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Success Story Podcast

Ilana Muhlstein, Entrepreneur, Author & Educator | Building A Business In a Crowded Category

By April 18, 2021March 5th, 2022No Comments

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Over the years, Dietitian Nutritionist, Educator, Published Author, Mom and Health Enthusiast Ilana Muhlstein M.S., R.D.N. has become a sought-after weight loss expert. Ilana is an acclaimed public speaker and influencer and sits on the prestigious Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association. She has been lecturing for the Bruin Health Improvement Program at UCLA since 2013 and is a contributing writer for distinguished publications including The Journal of Obesity, and has been featured in the LA Times, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, SHAPE, Health and Women’s Health.

By the time Ilana was 13 years old, she weighed over 200 pounds and struggled with losing weight, emotional eating and diets that didn’t work. While most kids dream of becoming pop stars or famous athletes, Ilana’s early inspirations were the knowledgeable registered dietitians she met every summer at fat camp. She became one herself the first chance she got and used everything she learned to lose 100 pounds. Since then, she’s built a thriving private practice in Beverly Hills and helped hundreds of people lose weight happily — and keep it off.

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You Can Drop It!: How I Dropped 100 Pounds Enjoying Carbs, Cocktails & Chocolate–and You Can Too! –

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Talking Points

00:00 — Ilana Muhlstein, Entrepreneur, Author & Educator

03:35 — Detriments of being overweight & Ilana’s story

06:13 — What stops people from changing their life.

20:57 — Some lessons for entrepreneurs starting their first business.

29:26 — Having a healthy relationship with money.

32:39 — The importance of mindset.

Read The Transcription (Machine Generated)

Scott: All right. Thanks again for joining me today, I’m sitting down with a lot of  who is one of the most sought after weight loss experts in the world. She has an incredible practice in Beverly Hills. She is an acclaimed speaker influencer bestselling author. She sits on the prestigious executive leadership team for the American heart association.

She has her own weight loss program that over 250,000 participants have signed up for since it was created. She also has a ton of clients at UCLA and in her private practice she’s launched a membership program. She has a new book called you can drop it. And she has an incredible story that I, you know, I was doing some research and you went through an incredible story to get to, to where you are today.

So thank you for sitting down. I really, really appreciate you taking the time. I don’t speak to a lot of people that have gone through the life change that you’ve gone through and built a business out of it. So I’m really curious. Walk me through your origin story. How did you get to where you are today?

Ilana: Ah, thanks. Thank you for the introduction. I was morbidly obese as a kid. I was always very overweight. I was always the most overweight kid in the class. The biggest kid in the class teased a little bit, not too much because it was a small school, but definitely my weight was always an issue. And our talking point amongst everyone who felt the need to comment on it.

And my parents got divorced when I was eight years old. I think that was. Probably around the time that my weight gain started accelerating higher and higher. And my parents and doctor really sent me to weight loss camp at just eight years old. So at eight years old, I went upstate New York to this very well-known weight loss camp, where you have to take your before pictures and your after pictures and get the measurements and go on the scale in front of, you know, a line of a hundred people and all that deal.

And I had to follow like the strict diet and work out like 10 hours a day. And I came back to school like eight, nine years old. And, you know, I got all the compliments and it was exciting, but I couldn’t sustain it because my family didn’t change their ways. I didn’t change my ways. So I just gained all the way back and more.

And I did that again at 10, at 11, at 12, at 13, I would just keep running to weight loss camp, lose the weight and then gain it all back and more. And over time I would just. Get larger and larger and larger because you could gain a lot more weight in 10 months, then you can lose in two months. So I topped off at around 215 pounds and I was only five feet, two inches tall at the time.

I was a young teenager and going into high school. And I had a turning point in my mind where I was like, enough’s enough. I’m going into high school. I do not want my weight to be this constant yo-yo fixation obsession, talking point, point of identity for myself and how everyone else knows me. I want to be known as being someone who does,

sorry. I just really loud on my end. I don’t know. It, it

Scott: Oh, no, no, I was just, I didn’t. You just, you just totally cut. No, no. I’m sorry about that. I apologize. Keep going, keep going, go, go, go. Because I can get how, like, first of all, it’s stressful. This is as a kid, right? Like, first of all, the yo-yoing is when you get older, I’m sure it gets much more detrimental to your health as, but still as a kid that’s like dramatic, like the mental health, psychological health.

This is not fun. Anyway. Sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt. I think I just want papers there. My bad

Ilana: it’s all good. No, but it was definitely detrimental to my physical health too. My doctor was seeing that my blood sugar levels, my cholesterol levels were what she said you would typically see and maybe like a 50 year old man.

