Category Archives: Success

I Can Make You Thin – My Review

Dr. Martin Russell blog i can make you thin review

[I wrote this as a review on Amazon back in January 2009. It is as relevant today as it was then. Enjoy!]

For almost 3 years now I have been handing this book and ‘mind-reprogramming’ CD to every patient who comes to me to lose weight, or who is caught up in the mentality of diets, scales, cravings, or overeating.

I am *delighted* that “I Can Make You Thin: The Revolutionary System Used by More Than 6 Million People” is finally available on Amazon.com rather than having to hunt it from the UK site. The long wait is over!

At the risk of making this book seem too simple, here are Paul McKenna’s 4 golden rules…
1. When you are hungry, eat.
2. Eat what you want (not what you think you “should”.)
3. Eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful.
4. When you are full stop.

I’ve seen other “I Can Make You Thin” reviews that dismiss the 4 rules as just obvious common sense. I’m not sure what common sense they can really mean since the rules make a mockery of the majority of get thin/lose weight approaches around. Rule 2 in particular certainly disagrees with the ‘common sense’ that I was taught as a medical doctor.

Even if the rules are common sense, McKenna needs to be given great credit for showing people HOW to live these habits. Hopefully you are buying this for the results, not just to have a fun read and a relaxing, new-wavy listen.

Yes, the cover pages are a bit hypey, but the inside is less so. The book is refreshingly thin, jargon-free, and entertaining.

McKenna’s style also involves techniques such as tapping (TFT/EFT), hypnosis and NLP . Hypnosis is what first made Paul famous, and I’ve seen NLP Practitioners review this and say they knew all of these tricks before. In NLP terms Paul is saying that the Golden Rules are the “model” for being “naturally thin”. Just knowing all the geewiz psych techniques won’t help if you have the wrong model as I suspect most NLPers do.

More importantly, you don’t need any of these techniques to apply the 4 golden rules and lose weight.

Most people can go over the book & CD, discover the Aha moments, and get started on transforming their relationship with food and their weight straight away.

There might be a group of people that could eat according to the 4 rules and not be thin, but I agree with what Paul says. For myself, I’m yet to meet such a person.

I have counseled people who thought it didn’t work for them, but it turned out they hadn’t gotten the rules into their behavior, so here are some extra pointers…

– Just listening to the CD over and over doesn’t seem to be enough. The book plays a big part too. Expect to re-read the book at least once. You can succeed without the CD, so if it doesn’t suit you, no sweat.

– Don’t add more rules. Extra rules almost always conflict with the four golden rules. Must eat breakfast? No. Just eat when you are hungry. Have to eat only fresh food? Check you really want to eat it, and whether you might want to eat anything else a bit more. Etc, etc.

– Having trouble visualizing? Just act ‘as if’ you are visualizing, or on the CD just leave it to Paul.

– Don’t make exercise the focus. Improved fitness will improve your chances of living longer, but unfortunately the best research evidence is that exercise doesn’t help much in losing weight. Keep to the four rules, which are all about food and getting back in control.

– If you have a question or a difficulty, the answer is somewhere in the book. The book alone truly is comprehensive (unlike watching YouTube videos or reading this review.) Indeed the updates have covered the two or three remaining gaps I had found before, including the extra information for self-sabotage issues.

In summary, McKenna is not the only person to propose this way of eating, but his is the most accessible version I know about. His is also the most likely to reach out from the page and permanently change your thinking and your behavior, and thereby your weight.

You can buy his measly book just to prove Paul wrong 🙂

Oh and then come back here and add your own review. Let people know what your results have been, whatever they are. No one book/CD can fit everyone but “I Can Make You Thin” deserves way more reviews from people just like you who have been wondering if this might just be what you need.

[Footnote: As I re-read this now in 2012 there is very little I would say more. If you are local to me in Adelaide then I am available for personal 1-on-1 work or just to get you a copy of this book so contact me here, otherwise you can get the book from a library, local store or from Amazon.com.]

