Behaviors Changes to Curb Cravings and Improve Your Relationship with Food with Lisa Salisbury


Lisa Salisbury is a health and weight loss life coach for women who want to lose weight without counting and calculating their food. As a former chronic dieter (since age 12!), Lisa knows what it’s like to be all-consumed with everything that goes into her mouth.

It was only when she learned the tools and skills through coaching that she was able to drop the dieting obsession and drop her weight! 

In today’s episode, we discuss using the hunger scale to make informed food decisions, why snacking is hindering your goals, how healthifying desserts is just another food rule in disguise, and what you need to do to drastically improve your relationship with food for the better!

Start listening!

Connect with and Learn from Lisa:

Lisa is a certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and a certified Life Coach and Weight Loss Coach through The Life Coach School.  She also has a BS from Brigham Young University in Health and Human Performance.  

Thank you for being here.

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Episode Key Highlights, Quotes, and Questions:

  • Be inspired by Lisa’s own incredible transformation story: she stepped into the yo-yo dieting cycle at age 12 and spent one too many years there before finally learning what to do to get out for good.
  • How to truly solve a chocolate chip cookie craving.
  • Discover why Lisa is not a fan of snacking and why she advocates that her clients eat three times per day.
  • Learn what the hunger scale is and how this tool is helping her clients get back in touch with their natural hunger cues.
  • Discover why healthifying desserts is really just another example of food rules and morality and why Lisa would rather just eat the real thing.

Questions I asked Lisa include:

  • How do we begin the process of detaching from the labels of good and bad food AND why is this essential?
  • Steps and questions to begin developing more appreciation for our bodies?
  • Why do we remain stuck in our current eating habits?
  • Talk to me about why you don’t healthify desserts any more: what does that mean and why don’t you do it?
  • Talk to me more about your thoughts on snacking and why you don’t recommend it.

How I Can Help You:

I help women over 30 lose weight and rebuild limitless confidence so that they never have to diet again. 

To date, I’ve personally coached more than 1,500 women and helped them to collectively lose 10,000+ pounds of body fat and keep it off for good, while simultaneously empowering them with the education, strategies, and accountability needed to feel and look their best. 

Click here to learn more about how I can help you.

Follow me on Instagram – @paulsaltercoaching 
Join my Free Facebook Group for Women over 30 Seeking Diet Freedom – Join Here.


Paul Salter:

Hey, Lisa, welcome to the show. How are you today?

Lisa Salisbury:

I’m good. Thanks so much for having me here.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, absolutely. As I just shared with you before we hit that wonderful record button, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed really getting to know the depths of your content and what you stand for and all the wonderful work you’re doing. So I’m really excited to learn more from you myself, but also give you a chance to share a lot of your knowledge and expertise with our listeners today.

Lisa Salisbury:

All right. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. Thanks so much for having me.

Paul Salter:

Absolutely. So let’s dive in, kind of let’s help build a foundation for our listeners today. Tell us a little bit more about your story, specifically how it uniquely relates to what it is you do today.

Lisa Salisbury:

Okay, sure. So I consider myself a recovering chronic dieter. I started dieting really, really young. It was brought to my attention when I was in seventh grade that I was overweight. That was by peers and then by adults again in my high school years, and again in college.

These times are confusing when I look back at photos of myself because I really wasn’t overweight. But I really internalized that belief because I had adults telling me so. And so I did start dieting in high school and went on to get married and had four children. And those years, nine, 10 years of pregnancy and breastfeeding on and off, it was a rollercoaster as it should be with weight. Of course it goes up, of course it goes down, but it just did a number on my mental capacity and my body image. I just could not manage that, I didn’t have the tools, and therefore I was doing a lot of dieting in between those pregnancies.

And then I had a lot of, I remember this thought in particular, when I was pregnant with my last, my fourth child, I knew she was my last. I was like, this is going to be enough for me. So I distinctly remember thinking, this is the last time I can be fat. And what an unhealthy thought. Number one, you’re not fat when you’re pregnant, but this is where my brain was.

