Today's Post: Thursday, 10-20-2011
Earlier today I found that Yahoo under Health in its feature section had The Doctor Oz Prescription by Dr. Mehmet Oz.
And his article today was titled, "The ONE small secret to weight loss."
Its theme was: "What Does it Take? Actually, nothing more than a small gesture."
He said he found research showing that for those people who wanted to begin fat loss, the ones who simply make a tiny beginning on something likely to work were THREE times more likely to succeed!
His two examples:
One was to save a recipe that would taste good but help you lose fat. He suggested ripping it out of a cookbook. (Since you might want to use the recipe or the book again, circling it in the book, putting in a book mark or writing the page on the cover might make more sense!)
His other example was to set your running or exercise walking shoes by the door earlier in the day when you plan to begin doing an exercise walk that day after work or before bedtime for the next morning before work.
He also refers indirectly to research that shows conclusively that taking such a small step dramatically increases your motivation to keep going!
You do the little thing because you do want the result. But then you have to explain to yourself why you did it! And, your mind apparently tends to say, since I did that, it shows that I really do want this result a lot.
The wonderful thing is that this then empowers you to do far more than you would have done otherwise! That’s why this technique is so powerful.
And it's ten times easier to get started that way!
Here are two examples of similar research.
In one, they were collecting small funds for a local charity back before much of the current inflation.
They did it one of two ways.
First, they explained how the charity benefitted people and worked well. Then they asked for a donation. A few people gave them money. Maybe one out of ten or twenty people gave something.
Second, they did exactly the same thing. BUT, instead of asking “Will you please make a donation?”
They asked “Will you please make a donation? Even a penny would help!”
“Even a penny would help!” Right! As if that would work!
WOW !! was too mild to describe the results! It was as if they had Thor throwing lightning bolts!
More than half the people asked gave something! To be sure many of them did give a penny only. And many more gave little more than that.
BUT more than half the people gave something! And the total they collected for the charity DOUBLED!
The other experiment was as spectacular. They went out asking if people would put up a large yard sign several feet long for a local candidate for office.
The candidate did have local support. But only something like one person in a hundred said yes.
Then they tried a two step procedure.
The first time they asked if people would put a small sticker on their front door supporting the candidate.
Most of the candidate’s supporters said yes.
Then a week later, they asked those people if they would put up a large yard sign several feet long for that local candidate. As I remember it, something like 25% of those people said yes.
So Dr Oz is correct. He may well understate the case in fact.
Making a small gesture towards beginning a fat loss action can make a truly huge contribution to your success.
And, it may well multiply your chances of success more than TEN times!
You can use it to begin losing fat at all. And, once you’ve begun, you can use it to add new actions that increase your leverage and boost your chances even more.
Here are some ideas:
You can try Dr Oz’s suggestion.
Suppose that several days after work you have been going to a fast food place and adding French fries and a soft drink to your hamburger as part of your dinner.
Look up a meat loaf recipe that would be easy to fix online or in a cookbook you already have to fix next weekend and eat after work next week instead.
Bingo! Really, it’s that powerful.
Doing just that one thing may start you on the road to losing all the fat you want to lose!
(My style is to modify the recipe to be healthier and taste better to me. My wife likes to make the recipe exactly as written. But either way, homemade meatloaf is better for you and less fattening than French fries and a soft drink and a hamburger on refined grain bread!)
(For meatloaf, I’d use ground 100% grass fed beef from Whole Foods and add some extra virgin olive oil since that’s leaner than the grain fed ground beef at most supermarkets. I’d use rolled or steel cut oats instead of breadcrumbs from refined grain bread. And, I’d add extra diced onions for more flavor and their health benefits. And, I try using a good quality tomato based pasta sauce with garlic and oregano instead of catsup. And, I might even try some extra oregano or some red pepper or curry powder for the second try at the recipe to spice it up. My belief is the better your good for you food tastes to you, the easier it is to keep eating it!)
Here’s another suggestion. Suppose that you have been buying 6 packs of soft drinks and putting them in your refrigerator to drink on evenings and weekends. And, suppose you like to drink the bubbly soft drinks over ice for the refreshing mouthfeel.
But that habit will guarantee you will have easily lost but just as real dozens of pounds of excess fat.
So, next time you write your grocery shopping list, put bottled water that has only carbonation or club soda on the list instead of the 6 packs of soft drinks.
Bingo! Just putting it on your list is exactly the kind of gesture Dr Oz is talking about.