Out-of-the-Box Conflict Management – 61 Real Life Stories

Sweet Fruit From The Bitter Tree

Human beings are incredibly creative.

If you go to a training or read a book to learn about ‘conflict management’ you will be given specific theories, tools and strategies to work with.

Ways to think about how to ‘resolve’, ‘handle’, ‘manage’, ‘avoid’, ‘address’, ‘deal with’ conflict – whatever those terms really mean.

You may even be training to become a fully-fledged conflict resolution mediator!

But there is SO much more possibility for what to do than can be found in any single practical framework or series of conflict managment techniques or tips

When I first heard about the idea of this book it was from the author’s father, Steve Andreas. Steve was doing a training in Australia on “Self-Esteem”, and hidden away in a side comment on the first day he spoke about the fact that he was collecting stories about people who had been in traumatic situations.

In particular he was searching for real experiences from people who had “handled conflict” in a way that had turned the situation completely around and made it life-affirming and inspiring.

He knew that there are many, many different and often surprising ways to do what people call ‘conflict resolution’, and he was trying to find as many examples as he could.

It’s now about 5 years later and this book, written by his son Mark Andreas, finally arrives, and I am delighted to share one of these stories with you from Mark himself.

Have a listen to this ‘conflict management’ technique, as used in an experience of a mugging by six men in the back streets of Glasgow…

You can check out more about these stories of hope in conflict managment on Amazon here:

Click here to get this very eye-opening collection!

Financial Self Help

There is a reason that www.DrMartinRussell.com is titled ‘Self Help 101’.

Self Help is what I am passionate about for you most of all.

And there are many areas for self help I want to offer, for example:
– mental / psychological (of course)
– physical health
– spiritual / religion (yes, really)
– relationships
– but also, financial.

All these are crucial to being able to take care of yourself, AND be in a better position to help others too.

Next week end if you can get away from Fringe events and public holiday weekend plans, I thoroughly recommend getting to this event on Sat/Sun March 6-7.

This will be the official Adelaide launch of the new book – ‘Think and Grow Rich Cashflow”. When you attend the 2-day event you but also get a free copy and have it signed by the author, Stuart Zadel, who is also the Australian publisher of the classic self help book “Think and Grow Rich”.

[Stuart is also someone I have gotten to know over the past couple of years, and have sought out for advice for my own financial future.]

In 2009 he released a hugely popular book called… “Think and Grow Rich In Property”. The response was absolutely overwhelming; all five of his capital city launches completely sold-out in weeks. (And there actually ended up being 9 launches as he had to re-host four of them to cope with the demand).

Now it’s time for the release of what’s sure to be his next ‘Best-Seller’, “Think & Grow Rich Cashflow”. This live event will not only be your chance to get a complimentary copy of the book, but actually hear from the individuals who’ve put together the 6 amazing strategies you can start implementing to increase your cashflow in 2010.

That’s it really… The event is free, and the opportunity is priceless!

So to make sure you don’t miss out, like so many did for the Think And Grow Rich events last year, visit thinkandgrowrich.net.au

As with all the self-help options I will ever recommend, this one will also give you advantages in other areas of your life too.

Not only is Stuart Zadel an international-quality presenter, he is also a wonderful guy in person too.

It saddens me that something as crucial to everyday life as money, is ignored by the school system.

Think of all the kids already in debt, living beyond their means, and using credit cards to survive. Heck a big percentage of adults live this way too!

Get others to go with you, or if you can’t attend, get them to go and tell you what it was like.

Get around people who are interested in self help, financially, and otherwise, with their next visit at thinkandgrowrich.net.au

Yes, I’ve had my wife, sister-in-law and a niece go to one of the events last year. My niece was just 16 when I got her to go. It’s taken me twice that many years to learn this stuff.

