Category Archives: Other

A Dieting New Year’s Resolution For 2010.

Turned on the TV this morning and the breakfast host is extolling a vegetable soup recipe.

Apparently people have been desperately wanting to know more about this recipe that claims to help people lose weight between Christmas and New Year.


I have no problem with soup. I have a problem with the TV program promoting a yo-yo eating approach.

Ah well, when people get desperate what can you do?


What about an alternative to commit to instead.

Search out weight loss on this blog, or sign up to my local Adelaide list and email me.

And set about creating a new New Year’s Resolution.

An end to yo-yo dieting in 2010!

Oh, and the other items on my 2009 New Year Real-Solutions list are as relevant as ever today:

-Martin Russell

The Only Full Dieting Method I Dare Recommend…

Most people are convinced that changing WHAT you eat is the best option for losing weight.

For these people, the question is WHICH method to use? Should it be low-carbohydrate, low-fat, high-protein, low G-I, low sugar, grapefruit-only, etc etc etc. Aargh!

How can you really select the best one for you?

Well finally I have something to recommend to answer this question once and for all.

The method comes from a guy I’ve been following for over 2 years. He sold his system to the current owners who are finally offering his work to the public.

I am delighted that I can at last point you to the ONLY full dieting method I dare recommend.

You can discover more at &

NOTE: Why would I recommend a ‘diet’ when I openly promote a non-diet method? Well for the same reasons I recommended surgery as a weight loss option…

1. No single method works for every individual.

2. There are many roads that can lead to the same end result of  lasting weight loss. If a diet was EVER going to work, then this method would be it.

-Dr Martin Russell

The Power Of Negative Thinking

This a quote from a subheading in one of my favorite books of all time, “The Peter Principle“.

But in fact this approach has a long and rich history.

I am just about to head overseas on a 2 month trip with my wife and 3 small kids – and leave my counselling practice unattended for all that time.

For many reasons, this was something I assumed I would NEVER be able to do.

With the Power of Negative thinking (done more informally than Tim suggests in his video below) I managed to do it.

Think of this as a farewell from me – til November anyway – and, an invitation to you to apply negative thinking in your life for your success.

-Dr Martin Russell

How Much To Pay For Running Shoes?

If you are truly trying to do the best by your feet, surely you would choose the best shoes when you are pounding the ground, or the court, or the treadmill. Wouldn’t you?

But what is ‘the best’?

And then, how much does it cost?

Well most of the opinion suggests you want a shoe that supports, and is specifically fitted for, your foot.

I believed this, until I read the books by Pete Egoscue which explained it quite simply.

If a shoe that supports your foot does its job then it replaces support that your muscles are meant to be providing.

Sure it may be more comfortable at the start, but in the long run it allows your own foot support to wilt away, leaving you MORE prone to problems than when you began.

Pete’s recommendation: wear at little shoe as possible, and get your foot aligned properly from head to toe. (For the first steps on how to do this see “Where is Your Pain?” at Pete’s website or order his book Pain-Free.)

But that’s all nice theory.

Where is the research proof?

Well with all the money spent on shoes by consumers, health experts and shoe manufacturers, there should be a few good studies to turn to, right?

Sorry. Wrong.

In their recently published study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, “Is your prescription of distance running shoes evidence-based?” Dr Chris Richards, and his 2 co-authors reported that…

“Since the 1980s, distance running shoes with thick, heavily cushioned heels and features to control how much the heel rolls in, have been consistently recommended to runners who want to avoid injury,” Dr Richards said.

“We did not identify a single study that has attempted to measure the effect of this shoe type on either injury rates or performance.”

In fact Dr Richards is being kind in his paper. This is objective science after all.

The media loved this story.

“Sports shoes a sham: research”

“Running down myths on jogging shoes”

“Don’t do it: pricey running shoes not worth it, study finds”

But on a blog of his called “Barefoot versus the shoe” Dr Richards is more frank when he went directly to shoe companies to ask them for the evidence. His subsequent post is titled, “Is there a running shoe mafia?”

I have been busily contacting all the major shoe companies asking them to direct me to the evidence that their distance running shoes either prevent injuries or improve performance.

The most entertaining responses so far have been from Mizuno and Puma who both claimed that whether or not their running shoes prevent injuries or improve performance was a trade secret.

Refusing to tell consumers whether or not your product works is certainly a unique marketing ploy!

Unfortunately I would have to say hiding information it is NOT a unique marketing ploy.

I would say it is an extremely consistent and pervasive marketing ploy thoughout all health products and services in particular.

The end results of Dr Richard’s enquiries?

Number of major running shoe manufacturers contacted= 18
Number who have responded= 11
Number who have provided evidence that their running shoes decrease injury rates= 0
(Number of legal threats= 0)

Here is how Dr Richard sums up the published research on the lack of any studies on the health impacts of running shoes.

