October 13, 2021

Fear No Food: Dr. Noel Abood, Dan LeMoine

It’s the holy grail of health and wellness, a weight loss program based in science and technology that helps remove the guesswork from getting, staying, healthy forever. Struggling with weight gain takes a toll on physical health but the emotional stress and the internal conflict it creates are discussed less often. Can I really lose the weight? Do I have the willpower?

In Fear No Food, Dr. Noel Abood and Dan LeMoine introduce you to Re:vitalize, a weight loss plan that identifies your nutritional needs, fixes your metabolism and helps you maintain a healthier lifestyle. Take the first step towards better health with this blueprint for long-term success and key to personal empowerment.

This is Author Hour, I’m your host, Benji Block. I’m glad today to be joined by Dan LeMoine and Dr. Noel Abood. They have just authored a new book titled, Fear No Food: The Last Weight Loss Program You’ll Ever Need. Welcome to the show guys.

Dan LeMoine: Thank you.

Dr. Noel Abood: Thanks.

Benji Block: Let’s start here for listeners who may be brand-new to both of you and your work. Can you give us a little bit of context, talk about yourselves and the evolution of this book?

Dan LeMoine: Doc and I have a weight loss clinic here in Phoenix, also in Ohio, and expanding to other regions. As we’ve coached in, brought at this point, thousands of folks kind of threw their weight loss and wellness journey, we felt like how do we get our program to more people— or at least, the principles and the pillars of our program to everybody and accessible to everybody who may not be in Arizona or Ohio or some of these other areas that we have clinics.

That was kind of the genesis of hey, maybe there’s a way to capture a lot of the nuts and bolts and the principles of our program in a book form.

Benji Block: What prompted you guys to want to write and release this book right now?

Dr. Noel Abood: I think there’s just such an overwhelming need for logical, able-to-be proven techniques to lose weight— but not just lose weight but to heal your body. The statistics are overwhelming as to how many people are obese. Two-thirds of the population in the United States are either overweight or obese at this point and it just— there’s no real answers right now and we felt like putting a book together, we can kind of break it down and give simple techniques that make it achievable for everyone.

Dan LeMoine: Benji, I mean, frankly, there was a study that just came out about the COVID impact on weight and the average weight gain is 29 pounds over the last 18 months. So, when we started writing this, we had no idea that this international pandemic was going to hit us. It’s been terrible in so many ways and one of those ways is just the waistline as well. It’s good timing— I guess if you can put it that way— that it’s coming out and as people are getting back to some semblance of normal and starting to recalibrate on how do I get healthy and get this weight off.

For Long Lasting Results, You Have To Restructure Your Metabolism and Habitual Pillars

Benji Block: Yeah, the timing seems great for a resource like this, real practical as well. When you’re sitting down to work on a project, who is the ideal reader, who are you imagining picking up this book, and who are you writing to?

Dr. Noel Abood: We want to reach those people, any age group really. It’s those people that are interested, not just in a quick fix to lose weight, but a way to really heal and repair their metabolism. That’s our audience primarily.

Dan LeMoine: We want to be really unique with our program— and we can get into this in a little bit but— why is it that every diet that’s out there is a one-size-fits-all? Because don’t you think that needs of a 64-year-old menopausal woman are different than an 18-year-old triathlete? That’s what our technology is going to help us identify because one of the impetus of writing the book is let’s find a way to get this to people. They’re really looking to heal their metabolism.

Benji Block: Let’s actually talk about that because even each of you have your own unique health and nutrition journey. Dan, maybe start with you. What launched your health and nutrition journey? I’d love to hear both of your stories.

Dan LeMoine: My health and nutrition journey is rooted in a lot of athletics throughout my life and then also seeing some family members who I’m very close with struggle and wrestle with their weight, yoyo-ing throughout my life, losing mass amounts of weight, doing crash diets or fat diets only to regain it. I think from even an early age, just knowing that hey, what I put in my body dictates how I can perform on the athletic field, it dictates how I look, how I recover, and how I feel. So, it’s always been a central piece of my general life and approach to how I live.

I think for me, what really was impactful was actually seeing my mom go through this program, and for the first time, for as long as I can remember, she was able to lose weight effectively and has been able to keep it off over the long haul. There’s been some moments where she’s had to recalibrate, which we all do.

Having seen a past where she’s yoyo-ed or done different things is really powerful for me. To not only see her lose the weight but to keep it off and to see what her metabolic age was after she was done and how her metabolism had improved. That was probably the biggest thing for me and the most impactful thing for me to see. That really got me into this.

