The Centers for Disease Control said two-thirds of Americans are obese or overweight, and so many people struggle to eat healthy when they are pressed for time and not able to cook every night.
Founders of the film company AVAIYA and creators of films such as “Leap!” “A Course in Miracles The Movie,” “The Gratitude Effect,” and “MPower: Empowering Women in Business and Beyond,” iKE Allen and Ande Anderson decided to tackle this epidemic with their new documentary film, “Super Shrink ME.”
Many people remember the 2004 film “Super Size Me,” where one man decided to eat all his meals at McDonald’s for 30 days to show the negative effects on physical and psychological wellbeing, and how the fast food industry encourages poor nutrition for profit.
So Allen decided to go on a 30-day adventure to prove that by taking personal responsibility for our choices, we can eat at fast casual and fast food restaurants (he had two meals a day there for 30 days), make healthy choices and actually lose weight — and he and Ande, who is a registered dietician, documented the journey in their new film.
“We live in a very busy, hectic world today and most American’s and most people around the world eat out several times a week, and we are gaining weight every year,” Anderson told Elevated Existence Founder, Tammy Mastroberte, in a live call as part of the Living an Elevated Existence Mind, Body & Soul Summit. “Super Shirnk ME really meets the average person where they are at in their daily lifestyle. You don’t need to give up your favorite foods at your favorite restaurants.”
Anderson pointed out that many fast food and fast casual changes are modifying their menus with healthier options, such as Jack in the Box, who added a whole wheat pita sandwich. Also, Chipotle Mexican Grill now offers brown rice and whole wheat tortillas, and McDonald’s reduced their sodium content across the entire chain by 12 percent.
“On of the big goals of the film was to educate the average person on why one choice on the menu is better then the other, and in the film we call it, ‘Why choose this?’” Anderson said, explaining chains with more than 20 locations will be required by law to list the calorie counts in the menus starting in 2014.
In the film, viewers see Allen at his computer planning out meals each day by viewing a chain’s website to pick out the healthiest options, as many offer nutritional information and ingredients online.
“The reason was to actually know ahead of time — to educate myself and get the difference that between the deep fried sandwich and the grilled chicken sandwich could be 350 calories just because it’s deep fried and breaded,” he said on the call. ”Even if I didn’t get exactly what I thought when I walked in, my awareness was expanding, and I know the fried options are off the menu so maybe I would get the grilled chicken or the grilled fish sandwich. It was shifting the way I thought about food.”
Allen explained the enlightenment or spiritual world is all about awareness, and this film — along with his journey in it — was about the awareness of food. “The more aware I was of healthy choices when I walked in the door, then I wasn’t choosing based on what looked good, I was choosing based on what was going to make me lose weight, and what was going to make me feel better about myself,” she said.
At the end of the 30 days, Allen lost 12 pounds, and said he went on to lose even more after filming was over. He is back in his size 32 jeans, which is the size he was in high school more than 20 years ago.
In addition to changing his menu options at his favorite fast food and fast casual restaurants, Allen also incorporated physical activity into his day, but he didn’t join a gym or do anything extreme. He almost didn’t know he was exercising!
“I don’t own a gym membership. I do things that are practical and the amazing thing is I just do more of the things that are practical,” he shared. “For example, I’ll park at the back of the parking lot. Ande is a big one for taking he stairs instead of escalators and elevators. It’s adding in all these things. We have created this world of ease and a lot of it takes away exercise. When you push the button to turn the motorized window down, believe it or not when you were cranking the window to take it down in the old days, you were burning calories. Ande showed me how to add a lot of little things that burn calories.”
Those little exercises add up over time, said Anderson. When you add up the calories burned over a year, people are often surprised at how much weight they could lose.
“Take a person who walks for 20 minutes after dinner every day,” Anderson said. “At about 4 miles an hour, they are burning about 120 calories or so. And if they did that every single day for year, they would actually burn enough calories to lose 12 pounds in a year, even if they didn’t change anything else.”
Another tip she shared in the film, and on the call, is the importance of eating breakfast. So many people skip breakfast because they think they don’t have time, or they think that it will help them decrease their overall calories for the day, but this is actually making weight loss harder, according to Anderson.
“What people don’t realize is, you actually wake up in the morning and your body is in starvation mode. They don’t call it ‘break fast’ for nothing. You get up in the morning to ‘break your fast’ so that you are feeding your body as soon as possible to wake your metabolism up for the day,” she said. “If somebody waits to eat their first meal of the day, their body is going to hold on to those calories and turn them into fat much more efficiently then if they had eaten breakfast first thing in the morning.”
We should think of our metabolism as a fire, she said. If you keep adding fuel to it, the fire will burn longer and stronger. Our bodies are the same. The more often we add fuel or food, the stronger the metabolism is going to be. Anderson added smoothies to Allen’s routine everyday, ranging from 150 to 350 calories each day.
She also shared tips on the call for on-the-go snacks, such as Justin’s Nut Butter pouches. They are easy to take on the go and are offered in peanut butter, almond butter and hazelnut butter.
“It’s a great protein and offers healthy fats. You can take a piece of fruit and add the nut butter to it, or take a little container of hummus with carrot sticks, raw vegetables or low-calorie crackers on the go with you,” she said.
Additionally, Allen — who worked in the restaurant industry training companies and employees how to sell more food and drinks — offered some insider tips on how chains get you to actually buy and consume more. For example, at most quick service restaurants, if you ask for a drink, they automatically grab the large or medium size cup, and often keep the small cups in the back of them, while the larger sizes are next to the register, he said.
To watch the film Super Shrink ME for FREE, visit www.SuperShrink.ME.
Ande and Ike also put together an amazing special offer package for those who are looking for practical, easy guidance on weight loss and more. View and purchase that package here.