Are you ready to talk about science?

If you’re tuning into this podcast, I’m guessing you probably love science as much as I do. Science makes sense. It’s reliable, predictable, and fact-based.

In this episode, we’re covering Chapter 6 of my book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss. I’m sharing the five steps of the scientific method and teaching you how to apply them to weight loss. That might sound complicated, but I promise it’s really simple, and I’m laying it out for you step-by-step to make it super easy to follow.

Join me for a conversation about the scientific method of weight loss.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • The scientific method
  • How to set yourself up for success
  • Why your perfectionism is sabotaging you
  • Changing how you think about results
  • Setting goals that you can commit to
  • Anticipating obstacles and solutions
  • Why you shouldn’t compare your goals and results to someone else’s
  • What to do when you stray from your plan
  • Testing your plan for long enough to collect some data

This chapter of the book is so helpful because it gives you the tools you need to create a plan and test it. Now it’s time to try it out for yourself! Listen to the episode or pick up the book and start applying it to your life.

I hope you’re enjoying these episodes covering chapters from the book. If you want to read along with the podcast, you can get your hands on the book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss, here.

If you’ve read my book, it would mean the world to me if you would leave me a review letting other readers know what you thought! Click here to leave a review on Amazon.

Click the image below to download a handy one-page printable to

share How to Lose Weight for the Last Time with your patients!

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Other Episodes We Think You'll Enjoy:

Ep #314: [New Year, New Thoughts Series] Reframing Losing | Chp. 3

Ep #313: [New Year, New Thoughts Series] How to Change Your Food-Related Thoughts | Chp. 2

Ep #312: Ozempic, Wegovy, and Other Newer Weight Loss Medications


Read the Transcript Below:

Welcome to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast. I'm your host, master certified life and Weight Loss coach Katrina Ubel, M.D. This is the podcast where busy doctors like you come to learn how to lose weight for the last time by harnessing the power of your mind. If you're looking to overcome your stress, eating and exhaustion and move into freedom around food, you're in the right place. Well, hello there, my friend. Welcome to the podcast today. Today we get to talk about something that I super duper love, and I think you might love it too. It's just a hunch. And that thing is science. What? Love science Besides me. Show of hands. I always love science. Science was my favorite subject. I'll just tell you that whenever there is one of those things like where you need the backup security questions to get in, like in case you lose your password. And they say, What was your favorite subject in school? I'll just tell you, mine is always science so easy. I always love science, and not even just the biological sciences. I always loved earth science and anything science just works. My brain loves it. It's organized. I actually had a class. My high school was really pretty cool. They had a lot of really good science classes, and one of the science electives I took was botany and fun fact. One of my high school jobs was working at a florist, so that was fun.

And a lot of people thought for a long time that they would say, Are you going to become a botanist? And it's actually the irony here. Anyone who really knows me is totally laughing right now, because, you know, what I always say is is like sending me flowers is amazing. Giving me a plant is which I now I feel bad because people there might be I'm thinking of someone in particular, one of my clients who I adore. She'll know who she is who actually gave me a plant, I think last year. And I don't want her to feel bad about this. But plants are not my thing. And the reason why is because it's just another thing to take care of, right? Like I already have three kids and a dog and a spouse. So to a certain extent, when someone gives me a plant, I'm kind of like, Do you hate me? I always, when I receive a plant, I always truly am grateful and thankful. And I know that the person's heart is in the right place. Maybe when I'm an empty nester, maybe I'll desire something to nurture more and then I'll get into plants. But for now, plants are now also just with my house. And the way it's set up, there's really no good place for plants. So anyway, this is a side note about science, because science is fun and science makes sense, and science is reliable and often predictable and something that is more factually based than belief based despite what a lot of people think these days.