So I was like, I better eat all the things. And so I just set myself up for so much scarcity there that I can’t eat all these things later because then I’ll have to worry about my weight. And this, so it’s just a roller coaster of diets. I’ve tried them all. I’m constantly referencing like, oh, well, when I did this one diet, broccoli wasn’t allowed on Thursdays and Fridays. Just crazy stuff that I did.

And then I would just go back to the same old ones. Well, this one worked for me in the past, and by work I meant I lost weight, but I wasn’t able to keep it off. And what I found through coaching and finally through, the last straw really was just really restrictive, counting and calculating food. So I know counting macros works for a lot of people. For me, it became an obsession and was really where my anxiety went through the roof. When I would go to a restaurant and I couldn’t figure out the nutritional information, I was like, either it would just create a lot of anxiety and I wouldn’t enjoy the food. Or I would be like, well, I can’t track this, so I’ll just eat it all.

So it was just, I mean, really, I don’t know that I had an eating disorder such as orthorexia. It’s possible, but it was definitely disordered eating. So that just led me to find coaching. I got certified as a health coach through Institute for Integrative Nutrition and then went on to get certified as a life coach and weight loss coach through the life coach school.

Because as I was starting to health coach with my IN degree, or certification rather, I would ask my clients, “Do you need more help deciding what to eat? Do we want to keep looking at your food journal? Or do you really need to know why you’re eating when you’re not hungry?” And every single one of them is like, “It’s the why.” And I realized this is the missing piece through all those diets that they gave me a meal plan, they gave me a food list, they told me what to eat, but when I didn’t feel like it, no one gave me tools for that. That wasn’t part of these diet plans. And that’s really what I try to offer is what do you do when you don’t feel like eating what you plan to eat?

Paul Salter:

I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. Let’s piggyback off that. Let’s say we’ve got a mom of two listening, which I know we have mentees. She’s just worked a stressful day. She’s come home and of course her first priority is anybody and everybody but herself. She has food prepared already, but by the time she drops both kids off at their respective practices, picks them up, get them bathed, homework completed, and she doesn’t feel like eating the brown rice and chicken breast and broccoli that she prepped for the last few days. How would you begin the process of understanding why she wants to rebel against the hard preparation where she’s done and what to do about it to create this positive solution?

Lisa Salisbury:

So I mean, a couple places. We’d want to of course get back to her why, her commitment. I think when we depend on our willpower to just like, we’ll just do it, just eat it anyway, that willpower, that’s drained. She’s made a hundred thousand decisions that day. She’s all done making decisions. She can’t just be like, “Well, yeah, I’m going to just make the best decision.”

So we have to lean on our commitment there. Some of our whys and our commitments, they tend to be really long-term. We have these, when I ask my clients, “Why do you want to lose weight or why do you want to change this aspect of your health?” And they say things like, “I want to be healthy,” or, “I want to live a long time.” There are these really ambiguous things that don’t mean anything in that moment you’re describing.

So I always bring it down. We’ve got to have some very, very short term why’s. Why do I want to eat this now? How am I going to feel in one hour, two hours? How am I going to sleep? How am I going to wake up? What is my body going to feel like if I make this choice over another choice?

And I just think it’s so critical to check in with what we really want for our bodies. Because the truth is that busy mom, she really probably wants to sleep. She wants to sleep well. And if you have really overeaten and if you really fill up on sugary things or something that maybe we crave but doesn’t fit well with you, say for me, that would be ice cream. I’m lactose intolerant. It tastes great going down. I love ice cream, but it always makes me feel gross. Then I’m laying in bed and I’m like, my stomach is hurting. I don’t sleep well.