[Do you want a free physical copy of the Think and Grow Rich book? Of course you do. Just click this link to get your copy, and find out also why this book is being given away for free.]

 

– 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

The LAP-BAND Solution

No, this is not my line.

The LAP-BAND Solution: A Partnership in Weight Loss” is the title of a book by Australian surgeon Dr Paul O’Brien which I read with interest when one of my patients found it in a library and showed it to me.

Since the start of 2007 I have been doing public talks on the myths and facts about weight loss.

The key question I ask people at those talks is this…

What would you advise someone who wanted to lose a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight LONG-TERM?

By which I mean, what actually works to lose >10% of bodyweight for >5 years.

People will come back with all sorts of answers.

I’d love to be able to say it was some sort of psychological intervention, but I can’t (more on this later.)

The fact is that the only research-PROVEN answer is an operation.

There are a few types of stomach operations for weight loss, also known as bariatric surgery, but to my mind they fall into two camps; ones that irreversibly rearrange the gut in some way, and ones that leave your insides intact and put in some sort of stomach banding instead.

The commonest operation of the first type is called gastric bypass surgery, and it is popular in the US.

The most well-known of the gastric banding type is LAP-BANDing (TM), and it is the most popular in Australia.

In “The LAP-BAND SolutionDr Paul O’Brien is described as one of the originators of this device, and has extensive experience in academic, research, and professional areas of obesity and bariatric surgery.

The book therefore promised to be an authoratitive text, and also very pro-LAP BAND(TM). It was both of these.

It is also fairly readable which is a nice bonus too.

The best bit about finding people who have one solution to a problem, is to listen to what they say about other suggested solutions. They will tend to be scathing.

Here’s what Paul O’Brien says about drugs…

The long-term efficacy is poor and the long-term safety is unknown … the average weight loss after 1 year of orilistat [Xenical] is about 7 lb (3 kg) and for sibutramine [Meridia or Reductil] is 10 lb (4.5 kg) … these results are just not good enough.

Here’s what he has to say about weight loss by dieting and lifestyle modification…

The commercial weight-loss centers have made fortunes by promising excellent weight loss through various twists on the “lifestyle” methods, and their constant advertisements always show the classic “before and after” pictures. Invariably, the “äfter” picture is only a few months after. They do not show the “after” pictures at 5 years.

A recent comprehensive review of all the high-quality scientific studies of the options for weight control has found that there is no evidence of a durable effect from any current lifestyle intervention methods for obesity.

The only problem with this statement is that the review he refers to is in fact from 1997. Not exactly ‘recent’ in my opinion.

Still, the last 11 years haven’t proven any better studies that I am aware of either.

[The approach I recommend has not been proven in the research, and since there is no pill or expensive program, ie no money in it, I very much doubt the required multi-year studies will ever be done.]

However, my patient was already losing weight without surgery.

She gave the book to me for an entirely different reason.

She pointed out that the book talks about patients with a LAP-BAND(TM) learning to eat in an entirely different way – a way that mimics many (but not all) of the things I recommend in my non-surgical, non-dieting approach.

This is really interesting.

What if surgery is merely an extreme way to change someone’s eating behaviors?

I don’t think that is all of the effect, but I certainly think it is some of it, and maybe all of the long-term lasting results.

Why would I say this?

Because I have worked with people who lost weight with surgery, but then gained much of it back again. Their results didn’t last, and I then teach them the additional changes.

Every method of weight loss reports some successes.

Some of people even keep the weight off long-term.

A few become celebrities (eg Biggest Loser winners) and their new life then depends upon keeping the weight off. That might help as motivation.

But I think there are another group of people who discover a few other tips and habits that give them the success they need – effortlessly.

I think they discover, albeit accidentally, the non-dieting method that naturally thin people live unconsciously and automatically.

If you are over-weight enough to qualify for surgery, then it certainly is worth pursuing. In the US you might need to push to get access to LAP-BAND(TM) because apparently insurance companies are still trying to avoid paying for this, but I agree with Dr O’Brien that it is a better option than gastric surgery, if for no other reason than it is entirely reversible.

