From the inbox this morning:
It's not an exaggeration when I say the day I stumbled upon Peertrainer was a day that changed my life. I've always struggled with my weight, always thought I was eating healthy (a thought that was encouraged by nutritionists I saw who encouraged the idea that pasta, chicken and dairy are "health" foods...), and could never understand why I kept gaining weight despite being relatively disciplined.
The daily tips fixed some major holes in my nutritional strategy - for example, the first tip I received from you is to focus on the one thing that trips me up. I knew that I was generally good at portion control (or so I thought), but whenever I cook a fresh pot of something, about twice a week, I keep nibbling on it for a while after I finish my meal. I decided to focus on that, and discovered that when I don't nibble, the pot suddenly produces around 8 meals instead of the usual 6 - I was actually "nibbling" two extra meals twice a week!
Next, the Cheat System provided me with a simple and easy strategy to lose weight. I didn't really have to give up anything, just limit whatever is on the right column to a 1000 calories per day, and more importantly increase the amount of vegetables and legumes in my diet. I cooked sweet potatoes and chickpeas, and bought a bunch of bags of peeled mini-carrots, and I was good to go. I lost 14 lbs in a little over 3 months. Not only that, but I felt healthier and more energized than I ever felt even when I was 18 (I'm 34 now). Even my eyesight, that was starting to deteriorate, all of the sudden became perfect again. Probably saved me a lot of money on getting prescription glasses..."
2 Reasons This Email Is Important
The email keeps going but we want to keep this post short and simply point out that this is a GREAT email because it outlines very clearly the power of getting out of "conventional diet food" mindset. We hammer away at this idea because it is so embedded in people's minds that they eat "diet foods." We have a controversial suggestion- if you are eating anything that is labeled low calorie or 100 calorie snack pack stuff- that is a strong indicator that you are going to struggle.
For whatever reason, people are resistant to making this shift, but when they do things change.
It also shows how the (free) PEERtrainer Cheat System helps to provide a simple way to eat a plant strong, nutrient dense diet.
We are also posting this to show people that if they follow the Cheat System, good things can happen.
Additionally, it is a great example of the power of the free resources at PEERtrainer. Good advice and help is the best support you can get!
Hint: It's not the weekly 7 - 20 pound loss you see on reality television!
We tend to see the same thing over and over at PEERtrainer: people can actually be on a successful weight loss track, but because they don't KNOW what a successful track looks like, they think they are failing.
Once they believe they have screwed up, then they say "screw it" and really screw up. If only they knew how well they were doing! While success does depend on your specific goals, starting point, body type and regimen, there are a few things that are consistent across the board. Once you measure your weekly weigh in against this checklist, you'll know if you're on the right track.
1. Weight loss does NOT come in the form of losing 2 pounds every week until you reach your goal, no matter how well you've stuck to your food and exercise plan.
When you were gaining, you didn't gain 2 pounds every single week in a measured fashion. You're not going to lose it in a measured fashion no matter how well you stick to your plan. You might lose 2 pounds one week. You might even lose three pounds in a week. Then, you might lose 1 pound the next week.
Some weeks you might lose zero and there are weeks you even gain. These weeks are the most frustrating and we all have these kinds of weeks where we feel like we're doing everything right and the scale doesn't give us what we want.
Keep track of the weekly weigh-ins but take a look at the month and see the overall trend. You might have gained a 1/2 pound one of the weeks but take note if you lost 4 pounds overall for the month. If the month is trending downwards, you are in the right place.
2. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time.
Sure, there are a few people that are perfect. I haven't seen them but I'm sure they're out there. There are also a few people who can eat 3000 calories a day and have a perfect figure and that's just the way it goes. Just because you went out drinking and ate all the bread, stuffed your face with pasta, and had 2 desserts, and then woke up and had a cheese omelet the next day does not mean you have failed.
Everyone does this.
We all make a committment and we all slip up. Just like Vince Lombardi says, it's not if you fall, it's if you get back up. You fell. So what? Learn what will work for you to get back on track. You can fall and still be on a successful weight loss track by simply making the decision to get back there.
3. You've been doing everything right and you're not losing anything. (aka The Dreaded Plateau)
We rarely see members who don't hit a plateau in the weight loss process. Some can last for a few weeks. I was on one for an entire year!
