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Weight Loss Without Dieting: an interview with Jon Gabriel
By Deborah Oberon

Jon Gabriel’s book The Gabriel Method details his revolutionary method of weight loss without dieting. Morbidly obese at a weight of 182 kilos (401 lbs), Jon decided to turn his life around after a slight twist of chance meant he narrowly avoided being on the September 11, 2001 United Airlines Flight 93 that was hijacked by terrorists and crashed in Pennsylvania with no survivors.

Putting to work his extensive research skills and background in bio-chemistry, Jon decided to discover why he had spent years not only being unable to lose weight, but also continuing to put weight on despite trying many different diet and exercise programmes.

His results were transformational. Jon lost over 100kgs without dieting or surgery and has never put it back on. To the astonishment of many, his body shows no sign of having been overweight – no saggy skin, no stretch marks.

Jon’s life has totally transformed as well. From a stressed out, over-worked, unhappy New York stockbroker, Jon is now living the life of his dreams.

Jon’s book is rapidly becoming a run away success around Australia. With the English language publishing rights for the international market having recently been bought by the same publishing house that released “The Secret”, expectations are running high.

At home and at peace in the beautiful town of Denmark on the pristine South West Coast of Australia, Jon’s mission is to teach us all the method of his transformation.

Jon, how is it possible to lose weight without diet or exercise?

I’m not against exercise; I’m all for it, but in conjunction with the correct principles. Initially The Gabriel Method is not about pushing your body to do anything. It’s about teaching your body to want to be thin rather than forcing it.

All diets are based on the same basic premise – pushing against your body, controlling calories, controlling intake, controlling food types. The premise is flawed. Your body has a specific set point for the weight you are at and if you push against it, it will resist and fight back. The Gabriel Method is about changing the set point so that your body does the work for you and you don’t have to struggle anymore.

So what is the “Set Point” and how does it get set?

The set point is your body’s method of adapting to stress to make you less stressed. If you spend all day on the beach in the sun your skin will be stressed, so it tans to make your skin more resistant to the sun. In winter there is less light, which is itself a stress, so your skin turns lighter in order to absorb as much sunlight as it can. In both cases your body has adapted to the stress.

Weight is the same. If you are living in an ice age and extra fat makes the cold less stressful, your set point exists at a level where it will hold on to as much fat as possible in order to survive. If you are living in a tropical paradise, with an abundance of warmth and as much food as you can eat and there are tigers crashing in on you regularly, extra fat is a survival risk. You need to be thin to run fast to stay alive, so your set point shifts.

We don’t have ice ages and tigers chasing us now but we are living in a state of chronic stress and our body’s chemical response to this stress is what makes us fatter or thinner and how our set point gets set.

Your method is about re-setting the set point – how do you teach people to do this?

You need to address all the stresses that are making you fatter.

Diets push your body to a state of famine: nutritional starvation from processed food devoid of essential nutrients creates a state of famine; your body’s difficulties in assimilating nutrition create famine; not getting enough water or sleep creates famine.

There is also a clear mind/body link. Constant worry about money and time – not feeling like you have enough of it – can create a sense of famine. Many people experience emotional obesity due to emotional trauma they have experienced in the past. The weight acts as a buffer against the world: your body is trying to protect you and put some space between you and the stresses that might hurt you. This was an issue for me – I had experienced some emotional abuse as a child and I definitely felt safer as a bigger guy.

Another really important factor that needs to be addressed is accumulated toxicity. We are exposed to so many toxins in our modern lives – in our food, in our water: pesticides, fertilisers, chemical additives, medications. If your body can’t eliminate all the toxins, they get stored in the fat cells because fat cells are chemically neutral and act as a buffer between you and the toxins. If you burn fat, you release the toxins back into the body. Once again your body is trying to protect you by adapting to stress.

The Gabriel Method takes you through a process of addressing all of these issues over time. The less stressed your body becomes, the less it is existing in a state of famine, the more able it is to lower the set point and release the weight.

You have mentioned that at a certain point during your research you switched from researching obesity to researching starvation. Why did you do this?

I had a realisation that obese people were living in a state of starvation response. You’ve heard of the metabolic response – it is the precursor to Type 2 Diabetes and is experienced by many overweight and obese people. The chemical changes that occur when the body is experiencing metabolic response – insulin resistance, elevated cortisol levels, elevated triglycerides, elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines such as c-reactive protein, tumour necrosis factors, alpha and inter lukin 6 – are the exact same chemical responses that exist in a person who is starving.

