Author Topic: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work  (Read 12672 times)

Phoebe

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Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« on: February 28, 2013, 11:53:21 AM »
Today I clicked on a link for "the money secrets the experts don't tell you."  Read for yourself and you'll see why.  Enjoy!

http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/blogs/profit-minded/3-ways-personal-financial-advisors-mislead-013203962.html

Norman Johnson

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 12:00:37 PM »
Hello to a Ramit article! He has a different way of getting rich.

Phoebe

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 12:04:43 PM »
I've heard people mention this "Ramit" character before but I'm not familiar with him myself.  I may have to do some research....

Mrs MM

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 12:05:13 PM »
Haha!  Nice.  I like this one about the lattes:

1. We love our morning coffee. Itís not just the caffeine, itís the ritual of treating ourselves.

It's funny that the idea of still having a morning latte, but not buying it, never enters anyone's mind.  MMM and I have delicious lattes every morning together.  We sit and talk while sipping our lattes and have a bowl of nuts and chocolate to go with it.  It's my favorite time of the day.  You don't have to give up the latte, you just need to be smart about it.

Today I went to the grocery store after dropping our son off at school and noticed a huge line up for Starbucks Drive Through (by the way, I've never understood drive through line ups - why not just park and go inside?).  Those lattes being drunk in a car on the way to work in a throw-away cup are not my idea of treating myself.

I think the key is to replace your ritual (or habit) with a similar habit that is less expensive.  Buying books? Go to the library.  Coffee Addict? Make it at home.  Gym membership? Exercise outside.  Clothing hound? Shop used/consignment (or go shop your own house or trade with friends).

Mrs MM

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 12:05:54 PM »
I've heard people mention this "Ramit" character before but I'm not familiar with him myself.  I may have to do some research....

Ha!  I didn't even realize it was Ramit.

He's at iwillteachyoutoberich.com.

Phoebe

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 12:09:40 PM »
Quote
I think the key is to replace your ritual (or habit) with a similar habit that is less expensive.  Buying books? Go to the library.  Coffee Addict? Make it at home.  Gym membership? Exercise outside.  Clothing hound? Shop used/consignment (or go shop your own house or trade with friends).

I think you are right Mrs. MM - this is the key! 

And thanks for the link - he sure has an interesting perspective.

Carless

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 12:11:10 PM »
Would you really rather spend your time arguing with the credit card company than just setting up your bills to pay before the deadline?  Personally, I hate those answering tree things.

Norman Johnson

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 12:22:50 PM »
He is interesting. I like his automation approach (I apply to savings) and the big wins approach (plug the big holes). I will say I haven't been to his site in years though.

jdoolin

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 12:44:48 PM »
On cutting back lattes:

Quote
1. We love our morning coffee. Itís not just the caffeine, itís the ritual of treating ourselves.

Translation: we love to treat ourselves.  This can only be done by overspending on something we could have made at home, and it should be done every single day.

Quote
2. Saving $3/day is not really that much -- especially when we acknowledge that we would probably spend that money elsewhere, not invest it (like the ďexpertsĒ assume we would).

Translation: $3 per day doesn't sound like much.  Especially since we're all weak wussypantses who would just blow it on something else stupid instead of investing it (like the badass advisors know we are capable of).  So let's just spend it anyway.

Quote
3. Weíre cognitive misers. Each minor decision we make reduces the likelihood of making more important decisions later in the day. Do we really want to use our limited willpower on a $4 purchase? If we force ourselves to say NO to a latte in the morning, what will we helplessly say YES to in the afternoon?

Translation: Ouchie, making decisions is HARD!  Since we're weak and only have a certain number of decisions we're capable of  making in a day, and since buying an overpriced latte is something that would require an active decision EVERY SINGLE DAY, let's all continue to be wussypantses and just give in to our weakness and make the $4 purchase instead of being a badass and completely eliminating the thought of ever buying lattes at a coffee shop and learning to make our own.

Man I hate that way of thinking.

