The Habits You Need to Get Lean, Stay Healthy, and Kick Ass at Life, Healthy as F*ck | Oonagh Duncan


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Best Book Bits podcast brings you, Unna Duncan, a multi award-winning fitness expert, author of the international bestselling book, healthy As Fuck, or Ditch Diet for the US Audience, which was just named one of the top 100 fitness books of all Time by book Authority. Unna helps people get healthy and happy through a habits based approach.

Uner is the founder of the Feelgood Movement, which recognizes that fitness is not about a number on the scale. It’s about feeling good. Una, thank you for being on the. Thank you so much for having me. No worries at all. Now we’ll deep dive into your book. It’s an amazing book. For people out there who haven’t read it, check it out online.

We’re gonna deep dive into that in a sec. But tell me how you got started in the fitness industry and why you wrote the book. Oh my gosh. You know what, I was pretty as I say in the book, I w was not a fitness person at all. I was an actor. I was very out of shape. I was a smoker. And I just, I started teaching fitness class, so I talk about my whole journey about how I struggled with my weight and struggled with physical [00:01:00] exercise for a long time, and then eventually I started to figure out, A method that worked for me and, it got a little bit fitter, I was still smoking and not really, it wasn’t my life or anything like that.

And then I started teaching fitness classes mostly because, and I was an actor and I was mostly teaching fitness classes cuz it was enough like performing, everyone’s looking at me, I got to wear the shiny spandex and whatever. And I just ended up having a great time doing that.

And then I remember getting to this point where, and I was also a playwright, And spending, all day. And I would trying to get grants for playwrights and for playwriting and stuff like that. And I would teach a class at 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM cuz that’s when you teach fitness classes.

And I would audition and write my plays during the day. And then I remember I just had this big epiphany one day that I was actually having way more fun doing my stupid fitness stuff that I really like. It was eye iy for me. I was just doing it for fun. Then I was trying to get this acting and playwriting off the ground and as soon as I made that decision, it was like my career just hook off.

I started a bootcamp company and I started, had a bunch of different locations [00:02:00] in Toronto and it was just so you know I think people spin their wheels a lot being like, oh my gosh, what am I supposed to do? What’s my destiny? And for me it was just like taking the piss okay, let’s just try this stupid thing.

And I didn’t take it seriously at all. And the more I of followed that, let’s just keep going cuz it’s fun. I never would’ve guessed there could be an actual career and. I started blogging mostly because I had stuff that I wanted to say to my clients. And I just started, writing these blogs and putting them out there.

And then eventually someone said, Hey, I don’t know if you’ve ever considered writing a book, but if you did, I would be interested. I’m an editor. I’d be interested in seeing that. And I was like, oh my gosh. And so that got me to write a proposal and then it just went from there and it’s exploded.

Who? Awesome. Yeah. Thank you for sharing. I always like finding out how a book came about. So first it came about through a bit of a passion, a side gig. Then it became a full-time thing. All of a sudden you’re started to serve clients getting feedback, writing blocks to answer their questions about, okay here’s the information.

And then that turned in a block, turned [00:03:00] into a book. That’s great. Tell us a little bit about how the diet industry disappointed you back in the day and what types of diets that you did and that ultimately failed. What diet did I not do? I did all of them. All of them. I think, my earliest memories of wanting to lose weight is literally in grade four.

was probably. Eight years old. I remember lying about my weight to my schoolmates and moving on. That just grew as I got older. And I remember being, in high school and doing, secretly it was always very secret because they still grew up with you shouldn’t be on a diet, you should love yourself and all that sort of stuff.

And I was very. I defined myself as a radical feminist and I was like, I wanted, I was trying to be all gothy in school and stuff. Wasn’t really pulling it off, but that was the kind of vibe that I wanted to put, pull off. Not at all, like cheerleader girl who’s trying to lose weight on a diet all the time.

So this is my kind of secret world and I remember seeing an article in the back of a magazine, an ad, when they used to have those like physical print [00:04:00] ads. And so I sent away for some green algae, some green slime that I was supposed to take at night on an empty stomach and it like eats the fat cells from within or whatever.

So I did that. I did Atkins, I did Weight Watchers. I did all of them. I did the o Slim Fast and I could go on and on. It’s a history of the diet industry and I tried all of them crazy. And some of the stats you put first in the book, so I’ll just read ’em out. 75 million Americans actively trying to lose.

30% of North Americans are clinically obese. People spend Americans spend on average $800 a year trying to fix the problem, buying juice, cleansers, meal plans, workout programs with us, her supplements as well. But the whole industry as a whole, it’s worth $66 billion per year, which is absolute crazy as well.

Yeah I’ve got a lot of, I’m doing a health challenge at the moment and I’m going through I’ve been yo-yo dining for the last 15 years. So one of the reasons that I wanted to read your book and get you one as well is to learn about what is the correct way to do this and how can we get off the [00:05:00] rollercoaster as you call it, and go around the merry-go-round.

Yeah. Just so at this point I have an online company where I take people through, a physical transformation program. So I’ve observ. and mentored over, thousands of people going through this process. And so I’ve seen these patterns and that’s what made me wanna write this book.

So the pattern that as often as someone will start often right now, in January, people will be like, all right, let’s do this, I’m gonna do this. And then they get so excited, but their new diet and they tell everyone, okay, I found the way and this is gonna be a thing. And oh my gosh, it’s working. And they get so pumped about it.

And then there comes a. When they’re like, I don’t really feel like doing that thing today. And so maybe they don’t. And then they’re like, okay, shake it off. I’m gonna start again on Monday. But then it’s of like the joy’s gone out of it and it’s starting to feel a bit like a duty. And then, another day comes and they’re like, okay start to have these thoughts, know, in your head where you’re like, just park it today and then I’ll pick it up.