And so we want to think about these short-term why’s. Do I want to sleep well? Another one for, and this might not be for that exact situation you described, but my clients will say, “I go out with my husband for date night and then I overeat and then I don’t want to finish up date night at home.” Then I feel bloated and gross and I don’t want to get naked.

And so we want to think of those really short term why’s. What do you want to happen in just the very short term? And really be checking in with your body because those long-term, I want to live a long time. I want to be healthy in 10 years. Those are great and we want to really define those, but they don’t work in that really stressful moment.

Paul Salter:

I love that. Such great examples. So tell us more. How does someone begin that process of really beginning to create a routine, if you will, of those short-term check-ins to really understand that the consequences of their food decisions and get to a place where they’re kind of automatically thinking about that to better influence their decisions?

Lisa Salisbury:

So I think understanding the way the brain works with these kinds of decisions is also helpful in this. So if you think about the brain, if you generally divide it into our upper brain and our lower brain. So our upper brain is the one that makes all the plans and makes the decisions for the future. That upper brain is the one that can think about the future and then make a decision. It’s the one that plans vacations and also plans the grocery list for what we’re going to eat in the day or for the week.

The lower brain is the habit brain. We want to delegate as much as we can. The brain rather wants to delegate as much as it can down to that lower brain because it’s very efficient to do things on autopilot. When we delegate our eating down to that autopilot area, we do a couple of things.

Number one, we eat mindlessly as we pass through the kitchen, as we pass passed by our coworker’s desk, grab a handful of their candy while we’re talking to them, pass through the break room, whatever muffins are there. That’s all that mindless eating and habit eating. We eat that because we’ve always done it.

So we want to bring, oh, sorry. Let me just say the other way we delegate eating down to the lower brain is some of that emotional eating because the lower brain wants to be satisfied right away. And so when we’re feeling sad, bored, tired, stressed, the lower brain’s like, you know what’s going to help with this? Some dopamine. And I’m going to look into my past and say, oh yes, the easiest way to get some dopamine is some jolly beans. So let’s do that.

And so this is how the lower brain gets you to eat more often than maybe you want to or with your higher brain goals. We don’t really want to be eating those items or that amount. So we want to bring all of the eating up to the higher brain. So we can do this in a couple of ways. Number one, we can plan, so we can plan what we’re going to eat just 24 hours in advance. Doesn’t have to be all weeks at a time, but in the morning, just jot down what am I going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner today? And then we eat those things without revisiting, without letting the lower brain be like, eh, that doesn’t really sound good.

So we’ll just say, this is all already decided. We’ve already decided this is what we’re going to eat for these meals. Because we’re very unlikely with our higher brain to write down chocolate cake for breakfast. We’re very unlikely to write down an entire bag of Lays for lunch. That just is not generally what we’re going to write down with our higher brain. So when we’re using that higher brain, it can just be a little bit ahead. It doesn’t have to be weeks and days ahead. Anytime we’re planning ahead, we’re using our higher brain.

Paul Salter:

I love that. Great examples. So tell me this then, kind of still using that figurative mom of two here, riding with her busy schedule and lifestyle. I love the recommendation of the morning of when you’re your most clear, alert, focused and aware of your top priority goals, you’re making those decisions. How does that then coincide with what you found to work best from a, I’m going to use this term loosely, meal preparation approach to help her fully execute on what her higher brain has told her is the best decision for her and how she wants to feel?

Lisa Salisbury:

So I feel like every household runs different on how they prepare meals. If it works best for you to prep all on Sunday and then eat those throughout the week, I do. I have a client that does that. She is a teacher, so she’s like, I’ve got to prep my lunches on Sunday so that they’re ready to go. It’s busy mornings because she takes them with her.

I have other clients that are stay-at-home moms or work from home. And so they’re preparing in the moment. They just have created grocery lists and shopped and have the food available. So it’s hard to say generally how she should do it because every household runs different, if that makes sense.