Jamesqf

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 12:52:38 PM »
Quote
3. We’re cognitive misers. Each minor decision we make reduces the likelihood of making more important decisions later in the day. Do we really want to use our limited willpower on a $4 purchase? If we force ourselves to say NO to a latte in the morning, what will we helplessly say YES to in the afternoon?

Translation: Ouchie, making decisions is HARD!  Since we're weak and only have a certain number of decisions we're capable of  making in a day, and since buying an overpriced latte is something that would require an active decision EVERY SINGLE DAY...

Worse than that, if you buy into the cognitive miser theory (I don't, really).  Going to Starbucks for that latte requires many cognitive decisions, from deciding to go to mentally translating Starbuck-ese into normal language.  Whereas for me, making coffee in the morning requires next to no thought: Put filter in basket, add two scoops of coffee, pour in water.  No strain even on my feeble early-morning cognitive processing.

Not to mention that $3/day is over $1000 per year, for ONE CUP of coffee.  I drink an average of 3.  So $3K/year vs maybe $50/year for coffee & filters?

----

I'm also not real sure about his tax refund advice.  Now I don't have any recent experience - I pay estimated tax, and anything over on the 1040 just rolls over into the April quarterly payment - but I wouldn't have spent the extra, I would have put it into the investments, just as I do with all the other money I get that's excess to spending. 

That's my "secret" right there: my spending doesn't depend on my income.  I spend a certain amount - say $25K (counting mortgage) - and that's all I spend, whether my income is $25K or $125K, because that buys me everything I want.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 01:03:22 PM by Jamesqf »

Mrs MM

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 01:11:41 PM »
Worse than that, if you buy into the cognitive miser theory (I don't, really).  Going to Starbucks for that latte requires many cognitive decisions, from deciding to go to mentally translating Starbuck-ese into normal language.  Whereas for me, making coffee in the morning requires next to no thought: Put filter in basket, add two scoops of coffee, pour in water.  No strain even on my feeble early-morning cognitive processing.

Agreed! (we seem to be doing that a lot lately, what's up?)  ;)

Going to Starbucks on the way to work is far more work (and probably takes longer) than just making a cup at home.  It's just a habit that could easily be broken. 

I once arrived to my crossfit class and the gym was locked.  We called the trainer and she was on her way, but in the meantime, it was pretty cold out (I had arrived by bike), so a friend of mine said I could sit in her gigantic truck with her.  I accepted.

She said: "do you mind if I run over to starbucks real quick?"  I said "not at all", so we drove (note the starbucks was within a very short walk) and ran into Safeway to the Starbucks counter and she got herself a latte AND a bottle of water.  Then, we drove back.  The whole time she talked about how she knows she could walk there but wasn't sure we'd have time before the trainer returned, how she thought she'd just get her coffee now instead of after, how she thinks it's awesome that I bike all the time but it would not be do-able for her at all, etc.  She doesn't know about the blog, so I'm not sure why she was trying to justify herself to me.

Then, we started the workout and her coffee just sat there getting cold the entire time.  I guess she probably went home and microwaved it after?  I'm not sure.  She did drink the majority of the water though.  Note she also had a water bottle with her which she could easily have filled up in the sink.

I was awestruck at this woman's life of convenience (or inconvenience).  I don't see it often now that I am at home all the time, so it was a real eye-opener.  Plus, her justifications to me were equally confusing... she wasn't confident in her decisions (maybe because I wasn't making the same ones?).  I really do think a lot of this has to do with her habits (and I think that's true for many of us). 

tooqk4u22

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 01:51:30 PM »
I agree with notion of some of these simple conveniences are really less convenient and coffee is certainly one of them.  I put the coffee in the filter the night before and have it set to brew a bit before I wake up, which to me is the true luxury - coffee ready to go and waiting for you to indulge.

Also how I started cutting my own hair - I didn't do it to save money (nice beni though), I did it because I was tired of spending time on a day off getting to the barber, waiting, getting cut, and getting home - all told was from 1-2 hours.  Now I cut my hair in about 15 minutes - and another 10 minutes each for my two boys.  And then when you think about three hair cuts in about a half hour combined with the money saved - wow.