Right. And so anyway, you know, also just another side note about science is so my oldest son, who is 17, craziness, he switched schools when he was in the middle of sixth grade. And the school he had gone to initially had sort of like an alternative curriculum. I would say just it wasn't like the typical curriculum that other schools or other public schools would have in terms of what they taught in which grades. So then he switched schools to a different school. And in the process, we have realized that there's some gaps in his education, apparently, and some of those are actually science based. So he somehow did not really get much of a biological education. He did have to take biology in ninth grade and that was fine. So you understand some of the basics. But a little while ago I was talking to him about something and I was like, Wait a minute, do you know, like how the kidney works? He's like, Which one is the kidney? I was like, Oh, you have two doctors, four parents, and you don't know what the kidney does. It's like, But listen, the kidney is amazing. It is actually so cool. So I start going into how the kidney works and he starts getting this little, little grin on his face.

I'm like, What? He's like, I can tell you're very excited about this. I'm like, Science is awesome. Science is not really his thing so much. It's just, you know, he can do it. He has taken chemistry. He's in AP physics right now, and he does think it's kind of interesting to see like how physics is actually in the real world and stuff. But science is not his thing. He's a definite liberal arts kind of a guy, humanities kind of a guy. And that's fine too. We allow children to have whatever interest they have. He's actually said he's like, Well, senior year, I'm not going to take a science class and I'm so excited about that. And I was like. Oh, but anyway, my point is, I think everyone listening here, or at least most do like science. Science resonates with them and at least they're interested in what science has to say because this is not something that we can take for granted just in the world. Not everybody is in that kind of a place right now, for better or for worse. You know, whatever our personal opinions are about that, it is just the state of the way the world is right now. So those of us listening are people who do appreciate science and find science to be something that's useful. And so I want to talk to you today in my New Year New Thoughts series about how one way that we can use science to really help us to take something that often is filled with, usually filled with a lot of drama, a lot of negativity, a lot of discouragement, a lot of sadness, a lot of beating ourselves up and just turn it into something that is so much more cut and dried by using science.

And so what I want to talk to you about is in my book, How to Lose Weight. For the last time, I want to talk to you about what's in chapter six. It's actually how we open chapter six. But before we get into that, as you know in this series, I've been also reading to you a testimonial a week from somebody who's left a review for the book on Amazon. And of course, I just want to ask you once again, if you have purchased the book, even if you've just flipped through it, you probably know enough about it to leave a review. My goal is to get 1000 reviews on Amazon and I would super appreciate it if you would just take a moment to go in there and leave a review. And so I just want to read one of them because I want you to know that I do actually read these. And so this one is from someone who gave their initials, M. B, the title is Game Changer.

I love this book and I love Katrina Ubel. I mean, that's a nice thing to hear always, she writes. Or he, but I'm guessing it's a sheep. I'm not a doctor, but a dear friend of mine is and told me about her podcast weight loss for busy physicians. I highly, highly recommend it. And this book is excellent in all caps. Based on how much I had gotten from her podcast, I was thrilled to hear she was sharing her insights in a book and I preordered it. I was not disappointed. It is so easy to read, and she gives such practical tools that make weight loss doable and sustainable while actually enjoying your life and then in all caps, highly recommend if you struggle with your weight. This book is a must. So, Amby, thank you so much for that review. Of course, if you haven't picked up a copy of the book yet, please go ahead and do that. You can pick it up at any major book retailer, even at your local bookseller. You can ask them to order it. If they don't have it in stock, you can go to your library and see if they have it. And of course, there is an audio book as well that I read. And now that my voice is feeling a lot better and I sound like myself again, you can get a sense of what me reading the audiobook would be like, so please go ahead and pick up a copy or go ahead and download that audiobook if you haven't done so, and then please leave a review on Amazon.