So an obese person presenting to a doctor with these chemical responses occurring in their body and clearly on the verge of Type 2 Diabetes: what’s their doctor going to tell them to do? Diet, which then only pushes the body further into a state of stress and starvation response!

I gave a paper in June 2007 to the American Holistic Medical Association at the University of Portland in Oregon. When I explained the significance of the link that diets worsen the metabolic response thereby increasing the likelihood of Diabetes Type 2, I watched a whole conference room full of doctors share an “Ah ha!” moment – it was fantastic!

The lack of evidence on your skin of you ever having been overweight is truly remarkable – how do you explain this?

One of the key aspects of my method is that it re-balances the hormones. Cortisol is a hormone that increases when a person is overweight or obese and as it decreases the skin’s elasticity improves. The Gabriel Method is a gradual process as all the stresses need to be addressed first before the body starts to want to be thin. This gives the hormones time to rebalance and gives the skin time to adjust.

What specific part of the method rebalances the hormones?

The whole method has been geared towards increasing the body’s sensitivity to Insulin and to Leptin. Leptin is the key hormone that controls weight loss and weight gain. Leptin communicates with the hypothalamus, but if, what I call “a person’s FAT programmes” are switched on, then the hypothalamus stops “listening” to it.

Leptin wasn’t actually discovered until the late 1990s at which point the scientists involved believed they had discovered a cure for obesity. They successfully bred rats without Leptin and the rats grew to three times their normal size. When they started giving them Leptin the rats reduced to an average weight/size ratio. When they started injecting obese people with Leptin, it made no difference. The Leptin is there, but the hypothalamus just isn’t responding to it.

How significant is visualisation as an aspect of your method?

Visualisation has been an incredibly important part of the process for me. Every day I pictured myself as the teenager I’d been at 82 kilos – it was simply a matter of time. I spoke with a woman the other day who is having great success with my method, particularly with the visualisation. She told me about her son who had been diagnosed with leukemia some years ago and given two months to live. They spent time every day visualising a PacMan eating all the sick cells in his body. He completely cured himself and is alive and well today.

Your body is living consciousness and doesn’t speak English, so communicating in pictures is a language it understands.

You talk about “SMART mode” in your book – can you explain this?

SMART mode is Super Mental Awareness Re-Education Training Mode. In this state your mind is 10 to 100 times more powerful. Your brain has a number of modes it exists in:

Beta mode is when we are talking, doing, thinking – the brain waves are traveling at 15-30 cycles a second and quite chaotic.

The Alpha state is when you are in your “zone”, you are focused – like when you are playing a sport, painting a picture, playing a musical instrument. The brainwaves are traveling at 7-14 cycles a second and the amplitude is higher and more powerful.

The Theta state is like deep meditation. The brainwaves are traveling at 4-7 cycles per second – this is the state where visualisation is most powerful. A great analogy is if you were looking in a pool of water at your reflection, ripples across it distort the image. If the pool is still, your reflection is clear.

I’m interested to return to this idea of how your method enables your body to “want to be thin” – can you explain this a bit further?

Diets all start out the same way. You lose weight very quickly at first and then your weight loss slows down. Finally you stop losing weight altogether, only to gain it back a short time later. The most amazing thing that happened with my method was the longer I was losing weight the faster I lost it. The longer I followed my method the more my body craved what it really needed in terms of food and exercise.

It made me realize that your body has complete control over how fast you burn fat. If it wants to be thinner it will burn fat easily. The Gabriel Method removes the struggle. If you simply address the stresses your body is under, your body will do the work for you.


As I finish writing this interview, today’s West Australian is sitting on my desk. The lead story is about the alarming rates of obesity amongst children and teenagers and the increasing number who are being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. A major health crisis is on our hands, yet, as Jon points out, the tools to our transformation are easily within our reach.

Deborah Oberon is the founder and creator of the Elemental Certified Organic Skin Care range and a fellow Denmark resident. She has dropped from 66 kg to 58 kg over the last 6 months using Jon’s method and thoroughly and enthusiastically recommends his book to everyone irrespective of weight issues.

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