I love weight loss + transformation stories, and Jon Gabriel has an amazing one.  In 2001 he weighed 410 pounds. In a breakthrough moment, he realized that his body wanted to be fat. He stopped dieting, started living like a “naturally thin” person, and ended the war with his body. He has since lost 220 pounds and his body shows no signs of being obese, and he how dedicates his life to teaching others how to use his method to lose weight.

His book is The Gabriel Method: The Revolutionary Diet-Free Way to Totally Transform Your Body.

Here are my top 5 gems from the book:

1. Stress and Fat

“Feeling safe and understanding mental and emotional stress is of paramount importance when you want to lose weight.”

If you read nutrition books written by doctors, they will explain how stress leads to increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which makes us store fat. Jon does a really nice job of illustrating the mind-body connection and how modern day stresses can make us store fat. You must address the emotional issues if you want to permanently lose weight.

Fearful thoughts –> stress –> fat

2. Visualization

Jon used visualization to support his own weight loss, and he teaches his readers how to do the same. Visualization is a way to connect with your unconscious mind. The techniques he shares work for weight loss, but I’ve also found them helpful for other aspects of my life – like how I want to design my day, harmony in my relationships, or having an important conversation go really well.

3. The Magic of Mornings / Problem with Evenings

“After a full day, the evenings are often unproductive, passive hours. In the evenings, we are usually exhausted, and when we are exhausted, the only thing we can do is eat and be entertained. It’s the exhausted, stressed-out evening hours where the majority of bingeing occurs.”

Wow, isn’t that the truth! The good news is we can manage our stress and manage the rhythm of our days so we don’t end the day this way. I like to recommend rolling around on the floor with a foam roller to de-stress and get out of your mind and into your body. (Here are some foam roller exercises but you don’t have to do all of these – just giving yourself a nice back massage is great too!)

And recognize the magic of mornings – use this vital time to get the most important things done.

4. Starving for Nutrients

Jon talks about how even when he was eating 5000 calories a day, his body was starving for nutrients, because all the “food” he was eating was processed junk. His body kept reaching for more food in hopes that he would get some actual nutrients.  I used to feel this way when I was in college and ate lots of protein bars with a million weird ingredients – sure I was getting calories but my body didn’t recognize it as food and never felt satisfied.

This is why it’s so important to eat real food – fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, salads, lean protein.

“If you eat foods that have no nutritional value, all you are doing is replenishing your sugar and fat stores, and you’ll remain unsatisfied because you haven’t nourished your body.”

The more nutrititious the food, the more you’ll be satisfying your body.  Simple!

5. Turn Your Meals Into Salads

Jon has a fun suggestion which is the turn your meals into salads – so even if you’re eating lasagna he says to cut it up and eat it over lettuce. It makes you chew more slowly and gets you in the habit of eating and loving salads.

I do this all the time. You can eat anything over lettuce! Sweet potatoes, tempeh, brown rice, quinoa, brussels sprouts, veggie stir fry, avocadoes, hemp seeds – it’s all good. Just drizzle some tahini or goddess dressing and you have a satisfying meal.

Whether or not you’re overweight, if you have emotional issues with food, this book can be a valuable guide to help you feel safe, and get out of mindset of restrictive eating, dieting and deprivation. Please report back and let me know how it goes!

Love and lasagna salads,