Unlike my last blog post, Quickest Way to Lose Weight, I will cover several quick ways to lose weight in this post. Rather than just cover what I think is the best way to lose weight, I will go over several very good ways to achieve this goal.
Weight loss tips abound, but most are missing the forest for the trees. A few really good tips will go much further than a huge bag of very minor tips. In addition, it will be far easier to implement a few solid tips than to try and remember a hundred different things that you need to do differently.
You can lose weight, and you will if you follow these tips without adopting new bad habits. Often, when trying to make a positive change, people will sabotage their efforts by simultaneously adopting a new bad habit. For example, when I first decided to stop drinking pop, I thought juice would be better. Little did I know that juice is also just a bunch of dead calories, just as calorie dense as pop, and I often drank more of it than I did pop because it both came in larger containers and because I mistakingly though it was healthier.
The result – weight gain. I thought I was doing something healthy, but I made a simple mistake. I adopted a new good habit (not drinking pop) but also adopted a new bad habit in its place (drinking calorie dense juice instead).
So the first quick way to lose weight is to evaluate all decisions related to weight loss carefully. Here is a short, but important checklist to make sure that you are making good weight loss decisions:
- Is this new habit/rule sustainable?
- If eliminating a habit, what will fill its place?
- Is the new behavior/rule better than the old one?
- Is there an even better alternative?
- Would trim, vibrant people who I want to be like benefit by following this rule/habit?
Is this new habit/rule sustainable?
If it is not sustainable, it is not worth doing. Why bother to lose ten pounds if you will just gain it back in a week after you change your habits? Short-sighted thinking causes most people no end of pain. Looking to hook a man with your great looks that usually aren’t there? Go off the diet, and if he was interested in a slimmer you that you can’t sustain, expect him to go bye bye when the weight comes back on. Unless it’s a one-time event (like a vocabulary test), short-term fixes hurt more than help. They just waste your time at least twice (once when doing it the first time, and again when you decide to take the quick fix in the future).
If eliminating a habit, what will fill its place?
New years resolutions usually fail not because of poor intentions or lack of willpower. They simply fail because they are not engineered to succeed. You may decide to workout eight hours a day, and can keep this up while on vacation, but as soon as you go back to work – you simply can’t do it… not as long as you are human anyway. The sad fact is, most people have no idea how to plan for change effectively, although there is one simple rule that always works.
Whenever removing a habit, you need to find a new one to put in its place. If you do not have a new habit in mind beforehand, you will simply end up filling the space / scenario with something random. Since it is random, it may be a better or worse habit. The only way to guarantee success is to decide on a good habit to replace the eliminated one. For example, instead of just saying you will stop drinking Coke, decide to drink water every time you feel like drinking Coke.
I got off of the Coke habit while my father tried doing the same thing with beer. However, since my father did not have a replacement, he ended up substituting scotch for beer which just made him more inebriated and cost a lot more to boot! Moral of the story is, you cannot quit cold turkey. Have something to put in place of what you plan on eliminating before you start and stick to it.
Is the new behavior/rule better than the old one?
Let’s pretend you are working out to lose weight, but decide that you will do something more fun instead of something that is really working for you. Let’s say that you decide to go on a morning walk in the nice fresh air for half an hour instead of doing interval sprints on the stationary bike because it is more enjoyable. Now, there is something to be said for doing what you love, but the new behavior will probably lead to bad weight gain rather than added weight loss. You may like your walks more, but the new rule is not better than a harder workout to lose weight.
Is there an even better alternative?
Let us continue with the previous example. If you want to get more fresh air, you can substitute a morning walk for high intensity sprints on the stationary bike. However, instead of just walking, turn the walk into a sprinting exercise. Do the same amount of work that you would normally do at the gym, but do it outside at your favorite time of the day when the air is fresh and the birds are singing. At worst, you see the same results, but at best, you get even better results and feel better about it. Extend the length a bit more so you can wind down and enjoy the outdoors more and you have found a much better alternative from all angles.
Would trim, vibrant people who I want to be like benefit by following this rule/habit?
Another excellent question to ask about your method for losing weight is whether other healthy and vibrant people would adapt your idea. If, for example, you wanted to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger used to, you should expect to do similar training to what he went through – steroids and everything else included. Are your weight loss solutions actually helpful, or just helpless distractions? If you have a very fit friend or acquaintance, ask them about your idea and see what they think. If they shoot it down and recommend something else – strongly consider their advice. They may be a meathead or whatever derogatory term you have made-up to save your own ego, but they have something you desire. The quickest way to success is often simple emulation.
One of my favorite quotes comes from a world-famous powerlifter by the name of Jim Wendler. To get whatever physical goal you want, his advice is pretty much the same:
Eat a ton, exercise hard and sleep well. Repeat this daily for 10 years.
It’s hard to argue with that! However, few people are able to find habits which they can sustain for ten years since most diets and routines are all about fast results. Shift to a long-term perspective and your goals and behaviors for attaining them become clear.
My last quick weight loss tip will also save you a ton of time and frustration:
Focus on behaviors and not results.
If you do the right things on a consistent basis, do not worry about the results. They will eventually come as long as you keep doing the right things. However, if you are lying to yourself and not doing the right things, the results will never come. Therefore, if you fail to get your desired results time and again, you really need to change your approach because it is not working for you.
I hope you have enjoyed these quick ways to lose weight and wish you success in implementing them.