But you know what, I’m tired and blah, blah, blah. And then you’ve [00:06:00] quote unquote fallen off the wagon, which is language that I hear all the time. And so that’s like the diet roller coaster when you’re so excited, oh my God, it’s working. And then oh no ah, crash and burn. And then you wait for the next round and it’s gonna be a whole new thing this time.

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And it’s that excitement, I’ve heard once someone say, I am never happier than on the first day of my new diet. That’s the moment when you’ve got so much hope and so much excitement and you feel like the world’s yours. And it’s you know what they call ’em, the stages of cha it’s called uninformed optimism.

And eventually, , you get to informed pessimism when you realize that this is gonna be hard. And what most people do is they bounce and they try and go back to the uninformed optimism with a whole new diet. And that is the diet rollercoaster, which, I don’t have to tell you, it wreaks havoc on your metabolism.

So it just doesn’t work. Plus it makes you fucking miserable. Absolutely fucking miserable. Because you get the sense of yourself as someone who is a failure who can’t do it. And it’s not that you can’t do it, it’s because you’re setting yourself up for failure and having this [00:07:00] big unsustainable diet because people really, they go all or nothing instead of having what is way more fricking mooring and works way better, which is just like boring habits that we all learned in kindergarten shit, eat a lot of vegetables.

Go to fuck to sleep. Don’t drink so much booze. And you’re like no, Unna. Seriously. Tell me the real secret, like the real thing. And I’m like, no. That is the real thing. You’ve always known it. There are no freaking secrets here. The secret is you gotta do it like consistently, like forever, like on your birthday and on weekends and when you don’t want to, you still have to do those stupid, boring habits.

That’s a big secret. What is that analogy? PE people think it’s a time period where you can look after your health for a certain period of time, and then after that everything’s gonna be hunky dory and sweet. But it’s just like a relationship. It’s just like work. It’s just like wealth. These things take time and these things compound as well, which we’ll jump into what a bit later on.

I love chapter one. You can get straight into it. You talk about get [00:08:00] your head outta your ass, and one of the things you write is what if you decided that you didn’t have to lose weight after? I know it’s crazy but just stay with me. The truth is that we have body trends now, can you talk about what you mean by that and talk about body trends as well, and I like how you wrote about the Kim Kardashian asked that, if that was happening in the nineties, that you would’ve been like, what the hell?

So talk about a little bit about do you really need to lose weight and what about body? Oh, I think it’s fascinating when you look back over history, even just of, the 20th century, the body ideal of each sort of all, roughly decade. , it varied wildly, like in the twenties, you’re supposed to kinda look like a boy.

In the fifties, it was all about super curvy Marilyn Monroe. Then you get to the sixties and you’re supposed to look like Twiggy and it’s all over the place. So I have to ask people who are busting their asses quite literally, and also in their head constantly oh my God, I gotta. Dye down to look like heroin chic in the nineties or whatever.

And I’ve gotta do a million glute [00:09:00] bridges to get my butt big and like they are sweating blood and tears to reach these ideals, which are gonna go to fashion probably in about, I don’t know, the cycle’s getting faster these days because the internet blah, blah, blah. But like 10 years, no one’s gonna care about your butt cuz it’s gonna be all.

A clavicle or whatever, like thigh gap. There’s sh and this invented dudes is totally freaking invented. The other day someone said I posted a picture of Linda Carter, who used to play Wonder Woman in the seventies. Freaking gorgeous. Like gorgeous. And someone posted a commented, said, oh my God, she’s got hip dips and she doesn’t even care.

And. What the hell are hip dips? Like what is the flaw on this gorgeous woman? And I Google it. Hip dips are apparently like a huge problem now, and I never f it’s just, it’s manufactured bullshit. So I’m just saying if that’s why you wanna change your body, you might wanna park that because it’s not, there’s never gonna be use sustainable joy.

Justine on that, like I’m 37, I’ve got two kids, I’ve got a dad bot, [00:10:00] and I look at my, all my mates who have got kids and I’m probably in okay, better shape than 90% of ’em. And then you look at Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s basically nailed the dad bot with no kids. Outta shape. Never really been in shape.

Women love him. Always got a new girlfriend. At the end of the day it does come down to body trends and just accepting the fact that, maybe you are actually at the ideal body weight of what you are and maybe you need to be happy with that, which I love how you. Express in the book through there as well.

But two things you bring up straight away and there’s two facts. So the two simple facts, the body you are looking at right now is a result of your genetics and your habits. Can you jam on that a little bit? Yeah. So I go on to say, you might not choose that you need to lose weight. So if you’ve been going crazy, Thinking about losing the last 10 pounds the last 10 years, and it’s like this constant buzz in your mind and constant unchecked box on your to-do list.

You might give yourself permission to just let that go, however you might choose that. Actually, [00:11:00] no, I really wanna get super ripped and lean or whatever. So what I’m trying to empower people with is the choice, because I think people. Grow up with this kind of like victim mentality. And so I’m saying if you look down at your body right now, you and you do that with love your body right now is the result of two things, is your genetics.

and your habits, and there is nothing you can do about your genetics, but you can have total control over your habits. And that’s what I’m trying to tell people in the book. You can actually choose your habits are running about 40% of your life with unconsciously, right? So this is a massive amount of, your actions are just, Habits.

And so if you can consciously choose your habits, you are gonna be able to choose a good portion of what your body looks like and feels like. And I like how you talk about of drop the guilt and the best, the ultimate act of finance, of love that you say is love the body you’re in right now. So step number one, it’s, it’s your genetics.