I am sure I could think of many more of these examples.

jdoolin

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 02:27:10 PM »
Going to Starbucks on the way to work is far more work (and probably takes longer) than just making a cup at home.  It's just a habit that could easily be broken.

Not only that, but what you make at home can/should be BETTER than Starbucks.  I'd put my own home roasted coffee up against any coffee shop's coffee, and it costs me $0.10-0.15 per cup (depending on how fancy the coffee is).

Comparatively speaking, I go through more work than usual to make a cup, as I grind the beans just before brewing and I use a French press.  But this procedure is practically muscle memory to me now.   I don't have to think about it, and much of the time is spent waiting anyway, during which I can get any other number of tasks accomplished.  There are no decisions to be made other than, "Hmm... Ethiopian dry processed or Sumatra Lintong?"

Driving out of my way and waiting in line at a drive through sounds like much more of a hassle to me.

Jack

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 02:27:43 PM »
I'm amused how Ramit tells us in tip #1 that saving $3/day on lattes is insignificant, then rails about how 0.75% expense ratios are outrageous in tip #2.

marty998

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 02:40:26 PM »
Opened the eyes of a colleague yesterday who spends $4.50 on a coffee in the morning + $9 for lunch.

Only had to say one line.....$13.50 a day, $70 a week, $3,500 a year.

She was stunned.

I said "how long have you been working"
"20 years"
"$70,000"
"dang"

FriendlyLibrarian

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2013, 02:44:17 PM »
I'm really amazed that the majority of the comments for the article were along the lines of "this guy is an idiot." Or were those just MMM readers? :)

galaxie

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 02:47:23 PM »
The whole time she talked about how she knows she could walk there but wasn't sure we'd have time before the trainer returned, how she thought she'd just get her coffee now instead of after, how she thinks it's awesome that I bike all the time but it would not be do-able for her at all, etc.  She doesn't know about the blog, so I'm not sure why she was trying to justify herself to me.

As a vegetarian, I run into the same kind of unsolicited explanations.  Did you bike to Crossfit?  I think people want to justify their habits when they see you do something they have decided not to do for reasons they're not 100% proud of.  It makes them a little disappointed in themselves.

boy_bye

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 02:57:12 PM »
Quote
3. Weíre cognitive misers. Each minor decision we make reduces the likelihood of making more important decisions later in the day. Do we really want to use our limited willpower on a $4 purchase? If we force ourselves to say NO to a latte in the morning, what will we helplessly say YES to in the afternoon?

Translation: Ouchie, making decisions is HARD!  Since we're weak and only have a certain number of decisions we're capable of  making in a day, and since buying an overpriced latte is something that would require an active decision EVERY SINGLE DAY...

Worse than that, if you buy into the cognitive miser theory (I don't, really).  Going to Starbucks for that latte requires many cognitive decisions, from deciding to go to mentally translating Starbuck-ese into normal language.  Whereas for me, making coffee in the morning requires next to no thought: Put filter in basket, add two scoops of coffee, pour in water.  No strain even on my feeble early-morning cognitive processing.

Not to mention that $3/day is over $1000 per year, for ONE CUP of coffee.  I drink an average of 3.  So $3K/year vs maybe $50/year for coffee & filters?

yes! you just make the decision once -- no more starbucks! -- and then you don't even have to spend any cognitive resources on it ever again.

the fixer

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 06:58:04 PM »
As a vegetarian, I run into the same kind of unsolicited explanations.  Did you bike to Crossfit?  I think people want to justify their habits when they see you do something they have decided not to do for reasons they're not 100% proud of.  It makes them a little disappointed in themselves.

I've noticed this too with a lot of things. It seems to trigger a feeling of inadequacy that they can't deal with consciously. So if you call them on their excuses they'll just get defensive and won't change. BUT, over time, many people will start to make changes when they see other people behaving better, as long as they aren't directly pressured. They just have to do it on their terms and feel like it was their idea.

spider1204

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 07:04:20 PM »
Basically every one of his reasons can be boiled down to, I don't think you have any self control, therefore you should not bother trying and listen to me instead.

