Diet Tip #2: The 15 Minute Rule

15 minutes ago I was CRAZY HUNGRY.

I just finished my small afternoon meal (1/4 bowl of cornflakes and yogurt – 130 calories) and it was no way near enough.

And then the inner dialog started…

Lizard Brain: “I’m not feeling that good, maybe I should put the diet on hold. Eat well and get stronger.

Yoav: “Well… you know you’ve just eaten a good meal, and you’ve got another one coming in 3 hours. Maybe you’re just thirsty?”

Lizard Brain:  “Maybe … let’s check”

(Gulp, Gulp, Gulp)

Lizard Brain: “Nope, still HUNGRY, let’s eat…”

Yoav: “Wait. Hang on, let’s wait 15 minutes, and see if we’re still hungry. You know… the 15 minute rule”

Lizard Brain: “(Growl)… OK, but in 15 minutes it’s PIZZA TIME”

15 minutes have passed and I am very full and content. Yoav and the lizard brain are one again.

You see… when we eat, our body produces hormones that trigger the feeling of fullness in the brain (specifically in the hypothalamus). This feeling of fullness occurs 10 to 20 minutes after we’ve started eating. Some studies have shown that in obese people the feeling of fullness takes longer to appear, but the good news are that after 20 minutes, everybody feels full.

So the bottom line is… if you feel hungry after your meal, you don’t have to suffer until your next meal (or eat more than you’re allowed). Just wait 15 minutes and presto … You’re full.

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Diet, Coffee and Diet Coke

Diet Coke isn’t healthy for you and neither is coffee. Caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. And the artificial sweeteners are not that healthy either.

But you know what… screw it.

A cup of coffee helps relieve the feeling of hunger and can get you through to your next meal without snacking (and so can a diet Coke).

I don’t suggest that you take up drinking coffee if you haven’t done so before the diet. But if you were caffeinating, then by all means – harness this unhealthy habit to lose weight.

In fact, I strongly suggest that you do not try to make two big life changes at the same time. It takes focus and discipline to adopt diet habits and if you spread yourself too thin, you’ll fail both challenges.

Here’s a couple of caffeinating guidelines:

1.  Don’t increase your daily amount of caffeine drinks.

2. Use artificial sweeteners and not sugar with your coffee (you don’t need the extra calories). If you can’t stand the taste of artificial sweeteners and must use sugar, then reduce the amount of sugar to half a spoon per drink.

3. If you drink your coffee with milk, make sure you use mostly water and only a drop of milk to color the coffee.

4. Use low-fat milk.

4. When you order coffee, make sure that they make it as described above (mostly water and a touch of milk) and let them know you’ll be adding your own sweeteners.

Note: All the above is true if you don’t have doctor’s orders to the contrary. We’ll discuss doctors orders in another post, since they are important but sometimes destructive to your diet.

So… keep caffeinating my friend. And soon you’ll be a thinner, sexier caffeine drinker.

photo credit: dongga BS via photopin cc

How to Lose Weight with Very Little Will Power

Will power is scarce. And almost everything we do drains it – the job, the kids, trying not to explode in a blinding flash of road rage and killing that idiot that doesn’t even signal before he cuts us off.

And to make things worse, losing weight requires an enormous amount of will power (if using will power is your only strategy). That’s why most diets fail after the first 2-3 Kilos (4-7 pounds). You just don’t have enough will power to sustain it.

The easy way lose weight it is to acquire diet habits.

Dieting through habits does require you to spend a little energy on acquiring each habit, but once you’ve acquired it, you don’t use will power when dieting. It’s on autopilot – like brushing your teeth in the morning.

Here’s a list of diet habits I ‘trained myself’ into:

  • Bringing my own food to meals at family/friends
  • Asking about the ingredients and making special requests at restaurants
  • Reading the labels at the supermarket
  • Eating 6 small meals/day
  • Indulging myself once a week
  • Exercising
  • Diet focused shopping
  • Feeding myself first
  • Planning the day ahead
  • The BIG salad
  • Spending money on eating well when necessary

This list might seem like a lot to do, but once you acquire those small habits, you won’t need to think about them at all. And as a result, you’ll steadily lose weight every week, without struggling and suffering.

We’ll discuss these habits in details in future posts.

photo credit: Lif… via photopin cc

P.S.

Just to make it perfectly clear … injecting heroine might be an effective way to lose weight but it will kill you.

Diet Tip #1 – Never Be Hungry

Most people think that being on a diet means you need to learn how to be hungry.

That’s a HUGE mistake. Hunger is the #1 enemy of a successful diet.

To successfully lose a lot of weight, your thinking, rational self needs to be in control over a long period of time (it could be months or even years in some cases). But when you let yourself become hungry, you relinquish control to your lizard brain.

I’m HUNGRY the lizard brain screams – and while your rational self may fight the overwhelming impulse to eat for a little while, it quickly loses control and you find yourself standing in front of the refrigerator doing the nasty with a baguette and a bucket of Humus.

The surest safest way to lose weight is to establish a meal schedule that’s low on calories, but keeps you content and full 95% of the time.

photo credit: » Zitona « via photopin cc

Why your smallest products are your biggest marketing asset

I’ve always struggled with my weight. If I am not mindful – I eat. And since I am not always mindful I’ve had to learn how to diet.

One of my biggest diet tricks is the BIG salad. I make one every day. This means that I need to cut A LOT of vegetables. A task that made me fall in love with the Victorinox vegetable knife.