Fine. It’s your habits. You definitely can change your habits. [00:12:00] But step one just acknowledge your body for what it is. It keeps you alive. So we’re always trying to externally make it beautiful, but your body works 24 7 even while you asleep to keep you alive. So the next part of the book you talk about, find the fucks.

What is, find the fucks. What I’m saying is, okay, so if you choose, all right, that’s it. I’m gonna go on a body transformation program or whatever. I’m gonna get healthy this year. . I’m like, if you are going to do that, you better find the fucks. You better really care about it because developing and cultivating new habits, it’s a pain in the ass.

Once you get them established, then you’re on autopilot and it’s amazing. But getting them off the ground, that actually takes a lot of effort and you have to be present and really ready to put some effort in. It’s like when you first start to do anything you, when you first to learn how to drive you have to really wanna learn how to drive.

There’s a lot of administration, there’s a lot of skills, there’s a lot of stuff tested, blah, blah, blah. You’re a teenager and you really want all the drive. So you go through all that and now we drive and we don’t even think about it. We’re chatting on the phone and blah, blah. . And so that’s how your [00:13:00] new habits are gonna be.

They’re gonna require some serious fuck giving right off the bat. So you can’t think I’m just gonna in the background, do this diet. That’s not gonna work. You’re really gonna have to care about this. And sometimes when I talk to my clients and they’re like, ah, I don’t know, keeps that happening, I’m like how important is is this really that important to you?

And if it’s not oh my God, let it go, let it fly. You don’t need to put that on your vision board this year if you don’t care that much. And the biggest one you say about, it’s not necessarily just about people confuse. Weight loss with happiness and feelings. So what that means is people are chasing a number on a scales for them to give the approval for them to be happy when they hit that number on the scales or when they fit into that particular size jeans or when they hit that particular goal.

But realistically, people are chasing a feeling and they’re chasing happiness, and they’re setting that to an external target. What you talk about is you can be happy, right? And you can feel good right now while actively changing your habits to get to that place. But don’t put your I [00:14:00] call it don’t put your happiness in someone else’s pocket, but don’t put your happiness on an external goal.

Put it on a rocket, send the rocket away, and always chasing that feeling and happiness as well. Is there anything you want to expand on that before we jump into? Just tell me the, how the fuck to get skinny already, which is one of your. Yeah. This is why I called my company Fit feels good because I really believe that not only what we’re actually chasing is that feeling of happiness.

If you figure out why do you wanna lose the 10 pounds? Cuz you think you’re gonna be happier when you get there. . So I’m saying we have to start practicing being happy right now in the body that we’re in. And a lot of people don’t believe me on this. They’re like, oh, unna, come on. If I allow myself to be happy in the body, then I’ll let myself off the hook, right?

And actually it doesn’t work that way. And this is scientifically backed up. If you are looking at yourself in the mirror every day and being like, you fat piece of shit, you blah, blah, blah, and you’re like beating yourself up all the time, you all you’re doing is you are creating neural pathway. That are reinforcing, I suck.

I’m never gonna do this. Which A is never gonna [00:15:00] get you to your. B, even if you somehow managed, like what I say is you will, no one has ever hated themselves into a body that they loved. So even if you managed to diet your way down to whatever you think your goal weight is, you’re still only gonna have these neuro pathways of self-hate.

You’re gonna look in the mirror and be like, okay, yeah, my belly’s flat, but what about, my boobs are gone now, or what about this stuff under my arms? And you are going to, this discontent and self-criticism is going to be the only thing you’ve ever practiced. So I’m saying, If your eventual goal is happiness and you know luxuriating in your hot body, you gotta practice that right now in the body that you’re in.

It will get you to where you wanna go, and you’ll immediately have the result that you want. , that’s what works. I love how you said you’ll never hate your way into the body that you love, and it’s totally correct because even when you get there, you’re still gonna find out something that you hate about your body as well.

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So why not get happy now while trying to work with the body that you do love right now? And then love it even more once you get [00:16:00] to your desired goal with the body composition. I love how you talk about next chapter. You say why discipline and motivation and willpower are bullshit. And I’ll just go through some stats that you read, which was.

Amazing. So 25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolution just after one week. So we’re nearly one week into January. So I’m sure there’s gonna be 25% out there. Through there I find a lot of challenges. I’m doing a nine week whole challenge at the moment, starts on Feb first, and I think what that does is weed out all the people who have started the New Year’s resolution.

All they get ’em back on the train after they’ve realized new resolutions don’t work. You said an overwhelming 80% of people. Bailed on their resolution by February, which is crazy. And the average person will make the same damn resolution five times without success. But the biggest stat you’d say here, which is nuts.

So motivation has nothing to do with it. Studies show that even after a heart attack, only 14% of patients make any lasting change around eating or exercise. That is absolutely crazy. So can you talk about, discipline, motivation, willpower, [00:17:00] and why they’re. This is the thing, when you ask most people why they’re not in the shape they wanna be in, they will always, almost always give they’ll tell you they’re not enough time, but then they’ll say, I just don’t have enough discipline or motivation or willpower.

And the thing is that those discipline, motivation, willpower, these are finite resources. Like we can really gather that up at the beginning of the year or whenever we’re like feeling pumped. But actually the. Life is gonna throw something at you and they take, because discipline, motivation, willpower, that eats up enormous resources.

So as soon as anything else comes up, you know you have a stressy time at work, something’s going on with your family. That discipline, motivation, and willpower, it goes out the window, you park it, and this is what people do. They’re like, ah, yeah, my life’s crazy right now, so I can’t do that dieting or that exercise thing I said I was gonna do.