He says there are only two possible conclusions…

…1) the studies have not been done or 2) their results have been suppressed because they show that modern running shoes are either of no benefit or are in fact harmful. Only the shoe manufacturers know which of these is true.

We can only hope that an entire generation of runners have not been the unwitting victims of unethical corporate behaviour.

We have consistently seen how large corporations behave when their profits are threatened by the truth. Big Tobacco, the pharmaceutical industry and asbestos manufacturers come to mind as poignant examples.

Will the multinationals who perpetuate and feed on the myth of the modern running shoe be next?

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

My self help suggestion is to walk in bare feet as often as you can, and buy shoes that you are prepared to throw away when they start to get old. Continuing to use a worn shoe simply aggravates any misalignments you already have.

Or, if you want something more sophisticated check out this post here. Just the pictures of feet that have never had shoes on are amazing.

-Dr Martin Russell

Incoming search terms:

  • how much are running shoes
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Phentermine For Weight Loss – My Story

As I was cleaning out some of my old medical files I came across a couple of letters from 1998 about the weight loss drug phentermine.

Back in 1998 I was reading the material of a medical organisation called MaLAM, which monitors and lobbies pharmaceutical companies on their advertising.

Always a fascinating read, but this time they had sent a letter to 3M Pharmaceuticals with questions about their Duromine brand of phentermine.

Phentermine has been around as a weight loss medication since the 1959, and is only recommended for short-term use eg 3 months at most.

The first question was the kicker…

“1. Does 3M have any evidence that the short-term of [sic] Duromine leads to long-term reduction in weight, total morbidity and total mortality?”

ie does Duromine work?

And 3M’s reply…

“…there is no evidence in the medical literature or from 3M studies suggesting that long term reduction in weight, total morbidity and total mortality can be expected from the use of short term adjunctive appetite suppression with phentermine.”


So did 3M just say phentermine is useless?

That’s how I read it.

This letter was the moment I stopped using the currently available medications for weight loss.

That left me with only lifestyle options to offer my patients and I’ve written before about my issues with exercise and dieting.

But today in 2009 maybe something has changed for phentermine in the past 10 years.


Wikipedia still says, “Since the drug was approved in 1959 there have been almost no clinical studies performed. The most recent study was in 1990…” ie well before this 1998 letter.

Sad. Really sad.

Go read my Amazon review if you want an alternative.

-Dr Martin Russell

Incoming search terms:

  • phentermine weight loss stories
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The Top 5 New Year Real-Solutions For 2009

From my own experience in counselling people over the years I would suggest that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work.

How about some Real-Solutions instead.

Here are the top 5 goals you might have (or you should have) as resolutions, and although you could see me in person instead here are the cheap, often no cost, steps to turn airy-fairy resolutions into New Year Real-Solutions.

Resolution 1 – Lose Weight

This old chestnut has to be the top of the Resolution list, but are you planning to just repeat the same old mistakes you made before?

Real-Solution 1 – Behave Thin

Stop with the dieting. Diets and diet mentality is a weight cause, not a cure. Make eating changes you can live with for the rest of your life. You too can eat and be like a naturally thin person.

Action Steps…

  1. There are about half-a-dozen reasonable books / courses on these natural eating approaches. The most effective I handout / sell in my own practice is this one I recommend has finally come out in the US on Amazon here.
  2. For longer term support access the online McKenna website here
  3. FREE version – Join my blog list at the top of the page, or if you are in my home town of Adelaide the local list here, and you will get a 30 minute mp3 of all the steps you need.

Resolution 2 – Improve Musculoskeletal Health

Most people would have this on their list, except that most people have given up. Often people want to improve their fitness for example, but they are scared of injuring themselves or making their current aches and pains worse.

Headaches, back pain, hip pains, arthritis, neck pain, etc etc etc. Enough is enough. Stop taking short term measures, or forking out for never-ending sessions of chiropractors, doctors, physios and all those other health professionals.

Real-Solution 2 – Self-Improve Postural Alignment

Treat the cause, which is almost always a postural problem caused by our all-too-convenient, ergonomically-designed, splinted, orthoticed, hunched-over lives.

Sure physios and chiropractors can put you back in alignment, but they won’t keep you there. You need the flexibility and muscle strength to do it for yourself at home, and you want it in days and weeks, not months or years.

Action Steps

  1. Visit one of Pete Egoscue’s clinics all around the US, or pay for online treatment at
  2. Buy one of Pete’s books. I’d suggest ‘Pain-Free’ is the best place for most people to start. The copy I had autographed by Pete is the book I would take with me on a desert island (it’s a fun read as well as being in depth and practical.) ‘Pain-Free’ is the book I have sold / handed out over and over to patients and throughout my family. Order ‘Pain Free’ at Amazon here.
  3. For free: Go to and click on Where is the pain to get a pair of exercises specifically for whatever body part ails you. Get functional fast.