It's so easy to say to yourself, "I'm doing everything right so this is where my weight should be." That might be true, but it might not be true. It wasn't for me. Once I changed my approach and made the decision to be thinner, no matter how long that would take, I dropped the weight. I increased the nutrients. I changed my exercise approach. I kept the principles of optimism by Martin Seligman in mind. Plateaus do not mean you are done. They are usually a sign that you need to make a change. Do you have the courage to figure it out and keep on going?
Keep in mind that a real weight loss track of ordinary fluctuations are boring to watch. The double digit weekly losses you see have to be created somehow, which is why it's television. Sometimes the loss is real and lasting. Many times, the weight loss results are usually over once the 6 week "sprint" has come to an end.
Real life is more like a marathon, some miles are effortless, some are excruciating and the only way you really fail is if you quit.
I saw this question the other day in the Point Of No Return team and it's one I see over and over so I'm sharing the answer. I hope you find it as helpful as I did when I fully understood the concept.
"I'm thinking I don't have the willpower to allow myself any "points" after dinner. Any ideas how I can hold myself accountable? I don't have anyone in the house on a regular basis to help me out. Forget the 3 bite rule- I currently only do "devour everything in sight". My cravings do not go away in a couple of minutes. I hold on to them for days, then attack."
Here is the answer:
The secret is this: It doesn't take willpower at all. The answer is that you are simply not full. If you are hungry after dinner, your body isn't getting enough nutrients. Discipline, such as the 3 bite rule, works when you're happy and you have a specific goal like a date or a reunion but the second you've had a stressful day or you've worked out, discipline goes out the window.
That's why the Weight Watchers Points System is a great way to understand portion control but it's only 33% of it. You've got to fill up on nutrients, aka vegetables.
Yummy vegetable soups are a great way to fill up on vegetables. You have it in the fridge, you grab a bowl before you go out, or have instant nutrients with lunch or dinner. Have you made the PT energy soup? Sometimes just one recipe can help you think of new ideas about how to make vegetables you like and want to eat every day.
I remember meeting with a client who was so frustrated by her lack of discipline with snacking at night. "I run a business, I run my family and I'm successful at it all! Why don't I have control over this??"
I had to help her find a food she loved that would also be full of nutrients and keep her full. We uncovered her long lost love of gazpacho.
I asked, "If both a brownie and and gazpacho were sitting eye-level in the refrigerator, would you have gazpacho or the brownie?" She answered, "I want to eat healthy and I love gazpacho. I would choose the gazpacho every time."
This is the key concept: High nutrient foods are the only way to feel full. Find some high nutrient soups or salads you love and you have unlocked the secret to lasting weight loss. Because there will be no more hunger. No more discipline. You will feel full. You will lose the weight because you will no longer be "great all day" while you mess up at night.
Salads, greens and vegetables. I can't emphasize this enough. At a certain age, only high nutrient foods will make you feel full. You can spend your time lamenting over why you can't stop at one slice of pizza anymore or you can step up your vegetables. This is how I do it. Want to come over for dinner?? :)
We were recently sent the following question:
"I feel like I'm always apologizing for everything. I apologize
when I order a salad instead of a cheeseburger by always saying, well I
have a big event coming up, so I really need to watch what I’m eating".
I see other people do this as well. They "apologize" for their order with this: "I'm ordering a salad with grilled chicken because you should see what I ate last night! Margaritas, chips and salsa - I must have eaten three bowls of chips alone!" Why say anything?
It's everyone's dream to live without apology but no matter how many quotes we see, we take a step in that direction and we get hit so hard with a snarky comment that we go back to making excuses and "living with apology". How do you start to have the confidence - what is the first step to living life without apology?"
Joshua Wayne has created a detailed response to this question. Here is his answer:
Posted at 11:39 AM in Being Happy With Your Body, Diet Advice, Emotional Eating, How To Develop Self Confidence, how to lose weight, Joshua Wayne, Keeping The Weight Off, nutrition, Psychology Of Weight Loss, Self Sabotage, Stop Beating Yourself Up, Weight Loss Motivation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
This is a VERY short video where I show you the containers that I keep in my fridge, and what I keep in the containers. For me it is an ideal way to make sure I have EASY access to food during my very busy week. I have started to soak and cook my own beans. It is cheaper and a lot tastier. Just soak them over night and then cook them in the morning while you are getting ready for work, kids to school or whatever.
