Simple and Easy don’t always go together

Six months ago, I embarked on something I had never done before: make a conscious effort to lose weight.  I figured, like most things in life, the simplest way is usually an easy way.  Uncomplicated is always good but it doesn’t necessarily make things much easier.

So I decided on the simplest weight loss program of all, guaranteed to work, and I will share it with you in two words.  No books to buy, no meetings to attend, no apps to download, no expensive meal plans to buy, no exercise program, and no expensive shakes to swallow…..could save you $thousands!

Here it is, the Mindmuser Non-patented Weight Loss Program in two words:  “eat less”.   Well, you can’t beat that for simplicity!  The average adults eats 3-5 lbs of food/day and your task, to achieve a change in your weight trajectory is to make that less…..say 2.5-4 lbs/day depending on your goals.  You don’t have to change anything else, just cut it all down proportionately.  The physics is simple:  less energy in means less unused energy stored, and more of that stored energy gets used up.

Here is where simple does not translate into easy: dealing with the hunger, the habits, and impatience are the main difficulties I encountered.  What I realized that my program was as much a head game as anything and once I figured out how to deal with hunger and change the habits, it got easier.

If you eat less, depending on how radical you go, you will get hungry occasionally until your mind and body adjusts to the new reality.  This solution here is part discipline and part trick.  You could just ignore the hunger as it will go away, but the mind often thinks it needs to make up for it at the next meal and you again get tempted into overeating to make up for the minor hunger trauma.  Sometimes I ignored it, but mostly I had a high protein around to take immediately, or even slightly before when I could expect to get hungry.  A handful of trail mix or peanuts, and the hunger goes away for a couple of hours.  Do it immediately so you mind doesn’t feel like a victim and wants to beat up on you later by telling you to overeat.

The habitualness is another one to deal with, and perhaps the hardest.  Changing a habit of any kind requires the same weapon that the habit was established in the first place: long term repetition.  In the early stages, this has to be on your mind almost constantly: that you are making a fundamental lifestyle change forever.  It has to be a daily mantra for months until your new habit of eating less becomes entrenched.

The impatience can be difficult.  When I set out to do this, I decided to focus on a habit change and set no time limits.  If this had taken one year, that would have been ok.  However, as soon as time is introduced into it, it can lead to feelings of frustration and failure.  Forget the time aspect, just make the changes and let it happen as it will.

While I did make some minor effort to change my intake mix, ie less carbs, less sugar, less good tasting greasy stuff, I didn’t go overboard on that.  I didn’t want to divert from my normal mix too far and have my brain get all confused about why it wasn’t getting as many potato chips and cookies……the volume reduction was a big enough challenge.  However, I did start to snack on a stalk of raw broccoli or a sprig of raw cauliflower instead of looking for a carb-type snack, but I certainly didn’t eliminate all the bad stuff.

So there it is in a nutshell (and nuts have been an important part of this). From 215 lbs to  194 lbs in a few months, and minimal suffering to get there.  Without a doubt it’s much more enjoyable running around without the equivalent of a 21 lb backpack strapped on.  The charts tell me another 10 lbs or so gets me into the ideal zone and with all this practice, it’s looking easier all the time!

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2 thoughts on “Simple and Easy don’t always go together

  1. Basically what I did after my knee replacement….BUT….I did add five hours of water exercise in a local pool…my own program…every week…so usually an hour a time and this helped to focus on healthy activity which helped me not to overeat…I find that having my head in gear….gets my body in gear…helps me to focus on saying NO when the temptations come…and they will and did. Good for you….keep it off….for me I know that the exercise has help very much and that is part of my week now…and always will be. I lost 78 pounds and have kept it off now for two years…and in the past I lost hundreds of pounds and always gained it back….I feel for me the secret was the exercise plus eating less….not so much needing to change what I ate….BUT….just eating less…thanks for sharing Bruce.

    • From the way I understand it, additional exercise is very helpful to increase one’s sense of well being, reducing the need to increase well being through eating. Sure, exercise burns some calories but a ton of exercise gets wiped out by a mere hot fudge sundae so as a direct weight loss program it is not a major item. The psychological effects are huge though and helps a lot of people. Great work!

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