The cognitive overload though, while it may be true you can only make so many decisions in a day, you can just focus on one thing at a time until it is no longer a decision.  It's just the way you do   Then you can add in something else, and after a couple years you end up being pretty badass, without even thinking, it's just what you do.  Not to mention that massive cognitive overload that occurs from trying to hold down a full time job.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 07:25:01 PM by spider1204 »

the fixer

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 07:16:35 PM »
Basically every one of his reasons can be boiled down to, I don't think you have any self control, therefore you should either not bother trying and listen to me instead.

What he's missing is MMM's step 1: admitting that you suck.

If you can't do that, you act like you're awesome. And if you're awesome, well I obviously can't be doing that bad, right? It's just the economy! But, hey, I've got an idea for how I could shave a bit off the budget. Oh yeah, that's why I'm so awesome!!

...and major changes never can occur.

nolajo

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 08:05:53 PM »
Basically every one of his reasons can be boiled down to, I don't think you have any self control, therefore you should either not bother trying and listen to me instead.

What he's missing is MMM's step 1: admitting that you suck.

If you can't do that, you act like you're awesome. And if you're awesome, well I obviously can't be doing that bad, right? It's just the economy! But, hey, I've got an idea for how I could shave a bit off the budget. Oh yeah, that's why I'm so awesome!!

...and major changes never can occur.

I guess I'm in the minority thinking that his first point wasn't terrible. What I've found in my experience and in some of the studies I've seen is that you do have trouble exercising more will power than you're used to. It's a bit like a muscle in that regard. On the other hand, my response to that fact is to consciously take routes and make plans that don't include stops past coffee shops (or pick your poison) if I'm not consciously giving myself that once in a while treat. So in a way, I guess I was acknowledging I suck. I just figured it was best to remove some of the temptations until I built my will power up to a point where I could handle them. It just makes sense to automate that part of your life - not going past a coffee shop - rather than fight it every morning. Better yet, adopt Mrs. MMM's attitude and habit :)

skyrefuge

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 08:28:17 PM »
Basically every one of his reasons can be boiled down to, I don't think you have any self control, therefore you should not bother trying and listen to me instead.

But taken in aggregate, he's sort of right. Most people have heard basic financial advice, but apparently lack the self-control or interest to implement it. Yes, there are rare ones like us who get it and take it to heart. But given the amount of financial advice easily available, and the pitiful state of most peoples' finances, an objective observer would say that clearly something isn't working. So I see an article like this as an indictment of the financial-advice-giving industry. Their current methods aren't working, so they ought to try to find a better approach.

It's very similar to weight loss. Pretty much everyone knows these days that all you have to do to lose weight is burn more calories than you consume. The secret is out. Yet the world continues to fatten, and most diets fail. The advice to consume fewer calories should work, but an honest nutritionist would look at the facts as they are, and conclude that such advice is ineffective for most people. The trick then is to come up with a new approach that's actually effective in altering peoples' behavior.

Someone who wants to improve peoples' lives doesn't want to just help the super-awesome people with incredible self-control. He wants to find solutions that also work for the masses with no self-control.

This is Ramit's article fails, because of course his "3 secrets" are little different from standard financial advice, and not an entirely new approach to mass behavioral modification. But he's at least making a better attempt than most to integrate actual real-world human behavior into his advice.

Jamesqf

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 09:04:59 PM »
The advice to consume fewer calories should work, but an honest nutritionist would look at the facts as they are, and conclude that such advice is ineffective for most people. The trick then is to come up with a new approach that's actually effective in altering peoples' behavior.

Except the problem is that there is no other approach that will work.

dragoncar

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2013, 01:03:45 AM »
The advice to consume fewer calories should work, but an honest nutritionist would look at the facts as they are, and conclude that such advice is ineffective for most people. The trick then is to come up with a new approach that's actually effective in altering peoples' behavior.

Except the problem is that there is no other approach that will work.