It really, really, really does help the book and getting this message out to the people who need it. So let's talk about chapter six. Today. We're going to be talking about literally three pages of this book, but they're so good and so important. And so the title of Chapter six is Measuring and Analyzing Your Results. Now, I just want to say that this is so important because what so many of us do is we have no process in place for measuring or analyzing our results. And so even if we've maybe taken measurements or we're just relying on the way our clothes fit or things like that, I mean, that gives you some information for sure. And I definitely don't want to take anything away from that. But for the most part, besides that, there's not a whole lot that we do to measure and analyze. Maybe we get on the scale, and so many of us have such a complicated relationship with the scale. Our thoughts about it, our beliefs about it are so complicated and generally so negative that that's not usually very helpful. If anything, that induces more dramatic thinking and more feeling bad about ourselves. So what I wanted to do was to offer you a way to take away that gray area, to take away the drama, to take away the highs and lows of the emotions, to just figure out what in the heck are you supposed to do? Is it working or is it not working? How do we know? And what do we do Regardless if it's working, what do we do if it's not working, what do we do? And so that's what I want to share with you, this very first part of this chapter, because, of course, there's multiple ways to measure and analyze your results.

But I want to talk to you about this today. I have not shared it with you before on this podcast. So let's get started. I'm going to read these three pages to you as well as give you all of my thoughts and additional information about it. So it starts off with, Do you remember learning the scientific method in high school? So are you going to stop? I sure do. Right. The scientific method. It's so good. Widely accepted as the best method to use in conducting scientific experiments. It's logical, incremental and uses objective evidence instead of emotions to make decisions. It teaches you to develop a hypothesis about a problem, collect data and analyze the results to find out if your hypothesis was accurate or not, or if more testing is needed. Right. So you could already see how it's so clearly laid out.

This is totally the way scientific experiments are run. We all agree with the scientific method. We know it works. There's not an argument about this, right? There's not really much up for discussion here. And so if we can utilize this in the work that we're doing with working to lose weight and keep it off permanently, imagine how much this is going to help us, right? What most of us do when we're trying to lose weight is find or create a weight loss plan, follow it for a little while, and then start to question or doubt or change it, even though nothing needs changing. We get in our heads about what we're doing, and before we know it, we've stopped following the plan and convinced ourselves it doesn't work, even though we never actually followed through with it in the first place. I mean, seriously, right? How many times have I done this? I'm sure you have as well. Right. We don't know if it's working or not. It's just, you know, we're kind of like bumbling around in the dark. Their arms outstretched. Is it working or not? I don't really know. And before we know it, our brains left unchecked, start telling us it's not working. They start changing things. We hear about our what our friend did and she is trying something new. And we think even if it's working, we think we need to change it because we don't actually know or we're following the plan.

We aren't getting results and we know we need to make some changes, but we don't know how, so we don't do anything. When this happens. We make the whole process of weight loss much slower and much more complicated than it has to be. So in an effort to save us from ourselves, I applied the scientific method to the process of losing weight. This is what you'll use to make decisions about whether or not to make changes to your protocol, which is your personal eating plan as you continue on your journey to reaching and then maintaining your ideal weight. Okay, so are you bought in? Do you see how this could be helpful? Right. It's working and all of a sudden you're not even doing what's working anymore and you don't know why. You just kind of like trailed off without even realizing it's like you fell asleep at the wheel and all of a sudden you're in some field somewhere. You don't even know how that happened or it's not working and you don't know what to do. So you either stop, you quit, you decide, this isn't working. It's not possible for you to lose weight. No, we need to do is to just go through the scientific method, go through this process. And I tell you, if you do this again and again and again, you make logical decisions that support you and your body until you get to where you want to go.

And then they help you to maintain while you're there as well. So I'm going to tell you all about each of the steps. There's five steps. So step one is define the experiment. The question you're answering is how to lose weight, a specific amount of weight over a specific time frame. So set your goal weight. It doesn't have to be your ultimate goal. If that feels overwhelming or unrealistic to you, it's fine to set incremental goals. Maybe your goal is to lose £10 in two months, or maybe it's to lose £65 this year. Now, I do just want to say I'm just going to back up here. As I've said before, there's so much I would have put in this book. It would have been ten times as long. Not possible. So I just want to add in here that it's possible that setting a goal weight isn't actually what you want to focus on. The thing about setting a number on the scale is that that's what a lot of people focus on. You know, they know they want to lose £15. And so, okay, let's get to work doing that. I definitely suggest that you choose something that is going to be, like I said, realistic, doable in a specific time frame. You know, if you have any idea of how your body usually responds to things, then maybe that can inform the decisions that you make.