It’s not a fancy knife. It costs about 5$, but it cuts through cucumbers like a Lightsaber cuts through empire clones. I love getting it out of the drawer. I love how it feels in in my hand. I love how effortlessly it cuts the vegetables. I would easily pay $50 for it.

This $5 knife has sold me on the Victorinox brand. I now WANT to buy a Victorinox watch and would give any of their products a more-than-fair chance.

If you sell anything, you should be copying Victorinox – make excellent everyday products. They will create your brand, not through advertising, but through experience. And then when the customer decides to buy the big product. He’ll buy it from you – even if it’s a Lightsaber.

People Sensitive To-Do List

I keep forgetting things. It’s not old age, I’ve always been like that.

I want to use a To-do list software, but all the To-Do list tools miss a big feature – they aren’t people sensitive.

For example …  I need to talk to Eran about swimming classes for my son.

But usually when I am around Eran I am doing my best not to drown while performing his increasingly evil swimming exercises. I am not focused on crossing stuff off my to-do list.

But my iPhone could do that. My iPhone should know when I:

  • Meet people who are related to tasks on my to-do list
  • When I talk to them on the phone
  • When I write them an email
  • Or when I receive an email from them
  • When I send or receive an SMS message to these people

And then, my dear, beloved iPhone should let me know that I have tasks related to that person.

If my iPhone did that, I would become a To-do list machine … diligently writing down, executing and crossing off items from my list. And then I’ll be the grown up, responsible person I should be.

Then again… I’d probably not.

Admitting The Truth and Time to Recover

Failure is hard. No matter how experienced you are and how many times you’ve failed before, failure is still hard to cope with.

Last week I launched a website. Most people would have considered it a success. And it is a moderate success, but its current conversion rate and CTR are not enough to take us where we want to go.

And there isn’t a way to tweak it into a success (sometimes there are, but that’s not the case here).

So step one was admitting the truth. Admitting that it’s not good enough, that we need something better.

But step two is taking time to recover. Although I already have a pretty awesome idea about a new approach, I know that I can’t attack it right away. Right now my energy is the murky energy of failure. I need the murky energy to go away so I can attack the new approach with enthusiasm.

I’ll take a couple of days and come back with the warm golden energy of optimism and we’ll rock this boat.

One last thing… if you find a technique that enables you to bounce back from failure, then you are the KING. Each Failure makes you smarter and if you fail a lot and bounce back, you’ll be smarter than every one else and then you win.

Your Startup is Just a Story – Or How to Win an Argument with a VC

“We can argue about that” he said.

He was the nicest VC I have ever met, but I knew we were dead in the water.

“You can bring your experts and I can bring mine, and they’ll argue”, he continued.

“But in the end, we won’t KNOW”.

And that was it… no investment.

Back in the old days I would beat myself up whenever I got a NO from an investor. Why doesn’t he like my idea? Is it because of me? Am I not smart enough? Maybe I wasn’t convincing enough or I wore the wrong shoes or pants. Or maybe because I am just not a likeable. Maybe it’s because I am bald.

But the truth is, unless you are a remarkable showman, you’ll only get investments in one of two ways:

1. Get proof

Build the first version of your product and get users to use it. Better yet, make them buy it.

Proof beats almost anything.

2. Find an investor that already believes in your idea –

My friend (let’s call him David) had an brilliant idea, but it was just a story. He took his story to every investor he could find – they all said no.

He called me one day, after spending 18 months looking for an investment. He told me that I had to come with him to this investor meeting. It was the last he was going to do and he needed me to back him up. After that he’ll start looking for a job. He was almost broke.

We went to the investor. David started the presentation and after 5 minutes the investor stopped him. “I thought about this idea myself about a year ago… but I didn’t have the capacity to make it happen.”

3 months later David got $700,000 from a group of investors that this one guy put together.

Final piece of advice

Once you’ve started arguing with an investor about whether your startup is going to work or not, you’ve already lost. If investors say they have doubts, smile, take their business card and call them when you have proof.

And don’t be hard on yourself. You are awesome and bald is the new black.

Why Apple will not become a trillion dollar company – the impending death of a brand

This is Bashar Al-Asad, current ruler of Syria and the son of Hafez Al-Asad.

Here in Israel we call him ‘little Asad’.

Unfortunately, and despite previous appearances, he is turning to be as ruthless a killer as his father was. At this point in time, the UN estimates that his forces killed over 5400 Syrian citizens in an attempt to stop the protests against him.

But what does it have to do with Apple’s market cap?

Simple … would you buy an iPhone from a dictator that works his people to death, gets stinking rich and finally kills them without mercy if they try to speak up?

I would rather go IPhone-less than give this man my money and help him sustain his reign of terror. And I think you would too.

The problem with Apple’s market cap is that the conversation around its brand is beginning to sound more and more like the one around little Asad’s brand.

I love my IPhone. I can’t picture my life without it. And a couple of months back when I talked about Apple, I had this image in mind…

But now, whenever I talk about Apple, what I see is this:

And it’s not just me.

Since the news about Apple’s abusive employment practices came out, a lot of my friends feel and talk about Apple in the same way.

So, dear Mr. Cook, if you want us to stop trashing your company and go back to mindlessly buying whatever you produce, it’s really a no-brainer: treat the employees and especially the children working in your factories a lot better. And, even better, don’t employ children at all.

Sure, it will hurt the profit margins, but Apple will never become a trillion dollar company if it keeps abusing its employees and condoning child labor. Trust me on this.

And, more importantly… you don’t want to become ‘little Steve’.

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I call dibs on #isfortheweak

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