Resolution 3 – Manifest Greater Success

In such turbulent times of financial crisis and worry, this might be higher on people’s list than usual.

Finally much of the hype has died down on the Law of Attraction. Thank goodness. Add in Giver’s Gain, attitude of gratitude, positive energy, Pay-It-Forward, karma, The Secret, or any of 100 other variations but the idea is that what you send out comes back to you 10 fold.

This is one of those self-help ideas that it is worth acting upon.

Real-Solution 3 – Manifest By Taking An Action

I was reminded of this when one of my former patients came to me after he was diagnosed with a severe and medically fatal form of cancer. He went off to a course with a guy I suggested interstate and came back and said something very strange to me. He said, “I don’t know how to say thank you to people. I need to learn to do this.”

Action Steps – all these are free

  1. Get your problems in perspective. If you’ve been caught up in a psychiatric diagnosis (aka label), then take this antidote test that measures your strengths, instead of your weaknesses. Details are here.
  2. Improve your happiness simply by writing down, once a week, 5 things you are grateful for. Check out the research evidence here.
  3. Recognize, appreciate and acknowledge others. Think of someone right this minute, and turn that thought into something that you and they will remember for a lifetime. Take action on your inner promptings with my compliments here.

Resolution 4 – Make A Change In Yourself

From stopping smoking and cutting back on alcohol, to sorting out how to get “unstuck” in your life, to learning a new skill there’s something in here for every one.

Real-Solution 4 – Don’t Kid Yourself About Changing

If you’ve failed before, get help. If you have a motivation problem check the fundamentals first. Maybe you’re better off not having that as a goal at all. Think about it.

Action Steps:

  1. if you are really stuck, two help-all products are the CD Your Instant Life Revolution and my own online “Self Help Meeting”
  2. For free: Habit Change 101 from the top internet self-help guru is right here.
  3. For free: Want to learn a new skill? This will multiply the chance you’ll succeed.

Resolution 5 – Help Out The Planet

Oh boy should this be on people’s New Year’s Resolutions. Think bigger than yourself. Unfortunately it rarely gets a mention.

Real-Solution 5 – Help Yourself (By Helping Out The Planet)

Call me a cynic, but I don’t think changes will work unless they are already in your self-interest.

Turning off the tap as you brush your teeth is fine, but I really think water just needs to be lots more expensive in the first place so people have their own incentive to think twice. Give people the consequences and habits change so much more easily.

Action Steps – these are free (or better)

  1. Find food that tastes good beyond the first chew. The most environmentally damaging food (eg those that required lots of transporting from far away, those that are out of season in your area, those that are mass produced for their pristine appearance alone, those that have lots of processing and packaging) often just don’t taste as good. It doesn’t have to be organic. It can be home grown.
  2. Spend less. One of the best things about this financial meltdown is that it will get people to spend less and spending less on fuel, new gadgets, electricity, food, clothes, etc etc is almost always an environmentally good thing.
  3. Try out My wife has been using it for the past 3 months or so and has only one suggestion – get in quick on the good stuff because it can go VERY fast.

Well there you go.

I’ve left off financial goals such as getting out of debt, making more money, and finding better investments than the stockmarket because I don’t usually cover these in my counselling practice. You can email me if you want my suggestions on those.

But I hope this has included something you had on your Resolution list, and given you a way to make it really happen before next New Year.

-Dr Martin Russell

Exercise And Weight Loss… The Final Nail?

The problem with studying exercise for weight loss is that you can’t really disguise the exercise.

If exercise came in a pill you could do it.

You could get a big group of people and randomly give half the pill with exercise in it, and the other half a dummy, sugar pill that looks, smells, tastes etc just the same (aka a ‘placebo’.)

This is the scientific way to test whether pills works for weight loss.

But what about exercise?

It’s a bit hard to have a ‘dummy, sugar pill’ for physical activity. The sweating and heart-pumping bit sort of gives it away.

What this means is that for exercise for weight loss there is no way to do the gold-standard of a “double-blind, placebo-controlled” study.

Is this a problem?

Oh my wordy, YES!

Time after time it has been shown that the psychological power of medicines is a huge part of their overall effectiveness.

But is this specifically a problem for exercise and weight loss?

Well I only know of one good study that covers that question.

The researchers didn’t invent a dummy, sugar pill, but they did the next best thing as Ben Goldacre at Bad Science reports

Alia Crum and Ellen Langer from Harvard psychology department took 84 female hotel attendants in 7 hotels. They were cleaning an average of 15 rooms a day, each requiring half an hour of walking, bending, pushing, lifting, and carrying.

