Well, it’s now the start of Week 2 of #10morepounds! How’d you do?
If you answered this question with “I sucked, I binged, I didn’t work out enough, etc” then let me reboot your perspective. Did you do better last week than you would have done otherwise? Did you make healthier choices? Did you drinnk less pop? Did you get into the mindset of “healthy is better than giving into my urges”?
If so, then you’ve made huge progress this week, and you deserve a big pat on the back. I’d mail you one, but that’d be creepy ;-)Image via Wikipedia
Week 1 Recap
To recap, the goals for week 1 were pretty simple:
- Get started
- Drink more water, eat smaller more frequent meals
- Start some form of regular exercise, but nothing that’ll burn you out
- Eat better, especially grapefruit, drink better (especially no pop)
Did you do these? How many? How often? Every step counts. Celebrate your victories!
How We’re Doing
Well, personally, I’ve gone from 232 to 226, so 6 pounds in a week. I know most of that was water and that the real work starts NOW though!
Only a handful of people have reported in so far today (come on, report in y’all!), but weight loss so far is: 32 pounds!
Here is a list of new participants (if I’m missing you or you want to join, let me know!):
Week 2 Goals
For week 2, we really just want to build on week 1. You probably weren’t perfect (not that perfect is the goal), so stepping up your food, spacing of meals, water, pop intake is all critical. Your eating habits are the ones you need to change most because they’ll have the biggest impact on your heart, health, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.Image by Getty Images via Daylife
But, since our goal is weight loss, adding in some exercise will only accelerate that.
If you don’t have a regular exercise program, my recommendation is to build a “tiered” approach. The problem with doing something big like “go to the gym 3 times per week” is that it’s easy to feel like you’ve failed. By building a 3-tiered program, you’re able to feel like you’ve done 2/3 things or 1/3 things, instead of “pass/fail”.
The way I do this is the following:
- Foundation: easy, regular, quick workouts 3x/week like 100pushup challenge, 200situps challenge, etc (Google if you don’t know what these are). I’ve recently added stretches to my mix. This takes 5-10 minutes per workout, so is easy to fit into your day.
- Cardio: Cardio = life. It’s great for your heart. It’s HARD to start (ask @acowboyswife!), but so worth it. 20-30 minutes twice a week is huge, will increase your energy and make you feel great.
- Sculpting: Some kind of toning, whether it’s yoga, weights, resistance training, etc. Getting this in 1-2 times per week is ideal.
If you’re doing nothing now, start with the foundational stuff. Next week, add cardio. The week after, add some kind of sculpting.
By varying stuff, and doing multiple things, you’ll keep your body guessing, work different muscle groups and generally feel like you failed less.
Have thoughts, tips, etc? Comment so other #10morepounds folk can learn along with you!
Interested in Joining In?
Use the #10morepounds tag on twitter, comment or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Some Useful Articles
- The Most Effective Alternative Medicine Weight Loss Recommendations (healthlifestyleforever.com)
- Exercise Programs (healthlifestyleforever.com)
- How Goal Setting Leads to Losing Weight (mariaslastdiet.typepad.com)
- Tweak of the Week: Boost Your Metabolism (via Diet & Fitness Blog) (healthnews.ediets.com)
- Ask the Trainer: How to Lose Love Handles (via Diet & Fitness Blog) (via eDiets Weight-Loss – FriendFeed) (via eDiets Weight-Loss – FriendFeed) (healthnews.ediets.com)
- Reliable Weight Loss Keys (healthlifestyleforever.com)
- Calorie Shifting or Calorie Counting? (fitnesstipsforlife.com)
- What Is Pilates Exercise? And How It Works (healthlifestyleforever.com)
- Physical Activity, Weight Loss, and Fun! (womenandweight.com)
Over the last couple of months, my weight loss has stalled in the 225 pound range, down from 255 pounds ish. This morning the scale hit 229, and I decided it was time to step it up again. And what better way than to get a bunch of others involved, get some motivation and accountability going, and share tips/tricks/successes/failures?
I wanted to kick this off with some simple tips, tricks and thoughts for those who haven’t been in weight loss mode for the last year, or who just need a bit of an extra kick.Image via Wikipedia
Before I do, though, here are the participants (comment/tweet at me if you’re not on the list, or if you want your name to link to somewhere else like your webpage!):
How It Works
Alright, this is pretty darn simple:
- 10 weeks
- Lose 10 pounds
- Every Monday take your weight, and state on twitter how much you lost (note for girls: not your actual weight, unless you went to)
- Every Monday, I’ll post my tips and such. If you have any of your own, comment on one of the series posts!
