Our reaction when someone says “I am drinking shakes for every meal for 1 month”…..and yes that is a Miller Light in the front of the photo.

If weight loss is your goal, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing extreme approach. In fact, the secret to weight loss success is practicing sustainable healthy behaviors and habits consistently over time. 

A “typical” diet mindset is that we must restrict or limit enjoyable foods and drinks from our daily regimen. Although there is some truth to that, in practice what we have learned is completely removing something you enjoy from your diet EVERY DAY can set you up to fail.  What if you just limit or remove some things, sometimes…isn’t that better than having it every day?! We think so!  Let’s say Coke is your favorite drink but YOU KNOW all that sugar is not good for you, try cutting your intake in half! For example, if you have two Cokes every day, drink one Coke instead. Coke has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar, cutting back to one Coke a day will eliminate 980 calories and 273 grams of sugar from your diet weekly!!! Once you have successfully accomplished this for two weeks, cut back again to one Coke every other day. Now you have eliminated another 560 calories and 136.5 grams of sugar per week and you are getting somewhere! Decreasing your monthly caloric intake by approximately 2,000 calories and sugar intake by approximately 1,500 grams from one beverage WILL make an impact on your goals AND you can still enjoy the drink you love…THAT’S WHAT WE CALL A WIN-WIN!! 

You can also apply this mindset to working out. If you are new to exercise, instead of saying, “I’m going to workout everyday”, try every other day first. If you can’t consistently do that for two weeks, make the goal smaller and try three days a week! If you set your goal too high initially, you may fail and then give up all together. After all working out three days a week is MUCH better than doing zero!

You can apply this two week change principle to ANY diet, lifestyle or fitness habit. If you discover that minimal change is allowing the results you desire than why choose extreme?! Allow yourself the chance to be successful!  

Here is a true like example from one of our clients, Allison.

Allison was struggling with eating out a lot, enjoying alcoholic beverages, and missing her morning workouts. She initially wanted to start counting macros, eliminate all alcohol and workout every morning (sometimes 2 a days if she skipped a workout).  This was not working, so we sat down and made a list of short term (2 weeks), realistic goals.

We first tackled the eating out and alcohol. Instead of saying NONE of either of those two things, we reduced them. We cut the weekly alcohol intake to half and she switched from heavy bourbons/beer to vodka. Due to her work and social environment, there is a lot of eating out. She now looks at her week and plans and prepares meals so she is only eating out once per day. When she doesn’t feel like prepping too much for work, she makes super shakes.

For her workouts, she realized the mornings were not her thing. She has added a ton of equipment to her home gym and switched her workouts to right after work on two nights and on the weekends. This gives her flexibility to do a date night with her husband. We came up with a program where she can utilize her equipment and still have variety.

I asked her, “After these past 2 months, how do you feel about your progress?” She said, “I feel stronger and more toned and my clothes fit better.” She added, “I write the food down that I eat every day, which makes me more aware of the food I am eating. I have been successful at adding a veggie/fruit with every meal as well.”