But also know that you can make many of the same changes without surgery, and all for free!

Here’s how.

Enter your name and email address for the blog notification list at the top of the page here, and you will be sent a complete audio of all the steps I suggest.

[If you are in my home town of Adelaide, then you can get the Adelaidean-only emails with the same audio here instead.]

-Dr Martin Russell

Self Help… Thinking Bigger

Self help can often seem very individual and isolated.

However when I say ‘self help’ it includes the idea that no man/woman is an island.

If you are reading this then chances are you are in a very priviledged position compared to most of the 6+ billion humans on this planet.

There is an entire world around us and lots of other people in that world too.

As individuals our fates are often tied to the people, culture, financial system, politics etc etc around us.

However if you don’t take these bigger factors into account, your own individual efforts can end up swamped by the tide of history.

One of these factors is this…

I do not believe that the next 20 years will be ANYTHING like the last 20 years.

What works today, will often NOT work tomorrow, because the future will not just be a straight line continuation of the past.

Helping yourself will show others that it is possible.

Helping yourself will also put you in a position to help people who haven’t planned for an altered future.

Like they say on airplanes safety instructions, “Please make sure you have your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.”

I encourage you in these turbulent times to view these videos here as a starter…
http://www.chrismartenson.com/crash-course

Take these bit by bit. Each one is a treasure of bigger thinking, and it is the best presented version I know of how thinking bigger can really be self help.

Oh, and just for the record, I only go along with with 95% of everything he says. I’ll let you judge what the 5% is.

-Dr Martin Russell

Exercise For Weight Loss

There is so much misinformation around about the benefits of exercise, particularly in regard to weight loss.

But let’s use a bit of common sense, shall we?

When we get active ie exercise, we use up energy.

If you don’t eat more calories, then this energy has to come from your body stores ie from fat.

So exercising more will burn off fat, and you will lose weight.

Simple, isn’t it?

NO!!!

Common sense has failed you and everyone else who pushes this line of thinking.

Don’t kill the messenger. I’m just passing on the researched reality.

Exercise has a pitifully small weight loss advantage.

Mild to moderate exercise removes an average of less than 3 pounds / 1 kilogram.

Vigorous exercise produces barely any more weight loss at 4 pounds or 1.5 kilograms.

That’s all!

Now that isn’t to say exercise doesn’t have other important. It does.

Exercise tones up your muscles, improves your heart, is a more effective mood enhancer than anti-depressants, helps you live longer, among other benefits. Pretty important if you ask me.

It’s just that exercise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for losing weight.

This totally non-commonsense finding is systematically proven by a review of all the best literature on exercise put together by the most authoritative research collation body in the world, the Cochrane Collaboration. They are not sponsored by medical companies so they are uniquely independent reviewers.

The header of their “Exercise for overweight or obesity” review does indeed say…

We found that exercise has a positive effect on body weight

But buried lower down in the sleep-inducing technical details they admit how miserably small the weight loss is…

When compared with no treatment, exercise resulted in small weight losses across studies. Exercise combined with diet resulted in a greater weight reduction than diet alone (WMD – 1.0 kg; 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.3 to -0.7). Increasing exercise intensity increased the magnitude of weight loss (WMD – 1.5 kg; 95% CI -2.3 to -0.7).

The small weight loss is the same whether you exercise for 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months or 12 months!

Not only that but no matter what type of exercise it is, the results are still unerringly the same.

You can check out the full study here.

In summary.

When someone, a gym instructor, a personal trainer, a friend, a health adviser, or even a medical authority, tells you that exercise will help you lose weight, I invite you to challenge them.

Ask them how much weight they think exercise will help you lose and watch them ignore your question, squirm, or outright invent stuff.

If they disagree with the study above then have them send their research proof to me. No one has yet.

Bust the myth-making.

