I lost 100 pounds in a healthy and sustainable way, through healthy eating and exercise (about 90% was food). I am speaking from my personal experience regarding what helped me with my success on my weight loss journey.
I am not a doctor or medical professional and have no qualifications re: same. The content provided herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and never delay seeking medical advice related to treatment in reliance on any content set forth herein. This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through this link (at no extra cost to you).
So here is the truth about weight loss. If you are doing it right. It is probably NOT sexy. Have you ever heard of the following?
- Celery Juice Cleanse
- Cabbage Soup Diet
Sound familiar? Yes? Probably because you may have tried them and were not able to achieve the weight loss goals you had hoped. And what’s worse, some marketer along the way probably took your money in the process. Lose-Lose. I tried them all too. It’s exhausting.
Want to hear the magical solution? Hint: It’s not quick and easy and it’s totally UNSEXY!
Enter: the 1% rule.
Every day, small little choices you make (1%) can add up to big changes (OVER TIME).
I want to make sure I give credit to James Clear, who clearly articulated this concept in his book Atomic Habits (which you should read, if you have not). Mindset is a critical part of sustainable weight loss and I believe the book, Atomic Habits, is highly applicable.
Let me give you an example of the 1% rule applied.
I like to drink unsweetened almond milk in my coffee. Part of why I drink almond milk is because (I think) it tastes really good and there are only 30 calories in a whole cup. That is a lot of bang for the buck as far as calories go.
It got me thinking. If I was drinking regular milk, even skim, how would that affect me over the course of a year?
I drink ½ gallon per week (64 oz, 8 – 8oz cups).
8 x 30 calories = 240 calories per week.
12,480 calories per year
Average calories per cup = 80
8 x 80 calories = 640 calories per week.
33,280 calories per year
Average calories per cup = 150
8 x 150 calories = 1200 calories per week.
62,400 calories per year
At present, I am pretty good about maintaining my weight because I mindfully track what I eat based on the calories that my body needs [more about my 100 lb weight loss journey here]. Sometimes I eat more or less. I allocate my calories like someone would budget money. I try not to overspend. I save and I use my calories on the things I enjoy most.
Because I drink almond milk, I account for that in my daily calorie budget. If I switched to skim milk or whole milk from almond milk, let’s do some math:
By switching to skim milk, I would consume 20,800 more calories over the course of the year (33,280 skim – 12,480 almond milk).
By switching to whole milk, I would consume 49,920 more calories over the course of the year (62,400 whole – 12,480 almond milk).
According to Mayo Clinic: “3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, it’s estimated that you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound.”
So, with skim milk, 20,800/3500 = roughly 6 pounds over the course of the year.
And, with whole milk, 49,920/3500 = roughly 14 pounds over the course of the year.
So all else being equal, making that tiny daily change could have an impact of 6 to 14 lbs over the course of the year.
Let me also qualify by saying – YES – there are going to be different factors that could have a small effect on these numbers (which are too complicated to broach in this article). But, suffice it to say. Math is math.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
I would encourage you to extrapolate and apply this idea to your own life.
Example 1: Are you like me and you drink ½ gallon of milk each week in your coffee? Consider switching to almond milk. I am not pushing almond milk, but for demonstrative purposes.
Example 2: Do you drink 1 bottle of soda every day?
240 calories in 20 oz soda – 240 calories x 365 days per year (divided by) 3500 calories (1 lb fat) = 25 pounds
I challenge you to switch to sparkling water or regular water. That one small change could result in a 25 pound weight loss over the course of the year.
WEIGHT LOSS IS UNSEXY
Going back to my original point. It is so easy to want the magic bullet. The quick fix. The crash diet. Lose 10 lbs in 7 days!
These types of promises are B***-****. Please run from anyone who makes those promises to you.
Start by making small achievable changes to your daily life and be CONSISTENT. You will see the changes over the course of time and those changes will be more sustainable because they aren’t so extreme.
If I told you to eat 500 calories per day for the next month would you lose weight? Yup! Is it unhealthy? Yup! Think you can keep that up? Um – NO! And what are you probably going to do after? Binge? Yeah, thought so.
So how about:
- Drop the daily soda and switch to sparkling water?
- Use 1 sugar packet instead of 2 in your coffee (or nix the sugar).
- If your physical health permits, take the stairs instead of the elevator? Park in the last row at the grocery store?
Those are just a few examples. I bet you could pinpoint something small in your life that you could change that would have a cumulative effect. Think about what that change could be.
If you are annoyed by this advice. Sorry-not-sorry. This is the type of stuff that actually works. The stuff that is unsexy and no one wants to do it. Because you will not see overnight results. But guess what!? It works. You may even know these concepts but you haven’t put them it into effect yet.
So, if you don’t like this advice, please feel free to give your money to any of the fitness *marketers* who will happily take your money and promise you the world.
But if you do like this advice, I encourage you to try it. Write down the change you are going to make and follow through, EVERY DAY.
Give it a go and let me know how you do!!!
If you want to hear more about my weight loss journey and how I lost 100 pounds and kept it off in a healthy and sustainable way, please join my newsletter for ongoing weight loss tips and healthy recipes.
Feel free to check out some of my other top health articles such as: My Healthy Weight Loss Foods List, My Top 5 Weight Loss Hacks, or My Top 10 Tips to Lose Weight Quickly.
Can you do me a favor? If you love this article, please share on Facebook or Pinterest [share buttons below].
Lastly, if you have any questions, please email me. I am happy to help!
Sounds like I’m on the right track. Lots of this sounds familiar but really appreciate the way you outlined it for us. I just subscribed to your newsletter, and look forward to learning more.
Thanks so much Bibiana! I am so happy it is helpful!!!