Week 1 Tips
I’ve written a bunch about my weight loss tips, but since that’s old and there’s a lot of it and its overwhelming, here are some thoughts for simple things you can do now to kickstart your metabolism, drop some bad habits and start the hard stuff (like EXERCISING).Image via Wikipedia
First, though, some basics:
- The more water you drink, the more weight you lose
- The more you split your meals up, and eat smaller portions throughout the day, the more weight you lose
- The less grease and fast food you eat, the more weight you lose
- The less pop you drink, the more weight you lose
- The more grapefruit specifically, but fruit/veg generically, you eat, the more you lose
- The more you keep your heart rate up for more than 10 minutes a day, the more weight you lose
If you do these things, you’ll lose weight. But more importantly, doing these things will probably break most of your bad habits, get your body processing food more efficiently and set you up for success over the next 10 weeks!
If you aren’t doing moost of the above, don’t even worry about the rest of the stuff below. It’ll just make it harder to remember everything. If you’re already most of the above, here are some more specific things I used to do, and now need to get back into the habit of doing!
- Use programs such as 100pushups and 200situps to lay a foundation of daily exercise (I swap out between each program each day, as it works a different part of your body). Since we have 10 weeks, it’s perfect to get both programs done (since you’ll undoubtedly miss some weeks, do some weeks over, etc). Start today! Do them in the morning.
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Do 20-30 minutes of cardio. Goal here is to sweat for 10 minutes. Walk if you’re out of shape, jog if you can, run with the dog, play frisbee, play football with your kids, play basketball… Just get out and do something. You can even just run up and down 2 steps in your house if you want. Just get the heart rate up for 5 minutes, then do something slightly more leisurely for a minute or two, then back at it again. Do this a couple of times a week.
- Weigh yourself at the same point every day. Early morning, pre eating, post… erm, release is best.
- Eat half a grapefruit every morning. Grapefruit covers a multitude of sins!
- Do other kinds of workouts. Don’t have a gym? Use one of the hotel workout regimens out there.
Now Get To It!
You signed up to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. It is TOTALLY doable. In fact, you’ll probably lose 2-4 pounds this week alone if you hit this. But you’ve got to keep it up for the whole 10 weeks.
And here’s the dirty little secret… If you do, you’ll be in the habit of all of this, and you’ll keep losing weight afterwards!
Have thoughts, tips, etc? Comment so other #10morepounds folk can learn along with you!Image via Wikipedia
Interested in Joining In?
Use the #10morepounds tag on twitter, comment or email me (email@example.com)!
Some extra articles that MIGHT help (haven’t read them all, so I dunno!)
- A Quick Weight Loss Diet Recommendation (healthlifestyleforever.com)
- Jazz It Off – Week #1 (petroville.com)
- Pre-Wedding Weight Loss (weight-loss-methods.suite101.com)
- Easy Weight Loss Plan (healthlifestyleforever.com)
- Weight loss: cut more calories or do more exercises (weightlossnutrition.org)
- Reliable Weight Loss Keys (healthlifestyleforever.com)
- End of Week 1 Followup (ensight.org)
If you’re reading this, you hopefully completed the entire first week of the program! If you have, I’d love your feedback in the comments!
Before we get into Week 2′s goals, thoughts, tips, etc, I wanted to share some thoughts and tips from readers :)
Linda wrote a handful of great tips to help you along your way:
I once read a comment by Joan Collins. Her diet tip was always leave the table feeling that you could eat more. Apparently that’s what the Victorians used to do.
I recommend you always take a packed lunch to work. It only takes a couple of minutes the night before. It saves money and stops you grabbing calorie laden sandwhiches from shops.
I’m a great soup maker and in the winter I make big batches of soup which I use over a few days for lunch times. It’s easy to take some with your in a thermos. Coupled with a wholemeal roll a nice healthy alternative
I’ve been using MyFoodDiary.com to track my food & exercise. I find its a great tool for understanding the impact of different foods on your goals. There a few of these types of sites but I found the food database to be the best and its dead easy to use. The only down side is the $10/month fee but I think its worth it compared with all the search I’d need to find equivalent information. There is also a good goal tracking component.