And again, I was like this young teenage girl, so I changed my mindset. I was like, enough is enough. What am I doing? At least in the summers that I could take with me during the school year? You know, I would always like kick the scale to the side and say, Oh, I don’t want to see the scale. But over 10 months I would, it would be shocking when I went back to Kevin and see how much I gained.

I was like, you know what, let me at least go on the scale. Like at least once a week or a few times a week to make sure that I can, I’m actually keeping the weight off. They actually know what’s taking place, not being in the dark about it. And then I remember in camp, you were always allowed. Seconds for salad, but nothing else.

So, you know, you would only get one slice of, you know, the whole wheat pizza or whatever, but you can go up multiple times for salad. And a lot of my friends would be finding content, but I’m a volume meter I always need and love to eat lots and lots of food. So I would actually go up for seconds and thirds of whatever they would let me have.

So. I realized like I’m a volume meter. That was always fine there. Maybe it could be fine at home. So I went from snacking on popcorn at night to, you know, defrosting, boxed, frozen cauliflower or broccoli, florets, and microwaving them with, I can’t believe it’s on butter spray and salts and eating that instead of popcorn and trying to use all these tactics that would help.

And I always worked out, but that was never the thing. It was always a matter of my food choices. So it, you know, exercise may be more important as you get older. Potentially really, it always comes down to food. I always said food is everything. Exercise is extra credit. I had to change my eating ways.

So I started really studying nutrition. Even in high school. I knew that I was starting to lose weight and interested in nutrition. And I like started reaching out to some well-known dieticians in New York city, trying to intern for them, trying to sneak into their college courses, because I knew that I was starting to lose weight for the first time on my own throughout high school.

And people were starting to ask me, like, what are you doing? Even my friends’ mothers were like, Who are on WeightWatchers like, what are you doing along? You’re you’re looking better. And I knew that if I was ever going to advise other people on what to eat, I wanted the utmost credibility in it. And for myself, I wanted the like expertise, the real deal, and the actual knowledge of what to do, which meant you had to become a registered dietician and I’m not Student type, at least up until that point, but I knew I wanted to make this happen.

So I did this, like pre-med really intense dietetics major. And I became a registered dietician. Got later on my master’s degree in nutrition, taught courses and courses at UCLA leading this weight loss seminar there while building up my private practice and you know, really. Had this amazing private practice in Beverly Hills, which I still have, but I did still feel like there was a missing piece of that.

Everyone I was working with was seeing the most amazing results. Not only was all my clients telling me that they’re losing weight and feeling good, but which always felt good to me. But when they would talk about like, there’s something different, you’re doing something that’s different. Like, I can’t explain it.

I’ve done everything in the past. I’ve I’ve met with other nutritionists, I’ve done every other torta program and this and that. I’ve gone to Pritikin, I’ve done weight Watchers, like all these things. Why is yours different? I don’t know why I’ve never felt like happier while losing weight and in a way that actually feels it can stay off.

So I want it to help broaden the message and the approach. So it’s not just exclusive to my high paying clients and UCLA participants. So I partnered with Beachbody, the company behind. And DX and sanity, like just amazing global fitness and nutrition company who are really masters at making you feel like the personal trainer is really inside your living room before like all of these other people started doing it.

So I partnered with them and we took my program called the Tubi mindset. We named it, we did test groups on it. We really refined it. We turned it into a video based program that now over 200,000 people are doing maybe 200. Maybe closer to 300,000 people actually are doing it now. And which is pretty insane.

And we launched a membership, a monthly membership called the mindset membership where it’s like more advice tools like I’m in hair and makeup because we just filmed the whole morning, like how to read a food label, like a little bit deeper how to end late night eating, like all these additional things one would need.

Okay. We have going for you there. And I came out with a book that became a best seller, thankfully and while still seeing private clients. So I’m always, I’m always out there to help people lose weight. And that’s always been my biggest goal and passion. And now I’m, you know, really passionate about staying doing that, but also thinking in other ways I could be helpful to the community and beyond in any way.

Scott: That’s an, that’s an incredible story. And you know, congratulations on all the success. Now, I’m curious, how did you walk me? Walk me through. What helped you or where you learned or was it just trial by fire to build out this extent of a business? What prompted that like entrepreneurial mindset that allowed you to understand?

Okay. I want to build a course business here. I want to launch a book. I want to build my brand. I’m going to keep private. In-house where it’s just gradual. Evolution or was it purposeful? Was it mentor driven? What was it like?

Ilana: That’s a great question. My father was always an entrepreneur. He was in the sports business, represented some athletes like before you had to go to law school.