Benji Block: Did I read it right? That her metabolic age dropped to her mid-30s when she was, in reality, 55?

Dan LeMoine: Yeah, I believe that it was in her upper 30s and I think right now— she’d kill me for telling this— but she’s in her 60s and she’s – her metabolic age, I believe, is in the 40s. What that tells us is that her body can enjoy food, fear no food, within reason, keep that weight off and she has the tools to recalibrate if ever she gets a little bit undisciplined. That’s our hope for all of our clients really.

Benji Block: Dr. Noel, what was your start and your interest in health and nutrition? What’s that journey been like in the development of this program?

Dr. Noel Abood: It’s really personal for me. When I was 49 years old, I had a heart attack and it was on the tennis court, it was crazy. It was one of those experiences where you’re being wheeled into the operating room, you know? My wife is there to see me off, it wasn’t like I was surprised because I knew that I had triglyceride levels that were way too high but I tried to fix them on my own. I tried exercise, I tried to diet, I tried nutrition but nothing would bring them down. So eventually, I did what most people do and say, Well, forget it. I’ll just get on with my life.

Then, this heart attack came about and it just threw me for a loop. I took a month off, we went to Florida and just read and relaxed and healed and I tried different things. I tried running marathons and becoming a vegan, becoming a vegetarian, but nothing really worked. I could lose seven or eight pounds but then as soon as I would eat something regular, I would just gain the weight back. 

It wasn’t until I ran into an old colleague of mine and he said, “Try this program, it’s using some new technology to help identify what are the key factors that my body needs to lose weight” and I said, what the heck, I’ll try it. I did it and I lost weight, 20 pounds as a matter of fact in 20 days.

My triglyceride levels over three months period of time dropped down to the normal limit and it was overwhelming. I just figured I need to do this because being a doctor, I’ve seen so many of my patients have back pain and hip pain, and we’ve done everything we could but it persist and I just know that if they took the weight off, all these problems would be gone. 

In fact, the research says, 80% of health issues are due to diets. There’s such a need for what we’re doing right now. We had to sit down and Dan and I collaborated on this book, we collaborated on our practice together— how do we make this doable for each person? It [was] really fun to work with Dan, being much younger than I am. I have a different viewpoint as the tactics that we want to use is to reach people.

The thing that I love is that we’re both on the same page when it comes to customer service or client service. We’re really high on that and we feel like we have to make this a program that is very high touch, you know? The tactics that we use are really great because there are things that I’m not so familiar with [that] Dan brought to the table.

Benji Block: There’s going to be people listening and they’ve tried a diet— they’ve seen maybe some level of success and then over time— the weight comes back. Talk to me about the need for lifestyle change beyond just high effort for a short period of time. Why does losing weight become so hard to keep off?

Dan LeMoine: Yeah, I think that is who we’re talking to with the book and with our program, our folks who are like “I put in the work and it seems like my body wants to resist me,” or “ever since—” there’s a section in the book, it’s fill in the blanks— “that second kiddo or I hit menopause or that divorce or that car accident when I had to have back surgery… Something’s changed. What used to work doesn’t work anymore, I can’t just give up beer and pizza for the weekend and I’m down five, six pounds by Monday. It seems like the body’s resisting me.”

Our approach and the structure of our program in this book is really outlined. First off, we’ve got to get to the core issues of fixing the metabolism. That’s something we can quantify and that’s something that we could address with food and micronutrients, things like that.

The second thing is really giving you the roadmap to knowing what are the optimal foods for your body or what works really well for you. [This gives] you a blueprint or a roadmap that you can fall back on after the holidays when you’ve overindulged a little bit or you do wake up, you after the Super Bowl and you’re like, “Oh woah, those chicken wings and beers maybe hitting me a little bit.”

You don’t have to freak out. You don’t have to spiral out of control; you’ve got a blueprint that’s bespoke to you or that you know has worked well for you that you can just loop back into for a few days to bring that weight back down because the metabolism is starting to heal itself or it’s fixed that your body will respond.

Then the third thing— that maybe you wouldn’t get in the book but we point you in the right direction on how to get this is just accountability and having somebody there to look you in the eye, help coach you along the way. Those are big pieces that if we can retool the metabolism, retool your pillar habits, that you can always fall back on, that’s more than half the battle. Then, if you have somebody there to keep you accountable, or if you’re self-disciplined enough to keep yourself accountable and recorrect as needed, it does stay off over the long haul. Doc, you can talk a little bit more about the weight set point theory that we mentioned in the book, which is another way that we try to ensure long-term results.