Jim reminded us that you should rest for 2 minutes between each of your sets of crunches for maximum effect :)
Stephanie added to my tips on breakfasts by suggesting pre-packaged egg whites (a huge tip if you can stomach it!):
I am all about the egg whites for bfast. I mostly use the ones that come in the container – like egg beaters. It’s great if you can mix in a few veggies or low fat turkey and swiss for a very special egg white omelette.
If you have any of your own tips, leave a comment so everyone can benefit from what you’ve learned works for you. This program is really my tips that worked for me. They may not work for you, and in the same way by sharing what works for you, you could easily help someone else lose weight and get healthier!
How Was Week 1?
Now that you’re preparing for Week 2, ask yourself how Week 1 was. Did you get closer to a healthier lifestyle? Did you lose weight? Did you accomplish something you didn’t feel you’d be able to accomplish? Did you want more things you could do?
Week 1 was admittedly fairly light in terms of working out or food changes, but that’s because doing a crash course where you change your life isn’t our goal. Because those types of diets and exercise programs, for most people, are incredibly hard to implement. That’s why we’re focusing on 1 core new goal for each day. Last week was more water, better sleep and better breakfasts.
This week we’re going to focus on starting to build a workout regime (more on that later), better lunches and how to eat out in a slightly healthier manner.
My Secret for Success
But before we get into specifics, I want to talk about the core thing I believe is helping me succeed. As I said at the start, I’m still not “there” yet, but in the last month I’ve often hit the point where I would have given up. And I personally believe that’s because I adopted the philosophy I’m about to talk about – and the philosophy I want you to focus on for Week 2.
Week 1′s philosophy was to build great habits.
Week 2′s philosophy is, simply put, to diversify.
In the past when I tried to lose weight I looked at it as a 2-part system: good food and more exercise. “Eat right, exercise properly!” is what we hear over and over again. The problem is that these are binary solutions. You either eat right or you don’t and you either exercise properly or you don’t. And if you have a bad day you feel like a failure. Have a bad weekend and you want to give up. Have a bad week and you’re done for.
This is why for me, “eating” isn’t one goal. It’s 5 (we’ve covered 2 of those already: drink more water and eat better breakfasts). And working out is actually 5 as well. But the core is the same: diversify.
I am not an advocate of something like “go to the gym 3-4 times per week” as your only solution. Because it’s a huge, huge barrier if you don’t go regularly.
I’m a huge fan of building severall smaller exercise plans you can follow, and building more into your lifestyle as time goes on.
As an example, here are the exercise programs I currently try and follow. As you’ll see, if I don’t hit all of them, it’s okay because I’m working at so many:
- 2-3 cardio workouts in the gym per week (I didn’t start with this, my original goal was to get to the gym 10 times in a month)
- Joining the Hundred Pushup Challenge (3 times per week)
- Doing 2-3 ab workouts per week
- Doing 1-2 outdoor jogging workouts per week
- Doing 1-2 full weight workouts per week (I do intervals of 2 mins on the bike followed by 3 groups of weights and back again)
For example this week I went to the gym twice, did my hundred pushup challenge all 3 times, did 2 ab workouts and did 1 full weight workout. So basically 8 workouts (some short, some long). Now obviously I didn’t start with that. What I started with is what you started with last week: regular walks, regular crunches.
This week we’re going to add a new part to that component: The Hundred Pushup Challenge.
The Hundred Pushup Challenge is notable for 3 key reasons: it’s easy to start, it’s easy for even the most unfit person to follow and it’s hard. In fact if you look at Week 3 at the start of the program, even the lowest level will probably seem close to impossible. But take it from someone who’s just finished Week 3 (only the highest tier), even if you can only 5-10 pushups consecutively, you can do this.
So let’s get to the specific goals for this week:
Eating & Diet
Last week you hopefully nailed down a handful of good habits, specifically drinking more, eating a better breakfast, eating less junk food and drinking less non-diet pop. This week we’re going to focus on 3 key areas:
- Eating less junk food
- Eating better lunches
- Drinking more water
Noticing a pattern here? Yeah, that’s right, we’re keeping it simple. The pushup challenge is going to be a significant milestone for you, so the core of what we’re trying to do is to build one more good habit, ie: better lunches. Because if you’re eating better breakfasts and eating better lunches, by definition you’ll be eating less junk food! Adding in your existing water habit and you’re well on your way to a solid diet (and next week we’ll take this to the next level!).