This is something we emailed out Sunday, May 2nd: We are working on a "mission statement" at PEERtrainer, and in the process trying to hone in on "the thing we do best." It is a tough question to answer because we do a lot of things in response to the needs of different people.
From Habib's perspective the thing we do best is simply foster communication and conversation. Ideally we ask questions in a way that really gets you thinking.
Joshua Wayne is focused on the coaching aspect of PEERtrainer, and his response was very interesting. We had asked him "what is the single thing we do best with the coaching program and what have been the results?"
As an exercise this Sunday, read his response, and then think for a few moments about the question asked in the subject of this email:
"One of the key things we have set out to accomplish, from my perspective, is helping
people feel like they are in control of their relationship to food so they can get where
they want to go.
Feeling out of control is one of the worst feelings in life. Desperately wanting something, like to lose weight, and not feeling capable of getting there is a terrible feeling. Feeling like you'll always be overwhelmed by your lousy habits and that you'll never really be in control of them. Feeling like no matter how hard you try, and no matter how many times you try, that your negative emotions will ultimately derail you. These feelings build and build and build which leads to hopelessness.
So one of our main goals was to help people get back in control. One of the key ways we do that is to teach them to start being easy on themselves - not beating themselves up endlessly. People add insult to injury when they beat themselves up after they "screw up" on their diet. We see that many people have this "perfectionist"streak and we start to break that up by teaching them to be patient with themselves.
Simultaneously we're giving them REALLY good diet info. Not fad type stuff - in fact exactly the opposite. We help them lay the foundation for healthy, sustainable lifestyle change.
We also really embed this whole program smack dab in the middle of their lives too. This is crucial. We're not forcing them to create an alternate reality in their life where they can get healthy. They have to be able to do it in the middle of the crazy day with job, boss, kids, husband/wife because that's their reality and that's where they live.
If they have to attend to all that stuff, AND THEN have to go and carve out time for 3 elaborate meals per day (plus all the shopping and prep) so they can eat pistacio- crusted tilapia with carmelized onion asparagus consomme for dinner it's just not going to happen. Same with the exercise piece. It has to be centrally located in their life.
Not an alternate reality where they have to now squeeze 5 trips to the gym into their life.
Building on that, they have to be able to deal with: work dinners out, frenemies sabotaging them, the "crappy" food inertia of their family when they go home to visit. All that comes up and you have to have a "tool-kit" to deal with it. We give them that tool-kit.
Lastly, we provide consistent support. We're there for 12 weeks, at least a couple times a week. Sometimes with an email saying hi and a friendly reminder to look at the bright side, sometimes with a video or an article and of course the weekly calls.
Everyone needs consistency to make things happen, whether it's building a business, making a relationship work well or losing weight. We provide that consistent support which helps people internalize this optimism and get back to that place of self-control.
Fostering self-control is the key."
I thought that this was a very helpful observation for us, and a great question to ask everyone. This "Tip Of The Day" list that you are reading right now is designed to communicate with you and get you thinking.
And if you are one of those people looking to get in control, I would highly encourage you to try the first month of the Point Of No Return, and let Joshua work some of his magic. We often find ourselves "soft-selling" his work, but as we go through all the feedback from people who finish the program we see that he is very good at accomplishing his objective.
This isn't the kind of situation where we are promising this crazy quick weight loss. This is the complete opposite of all that. Joshua helps you take a step back, and helps you examine all of your assumptions.
At the core it is really about your relationship to yourself. So often at PEERtrainer we soft pedal what we do. But this is something we are doing well, and for many people it is the most important thing in their life that they can be working on.
When we help people to make better decisions for the rest of their life, the ripple effect that has is powerful. Frankly, if you are struggling with food and then do the work to gain control, there is almost nothing in life you cannot successfully tackle. The belief that you develop in yourself will be the new fuel that you can use in all parts of your life.
Posted at 02:24 PM in 100+ Pound Weight Loss, Being Happy With Your Body, Diet Advice, Diet And Weight Loss Readiness, Diet Fusion, Emotional Eating, Fat Burning, Getting Back To Your Pre-Pregnancy Body, Getting Started, How To Develop Self Confidence, how to lose weight, Joshua Wayne, Keeping The Weight Off, Men's Weight Loss, Metabolic Syndrome, PEERtrainer Coaching Intensive, Psychology Of Weight Loss, Self Sabotage, Stop Beating Yourself Up, Weight Loss Bootcamp, Weight Loss Motivation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
"I appreciate all of your articles. I just wanted to share with you a valuable point that I learned from your site. You recommended the book Slow Burn a while back. It had great information in it. I am a critical care nurse for 30 years. I pride myself on knowing how the body works, but mostly in crisis situations and in multi-system organ failure states.