But otherwise I would suggest setting yourself up for success. Maybe it's even just deciding I want to lose £3 this whole month, especially if you look at what you have coming up this month. Maybe you're going to be on service, you're going to be on call a lot, maybe you're going to be traveling. And this is not the time to go. I want to lose, you know, £7 or £8 this month. Right. You may be able to lose that. But is that really the best way that serves you the best? What we don't want to do is have you do a bunch of diet mentality stuff to lose £8, only to gain six of it back the next month. Right. What we want to make sure that we're doing is something that we can keep up with. So I would suggest that you choose something that is something that you're like, Yeah, I think I can really commit to this. This allows for me to have some mistakes, have things not always work out perfectly and still be able to have success. I think so often those of us who really struggle with perfectionism. Or overachieving are like, Well, if I'm going to do it, then I'm going to do it at my absolute best. Everything has to go perfectly. And then when we don't do it perfectly or, you know, here's the thing, our bodies are complex machines, right? Like we're not robots.

Sometimes we do all the things right and we still don't lose the weight because we're still sorting out what's best for our bodies. So we don't want to do all that and then interpret it as we're not doing a good job or we're failing or something like that. So I just want to say that there's different ways to approach this. And also, if you don't want to focus on weight at all completely, you don't have to focus on that at all. But what you could do instead is decide that you want to do something else like you want to over the course of a month plan and follow your plan for eating for 28 out of the 31 days or something like that. Right. Just set yourself up. You know, what I always say is like, we often are thinking about what the results are, but you can also really focus on all the things that get you those results. The way you get the results is doing all the things that get you the results right. So you could also focus on just doing those things, knowing that the results will come if you do those things right. So planning your food and following your plan, food, journaling, following your hunger scale, so many different things like that, right? Like there's there's lots of ways to approach this and it does not have to be way based.

You can do it with moving your body whatever you want it to be, but for the sake of the book and for the sake of what we were talking about, it made most sense there. So step two ask yourself questions. These are really, really important before you set off. So most of the time we don't even know the answers to these. Why do you want to achieve this goal? And so good to know, right? Why do we even want this? Do I even want this next? What do I need to do to achieve this? So important to understand that. What am I actually agreeing to doing? I want to achieve this. So what is it that I need to do? And then the next question is, am I willing to do what it takes? I mean, it's okay if you're honest, answer is no. So good to know. So often we set these goals for ourselves, but we're not really willing to do what it takes. And then we're all disappointed when we don't get the results and we think it means something negative about us. No, it means that you didn't really want to do it. So good to know. That's fine. You don't have to. The next question is, is this probable slash realistic? And that is also, again, what I was just talking about. You know, if you have a whole bunch going on, you have a bunch of events, you're going to you're going to be traveling whatever you're going to be having surgery or something.

I mean. Right. Let's be realistic and probable. What can I actually commit to doing? And that's actually the next question. Am I committed to achieving this very important that you're committed. If you're not committed, that's okay, too. But then don't set this goal, set a different goal that you can commit to. And then finally, very important, what are the obstacles and their solutions. So what is going to get in the way potentially that you can anticipate between where you are right now and where you want to be and what are the solutions to those obstacles? So often we bought up against these obstacles and then we think that means that we're not going to be able to achieve what we want to achieve. And that's not true at all. The obstacles What actually creates the stepping stones to help you to get to the place you want to go to get to that result you want as long as you find solutions. And so often we can already anticipate what a lot of the obstacles are. Maybe even all of them, but at least most, and come up with solutions in advance. And I usually suggest that you have more than one solution because maybe that first solution isn't the one.

