Joy Bauer's Top Strategies for Successful Weight Loss
Filmed at a Health.Inspired Event in New York City
Losing weight is 50 percent attitude. Whether you want to shed five pounds or 500 pounds, it's important to find your own personal reason for losing weight and keeping it off.
UHC TV For Health and Happiness Health. Inspired Joy Bauer (Joy Bauer on stage) (Joy Bauer) Hi. Good Morning everybody. So who is ready to learn top strategies for losing weight and keeping it off? (Applause) (Joy Bauer) Perfect! Haha. Perfect. So, here's an alarming statistic. Two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese...two-thirds. (What Works! Top Strategies for Successful Weight Loss Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN UnitedHealtcare April 5, 2012) (Images and text slides to repeat spoken words) (Joy Bauer on stage) (Joy Bauer) And contrary to what a lot of people think, it's not because of lack of will power. We have so many things working against us and I don't have to tell you that we're living in a toxic environment with way too much of the wrong foods and also, often genetics is working against us as well. And I'm sure that a lot of you have read the recent research and literature about how you work so hard and you lose weight, and as you lose weight, your metabolism suppresses and fights with you to gain the weight back. So it really is very, very easy to gain weight and it's incredibly difficult to lose weight. So that being said, I've worked with so many people. Tens of thousands of people that have figured it out, they've lost weight, they've made it stick, and there are a lot of commonalities between these people, whether they've needed to lose five pounds or literally 500 pounds. But the same themes weave in and out. So, what I want to do is pick what I think are some of the most interesting and most impactful, and sometimes some of the simplest strategies and then present them to you. So, we're going to walk through them this morning. So the first thing is; To get your head in the game. Whenever I meet with a client the very first thing I explain is that losing weight is 50 percent attitude. You know, you think about it. It's not rocket science. You eat less, you move more, the weight comes off. But you really have to be in it mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. So, you want to do some soul searching and find a meaningful reason for finally losing the weight this time. And that's going to mean different things to different people but that reason has to be significant and enduring. And maybe it's that you want to better a health condition, you want to lower your cholesterol so you don't have to go on staton medications, or you want to reduce your risk for cancer that runs in your family. Maybe it's you want to roll around on the floor with your kids or hike or bike, or shoot hoops with them, and just feel more comfortable. Or maybe it's just that you want to finally want to boost your self-esteem and your energy. No matter what it is, it is to be your personal, significant reason, and you have to remind yourself what that reason is every single morning when you wake up. So that's the first tip. The second is: When you set off on this journey, you want to be organized. You want to figure out a way to track your progress so that you're excited about it and are encouraged on a daily or weekly basis. Now, you know, the first thing you could obviously do is you can weight yourself. And a lot of people like the scale. It's so easy, it's concrete, you can hop on the scale once a week, you can hop on the scale every morning, whatever works for your personality. But I will say that if you're obsessive and you start to get really pre-occupied with those numbers, you don't want to be a daily weigher. But it is a really good gauge. It's a reality check when those numbers go down you're like, woo, high five. It makes you feel empowered and you want to have a smooth food day. When the numbers are up a little bit, it enables you to catch small gains before they get out of control. Other ways that you can track progress is inches. I love to tell people to get a flexible tape measure and to measure your abdomen, because everybody knows that that's where the dangerous fat lies, and sometimes what will happen is on the scale, you know, you can have a bunch of weeks or even a month that it sort of stands still, but if you're measuring inches lost, every quarter of an inch that you lose in the belly-fat area means that your risk for diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, is dramatically going down. So this tape measure is really important and it's so simple. Obviously you can graph your stats. So many of us are all high tech and computer savvy now, so it's cool to set up a nice graph from start to where you are now and the reason I that like that is because we all hit plateaus and when you hit that plateau you get so frustrated and disheartened, you can look at the bigger picture and you can see that like hey look at the full story. I've made a whole lot of progress. And then exercise is really important too. So you want to log your exercise as well. And then lastly I'm going to talk a little bit about a food journal. You know a lot of people keep these food journals and I think they can work for you and against you. I don't think anybody needs to keep a food journal every single day for the rest of their life, that would be utterly ridiculous. But I do think that it makes you accountable. You know, when you write it down on paper it becomes much more real and it also helps to diffuse a binge. A lot of times when we have an off meal--a decadent, rich pasta meal--you imagine it's way worse than it actually is. And sometimes then it snowballs into a whole hog binge. The rest of the day you sort of polish off with other bad things, it bleeds into the weekend. If it's Tuesday, you'll start fresh on Monday, and then you're in trouble. So, I think for a lot of reason a food log is very empowering. And whether you just do it in the beginnings when you start a plan so you sort of know where you're at and it becomes your road map, or ya know you do it as long as it's helpful to you it can become a very, very effective tool. Okay, so let me ask you guys this--On the way here--How many of you had some sort of fancy coffee concoction, with cream or sugar or a squirt some sort of flavored syrup? Come on fess up. Nobody? Ha, ha okay. How many people yesterday either had a soda, a fruit juice, or some sort of sugary water? These liquid calories kill us. And what happens is we don't realize we're guzzling thousands and thousands of calories and the liquid calories don't fill you up like solid calories do so you still wind up eating just as much as you typically would. And, you know the usual suspects are soda and sugary iced teas and lemonades, and fruit drunks, the