MYST 159: Three Ways to Fail

Okay, time for the ugly truth.

Most people who start a weight loss program do not succeed. And those who do reach their goal weight regain eventually regain most or all the weight they’ve lost. So with that in mind, let’s give you three guaranteed methods to find failure in your weight loss journey.

I mean, if most of my listeners will eventually fail, let’s get it done quickly!

If you enjoy this, excellent! But it is not the key to success.

Three Definite Methods to Fail on Your Weight Loss Journey

1. Rely on exercise alone to force the weight loss.

If you need to lose weight, you probably were not really into exercise much, and you really enjoyed eating. Is that a fair description? Well, while exercise has many very positive health benefits, you really cannot rely on it alone to get you to your goal weight. I talk about this in greater detail in MYST 84, but the bottom line is that weight loss happens in the kitchen. Fitness happens in the gym. You cannot out-exercise bad eating habits.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t exercise. On the contrary, I want everyone to increase their activity level, and how you choose to do that is your choice. But I am saying that if you don’t get your eating under control, and if you don’t have a reasonable calorie budget, the exercise is only going to cause frustration when you do not make the progress that you expect. You will eventually quit.

 

This is a great activity, but it alone won’t help you succeed.

2. Set a hard “due date” for success, especially if that due date is connected to a wedding, vacation, graduation or any other life event.

If you absolutely need to lose 50 pounds before your wedding, anniversary, birthday, vacation–whatever the special event–and you are closer than 52 weeks away, you are setting yourself up for a disaster. Most people cannot lose faster than 1 pound per week. It’s faster in the very beginning and much slower at the end, but overall, it’s 1 pound a week. If your event if 16 weeks away, you can realistically expect to lose 15-16 pounds. That’s it. Setting a 50 pound goal for an event that is happening sooner than 52 weeks is going to greatly increase your stress, because you simply can’t consistently lose as fast as you want. And stress will slow,  stop or reverse weight loss. I talk about anxiety and weight loss in MYST 102  and general stress and it’s effect on weight loss in MYST 138. 

If you need to lose weight for a big event, count the number of weeks, set your rate for 1 pound per week, and your goal is the number of weeks before the event. Will that be as much as you want to lose? Probably not. But it is a more achievable goal. And successfully losing that amount is better than trying for an unrealistic goal, and failing to achieve any loss at all.

3. Follow a diet. Any diet.

I don’t care what “diet” you choose, if it is not the way you intend to eat for the rest of your life, you are choosing a temporary eating plan, and any successes you experience will also be temporary. Any weight that you’ve lose will return (quickly) when you return to eating “normal” food.

This is especially true for any diet found in a book, on a magazine cover, or talked about on a television show.
Those “diets” are created and published for only one reason. It is not designed to help you lose weight, but rather to entice you to buy the magazine, book or supplement.

And if the diet in question is found in a book or magazine and the author is either a celebrity, or the guest or host of a television show, and they are talking about the diet, you will have more success simply flushing your money down the toilet.

But maybe the diet is not in a book or magazine. Are there any other clues that it is a waste of time an money? Yes, and here are the clues:

  • It requires that you buy “special weight loss foods” from a friend/relative/coworker.
  • That friend or co-worker wants to show you how you can make money by selling the product.
  • If any of these words (or anything similar) are found on the label or description of the product or plan: “Cleanse”, “Detox”, “Metabolism Jumpstart” or “Metabolism Booster”

  These will not help you succeed!

Okay, let’s make one thing clear. While I am serious about everything I said, I am confident that most or all of your have chosen a good method of weight loss. I am also confident that you will lose weight, reach your goal and stay at goal. You come back to this show each week because you are committed.

But this information is for you to share with others who may not be as experienced as you. I hope you are able to help your friends find success. (And tell them about this show!)

Photo via UnSplash by Maarten van den Heuvel (Runner), Scott Webb (Weights) and FreeStocks (Supplements)

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Common Zero

MYST 154: Nothing for Nothing

TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

You get what you pay for.

My phrase: You don’t get nothing for nothing.  (Yeah. I know it’s poor grammar.)

