Team of Friends

Team Of Friends
The Team of Friends Culture.

Members of a team or group following common goals and sharing achievements, live longer happier lives than those living alone. We know a key to extending our lives is to improve our lifestyle especially if we are also overweight. We must eat healthier and add more exercise and activity. Life experience has proven that a group culture is supportive of this and will encourage us to adopt and then keep to our new improved ways of living.

(Over time we usually become what our 4 or 5 closest family and friends are.)

We believe the importance of having a “team of friends” in our MTP groups cannot be overstated. It is critical to the success of each and every team and the success of the program. MTP is as much a way of life and social and networking enterprise as it is an exercise class.

Most fitness programs don’t give much attention to this “team culture”. They are usually based on one on one, trainer to client, personal trainer model or are group classes with many solo people interacting with the trainer. MTP is about interacting with each other and working as a team guided by the trainer. Everyone helps each other to boost attendance, to energize the classes, empower the talks , be successful at the weekly homeworks , keep at it , and to support success of all.

We need to experience the value of sharing the life rewards, and the achievement felt within a team as one by one we hit our life change goals. For those overweight it is visible and unmistakable. Smiles are hard to hide.

The influence that each of us as individuals have on our team, healthy or even at times toxic, is important in overall “team’s success” but at the same time the team’s success has significant effect on the success of its individual members. We all probably have been members of downer groups, ones that permeate negativity, unhealthy competition, and conflict. It sure doesn’t feel good and it can interfere with reaching our personal intentions.

Everyone including the coach, will have a big impact on how your group gets along, functions, and performs. It effects if your team’s membership grows and the group lasts or if the membership declines and the group falls apart. We must all try and create new norms of what we all need to do to support building our team. Each one of us must try a relationship to our MTP community more representative of a religious group than a sports team when it comes to adding members to keep a local group healthy and prosperous.

The MTP team culture must energize a positive atmosphere that permeates every aspect of our MTP experience. We can make it whatever we want it to be. In the end an MTP groups culture will be an expression of our values, attitudes, and beliefs about life.

MTP management try to ensure the focus is on fun, improvement, and change to promote and support each other to accomplish success. Our culture is grounded in an identified sense of mission and shared goals. We are all seeking and needing life change and are willing to work with everyone else in the MTP team for the common good. This must be our culture.

MTP must be also be relaxed and never intense, light-hearted, with only friendly competition, all-inclusive and supportive.

These support happiness. All support improved longevity.

Everyone on a team will with time understand and feel that its in their own and the whole teams interest to feel some implicit pressure (in the good sense) to support the MTP culture.


Summing it Up

Each MTPs team will adopt the Team of Friend’s culture to some extent as an expression of its individual members. This “organic” approach will hopefully lead to all team members feeling a sense of ownership. Members will create their own team’s version of it. There is always a risk that this Team of Friends Culture will not be adopted by some teams. These teams I am afraid will not last.We know from years of experience a team needs a minimum of 10 and 20 is a better number.

Through good coach mentorship and leadership and open discussion within your team, of the values, attitudes, and beliefs that you all want to introduce as your groups foundation, your flavor of the “team of friends” culture will emerge.

All team members are encouraged to discuss openly what you feel is important to the  atmosphere you want to create, what your expectations are, and the ways in which your team will best communicate socially.

This collaborative approach will produce a sense of ownership of your MTP teams culture. As a result, you are more likely to live by it, stay with it , change your life, and succeed by it.

Homework (Coaches included)

  • What values do you want to act as the foundation for your team’s culture?
  • What attitudes and beliefs do you want to hold?
  • What are the goals that the team wants to pursue?
  • How do your team want to treat each other?
  • What kind of atmosphere do you want in your team ?
Use the blog comments area or Facebook to discuss this week.
Posting the positive benefits of MTP on your personal facebook pages will help build your MTP Team.