Paul Salter:


Lisa Salisbury:

I’m a big fan of eating with your children if at all possible, just to demonstrate good eating habits, eating, they’re not just by themselves trying to force down the broccoli that you’ve given them. You’re all eating broccoli together. This is just what healthy human beings do. We feed ourselves some protein and some vegetables, like this is what we do.

And so eating with your children has a lot of value as well. I mean, a whole other topic about eating with children, but I also just like the idea of eating with others because that’s going to keep us hopefully off our digital devices. We want to pay attention to what we’re eating. We can’t possibly tell if we’re full, if we’re not even paying attention to the food that we’re eating because we’re scrolling Instagram.

But as far as meal prep goes, to get back to your question, what my clients, I’ll just tell you what my clients generally do. They create grocery lists for the week and they decide what they’re eating for dinner each night of the week. And then for breakfast and lunch, they almost always, I have them do what we call go-to meals. So we create ahead of time, these are the three breakfasts I’m going to eat. These are the four lunches I’m going to eat.

And so the morning of, when you’re making a plan, you just choose from one of those because the truth is, if you really look, that is what we do anyway. We eat the same things for breakfast and lunch. Dinner tends to be where our variety is. So we just take a lot of the thought work out of it by creating go-to meals on paper, get this written down. I do have a freebie on this, on how to create go-to meals by accessing what’s worked for you in the past. What kinds of things do we like to eat? What’s easy? What can we get prepared in the amount of time that we have? And then just write them down.

And so in that way, we’re meal prepping because we’ve already made the decisions. These are the three things we choose from. And it makes it really simple because so many times that stressed out mom, and me included, I go in the kitchen and I’m like, well, I’ve never made anything good for myself in my whole life. I don’t know what I’ve eaten for lunch ever. My brain is just like, I don’t know. I don’t know.

Paul Salter:

No, I get that. So I’ve noticed a trend in how you’ve shared these examples here. You’re very specific in breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And I’ve done my homework to know you’ve got some thoughts on snacking and whatnot. So I’d love to hear where, if at all, does snacking fall into your recommendations? What is snacking? What are the pros, the cons? Tell us more.

Lisa Salisbury:

Okay. Yeah. So I’m not a huge fan of snacking and the reason comes back to the hunger scale, which I use with my clients. So okay, I am a big fan of really checking in with your body on if it’s time to eat or not. So I take my clients through a hunger scale, which goes from negative 10, which is extremely hungry, not just it’s been a couple hours and I’m starving. Actual physical, we’re in a lot of hunger, there’s a lot of physical symptoms. We’re lightheaded, stomach hurts, all of that. It’s been maybe all day that we haven’t eaten.

Zero then is neutral. We’re neither hungry nor full. We want to spend the most of our day in this space. And then positive 10 is equally uncomfortable as negative 10. This is so full, we got to unbutton our pants, lay down in a dark room. Our society puts a lot of food coma, it’s so fun to overeat. It’s not, it’s real. When you’re to that space, it’s not fun. It doesn’t feel good in your body.

So I encourage my clients to learn where they, what it feels like to be at a negative three, start eating then and then pay attention enough, chew your food, take some time, and stop eating at a positive three, which is just enough. This is what it’s called enough. It may not even be what you might consider satisfied because that’s an emotional satisfaction a lot of times. So we want to really think about physically at being enough.

It’s generally shy of being emotionally enough because we’ve overeaten for so many years of our life or gone into a restriction overeat cycle. You can know if it’s enough. If you can get up and go for a 10 or 15 minute walk around the neighborhood, not a brisk jog, but walking the dog. You know if you’re over full, that’s going to not feel great. You also know if it’s enough if you can go three to four hours before you need to eat again and spend the most of that time in that neutral space. Now, sorry, this is a big prep to get to snacking.

Paul Salter:

No, that’s all right.