Then buy the carbonated water & don’t resume the soft drinks!
(Since both regular and diet soft drinks tend to make you extra hungry and fatten you, deleting them is a key to hunger free and permanent fat loss. So that one thing may easily lose you twenty or thirty pounds of fat over then next several months with a slight DROP in how hungry you normally feel!)
Similarly, although you do need to eat less fattening foods in a way that cuts the calories you take in to lose fat, once you do so, you can take a huge step forward by adding exercise too.
Once you’ve done regular exercise for a few weeks, you will be less fat and be firmer even when you don’t show extra pounds leaving yet.
And, particularly for strength training, you may begin to feel better and more in control even during the very first week.
If you set out your running shoes for an exercise walk as Dr Oz suggests, that works. Bingo! You’ve made your small gesture.
But, what if when the time for the exercise walk comes, you find you need for the session that day to be for less than five minutes? Or what if you find your motivation is really low for a challenging walk?
Since BEGINNING is the payoff goal -- NOT the direct results of that day’s walk, that’s an easy one. Look at your watch and walk away from your house for one or two minutes and then walk back! Don’t even walk fast unless you feel like it after you begin walking.
Next time, you can hit the door a bit earlier or schedule your activity that follows your walk a bit later.
After you’ve been doing it a few days, you can try short bursts of really fast walking. But, at first, slow down on those a bit BEFORE you get too tired. Dr Al Sears calls this kind of interval cardio his PACE program. By just doing a tiny bit more each week while keeping up your control to avoid overdoing it each time, in a year you will have fitness you may have trouble believing now.
He had one woman do that who lost 45 pounds by adding that kind of exercise to her healthy eating program.
And, her first walk? It lasted 45 seconds!
Folks, you do NOT have to start out as fit as superman!
And you do NOT need to race to get there either. In fact, making slow progress helps prevent injuries which enables you to keep going!
Just start at all and make easy but systematic progress.
I’ve lost fat weight successfully twice. I lost 30 pounds initially. More recently I’ve lost 10 of the 15 pounds I gained back. So my sustained fat loss is currently 25 pounds.
But I used this technique both times now that I think of it.
The first time, I got the booklet from my Dad who went to Weight Watchers and studied their points system.
My idea was to see “What can I learn from this I could actually do?”
Sitting down with that book while looking for answers to that question was my small gesture.
(That’s the best way to approach reading any accurate information on fat loss by the way!)
The first conclusion was, since vegetables fill you up for virtually zero calories and I didn’t eat many at all, I thought, “How can I add some to my workday lunches and eat some for dinner?”
I found ways to do both.
The second conclusion was that I could cut back about 20% on my alcoholic drinks per week.
So I stopped drinking about that much. I cut out a beer on Saturdays and a couple of days I’d been drinking two glasses of wine, I drank one or one and half instead.
And, I kept up the exercise I was already doing.
Since I made sure NOT to cut back enough I’d get hungry, I didn’t feel like I’d done that much. But note that I simply looked at what I could do and was OK doing. Then I began doing it. I calculated I’d lose 10 pounds but it would be gradual and take a few weeks.
It did. After a few weeks I was 10 pounds lighter. And since it was doable and I had no interest in getting the 10 pounds back, I just kept doing it.
But I got a very nice surprise at that point! After a few more weeks a second 10 pounds left. Then after a few more weeks a THIRD ten pounds disappeared too!
(It seems that eating nonstarchy vegetables acts as an effortless appetite suppressant that has health benefits instead of side effects. Had I not tried them and kept eating them, I would have never known that!)
The second time was a bit different. I decided to make a list of small tweaks that I could do that would each help me lose a pound or two on average. I came up with 12 doable things to make sure I would lose 15 pounds in 12 months.
For the health benefits I wanted to keep drinking a glass of real fruit juice each day. But drinking a glass of real cranberry juice instead of grape juice saved me a 100 calories each time I did it. And, my dinners every other time with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil instead of two tasted as good and were as filling. But I saved about 125 calories each time I did it. And, instead of drinking almost two glasses of 2% milk with dinner each night, I cut back to just one exactly.
Every one of these things was simple. They were easy to do. And, there will twelve of them. Some did more heavy lifting than others. But the combination was effective.
Making that list was my small gesture.
And, since I’d chosen every single one of those things from a list of things I could easily do without excess hunger, they were doable when I tried them.
And, I lost the 15 pounds in 6 months instead of 12 months!
I wish you similar success.
The tiny starts WILL work for you! Pick a couple and try them!