Healthy Eating for Weight Loss – 3 Success Tips to Thrive for Life

True Health Video Series – Part 1

We all desire to be healthy — to know that we’re honoring our bodies and living the vibrant, productive lives that empower us to make a positive difference in the world. Yet with almost 70% of Americans overweight or obese and chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes on the rise, it’s clear that we’re falling short of that ideal. So how do we bridge the gap? How can we be proactive in our health, lose weight in a way that honors our bodies, and pursue — and achieve! — “true health” in a realistic and permanent way? This video answers that question and gives you three practical strategies for eating healthy and staying on track to achieve all of your health and weight loss goals. Watch it, take action on the teaching points, leave a comment below with your “ah-ha” moments, and prepare to thrive for life!

Note: This is the first in a 3-part video series teaching all aspects of the Thrive for Life Triad and empowering you to achieve true health. To be alerted when the next videos in the series are released and to get our FREE eBook “5 Weeks to a Slimmer & Healthier YOU!” opt-in HERE:

If you prefer to read instead of watching videos, here’s a full transcript of this video. Enjoy!

I want to talk to you today about the foundational principles of optimal health. I know that sounds like a huge topic. And it is. But it’s also fundamentally important and something I believe we all desire, on some level — to know that we’re taking care of our bodies, performing at our best, enjoying the world around us and being able to do the things we want to do because we have the health and vibrancy to do them, and making sure that we’re going to be there for our kids and grandkids one day as well.

Hi, my name is Brett Ethridge, co-founder of Thrive Team, and this is a topic that I’m particularly passionate about after watching my mom battle breast cancer and my dad nearly lose his life at an early age to heart disease. Having grown up with asthma and allergies myself, I’ve devoted the last decade of my life to working for a leading health and nutrition company and studying how to create and preserve true health, in a natural and holistic way. You see, our bodies are incredible machines, and it’s amazing how if we give our bodies everything they need to perform the way God designed them, amazing things can happen.

Now I know that each of you watching this video is unique — you have your own unique health concerns and goals for what you want to achieve in terms of your health. The definition of true health for you may be different than it is for someone else. For me, it’s all about wanting to improve my athletic performance. This was me at the start of this year. Now I know I don’t look obese or anything, but I’m definitely carrying some extra weight and flab in this picture. And the funny thing is, I thought I was in shape! I had completed P90X just a few months before, and I was going to the gym regularly. But it just goes to show that exercise alone is not enough to constitute “optimal health.” It’s only one piece of the puzzle, as I’m going to show you shortly.

In fact, I’ll give you a sneak peak — here’s what I looked like just 90 days after fully implementing the principles I’m going to teach you in the rest of this video. But I know “true health” doesn’t just mean having a six-pack. For our client Tami Forth, it was about needing to lose some serious weight and no longer always sitting at the back of a room because she was self-conscious and hoping nobody would notice her. For Barbara Leach, it was about watching two of her siblings succumb to diabetes at an early age and not wanting to follow them down that path. For my brother Lane it was about looking good on the beaches of San Diego, his new home, and for Jenn Abbenhaus it was about being able to compete in adventure races and see muscles she had forgotten she had. Yes, we’re all unique.

But fundamentally, the same basic principles underly optimal health for all of us, and that’s what I’m going to teach you in this video. We call it the Thrive for Life Triad, and when you implement these three core areas of optimal health in a synergistic way, great results start to happen. You already saw my results. Here’s what happened for Tami Forth — she dropped 63 pounds in just 90 days! She says the best thing to come from it was that people started to notice her again. For Barbara Leach, she too was able to lose some weight to move away from disease, and she says she has more energy now than she had in her 30’s. My brother Lane feels comfortable with his shirt off on the beaches of California, and Jenn found those muscles she had lost under a layer of fat and is now helping clients of her own pursue their optimal health as a personal trainer.

So what is this Thrive for Life Triad that’s producing these amazing results? Let me show you. Essentially, we need harmony and balance in three core areas to put our bodies in the best position to fight disease and operate at their fullest potential. We’ve already talked about exercise. Your body can handle a lot of abuse for a certain amount of time, but one of the only things it can’t endure is lack of movement. In fact, I love this cartoon because I think it says it all. We’re all looking for a magic pill to lose weight or have more energy or whatever, but such a thing doesn’t exist. Getting out and getting some exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, which is what the doctor is telling this woman in this cartoon.

