About Fogdog's Weight Loss

Don't Focus on the Goal...

If you've followed this blog you know that I've struggled for many years with improving my health. I've finally reached a point where I've managed to maintain a small amount of success. Now it's time to take the next step, but I believe it requires a new way of thinking.

Instead of trying to get healthy, why not shift focus toward learning how to build healthy habits instead. Follow me as I try to teach myself how to Engineer healthy habits that will allow me to take my health to the next level. Let's see where this experiment goes!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My New Weight Loss Plan

Ok so now it’s time to post my new weight loss plan.  I didn’t post it when I first started over because I was still working on it.  I wanted to have the first week to try it out and see if it needed any tweaks.  This plan is a little bit different than my last one, and some of you may be surprised at some of the items on my list.
The Usual Stuff – If you ran a search on Google for “Weight Loss Plans” most of the sites you would end up at would have some variant of these first 8 items on my list:
  1. Exercise every day – No big shock on this one, you need to exercise to lose weight.  My plan is to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every single day.  It can be any type of exercise (cardio, strength, walking) as long as I am doing it specifically to get my daily exercise
  2. Track calories and stay below my target – I debated this one quite a bit.  I hate keeping track of my calories, but the truth is I do much better when I’m recording what I eat.  My starting target is less than 2500 calories each day.  That might seem high to some people, but over the years I’ve learned that I don’t have to starve myself to lose weight.  I also have learned that if you try to restrict your calories AND increase your activity all at once, you can very quickly get overwhelmed.
  3. Eat 5-6 Meals each day – It has become conventional wisdom that you are better off eating lots of smaller meals rather than just a few large meals.  It helps to keep your metabolism going and you are less likely to binge if you are getting something to eat every 3-4 hours.
  4. Have some protein at every meal – Protein stays with you a lot longer than carbs and fat, plus it helps to rebuild muscle when you are strength training.
  5. Limit processed and pre-packaged foods to once per day – Pre-packaged foods are full of stuff you really don’t need.  Though I’m not swearing off pre-packaged foods entirely, I am going to limit them.
  6. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day – Besides being great for you, you can also eat a lot of fruits and vegetables for very little calories.
  7. Set both Long and Short Term Goals – I’ll be posting my goals here in the days to come, but rest assured there will be long term and short term goals.  The short term goals will support the long term plan and all the goals will be SMART goals.
  8. Regular Weigh-ins but not too often – I’ll be weighing myself every 10 days.  It’s plenty of time to at least see some sort of progress and not so long that I become obsessed and start sneaking peaks in between dates.
The Not-So-Usual Stuff – These next 10 items are more tailored to me and my personal style:
  1. Establish a clear morning routine – This one might seem a little weird for a weight loss plan, but there is a method to my madness.  I will be writing a post in the near future about Keystone Habits, but for now you’ll have to trust me when I say this is probably one of the most important aspects of my plan.
  2. Drink 100 ounces of water every day – You always hear how you should get 64 ounces of water every day.  I truly believe you need much more when you are trying to lose weight.  I know that 100 ounces sounds like a lot, but my most successful weight loss endeavors have come when I’m drinking lots of water.  It keeps me feeling full and helps flush out all the bad stuff from your system.
  3. Eat a big breakfast  – This one might seem counterintuitive, but in order to get started on the right foot, you need fuel first thing in the morning.  Plus, if you skimp on breakfast you spend the rest of the day hungrier (my opinion anyway) than if you have a full meal.  My typical breakfast will be between 500-600 calories and will include protein, fruit, and complex carbs (such as oatmeal).
  4. Post on my Blog Regularly – Submit posts on my blog at least weekly.  This helps me to stay accountable and connected to others that are fighting the fight.  It also keeps me thinking about being healthy.
  5. Reduce Digital Entertainment – This one is designed to get at my evenings.  My typical evening involves me coming home, eating dinner, and then plopping my ass on the couch until bedtime.  My goal is to have no more than 2 hours of digital entertainment (TV, Wasting time on the computer, non-active Wii games, cell phone, etc.) each day.
  6. Set Monthly Progress Reviews – I’m taking this page from work.  Every month I meet with my employees and we discuss their progress.  With these monthly reviews I can identify areas of concern and if I need to adjust my plan I can do that as well. 
  7. Get Plenty of Sleep – You can find research just about everywhere that shows people who get enough sleep do better at losing weight, yet no one ever makes it part of their plan.  I’m going for at least 7 hours each night.
  8. Prepare for failure – There will be times when I just completely fall off the wagon.  In order to be prepared for it, I have created a failure analysis form to fill out (taking another page from my work).  The idea is that if I sit myself down and go through the form right after a major failure, it will help me to prevent the same failure from happening again.  It’s also a way of holding myself accountable and getting myself right back on the wagon.
  9. Allow Cheating – 1 to 2 meals each week can be anything I want.  This helps me to not feel like I’m being deprived of anything.  Note this is not considered a reward for healthy eating.  One of the biggest pitfalls in healthy eating is that sometimes people want to reward good behavior with bad behavior.  If you want to reward yourself, do it with something that isn’t bad for you.
  10. Pay myself for success - One of my rewards will be cold, hard cash.  $10 will be going into an account for every pound I lose.  At certain milestones I will allow myself to use some of that money (no unhealthy purchases) to buy something and when I hit my ultimate goal, there will be enough in there for a pretty decent island vacation.
  11. The last part of my plan isn't really about my weight loss, but rather about my life in general:
    Enjoy Life and be Happy!  Afterall, what’s the point of being healthy if you are miserable?
    Got an "interesting" item in your weight loss plan?  Leave a comment and tell me about it.


  1. Great post. I hope you don't mind but I've copied and pasted it into my word processor. Such a balanced approach and something that can be done for the rest of your life. Success is written all over this plan!

  2. I like it! I too have given myself some rewards, but I think I need to add more. Right now the only one I have is when I lose 50 lbs my hubby & I are going to start taking dance lessons. But I think I need to incorporate some smaller rewards. Can't wait to see your transformation. Can you also include weight loss pics? I love seeing pictures as we lose.