That’s what happens with discipline, motivation. Willpower it, it rel it for. You, in order to execute it, you have to be a thousand percent doing that, and that’s not always possible. What you need are habits. Habits, you [00:18:00] just need to put this it needs to be automatic and it needs to feel rewarding. So you need to have an automatic habit that immediately gives you a sense of reward, because having enough discipline to wait for that, external eventual award.

It doesn’t work. Yeah, correct. Habits are boring. No one wants to talk about it. Everyone wants to talk about the fancy motivation, willpower, and discipline, which we do need that. If we wanna get off our ass and to the fridge, let’s get up. Okay. That’s, to do a simple act, but talking about rewards I was having this conversation the other day with my PT and we’re talking about, You would rather a lot of people just go, oh, I’m gonna go smash the gym and do an hour at the gym.

And they do that for a week and then they get bored, then they drop everything. But what is, if you did 30 minutes of a workout and you actually spent 30 minutes in the kitchen or 30 minutes shopping or going to a market, so 30 minutes on nutrition, preparing meals, and then 30 minutes of exercise that is.

You can balance that out. And that’s a habit. So what I was [00:19:00] explaining, like I come from the, I come from the field of, I’ve got heaps of willpower, heaps of discipline, heaps of motivation. I’ll go and smash it on the workout side, but I’ll wanna collect the nutrition side, but the, oh my gosh, a hundred percent.

You know what? If your goals are body composition changes, to be honest, it’s gonna be like 80, 90% nutrition. So if you really only have a little bit of time, if you’ve got one hour a week to put towards this goal, I would say make that hour meal prep and make yourself a whole bunch of healthy food and you’ll ha if you have healthy food in your fridge, you will eat healthy food.

That is the best time investment towards body composition change. I’ll read a little bit about the book. So you do talk about the need for better habits and, Aristotle’s quoted for saying We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not so much as an act, but a habit. But the breakthrough bestselling author has a daily writing habit.

We don’t hear about it until it’s a bestseller. P. Professional basketball players shoot hundreds of hoops every day. Michael Phelps practice swimming every day, even on Christmas for the reason he excelled [00:20:00] in his is the habits. And what you say here is crazy. Have you ever wondered why there’s never been a Biggest Loser reunion show?

Why? Why is that? Why don’t they have a Biggest Loser reunion show? The unfortunate fact is that they’ve normally gained it. Plus, which is a kind of, a lot of us have had that experience in the microcosm, right? And that’s because they never developed sustainable habits that make them feel good.

And so this is the thing when people say, oh, I, I keep falling off the wagon with my habit. I’m like it’s, you fall off the wagon because you’re relying on discipline and motivation and willpower versus relying on that habit feeling. So most people, and when they are not consistent with their habits and really is about consistency, and I can talk about the value of small wins later, but most people, when they’re not consistent with their habits, it’s because their habits are really, they’ve made it way too hard and way too unpleasant.

So you gotta figure out a way for your habit to feel either inherently rewarding or you have to bribe yourself. Like when people are like, I just, I need [00:21:00] more motivation. I’m like, no, you don’t. You just need a. Like the way I started exercising from being a very sedentary smoke. Was that I brid myself that I was allowed to watch super trashy tv, but only if I was on a treadmill and I could walk because I was not a, I couldn’t run at the time.

I just had to be moving on the treadmill and I allowed myself to watch like Jerry’s. Bringer and Mor Povich, and that will keep you on the treadmill when you were waiting to find out like who the father is. Like that guy is so exciting. And it was something that I never would’ve allowed myself to do except I was on the treadmill.

So then I started to make an association of exercise with this like guilty pleasure treat. And when you do That’s how the habits are built. Yeah. Just to the ma po that particular show in Jerry Springer and the Maori Povi show, was it called, that was huge in the nineties. I remember as a teenager watching that in the nineties.

I, I dunno why back with the habits? The reason why they don’t have the biggest salus of reunion show is, Why they don’t have TAs Lato winners Reunion show to see what they’ve done with the money after [00:22:00] five, 10 years. Cuz they’re bon Atol because they haven’t had habits. They came into money quickly and these people came into weight loss quickly as well.

So they never, habits take a long time. They take years to form. You talk about the scope on Habit Loop, and I’ll read a little bit and this is crazy. So think about all the habits you currently have, and you touched on this just earlier, but it’s a huge pain in the ass to brush your teeth every day, but you brush your teeth every day because you can smell your own breath when it stinks.

And you don’t have to force yourself to take a shower because after you do a workout and you stink, you want to shower. So these are the brushing the teeth, shower in, you put your seatbelt in your car so you don’t die when you have a car accident and you check your emails every day just in case you don’t miss something as well.

So these are the habit loops as well. The. Those things. Now, putting on your seatbelt and brushing your teeth, we don’t even think about them. But the reason that we developed those habits in the first place is because they became rewarding. We start to that minty feeling on our teeth and we, that didn’t always happen like my son.

The other day, or when he was five years old, I remember saying, have you brushed your teeth? And he was like, I just [00:23:00] brushed them yesterday. So for him, it felt like this big duty that he had to do. But now of course he just brushes his teeth naturally and he does his thing as do most of us. So what I’m trying to say is that something that did feel like a big, oh my God, do I have to do this?

It can become something that you don’t even think about that is completely natural and it becomes part of your identity. We start to think of ourselves Hey, I am someone with good dental hygiene. I am the kind of person who will always eat vegetables before dessert or whatever. You just start to become that kind of, Yeah.