There are many approaches that will work better than "advice to consume fewer calories" (which clearly hasn't been working for any overweight person who has definitely heard that advice before).

boy_bye

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2013, 06:27:34 AM »
The advice to consume fewer calories should work, but an honest nutritionist would look at the facts as they are, and conclude that such advice is ineffective for most people. The trick then is to come up with a new approach that's actually effective in altering peoples' behavior.

Except the problem is that there is no other approach that will work.

There are many approaches that will work better than "advice to consume fewer calories" (which clearly hasn't been working for any overweight person who has definitely heard that advice before).

Amen! I know this is aot, but I just read "Why we get fat" by Gary Taubes, and one thing he said that really stuck with me is this. Imagine you have been invited to a huge feast, and they tell you to make sure to come hungry.

What would you do to make sure you had a nice big appetite? You'd eat less during the day, right? And also maybe go for a run or do a big workout. Then you could be assured of being ready to throw down that evening.

In telling overweight people to exercise more and eat less, you're essentially setting them up to have a much bigger appetite than usual. Big disconnect here.

Weight gain is simple, but it's more about hormones and metabolic pathways than calories in vs. calories out.

galaxie

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 07:08:35 AM »
As a vegetarian, I run into the same kind of unsolicited explanations.  Did you bike to Crossfit?  I think people want to justify their habits when they see you do something they have decided not to do for reasons they're not 100% proud of.  It makes them a little disappointed in themselves.

I've noticed this too with a lot of things. It seems to trigger a feeling of inadequacy that they can't deal with consciously. So if you call them on their excuses they'll just get defensive and won't change. BUT, over time, many people will start to make changes when they see other people behaving better, as long as they aren't directly pressured. They just have to do it on their terms and feel like it was their idea.

Even if you don't mention it, people do this.  The simple fact of you existing, having done the thing they decided not to do, is implicitly calling them on it.  They'll bring it up: "Oh, you biked?  That's very impressive," or "So, why are you vegetarian?" or "Boy, you sure work out a lot"  -- and then they will want to explain why they don't do the thing you do.  Even if you want to talk about the Super Bowl or whatever.

I think you're right about setting a good example; being in a social circle with good habits encourages better habits.  But pushing them to change faster just causes resistance and resentment.

Jamesqf

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 01:16:24 PM »
Except the problem is that there is no other approach that will work.

There are many approaches that will work better than "advice to consume fewer calories" (which clearly hasn't been working for any overweight person who has definitely heard that advice before).

Err...  No, I'm not talking about advice to consume fewer calories, but about actually consuming fewer calories.


Weight gain is simple, but it's more about hormones and metabolic pathways than calories in vs. calories out.

Sorry, but no.  A lot of that is nothing more than providing cop-out excuses for not wanting to eat less and/or exercise more.  Let me ask you this: if it really isn't as simple as that, why can I get my horse & dogs to lose weight/gain condition by managing how much food & exercise they get?

As for exercise & appetite, I find that I'm hardly ever hungry right after exercising.  Eating a small meal then is as satisfying as a larger meal several hours later.

skyrefuge

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 02:06:32 PM »
The advice to consume fewer calories should work, but an honest nutritionist would look at the facts as they are, and conclude that such advice is ineffective for most people. The trick then is to come up with a new approach that's actually effective in altering peoples' behavior.

Except the problem is that there is no other approach that will work.

Yes, I agree that at the metabolic level, calories_out > calories_in is the only thing that works (well, short of liposuction). But I wasn't talking about a new approach to biochemistry, I was talking about a new approach to advice-giving that would cause people to actually achieve a long-term caloric deficit. Simply informing people that they should operate at a caloric deficit is apparently not very effective, because, even though people agree to calorie-counting plans at an executive level, eventually their lower reptilian brain steps in and says "fuck this, ima eat wha'ever i want, i deserve it!" and the plan fails.

A self-conscious weight-loss community who embraces a rational approach would say "our current approach is clearly ineffective, so rather than simply repeating it and hoping human behavior will be different this time, perhaps we should explore other approaches that account for the existence of that reptilian brain rather than ignore it".  And that's basically what all weight-loss approaches that go beyond calorie-counting are: tricks to induce a caloric deficit without alerting the reptilian brain to what's going on.