Dr. Noel Abood: It’s interesting. When I go to the gym or I’m driving around, I see people running, exercising. I see, in fact, there’s one woman I’m thinking of at the gym— she’s always on the bicycle for an hour and I don’t have that kind of discipline that she has— but it’s so sad because she never loses weight. She’s the same size, she’s pretty heavy. It’s not because she’s lazy— and as Americans, we’re not lazy people. Just, we’re not using the right strategies to take the weight off and that’s what we want to help people with. 

By healing your metabolism, we want to create a new set point because remember what it’s like— you could pretty much eat whatever you want, you stay close to the same weight. It’s almost like a thermostat. We want to lower that thermostat by 10, 15, 20 or 30 pounds so that you can eat [and have] a normal life. The title of our book is Fear No Food because we feel so strongly [about it], we want to be able to enjoy food, you know?

It’s funny, Dan was just sharing this with me the other day, he was with some friends— and I’ve had the same experiences where we’re with friends and they start eating a donut or ice cream and they look at us and apologize. It’s like, I don’t care, I wish you would have offered me one, you know? It’s that kind of life because we know that our bodies are balanced and we’re able to eat and if we do get out of control, we have the tools to bring it back quickly.

Finding Balance

Benji Block: Talk to me about these stages and your methodology to finding balance. Maybe each of you taking a portion to just give readers a high level— what to expect if they were to pick up the book and get their mind around some of the methodology here.

Dan LeMoine: I can break down kind of the first couple of stages which everybody’s the most interested in which is, how do I lose the weight. And then maybe Doc can talk about what the ongoing could look like. We approach it from a four-stage approach; the first stage being like a load day or a load period where you are indulging or enjoying certain foods that maybe some people would consider taboo ahead of a weight-loss period. 

We found that that’s really important, especially from an ongoing lifestyle, to give yourself a break from time to time. You will hear other programs talk about a cheat day, things like that. You can kind of frame it and think about it that way. We then go into the most structured part of our program. 

We call it stage two. It’s a weight-loss stage and that can vary between 20 and 40 days. It is typically how long somebody might be in that stage and one thing to note as we are getting into the explanation of this is that there are a lot of programs out there that start very broad and they try to widdle you down into this impossible-to-keep lifestyle. 

It’s like, “I am going to cut out soda and then I am going to cut out this, and then I am never going to touch carbs again, and then I’m going to cut out fats” and you get down to this impossible to keep a lifestyle that inevitably fails. What the research is showing is that programs that are structured like ours— that start a little bit more structured but then become increasingly less structured as time goes on, and you learn about food and about your body— have a much longer staying effect. 

That second stage, which is the weight loss stage is going to be comprised of eating a lot of food but it is going to be anti-inflammatory in nature, and that we’re going to remove the processed starches and carbohydrates. You are still getting carbs through fruits and vegetables. It is going to have protein and we are actually going to remove some of the fats, the oils— or most of the fats and the oils— from the diet. I know that that’s kind of counterintuitive to what’s so in vogue right now with the keto-type approach. 

Where you eat a pound and a half of bacon and cheese a day because fats are good for you. We’re not arguing that fats can’t be good for you but what we’re doing is we’re getting your body to go to its own fat for energy during that time by removing the fats from the die. It allows us to get to the same end, which is your body living off of its own fats reserves but in a way that is much, much less inflammatory than a typical— let’s say— ketogenic approach. 

Again, this is isn’t a slam on keto. There is definitely a time and place for that but our approach is one that removes the fats and the oils, so that is the weight loss stage. Most of our clients are losing between a pound to a pound and a half a day during that time and we’re doing a lot of testing. We outline in the book how you can do that home testing to make sure that that is the appropriate way. It’s not just water weight, it truly is body fat that you’re losing. 

Then after that, we move into a more a lock-in period— I think that is oftentimes an overlooked piece of a lot of weight loss programs is that they just continue to have you lose weight, lose weight, lose weight, and what eventually happens is your body just starts to say, “if I am going to perpetually be in this weight loss mode, I’m just going to start to down-regulate the metabolism.”

What we do after your weight loss phase, we call it a lock-in phase or stabilization phase, where we actually ask you to stop losing even if you want to lose more in the future— that’s fine, but we need your body to start to normalize a little bit. What we’ll actually do is we will set our very high-calorie target. It is the only time we ever ask you to count calories on our program, the couple weeks after your weight loss phase. What we’re trying to do is get you to eat above that calorie target to essentially train your body and your brain to say, “I can eat 3,000 calories a day. I can enjoy food and my body stays stable.” 