And he can also, it can take it too far as well. Like I, I worked with a guy who brushed his teeth seven times a day, which was no crazy, like after every, he would carry around his toothbrush and toothpaste. Anyway, moving on. So you talk about the seven habits of highly healthy. Motherfuckers we can swear in this podcast cuz you swore in the book and it got published.

You talk about a keystone habit. What is a keystone habit? Yeah, a keystone habit is the habit that, so in architecture, a keystone is the stone that kind of holds [00:24:00] the whole thing together. So in habits, a keystone habit is one that sets off a ripple effect. So the example that I often give is, for me a keystone habit is waking up and exercising first thing in the morning.

And the reason that’s a keystone habit for me is that if I do that, then you know, afterwards I wanna have a healthy breakfast. I don’t wanna have a croissant because I’ve worked out, I want something nourishing. Then I’ve got all this energy and I’m in a great mood. So I’ll like maybe pre-prep a lunch.

and then like after school I have more time to hang up with my kids cuz I’ve already done my workout. And then, I don’t drink in the evenings because I know I have to get up early to, to have my workout. So it’s not that my workout burns all these calories and that’s why I’m fit. It’s that workout sets off a ripple effect throughout my day that leads to all these other positive behaviors.

Yeah, totally agree. I’ve got to talk about my keystone habits It’s, I’ve got three exercises. I can go either do a gym workout with weights, I can go to the gym and do cardio, or I can walk my dog or ride my bike. [00:25:00] So there’s three or four different key stones. I just gotta do one of those a day.

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every day, tick it off, that’s it. Move on. If I do that 300 times at 365 times this year, I’m gonna be okay. And then if I nail my nutrition, I’m gonna be okay. So there’s, it’s not a big secret. It’s not a big deal. So that’s my keystone habit. I’m sure there’s, people have keystone habits out there as well.

Let’s jump into the habits. So people listening, people playing at home. Habit number one you talk about, and I love this one because it just made sense and I’ve actually applied it straight away after. Couple days ago, fill half of every plate with vegetables, . So every time you sit down, you got your plate in front of you, you just fill half of it with non-starchy veg.

So not potatoes. I’m talking about lettuce and carrots and all this kind of things. And if you do that alone, we’ll take care of a lot of your caloric intake because those are not very calorically dense. It will take care of a lot of your nutrient intake because it’s very nutrient dense. If you just do that [00:26:00] one habit you will feel so much better.

So much. Teach me because I am, I do a lot of weights and I do a lot of gym, and I’m under the presumption of eating more protein. So protein. Talk to me why that maybe it’s not the best, ideal scenario and why we don’t need that much protein. I definitely wanna go on the record, say I’m not anti protein at all.

But I will say that in popular culture there is an over-emphasis on protein and an under-emphasis on vegetables. When you look at the World Health Organization recommendations for daily intake of vegetables in North America, at least there’s I dunno, 10% of people are getting the recommended daily servings of vegetables, which is like pathetic.

However, most of North Americans are eating double the amount of recommended protein. So I will just say that there is a really good chance that most people are eating more protein than they need, which probably won’t [00:27:00] hurt them except it’s excess calories, more calories than they need, and they’re not eating nearly enough vegetables.

That is for most people. It makes a lot of sense. And protein’s very, as you said caloric rich. And so you are, if you’re eating too much protein, maybe your calories every day is, it’s gonna be hard to shed those excess body weights if you keep putting too many calories into your mouth as well.

Yeah, I just. . Yeah. Like people are sitting in their cars eating protein bars or whatever, and I’m like the job of protein . The job of protein is to build and repair muscles and tissue. So protein is amazing. After you’ve done your strength training workouts, for example, what you’ve done is you’ve created all these little micro tailors and your muscles, and then when they repair, then they get bigger and stronger.

So that’s amazing. And you want protein to help. Support that process. So that’s amazing. But if you are sitting in your car or you are sedentary and you are not like doing a lot to tear and break down your muscles that they need [00:28:00] more repair, right? You don’t need to be scarfing protein all the time.

I would say you need more vegetables. One of the things you said was roasted vegetables as well if you are short on time, which I did, so I did a big roasted vegetables yesterday, so I’m looking forward to eating those today as well. Jumping on to habit number two, you say, go to go the fuck to sleep.

Now, someone like myself who normally averages six or seven hours trying to get more in, you talk about lack of sleep, producers, cortisol, a lack of sleep basically makes you drunk. I understand that sleep is when you reap the benefits of your workout. A good sleep boosts your immune system and keeps you ready to move, and when you sleep in, you aren’t snacking.

Apart from those things, why should we get more sleep? And why is that related to air health? It’s just that I’ve got so many clients who are like, oh, I just, I’m so good with my habits except for at night I start snacking and I’m like, you’re not hungry. You’re fucking tired. That’s your body being like, give me energy.

I’m exhausted. And you’re like, okay, I think this is a job for popcorn. It’s not, it’s a job for sleep. And [00:29:00] when you are not if you have had insomnia or. and it is like you’re drunk. Like they’ve done tests on people who have sleep deprived and have had a lot of drinks. And when you’ve had a couple of drinks, do you make amazing health choices?

No, you do not. You sit on your butt and you have a lot of munchies and maybe choose not the most healthy munchies. That’s how most people act. Yeah, I used to suffer from intermittent sleep, insomnia. And I can tell you it’s worse than being drunk. It’s literally walking around in a hay. So now, number three talking about booze, have a three talk about back away from the booze.

