Basic Concepts

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Listen to Jon Gabriel Teach About:

  • Why your body wants to be fat or thin
  • The central focus of The Gabriel Method
  • Why you can’t force yourself to lose weight


Read The Lecture Transcripts Here


What I want to do this time, is I want to spend about 10 minutes really talking about the concept of why your body would want to be fat, or why your body would want to be thin. And then, after that, I’ll take callers and twitters and emails. I think we sent out an email to everybody about how to twitter and how to call in, and you should see on the screen a phone number for calling in.

But, I just want to talk about this. We started talking about it last week, but we got interrupted because we took callers too early. But, Kelly, this is a really important concept and it’s really the central focus of the Gabriel Method and why the Gabriel Method is different, because every approach that’s out there that I’ve ever seen, operates on the same paradigm that you can somehow force yourself to lose weight in a sustainable way either through dieting, behavior modification, forcing yourself to exercise.

But, it’s always about forcing yourself, and what I learned from my own experience is that works in the short-term, but then you have this rebound, and then you put the weight back on. And it wasn’t until I stopped forcing myself and understanding why my body wanted to be fat, and what I could do to get it to want to be thin, that the weight came off automatically. And for me, once I learned that, I lost over 225 pounds over a two year period, and that was five years ago. I’ve been the same weight for five years now, and I don’t diet, I don’t force myself, it’s all very natural and organic. And it’s because my body now wants to be thin.

And I’m hearing now from thousands of people all over the world that they -people that were yo-yo dieters for 20 years – they’re now not dieting. It’s not that they’re pigging out, it’s just that they’re not as hungry anymore, their bodies are working with them. They’re losing weight, they’re not thinking about food as much, and they’re losing weight, and they’re keeping it off, and it’s because they’ve addressed the real issue.

So, in order to understand the Gabriel Method, you have to understand this concept of why your body would want to be fat, or thin, and how to actually get your body to want to be thinner. So, that’s what I want to talk about a little bit today, right now.

So, when I was losing weight, what I first started doing is I started studying a lot about biochemistry, and I really asked the question, well what’s the whole purpose of fat? Why do we need fat at all? And, in today’s world, we really don’t need fat. There’s no purpose to having fat, but we didn’t always live in this type of environment, we didn’t live in an environment of unlimited food and controlled environments where it was always warm. It used to be we lived outdoors, and we didn’t know where our next meal was coming from sometimes, and sometimes it was cold. And we lived in all kinds of different environments throughout the world.

Now, if you were living in an environment that was like a long harsh winter, somewhere in the extreme north or southern climates, then there might be a period of time when you don’t know where you next meal is coming from, because when it’s winter time, particularly in the northern climates when it’s wintertime, it’s snowing and the lakes and ponds are all iced up, you can’t fish, there’s no fruit growing on the trees. Most animals are hibernating, you can’t get food, it’s tough to get food. And it’s cold all the time. So, how do you survive in an environment like that? Because if you go long enough in an environment where you’re not getting enough food, you’re going to die of starvation. Right?

So, what happens is, when you’re in an environment where there’s not enough food, let’s say you’re in a famine, or in cold weather, it causes stress to your body. That’s a particular type of stress that activates a particular type of chemistry in your body, and that chemistry activates what I call the FAT programs. It’s a signal to your body that food is scarce and you have to do what you can to conserve energy and conserve food. But what happens is, a whole bunch of things happen where you become hungrier, your metabolism slows down, and your body goes into fat storage mode. It becomes really efficient at storing fat.

This chemistry causes what I call the FAT programs. And when the FAT programs are on, not only are you hungry all the time and you crave more fattening foods, your body actually wants to be fatter. Your body wants to be fatter for survival reasons. It’s a life or death –


Because your body always wants to work with you.


Exactly. Your body is always trying to protect you from something. So, in that type of environment, the way your body protects you is by having more fat. Now, if you were living in that type of environment, you'd be hungry all the time, you’d be tired all the time, because your metabolism has slowed down, and your body would try to store fat as much as possible. If there ever was food, if you came across food, you would eat, and eat, and eat, and you would gain weight.