Cool. And any of that, you just started picking up ballplayers when he was like in his twenties he represents a comedians, represented musicians, so he’s, and then he decided he was tired of touring and traveling with athletes and musicians. So he started his own rock and roll fantasy camp. You can go to rock

It’s like very much probably your audience men love it. You know, they’re always like playing guitar in there. You know, living rooms as an accountant, and now they get to go away for the weekend and feel like a rock star. So he’s always, you know, worked from home and had that flexibility, even though he probably worked way more than my friends’ fathers.

Honestly, he’s still like had the office in the house and that sense of flexibility. So that was probably always, you know, desirable for me or something that I just knew and grew up with. And I honestly, never thought I was going to be on camera as much as I am now. I never thought I would be. I watched my father represents like celebrities and I, myself always thought if anything, I’d be a behind the scenes person.

Like he is like, I maybe help behind the scenes, never in front of the scenes. But when I started. You know, working with clients and explaining it. And when I wanted to partner with beach body and talk about how I want more people to be doing this, no one can explain it better than I can. I mean, I created it.

So I knew if I knew it was going to be explaining it and we’re going to doing it in a video and not a book at first. I had to be the one to explain it, of course. And so that just naturally happened. I just, I, my master’s was in nutrition, but specifically in health communication. And I really think one of my greatest skillsets is not just helping people lose weight.

It’s the way in which I simplify it. So it’s so digestible which is, you know, like pardon the pun, but that really, that really is a skill in of itself that I’ve. Really honed in and mastered because there’s so many terms, dieticians and doctors use like antioxidants triglycerides. I mean, you hear them all the time.

They’re just buzzwords. Everyone thinks they’re saying them because they sound intellectual. But at the end of the day, no, one’s actually understanding what they’re saying and they’re getting hung up on it. And it actually breaks communications that people don’t understand it. So instead they go and listen to this, like.

You know, Liz little fashion influencer who’s 16 and speaking on a seventh grade reading level and telling people to drink diet teas and all these things you don’t want to do. So it’s really that healthy communication, caring. My simplified. Super effective weight loss approach that is freeing and allows you to eat lots of food and never cuts anything out.

And it’s like, Oh my God, it helps people melt down like 20 pounds in like a snap. And up to over a hundred pounds, we have several people who’ve lost over a hundred pounds of the program. In a way that’s like really easy to follow feels. Simple feels. Just like there’s a huge sense of freedom and ease when people are doing my weight loss program.

So, you know, I think a lot of it came from my passion to help people. I am extremely passionate about helping anyone struggling to lose weight, to help them, because I think it’s like this over complicated sense that gets people to not even start trying. I think they can’t feel bad along the way. And that just, you know, there’s no point in that.

So That’s probably my passion with a mix of the role model that got me to where I am today.

Scott: Well, it’s, I, I can see it. So you have passion, you have role model, you have framework, you understand like pain points in this industry, that the reason why people aren’t successful at dieting and you just, you just took all those and you you’ve just structured a business around it now.

Help me, help me understand, cause this is, this is your world. So. You’re obviously successful at it. 250,000 people, 300,000 people, whatever it may be teaching at UCLA, these are not like small milestones. These are like, these are big. These are huge. So

Ilana: what I’m very aspirational. I, I, no,

Scott: it’s good. Listen, it’s good.

Yeah, it’s great.

Ilana: And I think like there’s a lot that’s. I mean, my father, like I give him all the credit. He never graduated college. But he would always take out, like if we were sitting at a restaurant, if we were on an airplane, he would always take out like a little napkin from the deli or whatever, and start writing down with a pen, like, okay, if I’m making 5% of this deal and this deal is X, Y, and Z, it’s going to look like this.

And so he always, he did always like, kind of get me into the business. And what’s really funny. My father and I are super close. He’s taking my daughter to the beach right now. We’re very, very close. He’s lost 50, 60 pounds of my program and just kept it off for years after doing everything. So we have a great relationship, but it’s funny when I was in college, he doesn’t like when I share this, but when I, I was in college, I remember he calls me and he was probably having frustrating day in his own business and thinking maybe one day I would help him with his.

And he called me and he’s like, I don’t want to pay for your tuition anymore. Like, unless you’re taking, unless you’re majoring in business, I don’t want to pay for it. You know? Like I just don’t see the value in it. And he’s like, and it was like this big argument we had and he’s like, at least take some business classes.

I need you to take some business classes. And I happened to have some that were required and being a dietician, you had to take like one or two classes in the business school. And I asked those with no problem. I literally like. Just did so well in them. I think my mind is in business, which is why I haven’t shared this really elsewhere.