Now I’ve had a personal experience on this. I’ve been today is actually the sixth, so I stopped drinking the 6th of January, 2022. So it’s today, it’s my one year anniversary, so I’m gonna pat myself on the back. That is a huge accomplishment. I’ve dropped the boost, and apart from the health benefits and feeling good and not being hungover or just even drinking in general, I can actually see.

and this is a bad trait, other people’s drinking problems. And [00:30:00] so it’s wow, cuz I can I used to drink for 22 years. When I say 22 years, it was like I didn’t really take a year break or even a month break. I can actually see other people’s drinking problems. Becoming an ex drinker myself, and people are like, oh, you’ve done it.

You’re gonna do a year, you’re gonna get back on it. When are you gonna get back on it? And it’s like, it’s crazy. So you talk to me about how important it is to back away from the booze, from the health benefits, but I can attest to that and how good it is. Yeah. I just, I’ve had so many clients who are busting their asses with the workouts and they only eat organic, and they’re like so careful with all this.

And they drink half a bottle of wine every night. and I’m like, Ooh, like you’re fucking up. Everything else that you’ve done that is so many excess calories that is probably going to inhibit you. Like you’re gonna be less inhibited. You’re gonna have munchies probably, even if you don’t, you just consumed a lot of e extra calories that is completely gonna mess up your sleep.

And so you’re gonna feel less likely to work out the next day. You’re gonna be less likely to make good [00:31:00] food choices. , it’s, we’re speaking of keystone habits. That’s a negative keystone habit that will have a ripple effect in almost every other area. So I’m just like, if people say, what’s the one thing that I could do?

And people are saying like, oh my God, I’m gotta get rid of sugar. I’m gonna to get rid of carbs, I’m gonna blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, oh, you know what? I’m so sorry to tell you this. But it’s probably gonna be the booze. It’s gonna give you the biggest bang for your buck if you’re gonna make any efforts at all, get rid of the booze or reduce it.

Absolutely. And to use an extreme example, like you could be an amazing parent. Yeah. Fantastic. And at night you just go shoot up heroin and it’s hang on a sec. Those two things don’t mix. And people like, oh I’ve nailed the day. I’ve done my workout, done my Pilates, I’ve eaten Right? And then I’m just gonna smash the booze and it.

Ronnie Coleman, who was one of the top Mr. Oland people for seven years on his documentary. One thing I got out of it, he never ever touched alcohol When he is he said, bodybuilders don’t touch alcohol. And it was like a [00:32:00] keystone nut. And these are things that like go hand in hand and it’s either one or the other.

So you can try to, people try to fake it. And I’ve been there for a decade out train a bad diet and then. With the liquid calories tipping that over the scale. So I was never getting the results, so I was working hard, but it was because I could never drop the boot. Massive topic through there.

We’ll move on to habit number four. You talk about chill your ass out and meditate. And I like how you say meditation. It’s like gym for your brain. Why do we need to chew out? Why do we need to meditate? Why is it so good for us? Yeah. You know what? It’s so funny. I get so much resistance for this because unlike people are attracted to maybe a brand like mine, they wanna go hard and they wanna tell me what you do and I’ll do it.

And they wanna do doing jumping jacks in front of their computer or whatever and I’m like, actually, let’s calm down and let’s send their like, oh, it actually reminds me of when I first did a yoga certification, my, my yoga instructor told me this story about how he was. He was [00:33:00] leading a class and you’re starting really slow with head rolls and connect to your breath and blah, blah, blah.

And there was a woman in the front row who was like, just getting so angry and antsy. And after a bit he was like is anything wrong? And he’s, she’s yeah I gotta burn 500 calories today, so can we get on with it? And he said maybe if you sit still long enough, you’ll figure out why you eat 500 calories too.

And when I heard that story I was like, shit, that might be me. Because I’m like running around and like doing the meal prep. I’m like crazy. And never taking a moment to being like, why do I feel so antsy? Why do I want to eat my feeling? You know what I mean? Like sometimes you just gotta sit down and figure yourself out.

And especially because a lot of people will say, They each, they may be overeat because of emotions. It’s a stress response. Maybe they drink to, have that at the end of the day. I’m just saying that if you can [00:34:00] meditate and maybe get a little bit of those good feelings you’re gonna feel a lot better than if you try and numb out using food or booze or exercise.

Yeah. And also people have they don’t have a good relationship with hunger. What I mean by that is the onset of hunger and they just run straight to the fridge or pantry or the drive through, and they’re just, they never sit with it. They never they never like rest with it as well.

So you talk about hunger isn’t an emergency, diary is an emergency. I like that little phrase through there as well. We’ll jump into habit five. You talk about Eat it. But eat weightless of it. I’ll just give you a bit of a rundown. So you say eat veggies, fill half your plate with vegetables, all of them, eat protein.

Limit the size to your palm and then eat carbs less. Limit the size to your fist and then the fat, the size of your thumb. I really like that. Is there anything more you wanna expand on? Eat at all, but eat weightless of it. . Yeah. So I just feel like a lot of people are trying to, it’s really gimmicky when people are saying like, oh, get rid of all carbs, or get rid of all sugar, or when they have this really all or nothing [00:35:00] approach to anything.

And especially when it comes to a major macronutrient, like carbs. I’m like, we need carbs to live. We need carbs to have any kind of energy. You need carpent for your brain, and you need protein for this and you need fat for you. Processing certain vitamins in your hair and your blah, blah, blah.

So you can’t, to go totally fat free or carve free or whatever is just absurd. That’s not gonna ever work, ever. So eat it all, but just portions. And I think that we are completely. out of whack when it comes to portions like that last one, fat the size of your thumb. So if all of your beautiful listeners right now will look at their little adorable, cute little thumbs, and I want you to look at that sucker and think that is a portion of cheese and it’s usually way less than most people are eating.