These women were clearly getting a lot of good exercise, but they didn’t believe it: 66.6% of them reported not exercising regularly, and 36.8% said they didn’t get any exercise at all.

The study abstract reports that one group of the hotel attendants was…

…told that the work they do (cleaning hotel rooms) is good exercise and satisfies the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle. Examples of how their work was exercise were provided.

Subjects in the control group were not given this information.

Although actual behavior did not change, 4 weeks after the intervention, the informed group perceived themselves to be getting significantly more exercise than before.

As a result, compared with the control group, they [the hotel attendants who were told that their cleaning job was in fact ‘exercise’] showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index.

These results support the hypothesis that exercise affects health in part or in whole via the placebo effect.

Now here is the really interesting bit.

HOW MUCH weight did people lose in 4 weeks merely by being thinking they were exercising?

These details are from PsyBlog

The average weight of those in the intervention group reduced from 145.5 lbs to 143.72 lbs. Over the same period the control group showed no significant change. For those of you working metric-style that’s 66.14 kg down to 65.33 kg.

That’s weight loss of almost 2 pounds, just under 1 kilogram, in just 4 weeks.

Not bad huh, for doing nothing extra?

So here’s the kicker.

Doesn’t that sound scarily similar to the 1 kilogram or 2.5 pounds in 12+ weeks that is the ENTIRE benefit of exercise anyway?!!!

[If you didn’t know this was all exercise does, see my previous post with the scientific evidence.]

Exercise, if done for weight loss alone, has suddenly become not just a minor factor, but instead an utter waste of time!

Could this really be the final nail in the exercise / weight loss coffin?

Massive industries of gyms, fitness equipment manufacturers, personal trainers etc etc hope it’s not true.

But what is there left that could resurrect exercise as a real weight loss tool?

If any one knows, I’m all ears.

-Dr Martin Russell

The Diet Spring Clean

Welcome Readers, old and new … it’s Spring in the Southern Hemisphere!

Time for that famous phrase “spring clean” – making sure things are not just tidied away or half-done, but thoroughly cleaned out ready for summer.

Do you want to lose weight, a little or lots?

Do you want to stop feeling guilty, or ‘out of control’ around food?

Have you tried eating differently, and either it was great for a while but then fell back, or it simply didn’t get the results you wanted at all?

Then this is could well be for you.

But What Is A ‘Diet Spring Clean’ ???

Thanks to Radio 5AA’s Amanda Blair, who herself ended up using just such a non-dieting approach through her own trial and error, for letting me announce this on her show on Sept 24 and recommending people come here to find out more.

I’m anti-diet, because for 95+% of people they don’t work in the long term.

People who go on diets are likely to regain all the weight they lost if not more, AND end up feeling bad and guilty about their eating as well.

Not a good result!

So instead, I’m proposing a whole clean-out of your approach to your weight, what you eat (the original meaning of the word diet before “the industry” took it over), the way you eat, your mindset, and food in general – a total “diet spring clean”.

What could possibly sweep clean aside all those rules, restrictions, “healthy” hints, nutrition tips, calorie counting, and “helpful advice” that infests the media, our friends and families, and often ourselves?

Four simple steps…

  • Step 1.  When you are hungry, eat.
  • Step 2.  Eat what you want (NOT what you think you should.)
  • Step 3.  Savour every mouthful.
  • Step 4.  When you are full, stop.

That’s it. Really.

No pills. No surgery. No meal replacements, shakes, supplements, counting, points, calories, carbs etc etc etc aaaAARFGH! Stop!

Everything else is unnecessary clutter and garbage, until and unless you have these 4 steps in place.


Good. I would be too.

In fact I was very skeptical when I first came across this, and I needed to know much more.

I’ve set up a way for you to learn more too. There is an interview with complete detail of the 4 steps packed into a short 27 minutes, and it’s all yours completely for FREE.

Simply put in the details so we can send you local Adelaide details including the interview. Type in your name, email address, and click Send.

Full Name:

Email Address:

-Dr Martin Russell

Psychological Magic

One of my favorite lines in hypnosis is the idea that you “know much more than you know you know”… at least unconsciously.

There is so much information in the world that it is impossible to take it all in consciously.

You know a part of it, but what do you know without recognizing it.

As I write this there is the feeling of my shoes on my feet, the hum of the computer and the color of the walls around me that I ‘know’ at least at some level but I take for granted.

I loved magic as a kid but ended up in mind tricks instead. The two are very linked as thisvideo shows.

[This may seem like a pretty simple bit of magic, but it gets more interesting about half-way through.]

-Dr Martin Russell