One of the things I love the most about what we have done with PEERtrainer is turning so much of it into a conversation. I was reading a comment in the PONR coaching team to Habib, showing him someone's response to a comment I had made. He grabbed the camera and had me sit down and read the discussion to the camera so everyone can see it. One thing we are doing here is continuing to share what we are learning from the PONR with as many people as possible. Whether you are in the program or not, we hope that you gain by being included in the discussion!
This is something Habib has wanted to write for a while.....
One of the most important things to understand from the current health care debate (that political and industry insiders are engaged in among themselves) is that no matter what the eventual outcome, people are going to need to have to take responsibility for their health.
We have come to a point where it is no longer a good idea to improve your eating. It is an absolute requirement.
It does not matter whether it is the government, employers or individuals who end up carrying the load. We have built a food delivery system and consumption habits that lead to the highest rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes in the world.
Diabetes alone is larger than the entire US tech industry. You stack Intel, Microsoft, Cisco and Apple up.
Diabetes is bigger.
What most of us think of as “normal” is killing us.
Not only is it killing us, but it seems that we now think of pain and struggle as somehow “normal”. We get the most incredible emails from people, describing to us the sheer agony of the reality of their lives. People are in pain, they feel hopeless and they have for years. And they are in this pain because they have done what everyone else has done.
This pain hurts, it sucks and is totally preventable.
But the change required to prevent these inevitable outcomes (for most) is hard. If most people are doing things one way, it stands to reason that that it takes a deal of effort to do things differently. We continually see that the people with the greatest willingness to go in a different direction have no idea where to turn.
If you have been around PEERtrainer for a while you know we present people that we get to know. People like Stu Mittleman and Joel Fuhrman are now friends of ours, in the same way that the guys I did keg stands in college with are. They are part of the posse.
And we share their ideas because they help guide people to the behaviors and mindsets that will help avoid the diseases that commonly trap the average American engaged in the relentless pursuit of normality.
So what I am going to do here is bullet out some of the key ideas that Dr. Joel Fuhrman puts forth to help people. I have a copy of Eat For Health open on my desk as I write this, and I am going to list out 25 of the key concepts. In no particular order. My thinking is that it takes a long time to process change. As Jackie says over and over, “repetition is the mother of skill.”
1. Greens are king. Green vegetables get the majority of their calories from protein. You need to eat them every day.
2. When you consume greens in the form of soup you retain the nutrients and you can make them taste any way you want. No excuses here- tasty, easy, cheap etc. (Blend with a Cuisinart Smart Stick to make it super easy)
3. Fresh fruits fight cancer. We have a natural sweet tooth designed to direct us to those foods most critical for our survival.
4. Pasta and bread, while cheap and filling are associated with heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
5. Veggies are great but you have to cook, pulverize or blend to get at the health promoting goodies that is locked inside the cell walls. Blended vegetable soup is better than salad for this reason. You can’t chew every plant cell.
6. Not all foods are created equally. Dr. Fuhrman has built an entire food classification system called MANDI that you can learn more about.
7. True hunger is much different than the hunger we commonly experience. We are hungry because we eat the wrong foods. This is not something that can be solved in any pill. It is solved in your grocery store and your kitchen.
8. When you are no longer hungry all the time you are healthy.
9. Cheese and butter are evil. Tasty, but evil.
10. The more high nutrient food (greens esp) you eat on a daily basis, the higher your quality of life.
11. Binge eating is largely a byproduct of toxic hunger. We are literally “addicted to food.”
12. Eat a bowl of vegetable-bean soup daily
13. Eat a pound of fruit and a pound of vegetables a day. (Stu would dissent on the fruit part- he is of the school that fruit is too high in sugar and raises acid levels in the body)
14. You can change your tastes. Americans in particular have a “brute force palate.” You will appreciate the subtlety of food over time.