Lisa Salisbury:

If we are snacking, it means a couple of things. Number one, we’re fearful of getting hungry. I don’t want to get hungry, so I better have a snack. Or we start to feel hunger, maybe we’re like, okay, it’s negative one, negative two, I’m just going to have a little snack. And then we get up to positive one and then we drop down again to negative one, negative two. I’m just going to have a little snack. And then my clients go, I just was hungry all day. And I’m like, did you sit down and have a meal? Because that’s the solution for hunger.

So I just say, if you’re not hungry enough to eat a meal, if you’re not at that negative three space and want to get all the way to positive three, it’s probably not time to eat. So that’s generally, those are my general recommendations.

I’d like you to eat the threes. Three meals a day between the threes, between negative three and three.

Paul Salter:

I like that.

Lisa Salisbury:

This does get tricky if you are a really early morning riser, you’ve got to eat breakfast at 6:00 or 7:00 AM and so you have a really long eating window. I’m not a fan of intermittent fasting, but there is an eating window regardless. It’s just like you’re on your, whatever you eat is a diet, regardless if you’re on a diet. So you do have an eating window. So if you’re eating window because of your schedule is very large, if you eat breakfast very early and you eat dinner very late, you’re going to need an additional meal.

So the other thing is if you’re like, I really want to adjust so that I eat dinner with my family at a certain time and you can’t make it and be neutral from lunch until dinner, then we want to plan a very thoughtful snack and knowing that you’re intentionally, okay, I’m intentionally going to eat this when I get down to a negative three, bring myself just up to a zero because I want to get back to that negative three by dinner time.

Paul Salter:

Gotcha. That’s awesome. I love the examples you shared to help someone begin to understand through repetition, of course. What does a negative three feel like? What does a zero, plus three, and a plus 10? I always liken the plus 10 to Thanksgiving day. You’ve stuffed yourself silly with turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, plenty of stuffing of course too. Because that’s the best.

So I love the relatable examples you shared and continuing on a similar trend, let’s shift gears slightly here. Let’s talk a little bit more about the good old labeling of foods. We’ve talked meal snacks, but let’s dive into good and bad. So you and I both know it that it still exists like wildfire on the internet. Some foods are good, some foods are bad. Diet A recommends you never eat this, but diet B says, eat as much as you want, but definitely don’t eat that. Where does someone begin who might have years, if not decades, of good food, bad food labeling begin to start unlearning that pattern to develop a healthier relationship with food?

Lisa Salisbury:

Yeah, so key to drop those labels. I mean, you know, and I were like, where do you begin? You begin with a coach like you or I, but if you’re on your own as much as you can, we want to just first try to eliminate those words from your vocabulary and just be, again, bring it up to your higher brain. Every time we’re talking about food, if you notice yourself saying, “Oh, I was really good today because I had a salad for lunch.” That’s really, let me just say that’s the danger of labeling foods good and bad, is because we inadvertently then label ourselves good and bad. If we ate a donut for breakfast, we were bad. If we ate a salad for lunch, we were good. And that’s not true. Our morality and our value never changed. That was food that we ate and your value never changed in that situation.

So no matter what you eat, you can’t change your value. You’re infinitely valuable as a human being. I firmly believe that. And so we want to just practice that. Every time it comes into your brain that food is good or that food is bad, you want to just say, “Oh, that’s actually not true.” You just want to catch yourself. That’s a lie. That’s a lie every time. Just don’t believe everything your brain offers you.

And this is the best one. “If we say, oh, I’d really love to have a donut, but that’s really bad for me.” You might reframe it with, “That’s probably not the healthiest choice. Maybe I could add some eggs to it so my blood sugar doesn’t skyrocket.” That’s a good plan. That’s food, and I’m going to choose whether to consume it or not.

Just changing your language around food is just absolutely critical because it will change your language then around yourself, because if food no longer has that good, bad value to it, you’re not going to also assign that to yourself. So just catching yourself, just reframing every single time.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, I love that.

