I’m going to show you how I got back into shape without beating myself up.
If you will just take a few minutes to read this, I believe that I can show you how to make a lot of progress very quickly – without much of the waste of energy, self doubt and guilt that can be part of a diet program.
Once you read this, you will be able to move forward with any plan and make better progress with less stress!
First of all, remember that none of us are perfect. Forget the celebrities (they have trainers and dieticians), forget the weight loss gurus (they do this full time) and remember that you do have a life outside of your weight loss program. You are not a “professional weight loser” so don’t judge yourself as if you were. My technique is all about being as kind to yourself as you are to others.
The technique that I used to drop 43 pounds of weight back in 2006, and keep it off since is simple. 90% compliance. That’s it. Simply do what you are supposed to do about 90% of the time, and you will see progress. Will you burn stomach fat as quickly as you would have with 100%? Probably not, but there won’t be all that much difference.
At this point you may be thinking “So what? I cheat all the time and sneak a snack or two.” Exactly. You call it cheating because you are breaking the deal you made with yourself to lose weight and get in shape. So you cheat, feel guilty, slip again, and eventually give up altogether. Why do this to yourself?
Let’s take a look at a weight loss plan implemented with the 90% rule:
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll assume that you are eating three times per day, and working out three times per week. So we have 21 meals per week, about 90 meals per month. We have 12 workouts per month.
Right off of the bat, we know that we can go off of our plan for 9 meals! Awesome!
Now, we need to define what I mean by this. I’m not saying that you should go to some buffet and attempt to eat an entire cow. More like this: You are at a cookout, and yes, you can have a normal plate of food just like everyone else. A burger, some chips, some salad. This helps more than you can imagine. Just knowing that if you find yourself at your niece’s birthday party, you can have a piece of cake like everyone else is a tremendous help. Feeling like an outcast, who has to do things differently from everybody else is no fun, especially at a party. The rest of the time (80 meals!) we stick to our plan.
Personally, I saved my special meals for times when I was out with friends or parties. If I was having dinner at home, I stuck to my plan.
Exercise is even easier to handle with this technique. A lot of it has to do with actually counting all of your activity. OK – we have 12 workouts set for this month. So we know we can only skip one or two. But there is a lot of leeway when it comes to exercise, and we can make up workouts fairly easily.
Let’s say I missed my workout on Wednesday of week two this month. Fine, but then on Friday I mowed the lawn – continuous walking and pushing for over an hour! Does anyone want to try and convince me that that is not a workout? Then on Saturday, we went to the zoo. We walked, looked and laughed for 3 hours. Again, does anyone doubt that we burned up a lot of calories doing that?
I give myself half of a workout for my activity in these situations. In the case above, I would actually have my 3 workouts for the week! Take stock of your activity, and be honest with yourself. I think you will see that you are doing a fair amount of uncounted exercise.
Friends, I’ve shown you how to apply the 90% rule to your diet, and to your workouts. It’s up to you to do it – but I know you can. This is a way to take the pressure off, enjoy family outings and parties, and still meet your weight loss goals. So stop beating yourself up for little slips, and give the 90% rule a try. You’ll be glad you did.