15. Healthy food does not taste bad.
16. Heart disease is not the inevitable consepuence of aging.
17. Food addiction is a real thing, and a new mode of eating will solve this problem
18. Frequent small meals do NOT aid weight control long term.
19. It is not your genes. The numbers disprove this common assertion.
20. It takes a lot more than milk and yogurt to build healthy bones. The truth is much more complex.
21. You have to get inside your head to make these changes. A list like this is not enough.
22. 85 Percent of Americans will die from heart disease, cancer or diabetes.
23. 90 Percent will get high blood pressure
24. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for 40 percent of US deaths annually
25. You can prevent most diseases through a high nutrient diet.
We got a lot of great feedback to our vegetable soup video by readers of the Tip Of The Day. And we were asked for more! This is a video we quickly made that shows the step by step process of making Carrot Ginger soup. This is a very tasty, zesty and slightly spicy recipe. It is also vegan friendly in that there is no dairy of any kind.
Most importantly- this soup TURNS MY HUNGER OFF! No idea why. When I eat a bowl I don't want to eat anything else. I think the combination of intense nutrients, plus a small amount of fat helps me feel satiated. Very interested to see how you all react to this recipe. And please leave comments on this blog post if you can.
I just came back from having a great time with friends and family this summer. This summer was different in one big way- I did not come back with extra weight to lose. The following article discusses the 5 things I did differently this summer. They are easy and you can do them too:
We had a chance to interview Matt Hoover who many of you know as the winner of season two of "The Biggest Loser." It ended up being a pretty interesting interview, especially from the perspective of keeping weight off, what happens after the weight loss. He talks about his upcoming Iron Man competition in Hawaii and his training for the 2012 Olympics. He was a member of 4 national championship wrestling teams in college, so the guy is a pretty amazing athlete.
We just got a very profound email from one of the members of the PEERtrainer community, and I thought it would be helpful to share some of the comments. It is an excellent articulation of the value of our Point Of No Return concept, and helps to show that we are able to deliver on the central premise with both our Tip of The Day And Point Of No Return Program:
"The things I am learning from the 'tip of the day' and also the 'point of no return intensive' is what makes me think that this will be the time that matters....the time I can reach my goals. I realize that there will be no more "times" after this because over the past 2.5 months my whole life has started to change."
Posted at 04:53 PM in 100+ Pound Weight Loss, Being Happy With Your Body, Diet Advice, Diet And Weight Loss Readiness, Diet Fusion, Emotional Eating, Getting Back To Your Pre-Pregnancy Body, Getting Started, how to lose weight, Men's Weight Loss, Psychology Of Weight Loss, Success Stories, weight loss support groups | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
In the PEERtrainer Tip of The Day email (sign up here, it's free), I often ask, what is the one thing that "trips you up"? Meaning, what is one thing you could give up for the next seven days that you KNOW will help you towards weight loss and get you on the right track?
Two responses I've received in the last week were great examples of "bite-sized" goals that are doable and a great step in the right direction;
There is a vending machine at work with snacks for sale. I have to walk
past it to get a coffee, tea or glass of water. Most days I will stop
and look at what is available. More often that not I will buy something
and this can be twice daily.
It is my intention to focus beyond this machine without stopping or
One of the things that has been tripping me up is eating chocolate.....buying the
dark chocolate and thinking it is healthy and allowing myself to nibble on that way
too much.? I need to realize I'm kidding myself.? I shouldn't even go there because
I can't control it.? So I am going to concentrate on saying "No" to chocolate
because it really adds up.? No to buying and No to eating chocolate!
These are good focused goals that are achievable without being overwhelming. We talk more about goals and how to finally believe weight loss is possible in our coaching program as well.
Other good examples include "skip the bread basket at lunch every time I eat out this week" or "no donuts at work!" The very first thing I did was give up my bacon egg and cheese sandwiches in the morning. Hard but worth it; from there I went on to habit after habit until I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Let me know what you commit to this week!
"It's almost like magic, it's like a commitment I have history with ww. I've been successful. for me, just the humiliation of having to walk back in and listen to someone who was good or bad or whatever she is, the leader, I'm stuck listening to her stuff. Something about it, RIGHT NOW, I'm reversing the pattern. Something has changed.
The biggest thing I love about rejoining and going back is it's a big program. Physicial program. Learn the whole new pattern. Everything about the new points, study the books. I like the fact that I'm taking my life into control now.
