How Strict Must You Eat to Lose Weight?

With the Fourth of July holiday almost upon us, many of us will have food on our minds. It’s a great day for sharing delicious—if not necessarily nutritious—food with family and friends.

During a radio interview the other day, I received a question that is particularly relevant to this upcoming day of celebration. The question was, “How strict does a person really have to eat to lose weight and get fit?”

Like I did with the listening audience, to answer the question, I’d like to share with you some insight from Chapter 10 of Strength for Life:

Food cravings arise between your ears. It’s the satisfaction we hunger for, that good feeling that comes when we finally silence the emptiness. And there are few places where one can fill the void quicker than with food. When you’re eating that sweet snack, you may think you’re quieting the craving, but you’re actually feeding it. As it turns out, the more one reacts to and feeds cravings, the stronger they become and the more power they have.

When you eat like this, in reaction to cravings, your relationship with food is from the Cravings to Consumption phase of eating. When you have a craving, which may be in part physical, you promptly hone in on something “good” to eat that will calm it; consume, and it’s all over until next time.

If this sounds familiar, please don’t take it too hard; no one is immune. Few can say they’ve never allowed a craving to rule. For some, it’s now and then, but for others, it’s the predominate mode of eating.

I contend that the most important part of your relationship with food begins immediately after eating.

This relationship, which can literally elevate your existence, is what I call the “Consumption to Freedom” phase. It begins the moment you’re finished eating, and continues for the next one, two, three or more hours thereafter.

It’s the flip side of the cravings, where you switch your focus from how a meal fills the void, quenches a hunger or satisfies a craving to how it fulfills your nutritional needs, elevating your mood, energy and life. Releasing the dependence on food as a source of immediate gratification and focusing on how it enhances your life is the foundation for nutritional freedom. It lays down the wiring for enjoying the foods that are best for you, the most.

Scaling the heights of nutritional freedom is not accomplished through discipline, deprivation or dieting, but rather by the process of strengthening your awareness of food as a source of life fuel—how you eat to live—a transformation as big and important as you’ll ever make.

Please take 2 ½ minutes to watch: Cravings to Consumption

cravings video

It’s comforting to know that you don’t have to live by the strict hand of a diet for life. Now you get that there is a better way to life—a way of fueling your greatness that is not diet, but lifestyle.

Now get out there, and enjoy the holiday!

Until next week…

Stay Strong,



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