And so I think that when people do my program, one of the biggest things they say is, Oh my gosh. I was just eating way too much food. Cuz a lot of people who are attracted to programs like mine, [00:36:00] they usually are very healthy eaters. Like they are not people who are having cocoa pops for breakfast and whatever.

They’re people who really care about this. and they’re usually people who are just eating too much of that healthy food. Half an avocado on a salad is going to be too much for most women, I will say. Yeah. Too much of it. No, I’m guilty of that as well. Yeah, I’m definitely guilty of that just because I think it’s healthy.

I might be eating double of it as well, so maybe as you said before about the meditation, maybe I need to meditate and realize that I actually eat too much and I eat for pleasure and I enjoy it and cuz I’ve worked from home. I’m like in the kitchen all the. Walking past the kitchen. Which is cool.

Yeah. I need to slow the fuck down, as you say. And, don’t eat unless you are genuinely hungry as well. And experience hunger. I really love that as well. Yeah. Great stuff. We’re gonna run outta time, so I’m gonna just we’ll flick through the next habits, which is chapter six, prep and plan ahead.

Talk to me about that. We’ve already talked about roast veggies, but what are some of the other things that people can do with prepping and planning? [00:37:00] Yeah, just like I said, if you have healthy food, you are going to eat healthy food. Otherwise, you’re just going to eat whatever happens to be available when you become really hungry and if you look around at society, what’s generally available is usually not that good for you.

So you really just, if you’re gonna invest one hour a week, like I said, make it meal prep. And my meal prep is so simple. I don’t even do recipes. I make a whole bunch of lentils, I roast a whole bunch of veggies and I will marinate some to. That’s it. That is my meal prep. And I’m not really much of a foodie, so I’m fine to eat the same boring stuff all the time.

If you’re a foodie, you might wanna, I don’t know, make a ginger soup or whatever foodies do, but you can make it fancier is what I’m saying. But it does not have to be. Yeah. And I read an Instagram I’ve read an Instagram. I was on Instagram before and story popped up and it was like, we eat the same five to 10 meals weekly and we repeat the cycle.

So at the end of the day, it’s not like you gotta buy new cookbooks. It’s figure out what you like to eat, work it. Consistently repeat. We do it. Simple as that. Merry go around shit. No. Rollercoaster stuff. [00:38:00] It’s boring, but it works. It’s boring. Yeah, it’s boring, but it works. Guys like your food doesn’t have to be your entertainment.

Get entertainment, do other stuff for fun. that, that’s exactly right. Yeah. Use. Use food as nutrition and do other things for entertainment. You talk about habit seven, the last one, exercise consistently. We’ve touched on this already, but how important is it just to have a habit of moving your body every day and doing.

Exercise is amazing for, stress reduction, for longevity, for general health, for your mood. It’s actually not that great for weight loss and body composition changes except that it is a keystone habit that has a ripple effect. Like I said, It’s my keystone habit is exercise because it makes me eat healthier, sleep more, drink less, blah, blah, blah.

That’s what exercise does for me, and it’s really all compounding, all those that affects my body. You can’t go for a run and erase the calories that you had for lunch. That is not how exercise works. We need to get, that’s a binge and purge mindset that never works, [00:39:00] but exercise will make you a healthier person and a healthier person, take certain actions and it’s that identity that’s really going to change it.

Absolutely. Yeah. Thank you for expanding on that. And just to type a couple things as well so people might nail all these things and then they might stop now. I don’t know who writes your chapter titles, but you’ve got a chapter called How Not to Be a Big Fat Quit Me Quid Face , you Say This Do or not do, there is no Try, which is a Yoda thing as well.

Talk to us a little bit about some of the steps. So step one, you talk about decata. How important is this to to clutter and getaway trigger foods you cause it and digital utter in. Yeah, I’m just saying set up your environment for success. Like when you have that big rush of enthusiasm to change your life and to get fit or whatever.

One of the best ways you can direct that energy is through setting up your environment for success. Get rid of all the shitty food download the apps that you need. Join a thing, join a cl. That’s when you set up your environment for success. Absolutely. Absolutely. And just another quick one, the [00:40:00] power of your peeps as well.

How important it is to have the right people around you as well, and distance yourself away for the wrong people. Can you expand on that a little bit? Oh my gosh. You’ve probably heard that you become like the five people you hang out with most. So I’m just if the people you’re hanging out with don’t have the kind of habits that are going to be, make you the kind of person you wanna be, then I’m not saying, bitch, you’re unfit friends.

I’m just saying that you might want to start cultivating some friendships and some groups that are people who are aspirational to you because you will. Unconsciously conform to the people around you and I love, everyone thinks they’re immune to this. Everyone’s like, not me. I don’t care about who’s doing what on social media.

Oh my gosh, yes you do. This is proven so many times. So the best thing you can do for yourself is instead of conscious, unconsciously being influenced by all the bullshit on social media and all the people around you consciously choose. This is the environment. These are the people that I want to influence me, and then you will get the [00:41:00] results that you want.

We care so much about what other people think, but we don’t realize that people actually don’t think about us, which is which is, I think we learned that in our sixties. I heard another one you talk about is breakup with your own bullshit as well. So breakup with your bullshit. What do you mean by breakup with your bullshit?

Yeah. Your bullshit the belief systems you have right now that. Holding you back that are keeping you stuck. So all of us have, a reason that we think we’re not in the best shape. I don’t have the time. That would be an example of some bullshit. So then I’m not saying that I know your schedule and yes, you do have time and blah, blah, blah.

