At the end of November I posted a plan on how to lose 10 pounds. Actually, it was more about an experiment I was going to try using some simple behavioral tricks to see if I could lose weight over the holidays. Here are the results.
Note: It’s worth noting that I write my blog posts ahead of time. The original post was released on November 26th, 2018, but I started my plan on November 9th. Likewise, this post is scheduled for release on January 9th, 2019, but I’m writing it on December 31st, 2018.
How to Lose Weight in 2 Weeks
When I first started this plan, I simply wanted to figure out how to lose 10 pounds. Although I do my best at weight management, like everyone else my weight fluctuates. I had set a goal to be at 175 by the end of the year, and I was on my way to making it.
Until November 9th.
For 10 days my weight had been climbing. It wasn’t in big amounts, but it was steady and it added up. Although my weight had hit a high over the summer, I had been doing great and managed to get it down by 10 pounds over the next few months.
But it wasn’t sustainable. Something was missing. I couldn’t figure out what. There was too much fluctuation. Then, on November 9th I had wiped out about 2 months of progress.
I didn’t know what to do, but I knew something had to be done. That’s when I came up with this healthy weight loss plan on how to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year. But would I be able to do it?
My Simple Plan
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that this is not a diet. This is simply a human behavioral plan to really get a sense of how to understand the value of the food we eat.
My plan as I detailed it in my post My Plan to Lose Weight Over the Holidays was simple: pay for what I eat.
The problem with today’s food is it’s so cheap. There’s no real barrier stopping us from grabbing a supersized meal at the drive thru or downing a giant bag of chips. It only takes a few bucks and little of our time.
So, we need to add some friction. We need to make it more challenging. I can eat anything I want, as long as I pay for it. Do I want ice cream? Yes! In fact I have it almost every day*. But before I can have it I have to run up and down my stairs 15 times. Although I started doing this by running a lot of steps for a lot of snacks, over the last week and a half, this one bowl of ice cream a day is about the only treat I’ve had for several days. The barrier to snacking has lessened my cravings.
If you want more detail on the plan, please check out the original post.
Did It work?
The real question is this: did it work?
There are two ways to measure it really. First: did I lose the weight? Second: have I become better at my own weight management?
On the first front, when I stared this plan On November 9th, just a little over 7 weeks ago, I weighed 186.0 pounds. Today I weighed myself at came in at exactly 175.9. That’s a difference of 10.1 pounds. For a plan of how to lose 10 pounds, I’d say it worked… and just a little bit extra.
But on the second front – the more important front – did I learn a better way to manage my weight? I believe I did. I think it’s become so easy to overeat that we often struggle to lose weight and keep it in check. Junk food is simply too inexpensive and readily available.
By adding a bit of friction ourselves, we can still enjoy whatever we want, but we have to add a price. Over time, that price becomes the tool that helps us correctly measure whether something is truly worth having. In my experience the cravings have lessened and the good habits have improved.
I don’t know that this is the fastest way to lose weight, but I believe it’s one of the most sound and long-lasting ways to lose it and keep it off.
Weight Loss Tips
If you are looking for how to lose 10 pounds, be sure you have a plan that you will use from today forward. Weight management is about a good plan used consistently, not simply until the weight is off.
If you want to know how to lose 10 pounds and keep it off, be sure to read my plan to lose weight over the holidays and follow these four simple steps:
- Water: You must focus on drinking water. Anything that’s not water should cost you. Count fruit juice the same as soda, because it’s pure sugar. If I drank either, they would be 10 sets of steps each.
- Fruits and Veggies: Make sure that you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This is critical. Make sure the this is real fruits and vegetables and not something in a fruit cup with added sugar or other nonsense. You must get these 5 servings in, preferably at least 60% veggies.
- Exercise: Whether it’s a hard run or simple a brisk walk, you need to get 30 minutes of exercise in a day. You can start simple even running in place 1 minute at a time 5 times a day, but you need to work your way up to 30 minutes. For more information try this quick guide to help with simple steps to success.
- Get up and move around: To lose weight you need to be active. As an app developer, writer, blogger, and more, I have to be at the computer for a big chunk of my day. I get how challenging it can be. I have found that my Apple Watch has helped me a great deal to get up and take short breaks and keep moving. Find what works for you and keep moving around periodically.
By following these steps and finding some way to “pay” for snacks and food that is less healthy, you should find a plan of how to lose 10 pounds that works for you.
For those that want to know specifically what I did, I added a bonus section and provided the details.
A Little Bonus
If you want to follow what I did to a “T”, here is what worked for me. Here is what I do on a typical day.
Start of Day:
About 8 ounces of water and 4 almonds.
Simple weight lifting, such as 2 sets of 10 reps for curls and 1 set of 10 reps for triceps. It takes all of 3 minutes.
30 minutes on the treadmill. I love to use this time to pray/meditate and listen to an audiobook.
For breakfast I have water to drink and 1 banana cut up with about a tablespoon of real peanut butter (only peanuts and salt like Smuckers or Teddie). I sprinkle a little a bit of Bear Naked granola on top. I add some berries (raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries) to the side, 10 almonds, and 3 Bear Naked granola bites. If I want to run 2 sets of stairs I can have 3 squares of a Chocolove bar. Most of these items can be found in your local grocery store.
For lunch I have a special blend of veggies in sauce over Green Giant’s Riced Veggies. Choose which veggies work for you. I like several kinds of bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and possibly a squash or two, cut up in pieces.
I cook everything but the mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Then I add the mushrooms and a sauce, such as Newman’s Own Common Good Roasted Garlic Sauce or his Spicy Marinara. After the onions and peppers are softer (about 10-15 more minutes), it’s done. This delicious vegetable goodness will last for about 7-8 days.
I will cook up 1 pouch of riced veggies that will last 3-4 days. I put a portion of the riced veggies on a plate and cover it up with the veggies and sauce. You’re looking to get about 2-3 cups worth as a meal.
Same as breakfast.
As with breakfast, I can add 3 squares of Chocolove to any meal for doing 2 sets of steps. If not at the meal, it’s 3 sets. I haven’t had a craving for Chocolate in over a week.
I can have a morning snack, afternoon snack, and evening snack of a bowl of Skinny Pop popcorn with a 100 calorie cup of Sabra guacamole for 2 sets. An extra serving is 3 sets. I haven’t had many popcorn snacks in the last couple weeks.
I have 15 steps in my stairs; a set is up and down one time. Running in place for 15 seconds would probably be comparable.
Throughout the day I make sure to stand up and move around for 1 minute at least 12 hours a day, but usually most if not all of them.
I drink only water. It’s been awhile, but if I want a non-alcoholic beer, it costs me 10 sets of steps.
A bowl of ice cream is 15 steps.
5-6 Morningstar Farms “Boneless Buffalo Wings” (vegan) are 5 steps.
Hopefully these numbers will give you some ideas to make for your own meal plans if you decide to use this.
Happy weight loss!
* The “ice cream” I have is actually not made with dairy. I prefer the dairy free selections from Ben and Jerry’s, So Delicious, Archer Farms, and Haagen Dazs.