But I am now currently developing a course for dieticians, nutritionists, and health coaches to get that bait, that business mind, because you need it, you know, in order to build a private practice. And meet with clients. There’s so much that I’ve had to learn along the way that I wish more nutritionists had because I’m a firm believer that there are more people who need.

Help then there are helping them. And I think there are a lot of, yeah, nutritionist kind of banging their head, wanting to be helping people. Like one-on-one all these things, but stuck and not knowing why. So, I mean, I just want to help as many people kind of see the ease of doing that and how they can be more effective and passionate about what they’re doing.

At the same time.

Scott: I liked that a lot, because I think that you brought up a good point before about how the influencer that has the best capabilities to market is giving really shitty diet advice. Whereas the person who is so passionate about diet and whatnot and physical health and wellbeing, they may not have the tools or the skills or the know how to get that message out there grow their brand and their business.

Right. So that could be the fact again, you, you see, you see that pain point you’re you’re you’re right on you’re right on target. I’m curious when you, when you help people with, with weight loss and I, and I don’t want to, we can speak about the program and what you actually do with individuals. It’s also very impressive, but what is, what is the thing that stops people from being successful?

Because I think that’s just a question that I always have to ask when somebody is excelling in helping people lose weight, is it, is it motivation or is it understanding, is it knowledge? What is that inhibitor that you’ve overcome?

Ilana: All change, like comes with fear. And I think people are so fair, like afraid of failing.

They never even start. And you have to be maybe scared of trying and failing, but even more scared to stay where you are. So when that point is there. You can move forward. But I also, I really think the thing that gets in people’s way is God, I, especially in 2020, I it’s shocking to me anyone walking around like this, but the idea of all or nothing, I’ve never, I’ve never had any me, like that’s not in my life.

My parents. If anything, it was embarrassing as a kid, they were so fine being imperfect. My, my parents were not ever trying to be like Betty Crocker in the kitchen, looking great serving cookies to the kids. My parents were like unapologetic about being divorced about ordering and take out about. Leaving us with nannies, if they wanted to go away, like there was, and there was always just like, all right, roll with it, deal with it.

Our room’s messy. Like just, I, you know, we had kind of like a chaotic upbringing and we kinda just like made it like this happy mess, I guess. So I always saw the beauty and imperfect the balance and imperfect and the kind of like, All right. You’ll take like five steps backwards, but you’re moving 10 steps forward.

So like you’re getting somewhere. And I think, thankfully that mindset allows you to say, okay, so I had like five chocolate chip cookies that wasn’t right. But you know what? There’s still so much time in the day. Like I could still take a walk this afternoon. I didn’t drink much water today. I could drink a little more water.

I already kind of did it with like the silly foods, the carb foods for dinner biter. And I make myself like a big stir fry of like frozen vegetables and some chicken with like a splash of teriyaki sauce and kind of still make a good day of it. Right. And that’s what will really help someone lose weight and keep it off.

Long-term when people are like, Okay. In order to lose weight in order to be successful, I need to prepare in advance. I need a quote unquote meal prep. I need to like perfectly make my meals for the next seven days. A lot of times people do that. They post a picture online and they tag me to it, like expecting me to be proud.

I look at that as like, Enjoy your week. What the heck are you going to do? Week two and week three, when your kids make you crazy, your grocery run doesn’t go as planned because it’s COVID and like all this stuff. So I think what really holds people back from success is just, they don’t have a sense of flexibility built in, and the process has to be super flexible.

And of course, everyone always focuses on the results and not on the process. Everyone wants the money. Everyone wants the scale to be down. Everyone wants like millions of dollars in a whole roster of clients and they don’t want to focus on like, why don’t you make a social media account because that’s free marketing.

Like, why don’t, you know what I mean? Like all these things that you could be doing along the way, and then, you know, speaking of dietitians. I myself am included. We have all the education, we have the expertise and they’re all these like younger quote, unquote nutritionist or whatever, trying to like take the spotlight and recommending these like Macia celery, juice, whatever they can make money on.

And it’s really frustrating. And as a dietician for, I would say even probably a few years early on, I was like, it’s not fair. I’m so jealous. Why are people listening to them? And then I was like, if you can’t beat them, join up. Right. And I just hit a million Tik TOK followers yesterday.

Scott: So, so yeah, you got the marketing thing down because that’s something like, even kick talk is something that people can’t, or can’t figure out yet.

Right. For a lot of people for a lot. Yeah,

Ilana: totally. So you can do it, but you have to put the effort into it and be okay. Stumbling. That’s what I’d say.

