Weight Lost 5

I know of trainers who “don’t do” weight loss. There have been times that I have thought, MDSoF isn’t going to do “weight loss” any more. OK, sure, we often re-phrase it to “fat loss” but the reality is for many people, losing weight whether fat or muscle is the first step towards health.

But I, like many other people who watch the Biggest Loser, find the stories and journeys of weight loss really inspiring and very powerful. One of the things that make weight loss stories so compelling is that there are several different facets to losing weight. As easy as people make it seem sometimes, losing weight is is harder than it looks for both the athlete and coach. Losing weight is multi-factorial, some of which can be controlled, or at least, taught, by the coach and several others are solely up to the athletes to sort out. Below are some of the factors Susan and I consider when coaching for weight loss, I am sure you can think of others:

  1. Medical/bio-chemical status
  2. Psychological status
  3. Time management/eating habits
  4. Friends and family environment
  5. Cooking skills
  6. Food selection
  7. Taste preferences

I came across this article this weekend, which I think exemplifies the complexity of the issue. Our nutrition partners, Whole 9, have created a very successful, and we think, the most effective nutrition plan to help people get healthy (and, by the way, you also lose some weight along the way, gain some energy, sleep better, etc., like we said you get healthier). However, it is not for everyone, at least the first time around. The way the above article reads is that the Whole30 is way better than Weight Watchers. But my questions are how successful would that person be if she started with Whole30 and finished with WW? Could she have done WW with whole, real foods? What are the real differences between Whole30 and WW? Each of the many nutritional programs out there have some gems in them, we should learn from each and build something that works for us.

So while each program has it’s own unique tips and tools, are there any common threads to these nutrition programs? Heck yeah! The first and most important is make a plan that takes into account an outcome and a process. I don’t really like to use weight as an outcome, I prefer measurements, like a dress size, waist size, or pull-ups, pick something that is meaningful for you. For a process, I like something that make success a function of working a plan, rather relying solely on will power.

Take September to progress to our Whole 30 Challenge in October. Susan and I (and the other coaches for that matter) think following these steps, in this order, will make you successful with any change in diet/lifestyle that you think will work, including WW:

  1. Start with buying a good pan (both a 10 or 12″ non-stick and a stainless, with lids, if you can), a good 10″ chef’s knife and some reusable containers. Really, it is that simple. If you want to get really crazy get a Crock-Pot.
  2. Learn to make your own food: Start with salads, hamburgers, eggs or Top Ramen, I really don’t care. We have a ton of recipes available at the gym both in print or in people’s heads. Pick three recipes for each meal, get good at them, then branch out.
  3. Learn to shop: Stick with whole foods, i.e. meat, veggies, fruit, no packages, no labels, whenever possible. Stay to the perimeter of the grocery store. We like to go to the Farmers Market and buy our meat from a local producer but that is not necessary.
  4. Learn to plan: Start cooking larger meals and freezing them or using them for the next night’s dinner. Have good snacks ready when you get hungry. Use the Sunday evening meal to make 3 or 4 meals for the week.

So there is your plan for success in October: Start in September. Get a goal that has value for you. Learn how to cook 3 recipes for each meal. Use the weekend to put some weekly meals “in the bank.” After you get that nailed down, we will help you make sure that the recipes you use are as healthy as possible.

Make no mistake, we think Whole9 has the best and healthiest nutrition plan available, that’s why we partner with them. But in some ways, it’s like the CrossFit Program, some people need to review some basics before we start hitting it hard. You can’t skip steps on the journey to health. We are not taking a pill for an acute symptom, we are changing the way you eat for long-term health. Practice for success: Build your nutritional foundation, then let ‘er rip.

All the coaches at MDSoF look forward to helping you with your nutritional goals, please let us know how we can help you succeed in October.

5 thoughts on “Weight Lost

  • saulj Post author

    Thanks Tim, I was going to film a guerrilla shopping trip to Target but now I don’t have to. 🙂

  • Erik

    I would be happy to provide some more neutral/general thoughts about WW and how compatible it is with W30 thinking. Short version: I think the two are highly compatible.

    Further, if you step back to a 30,000 foot view, I do not think the two programs are as far apart as the linked blog post suggests.

    WW is a weight loss focused program that emphasizes calories in/out as the primary plan. WW has a “no counting” plan emphasizing “power foods” that is not radically different from W30 approved items (it’s not identical either). W30 is a whole health focused program that admittedly does not care about weight loss (prohibition on weighing yourself during the program).

    Almost all of the differences then stem from this launching points: weight loss is a happy coincidence on W30, it is the thrust of participating in WW.

  • saulj

    Erik, Exactly, that was the point of my post. Weight loss, whether explicitly or implicitly part of the program is multi-factorial, the food allowed by the diet, is just one tiny piece of the puzzle. One person succeeding with one diet or another doesn’t really say much.

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