with no regard for the future consequences. The lingering effects are the weight gain that comes with just moments of chewing. Giving a high five of carbs to the taste buds opens the floodgates for the fat cells to proliferate. We are in control of what we eat. We may think we owe it to our cravings to cave in to a large breakfast, a large lunch and a large dinner.
Many Animals Only Eat Once Per Day
The concept of breakfast, lunch and dinner is a human-made concept. Animals don’t sit and have three meals per day. The majority of their morning is spent hunting. Their mid-afternoon is spent eating their prey. The evening is saved for resting and relaxing. There are skinny cows who are fed sporadically in the day. Conversely there are massive cows who eat all day. A majority of animals conserve their energy for one large prey for the day. I’ve seen large Pomeranians that eat multiple times per day and I’ve seen skinny Pomeranians that eat only one small meal in the day.
Next time when craving a large, high carb meal or a large meal late at night, remember : The ramifications of the high carb, late meal is not worth the momentary indulgence of taste.
We Feel Entitled to Reward Ourselves Each Day
Growing in a First World country the majority know of three daily meals. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Waking up prior to going to work or school we feel entitled to eat. Even if we aren’t super hungry. Pay attention next time prior to breakfast. Chances are you probably aren’t that hungry, especially if you ate late at night. If I eat after 8 PM, which I am not supposed to, then I surely will not be hungry at 7 AM. We feel entitled to reward ourselves with breakfast. We have to be full prior to our workday to begin. That is a fallacy. We have to have energy prior to work and school to carry us through lunch. That does’t always mean needing to eat a heavy breakfast. I have consistently skipped breakfast for the last two years and I have survived. When I was 201 lbs I was eating a ham, egg and croissant sandwich five days per week. On Sundays I would have Egg’s Benedict with an English Muffin, hash browns and a Bloody Mary. Initially in the first 4 months of DECIDING to cut out carbs I substituted the large croissant sandwich with a protein bar. I substituted the large burger, fries and soda with a chicken salad, without croutons and an iced tea (unsweetened).
For dinner, instead of a large Persian stew or kabob plate with a mountain of rice and carbonated yogurt drink, I had a protein bar by 6 PM. I then shed 24 lbs in 10 weeks. Going from 201 lbs to 177 lbs. I immediately looked 6 years younger. At the time of this writing I weigh 161 lbs. I continue to eat sporadically to keep my face narrow. As a matter of discipline I don’t eat dinner if I want to lose weight fast. To keep it off and accelerate the weight loss I don’t eat dinner for at least five nights consecutively. Going from 177 to 161 I eliminated the morning protein bar. I now have a Carne Asada burrito bowl (without rice) made at a hole in wall Mexican restaurant near the office. As a beverage I have a carbonated water to wash it down. I skip dinner and just before 6 PM I have almonds and cranberry juice.
On the weekends I have an Egg’s Benedict without bread, and without potatoes. I substitute the bread with avocado. I substitute the potatoes with cottage cheese. The flavor of the poached eggs is accentuated without the bread. The teeth don’t have to struggle biting into the often hard to chew muffin. I have a side salad or cottage cheese instead of potatoes or hash browns. Without carbs I feel light and energetic, even after a mid-sized meal.
This is an excerpt from Dr. Iman’s new book, Master The Psychology of Weight Loss