Scott: That’s really good advice. I want to ask one more piece of advice from you for people that are looking for help losing weight or, or even in otherwise in life, but let’s stick to losing weight because that’s what we’re talking about.

Ilana: I definitely think in weight loss, I always,

Scott: well, no, because the question I was going to ask was. When, when somebody looks for a coach to work with, and, you know, you can probably take this advice and look for red flags in any industry, but say diet and weight loss, someone looks for a coach. What, what should, what should they look for?

What are the, besides just going to your website and, and working with you as I’m sure it’s a great idea anyways, but outside of that, right? They want to work with the coach. Who did they work for? Who do they, or who do they work with? Excuse me. And what do they not want to work with?

Ilana: Yeah. Great. I always recommend someone work with someone who.

Is honestly proof of product, you know, I literally have more education than like anyone. I mean, having not everyone, I’m just saying like, like in, when it comes to nutrition, like this is pretty much it. PhDs dieticians with master’s degrees. Like this is it. I’m like, you know, fine PhDs. That’s great. But like dieticians with master’s degrees, that’s what you want to be look for.

Like, that’s someone who not only has all the knowledge and skillset, but they are, we’re governed to another board, like as a dietician or a part of a board of ethics. We can’t just recommend garbage to people. You just can’t do that. So a registered dietician is a really great. Thing to look for when you’re taking nutrition advice, or even reading a nutrition column.

And you want to look for those letters RD, RDN registered nutrition, dietician nutritionist at the end of the word at the end of their name. Sorry. I had a long day of filming. So that’s one and two is you at least want to find someone who’s proof of product in terms of like they’ve, they’ve lost weight.

Like if you’re looking for weight loss, It’s really helpful to find someone who’s actually lost weight. And you don’t only want to find someone who’s lost weight. You want to find someone who’s kept it off. So again like this definitely doesn’t have to be me. A lot of people listening to this are currently seeing their friend on Instagram or Facebook or whatever it is who did keto for two weeks and starting to look better, like.

Why don’t you wait two months to see how that person looks before you start adopting everything they’re doing. That’s the problem is like, and that’s why I’m so thankful. Cause my parents kind of where my, you know, my first thing, my parents did every diet in the book. So the reason I didn’t fall into quick fix diets is because I saw it.

I saw it. So clearly I saw my mom do Atkins. I saw all the Atkins bars come into my house all the time. Every product they had. I saw all the wrappers everywhere. Cause like, it totally makes you overeat and go out of control. Cause it’s all you’re eating. And then I saw short term weight loss, big term weight gain.

So you want to find someone who’s not only. Gotten the results, but it has been able to maintain that result. And I think that’s really important because even in my private practice, when I took a break to really develop my program, because it was a lot, like I went to New York three times a month, it was like crazy.

I was flying back and forth to New York because I was developing it, developing it within New York city team. From LA and I had to take a break from seeing private clients for the most part. And I referred my clients to another actual dietician who had a TedTalk and had all this going for her.

She was beautiful. We met a couple of times. I felt so comfortable referring my clients to her. She was beautiful. She was intelligent. She was well spoken. She was in the neighborhood. She was easy to get to. We had lots of conversations, but then I had some clients like kind of cry to me because they, she kind of triggered something from their past eating disorder or made them gain weight and all this stuff, because the part I was missing is the fact that she never had to lose weight.

So that’s, and I was sending her weight loss clients. So that is something to think about. Which is again, why I, this is why I needed my program to be like really accessible to as many people as possible because after that I stopped referring people to anyone else. So I wanted to make sure that anyone can have access to it.

Scott: No, I love it. I love it. And that’s that’s, that is very good advice because I think what I wanted to bring out was there’s so much, there’s so much dogma. There’s so many people that are like diehard of following this person or following that person. And there’s like this cult personality type thing that happens in fitness, which is really, I don’t think healthy at all to be quite honest, but you just fall into these groups, you know, it’s really bad.

You see like all the diets, you mentioned, man, the diets, like people, if you, if you even suggest a diet, that’s not in line with somebody else believes in, like, they get like violent about it, right? Like, like it’s, it’s not

Ilana: normal. Absolutely. And it’s really not normal. And I hate it too. Like I hate going to a dinner party or restaurant and you hear someone like, whispering about like calories or keto in the background.

You’re like, Oh, can I enjoy my food? I’m so not like that. But you know, sometimes the craziest thing in the nutrition world and space on social media, especially. What’s fascinating is the small percentages of people have the loudest mouths. So it gives us false perception of what’s working for everyone.