And so that's how I charitably saw Ramit's approach: "telling people to budget hasn't been working for large swaths of the population, so let me throw other ideas at the wall that might be effective in inducing a financial surplus, and see if any of them stick."

dragoncar

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2013, 03:12:06 PM »
The advice to consume fewer calories should work, but an honest nutritionist would look at the facts as they are, and conclude that such advice is ineffective for most people. The trick then is to come up with a new approach that's actually effective in altering peoples' behavior.

Except the problem is that there is no other approach that will work.

There are many approaches that will work better than "advice to consume fewer calories" (which clearly hasn't been working for any overweight person who has definitely heard that advice before).

Err...  No, I'm not talking about advice to consume fewer calories, but about actually consuming fewer calories.


OK, but nobody suggested otherwise.  The problem with your statement is that the sky is blue.

boy_bye

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2013, 03:39:09 PM »

Weight gain is simple, but it's more about hormones and metabolic pathways than calories in vs. calories out.

Sorry, but no.  A lot of that is nothing more than providing cop-out excuses for not wanting to eat less and/or exercise more.  Let me ask you this: if it really isn't as simple as that, why can I get my horse & dogs to lose weight/gain condition by managing how much food & exercise they get?

As for exercise & appetite, I find that I'm hardly ever hungry right after exercising.  Eating a small meal then is as satisfying as a larger meal several hours later.

I don't mean that calories in/calories out has nothing to do with it, but all that tells you is that someone is gaining weight. It doesn't tell you why. As Taubes says, saying that people get fat because they eat too many calories is like saying this room is crowded because too many people came into it.

Why are some people drive to eat too many calories? Why are some driven to eat too few? Why do others have an easy time maintaining their weight and staying active while for others it's very hard? These are the questions where we find real solutions, not just "You're fat because you're weak, harden up."

Also, there are foods we can eat that don't make people want to eat too many calories. Unfortunately many of them are the exact foods that doctors and nutritionists and the food pyramid will tell you not to eat.

This is way off topic tho so I'll say no more, just encourage anyone interested to google Gary Taubes.


Nords

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2013, 09:42:05 PM »
And so that's how I charitably saw Ramit's approach: "telling people to budget hasn't been working for large swaths of the population, so let me throw other ideas at the wall that might be effective in inducing a financial surplus, and see if any of them stick."
I see Ramit's approach as brilliantly staking out a section of the personal-finance arena where few others dare to tread.

And he's more than adequately compensated by advertisers (and affiliate income) for doing so.

Come to FINCON13.  Hang out around MMM for a day.  Hang out around Ramit for another day.  Appreciate them both.

Xtal

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2013, 05:21:50 PM »
Why We Get Fat is an excellent read.

Echoing what others said here, losing weight is not a simple matter of calories in < calories out.

An effective way to lose weight is to curtail your sugar intake.  Take your coffee or tea without sugar.  Stop drinking soda (drink water or fizzy water instead).  Stop drinking fruit juice (eat whole fruit instead).  Cut down on bread/pasta/pastry. 

Do not replace sugar with artificial sweetners.  Learn to appreciate the taste of food without added sweetener.

Eat more fat.  Fat is good for you and it makes you feel full!  Eat nuts, fish, and full-fat dairy.  Eat avocadoes.  Eat coconut oil and olive oil.  Eat pastured, humanely raised animals.

Eat lots of veggies and fruit.

"Low-fat" is a dangerous myth.  Low-fat diets are not healthy.

Jamesqf

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2013, 09:40:20 PM »
"Low-fat" is a dangerous myth.  Low-fat diets are not healthy.

Note that low fat and low calorie are not at all the same thing.  If - to take extreme cases for examples - you eat 10,000 calories a day on a near-zero fat diet, you will gain weight.  If your high fat diet is one cup of tea with yak butter, you will lose weight.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2013, 06:58:01 AM »
"Low-fat" is a dangerous myth.  Low-fat diets are not healthy.

