Lose 20 lbs in 20 Weeks?

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Crash Diets and New Year’s Resolutions…Two things I love to hate! This dynamic combination never seems to work.  So in August of this year I decided to do something different.   On August 12, with 20 weeks left in the year and the need for a 20-pound weight loss, I decided try to lose one pound per week until the end of the year.  I call it the 20 in 20 Challenge.  For me, it addressed two issues.

First, I typically try to lose too much weight in too short of a time period.  It works temporarily – but never lasts.  So, I figured I should be able to consistently lose one pound per week until the end of the year. I also assumed that having the diet last for 20 weeks would foster a lifestyle change instead of a habit change.   Second, I would start off the year at my ideal weight and have no need for a New Year’s resolution.  To make this venture more interesting and add accountability, I asked some friends and family to join me.  We all agreed that we would report our weight every Saturday, and at the end of the contest for each person’s pounds not lost (relative to the 20 pound target) we would each donate $10 per pound to charity.

I decided my trick to losing weight would be threefold – eat less, drink less (alcohol) and exercise more.  Simple to articulate, difficult to execute!  So I have done all three.  On the “eat less” front, I have exercised portion control and concentrated on protein.  On the “exercise more”, I have consistently walked at least 15,000 steps per day every day since the beginning.  On the “drink less”, I have significantly reduced my intake of Cosmopolitans and Margaritas and definitely cut down overall – but not as much as I would have liked (heck you have to have some enjoyment)!

Results – Though the year is not yet over, I have lost on average one pound per week (we’re now in week 18 and I’m down 18 pounds). I attribute my success to 3 things…

1) Changing my routine – doing something different in all three categories.  Try even 7,500 or 10,000 steps per day, or start some new exercise program.  Practice portion control on food and find the right combination for you (e.g., low carbs, low fat, high protein, vegan, etc).

2) Having the peer/group support (pressure) is critical.  I’m very competitive and wanted to set the right example since I was the one who started the whole thing.  Accountability is very important.

3) Finally, having someone very close to you with the same goal is very motivating.  My husband joined the competition – and we keep each other in check.  My husband and I have now started a new routine – when we go out to dinner we share an entrée.

So I anticipate that I will begin 2018 and for the first year in memory without a New Year’s resolution relative to weight loss – what a great feeling!

If you are interested in hearing more about the 20 in 20 program, or just want to chime in, please leave a comment below for Kim or email us at info@UGottaEat.com.

Happy and Healthy New Year!

UGottaEat…so eat mindfully.

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