And what happens is, it makes your body shift what they call the set point. Now, this is a really important concept. The set point is this notion that your body has a specific weight that it wants to be, say 150 pounds, or 70 kilos. Now, when you’re in that type of stress, your body’s set point shifts, it makes your body want to be fatter. So, your body no longer wants to be 150 pounds, it wants to be 170 pounds, because it says, “You know what? We need to always carry 20 pounds of extra weight on us, because we don’t know when our next famine is coming, and we need to survive that next famine. So, we need to carry extra weight on us.”

So, your set point actually shifts, and your body wants to be fatter in that type of living environment. You may lose weight because there’s not enough to eat, but once there is food available, you’re going to eat, and eat, and eat until you’re 170 pounds, not 150 pounds, because your set point has just shifted. That’s why your body wants to be fatter.

Now, there’s other living environments that we lived in thousands of years ago, where your body would want to be thin. Let’s take a totally different environment. Imagine you were living in a tropical paradise, where it was warm, and there was all kinds of different food. There’s any type of fruit you want. There’s mangoes, there’s apples, apple trees, peaches, everything. There’s all kinds of game that you can eat. There’s fish, there’s nuts, there’s seeds, there’s lettuce. You’re living in a tropical paradise, there’s never a famine, you can eat whatever you want. You no longer have to have stress, that chemistry that’s causing the FAT programs is no longer on because you can eat whatever you want. And it’s warm out, so you don’t need fat to protect you from the cold. So, in that type of environment, your body doesn’t need fat, and the FAT programs are not on.

Now, if we take it just a little bit further, imagine for a second that in this tropical paradise, there’s wild predators chasing you, and you’ve got to be really, really fast, otherwise, you’re dead. And so, if you’re not able to sprint for 20, 30, 40 seconds to outrun a predator, you’re dead. Now, that type of stress, running away from a predator, is a different type of stress that causes different chemistry. That chemistry activates what I call the Get Thin programs, or the Get Thin or Get Eaten programs. Right? Well, when those programs are activated, your body wants to be thin. If your body thinks that you need to be thin in order to survive, that you’re going to die if you’re not thin, man, your body knows how to lose weight. So, it activates these Get Fit programs, and what happens is, your body says, “We no longer need to be 170 pounds, we need to be 140 pounds, because if we’re not 140 pounds, we’re dead.” So, in that type of environment, your set point actually shifts the other way. It shifts toward being thin.

So, we’ve got this mechanism inside of us that shifts our set point depending on our living environment. If we’re in a famine in cold weather, our set point’s going to shift toward fatter. If we’re able to eat to our heart’s content of nutritious food that’s nourishing our body, and we’ve got to run away from predators, our body’s going to shift its set point towards being thinner.

Now, what’s interesting is, none of this matters anymore. We don’t live on tropical paradises, and we don’t have famines, or most of us, and we don’t live outdoors in the cold weather. None of that matters anymore. But we’ve got these programs inside our body that are always changing our set point depending on the stresses in our life. And, what’s interesting is, we’ve got all kinds of stresses now, mental, physical, emotional stresses, we’ve got to worry about mortgages, there’s abuse out there. There’s food that’s not nourishing, there’s radiation, there’s water that’s toxic, there’s every type of stress out there, and all these different stresses are causing chemistry in our body.

Now, as we get this chemistry, we’re activating these programs inside of us, and sometimes, for some people, we’re activating the FAT programs, because it’s causing the exact same chemistry as a famine. So, you could be driving to work, and you’re in rush hour traffic, and you’re late for work, and you’re causing chemistry in your body. That chemistry, for some people, might be the exact same chemistry as a famine.

Kelly:   Because your brain doesn’t know if it’s a thousand years ago, or today.

Listen, if you cause certain chemical changes in your body, your brain is going to activate the FAT programs. And those chemical changes, for example, are elevated cortisol levels, elevated triglycerides, insulin resistance, elevated levels of what’s called pro-inflammatory cytokines, another type of an inflammatory hormone. These are all stress hormones, a reaction to stress. If you get the right combination of those stress hormones, it’s the exact same as a famine.

See, what I did, when I realized this, when I was losing weight, what I did is I stopped studying obesity and I started studying starvation. And what I found was, starvation causes certain chemistry in your body, and it’s the exact same chemistry that takes place when you’re overweight, when you’ve got metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

So, what I’ve discovered, and what I’ve presented to various medical institutions over the last couple of years is that metabolic syndrome, which is insulin resistance and elevated triglycerides and all this stuff that leads to Type 2 diabetes is the starvation response, is the fat/stress response. It’s your body activating the same chemistry as if you were starving, and what’s a huge problem today, and the whole reason why we have morbid obesity is that when these FAT programs are activated, your body’s being tricked into thinking that you’re starving, in a land of unlimited food.