Big Focus On Recipes To Start You Off
First of all,they give you a bunch of recipes in the starter book. They give you two or three of their best - right now, you know, I could do this, this looks good. The leader pointed out the best one so you can
make a good dinner right away.
People Who Rejoin Weight Watchers Need To Sit In For An Extra 1/2 Hour Class
As a new returner, you have to sit in for an extra 1/2 hour class because there is a new system. There's always a new system, because they're always learning new things and refining their system.
Keeping The Points System And Merging Flex and Core Into Momentum
This time they merged core and flex into the new system momentum. No one ever wants to give up points, because points are such a comfortable system because you can eat anything, you can have pizza, you can have liquor, any damn thing you want as long as you count points.
Not only do you get a lot of points on weight watchers, you get 35 extra points for the week. People love extra points because extra points means splurging, cookies, cake, an extra glass of wine, some butter on their vegetables or butter on their eggs, so you love your splurge points and you have 35 of them!
Some Point Values Have Changed And Different Foods Are Now Emphasized
You want to learn the new points of every food because you forget the points when you're going back and sometimes the points changes, and sometimes they just invent new things that you can have, like last time maybe they thought avocado was ridiculous, but this time they're kind of pushing avocado.
You can't wait to learn all the new points because you're designing your three meals a day. You're designing your day. You're designing how filling your day can be. LIke I do 5, 5 and 10. 5, break, 5 lunch, 10 for dinner. Right away, you get your points, your book and you're designing your filling breakfast.
New Program Helps You Eat A Lot Of Food And Not Feel Hungry
So right away you can see you're going to be able to eat a lot of food, so you're very happy, up and optimistic. Because basically, you want to eat a lot of food and now you know you can. Oh, I can do, this, this is wonderful. You always forget how great weight watchers is, because you forget how much food you get. Because as time goes on, you want to stay thin, and you eat less and less to maintain
and you start to.
Very surprised to see this time how little I need to change my diet, because basically, I am always doing the weight watchers diet but when it comes down to it, I was eating all the extras. What happens is, just because you've made the commitment, you're suddenly not going to have all the extras, because you're thinking 5, 5, 10.
Helping Her Stay On Track Because She Doesn't Feel The Need To Snack On The Extras Anymore
Now, you're on the program, you're in the right direction, and you don't seem to need the extras anymore. It's kind of strange, I don't even know why. And let me tell you, I ate like an idiot last night, but it's ok, because I'm on weight watchers, and I know I'm on it. It's psychological. Once you're on it, you know your weight is going down.
Looked at the points, and realized, wow, what I've been eating, oatmeal and blueberries is only 3 points, so I was kind of starving myself and didn't know it. I can have a whole cup of blueberries and still stay under 3 points. And now, I get two more points at lunch.
Getting Comfortable With Points Helps To Feel Comfortable With Choices
But what's interesting, when I have egg and avocado for breakfast, that turns out to be exactly 5 points, which is what I've always done, and now I find out that it is 5 points. Because I actually know the points value, I feel comfortable with my choices.
The difference is, when you're on WW, because you have to count the points, you just stop eating the extras.
They Give You This Great Little Slider At The Meetings To Count Points
One of the things I love is the fact that you have that little weight watchers slider, you can take anything you eat and put the fiber,fat and calories and figure out right away how to figure out your day. For
instance, I found out a luna bar, on the spot was 3 points so I could have a huge apple and that you can eat so much hummus!
Really Great New Approach To Dieting
When you're counting points, you can eat so much more than when you're not counting and on the program. You tend to starve yourself when you're not on the program because you're not really counting. You always think you're overeating. What it does is starves your body and your body hangs
on to the weight. When you're eating the right amount, it boosts your metabolism and you start losing the weight."
Conclusion And Ways To Get Started On The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program
Readers of the PEERtrainer Tip Of The Day, this blog, listeners to our coaching programs know that we are fans of Weight Watchers, and generally advocate it as part of a broad toolset of stuff that just works. It is important though to not get into this mindset of "I am on this diet" or "I am on that diet". Just try and be open to mixing and matching what works for you. Because we have a deep and focused community on the site, we have accumulated lots of interesting bits of information.
One of the things we have found that really works for people to help them get started on a diet is to just focus on the one thing that they know will trip them up. Because people respond so powerfully to this, we have made this the very first tip in our PEERtrainer Tip Of The Day email coaching and training program.