coffee concoctions. But also sugary cocktails can be calorie bombs, and believe it or not, fruit juice. So fruit juice has vitamins and minerals and it's certainly way healthier than soda, but again it's a concentrated source of calories. So check this out--if you were to give up one 20 ounce soda every single day or one large glass of fruit juice--so either one of those two. So, if you did that every single day for one year, you would end up saving 91,000 calories. You would prevent yourself from gaining 26 pounds or you would lose 26 pounds. And over 100 cups of straight sugar from entering your body. So, this is a very, very powerful, simple change. Just this one change could have a huge impact on your weight. The next tip is to become comfortable in the kitchen. And that is because we are so over-scheduled. We juggle so many balls in the air and at the end of the day we are wiped out. And I've got three kids and I'm juggling different jobs. I completely get it. And it's so much easier to pick up the phone and order in Chinese takeout, or drive through a fast food chain, or make macaroni and cheese or chicken parmesan, and of course all of these things are fattening and loaded with sugar, fat, salt, and things our bodies don't need. Lots and lots of toxic calories. So, if you come up with five super simple, easy, delicious, healthy recipes that you can make in a flash. Nothing exorbitant. You have to be able to make these recipes in twenty minutes or less. And then you're going to memorize them. This is actually homework for you all. You're going to write them down on a sheet of paper, and then you make sure that you have the ingredients for two of these recipes at all times in your apartment or in your home. Then they will become your go-to and they can be so, so simple. We're not talking about elaborate, gourmet meals. So it could be a shrimp and vegetable stir-fry, by the way, it could be a bowl of whole grain cereal with skim milk or soy milk and sliced bananas. It could be an egg white omelet. It doesn't matter what it is. Grilled chicken parmesan, I can whip up a grilled chicken parmesan in seven minutes. My kids timed me. All you need to do is oil mist with a spray, olive oil, or canola oil, or grape seed oil, on a skillet, you save a ton of calories instead of pouring oil straight from the bottle, use an oil mister. Then you're going to pan-fry your chicken breast. While the chicken breast is actually cooking you're going to open up a bag of pre-washed greens, you're gonna put it in a bowl with some light vinaigrette dressing. When the chicken is ready you transfer it to a pan. You put a jar of marinara sauce on, some grated, reduced-fat cheese, in the oven, melt it, you have a beautiful meal in less than seven minutes. So very, very simple things. Turkey burgers are easy. Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce, and a grilled cheese and tomato on whole wheat bread with a healthy can of lentil or minestrone, or black bean soup does the trick as well. Oops, I forgot about my frittata. So this is a big one. All the clients that I have worked with were finally successful when they learned how to forgive their slip-ups. You know basically what this means is that nobody gains weight from a chocolate chip cookie. Or a slice of pizza, or a on the dark side at a restaurant, or a family gathering. It just doesn't work that way. You get yourself into trouble when you view that as, "Uh, I've blown it." And then you go whole hog, and you either polish off the day which then bleeds into the weekend, which then bleeds into the week and we talked a little about this earlier. But all you really need to do is shake it off, forgive yourself and get right back on the wagon. Whether it's at the very next meal or at the very next day. And I'm telling you, eating in the middle and not having the extremes--I'm perfectly good--I'm perfectly bad--is the key to finally losing weight and keeping it off. This is the number one reason why people tend to gain weight. And then the last tip is to set short-term goals as well as long-term goals. Now I love long-term goals, no matter what they are. I want to lose five pounds. I want to lose, you know, 200 pounds. They're fabulous. Everybody needs to have what that ultimate goal is. But it can be overwhelming. And I think what's more important than these long-term goals are the short-term goals, because the short-term goals, let's call them weekly goals. They could also be daily goals. But if you have a goal every single week that you're striving for, and then get to check off, and pat yourself on the back, they give you that encouragement to stick with your plan so that ultimately, you wind up meeting the long term goal. So these weekly goals are uber important and a few ideas they can be action goals, you know, you can say, this week I'm going to lose two pounds or one pound. But they can also be activity goals. I'm going to try new, two new ethnic recipes that sound interesting to me. I'm not going to snack after dinner. I'm going to forego the vending machine at work. And instead I'm going to pack my snacks today, this week. I'm going to walk 30 minutes every single day. And by the way, if you don't have time to walk thirty continuous minutes, break it up into bite-sized pieces. Ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes during lunchtime, ten minutes after dinner. It works and they all add up. And exercise during commercial breaks. Whether you're watching Game of Thrones, or Downton Abbey, those are two of my favorites, or Law and Order, get off the couch in between and do anything--you can march in place, you can do jumping jacks you can do crunches--anything goes, just get yourself moving. Because then, you're not only burning calories, but your thinking about it and you're preventing yourself from munching while you're on the couch so it sort of plays double duty. But again, it's about short-term goals, as well as those long-term goals. So in summary, so the strategies were: Get your head in the game. Find you reason, meaningful reason for finally losing weight and keeping it off. You want to track your progress. You want to lose the liquid calories. Become comfortable in the kitchen--your homework. Whip out the piece of paper come up with your five meals that you can make in a flash. Easy, simple, delicious, healthy. Forgive your slip-ups and set your short-term goals, as well as your long-term goals. So these are to me, simple but very, very effective. Manageable, right? Okay, I'm telling you I've worked with many, many people who have one after the other failed attempts in the past, gained and lost hundreds and hundreds of pounds. But, this time it stuck and these are all commonalities that worked for them and they can work for you as well. So thank you so much. Enjoy the rest of your day. Health. Inspired UnitedHealthcare