Lisa Salisbury:

If your sisters or your best friends are using that kind of language, at first, you just cannot participate. They might get the hang of it, but you can call them out. Especially with my girls, I have teenage girls, I call them out if they say stuff like that. I’m like, “Nah, that’s just food. It’s just an inanimate object. Does not have value.”

Paul Salter:

Inherently neutral. Yeah.

Lisa Salisbury:


Paul Salter:

And I love that too, because it connects so well with what you said originally is when you’re deciding on internet food that is inherently neutral, rather than labeling it too, you can ask yourself the question, “Is this food going to help me feel in alignment with how I want to feel in an hour, two hours, 24 hours, et cetera?”

And in the very moment, if our lower brain is taking over, that donut might seem like the best thing possible. But in 10 minutes when you have that big sugar crash or you want to take a nap, it’s like, eh, that’s kind of not what I want when I have three hours of hard work ahead of me. Let me make a slightly different choice to help me feel my best when I need it most.

Lisa Salisbury:

Yeah. And if you do end up eating, if you end up eating the donut or overeating, whatever it is you’re eating and you kind of feel gross, let’s also, instead of, again, labeling yourself, let’s not punch yourself in the face with your thoughts about it. Your body already feels bad, let’s not also make ourselves feel mentally terrible as well.

I just think that is so critical. That was my choice. Yeah, I ate that. It probably wasn’t my best, so now I’m just going to wait until I get hungry again, and then with my very next bite, I’m right on plan. Just dropping the idea that we need to wait till Monday, wait till the first of the month, wait till the first of the year, wait till summertime, wait till… No, just on that random Thursday afternoon, the very next bite you have can be back on your plan, can be something that fuels your body in the way that makes it feel better.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, I love it. We often say you’re one meal away from being right back on track, and I love that here. You share the same approach there. And kind of continuing here with delicious tasting foods. Let’s talk about desserts. Something you shared, I don’t remember if I saw on your website or social media, was that you don’t healthify desserts anymore. And I love this, but I want to hear specifically from you what that means and why you’re a big supporter or believer in that.

Lisa Salisbury:

Yeah. I just think that we can absolutely reach our goals with an 80/20. 80% of the time we’re eating foods that are whole foods, single ingredient. They’re definitely going to be helping us reach our goals. 10, 20% of the time, we can plan desserts, we can plan chips.

The idea of healthifying desserts just confuses you into thinking that what you’re eating is back to that morality. When we healthify a dessert, it’s because we say, well, the regular one is bad and this one is good. So it’s really about that, again, that assigning morality to foods. I just have this distinct memory of I was taking my son to college. He goes to school in Utah and they have these cookie shops in Utah. I don’t know if you’re familiar with these, but they serve cookies the size of your head. And I was, they’re huge, crazy.

And I was like, I really want to get one of those chocolate chip cookies from this place. And I didn’t have my own car, blah, blah, blah. Didn’t get the cookie. Went home, and I was just thinking about the cookie, thinking about the cookie. And so I decided, and this is by the way prior to all my this coaching that this is really on the border of my dieting days. I was like, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to make this paleo cookie dough with sugar free chocolate chips. So I’m eating it. I’m like, it’s fine. My daughter comes down, she’s like, Ooh, cookie dough, because it appears to be cookie dough.

She takes a bite and she just looks at me and she goes, “That’s not good.” I’m like, I know it’s not. What solved that craving for the chocolate chip cookie? Chocolate chip cookies. I just made regular, after I ate that whole batch of paleo cookie dough. Couple days later, I’m still thinking about the chocolate chip cookie. I’m like, you know what? I know how to make chocolate chip cookies. So then I made a batch and I had one, and then that was the end. That was the end.

And I was like, it’s silly to healthify a dessert because you’re making it seem like it’s a good food. It might very well be a healthy food. It might very well be made from whole ingredients. Fine. Then that’s just what you want to eat that day. We don’t need to pretend that that sugar is off limits for the entire rest of our lives.