That’s what we want your body to be able to do and your metabolism to be able to do. Then from that point on, we call it stage four, which is the healthy living stage where you’re using many of the tools that you learn in those first three stages, kind of in your weekly rhythms to still going to enjoy food but knowing how to recalibrate as needed and living a healthy well-balanced life. Balance meaning still enjoying a piece of pizza or a beer from time to time.

Benji Block: Can we talk a little bit more about that? Paint a picture of the end goal, the long-term, the way that your lifestyle changes because that is such a differentiating factor in your guy’s approach to this. Talk about where your clients are once they’re out of phase two or maybe phase three and they’re in more a maintained phase. What does it look like day-to-day? 

Dan LeMoine: Doc, I always loved that story that you talk about with the tortilla chips. Maybe you could share kind of that anecdote. 

Dr. Noel Abood: I will. I love that story because it is so true but I think the majority of our clients have this question in mind, “Do I have what it takes to lose weight? Because I’ve tried all of these other diets before. I’ve lost and then gain it all back.” When they come to us undoubtedly— and I expect that they’re hesitant or they just don’t know it— they don’t feel like they have the energy. I know for me before I started, I’m like I can’t sit through a whole football game and not get up two or three times for something to eat. 

Give it a day or two and your body just seems to— the thing that we really boast about in our program is 99% of our clients are not hungry on the program. What happens is once you stabilize this metabolism, it’s like your cravings change. You know for me, I love carbohydrates as so many of our clients do but the story that Dan was referring to was we used to go to a Mexican restaurant with my wife. You know how they’d bring the chips and the salsa to you?
I just kept ordering two or three bowls and going to town on it. It was embarrassing for my wife, you know? But now, I swear it’s like they’ll bring the chips, they’ll bring the salsa, I’ll eat eight, nine, ten chips and I’m done. It’s not like I am staring at the bowl and I want more. It’s something internally changes and your hunger changes. That’s our goal that we strive for during the live-on phase, we call it after the program is done. We want to keep you in this zone of living off of your fat as needed.

Dan LeMoine: Benji, I think there is a way I think about it— there’s twofold. There is the biological side of things where hormonally things have shifted where just a couple of hormones. Then— we are keeping this top-level but— leptin and ghrelin, those are two hormones that regulate hunger and whether you feel full, those are more balanced once you’re through this. Like Doc mentioned, you may not feel as ravenous. 

Your cravings changed because you’re now getting the full spectrum of nutrition that your body is supposed to have and those cravings are often rooted in mineral imbalances. Then there’s also the willpower side of things that Doc mentioned. [Where] you just crushed it for 20, 40, 60 days where you have stuck to a program and most folks what we find, they’re like I’m rocking and rolling. I’ve proven to myself that I do have what it takes and they’re able to ride that momentum into a more balanced healthy living where they still enjoy themselves from time to time but they feel like they’ve got full agency over their health and over their weight. 

Dr. Noel Abood: Because it makes me cringe when people say, “I can now enjoy a piece of pizza” or something and I think, for the average person that hasn’t stabilized their metabolism is like, “I don’t know if I can be that strict.” What we’re asking— give us 20 days, give us 40 days. Let us help to re-establish a new metabolism and then take it step-by-step. That’s where we’re so confident that once we change things internally, those things that seemed impossible are no longer impossible. 

They’re now doable, whereas if we were to ask you six months ago, “We’re going to limit you to one glass of red wine a week and one piece of pizza,” the average person is saying, “No way.” I am not saying that’s part of our protocol but the average person doesn’t really need that anymore once they get balanced. 

Take Agency Of Your Lifestyle And Enjoy Your Life

Benji Block: Talk about that, once you’re balanced. How does your body feel? I think when people understand the feeling and you can’t necessarily just say it, once you feel it you realized, “Man, I am so much more alive. I have so much more energy.” But speak to the feeling your clients’ experience when they lower their metabolism.

Dr. Noel Abood: How do they feel? I think one of the best parts of once they feel is that they can eat again, that they aren’t afraid of food, you know? I hear so often people say, “I went away for the weekend for my class reunion. We went crazy and I lost a pound.” That’s exciting because now we know that their metabolism is changing but it’s really encouraging to see people come in and from day one versus two months down the road they’re dressing more fashionably. 

