April 05, 2017
In this guest blog post, the founder and CEO of VEEP (the Visual Eating and Exercise Program), Joel Greene, discusses how to overcome the most common barrier to getting and staying healthy: time and energy. VEEP is now available at all YMCA of Metro Chicago membership centers, either as a standalone program or a free addition to our Y MaxTraining System® and Advanced Y MaxTraining System® options. Throughout the month of April, the Y is also hosting a series of free VEEP webinars (see the bottom of this post). To view this week's webinar, click here. Here's Joel Greene:
Over the long haul, most people have the same basic barriers when it comes to getting lean and staying healthy. Apart from aging, the number one barrier is time and energy.
Let’s give this barrier a name. Let’s call it the “Get Back Into It” Problem.
You know what I’m talking about: over time, real-life circumstances routinely wipe our plans off the calendar, and that’s why we gain weight.
Think about it. You don’t gain weight when you’re routinely eating well and working out. You gain weight when you’re in that transitional stage, when you keep telling yourself, “I have to get back into it.” And by “it,” what you really mean is a reallocation of time and energy.
Except, that doesn’t work. At least not for most people, in the long run. The reason is simple: You don’t make a living from being fit. You have to devote time and energy to other things. The real problem is life itself, those long periods of time when your time and energy are all used up by other concerns.
This happens to everyone, including me. I used to be something of a fitness guru, but when I started running a tech company, I got fat. Why? Time and energy.
Time and energy are resources. The simple truth is that most people will face long periods where these resources are in short supply, which is when you tend to gain weight. So what can we do about this problem? Once we accept it as a reality, what’s left? Do we throw in the towel?
No. When one strategy fails, you get a better strategy. And that’s what VEEP is all about. Whatever you do, whatever your routine, our goal is to help you get the results you want by improving upon the strategy you already have.
In this series of blogs and free webinars for Y members and program participants, we’ll look at non-time-intensive strategies to solve the problems we all face on the journey to enjoying optimal health and weight.
These strategies are part of a new paradigm. The old way of thinking is an energy paradigm, which carries over into the way we think about food. In the old paradigm, food is simply units of energy, so all we have to do is count the units. Points, grams, calories, pick your poison. Just keep counting them.
The problem with counting, however, is that it’s impossible to achieve sustainable change with behaviors we can’t sustain. Ten years from now, you aren’t going to be counting your units in a food tracker every day.
The new paradigm — the paradigm of VEEP — is a signal paradigm. Think of it as a “red light, green light” paradigm of food. Instead of time and energy, this strategy uses timing and signals from the foods we eat. It’s not about counting, it’s about listening and learning.
As you will see in upcoming blogs in this series, we can accomplish a lot with timing and food signals. We can help the body burn fat. We can help the body use energy better. And we can help the body reduce inflammation.
Next week, we’ll begin with your gut, and talk about how to use foods to create the optimal environment to keep your body lean by changing its bacteria. Want to learn more about VEEP? Register for the following FREE webinars throughout the month of April.
VEEP Webinar #1 - The Time and Energy Problem
Wednesday, April 5
How to overcome the most common barrier between you and a leaner, healthier body: finding the time and energy to exercise and eat smart. We recorded this week's webinar for you right here.
VEEP Webinar #2 - Optimal Gut, Optimal Life
Wednesday, April 12
Did you know that the kinds of bacteria in your stomach can make a huge impact on your long-term health? We'll teach you how to use widely available foods to "recolonize" your gut with healthier bacteria. Click Here to register. You can attend the webinar from your computer via the link, or dial in on your phone to listen to the audio (213.929.4232, access code 244.565.746).
VEEP Webinar #3 - Finding Your Natural Daily Rhythm
Wednesday, April 19
How to understand your body's unique 24-hour cycle, and harness it for more energy and better health. Click Here to register. You can attend the webinar from your computer via the link above, or dial in on your phone to listen to the audio (415.655.0060, access code 656.161.356).
VEEP Webinar #4 - Listening to Food Signals
Wednesday, April 26
Instead of tracking units of energy like calories, we'll teach you how to read the signals of the food you eat and plan your meals accordingly. Click Here to register. You can attend the webinar from your computer via the link above, or dial in on your phone to listen to the audio (631.992.3221, access code 149.818.280).
Interested in learning more about VEEP? Contact your local Y for more details. It’s available at all 20 of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s membership locations.