We want to allow all those foods to be part of our plan and then plan them with your higher brain. How many times a week do I want to have dessert? I think once or twice. And then we plan that in, and there’s just no need because we’re not going to gorge on it. If you’re like, I planned this. This is all part, this all fits in. And it just becomes not a problem when we drop all of the scarcity that’s around, well, I better eat it now because I never get this thing. Which totally would’ve been the case if I had eaten that chocolate chip cookie in another state, then I would’ve been like, I’ve got to eat this entire thing. Made myself sick. I mean, there’s so many things about that situation that could have gone a different way.

But yeah, that’s why I just, I mean that really singular time was the last time, and I just spent so many years eating sugar-free jello and sugar-free pudding, such a sign to my family that I was back on a diet if there was six cups of sugar-free pudding that I had made in the fridge, because, well, that’s the only dessert I can eat. Garbage.

Paul Salter:

I’ve never really thought about it the way you just described it. I appreciate you articulating it that way. You’re so right. It’s just another way of assigning morality to food. Then you feel really good and it’s like, but you didn’t feel good in the way you wanted to, which is living the experience of having a real authentic chocolate chip cookie. So now there’s even leftover resentment frustration there too. Just have the damn cookie. I love that. So well said.

So let me conclude our wonderful conversation with this question for you. Someone listening right now, they’re stuck. They’ve diet hopped from one to the next to last couple years, potentially more than a decade, and they feel like they’ve tried everything in the books. They don’t know where to start. Where would you recommend for someone who has a weight loss goal, but more importantly, recognizes something needs to change in their relationship with food. Where would you recommend they start? But you can’t of course say the answer of coaching because we both know the value of that.

Lisa Salisbury:

Don’t cheat. Don’t cheat.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, don’t cheat.

Lisa Salisbury:

Don’t say that? Okay. Let’s see. For starters, I would say really get in touch with your hunger. I think we’ve ignored hunger for so long. We have this idea that there’s something wrong with this very natural signal. We see these ads for, lose 10 pounds without feeling hungry. Why would we need to do that? Nobody has a bladder training program so that we never feel like we need to pee.

Paul Salter:

I love that.

Lisa Salisbury:

It’s a very natural, it’s your body’s way of saying, hey, we need some energy on board. It’s been distorted by eating six or eight meals a day. It’s been distorted by just don’t get hangry. That’s emotional hunger. That’s different than physical hunger.

So just give your body some time and just stop eating for a couple of hours and let it get hungry. And then just experiment with that. Okay, how long can I go before I’m frightened? Because we’re so afraid that once we just feel that almost just like that negative one hunger, we’re like, I better eat. My daughter actually calls this, she’s a teenager. She calls it preventative eating. And she’ll tell me sometimes, “I’m going to do some preventative eating because I’m going to be gone from the house for six hours.” I’m like, “Do it.” But when food is readily available, give yourself that safe space to wait for hunger.

And then the second thing is to eat without distraction so that we can feel the enough side. So as boring as it sounds, put away your phone, turn off the TV, put away the magazine. Take some deep breaths, smell your food, give some thanks for the food, and then enjoy the actual act of eating.

If you have 30 minutes for eating, eat for 15 minutes and then read or scroll Instagram for 15 minutes. Just separate those two activities so that we can really pay attention. Because chances are, most of your overeating comes from not paying attention to the food and not being satisfied because you’re paying attention to something else. You’re paying attention to the screen and you’re like, I don’t actually have any idea how much I ate. So really, really just starting to get in touch with your body I think is one of the first steps that you can do. I always, if you have children and they’ve ever taken… Do you have kids? I can’t remember.

Paul Salter:

I do not have any of my own.

