I know how to lose weight, and I know how to teach others to do the same. I’ve gone from over 215+ pounds at “oh my God” % body-fat to lower than 155 pounds at 7-8% body-fat as of this writing. Even as a diabetic, my blood sugar is tightly controlled, and my cholesterol and blood pressure are close to perfect.
It’s obviously not my superb genes that helped me lose weight. It’s not a daily ten-mile run, or a cabbage soup and grapefruit diet, or a steady round of fifteen different medications. I don’t exercise every day, and I can’t remember the last time I went to bed hungry.
I do remember the pumpkin pie and ice cream I ate last Thanksgiving, and the cheesecake I had for my birthday two weeks before that. And my old binge eating behaviors are a thing of the past. I learned how to eat those while not going back to that horrid addiction.
I remember that my last doctor’s check-up showed my feet, eyes, heart, and kidneys were all perfectly healthy. I now have energy all day thanks to stable blood sugar. I can look at my life and see the control I have.
Changing my body started with changing my eating habits. Changing those habits started with changing my thinking. And it took me years, because what no diet book tells you is this:
They will tell you to eat this food at this time, and don’t eat that food except at this time. You can find that in thousands of books, magazines, and websites.
But anyone following a new diet is an expert in being 25 to 250 or more pounds overweight. They have ingrained a lifestyle that has made them precisely the weight they are. Anyone can follow a new diet for a few days and lose weight. But they don’t know how to follow that diet on the road. They don’t know how to follow that diet when work stresses them out. They don’t know how to follow that diet they’re short on time. Forget how to lose weight. How do you keep it off once you’ve lost it?
It’s like the old Mark Twain quote:
“Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it hundreds of times.”
He could have been talking about dieting because most people do not know how to permanently unbecome the fatter person they once were.
This is why it’s so hard for so many people to just make a change in their eating to lose weight. You are never just changing your diet. You are changing your entire life. Because the learner you want to become, the more you have to learn to deal with all of your problems without turning to food. And you have to become an expert in being lean no matter what life throws at you.
I put over 100 pages in my book just covering how to follow my way of eating in the New Diabetes Prescription because I am just sick to death of this never being addressed. You could say my whole philosophy on how to lose weight comes down to two things:
Here’s what is missing from most advice on how to lose weight:
Some do work better than others. As a classic example between competing diets, low carb diets work better than high carb diets. However, you will always find someone who can lose weight on a high carb vegan diet. Just not as many.
And then there’s how long a diet works. The end all be all rule of weight loss is this:
I was pissed when an overweight doctor told me a low carb diet would never work for me after it had already reversed my diabetes. That is the definition of pompous. He did however later tell me “keep doing what you’re doing.” That is the definition of enlightened.
Here’s another nugget:
No diet is perfect, but neither is anything else on Earth, so why require that from a diet? So many people are afraid to start a diet because they fear the commitment required. “I can’t stop eating (fill in the blank)” they say.
To them, losing weight is all or nothing. But that goes against the fact that all they have to do is eat better than how they are eating now. That means eating less of whatever bad food they currently love, but still eating it.
And yes, as you lose more weight, you’ll want to eat less and less junk food. But it doesn’t have to happen all at once like every other diet you’ve ever tried. A black and white approach to losing weight does not work. Think of your diet in terms of grey. Over time, your diet becomes less and less grey, but never white. You cannot deprive yourself long term no matter how lean you get.
Cheating is a part of lean for life eating.
Now, if you have a lot of weight to lose, such truth is your salvation. You’ve been duped into thinking changing your diet is as hard as quitting drinking is to an alcoholic. It’s not. An alcoholic has to stop drinking because alcohol is poison to them. But you can’t abstain from food. You can moderate food. You certainly will learn to moderate food better as you become lighter. But in the end, you’ll still be eating food every day.
What is? Back to the statement above: Any diet that is better than the one you’re following right now will help you lose weight. So if you’re more than 50 pounds overweight, you know you’ve been over eating junk. And guess what? You can lose weight and keep eating it.
You read that. You can keep eating ice cream everyday and lose weight. You can keep eating candy everyday and lose weight.
You just have to eat less of it.
Take soda. If you drink 12 sodas a day, telling you to totally cut that out is asking too much at once for a lot of people. On a personal note, I had my last regular soda the day I learned I was diabetic because that news was my rock bottom moment. And a rock bottom moment is usually necessary to get you to completely pull a 180 turn in your life.
But I want you to lose weight before hitting rock bottom. And so we do this more slowly.
Back to the 12 sodas a day. This is where you learn that weight loss is simple. It’s not easy of course. But simple means not complicated, easy to understand, and easy to use.
The simple way to lose weight drinking soda is to drink less of it. How much less is of course the question. And the answer is…that’s up to you…
“I drink 12 sodas a day. I can’t possibly drink none.”
That’s fine. Say you feel you can drink 6 sodas a day instead of 12. If you agreed to cut down to one 6 pack per day, you’d be saving over 800 calories per day, or 5,700 calories per week, or about 25,000 calories per month. That’s losing 7 pounds per month, and over 85 pounds per year.
And you did it drinking a 6 pack of soda per day.
Studies show liquid calories are usually not replaced by solid ones. So you were drinking that soda because you craved it, not because you were hungry. By no longer drinking those calories, the pounds they packed on will go away as well.
Now, is this diet perfect? It’s perfect for a soda company that wants to advertise their products as a weight loss drink. It is however better than what you were doing before. You were drinking 12 sodas per day, and you lost weight by drinking only 6 sodas per day without replacing those extra calories.
But here’s how you really did it. You had to accept that 12 sodas a day was your norm, and not feel like the only way to be good was to drink zero sodas. You had to settle for drinking 6, and be neither “good” nor “bad.”
It’s easier to deny the guilt you feel from drinking 12 sodas than it is to feel the guilt of drinking half that. Yet feeling that guilt will let you lose 85 pounds in a year. That’s step one.
Step two was going from paying no attention to your diet to giving laser like focus on one part of it, the number of sodas you drank. That’s not easy. Because anyone who does drink that much soda per day (and there are a lot of folks who do), follows a diet of complete chaos.
And that is fine. We all start somewhere. And I would rather help people lose weight who will meet me half way than turn my back on people who won’t bother trying because they believe an all or nothing approach is the only way to lose weight.
When it comes to weight loss, I deal in shades of grey, and so should you.
Case in point: We can make this weight loss simpler. Say this soda drinker’s typical diet looks like this.
There’s no need to add up the calories. The answer is “a lot” and “too much.” It’s a bad diet. We get it. The question becomes how to go about changing it best using our shades of grey approach.
There are two answers to that question:
The first answer will always be known by the individual. The second is my specialty. Here are the three biggest problems I see with the above diet (mind you there are more).
So here would be my top 3 recommendations for this dieter to bring order to their chaos, to be done for 30 days (more on that 30 day timeline later).
Beyond these recommendations, go about your usual business for 30 days, so long as you do what I ask above. The burger and fries can fit fine as well as the pizza for dinner. The greater protein and lower soda intake will very likely decrease your appetite and cravings while helping you lose weight.
Oh, one more thing. Review these 3 ideas every morning when you wake up, and write down (yes write with pencil and paper), that you followed through with them. This greatly helps program the behavior change.
Losing weight without going all-or-nothing is the most radical and effective approach to weight loss there is. And it works best by knowing which habit you can change that will have the greatest impact on your weight loss. That’s where my club comes in. If you’d like to learn more, click here.