Maybe that actually doesn't solve it. So come up with lots of options that you can try. You're laying it all out for yourself. So then all you have to do is just follow what you already, you know, did the heavy lifting, the heavy thinking on. You already know what to try. You can just go ahead and do it. So you want to answer all of these questions, make sure you're really, really clear. Then step three is construct your plan, your protocol. Again, that's what we call your personal eating plan. Your protocol is your hypothesis about how you will best lose weight. You've taken the knowledge you now have about weight loss and come up with a plan that you think will work for you. You've figured out what you will and won't eat. Now ask yourself, how will I set myself up for success? So some examples are plan ahead Journal to uncover potential obstacles and possible solutions and practice processing my emotions. I think this is so important. So often we don't set ourselves up for success. How often do we do this? Especially with New Year's resolutions? You know, right now everybody's talking about all the different resolutions. And, you know, after a couple of weeks, two thirds of people have already given up and all of these things. And, you know, statistics aside, I try to kind of ignore that stuff because it doesn't really matter to me what other people's experiences are.

I'm much more interested in how I can work with myself to get what I want. Right? And we look at what most people do well. Most people are operating from an unmanaged mind and they're not aware that their thoughts create their feelings. So that is, you know, good to know that that's how most people are approaching it. But in our case, we want to leverage the knowledge that we have and the resources that we have to create something different. So how will I set myself up for success? This is very, very important. How can you make it so that it's as good as done? And the next question What will I do when it gets hard? Some examples review my reasons for wanting to lose weight, reach out to a friend for support, take a couple of minutes in the bathroom or outside to recenter myself. This is also really important. We kind of forget that there's going to be times when you know that case that was supposed to take an hour and a half, took five and we didn't get to eat and we're so thirsty and we're feeling sorry for ourselves and our feet hurt and the surgeon's lounge is right there. And all we want to do is eat all the things and drink all the things. Right. What are we going to do when it gets hard like that? How are we going to support ourselves? The next question What will I do when I fail to follow my plan? And this is also really important.

We can assume that we will not always follow it. When we don't take that into consideration and we don't follow the plan. Then again, right, the drama. I knew it wasn't going to work. See, here's evidence that I can't do this. No. Here are some examples of what you could try. Compassionately ask myself why I didn't follow the plan and see if I need to make any changes work to make my daily plan as easy as possible. To follow. Journal To discover what's going on for me when I eat off plan. Here's the thing When you're eating off plan, it has nothing to do with the food. There's something else that's going on for you, and food is helping you to solve it. Okay, That's what I'm talking about here. So rather than going see, I failed, I'm never going to be able to figure it out. When you use this as a learning opportunity, then next time you can support yourself better so you can figure out what you actually need, which is if it is food, it's going to be something nourishing, not like whatever ho hos Twinkies. Or like the fake healthy food that they sometimes stock now that like is in fancy packaging that looks like very natural. But still when you look at the ingredients is basically a candy bar.

Right. Okay. The final question to ask yourself as you construct your plan, how will I manage slash, allow urges? And so what I mean by urges is when we have that impulse, that strong craving, when we just really want to eat or to do whatever it is that's in opposition to what we want to be doing. Right. So here are some examples. Plan for exception eats and exception meals remind myself that urges are temporary practice allowing and processing urges journal to discover what my thoughts are that are creating over desire for food. So important that I mean these are just examples, but so important for us to recognize that there's going to be times when what we really, really want is to eat or is to drink. We just want to drown our sorrows or fill our bellies up so we don't have to feel whatever it is we're feeling. So if we are open to thinking about how we're going to manage that, how we're going to allow it, how we're going to practice processing those urges, then we're that much further along when the urges show up and we know what we need to do. I mean, sometimes I like to joke like, you know, then in the moment my brain just likes to forget. So if that's the case, for you to write it down, put it in your phone, you know, take a picture of something written out so that you have it with you all the time.

If you prefer to write, you know, set yourself up so that you really can do this. So step four, now it's time to get to work. So step four, test out your plan. Follow your plan 100% for three weeks, no deviations. And so this is really important because sometimes we go for three or four days, we're like, It's not working. I need to change something. It is too early to know that it is too early. Even even at two weeks, it can be too early. Right? So I like to go three weeks. You made your plan, remember? You made it so that it's doable. You work through your obstacles and solutions. You know what you're going to do, how you're going to push yourself when it's hard. You have it all planned out. Now just go and do that for three weeks. You don't have to think for three weeks. There's no adjusting. There's no changes. At the end of three weeks is when we circle back to figure things out. When we change things all the time, then we don't know what's working and what's not working. Even if you're like, I don't think this is working, do it for the three weeks so that you have some actual data, some documentation. Okay, Now I really know I've done this enough and long enough and enough times that I actually have some information that can be useful in figuring out what to do next.

