Friday, October 2

Live Healthy 10% at a time

Here's a concept that will be front and center when I write my diet book ;-)

The 10% Solution
According to the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the average "Dream" weight loss is 38% of the dieter’s current weight. Also:

* a 31% weight loss would make the average dieter "Happy"
* a 25% weight loss would be "Acceptable".
* a 15.7% weight loss would be "Disappointing".

So the 200-pound woman who loses 30 pounds would actually be disappointed in her results!
I totally understand this way of thinking. In fact, it's pretty similar to my ongoing low-grade disappointment that my weight loss has not happened faster. But, friends, we have got to change our mindset!

Any of us approaching weight loss should set an initial 10% goal (assuming we have that much to lose) and not get too ambitious or freaked out about anything beyond that. Especially for those of us with a lot to lose, by the time we lose 10%, everything will be different ... for the better! So let's not get too focused on the whole number in a way that is daunting or discouraging.

In my case, my initial goal weight was 170 because that seemed reasonable. I don't even remember where I came up with that. I think it was a function of BMI and the fact that I used to weight less than that back when I was 28 and fit. Sounds ok, aye? Maybe it was.

But I've re-evaluated. I've changed my initial weight-loss goal to something closer to the top of the BMI for my height: 180. A nice round number and a resulting round number to lose overall: 30 pounds.

And, changing gears to the subject of this post, 10% of my beginning body weight is 21 pounds, which will put me at 189. That's a nice, firm, doable preliminary goal.

To their credit, Weight Watchers emphasizes shooting for a 10% loss first, but, when I was in that program, for whatever reason, I wasn't ready for that to motivate me.

More about things getting better: think about how much easier the rest of the weight will be to lose once you've hit your 10% goal. You'll be that much lighter and have many better habits. Your lifestyle will have improved.

Or, if you still have a lot to go, you can set a goal for the next 10%, which will be a nicely smaller number than the previous achievement, with a much better foundation. Sounds good, right?

So, what's your 10% goal? (You don't have to post it if you're too shy.) Does it seem more doable than your conceptual goal weight?
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