Low Glycemic Index

Low Glycemic Index Foods

We talk a lot about changing to a healthier diet, making better choices  and eating more vegetables.  Change we know is hard, especially when we have developed the habit of eating certain foods that are not healthy choices.  I know that I should eat more vegetables and higher grain content bread, but I am not really sure why ? What is the benefit?  The benefit is that these foods have lower “Glycemic Index” values meaning they break down more slowly in your digestive system. This reduces the size of glucose spikes and allows time for your body to burn the fuel and not store as much as fat. It also keeps your stomach full longer before emptying and reduces hunger before you next meal.Read more



You cannot survive without water. It is essential to replace water lost from regular body functions like sweating, breathing and urine production.  It is essential that these fluid losses are replaced to prevent dehydration. Water losses are higher in hot climates and when strenuous work or exercise causes the body to sweat more than normal. Keeping muscles tissues hydrated assists in exercise performance.   If you exercise you burn calories which is of benefit.  It is a good idea when exercising to drink during exercise to avoid dehydration after the exercise is over.

The brain recognizes when your body fluid is low through signals from your kidneys.  The brain signals a thirst reaction which prompts you to drink fluids.  Water is the ideal fluid for re-hydrating the body since it is calorie free.   Drinking alcohol in these instances is not recommended as it interferes with the brain /kidney communication and causes excess fluid secretion which leads to dehydration.  Therefore, when you are thirsty drink water and avoid drinking alcohol especially in hot climates in the middle of the day.

Drinking water for weight loss has no effect unless it is replacing calorie filled drinks with no calorie water. There are no significant benefits to drinking excessive amounts of water.  There are however benefits in eating foods higher in water content such as fruits and vegetables which are higher in fiber and take longer to digest.  Drinking large amounts of water alone does not promote weight loss.  Drinking a glass of water can suppress appetite. Drinking water before a meal fills the stomach and reduces the effect of ghrelin, however if drinking too much water it helps empty the stomach faster resulting in you wanting to eat the next meal sooner. The volume of water drunk before meals should be limited to a cup full for the best effect.

Body hydration signals:

The kidneys react through production of urine once your body is adequately hydrated, so if you are drinking lots of water and subsequently going to the bathroom a lot your body is indicating that you are fully hydrated, and you do not need to keep drinking more water. Your urine will be concentrated, dark in color and have strong odor if you are not drinking enough water.

Adequate hydration is also important for your gastrointestinal tract to prevent constipation. When you do not have enough water, the colon pulls water from the stool.

Drink water whenever you feel thirsty, you do not need to drink excessive amounts of water unless you are exercising to extremes.  Listen to your body signals and enjoy life.


Use a water bottle when exercising including walking.

Eliminate sweetened drinks, only drink water to save unnecessary calories

Triggers and Food Cravings


Food Cravings are not as a result of hunger, hunger is a physical sensation felt in the body. Hunger represents the physiological need to eat food. The sensation of hunger is felt after only a few hours without eating and is unpleasant.  (e.g. stomach cramps, headache from low blood sugar). It is the body’s mechanism to signal a need to increase blood sugar levels for efficient functioning of the body.

A food craving is an intense desire to consume a specific food whether we are hungry or not. We don’t really need the specific food we crave but we do remember really liking it. Cravings and over-eating on those foods aren’t instinctive or natural. They are learned behaviors, habits shaped over time, through the intricate mechanisms of habit formation. Eating and snacking on craved foods provide both relaxing physical and oral body sensations and feelings that give comfort.

Repeatedly experiencing and feeling the pleasurable short term and immediate results of eating foods, high in sugars and fats, which trigger dopamine highs in our brain pleasure centers, imprints these pleasurable feelings deep into our memory cells and later can affect us just as strongly and similarly to the addiction results of cigarettes and opioids, when our food craving is triggered.
Even when we know and manage to tell ourselves we do not need some food item, and after we have replaced it for days or weeks, simply seeing pizza or an old favorite sugar drink can suddenly and unexpectedly pull up memory of the pleasurable result years afterwards.
It is even worse for food than other addictions as we cannot use total abstinence and totally remove food from our lives following the methods of AA type approaches.

We need to use every method available to us to achieve the life change we are looking for and resist craved foods. Try and find an instant response, an alternate food or snack, an action that overcomes and replaces the craving thought in our brain. There is no one size fits all but over coming food addictions by pursuing a common healthier lifestyle resisting them especially reinforced by a peer group of family and friends has been proven a very effective route.

