The 3 Things I Would Do If I Needed To Lose 100 Pounds

by tffitness on October 15, 2015



Before I outline the 3 things I would do if I were 100 pounds overweight, it should at least be acknowledged that gaining weight isn’t really as simple as raw thermodynamics might suggest. Sure, overweight people do eat more than they need to eat given their energy needs, but there are also underlying emotional and psychological causes behind all chronic overeating. So while the 3 things that I’m about to list will in fact go a long way toward getting leaner, if your internal “OS” is fighting you ever step of the way, you’re unlikely to be able to sustain these actions long-term.

So for anyone reading this who might be struggling with weight issues, it can’t be stated strongly enough that you must somehow identify the underlying emotional issues that lead to chronic overeating. But that caveat in place, here are the three things I would do if I needed to lose 100 pounds.

One: Self-Tracking

I would immediately start to track, as accurately as possible, my energy intake, my energy output, and finally the result (in scale weight) of manipulating these datapoints. If you don’t have control over this process, you’ll never make real progress. What isn’t measured can’t be managed as the old saying goes.

Imagine how successful a business would be if no one tracked and monitored income or expenses. Of course, it might be successful, but the odds would be very low. Weight loss works in a similar way.

Intake: I’d track and document calorie intake every day. This doesn’t mean that any particular foods are on the “banned” list — it simply means that everything gets tracked and documented. EVERYTHING. If the caloric intake of a particular food can’t be accurately determined, I wouldn’t eat it. This means limited restaurant meals as you might imagine.

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Output: Rather than focusing on lifting, or any particular form of exercise, I’d probably really focus on my overall measurable activity. Just like energy intake, I’d track and document my energy output every single day. Hint: plan on lots of walking.

Helpful Resource: Upmove Activity Tracker

Result: I’d weigh myself every single morning, under the same conditions each and every time (wake up, strip down, pee, jump on the scale). Use a digital scale, and change the batteries often. Every 7th day, calculate your average daily bodyweight for the week. This number should decrease by about 1.5% of your total bodyweight each week. If it doesn’t, decrease intake and/or increase output accordingly, rinse and repeat.

Two: Frame Goals Around Behaviors

It’s nice to have a goal of say, losing 100 pounds in 12 months, and believe me, I’m all about goals. The problem is that the processes and mechanisms that lead to weight loss are not all fully within your control. For example, while the same basic procedure will work for everyone, it nevertheless will work better/faster for some than for others. We all have different genetic profiles, different hormone levels, different social environments, and different stations in life.

A better approach is to come up with a measurable definition of success based on a behavior that is positively linked to the ultimate objective. If you’re sedentary, one such behavior would be physical activity. “Which activity?” you ask? That’s putting the cart before the horse — just start moving. Use Upmove to track that movement.

A reasonable behavior-based goal might be 10,000 steps per day, every day. Every morning, you weigh yourself, put on your Upmove sensor, and then start chipping away at your 10,000 steps. Personally, I’d listen to a motivational or educational nutrition podcast while walking. I’d also probably try to get my 10,000 steps in before noon, so I could relax and focus on other things for the rest of the day.

(Note: One of my professional behavior-based goals is to write 1000 words a day — something I’m working on right now in the form of this article. I take the same approach with words as you should with steps — get them done early while your energy is still high!)

If you do more than 10,000 steps — great. More is better. Move as much as you can. Be unreasonably zealous about moving, and be proud of your work ethic. Move, move, move. You didn’t sleep well last night? Start walking. Do 20,000 steps! The more you move, the more you can eat.

Read biographies and listen to podcasts about successful people with herculean work ethics. Speaking of… in a recent interview, mega entrepreneur and futurist Elon Musk was asked how he manages to work an average of 100 hours a week. Acting somewhat surprised at the question, Musk (who is CEO/CTO of Space X, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, and Chairman of Solar City) replied “Well, if you really think about it, I’m kind of a slacker — after all, each of my 3 companies only gets me for 30 hours a week.”)

Helpful Resource:

Three: Enlist Social Support

It’s an unfortunate aspect of human nature that we tend to tear other down in order to make ourselves feel better. When a friend makes progress, we sometimes try to sabotage her efforts because her success makes us look worse by comparison: the success of others is a spotlight on out own failures.

Aside from this, anytime you endeavor to great things, you become a minority of one. It’s a lonely existence when you have big goals, because few people live in that World. You need to seek out people who understand and can relate to what you’re trying to achieve. These people can take the form of coaches, training partners, or simply friends and family who have your back. Whoever they are, find them.

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Is That All?

Nope — certainly not. But that’s where I’d start — on the 3 things that matter most. Over time, as you become more comfortable with your new habits and behaviors, you’ll fine-tune the process. In addition to counting calories, you’ll start tacking your “macros” and maybe even start experimenting with meal frequency and timing.

You might also start lifting weights at some point, which can be a great help as it prevents the loss of muscle as you diet

The key take home point is that it’s unrealistic and unsustainable to seek perfection at the start of any new self-improvement venture. Instead, just go after 2 or 3 “big” things that are highly correlated with success, and then go after those things with a vengeance. After all, it’s a lot harder to go from nothing to something, than it is to go from something, to something better.

It’s time to start. Please let me know if I can help any further. Now get after it!



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