Two biggest examples are vegans and intermittent fasters so it’s shocking. Vegans in and of itself, small group, extremely loud. Not that many people, lots of documentaries on Netflix. So it’s like, even within I have, I run a group that’s like 12, I run like a Facebook group, like 12,000 people on Facebook and it’s always like, More vegan recipes, more vegan recipes, more vegan ideas, not enough vegan, which is crazy.

Cause like we come out with the whole vegan meal plan every single month with vegan recipes. My whole slogan is veggies most. So there’s tons of just like veggie recipes and so forth. And we have swaps on every single recipe of how you can replace it with Tempe or tofu or anything. So, but so many people were saying there aren’t enough vegan recipes.

I finally pulled the entire group. Really specifically to find out, do you eat chicken meat, pork? Do we like, like, what exactly does everyone eat? When it came down to strict vegans, it was less than 4%. So, and you see that all over the internet and the same thing intermittent fasters, there’s a lot of podcasters who are obsessed with intermittent fasting.

A lot of trainers are obsessed at intermittent fasting and it does work for them. And it can work for some people, but at the end of the day in myself, studying others, It really doesn’t work for busy moms who are feeding their kids throughout the day, who can’t not have dinner with their kids and their family, like who can’t not have breakfast, like, and you can lose so much weight, be so healthy, not intermittent fasting, but again, it’s a highly influential world.

So I try as much as possible again. Like what drives me is not necessarily to. Have the fame, but it’s like, why I’m so proud of a million followers on tic-tac is because they are impressionable teenagers. And I want them to know that intermittent fasting is not necessarily the end all be all because if they don’t see it for me, they’re going to see someone else saying it

Scott: is very, yeah, no, very, very well said.

And I appreciate that a lot. I’ve never heard a social media position that way, but that’s honestly, you’re using it for the right way. You’re using it the way it should be used. Unfortunately, I don’t think many people use it that way, but that’s another discussion. So I appreciate that a lot. I want to ask just some like some rapid fire, like life, lesson, insight questions from your career before I pivot, I always just want to make sure that, is there anything that I should have asked about we’re working on now?

And if you meet, you’re excited about anything you wanted to bring up that we didn’t touch on.

Ilana: I don’t think so. I’m really excited about this course and developing. I think it’s actually going to be a really big hit. And I think there’s just a lot of, I think there are a lot of people who want to have a career like mine with the sense of freedom, making your own schedule and actually making money.

You know what I mean? I think there are a lot of people in the. Like giving economy, like in this and the giving professions, like dieticians and nutritionists who feel like it’s almost wrong to make money and don’t see it that it’s like, it’s a good thing to make money. Like it’s a resource. And as a nutritionist, like health is wealth.

I work with like high income CEOs, which I’ve worked my way up to, like, I’ve worked with everyone and in between, I’ve worked the whole janitorial staff at UCLA. Like I can work with anyone. But it’s. You know, I think when you give nutrition advice to people, they can be more efficient. They can save money down the line, like they could provide for their families better.

Like you’re making the world a better place. And that’s where the high compensation. And I think I’ve always known that and strived for that, because I know with more money I can do more. I can give more, I can take an afternoon to film, Tik, TOK videos, that’s public health. So more people have access to good information and without money.

Stuck at a job, you just can’t do that. So that’s, that’s definitely what I’m like becoming more and more passionate about because I realized in order to make the world a healthier place, which is always my goal, I need to get more evangelists like me out there, able to do it.

Scott: I had the very healthy view of money and I wish more people would understand that that it’s, it’s never, never a bad thing.

If you are, if you are championing a good cause you’re doing something you believe in, that’s the whole story behind entrepreneurship anyways. Right? You need to make money to get your V your brand, your vision. You have to be able to evangelize whatever it is. And like some of these. Could be, it could be tech, it could be health, it could be whatever industry you can change the world quite literally, but you need, you need money and you need resources to do that.

That’s very, very impressive. And I, you know, I think that what you’re doing for all the other for all the other health and nutritionists and like RDS and whatnot, I really, really hope that works out because I think that that’s a group that. They don’t have a lot of structure in building a business.

I don’t see. I know that. I know they don’t, they’re just going to wing

Ilana: it. Yeah. And a lot of them are stuck at these like really boring, tiring jobs. A lot of them might even be replaced with computers and software. Like I had so many thinkless exhausting jobs, like inputting calories into software programs and stuff like that.

Like literally almost like eliminating my future job there. And at the end of the day, most dieticians aren’t going into it because they want to input calories it’s because they want to work face-to-face with someone and make a difference in their

Scott: lives. Very good. Very good. Okay. First question you can go into as much detail or as little as you’d like, but I like to go through these cause they summarize well, so first question biggest challenge you’ve had in building out your particular business and how did you overcome

Ilana: the biggest challenge?