In addition this week you should start thinking about healthy snacks. Snacks in an unhealthy person’s life are evil. Snacks when you’re trying to lose weight are a tool to stop you from binging. But they must be used properly. We’ll cover this in Day 3.
The entire focus for this week really is the hundred pushup challenge, but we also want to continue building on what we did last week, so here’s our full set of exercise goals:
- If you didn’t do 3 sets of good form half-crunches last week, that’s your goal for this week. The easiest way to think of this is that you should do the crunches on the day following when you read this post. So if you read the post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, do the crunches on Tuesday, Thursday and sometime during the weekend.
- Your walks. Walking is key if for no other reason than it gets you outside or on the treadmill or to the gym. You’ll only be burning 5-7 calories per minute, but the point isn’t the calorie burn. It’s building the habit and getting your heart pumping. If you’re anything like me you had medium to high blood pressure, caused by (among other things) an unfit heart with fat around it. By getting your heart rate up (ie: working til you sweat) 1-2 times per week, you are starting to get your heart healthier!
- Your Hundred Pushup Challenge. Do this the same day you read these posts, so probably Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Now this might seem like a lot, which is why it’s okay if you don’t do everything. As I said above, the purpose of all of this is to start building habits and to diversify so that if you don’t accomplish everything you are still getting healthier. So if you’re like me you might only do your hundred pushup challenge, 2 crunches and 1 walk. But that’s fantastic because 2 weeks ago you weren’t doing any of that!
Plus, if you count up the time you’re spending, even if you only accomplished half of the above, you still got in 2-3 solid workouts for where you’re at and probably worked out for more than an hour!
Metrics and Milestones
As with last week, keep taking your measurements, but now you should start to set goals for your walks and crunches. My recommendation is to set 3 goals for each of the areas you’re trying to improve on. Try something like this:
- Get to the point where you do all 3 groups of crunches each week / complete all 3 sets of 10 crunches for your workouts / get to 15 crunches per set
- Eat breakfast every day / eat a healthy breakfast every day / add fruit to your breakfasts
- Cut your fast food intake to once per week for lunch / when you do eat out, choose a healthier option / pack your lunch and bring it to work
These are examples of 3 goals for 3 different areas. The last one is a significant improvement over where you are now, where the first 2 build to the point where the last one is achievable. By having lists like this for each area you’re trying to improve on, you are able to start checking off a lot of milestones this week!
Week 2 and Week 3 are always the hardest in any workout or exercise routing. Mostly because anytime you make the decision to live healthier you generally have 1-2 weeks of energy and enthusiasm. After that it’s all discipline and persistence.
This week is significantly harder than last week in some ways (the hundred pushup challenge specifically) but significantly easier in others (less things to focus on).
Anytime you feel down or depressed or unmotivated, talk to someone. Feel free to email/comment/twitter me and I’ll do my best to help. But talk to someone.
And my biggest tip of all for this week: if you feel like you didn’t get everything out of this week that you could have, start the week again. There is absolutely no shame in redoing a week to nail a bunch of the goals, feel better, improve your quality of life, etc.
As an example, next week I’m going to start Week 4 of the Hundred Pushup Challenge. A lot of my friends have said this is the hardest week and they barely get through it. As a result they repeat it, so that Week 5 and 6 are more doable. I’m expecting to do the same thing, but I view that as continuing on my path to success vs failing.
So do what you need to to succeed. You only fail if you give up, give in or stop trying. Even if you stop all the habits and start again, you still didn’t fail. You started again. So keep it up!
By now you should have completed Week 1! If so, give yourself a huge pat on the back! Week 1 was really about starting to build good habits that lay the foundation for a healthier lifestyle. As I siad at hte start of all this, when I started losing weight I was lazy, fat, completely unfit and had built a lot of bad habits.
Over the last year I dropped a lot of those, but I was still far from living a healthy life. When I got onto my newest health kick 4 months ago (give or take), I realized that the core thing I had to do was to build healthy habits. If I didn’t build habits, and didn’t diversify my “portfolio” of good eating, healthy living and exercise, I’d only have 2 options: I’d either be “on” the bandwagon or “off” it – and for me that’s a recipe for disaster.