The bottom line is if you don’t take the right actions, you won’t get anything. That applies to school, on the job, at home, and certainly as you try to lose weight. Why do I say “try” to lose weight? Because many (most?) people aren’t willing to totally commit, to be fully engaged, or to put their money where their mouth is.

How many balls must be hit before a golfer becomes great? Can you skip that step in attaining greatness?

Photo via Pixabay.com by MadsLiebst

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Commons Zero.

MYST 153: Gentle Exercise

Exercise is important, but it does not need to be painful, cost money, or require a membership at a fitness center. IT can simply be the act of getting off your LazyBoy recliner and start moving.

If she can get her daily steps, why can’t you?

Photo via Pixabay.com by Kaz.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

MYST 146: Exercise on Purpose

The US has a problem. Well, it has many problems, but a major health problem is that as a whole, we are overweight. Why are we overweight?

We eat too much and we don’t exercise. And most of our exercise is “exercise on purpose”. But what happened to “accidental exercise”? If we learn to add accidental (also known as “incidental”) exercise, we will help enhance our weight loss progress. This is not the magic bullet for weight loss, but it is another piece of the puzzle.

 

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How are you going to add accidental exercise to your day?

Here is a link to the episode MYST 84 that was mentioned in this show.

Photo via Pixabay, by hfossmark

Resources:

https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/american-labor-in-the-20th-century.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/244922/us-fitness-centers-und-health-clubs/

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity

http://time.com/3688002/obesity-in-america-photos-from-the-early-days-of-a-national-health-crisis/


Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Commons Zero.

MYST 113: Calorie Counting or Food Choices?

Calories are calories, right? I mean, if over 7 days you burn 3500 calories more than you consume, doesn’t that mean you will automatically lose 1 pound? Popcorn, apples, butter, quinoa, bacon, tofu, lentils and dark chocolate. A calorie is a calorie.

Well, maybe. And maybe not. My friend from LoseIt, Charles Kemp, disagreed with some of my recent statements, and I wanted to further explore his comments and find a way to bring both of our belief systems into closer alignment. Because, in my humble opinion, we are both correct!

bread-1510155__180noodles-1632153__340

Photos via Pixabay.com by Couleur.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

MYST 109: Strategies and Tactics

chess
Strategies and tactics are used for success.

Photos via Pixabay.com by Jarmoluk.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his stor

 

MYST 105 What I Don’t Want To Do

We all have tasks in our lives that we would rather avoid. That is human nature. But no matter how we feel about some activities, if we ignore them, the problem does not go away. That means we need to face up to what must be done. Even if we really don’t enjoy it.

Fix-it Projects Never End!
Fix-it Projects Never End!

Photos via Pixabay.com by StevePB.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All photos published on Pixabay.com are licensed under Creative Commons Zero

 

MYST 103: Busting a Plateau

Weight loss is hard enough and then to make matters worse, suddenly you stop losing weight! You are doing nothing different–still eating the right amounts and continuing to exercise. But now the scale will not move! What can you do? Make a change!

Have you tried yoga?
Have you tried yoga?
Start lifting weight.
Start weight lifting.
How accurate are your food logs?
How accurate are your food logs?

 

 

I mentioned that I added my references for my episode on controlling anxiety. You can find them here.

Photos via Pixabay.com by TessaMannonen (yoga),  Janeb13 (weight lifting), Mojzabreginfo (logging food).

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All photos published on Pixabay.com are licensed under Creative Commons Zero

 

MYST 98: GOYLA

I’m a nurse and we love our acronyms. Today we are talking about GOYLA and how GOYLA is one tool in your toolbox for weight loss. It may be the key to your success!

GOYLA! Right now!
GOYLA! Right now!

Photo via PickUpImage.com, by DesignCoCo.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All photos published on PickUpImage.com are licensed under Creative Commons Zero

MYST 84 Trevitorial: Diet or Exercise?

or photo-1422207175003-e5b7d45ceb7b  or Rainbow-Run-2014-018 Dave Maier

 

Which is it? Diet or Exercise?