Truth is that yes, on average, exercise will lose you weight. Just not much.

-Dr Martin Russell

The ‘Fat Bomb’ Cometh

In the world Olympic event for obesity, apparently the US has been dethroned.

Turns out in the “Australia’s Future Fat Bomb” Report as splashed across The Age newspaper that Aussies have put in a gold medal winning performance. This report finds that 26% of Australians are obese (BMI >30 ie significantly overweight) just pipping the US at 25%.

And Aussies haven’t even got the same extent of Super-Super-Size me options yet.

Australia, we can do better!

Seriously, if we are to believe the “eat less, exercise more” mantra then this result is a fluke.

In terms of eating Australia seems to still be behind the US in oversized meals, take-away lifestyle, and the plethora of “diet” food alternatives to help us out.

And in exercise terms most of Australia has a much more favorable climate for participating in sport and getting out and being active than much of the US. Not much snow to keep most Australians stuck indoors for a winter.

I even understand that the levels of exercise activity and participation in sport in Australia have slightly increased over the past decade, so the trend is that Aussies should be getting thinner, shouldn’t they?

But no.

When 7 out of 10 middle-aged men, and 6 out of 10 middle aged women are overweight or worse (ie BMI >25) then epidemic is a reasonable word.

So what is really going on?

My suggestion is that the seemingly obvious idea of “eat less, exercise more” idea is actually deeply flawed.

The calories in, calories out model of human bodies is incorrect. We are not machines.

Just take the most obvious example – calories out with exercise.

How much weight do you lose by exercising?

What do gyms tell you? What do “health experts” make you believe? What are you hoping for when you start on an exercise program?

Forget theoretical calorie counting, what’s the reality?

Well fortunately this is an easy piece of scientific research, and the studies have been done many times and the collated results over many good quality studies show a consistent result…

You will lose, on average, 1 kilogram or about 2-3 pounds.

That’s all.

And that’s not per week or per month, that’s forever.

This comes from the most well-reputed body for summarizing medical research, and the studies are consistent all the way from 3 month programs out to a full year…
http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003817.html

But there is a slight ray of hope.

If you increase to really vigorous exercise you can make it 1.5 kilograms or almost 4 pounds of weight loss. Yeah, go kill yourself for that extra pound!

Exercise is great for improving fitness, living longer, toning up and improving mood, but it’s yet another disappointment for most people in trying to lose weight.

Once gyms face up to this fact, they will stop having the reputation of churn and burn, and will start realistically informing people of what results to expect. The first gym that seriously does this will remove much of the “buyer’s remorse” in gym memberships, and also build a lasting trust with their clients. It’s a slower dollar, but more repeat business.

That’s just the “calories out” side of the equation.

I have been taking the last couple of months to do free public talks about the “Myths and Facts of Weight Loss”.

Exercise for weight loss is one of the most pervasive myths around, and yet it is one of the easiest to answer in the literature.

If you are current taking advice about your weight, does your health expert know these facts about exercise?

Most either overstate the weight loss you can expect, or they give vague and “it depends” answers. The results however are clear. The “exercise myth” is my test for whether someone is advising based on the research, or based on beliefs.

If you want to know what to do instead of exercise and “eating less”, then follow the 4 habits/rules from this book I reviewed.

If you are in Australia, I can send you a book direct rather than from Amazon in the US. Just email or phone me.

If you are even closer to home for me in Adelaide, and want to be notified of future public talks, events and more, then you can enter your details here…

http://www.drmartinrussell.com/adelaide/

Either way, you’ll be hearing more about this.

-Dr Martin Russell

What Can We Learn From Computer Nerds?

“Would you like me to give you a formula for… success? It’s quite simply, really. Double your rate of failure… You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all… You can be discouraged by failure — or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side of failure.”

-Thomas J. Watson
Founder of IBM

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

-Bill Gates
Founder of Microsoft

-Dr Martin Russell