So, if your life is causing stress that’s activating these FAT programs, and your body’s being tricked into thinking you’re starving, and there’s this unlimited food to your disposal, what do you think is going to happen? You’re just going to keep eating and eating, and gaining weight, and the FAT programs aren’t going off. And the reason the FAT programs aren’t going off is because it's being caused by some other stress.

So, what you have to do, is you have to learn all the different stresses that can activate these FAT programs. You have to learn all the different stresses that can activate these programs, and how to turn them off. And that’s what I talk about in my book. There’s about 12 different types of stress that can activate the FAT programs. There’s, first of all, dieting, because dieting is mimicking a famine. And let’s face it Kelly, it would be great if diets worked, because if diets worked, nobody would be talking about this stuff anymore. There would be one diet, maybe two, everybody would be on it, everybody would lose weight, they’d keep the weight off and that would be the end of it. But, what happens when you diet, is you activate these FAT programs, you mimic a famine. And yes, you can lose weight, but it makes your body want to be fatter, so you’ve shifted your set point.

So, let’s say your 170 pounds and you diet, and you get down to 150. Okay, you’ve lost that 20 pounds, but guess what, now your body’s set point, which was 170, has now been shifted to 180 because you’ve just tricked yourself into thinking you’re living in a time of famine. So, you’ve lost 20 pounds but you’ve made your body want to be 10 pounds heavier than when you even started.

So, what happens is you get hungry, and your metabolism slows down, you don’t want to exercise, you get burned out, you get tired, you’re craving sweets all the time, until you can ‘t take it anymore. And then you get this big binge. That’s what use to happen to me. I had this huge binge, and then I’d gain the weight back. And for me, when I was living in New York, I dieted my way up to gaining over 200 pounds. I would lose 20 pounds, gain 30 pounds, lose 20 pounds, gain 30 pounds, and I did this and did this, and did this.

It would be great if dieting worked, it makes sense that calories in, calories out, it's logical, but it activates the FAT programs, it gets your body to want to be fatter. So, if you look at this higher level of how fat or thin your body wants to be versus how fat or thin your body is, then you can understand why dieting doesn’t work. It makes your body want to be fatter. So, you have to devise an approach that’s sensitive to this.

Another type of thing that can activate the FAT program, I talk about in my book, is a nutritional famine. A nutritional famine means that you can be eating to your heart's content but the food doesn’t have the specific nutrients that your body needs. So, you’re starving for nutrients. Toxins can activate the FAT programs. Mental and emotional stress is one of the biggest things that activate the FAT programs. Traumas that happen to you, divorces, separations, accidents, all these things activate the FAT programs. Dehydration activates the FAT programs. Sleep apnea activates the FAT programs. So, you need an approach that’s sensitive to all these things, and that’s what we talk about in the book.

Kelly:   And, I’d love everyone to know the name of the book, of course, it's The Gabriel Method.

It is, it’s The Gabriel Method, and you can learn more about it at my site, It’s really struck a chord with people that have tried to diet all their lives and have failed, because people know that there’s something more to it, than the whole calories in, calories out thing.

The first time I gave a presentation to the American Holistic Medical Association, and I showed how metabolic syndrome, which causes people to gain weight, and it's a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, how it’s the starvation response and how the advice that we’re giving people, when somebody walks into their office and they’re overweight, and they say, “Well, just eat less.” It’s logical advice, but the problem is that their FAT programs are already activated.

And, if you look at the statistics, dieting has a 98 percent failure rate, and everybody knows this. And, they’ve also done studies with teenagers, where teenagers that diet are five times more likely to be heavier in three years. I mean, the statistics are there, and it’s the reason is, because we’ve got these FAT programs, we’ve got to understand these FAT programs, we’ve got to learn to work with them. When you work with them, it becomes automatic.

So, there’s a whole list of things that can activate these FAT programs, and we’ll talk more about them in other shows. Maybe each show we’ll kind of specialize on one type of topic.

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