When people hear that I once weighed 305 pounds (138kg) and was able to lose—and keep off—125 pounds (57Kg) I still get asked the same question:

“So? What’s your secret?”  As if there is a secret to successful weight loss!

I almost always get the same response to my reply: “Diet and exercise.” It is a little half-frown, a micro-step backwards, and then, “Ohhhhh.” As if that secret wasn’t good enough.

But that is it! Diet: in other words, eating the correct amount of calories and Exercise: moving more to burn more calories. Nothing else. But…there is more to it than that!

This show will focus on the three phases of weight loss, and how “diet and exercise” remains the foundation of successful weight loss even as how “D & E” habits become modified through each phase.

Nothing can stay the same and remain successful. Things always change, even how you lose weight.

And first, I want to thank one of my LoseIt friends, Mike Pfirrman. He posed a question in the LoseIt forum about this topic, and in crafting a response, I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever really addressed this specific topic. So, thank you, Mike! I hope that your question will eventually help many people, even beyond the world of LoseIt!

His question was “If weight loss happens in the kitchen, why am I reading than nine out of ten people who are formerly obese, regain all their weight over a 5 year period if they don’t exercise?”

His question actually addresses not “weight loss” but “weight maintenance”, which requires a different mindset. But I will get into that shortly.

The genesis of his question is that many people come to LoseIt as ask what exercises they need to perform in order to lose weight, and the stock answer is a variation on this: “Weight loss happens in the kitchen. Fitness happens in the gym. Focus on eating correctly, because you can’t out-exercise bad eating habits.”

And I stand by that answer. It is true. Mostly. In this show, I will dissect it more accurately, addressing each weight loss phase.

The first phase is “Early Loss.” Especially when a person has a lot of weight to lose (50 or more pounds) it is not uncommon that not only is the person overweight, but they are also under-active. And their lack of activity is partly due to low/no stamina, painful joints, shortness of breath or other weight-exacerbated conditions that already exist.

Could an overweight person focus on exercise only and lose weight? Certainly. Will they? Unlikely. If a person has been sedentary long enough combined with bad eating habits, becoming consistently active enough to promote significant weight loss is probably not a realistic goal. I will take myself as an example. When was 305 pounds, I struggled to slowly walk a quarter mile (400m) with my dog Ozzy. By the time I reached that point, I was short of breath to the point of being lightheaded. I had no stamina. Physically, I was all I could do to walk that short distance. If someone had told me, “Trevor, the only way to lose weight is to start a P90X routine” my response would have been, “Sure. Right after I eat this container of ice cream.”

No. In that “early loss” phase, we need to focus on something that is equally hard but within the realm of physical possibility. We need to focus on finding a correct diet. And by “diet”, I mean calorie budget. Personally, I do not subscribe to the idea that any one food, food group, or macronutrient is the source of all weight problems. I know that many people have strong beliefs about this. Some promote eating paleo, some promote low fat, some promote gluten free, some suggest no artificial sweeteners, some no processed carbs, some want meal replacement shakes, and so many others.

That isn’t me. I believe that total calories is the problem, and to fix that problem you need to change your total calories consumed. So, with that in mind, and with the help of LoseIt, I found a calorie budget that worked for me. I learned to eat the correct portions (oh, yes, “portion control” is a major component) by weighing and measuring my foods. I logged everything I ate, because how else do you really know what you’ve eaten. And I ate my budget.

And in the first phase of my losing, that worked. I started losing weight and at the same time, I started making portion control and logging a daily habit. I made it part of my routine life. I made it a new habit, a good habit. All because I was focusing on only one thing, day after day.

After the losses had progressed for a few months, I moved into “Continued Loss” phase. I had dropped from 305 to under 275 in about 3 months. It was a nice steady progression and I was about 20% towards my goal. But during that time, I still needed to walk my dog every day. I didn’t do anything special related to exercise. I just walked my dog, but by the time I reached this point, I had started walking longer distances. I was walking up to a mile, sometimes twice a day.