Most of us can list our top ten craved foods, perhaps one is in this list, chocolate, potato chips, cookies, ice cream, cake, alcohol, candy, pizza, bacon and pop.   What do they all have in common?  They quickly produce a high fat and/or glucose spike in our blood streams.  The action of eating these foods can totally derail our weight loss success.  The key is to try and understand what the triggers are that cause us to crave certain foods and then find a strategy to avoid the triggers.

TV ,online and magazine advertising is used by food companies to get us addicted to their foods and drinks. Repeatedly watching their adverts on TV results in purchasing and consuming these products that we do not need.

Let’s get into the habit of having healthy low calorie snack foods and water available to replace the high fat and high sugar foods and drinks we usually crave.

Food Cravings triggers can be categorized into four types.

  • A Pattern – a place, a thing, a time of day can be linked to the pleasurable feeling and can stimulate the craving. W must think about what we are doing when we are eating one of our craved foods-, what is or was our trigger?
  • Social environment– a group of friends or an associated activity can lead to repeating the craved response . Lets think about our social group, does being with them cause us to over indulge in a craved food.
  • Emotional –self medication for sadness or anxiety. Do we eat a certain food when we are sad lonely or frustrated.
  • Withdrawal- allowing our body to get too low on sugar.The first impulse can be to go to the high sugar foods of candy or chips to get that instant reward.

The only way to address food ravings is to avoid the trigger or to find that replacement food or action that works for us and eventually leads to a more acceptable habit.


Identify the foods you regularly crave and eliminate one from your home and from your shopping list each week.

Develop a replacement activity for each food cravings or situation that is associated with each trigger or craved food.

Find lower calorie substitutes and go too foods and drinks for each food or drink yoru crave. You may find you need a different substitute for each one.

Exercise like go for a walk immediately after dinner to stave off sweet desert cravings, leaving the room or exercising during commercial breaks on TV can works for many people to eliminate the T.V. snacking. Only you will find what works for you.

My wife does not like it that I myself use pickled onions as my go to substitute for many things.I can crave them as they are such a low calorie snack.


Changing Your Shopping Habits.

Mission Thin Possible is a program coaching the adoption of permanent life change slowly, one small step at a time. This applies to our food shopping as much as anything else. We need to replace bad shopping habits with good shopping habits. If you never have your poor choice snacks and other high calorie foods in your home, you are more likely to eat a healthier option.Read more

Daily Weighing

Daily Weighing


Why are so many seeking weight loss terrified of the scale? Easy answer. No one likes bad news . It is almost certain that on some days, our standing on the scale will be showing weight gain and not weight loss. The reaction can be instant depression, a panic attack , feelings of failure , extreme upset, or any and all of these. No wonder weighings can trigger the search for comfort in food if it has been our remedy for all things challenging our comfort zone.


In MTP we coach everyone to find their own solution of choice for most things. Daily weighing however is one of the few exceptions where MTP take a strict and rigid position.


We must be aware of how our own bodies are developing with respect to bodyweight. The only real way to do that is daily weighing. Self responsibility is required to be mastered.
Our weighing scale weight fluctuates up and down over the course of a day far more than our “True Weight”.

True Weight = Weighing Scale Weight – Fluids, Food and Food Waste

The amount of fluids , food and and waste matter in our system can vary several pounds over a 24 hour period depending on what we have been consuming, what we have been passing out and what we have been burning to support our body functions and during exercise and activity.

The most reliable time for weighing is normally first thing on a morning after we have relieved ourselves, preferably wearing the same clothes each weigh in. (After a shower with hair dried is the ideal.) This will give the minimum of fluctuation. After a couple of weeks we will see what is really happening. Reviewing weight fluctuations at the same time as looking at our food diary will soon show what if anything is challenging our weight loss. Once we know what that is, it is just a matter of making an adjustment.