I'd argue that most of your fad diets do more harm than good.  Fat has taken a backseat to carbs as the nutritional element to hate du jour though.

Want to lose weight?  Don't be stupid.  Eat less calories than you burn.  It really is that simple.

Having trouble eating less calories than you burn?  Change the foods you eat.  Fats can make you feel fuller, longer.  Fiber can do the same.  Many small meals over a day can help reducing cravings and the tendency to overeat.

Frankly, I find it harder to gain than lose weight (currently at around 4000+ calories a day).  However, I'm a big guy, and very active.

ivyhedge

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2013, 11:28:36 AM »
Opened the eyes of a colleague yesterday who spends $4.50 on a coffee in the morning + $9 for lunch.

Only had to say one line.....$13.50 a day, $70 a week, $3,500 a year.

She was stunned.

I said "how long have you been working"
"20 years"
"$70,000"
"dang"

That is fantastic. I love folks like her contributing to my SBUX dividends.

Richard3

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2013, 01:06:28 PM »
Losing weight really is calories in vs calories out. Mostly in as out is pretty much fixed between 1 and 2x BMR (with almost all values below 1.5x I'd guess)

See the twinkie diet http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html for an extreme example of calories in vs out.

Now, I grant you that both calories in and calories out are far more complicated than they initially look, but it really does boil down (pardon the pun) to calories in vs out. Weightloss (like FI but more so) is a matter of willpower. I'd also argue that willpower is a muscle not a fixed reserve. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.





wakkowarner

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Re: Don't even bother trying to save....it doesn't work
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2013, 03:46:20 PM »
Calories in vs calories out: Yes
Weightloss a matter of willpower: I agree with reservations

There is certainly a certain amount of willpower involved, but most people are undereducated on what it takes.  They try what works for others (or they think they do) and after not getting much success, give up.  For myself, I am male, 6'3" and was 155lbs in high school.  I stayed around the same weight in college, then joined the Navy.  Coming out of boot camp I weight 180lbs, and it wasn't fat that I gained in those 3 months of pushups.  After the Navy I stayed around the same weight for awhile, but my desk job started getting to me.  I got up to 215 pounds and was getting some nicely defined love handles.

I had already been eating much better than most of my coworkers (earning the some chide remarks about my eating a bag of frozen broccoli everyday for lunch, along with a frozen meal and some a piece of fruit).  Oh, and I had been eating 2 packets of instant oatmeal for breakfast (flavored variety).  So when I decided to start dieting I switched out the flavored oatmeal for plain, and would flavor it with unsweetened apple sauce and cinnamon.  I also switched to the leaner frozen meals for lunch, tried eating less at dinner, and basically other "diet" stuff.  I went down in wait, but couldn't budge past 195lbs.  I would try eating less, but could only keep that up for so long as I was hungry all the time.  I knew I could weigh less, and that I should weigh less (considering my activity level).  I then discovered The Primal Blueprint (which eventually led me to MMM) and started adopting some of its principles.  I increased my fat intake and cut out the grains and cut down on carbs in general.  I became "fat adapted" and so no longer got headaches when going for long periods without eating.  I was able to start skipping breakfast and actually felt better for it (didn't eat till 2 p.m. today and really only ate because I noticed the time and realized that I hadn't eaten yet).  My weight got down to 175 lbs.  I started doing some heavy lifting and as I've gotten stronger (and bigger) my weight sits around 178-182 lbs depending on the days. 

Measuring calories now, I get about equal (usually less) than I did when I was starving myself to try to drop weight.   My willpower is no greater than it was before.  My education is greater.  My understanding of my body is greater.  But my food is more satisfying now, so I don't need to eat as much of it.  Which ultimately ends up being fewer calories in than out. 

Though yes, sometimes it can be hard when I'm with extended family and they have some delicious looking food that I know I shouldn't have.  Sometimes I will partake just a little.  And sometimes that will remind me that while it looks pretty, I don't miss the old food (or how it makes me feel).  Other times it pure heaven and at those times it does take willpower (though sometimes I will indulge and just make sure I don't do something like that again for at least a couple of months).