The Marshmallow Method to Fat loss
Dave and Steve march into the gym pumped to try their new workout routine.
They’ve got similar body types, are on the same fitness plan, and have the same goals — to lose 20lbs, pack on muscle, and hear comments like “Damn! What have you been doing!?” when they take their shirt off at the beach.
Fast forward six months, Steve, has lost 24lbs of fat. His arms and chest feel rock solid. His back and abs are rippling with tone, hard muscle.
Then there’s Dave. After 6-months, he’s in the same spot he was in before — doughy around the stomach with soft arms, chubby legs, and a chest that’s as much fat as muscle.
He abandoned his plan after a few weeks and fell back into his old routine. Even though he’s still working out and eats an okay diet, he’s not making the progress he feels he should be — which is frustrating.
Though he just discovered an all-new routine. “This time I’m going to make it work!” he says. Of course, that’s exactly what he said the last time… and the time before that…
While these are fictional characters, they represent two kinds of people you see in the health and fitness world.
The “Steve’s” make amazing transformations. And most importantly, have an easy time maintaining their fitness and getting stronger year after year.
The ¨Daves¨ are the ones who stay stuck.
And the difference between these two isn’t what you think.
It’s not that one had better information, better genetics, or more motivation.
And no, Steve didn’t have to go on some weird diet, give up all his favorite foods, or live at the gym. The answer is much simpler than that.
And can explained using marshmallows.
The key to success in fitness — and everything else
Kids were brought in a room and sat at a table with a marshmallow on it. They experimenter said he was going to leave the room. If the kid didn’t eat the marshmallow before he got back, he’d let the kid eat that marshmallow plus give her a second one. If the kid ate the marshmallow, he wouldn’t give her a second one.
Now the fascinating part of the study came 40 years later, when experimenters caught up with these kids.
They found the ones who didn’t eat the marshmallow had higher SAT scores, less substance abuse, were less likely to be obese, handled stress better, had better social skills according to their parents, and generally had better scores in a range of other life measures.
In short, people willing to delay gratification (the ones who chose 2 marshmallows later as opposed to one now) became more successful in several important areas of life.
Now this is where you say “but correlation isn’t causation!” And it’s a good argument to make. But here’s the thing. You see examples of those willing to delay gratification going on to have success — while those who need instant gratification staying stuck — all over the place.
As a dating coach for the Art of Charm, and as a fitness coach for 7 years, I can tell you this is absolutely the case in both dating and fitness. People who need the instant results fizzle out. Those who are disciplined and do the work see amazing transformation.
Here’s an example.
Like a lot of guys in high school, I was clueless when it came to women. The only thing I had going for me was I genuinely didn’t care if a girl rejected me or not. If I approached a girl and she brushed me off, I’d laugh and be on to the next one.
I knew it was only a matter of time until I’d find a girl who was interested. So I kept going.
Lots of guys don’t see it that way. If a girl isn’t interested in them, they take it personally and use it as an excuse not to talk to the next girl. “What’s the point, I’m just going to get rejected again”.
Because I didn’t need that instant gratification, I got way more experience meeting and talking to women than most guys. So I got good at it. By the time I graduated college, I was offered a job as a dating coach at one of the top men’s dating companies in the world.
I see this all the time in fitness too. Guys come to me after cycling through a laundry list of program they tried for a few weeks then ultimately gave up on because they weren’t seeing results.
A lot of times, if they stayed with what they were doing, they would’ve got the results they were looking for. But I can’t blame them for getting impatient. Especially because a lot of the programs out there aren’t sustainable. Sure, you can do that new fad diet that tells you to eat nothing but boiled chicken and asparagus 6 times a day, but who the hell wants to live like that?
Now the good news is, you can get better at delayed gratification so you can start seeing results with your fitness routine. Here’s how:
How to make Fat loss inevitable
People think success is all about finding the perfect plan. But this is often nothing more than what psychologists call information bias. People spend all their time consuming info, thinking this next book/program/course has all the answers. Then once they’ve consumed the information, they’re on to the next book/program.
Yes, your plan matters. But even if you have the perfect plan, it’s not going to mean anything if you lose motivation and give up after a few weeks of minimal results. In other words, if you don’t delay gratification.
How do you do this? I’ve found the easiest way to delay gratification is to focus less on your results and instead fall in love with the process that will inevitably lead to that result.
