Tony Robbins’ unusual fitness and weight-loss advice
Tony ‘I’m gonna show you what to do to reshape yourself‘ Robbins’ self-help talks extend beyond how to become a better leader.
In a new interview, the motivational speaker and best-selling author, who has addressed more than 50 million people, gives his insights into weight-loss.
“If you’re going to solve a weight-loss problem – or smoking problem for that matter – you must address both the psychological and physiological,” says Robbins, who unsurprisingly for someone who charges nearly US$5000 a ticket to one of his seminars, has a weight-loss program for a cool US$199.
“Regarding the psychological, your goal must not be ‘I need to lose X pounds’ but ‘I’m going to regain my identity,’ whether as an athlete, a conservative, a sexual being, a together person, whatever,” the 56-year-old tells Psychology Today.
“The goal of becoming more consistent with your core authentic self is a much stronger motivator than ‘I need to lose 30 pounds.’ So ask yourself, ‘Who is the person you’d more authentically be if you were thinner?'”
In fact, Robbins believes the key to weight-loss has nothing to do with weight-loss.
“For many people, food is a source of comfort, connection, and control,” Robbins says.
“How control? ‘You can’t make me lose weight. See?!’ You must find a more empowering source of comfort, connection, and control than food – perhaps a creative outlet, helping others, becoming active in an organisation, whatever.”
According to Robbins, this is because we are unhealthy and overweight for the same reasons we are unhappy and unfulfilled. Solve the fulfillment conundrum and we will, in all likelihood, solve the weight one too.
“Regarding the physiological, when you go on an extreme diet, your body’s self-preservation mechanism responds by burning calories as slowly as possible,” Robbins adds. “Of course, that makes it much more difficult to lose weight.
“And if you do extreme exercise to lose weight, you’ll usually soon stop because you get injured or because it’s simply too rigorous to do for a lifetime.”
Rather than racing into something extreme in desperation, he believes transformation must be rooted in our overall attitude to our lives.
“Weight control does have to be for a lifetime or you’ll be yo-yoing,” Robbins says. “You’re far more likely to lose the weight and keep it off if you lose slowly, perhaps ½ to 1 pound a week, exercise moderately, and find that replacement for comfort, connection, and control. That’s a doable long-term plan.”
As for his exercise advice, Robbins says, “do something physical every day, even if it’s just five or ten minutes of fast walking a couple times a day. That tends to replace fear and anger with determination and courage. It can change your identity, your momentum.”
“Emotion is changed by motion. Even maintaining a power pose – standing with shoulders back, hands on hips like Superman or Wonder Woman while breathing deeply can help.
“A Harvard study found that after doing that for just two minutes, the subjects had a 20 per cent increase in testosterone, 15 per cent reduction in cortisol, and were a third more likely to take an action they perceived as risky just two minutes earlier. Requiring even less effort: Smile. It creates positive physiological change.”
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