At this point in the weight loss journey, physical activity started to become easier. I started walking more, sometimes even without Ozzy. My losses continued to accumulate. My calorie budget would slowly drop with each logged loss (about 8 calories per pound) but I was still eating the full budget and still losing weight at a fast pace (around 2 pounds a week—I was still 95 pounds from my goal.) But it is during the “Continued Loss” phase that exercise first needs to be addressed.

Remember, as you lose weight, you need fewer calories for survival, which means your budget will drop. Oh, not much at first, but over those first three months, my daily budget had dropped by about 320 calories! That will continue to work for a while, but eventually, especially when you are close to goal, that “budget only” loss plan will give you a budget that is so low as to be unsustainable and unhealthy. The only way losses will continue is by increasing activity.

During the “Continued Loss” phase, you need to gradually increase your activity. This can be simply walking longer and longer distances (as I did) or adding different activities (bicycles, swimming, weight lifting, etc.) You still need to follow your budget, but these new activities will give your losses a bit of a boost because you are now burning even more calories. And when you are close to the goal, you will need to eat those exercise calories because your base budget might be nearing that “too low” zone (below your Basal Metabolic Rate).

Okay, so in “Early Loss”—the first 20-25%, you focus on changing your eating habits, and very slowly add gentle activities.

“Continued Loss” phase keeps the budget focus but brings more exercises to the plan, enhancing your losses and at the same time, building stamina, strength and physical confidence.

The last phase is what Mike was talking about. “Maintenance” is a different aspect of weight loss, and is where most people stumble and fail. If you have solely been using calorie restriction for weight loss, by the time you are at a normal BMI, your calorie budget will be low. Very low. Again, possibly at that unsustainable level. And to continue living on such a restricted budget–continue for the rest of your life, which is how long maintenance lasts—you will probably become one of those “nine of ten” that Mike mentioned.

But if you had successfully made the transition from primarily focusing on your budget to keeping to your budget while increasing your physical activity, you will probably be that one of ten. You will have discovered that sweet spot between activity and budget and when you find that, you are on the smooth ride for success.

That is what I was able to do. Through my losing phases, I increased my activity, which remained almost exclusively walking, to the point where walking 7 miles was nothing. One day (May 10, 2012) I walked over 42000 steps with a 44 pound (20Kg) backpack. That was 18.5 miles (29.6Km), in only 6.5 hours. Yes, I was tired, but not exhausted. I walked 18.5 miles when a year earlier, I couldn’t walk ¼ mile.

My maintenance continued successfully because I kept walking. When I was on the job at the hospital, I added 50-70 flights of stairs a day, to add to my activity. I still ate my budget, and logged all my foods, but now the focus was more on activity (because the food aspect had become a good habit.)

Oh, you noticed I said “my maintenance continued successfully…” using the past tense? Yes, that is correct. My maintenance period ended, and it ended for the same reason Mike’s “nine out of ten” failed. My activity came to a grinding halt. About a year ago, my knees failed to the point where walking any distance was incredibly painful. I was back to that ¼ mile limit, not because I was short of breath, but because my knees, both “bone on bone” would feel like small blast furnaces had been implanted under my knee caps. I could still—had to—walk at the clinical sites, but no stairs, ever. And I only tolerated the walking because I had a cane, strong anti-inflammatories during the day, and strong narcotic pain killers for after work.

And the weight came back. At my peak loss, I was down to 175, and for about 2 years I fluctuated between 175 and 185, which I considered my success zone. And then in the summer of 2014, that ended, and the weight began adding up. I’m now at 205, twenty pounds over the upper border of my success zone. All because I couldn’t drop my budget low enough, and enhanced by the fact that my walking was negligible.

Now that I am fully one month after knee replacements, I foresee a return to my success zone again. It will take until March or April 2016, but I will get back. I now know how to get there, and know what it takes to stay there.

If you are in any of the three phases of weight management, I hope these ideas are helpful. Leave a message in the show notes or use my Speakpipe message system to leave me a 90 second voice mail!

Some links (but not all) within these show notes may be Affiliate Links, meaning that I may receive a small commission when readers click on them and then purchase something. This does not increase your cost at all, but it does help me cover some of the cost associated with this podcast. Thanks!

Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voiceover work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!