Last year, walking on the beach in Costa Rica, I had an epiphany. Maybe the reason I was feeling so bad was because I was 40 pounds overweight. I made (another) commitment to drop the pounds, got on the plane, and got to work.
But this time I did it differently
The Problem with Quick Weight Loss Plans
The first thing I decided to change was my level of commitment. A quick weight loss goal requires no long term commitment to losing weight. Even if you manage to lose weight, it’ll come back because there’s been no real change in attitude.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend that, instead of committing to lose 10 pounds in a month, commit to losing 1 pound a week for 10 weeks. That will require something a quick weight loss plan doesn’t require.
A lifestyle change.
For my fat ass to lose weight, I finally had to suck it up and admit that controlling my eating, and regular exercise would have to become part of my life, until the day I die.
It made me sad, but the fact that I now have to get smaller pants makes me happy.
Adding the “Five and Dime” Rule to Your Workout Plans
Yep, you’re going to have to work out. But there’s one thing you can do to make your workouts a little less sucky.
I call it the “five and dime” rule.
Before I get into that, you’re going to need some kind of heart rate monitor. If you want to keep it under $150.00, get the FitBit blaze (the link below is a shameless affiliate link – if you click and buy, I get a kickback…)
I used the Blaze for a year before I lost it on the same beach last year. But it works like a charm, and nobody can beat FitBit’s app.
Once you get a monitor, you’ll need to understand a bit about your target heart rate. Check out this great article here.
Here we go.
The “Five” Rule
The first five minutes of your workout are the most crucial, mainly because this is the time your body is warming up. The reason you loathe transitioning from the couch to your workout is because your body’s not ready for exercise.
Once your body’s warmed up, working out doesn’t seem so sucky.
So, instead of committing to 30 minutes of an ass-busting, hard-core workout, commit instead to 5 minutes – even tell yourself that you can quit after five minutes if you want.
That’s what I did, and I never quit after five minutes.
In that first five minutes my body, and my overall attitude, get into gear, I remember why I’m doing all of this, and now I’m at a point where the workouts don’t seem so grueling.
The “Dime” Rule
Workout for thirty minutes, get your heart rate up, then stop running, or get off your bike, or whatever, and do some shorter, easier exercises to keep your heart rate up.
When your heart rate’s up, your burning calories. Once your heart rate’s already up, it’s easy to keep it up, and you don’t have to work hard to do it.
Stop exercising, monitor your heart rate, when it gets down to, say, fat-burning level, do some jumping jacks. Take another break, let your rate go back down to the fat burn zone, then run in place for 60 seconds.
Repeat this for 10 minutes, and voila, you’ve burned an extra 100-200 calories, and extended your workout to a legitimate 40 minutes.
The Best Diet for Weight Loss
I’ve tried so. many. diets over the years – low carb, vegan, no sugar, cut the booze, etc. Turns out the best diet is the one where you don’t eat more calories than you burn.
That’s it. Super simple.
It doesn’t matter what you eat, you just have to simply take in less calories than you burn.
But that means you’re going to have count calories, and that’s a total pain in the ass, unless you have a FitBit, or some other device that tracks your calorie burn.
Back to the FitBit, their app has a great feature for counting calories. You can actually scan the barcode of your favorite peanut butter, input how much you ate, and it will add the calories to your intake for that day, and compare them to the calorie burn that the FitBit has tracked.
I swear this isn’t a FitBit promotion. I used that thing for a year and it made a huge difference. It’s brilliant. I don’t use the Blaze anymore, got an Apple Watch III because I’m a hopeless gear-head. But you can’t beat the Blaze for daily calorie counting/calorie burn stats.
I miss it.
For years my wife told me that I needed to count my calories. I always blew her off as the pounds continued to mount. Having some sort of tracking device saved the day for me.
So I no longer feel like I have to embrace some sort of diet. With my exercise plan, I can eat about 3k calories a day, and plan on losing about a pound a week.
It’s not quick, but it’s forced me to make a change to the way I live, a change in my attitude about food and exercise. I’ve done it for so long now that it’s sort of fun – sort of – more do-able than it used to be anyway.
So – sally forth, give all this a try, and please comment below if you have further thoughts, or if you’d like to share your story.