The final step is step five Evaluate your progress and draw conclusions. And so this is the time. Step five is when you go, okay, let me gather up all the data and actually synthesize this into something that's going to be useful. So here's what it says. Are you on track to meet your goal? Are you making good progress? If not, see if you can figure out why not reevaluate step three, which is constructing your plan and make any changes you think may be needed. And then follow the revised plan without exception for another three weeks. What worked? What didn't work? What can you do better and how will you improve? Repeat as many times as needed until you reach your goal. So you can see how this just chunks it all out into bite sized pieces. Pardon the reference, but it chunks it all out. It can be so overwhelming when you think of all these things. Like instead you could be like, okay, the next three weeks I've got vacation coming up. The next three weeks is really busy. I've got a family event. I'm going to be taking call for my partner and I've got this construction project going on at home. Okay, so what can I actually commit to doing? What do I think would be a great result that I'd be really happy with at the end of these three weeks? You can even think about it that way.

Three weeks at a time. These next three weeks, I'm going to do this and I'm going to keep doing it so I can learn. And then look the next three weeks from there. What can I take that worked, that I can learn from this and move forward with it for the next three weeks When you keep moving forward with that before you know it all of a sudden. You're at your goal, right? It's kind of like if you've ever you know, I mean, if you've known someone who's been pregnant or if you've ever been pregnant yourself, it's like nine months, feels like a really long time. And then you just chunk it out like month by month. And then before you know it, you're like, Oh my gosh. Wow. Nine months passed. I have this baby soon, right? There's lots of examples where we chunk things out, we break it down into little pieces and we keep learning and iterating and improving. And before we know it, we get there. When we look at the picture in a way that's too big, in a way that's too superficial or too big picture, then we're not able to really do the changes and really do the work that's required to make the progress that we want to see on that kind of day to day, week by week basis.

Except it's the day to day, week by week basis that gets us to where we want to be. So I know that this is going to be helpful to you. I was going to say, I hope it was helpful. I know it was helpful. If you're wondering what pages I was on, I was on pages 149 through 151. I highly recommend that if you picked up the book, you check this out and start applying it to your life. If you haven't picked up the book yet, go ahead and get it and just rinse and repeat this. Do it again and again and again and again. Make such a difference. So this is a lot of like the, you know, nuts and bolts work. And then there's the coaching part, right? Of course, we can't skip the part where you work on your brain, so don't forget about having coaching as also a support system as you're working through this. Of course, we have the weight loss for doctors only program, which is amazing and we have lots of data to show how well it works. But also if you're not eligible for that, if you're not a physician in clinical practice, then of course, you know, consider finding another coach who can help you with this because this work is really important. You might really want to consider finding a coach who's willing to read this book and then work through it all with you.

I mean, that's a reasonable thing to do if you're not able to work with me in my team in weight loss for doctors only. And of course, if you are able to work with that some weight loss practices, only then we want you in there. Let's do it together because it doesn't have to be so complicated somehow. We've lost the plot on how to do this. It's not that difficult when you keep your wits about you, and the scientific method of weight loss is a great way to do that. So with that, I want to wish you a great rest of your week. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm just going to give you a little teaser. Next week's episode is a big milestone. Super fun. Can't wait to talk to you about it and can't wait to have you join me. And of course, once again, please go ahead and leave that Amazon review. My goal is to get to 1000 reviews. We still got some more to go and I can't wait to see them start coming in. So thank you so much for your time and attention. I appreciate you so much. I can't wait to help you more with getting the peace and freedom around food that you so deserve. Talk to you next time. Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals for lots of free health. Go to Catrina, UBL, and click on Free Resources.