Are you burnt out on dieting? Achieve these 5 small goals and weight loss will happen as a pleasant side effect.
“The average 45-year-old woman has been on 61 diets since the age of 16’’.
This statistic comes from an article published in the Huffington Post UK.
Similar research found the average diet lasts just 15 days.
Can you relate?
At least twice a year, do you give yourself a stern talking to and set a firm goal to lose weight, only to find yourself in line at the local fast-food restaurant two weeks later.
Maybe it’s time to set yourself up for success, rather than failure.
Here are five goals that you can reach.
These goals are not directly related to the number on the bathroom scale, but as you achieve each one, that number will go down.
Goal #1: Regulate Your Hunger
One of the reasons people fail at weight loss is because they let their hunger get out of control.
Hunger is a kind reminder from your body that it needs to be nourished. If you ignore it, it will turn nasty and force you to eat a cheeseburger.
Instead, learn to read your hunger and get something to eat before your hunger makes you do something you don’t want to do.
How do you achieve this goal? It’s as easy as counting to 10.
Create a simple Hunger Scale.
This is a scale with “0” on one end and “10” on the other.
ZERO: The “0” means zero hunger. You are not hungry at all.
TEN: The “10” means that you are super hungry!
Rate your hunger every day for the next 7 days.
Do this numerous times each day. I suggest that you set a timer to ‘ding’ every 2 hours, so you don’t forget. (I wrote a post on how to use a hunger scale, if you want more information).
This simple exercise helps you distinguish between true hunger and false cravings.
By the end of the week, you will find yourself making fewer mindless eating decisions.
You will feel a sense of control that is lacking when you just try to steamroll your way through a weight loss plan.
Goal # 2: Get Regular In The Bathroom
How easily and regularly you go to the bathroom is directly related to the health of your diet.
Get this right, and your body will clean out pounds of sludge festering in your colon.
Dr. Oz got his big break on the Oprah Show. He made his mark through his willingness to talk about the subjects no one else wanted to mention, like what shape should your poop be?
As Dr. Oz put it, your stool should be S-shaped.
“Poop, stool or bowel movement whichever you prefer, before it comes out, is stored in the bottom of your rectum and that is where it achieves that shape. If it is not that shape, it may not have been stored in the right place and your waste may not be working well.”
A healthy body has a bowel movement at least once a day.
Your stool should be soft and easy to pass. If it is hard for you to go to the bathroom, or you are dropping dry pebbles of poop into the toilet, then your diet is lacking fiber.
Fiber is your colon’s best friend. It’s also a dieter’s best friend.
Eating 25 or more grams of fiber means you are eating filling foods, so it is harder to eat as much junk food.
The typical American diet only provides about 10 grams of fiber a day.
To boost your fiber intake, you need to eat foods from plants: vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds.
If you need a guide to help you get more high-fiber foods into your daily routine, you can follow my free 7 Day Junk Foods to Super Foods Challenge (download below).
By the end of the 7-Day Challenge, you will be eating many high-fiber foods. These foods will soften your stool, and you should notice an s-shape by the end of the week.
As a nice bonus, this shifting of your food choices will result in effortless weight loss.
Goal #3: 10,000 x 5
Pedometers are easy to find and easy to use.
You can buy a traditional pedometer that you wear on your belt or upgrade to a modern version, such as the Fitbit, that you wear on your wrist.
Aim to get 10,000 steps, 5 of the 7 days each week.
For the average person, 2,000 steps are equal to one mile; 10,000 equals five miles.
Your daily activities will account for a large chunk of this number, but unless you have a very active job, you will likely find yourself taking a daily walk of a mile or two.
Bottom line: Move more, lose more.
Goal # 4: 40 Days of Clean Eating
Commit to 40 days of eating clean, and the scale will reward you. You will also sleep soundly at night, and have the energy to burn throughout the day.
Why 40 days?
I could simply explain that this sets your body up for success by getting it used to healthy foods. But, for me, the real significance goes back to lessons learned in Sunday School.
The way I figure it, if Jesus could fast for 40 days, then I can go 40 days without eating junk food.
Changing your habits is all about changing your mindset. If my idea helps you look at your eating habits differently, then great; if not, find a different inspiration and stick to it.
What does it mean to eat clean?
The Don’ts of Clean Eating
If it’s processed, don’t eat it. (As Michael Pollan’s described in his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, if it has more than 5 ingredients, it is likely a processed food, so don’t eat it.)
If it’s got added sugar, don’t eat it. (If one of the top five ingredients listed on the food label is sugar, don’t eat it.)
If it’s fried, don’t eat it.
If you are not sure, don’t eat it.
The Do’s of Clean Eating
If it’s a whole fruit or frozen fruit, eat it.
If it’s any vegetable, eat it.
If it’s a bean, eat it. (common sense applies…i.e. baked beans have added sugar, don’t eat them)
If it’s a nut or seed, eat it. (raw is best)
Your best approach: Start your 40 days of clean eating immediately after the 7-Day Challenge. Have a strategy for clean eating that includes plenty of recipes to keep from getting bored.
Goal #5: Waist measurement below 35 inches (women); 40 inches (men)
If reading the scale does bad things to your mood, then put it away for a while and use a measuring tape.
Belly fat is the most dangerous fat. The more you have, the higher your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
To get in the healthy range a woman’s waist measurement must be under 35 inches, and a man’s under 40.
Watch me demonstrate how to measure correctly in my video Belly Fat: How Much is Too Much?
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.