Now, you already saw my situation. I was exercising like crazy but still wasn’t getting the results I wanted. So what else is there? What was I missing? Well one of the things I was missing was the proper diet. Health eating is the second key component of the Thrive for Life Triad. It’s said that a six-pack is revealed in the kitchen and refined in the gym, and that was absolutely the case for me. In fact, in the rest of this video we’re going to take a closer look at this component and teach you how to eat for optimal health.

Now, as important as healthy eating is, it’s not enough. Our foods today simply don’t contain what they once did in terms of nutrition, and so we must supplement to fill the void. Proper supplementation, then, is the third component of our Thrive for Life Triad. Not only is it important to supplement to give your body what it needs that you can’t get from your food, but it’s also important to aid in things like weight loss, to fight the oxidative stress that comes from exercise, and overall prevent the chronic degenerative diseases that are so rampant in our society today. If you’re looking for true health, you must learn to supplement correctly, and we’ll take a closer look at this 3rd component of the Thrive for Life Triad in the next video in this series, so check your inbox for that.

Now just one more quick thing before we get very practical with some great healthy eating strategies for you in the rest of this video. Sometimes our clients are skeptical about the need to really work on each of these three areas. I eat well, so do I really need to supplement, they ask? Or, I exercise a ton, doesn’t that enable me to eat what I want? Or, I drink health shakes for breakfast, doesn’t that mean I can exercise less? Well, one of the doctors we work with who recommends this program to his patients told me once that he always sees great results when his patients start to implement these three components in unison, but as soon as he starts to see them back-sliding in any health indicators, he knows that they must have backed off in at least one of these areas. Each individually is super important for your health, but taken together, they have a synergistic impact.

So now, let’s turn our attention to the “Healthy Eating” part of the Thrive for Life Triad. There are really three foundational concepts you need to adopt when it comes to healthy eating. For some of you, what I’m about to each you is going to be new information. I’m going to give you key take-home points that will set you up for success, but if you want to dive even deeper, head over to for additional tips and resources. For others of you, you may have heard some of these concepts before, but for you it’s going to be about actually implementing them. Knowledge without action is useless, we always say. That’s the way it was for me. In January of this year, it’s not like I magically learned something new or starting eating some super fruit or something like that. No, I actually started taking action on what I already knew about healthy eating and supplementation! And that would be my challenge to you — not just to hear what I’m about to say, but to actually implement it in your own life. That’s what each of those individuals I showed you pictures of earlier did, and it made all the difference for them, as it can for you.

So without further ado, the first principle to live by when you’re thinking about what to put in your mouth at meal or snack time is: Avoid spiking your blood sugar. You may have heard of the Glycemic Index, but let me give you a short primer on it. Basically, every time you eat something your body goes to work converting it to sugar, especially the carbs. Why? Because your body runs on sugar, literally. In fact, your brain was designed to operate on a fairly narrow band of blood sugar. Now, some foods convert to sugar very quickly in the body (these are called high-glycemic foods), and some foods convert to sugar more slowly in the body (these are called low-glycemic foods). What happens for most people is that they eat something like cereal for breakfast or a muffin from Starbucks or a vending machine cup-cake or pasta for lunch, and it sends their blood sugar through the roof. Then their body has to go to work to neutralize all of this excess blood sugar, so it pumps out a hormone called insulin to deal with it, and it tries to drive that excess blood sugar into your muscle cells to be used as energy. But let me ask you this: How many of you go to the gym right after eating? Probably not many of you. Most of us go sit at a desk after eating! So we’re not using that blood sugar for energy, and what’s worse, there’s too much of it, so your insulin ends up driving most of it not into your muscle cells, but into your fat cells, which are all too eager to expand to fit it in. So what happens is you end up seeing that expanding waist-line.

But the other thing you see happening is that you end up feeling sluggish and tired pretty shortly after eating those high-glycemic foods, right? Why? Because now your blood sugar is plummeting! Your insulin is good at its job! And then what happens? Maybe you’re moody or irritable and you need more sugar, so you go to the vending machine and the cycle starts all over again. When we do this day after day, week after week, year after year, it’s no wonder that nearly 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. Over time, we can eventually become less resistant to our own insulin, called insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome, and that’s what eventually leads to diabetes. In fact, 1 in 3 kids born in America today is expected to develop type-2 diabetes.