Lisa Salisbury:

Okay. Well, when kids are in elementary school, they take these tests called iReady and I’m sure they’re called different things in different states. But in California here, they’re called iReady, and they give a third grader these computerized tests for reading, and they give them a third grade question. And if they get it right and they get multiple third grade questions right, then they give them fourth grade questions, and then fifth grade questions,

 And all the way up until they start getting them wrong. And then they decide, okay, so you got enough fifth grade questions that you are a fifth grade reader, and then so on if they get them wrong. So I always say use that concept with the hunger scale as well. Wait a little longer than you typically do. Wait a little shorter than you typically do. Serve up a little less, serve up a little more, experiment with this hunger thing until you can really focus in, I thought I was ready to eat at a negative one, but after three bites, I’m at zero, and so I guess that is just a negative one. Let me wait a little longer.

And so we’re just really playing with it. Just think of it like that iReady test, trying to hone, in because if you get all the third grade questions, we don’t know if you’re a third grade reader or if you’re a sixth grade reader, but of course you’ve got the third grade questions right. Does that make sense?

Paul Salter:

A hundred percent.

Lisa Salisbury:

We want to play with these numbers, like eat two bites less, which by the way is a good exercise for all of us to leave two bites on the plate so that you can be okay with wasting some food. Because that is a whole other topic about being able to waste food. But just leave a couple bites on your plate and be like, it’s totally fine to not finish and be okay with that.

Serve up less. Really go for it sometimes, like I’m going to serve up half of what I normally do, see what happens to my hunger. When you’re in a place where you have planned your meals, this is not scary because in the morning you’ve jotted down what you’re going to eat in the day. And so your brain isn’t like, well, what if we don’t get another meal? I don’t know what we’re having for lunch. You already know what you’re having for lunch. If you eat less for breakfast, you just have lunch earlier. So it’s a very safe way to start experimenting with your hunger.

Paul Salter:

I love that. That was awesome. Very, very good. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this conversation, Lisa. So I’m curious, where can all of our listeners go to learn more about what you do, how you help people, and to just connect with you on social media?

Lisa Salisbury:

So on social, on Instagram, I’m well underscore with underscore Lisa. My website is well with, but got to have those underscores on Instagram because all the good names are taken. So my podcast is Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well. And those are the three pillars that I focus on with my clients. I serve clients primarily one-on-one, and I am opening up a group program this week. I don’t know when this episode is going to come out, but if doors have already closed for that group program, there will be another one just around the corner. So there’s always going to be a wait list as well for that.

So if you’d rather, either way like I say, you can do the one-on-one or the group program, and it is kind of a hybrid. I still do a couple one-on-one sessions with you in that group program as well. And we just cover those three pillars, eating well, thinking well, and living well, which covers all of your lifestyle factors like exercise, sleep, and just making your life amazing so your food doesn’t have to have that job.

Paul Salter:

I love that. Well, everyone listening, thank you so much for being here. Make sure you go follow Lisa, connect with her and learn from her. Lisa, thank you so much for being here.

Lisa Salisbury:

Yeah, thank you. Really appreciate it.

Paul Salter:

Absolutely. And everyone, again, thank you so much for listening. If you found today’s episode valuable, do both Lisa and I a favor. Share it with a loved one, family member or friend who would also find value in all of the wonderful wisdom that Lisa shared. And of course, if you have not already, it takes less than 30 seconds to leave a genuine rating and review on Apple Podcast or wherever it is you are listening to today’s show.

Thank you again for listening. Have a wonderful rest of your day. And as always, screw the scale.

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Paul Salter

Paul Salter is a Registered Dietitian and Founder of The 5% Way. Since 2013, Paul has worked one-on-one with nearly 1,500 men and women, helping them to collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat and keep it off for good. He’s also published nearly 1,000 articles, two books, and 175 podcast episodes (and counting) on all things related to our five core elements of sustainable weight loss.



Micheala is a Transformation and Community Success Coach. She specializes in bringing out the absolute best in you and helping you see that you already have everything you need to achieve the transformational results you desire. Micheala will be an incredible asset for you on your journey since she went through the process herself and has seen long lasting results.

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