Life Change

As we change our habits towards our new “changed lifestyle” we will see how each change has improved or degraded our weight loss. It is seeing the positive effects continuously step by step that provides the most motivation and encouragement. This is in contrast to the opposite view that supports fear of weigh scales by preaching numbers don’t matter. They do! It is true however that life change is all about habit modification, not numbers.

Additional Weighing

Taking some weighings before and after exercise sessions, meals, and other significant events during a day are useful to show us what the immediate effects of these activities are.
Comparing the effect of these activities with the daily loss rate we are trying to achieve, 0.1-1lb a week, will quickly show why daily morning weighing is so useful and important.


Having a weight loss buddy to share and discuss the results we are achieving is highly beneficial to help us overcome any shyness about what our weight is and what our level of achievement is. Accepting we are overweight but at the same time advertising we are doing something about it is all positive.

Experts View

The self-monitoring strategy of daily self-weighing improves weight loss and adoption of weight control behaviors. It allows for better self-regulation of body weight as small changes in body weight can be identified on a daily basis and changes in diet and exercise behaviors initiated as a result.


If you have not already adopted daily weighing you need to start now.

Reduce food intake until a steady weight loss is achieved.

If you find you are in a plateau and staying steady,reduce food intake by a little more and then hold your food quantity the same for a few days.You should find you will see a steady weight loss.

Review your results after 1 week with your coach.

Lets Party

Party Time
It Is the Party Season?

So here we are here again. It’s the party season. It is a time to enjoy and that means eating more than we normally would. But how can we enjoy it if we are thinking of how much extra weight we are going to gain at every party? We need to keep our minds upbeat and festive and avoid thinking “this is not good”? Fun and a parties keep us young and help us live longer !

Balance is the key as always. We have started to live our “changed life” .This, we should be finding, has not been that hard. To party with a smaller plate or a plate that is not piled high in one hand and not holding a full wine glass in the other makes it easier. This keeps food under moderate control especially when we are eating standing up.
Standing up instead of sitting to eat at a party works a treat. That is as long as we are not standing next to and in arms reach of the goodies, the favorite place for grazing.

Always hit a party with one thing in mind. We have arrived to have fun. It is the season to be merry. Being merry on occasion is just as important if not more so than keeping calories down when it comes to longevity.
Building some “partying room “ in advance by reduction in our food intake, or adding extra exercise prior is a good stategy. Nothing is worse than being miserable not enjoying ourselves when we are out.

Read more


Change the look of your plate

An effective way to reduce our food calorific intake is to reduce fats in our diet.

Life style change starts with small steps. The standard American diet is one rich in red meat, dairy products, processed and artificially processed sweetened foods, fats and salt..

It is time to turn this around and make the change to a diet high in vegetables, fruit, lower fat content protein sources like fish and chicken, and to introduce more whole grains. We do not need to add extra oil or fat to our diet. Most diets have sufficient fat without having to add extra. Fat is contained in dairy, chicken, fish, nuts and vegetables like avocados.

Last week we encouraged the move from a full- size dinner plate to a smaller 9” salad plate size.  This helps put smaller portions on your plate and to reduce food intake.

The next step is to look at your plate and make small changes to what is on it.

Divide your plate into 4 quarters.  2 quarters or a half of it should be filled with vegetables.  Quick, convenient and simple – use frozen vegetables that just need reheating or chopped salad that you have already prepared in advance. Use fresh cut vegetable sticks like carrot, celery and peppers.   This leaves ½ the plate for protein and carbs combined.

Read more

Taking The Hunger Out Of Weight Loss

60% of the developed world adult population are overweight. 98% of people attempting weight loss take it too fast and so fail to lose weight permanently due to triggering their body’s famine response. Reducing food intake to just below that needed to satisfy your bodies energy demands while keeping your hunger forces, as driven by Ghrelin and Leptin hormones, manageable is the key. Mission Thin Possible have a unique approach to this which is based on the latest medical research that is critical for permanent weight loss success.Read more

Methods For Change

Pre-emptive Action and Feed Forward Thinking

Methods for Change

As we age and slow down, we need to eat a little less to protect us from weight gain. That can be a challenge for many of us. We are a creature of habit and find change hard.Read more