I am saying that if this was really important to you, you would find. And so I think that what you need to do is root out your bullshit. So this is again, why meditation is so great cuz you can start to watch your thoughts and then once you’ve oh, I have the story in my head that I’ll never get fit because of my genetics, or because of my bad knee, or because I’m in menopause, or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

The best thing to do is to take that bullshit. And answer it yourself. For example, if you’ve got oh, I said I wasn’t gonna eat cake, but ah, you only live once, right? And [00:42:00] you’re like, okay, you only live once. There’s, that’s my bullshit I use, you only live once all the time. And so then you can answer it with something like, yeah, I only live once and I want to do it in a body that feels incredible to me, so I’m not gonna have the cake.

No, it’s perfect. It’s it’s self-coaching, but it’s also dropping away your sort of your automatic negative self-talk, which comes up all the time and it’s consciously overtaking that with conscious self-talk. Say, I hear you, but here’s what we’re gonna do. I hear you. But he, here’s what we’re gonna do.

I’ll love one of the chapters. You’re right. If you can’t do something right, do it. Totally half-assed as well. So I love the idea of, small winds reinforced the habit loop. and then small wins. Make your habits bullshit. Proof as well. I just love that as well. We’ll move on. What is how to fight The fuck?

Its what is that? So the fuck its is when you say Ugh, I know I said I was gonna get up and do my bootcamp class, but fuck it. I just gotta sleep in or fuck it like this, I said I wasn’t gonna drink, but fuck it. It’s [00:43:00] Friday night. Whatever. So you have that, those fuck it moments.

And so one of the ways you’re gonna fight the fuck its is by, again, making those those habits smaller, make them teeny tiny. You can say I’m not gonna get up for my bootcamp class, but you’ll be like, okay, all I gotta do is get up and let the dog out or whatever, make it so small that it becomes bullshit.

Great. I think we’ll tie Beau in the book through there. So from our audience, there’s a lot more to cover through there. So we will, we’ll plug the book where’s the best place people can buy the book and follow yourself as well. And then we’re gonna jump into a quick rapid fire question before we wrap up the podcast.

Awesome. All right you can learn all about my book and my programs and there’s a whole bunch of freebies@fitfeelsgood.com and the book is called Healthy as Fuck, and you can get it, on Amazon or wherever you get your books as well. Oh, and on Audible, actually I think it might even be free for Audible, plusser subscribers.

So look into that. Awesome. And why is there two different totals for different countries as well? Can you explain that? Yeah. You know what, it was crazy. [00:44:00] So it was released under healthy ass fuck. In the US as well. And the book really, it smashed in Canada and in the UK and in Australia, New Zealand. And for some reason it just didn’t fly in the US and my US publisher was like, I think it’s cuz of the swearing.

And I’m looking at the bookshelves being like, I don’t think it’s because of the swearing. If you, especially cuz it came out in 2019. Every book was a fuck book. And they said let’s try and re-release it under a new title. And they did a whole bunch of testing. They ran Facebook adss with all these different titles and images and what.

For Facebook people American Facebook people was ditch the diet and a picture of B Choi. And so that’s what won. And you know what? It still didn’t it healthy as fuck did better. When I was a bit like, I knew that was a better title dish. The diet is not as good a title, but whatever. It’s all good.

nah. Cool. Cool. No, no stress as well. So we’re gonna jump into a quick rapid fire question as well. I’ll ask some questions, whatever comes to mind. Where did you grow up? Oh all over. [00:45:00] Canada, but Calgary, Alberta. Cool. What’s something people seem to misunderstand about you, ? Some people think that I am like perfect when it comes to the fitness stuff and that I of came out of the womb doing cartwheels and eating vegetables and that is not the case.

What’s one favorite thing about where you live? Oh my gosh. I live on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada, and I can see the ocean from here and there’s deer on my lawn and it’s just beautiful. Oh, wow. What’s one thing you can’t live without? Dark chocolate. Coffee. Coffee? Yeah, me too. Dark chocolate and coffee.

When you were younger, what did you wanna be? Oh actor. Actor. And what’s one person who motivat. Oh my gosh. Yeah, first thing that came to mind was Tony Robb. Cool, cool. He’s the one that started me off 20 years ago. No way. Me too. Personal power cassette tapes. Personal. Yeah. Per the, yeah.

Personal power seat. I used to download it on Torrance, but yeah. Funny that yeah, I’ve still got it. Which is crazy. If you could change anything in the world, what would it be? . I have to go with my mission here right now. About 50% of at least women in North America are on a diet [00:46:00] to lose weight.

It’s going to fail and make them feel like shit about themselves. I feel like that is such a waste of valuable human energy and that everyone deserves a simple system that makes them feel good. And that’s my mission. Favorite podcast or YouTube shows or channels that you. . You know what I do mostly audio books.

So I don’t know a lot of podcasts yet. I’m just getting into the podcasts. Yeah. Cool. That’s fine. And do you have a favorite quote? Probably the one from Aristotle there. And do you have any favorite productivity hacks? Oh, just . I was gonna say, just shut up and do it. I feel like people waste so much energy thinking of reasons why they don’t have to do it, and I feel like that actually takes more energy.

Freaking doing it. Whatever the it is for you, you know what it is. You don’t even, you don’t need me to tell you. There’s a thing that you’re not doing right now, and I’m just saying, just fucking do it. You’ve survived the rapid fire question around. So Unna, thank you for being a guest on the Best Book Bits podcast.

And to my audience out there, please go follow Unna ba her book sent. Yeah, amazing stuff. [00:47:00] Health as fuck, go out there, become health as fuck. And if you want to find out more about Unna, go to her socials and go to her website and check out her challenges as well. Again, thank you for being a guest and I get on with the rest of the today.

Okay. Thank you so much for having me. This was so fun. I’ll speak to you soon. Great.


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