Week 1 was, at its core, about building 3 core habits: drink more water, eat better breakfasts and sleep better. If you were able to do those 3 things consistently, you succeeded!
In addition, I made some minor suggestions to help you improve your quality of life. I’ll put these in a list format so you can check off how much better you’re doing on each of those. Your goal here is to have hit at least 7 of them. If you do, you’ve rocked the house. If you hit 5 you’re doing great and if you hit 3 you’re doing better than you were a week ago and still deserve to celebrate!
So here are some milestones you may have accomplished:
- Did 2-3 ab workouts via good form half-crunches
- Completed 1-2 light walks (where you broke a sweat but didn’t kill yourself)
- Cut your junk food / fast food intake
- Stopped eating when you were no longer hungry instead of going back until you were full (not everytime, but you started to build the habit)
- If you drink pop, you switched to diet
- Began thinking about what you were eating in terms of calories or “cost” (of working it off) instead of how much you liked the food
- Told somebody you were trying to lose weight. The shame of starting can be intense. The support of others knowing is significant. Personally, I use Twitter and this blog to communicate how well I”m doing. Others setup dedicated blogs to share successes, failures, tips, dreams, realizations, etc. No matter how you do it, sharing the experience creates a support network, which is critical for success.
- Set goals for yourself, set milestones and realized that it’s possible for you to hit them. The sense of hopelessness that accompanies trying to lose weight can be incredibly significant. Hope is your biggest weapon against depression. And the easiest ways to build hope are through your support network but also through setting goals that you can achieve. Everytime you feel like giving up, set a goal you can hit in the next week (or less!) and hit it! Show yourself how wrong you are that it’s hopeless!
- Took your measurements at least once, building the habit of taking it every week to show yourself your progress.
- Started taking this program (yes it’s a freebie, but it’s a milestone and deserves to be celebrated)!
For tomorrow (Sunday) I’ll have the notes up for Week 2′s program. Week 2 will start to build in some significant milestones and tools, so hopefully you’re ready to start working!
Over the first part of this week you should have begun developing core habits for living a healthier life. You might have experienced some weight loss, but more realistically you’ve simply experienced a bit more energy, a bit better sleep and a bit less depression about your weight.
This first week really was about setting yourself up for success, instead of most diet and exercise programs which are designed to set you up for failure by requiring too much of you at the start (which is why most folk only last about 2 weeks).
During the first couple of days we focused on drinking more water. During the next couple we focused on eating better breakfasts. Over the next couple we’re going to focus on something that’s just as core but just as simple: getting a better sleep.
There’s a very simple truth to weightloss: if you aren’t sleeping properly you aren’t setting your day up for success. Read through this article on weightloss and sleep. While sleeping won’t cause you to burn a tonne of calories (400-800 depending on your weight and sleep habits), a solid 7-8 hours will setup your metabolism, keep your hormones in balance and ultimately keep you happier (which will result in less binging, more balance and more weightloss overall).
So your goal for the next 2 days is very simple: make sleep a priority. Given that this should be your Friday, basically try and catchup on lost sleep this weekend. If you haven’t been sleeping 7-8 hours, you may need a couple of 10 hour days to reset your system. Don’t be afraid of that, or of any lost work time, because in a couple of weeks your body will be rocking and you’ll be quite happy at 6-7 hours once you’re working out more, eating better, etc.
In addition, if you haven’t already done 2-3 sets of crunches (here’s a video on how) and haven’t yet taken 1-2 light walks (break a sweat but don’t come home panting), you’ll want to try and catchup on those things this weekend.
And if you haven’t yet taken your measurements, suck it up and get them done now. The biggest reason for doing this is so that you know exactly how well you’re doing. The longer you wait, the less dramatic your results will be, so get it done ;-)
If you have taken your measurements, feel free to update them this weekend. You probably won’t notice a significant difference, but as with everything in this program: building the habit is key!
So have a great weekend, don’t eat junk food at the theatre, stay away from fast food altogether, try and eat soup instead of steak (you’ll be surprised how filling it can be), sleep well, drink lots of water, eat your breakfasts and have fun. The weekend is the time to recharge. If you’re going to eat poorly, keep it to one “free day” (I use Sundays). Don’t spread it over the weekend.
And if you’ve completed your first week, celebrate! It wasn’t the hardest, but this is the first step in a very successful journey to weight loss, a healthier life and better eating!