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Follow along as I answer a reader's question, "How do I lose 10 pounds?" I use the 80/20 Rule to make a Jumpstart Guide to Weight Loss that will give you the maximum amount of weight loss results with the simplest of changes.
Here are the Steps to Jumpstart Your Weight Loss:
• Make 3 Powerful Habit Systems
Eat Simple, Unprocessed Foods 80-95% of the time--Use Meal Templates
Be Active Some way Each Day--Try the 7 minute NYT workout
Establish a Recovery System--Get 7-8 Hours Sleep Each Night
• Be a Scientist
Use the Try This Tip Today (SCROLL DOWN) to jumpstart your weight loss or download the Jumpstart Guide to Weight Loss to make the 3 fundamental habit changes for weight loss.
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Now onto the Article...
Email--How Do I Lose 10 Pounds?
I got an email from a reader named Linda a couple of weeks ago asking me how to lose 10 pounds. She told me that she's lost 10 already, but the last 10 haven't come off. Besides knowing that she likes beer and doesn't want to give up that up, that’s about all I knew about her and her habits.
I usually work one-on-one with clients. I’ve gotten skilled at learning what I need to know to help them in our initial consultation. I can gauge which habits they need to make in 60 minutes.
But, here was a situation where I was flying blind. I considered arranging a time for us to talk on the phone, but I decided against it.
Could I coach her without knowing every detail about her weight loss obstacles? Challenge Accepted!
I decided to create today’s blog post for Linda and you. Follow along with me in my reply to Linda to find out the top three habits to start with to lose weight the Real Healthy Habits way.
Thank you for asking how you can lose 10 pounds. I created this Jumpstart Guide to Losing Weight the Real Healthy Habits Way to help you (and other readers like you). I know you aren’t the only one who wants to start losing weight without dieting. Thanks for the inspiration to develop this guide. I hope it jumpstarts your weight loss. **
The 80/20 Rule
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 Rule before. It’s called The Pareto Principle. The Pareto Principle states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Obviously, we can quibble about exact percentages, but in my years as a health coach, I see that 80% of the weight loss results come from making sure that you have three habit systems down. We can get fancy developing each system depending on your needs, but basically we can sum them up as:
Simple Foods System: Eat simple, unprocessed foods 80-95% of the time. These foods are energy-inducing, non-addictive healthy foods.
Daily Activity System: Be active in some way everyday.
Recovery System: Recover by sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night and managing your stress.
Get the Basics Down First
Of course with all three systems, there are layers and ways to structure habits just for you. You can get more specific and complicated as time goes on. But remember, these are the basics that will give you 80% of your results. When starting out, try these habits first, then work on the other 20% later.
One time I had a client who wanted to make his first weight loss habit to be drinking Alkaline Water. This was someone who ate fast food twice a day. It wouldn't hurt him to start drinking Alkaline water, but that’s an advanced strategy that most people don't need to make. Get fancy, only after you’ve gotten the fundamentals down.
So how can you take advantage of the three habit systems?Sometimes all you need is a simple hack to get down the basics of eating, moving, and recovery. Here's my three favorite simple hacks to get you started.
JUMPSTART YOUR WEIGHT LOSS WITH THESE THREE POWERFUL HABITS
Simple Food System—
Simple Food System
For eating simple, unprocessed foods 80-95% of the time use my healthy eating meal template. Most people have vegetables, protein, and a starch on their dinner plate already. Using a meal template means that you're just going to change the proportions of those foods on the plate. Lots of times, my clients don't even have to change what they're eating-- just the proportions. Eat 1/2 plate vegetables, 1/4 plate protein, and 1/4 plate starch.
Losing weight doesn't have to take complicated math like calories, macros, or points. Setting up your plate like this will automatically lower your calories, lower your carbs, increase your protein, and increase your fiber without having to weigh, measure, or calculate.
Looking at your plate and figuring out proportions is something that your sub-conscious Assistant part of your brain can handle. This makes it easy to do eating out, on vacation, or at holiday dinners. Set up your plate like this, and you probably don’t need to get fancier than that.
Active Everyday System —
Active Everyday System
Can we make exercise complicated? Of course, but when you're starting off, there are three things you should know about exercise--Start small, be active each day, and do something enjoyable (check out this blog post).
Start small. If you start big when you start an exercise program, you may hurt yourself, you'll get very sore, and you'll have to use too much willpower. These would doom your exercise program the first week.
Doing something daily trumps occasional heroic effort. And how do you get yourself to exercise daily? You make it easy and enjoyable.
Most people enjoy walking. Start with 15 minutes of walking per day if you're just starting out.
Or try this... A lot of my clients like to do the New York Times 7 Minute Workout as a first step to being active and beginning strength training. They like the 7 Minute Workout because they don’t need to change their clothes, they can do it at home, they can have their kids join in, they don’t need equipment, and they can use an app. Find a time when you could do it each day and start small. Some ladies like to do the workout right before they get in the shower or while watching TV at night.
In our age of distraction, we need a plan to recover and get enough sleep. Sleep is not a luxury. It's part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Along with food, water, and oxygen, we will die without it. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep can have disastrous effects on your hormones and weight. You'll have more energy and willpower to reach any of your goals (especially weight loss) if you have a full night of sleep. Sleep 7-8 hours a night.
Here's a simple trick that can transform your life. Set a bedtime—for you. We count down the minutes until it's bedtime for our kids, but as adults, most of us just wait to go to bed until we get tired. Sometimes it doesn't occur to us to go to bed until a couple of hours later than we could have. You'll be amazed at how setting an alarm to go to bed makes such a huge difference in your weight loss and recovery.
Be a Scientist
Be a Scientist
Once you've made these three habit changes, be sure to "Be a Scientist." Most of my clients have 3-5 major habit changes to make to lose weight and keep it off. In order to make new habits that count, you need to take a close look at what is really happening in your life.
So often, the sub-conscious “Assistant” part of your brain is in charge of what you’re eating, when you’re moving, and when you’re sleeping. Most of the time, this stuff is not front and center in your brain. You aren’t fully aware of what’s actually going on. So start noticing it. Track it or review your day.
If you realize what is happening when you eat right, move more, and recover better, then you can do more of that.
If you realize what precipitates a bad day, you can work to set up your days to be more successful.
The Other 20%
Remember these three habit systems--Simple food system, Be active everyday system, and Recovery system-- will help you with 80% of your weight loss. You may need assistance with the other 20%.
Some people can work on these three habits, and they lose all the weight they want. Other people plateau or get stuck after a while. Some people may need help getting started and need accountability. That's where I come in.
As a weight loss coach, I'm an expert at identifying what habits you should make to lose weight and how to set up your habits so they work for your lifestyle, preferences, and your body.
Contact me to set-up a free consultation if you'd like to finally reach your health and weight goals--for good.
Want to Get Started Losing Weight?
Download the Jumpstart Guide to Losing Weight
If you'd like to get started losing weight without dieting, be sure to download The Jumpstart Guide to Losing Weight the Real Healthy Habits Way below.
And of course, you're invited to head over to the Real Healthy Habits Facebook page for more ideas and support.
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 you stop the health and weight loss struggles by understanding your brain and then working with it—instead of against it. Then, I teach you how to put your personalized healthy habits on autopilot for results that last.
I believe that you deserve the health and energy to live your best life.