About 4 years ago, I was at my witts end
I was tired of thinking about dieting, food, and exercise.
I loved all 3 of these things but did not want them to control my life.
I had been yo-yo dieting for years and was emotionally exhausted!
I wanted to be healthy, look good naked, and feel amazing. And truthfully I knew how to do so. I was really freakin good at getting people results.
But knowledge isn’t everything.
“If knowledge was everything, there would be more billionaires with 6 packs.” Derek Sivvers
So one day as I was working with a mentor who was teaching me investment strategies I had this epiphany…
What this mentor kept pounding into my brain was the same thing I heard other investment gurus say – over and over again.
“Create a system, and follow that system to a T, regardless of whether you want to or not”
I was advised that part of this system was to invest the same amount in the market the same day of every month REGARDLESS how the market is performing, or how much money I had already spent that month.
This system took out any of the emotion that would normally cause me NOT to invest – such as the market is under performing or I want to take a trip to Florida and feel like I shouldn’t invest as a result.
Systems are unbiased principles to get you toward an intended result
So wouldn’t it make sense to have a system for something like weight loss that can be so emotionally taxing?
This epiphany for me was like a white light experience
I quickly got thinking and did some research and put together the system I follow and my clients all follow today.
Before I knew it I was seeing better results in my own body from a performance and aesthetic standpoint without an ounce of the anxiety I previously had.
And it turns out most of the experts I follow use pretty much the same system.
So here it is, for you to follow.
Initially it takes some work – about an hour or two of focused effort. From then on, one day a week it takes about 30 minutes to review and plan for the following week.
Think about it, putting in 30 minutes to 1 hour a week of focused work- or spend hours upon hours during the week thinking and worrying about following your diet
This outline works for weight loss, muscle gain, or simply trying to fine tune your diet
- Choose your objective
- Become as CLEAR AS POSSIBLE. “ I want to weigh/look like X, by this date.” Write it down and look at it daily.
- Make it specific and measurable, challenging but realistic
- Here is an excellent resource on the art and science of goal setting – https://www.precisionnutrition.com/day-3
- Find your caloric starting point
- Go to https://manytools.org/handy/bmr-calculator/go to calculate your daily calorie needs. This calculator uses the Harris-Benedict equation which has proven to be the most accurate equation in estimating BMR.
- Choose your daily caloric intake depending on your goal
- Trying to lose weight? Subtract 750 calories from your daily caloric intake given to you in the equation
- Want to maintain your current weight? Follow the caloric goal given to you by the equation
- Trying to gain weight? Start by adding 500 calories to your daily caloric intake.
- From here determine how many meals/ day you would like to eat to figure out
- Create an Action Plan
- Plan out your week ahead of time. What will you eat? When will you eat? Write it down!
- The more specific you are the better! Having an exact plan makes it harder to stray away from it and it makes following the plan mindless – THIS IS THE KEY – MAKE IT MINDLESS.
- Have your meals ready to go! If you don’t have time to prep your food for the week, I know someone who will do it for you 😉 (www.fitafnutrition.com)
- Implement and Track
- Weigh yourself daily, AND at the end of each week, add up each daily weigh in and divide by 7 to find the weekly average. Use this to compare your week to week results
- Relying only upon the scale is not ideal, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Using other metrics such as waist and hip circumference are another great way to measure progress
- Use outcome based decision making
- Decide what to do next based on your results and experiences. Did your weight go up? Down? Did you feel tired and sluggish?
- Review and analyze data and gauge whether you are moving in the right direction
- Choose your next task or objective based on the results.
Here’s an example –
- Choose your objective
Current Weight 220 lbs
13% Body fat
Hip circumference 38 inches
Waist circumference 32 inches
Weight 210 lbs
10% body fat
Hip circumference 32 inches
Waist circumference 29 inches
I will reach this goal in 10 weeks time, losing an average of 1 lb per week (average weight loss goals should be 0.5-2lbs weekly – more is not better!)
Here are the Behaviors that I will incorporate to reach my goal:
- I will exercise 4x/week
- I will throw out all junk food in my home
- I will eat well balanced meals with tons of veggies!
- I will refrain from alcohol with the exception of 1 glass of wine once a week
- I will eat slowly and mindfully
- I will space my meals 4 hours apart
- I will cut out a picture of how I want my body to look and view it daily (weird I know but this type of stuff makes a huge difference)
- Caloric Starting Point
I’ve calculated my daily caloric needs to be 3859 calories
I’ve subtracted 750 calories from this total as weight loss is my goal which gives me a net daily calorie intake of 3109 calories
I can eat 3 full meals and one snack so my schedule will be this
8 am – 900 calories
12 pm- 900 calories
4 pm- 400 calories
8 pm – 900 calories
- Create an action plan
I will use the above schedule and calorie amounts for each meal every day.
In order to stick to this I will be using the Performance sized meals from Fit AF to hit my daily caloric Goals as these meals average around 800 calories.
I planned out my meals ahead of time – I entered them in myfitnesspal so I know exactly what I will be eating daily
- Implement and track
It’s Sunday evening and now I am going to review my results for the week so that I can plan for the week ahead.
Week 1 Body Weight (lbs) / Hip circumferences (inches) / Waist circumference (inches)
Monday: 220 / 38 / 32
Tuesday: 219.2 / 37.5 / 32
Wednesday: 219.5 / 37.5 / 31.5
Thursday: 218.6 / 37.25 / 31.5
Friday: 219 / 37.5 / 31.5
Saturday: 218.3 / 37.25 / 31.25
Sunday: 218.3 / 37.5/ 31.25
Weight – 218.9 (-1.1 lbs from starting weight)
Hip Measurement – 37.5 (- .5 inches)
Waist Measurement -31.6 ( – .4 inches)
How did I feel this week?
Really good, I hardly noticed a dip in energy other than one workout became a little sluggish.
Things I did well?
I pretty much stuck to my plan to a T, however I did have a couple beers with some friends on Friday night. I am not going to beat myself up over it, however I know it’s not helping me reach my goals any fast so I know for next time not to indulge.
Things I can improve
Honestly I felt I did the best I could. I planned my week ahead, and stuck to it for the most part!
Overall Grade for the Week (A-F)
- Use outcome Based Decision Making
So far my weight has gone down slightly. I feel great with no noticeable negative effects.
I am going decrease my calories by another 250 which will give me a net caloric intake of 2859 calories
Next week my meals will look like this
8 am – 850 calories
12 pm- 850 calories
4 pm- 300 calories
8 pm – 850 calories
Rinse and repeat!
Using the example above, if you stuck to your plan to a T and didn’t get the results you want. Try something new. If your weight didn’t drop – try dropping another 300 calories. Implement and analyze.