They are taking care of their personal hygiene better, they started hiking again, they started walking and being active. So many people are afraid of just being on the sidelines while the rest of their family is out enjoying life. I hear it a lot— and Dan spends a lot more time on the consultations with clients— but we’ll hear [that] one of the motivators is, “I want to walk down the aisle with my daughter. I want to be able to play football.” 

I want to do all of these different things. So, it is not just about weight loss but it is really about changing the lifestyle. That’s what we feel that we’re doing; we’re healing marriages— the only problem is though, you got to get new clothes typically and that’s one of the things we need to look into. 

Dan LeMoine: I mean to echo that. We and our coaching staff see and hear that all the time. When you can button this down and you feel like you have full agency over maintaining your weight, you have lost weight, you’re feeling good— all of these other areas of your life tend to be affected. Your love life is affected. Your energy levels are affected so you ought to be more active with your kids or your grandkids. We just see all of the right metrics moving in the right direction it seems, and people feel great. 

That is one of the biggest things that I liked about the program when I went through it, that I wasn’t feeling like I was starving myself. I was eating a ton of food and I feel like even during the more structured parts of the program, people are feeling great. They’re sleeping better, their libido is coming back, they’re feeling more confident, they are not hungry and those are big qualitative things that we want to check on. 

We’re not just measuring— We do measure a lot of biodata, body fat percentage, hydration levels, your metabolic age, all of that stuff— but really we outline in the book and in our program that we’re just as important if not more important. “How are you sleeping? How are you feeling? What’s your energy level? How is your hunger?” Those are the things we talk about with our clients and check in on every single day because those should also be trending in the right direction as well. 

Benji Block: We touched on accountability and coaching— you just brought that up again as well. What can someone expect clearly if you are just reading the book— you’re getting great content but there is this next level when working with a coach. What’s the bonus? What’s the advantage to having someone in your corner for accountability purposes? 

Dr. Noel Abood: It is really exciting for us because we’re working with the Phoenix Suns. We’re the nutrition partners of the Phoenix Suns and it is really cool to see these professional athletes that have perhaps retired and they’re still looking for a coach. They’re used to having coaches—and in the diet industry, it is rare to find someone that will walk you through the whole program. That’s what we want to do, to be coaches to these people, motivate them, and keep them on track because sometimes it might take eight or nine months of staying at your new weight until your body fully recognizes it. 

There’s part of the brain called the hypothalamus that says, “This is a new set point,” so we want to keep you on track. Dan mentioned earlier— that is probably one of the most overlooked issues— is the maintenance part that is what we want to really focus on so that you never gain this weight back again. 

Dan LeMoine: Yeah, whether that’s with us and our coaching staff or if you’ve got somebody to read the book with and you can buddy up and keep each other accountable. I mean, there is so many hacks to that accountability piece that somebody can find, and I feel like that with a lot of books. There is so much great knowledge in books but the execution is sometimes where folks will misstep. So, we do outline in the book; what can you do to find accountability?

How do you get accountability? What can and should that look like? Because we feel like that’s half the battle right there. Sometimes is just coming in and knowing I am sitting down with somebody. They are going to look at my numbers, they are going to help me recalibrate. Maybe this is TMI but I tend to floss my teeth more frequently when I know I am going to the dentist next week. I think we all do, right? Knowing that I am having a regular check-in. 

I have a good friend of mine, he texts me his workouts every single morning. I didn’t even ask him to do this and he is not even a client but he’s like, “I just need to know that I am checking in with somebody so I am actually doing it.” And somebody will ask me, “Hey, I haven’t seen a text in a couple of days.” It can be as simple as that too. If you are not a client of ours but you’d have picked up the book, there are definitely ways that we outlined of how to get and stay accountable. 

Benji Block: Well, that’s great. For those wanting to connect with you guys further, how can we do that online? Where can we find you? 

Dan LeMoine: Yeah, so you can find us at revitalizeweightloss.com. Or if you could just go to fearnofoodbook.com that will take you to the same spot and then we’re on all the social media outlets, so Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Re:vitalize Weight Loss. 

Dr. Noel Abood: Yeah, we’re available to do it live or we can do it through Telehealth as well, so we work with people across the country at this point. We found it to be really rewarding, COVID has kind of brought that out where we were forced to do it and the results have been really good. 

Benji Block: Great. Well, I want to say congratulations on the book. Fear No Food is out now, you can check it out on Amazon. You guys, thanks so much for taking some time to be on Author Hour today. 

Dan LeMoine: Thanks Benji. 

Dr. Noel Abood: Thanks Benji, enjoyed it.