This is an article from the PEERtrainer Weight Loss Framework, which is a guide to some of the best ideas that we have found that address the fundamentals of long term weight loss. The Framework is a page that you can bookmark and it is especially useful for people starting out on a diet or weight loss path.
1. The Goal
We talk a lot in this guide, in our Tip of The Day email program, in our coaching calls the importance of goal setting and planning. It is so fundamental and you have heard this a zillion times, but it is precisely these things that you need to do to succeed. Like on a trip, you need to know where you are going, where your destination is.
Losing weight is no different. Setting a specific goal that is really yours is important. Not what anyone tells you, but what you really want at the core, what is in your heart. I think it was Thoreau who said that "people do not attain what they do not aim for." So no matter what stage you are on in your journey, take a moment and actually take out a pen or pencil and right down a goal you really want. Or better yet, one that you expect to attain.
2. The Why
Using another real life example, to do anything you need a reason to do it. Without a reason you are not going to do it. You are not going to follow through on a diet just because you think you are supposed to, or it is January 1 or whatever. You have to find a reason and is has to be a priority. It has to be something you deeply value and is the top priority. This reason, this burning desire, will help to fuel your motivation. When you get off track, which you will, this goal and this reason becomes this force that you gravitate towards, and that picks you back up.
3. The How
You also need to know how to get where you want to go, and you need a route, a map or some sort of itinerary. You need to know how get from point A to point B. You can do this on your own, but it is so much easier when you do it with others. Imagine going out in the wilderness without a map? Going to a party, you need the same mindset- you need to be prepared beforehand, you need a ruleset that you will stick to. You need to be able to cope with the "food wilderness."
This brings us to support and guidance which is one of our core organizing themes and ideas. Why do millions of people pay each week to travel to a room to weigh themselves and hear a pep talk? Because it works and is valuable. One thing we talk about at PEERtrainer is the idea of "diet fusion", of blending different approaches together. My own "diet fusion" is to use the Weight Watchers Points system and combine it with a very high nutrient diet like the one advocated by Joel Fuhrman. I think on week three of the bootcamp calls I go into this specific idea.
Once you have done the fundamental work of goal setting, expectation setting, finding your reasons you really need to figure out how to stick to it, to get the support to keep you on track. You can join a PEERtrainer group, make sure you are getting the daily emails, or join a coaching program that will help to customize your path for you. There are all sorts of things you can set up for yourself to help bolster your own self motivation and discipline. If you have heard the PEERtrainer bootcamp calls, you know how motivating they can be.
4. The Measurement
Develop a weekly plan to stay accountable. Do you hate the scale? That's fine. Maybe one day you will make friends with it. In the meantime, find a different way to chart your progress. Maybe buy a measuring tape and take your measurements weekly. Maybe you have a pair of jeans that you can try on weekly. Find something that works for you, whether it's an old pair of jeans that you try on once a week, a measuring tape, a scale, your partners eyes, whatever it is and measure your progress.
5. The Follow Through
It's important for you to see progress so that you'll have a reason to stick with your plan. You're not sprinting; you're running a marathon. If you don't see the miles tick off as you get closer to the finish line, how are you going to know that what you're doing is working? Logging your goals, your progress, and your daily habits will show you what is working and most importantly, give you the confidence to keep up your good work. Your first week on PEERtrainer is critical if you have never logged before. Once you develop the habit, other positive and healthy habits will start to happen.
When you start on your diet it's easy to think, ugh, now I'm going to have to eat dull tasting food. How can anything possibly taste good without cheese? How can a baked potato taste good without butter and sour cream?
It's hard to stick to something if you don't like the alternatives and a great way to make things taste good without all the fat. Here are the two that are ALWAYS in my kitchen:
I have more that I use but they take a little prep time, including fresh garlic, fresh ginger, red chili peppers. I'll be posting videos of these combinations and how to make "staple" spice mixes to add to your fish or vegetables. Please post any of your "must have" spices in the meantime!
Joshua Wayne, in week 4 of the weight loss boot camp, asked the following question:
Are you friends with your body?
If you don’t like your body, in fact if you don’t love your body, you’re not going to take the best care of it. You’re not going to be patient with it and do everything you can to make it healthy.
If you’re not friends with your body you’re going to neglect it. Think about it…what do you do with people you don’t like? You avoid and neglect them. Well, strange as this may sound, you will do the same with your body. You’ll avoid and neglect it by not taking care of it with good diet and exercise. It’s the only one you have…you’re stuck with it. You’re either going to be friends with your body or enemies with it.