If you have a solid plan that makes exercise and eating well enjoyable and easy, you’re going to see progress. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
Hell, you can even hit your goals on accident.
This happened to me back when I was a chubby 15-year-old.
I was gearing up for a summer filled with Call of Duty on Xbox and going to the beach with friends, when my mom dropped this bomb:
Mom: Hey Sameem, we’re going to send you to Costa Rica for a month
Mom: It’s for a mission trip. You’ll be building benches and carrying water to a village all day.
Me: Umm what? No thanks…
Mom: Too bad. Youŕe going.
This was not 15-year-old-Sameem’s idea of a summer vacation.
When I got there, I quickly learned my diet would go from ¨whatever I wanted¨ to rice, beans, and chicken. That’s it.
Despite my early objections, the trip was incredible. It made me less of an ungrateful fat kid and gave me a chance to see a whole different side of the world.
Plus, lugging around water and eating less garbage forced me to lose 15lbs in 4 weeks without even trying.
Obviously, I didn’t stick to that diet or carry water around went I got home. But I learned an important lesson about how the right environment can make burning fat effortless.
So if you’re struggling to lose weight and stay fit, it’s probably because your environment is making it insanely difficult.
Here’s a quick look at some of the outside forces keeping you from getting fit — and how to overcome them.
Is society keeping us overweight?
We’ve become a society obsessed with instant gratification. That’s why, for every “Steve” who hits his goals, there are a hundred “Dave’s” still struggling. Because we’re conditioned now more than ever to seek instant gratification.
We think transformation should be instant because we’re bombarded with ads telling us “take this pill!” or “Do this program!” and “you can lose 20lbs in a week!” Which is some combination of bullshit, unsustainable, or both.
We never see the full story. For example, take the athletes we see on TV every day. We look at them and say things like “Damn, I wish I had those genetics”. But we don’t see what goes on behind the scenes. We’re oblivious to the time they spent waking up early to run up a hill with a car tire dragging behind them — all before anyone even knew their name.
So instead of putting in the work day after day, we post an inspirational Schwarzenegger quote because hey, it feels good. Way better than lifting a bunch of heavy ass weights all by yourself, that’s for sure.
For real change, it’s important to put yourself in an environment where instant gratification isn’t the norm. That means separating yourself from the sea of Dave’s and learning to think and act more like the Steves of the world.
Which of these two paths will you choose?
Aside from delayed gratification, there are a few other differences between Daves and Steves that are important to know if you want to transition from one to the other.
Daves talk a big game — filling their FB and Instagram with inspirational quotes about conquering fear, being your best self, loving each other etc. Yet are frustrated because deep down they know they’re not living up to those words.
They try to make change, but if they don’t get that reward soon enough they fall back into their old habits and routines.
The Steve’s on the other hand, don’t talk at all. They get to work.
They’d rather go volunteer their time than post a picture of the Dalai Lama with a quote about compassion.
They’re done looking for the next fad diet or fitness routine. They know it’s about day-to-day execution more than some “weird trick” or magic pill.
Down the road, others will call them ¨lucky¨ or ¨successful¨. But they don’t see themselves that way. Because they know the work that went into getting them where they are.
They see their achievements as the inevitable result of the work they put in.
Now if you’re ready to get to work and go from being a Dave to a Steve, then this is for you:
Program your mind for success in health and fitness
As you may have figured out, your success in health and fitness starts with what’s going on inside your head.
Until you have the right mindset for staying motivated and focused, your workout routine or nutrition plan won’t do much. Because you’ll inevitably fall back into your old routine (this has happened before, hasn’t it?)
But you can master the mindsets needed to get fit and stay that way in this free 7-day online course: The Inner Game of Fitness.
It shows you the simple mindset shifts needed to bring you from a Dave to a Steve. From someone who wants to change but keeps falling back into your own patterns and routines, to someone who can finally breakthrough and see drastic, lasting transformation.
Here’s a peek at what you’ll discover:
- The truth about confidence and body transformation (Plus, the humiliating pancake breakfast that changed my life) (Day 4)
- The 80/20 rule of fitness (and why working out harder to lose weight is a waste of time) (Day 6)
- The healthy way to radically change your life in 6 months — get a new body, new habits, and new routines without dramatically changing your lifestyle (Day 7)
This program may close any day so if you’re interested sign up now.