So the moral of the story? If you’re looking to lose weight, or even if you’re just looking to maintain optimal health and have more energy and make sure you’re not damaging your body at meal time, avoid foods that spike your blood sugar. Instead, you want to be eating foods that keep your blood sugar rolling gently through this narrow band throughout the day. But that leads us to the next question: What foods spike our blood sugar?! In our comprehensive Thrive for Life Program, we go one-by-one through all of the food groups and break it down for you. But let me give you some general guidelines here. If it’s white? It’s probably high-glycemic. If it comes in a box or you can cook it in your microwave? It’s probably high-glycemic. If it contains lots of sugar or flour? It’s probably high-glycemic. In fact, here’s a short list of some of the most common foods you’ll want to avoid to keep your blood sugar in the moderate range during meal time.

And don’t be fooled, a lot of the foods that are marketed to us as health foods do in fact spike our blood sugar when we eat them and have the opposite result of what we want. Think about cereal, for example. Here you see fruit loops, with a GI score of 69. That’s high. In fact, anything over 55 you generally want to avoid. Okay, that’s not a surprise. We know fruit loops are loaded with sugar. But what about Special K? Certainly that’s a healthy breakfast choice, right? I mean the woman on the box looks so slim! But look at this: It has the exact same glycemic impact in your body as fruit loops! Now you’ll start to get the hang of it, but for an easy reference guide of the GI score of different foods, you can check out

And actually, this leads up to our second general guideline for healthy eating: Avoid High Human-Intervention foods. This simply means that you want to be eating foods that are as close as possible to their original form. And this basically means two things. First, you want to eat foods that haven’t been processed too much (or at all). When I’m teaching my clients how to shop at a grocery store, my advice is usually this: Stay to the perimeter, avoid the interior! Why? Because what have you noticed? Most of the fresh produce and meats are around the perimeter of the store, while all of the packed, processed, and canned stuff is on the shelves in the interior. Not a bad guideline. And the second reason this is important is because you can avoid unnecessary tampering of the food like added chemicals and preservatives. Take, for example, something as seemingly benign as “strawberry flavoring.” Maybe it’s in a yogurt you’re buying or a fruit smoothie or a pop-tart or whatever. Do you want to know what’s interesting? Take a look at this: There are 54+ chemical ingredients making up this one strawberry flavoring, not a single one of which comes from a strawberry! So the solution? Buy real strawberries! (organic if possible). When I’m making my meal replacement shake in the morning (an easy way to avoid spiking your blood sugar, by the way) and I want to add a little strawberry or banana flavor, I just blend in REAL strawberries or bananas. Problem solved — AND I get the additional nutritional benefit. So, avoid high human-intervention foods whenever possible.

And that brings us to our third and final guideline for healthy eating that we’re going to discuss in this video. Now, this one is more of a mindset than anything: Make sure you’re in control of your food, and not the other way around. What I mean by that is, are you able to actually make food decisions that serve your body? Or are you literally addicted to certain foods, like carbohydrates or sugars or soft drinks? The truth is that food is one of the most powerful drugs out there, and just like you can get addicted to cigarettes or alcohol, you can get addicted to certain foods as well. Remember that glycemic index diagram I drew earlier? Your body can literally crave sugar or other foods that meet its immediate, physiological need for blood sugar. That’s why when your blood sugar gets too low, it’s not always easy to choose a salmon salad for lunch. You literally NEED sugar, and you need it fast. So how do you know if you’re addicted? Try to give something up that you know doesn’t serve you. Give up soda or potato chips or Snickers or pasta or sandwiches or whatever it is for a week. Go ahead, try it. If you can’t, then your food controls you, not the other way around, and that’s not a good thing.

The good news is that you can break the cycle, break the cravings, and get your blood sugar stabilized again. In fact, we have a great 5-day detox program that helps you do just that, and that why we always start our Thrive for Life clients with a healthy detox — to help them break these cravings at a deep, cellular level.

In fact, if you find that you are addicted to certain foods, leave that comment in the “comments” area below and we’ll help you out with that. Better yet, as we wrap things up, we’d like to hear from you. First, go ahead and “like” this video. Everyone likes to get those likes! And then leave a comment in the “comments” area below. Answer this question: What one thing do you think is most holding you back from having the “optimal health” you desire? Or, if you’d prefer, write one thing that you learned in this video that you didn’t know before that will empower you to take your health to the next level. Remember, true health is possible for all of us. It just requires taking action on the things we know that work. So implement what you just learned about Healthy Eating here and then check your inbox for the next video in our “True Health” series where we’ll take a closer look at nutritional supplementation and how you can use it to lose weight, fight disease, and THRIVE for Live!

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