We just reworked the welcome email that we send out to new users of the site. I want to share this with you because it reflects our own mission with PEERtrainer, and how we see it best used. We got a great email from a member of the PT family yesterday, and that prompted a reworking of what we are communicating to people new to using the site for daily logging and group support.
Welcome to PEERtrainer, We Look Forward To Working With You
Our core mission here is to make sure you have the tools, support, guidance and information you need to be successful in losing weight and improving your health. Please take a couple minutes and be sure to follow these steps. Maybe print this page out or save it in a folder on your computer.
1. The first thing you want to do is make sure you are signed up for our free Tip Of The Day weight loss coaching newsletter if you have not already:
If you go to the page you can read more about it, but basically this serves as a virtual coach to keep you on track each day. Users love it and the structure it provides. You can also reply to the messages and ask us questions directly. Our objective is to build as personal a relationship as possible with you. This is an internet company run by real people, and we care deeply about helping you. We want to hear from you and we want to help you.
2. Join Groups and Teams. If you don't find one you like- Start One. The act of writing down your food each day is proven to help you lose weight, and the support of a group is also proven to help you. It is important for us to set the expectation that this is not always easy. Be patient, join and start several groups and teams. If you email us directly we can also help you with this important process.
3. We have just rolled out a free 4 week "Weight Loss Bootcamp." This is a series of 4 calls that are sent to you each week that will help you get into the proper mindset of successful, long term weight loss. They also give you a set of rules to follow in situations like parties and eating out. Users are finding that the combination of the daily logging, groups and teams, daily tips and weekly calls provide a powerful system and program.
4. Develop the Logging Habit. Daily logging is the cornerstone of effective weight loss, and engages you in a process called "self-monitoring." This is basically a conversation with yourself each day. If there is one thing to focus on in the first few days on PT, it is this.
5. If you are new to logging, only focus on that for the first few days. It takes a while to develop a new habit, and you want to start this process by breaking them down into easy, achievable goals.
6. Find active groups and teams. This is the SINGLE most important factor in the success of a group. Yes, you might want to find people with similar interests, geography, backgrounds etc-- but first and foremost find active members.
7. If you want to jump into things, visit and bookmark our "PEERtrainer Weight Loss And Site Guide". This is another resource to help you.
More Tips On Success With PEERtrainer and Weight Loss
8. Start slow. Find achievable, short term goals. Whether you want to lose 50 pounds or train for a marathon, it is going to take time. Take your time. It will make it easier, you'll be more successful, and you'll have more fun.
9. Want some tips on how to lose weight? Read this article, bookmark it and re-read it. The people giving that advice are some of the people you will be interacting with on PEERtrainer!
10. The PEERtrainer "Aha Moment." The other members of your group or team can see and read your logs, and you see what you are eating. The first week on PEERtrainer is an eye opener for most people.
11. You can join as many groups as you want, our users suggest that three is a good number to be part of. The only thing we ask is to be positive and active in your groups.
12. You can invite friends directly into your group, through an "Invite a Friend" feature. Put in their email address, and they will be sent an invitation right to your group. When they sign up, they will be automatically placed in your group.
13. Watch A Video Of PEERtrainer on NBC!!! This is a 2 minute video clip of a PEERtrainer user describing how it works to an NBC TV Show. It is pretty slick.
14. Please Please visit the PEERtrainer Community This is a great place to ask questions, see what others are talking about. We do ask that you be as positive and supportive as possible. There is a very short list of rules that we ask you follow.
The PEERtrainer success formula-- log consistently, comment actively, commit to your group...you'll most likely meet your diet and fitness goals. Once you get comfortable with logging and the small group interaction, you'll be hooked, and most likely find PEERtrainer to be highly effective.
This is another key component to the basics of long term weight loss, how one gets and sustains the motivation to lose weight. Joshua Wayne continues his series of clips on some of these very basic and elemental things. Just so you know, I work to add a very practical layer to his clinical layer and we find the two very effective. These blogs, videos are all part of the free PEERtrainer Tip Of The Day weight loss coaching program.
When I first started taking losing weight seriously, I actually thought I was dieting. I was passing up on cheesecake but not losing weight. And if you are not losing weight, you need more information.