Losing Weight vs Keeping It Off – Part 1

weight loss Jun 11, 2019


“While everybody focuses on how fast they lose weight, the real key to success is focusing how long the weight will stay off.”  - Helen Kollias, Ph.D

That quote offers a major insight.

It can be seducing to see a weight loss program or method that offers blindingly quick results. 

I understand the temptation for quick results. Who wants to wait to feel better, right? 

But the most important measure in a diet is not speed or the number of pounds shed, but rather sustainability.

You deserve more than fleeting weight loss, wouldn't you agree? 

You deserve a body that that looks fantastic in your favorite clothes - for LIFE, not just for a a season or vacation.   

Needless to say, that's impossible if the weight loss you achieve never lasts more than several weeks or months.  

Which is why your real target must live beyond the end of a 30-day diet or 12-week diet.

The main question is not “How do I lose X number of pounds in X weeks?”

Instead, the most important question should be “How can I eat, train, and rest in ways that allow me to look and feel great for years to come?”

I could write a book trying to answer that question (maybe I should?), but for now let’s answer that question in terms of what would you have to do to make it more likely to sustain any weight loss that you achieved?  

That’s what this multi-part blog post series will try to answer for you, with each post giving you one strategy.

These are the methods I use with my own clients in my coaching program to help them stay leaner and healthier for life:


STRATEGY: Find Your “Minimum Effective Dose.”

A common problem is that folks approach diets and weight loss as “all or none.”

Either you’re in a place where you indulge in the second scoop of ice cream whenever you want, or it’s an all-out effort to avoid eating anything with more than two grams of carbs. 

Rarely is there a middle, which is why when the diet ends, the weight sneaks up on you like a zombie that was supposed to be dead but arose for the final scare.

Awkward horror analogies aside, the point is there will be periods in your life when you eat well and knock down your workouts with the reliability of a metronome.

Just as likely, however, are those tough stretches when life throws curve balls or your career demands you put in extra hours and has you departing the office with barely a shred of energy left. 

That’s when you need to not shift to “NONE” mode, but rather know your minimum effective dose(MED).

In other words: “What’s the least you’re willing to do to eat well when life gets tough?”

Two things to consider when finding your MED:

  1. It won’t resemble your best days. 
  2. Employ the strategies/habits that are easiest for you to implement.


My Example of a Minimum Effective Dose

Below is my food-based MED for my toughest days and weeks. This is what I knowI can commit to even when life gets maniacally hectic or stressful:

  1. An Isagenix meal-replacement shake each morning. (Takes me 5 minutes to make and consume.)
  2. A healthy salad for lunch. (This is from Panera or KitchFix, a local meal service in my neighborhood.
  3. Eat only when I am physically hungry (scoring about a 6 or 7 on the hunger scale).

That may seem like a lot, but I have set up routines in my life to make these habits pretty easy for me to execute.

Notice, my minimum dose doesn’t say anything about the quality of my dinner, snacks, or the presence of desserts. But I DO put up guardrails on how muchI’ll be eating with the third habit. 

Got got the idea? What is your minimum effective dose?

It doesn’t have to be three items, it can be just one.  Here’s the best part: it’s supposed to be easy and doable!

So, no need to aim for the stars here. J

Please share your MED in the comments below!




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