JUST GET THE KEY POINTS...
How Do I Tell if My System is the FRESHEST?
You need systems to make habits that will work for the long-term (not just goals). To make systems that will keep you going, they need to be the FRESHEST. Use the acronym FRESHEST to make sure your systems and habits have what it takes to get you to your goal.
Which Weight Loss System Works the Best?
To get an idea how to evaluate your FRESHEST systems, check out the showdown between two popular Eat Better Systems —calorie counting and the plate method. Calorie counting gets a failing FRESHEST grade while the Plate Method gets an A+.
You can reach your goals with a DIY FRESHEST system (get your FRESHEST checklist here) or you can get help from me 1-on-1.
Whichever option you choose, you can finally reach your goals.
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Un-FRESHEST vs FRESHEST System Showdown
What I wanted to do today is to go through a Un-FRESHEST system versus a FRESH system, so you can see why one works while the other one sets you up for failure.
Who’s up for a system showdown?
Goal to Lose 10 Pounds
Let’s say you wanted to lose 10 pounds. We're going to take a sledgehammer and break that goal into an Eat Better system.
Then, we are going to run two different Eat Better strategies through the FRESHEST system checklist and see which one passes the test.
All right, so let’s go over the What not to do- unFRESHEST system first and why it doesn't work.
1500 Calories— Un-FRESHEST
The first system we’re going to try is 1500 calories. We are going to try eating 1500 calories per day. So let's run it through the FRESHEST system checklist.
Let’s start with F. F is for forever. Could we eat that 1500 calories per day forever? Probably not.
After a while, most people say, “Counting calories is too much work. I don't want to weigh stuff. Some stuff, I don't even know how many calories it is.” Forever? Probably not with a 1500 calorie diet.
R-is for Routine
Routine? Can you make a habit of 1500 calories a day? Well, if you ate the exact same things you could, but the habit part of your brain cannot count calories. So routine? Not possible. That's another strike against it.
E-is for Enjoyable
What about Enjoyable? I don't know about you, but last time I counted calories, it was anything but enjoyable. It takes up to 10 minutes per meal just to enter your meal into a calorie counting app. So, another strike against counting calories.
S-is for Small
Small? Well, if you're starting out eating more than 1500 calories, and now you have to learn how to count calories, measure and weigh food, and meal plan, it's not that small of a change. It's actually a really BIG change. So another strike against it.
H-is for Helpful
H is for helpful. Is it helpful or relevant to your roles and values in life? Well, 1500 calorie counting doesn't make you a better mom. It doesn't make you a better employee. It doesn't make you a better friend. So, another strike against it.
E-is for Experiment
Experiment--can you experiment with the 1500 calorie diet? Well, yeah, I think you can. You can try it out and see where you're messing up--like overeating at night. You could try different kinds of foods until you get it right. Yeah. You could experiment with calorie counting. So that one is a Yes.
S-is for Someone to be Accountable to
What about S? Can you have someone you're accountable to? Can you find a coach? Can you find a friend? A partner? Yes, you can do that with 1500 calories.
T—is for Time-Bomb
And then the last one-- Time bomb. Can you make calorie counting urgent? Yeah. You could make it urgent. You could say, “Well, I've only got 10 weeks before I go on my cruise. I have to do this 1500 calorie thing every day.” Yes, making it urgent could work.
Calorie Counting Gets an “F”
Getting only 3 right out of 8 is a failing grade. Calorie counting gets an “F.” Most people find calorie counting is NOT a good system for the long-term.
The Plate Method—FRESHEST
All right, now let's talk about something that I teach instead of calorie counting. It's the simplest Eat Healthy, Lose Weight System around. The plate system is where you eat our meals based on proportions on your plate.
Take a plate and divide it into quarters. Half plate vegetables. Quarter plate carbohydrates., Quarter plate protein. Super simple.
F-is for Forever
Can you do it forever? Oh yeah. All you have to do is look at the plate. It's something you can do on holidays. It's something you can do on vacation. It’s something you can do when eating out. Even at work lunches or dinners, you can do it. So could you do it forever? Yes.
R-is for Routine
What about routine? Yes. The habit part of your brain can easily look at a plate and divide it up. No tricky math or weighing. Just looking at it, seeing if it matches up to the proportions on the plate. So yes, you could make a habit out of it. The habit part of your brain says, “Okay, that's the right ratios.”
E-is for Enjoyable
So what about the E? E is for enjoyable, so can the Plate system be enjoyable? Well, if you do it right, yes.
I teach my clients that they need to eat delicious foods--that just happen to be healthy. Make sure that whatever you're eating is delicious and healthy, and then it'll be no problem. It will be enjoyable.
S-is for Small
Okay. Small. Well, you can break down the Plate Method into small changes. Maybe first you focus on getting half a plate of vegetables or even start with a quarter plate of vegetables. Then start working on whittling down the carbs to a quarter of your plate. Or make sure there's protein at every meal. Yes, you can break it down into small pieces.
H- is for Helpful
H-is it helpful? Well, here's a super cool thing. It can be helpful to your most important roles and values because it’s such a simple concept. You can teach it to your kids. You can teach it to your coworkers. It helps you be healthy in general. It's not arbitrary like calorie counting. So yes, it can definitely be helpful to those roles and values that you have.
E-is for Experiment
Now, what about E--experiment? Yes. You can experiment. You can try it out. Make a backup plan, so that you always have fresh fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator. You can see what's not working--you can test it out. Then, you can tweak your plan. So yes, you can experiment.
S-is for Someone (to Be Accountable to)
What about the other S--someone to be accountable to? If you get your children to use the plate method, you can bet you'll have someone to be accountable to.
For kids, I recommend quarter plate fruit, quarter plate vegetable, a quarter plate starch, and a quarter plate protein.
If your kids are on board with their very own plate. You’ll have accountability because they're going to be like, “Mom, what happened to your plate? It's not right.” So yeah, it's, it's easy to find someone to be accountable to if your whole family is doing it!
T-is for Time-bomb
And then we have Time-bomb or urgent. This might take a little bit of work, but you definitely can find a way to make it urgent. Maybe something that you're trying to do as a family. Maybe a special date with your husband or maybe a doctor's appointment. Whatever it is--Yes, there's a way to make it urgent.
The Plate Method Gets An “A+”
What to Do Next…
Want to DIY your FRESHEST System?
If you want to go ahead and make your own FRESHEST system to reach your weight loss and health goals this year, download my FRESHEST checklist below.
If you're not quite sure what your systems should be--what the little stepping stones are for your health and weight loss goals-- then go ahead and check out next week’s video. I'll let you in on the 10 Simplest Health Habits with the biggest impact.
And as an extra bonus, I’ll have another video the following week with the 10 Easiest Family Health Habits.
This is the year you reach your health and weight loss goals. So check out these videos, and let’s get started together.
Want Real Results Now?
If you’re done with DIY and want to make sure you reach your goals this year once-and-for-all, here’s what you should do:
We’ll map out your customized habit plan together.
Then, we’ll get started--finally succeeding one habit at a time.
With the Real Healthy Habits Jumpstart Program, your definition of weight loss success can finally be a reality.
Until next time,
I'm a dietitian, personal trainer, and health coach who started asking all the tough health and weight loss questions-- like how do we get more willpower, why can’t we stay motivated, and why is getting healthy and losing weight so tough?
I discovered that the answer to all these questions is simply--Your Brain.
I help frustrated people end their health and weight loss struggles by understanding their brain and then working with it—instead of against it. Then, I teach them how to put their personalized health habits on autopilot for results that last.
You deserve the health and energy you need to live your best life.