I, yeah. You know Early on. I’d say, I think like it’s always confusing to know where to put your time and money. And like the biggest business mistake of my whole life was trying to still have like a bone to pick, but I I’ve made it up because I just had a really good one, but I had for a long time, I was so mad at Yelp.

Yes. I thought like they totally took me for a ride. I wasn’t making a lot of money at a time. They told me like, I should spend thousands of dollars, which was. So, like, I think I spent like $3,000. That was a lot of money. It’s still, I don’t want to spend $2,000 is not going anywhere. I’m really upset about it.

Still has a good job. They told me it would help me make more clients. I already was getting clients just by referral, by doctor, by all these ways I want to share in the course, but I’m Yelp. It was like, I felt like it was such a scan the way they made me pay and then not approve of any of the. When I asked my clients to actually rate me and review me and everything.

So, you know, I think a big difficulty and struggles to know where to invest. And that’s why I really recommend not spending much money on marketing because there’s so much you can do now. That’s free, like on social media. So, so I think that that knowing like where and how to Mark, it was always a tough

Scott: point.

Yeah. That’s a, that’s a big challenge for especially first time entrepreneur, for sure. And you only learn that usually. Well, hopefully you can learn from others, but if you don’t have somebody else, you learn from wasting a ton of money, right. That’s really how you learn. Okay. Where do you go to learn?

Oh, no worries. No worries. Where do you go to like learn and stay on top of things? As an entrepreneur, as, as an RD, what’s your go-to resource?

Ilana: You know, it’s interesting. My whole, my whole method with nutrition, my whole program is really has evolved into a lot of the mindset. So I’ve spent. Like six, seven years and continue to see the nutrition science behind things.

But in my book, I talk about how I broke down nutrition and weight loss into three pillar system. There’s nutrition, understanding nutrition. Then there’s the environment. If you see it, you’re going to eat it. There’s been multiple studies, proving that over and over again. There’s books on it. There’s studies on it.

If you’re hungry and your spouse ordered a pie of pizza. It doesn’t matter that there’s a salad in the back of the fridge, you’re going to eat the first thing you see. So that is so I really help people change their whole like set up their environment because that’s the easiest place to lose weight is when you don’t even, like, it’s not a struggle.

You’re not winter facing temptations and trying to fight them. That’s an exhausting way to lose weight. One of the reasons why people always say losing weight with me is one of the easiest ways is because I set you up. That it’s just easy. Everything you want is right where you want it. And then everything you don’t and I show you what those things are that you don’t isn’t there.

So it’s the environment piece. And then it’s the emotional piece. Our emotions drive eating like nobody’s business. People denied that for years until literally 20, 20 March, April. Everyone was talking about emotional eating and emotional drinking. And I think now. No one can deny the fact that they’re an emotional eater up, even though up until now, people did try to still deny such a thing.

So you know, now for ongoing knowledge, in terms of how to help people lose weight, it’s really studying people. It’s studying my private clients. It’s studying my huge online community as studying my own self in the fact that I’m still maintaining my a hundred pound weight loss through having two kids.

There’s always new challenges. So my ongoing nutrition research is really in. My clients and what I’m seeing and observing, because thankfully I have such a large test group. So I’m able to see and hear so much that might conflict. Like I wouldn’t ever bash intermittent fasting or veganism or any of these things because I thankfully am so intimately in touch with, you know, 20,000 people at a time for weight loss.

So I know that there’s intricacies and things that some people do better with than others. And then when it comes to business, that’s really like my hobby in terms of like podcasts and stuff. I like to listen to, I listen to a few nutrition or doctor podcasts, but I love to listen to like how I built this.

And I’m a really big fan. I bet I’ve recently become friends with Amanda Francis. She she’s like I’m a money and business coach. And she just like is awesome in her idea and perception of money and has inspired me a lot.

Scott: Very good. Those are, those are two, two different lenses, but also very important to combine into like, especially what you’re doing now, but also for others.

What is something in the field of fitness and health that you’re researching that could be new, that could be unsolved or, or not truly mapped out that you want to look into

Ilana: more? Oh, great question. Honestly. Products food products. That’s really where I really want to focus most on. There are so many things we consume every single day that there might be healthier versions of it, but they’re not sexy or interesting or ones that you want to use.

So the areas that I, I want to dive deeper in is how to actually get the right things easier, quicker, and more fun to actually consume. So trying to study that a little bit.

Scott: Very good. Very good. A lesson that you would tell your younger self.

Ilana: You know, I, my biggest pet peeve, when I hear people ask this question, I hate when people say, I would tell my younger self to calm down, no, that everything will be okay. You don’t have to work so hard. I hate when people say that you wouldn’t be interviewed on a podcast for your success, if you did that.

So I truly disagree if nothing irks me more. I don’t like when people pretend like it, I don’t try hard. I like, I like when people are like proud of the fact that they work really hard. So when I was younger, I think I would just tell myself like, you know, keep pushing and things will work out, but don’t slow down.

Just keep going, keep, keep at it. So

Scott: maybe, maybe then instead of a lesson, you tell your younger self, because you still have to grind. You have to kind of grind. It’s going to be, it’s going to be a total, like, you know, pain in the ass, but you’re going to grind through it. So what about what not a lesson?

But advice that you tell somebody who’s trying to build a throne business outside of watch out for marketing. For sure. You have to understand what you want to spend, what you don’t, but just general advice and starting a business. Is there something different or is that what, yeah.

Ilana: You know, I there’s like there’s that book and I, I honestly didn’t even finish it, but like just the introduction, it was enough to get a lot from it.

But the book, like the 10 X rule, I love that concept. He shares in the beginning of book, which is basically. If you strive for $1 million and you start for $10 million, it’s probably not going to be such a difference in energy and effort from one to 10, which sounds totally crazy. But. You know, I kind of see it with people who I’m working with are trying to lose weight.

Like a lot of them are like, I just want to lose 15, but I’m like, all right. But like tell me the real goal. Like what’s the real goal. Like let’s just, just throw it out there. Like, don’t be scared to say it. And we typically get right back down to that real goal and far surpassed that like innocent, shy, nervous goal that they threw out in the beginning.

So I think that the best lesson I would give to, you know, younger people is like, don’t be afraid to dream big. You know, what is it like reach for the stars land on the moon or whatever it is

Scott: like that is a good, the 10 X rule is smart because I think that’s a hundred percent on point I’ve lived it, you know, I’ve lived, I’ve lived where I’ve gotten more than I ever expected.

And the effort to get more was not exponentially more difficult than the first milestone. Right. So, yeah. Very, very good advice. And last question, and then I’ll get some socials and website and whatnot. What does success mean for you?

Ilana: That’s a great question. I, I, you know, I have a lot of like family style goals.

Like I want, you know, to be able to support. A large family. And that’s like that to me is really amazing. And I want just to be able to like, just give to charities and be able to not, I, I think like there’ve been points in my childhood where. Money just we’re so anchored in stress and became such like the siding points of things.

And I just want to always, I have a very logical relationship with money and not have money, be the steering, the right decision. So I don’t necessarily need Chilean dollars or whatever it is. I don’t need to be blinging out on private jets, but I want to be successful in a way where I feel like.

Taking on mentor, like taking on mentees and just the giving to charities and being able to things are things that, because from the kindness of my heart, I want to do, I can do. And I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing while I’m doing it. Cause like in the past I’ve taken on, you know, interns more for them.

Far more for them than for myself. And at the same time, I’m like irked by that time. Cause it’s time it could be spending, making money, doing something else. And so I think, you know, success looks like something where like I have more than enough to support my family. And so I have like these time and resources to give in a way that feels like completely altruistic and fun and exciting and not like it’s something like I actually can’t afford to be doing.


Scott: a good answer. Very good answer. And the most important question, where do people go to connect with you online? No.

Ilana: Thanks. Alonda Milstein R D on Instagram. So it’s, I L a N a, hopefully you’ll find me pretty up there, but there’s always like a lot of Glazer that comedian and I don’t mind it because she’s hysterical, but it’s, I L I N a and then M a you should find the  RD on Instagram and on Tik TOK.

I’m nutrition,

Scott: 1 million followers, not, not bad at all. I’m just, I’m pulling up all your social now. So. I’ll I’ll link everything below. You have a website as well. Sorry. Yeah.

Ilana: And Alana and you know, one goal I have to especially, you know, trying to network with dieticians and help them out. I definitely need to grow my LinkedIn presence.

So connect with me on LinkedIn too. I have to start using that thing, but you know, Tik TOK is just so distracting.

Scott: No, no, it’s all, there’s a huge opportunity on LinkedIn too. That’s another, another platform that you

Ilana: can really take advantage. Exactly. Yeah. I, I feel like it’s you know, LinkedIn, LinkedIn is a good one and and definitely if anyone is trying to lose weight, my book is on Amazon.

It’s called you can drop it and you can drop it. That’s it.


Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.









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