Keep it Simple

Keep It Simple 2There are still people I meet who ask me how I lost so much weight and, more and more, how I am managing to keep it off. Almost always they are disappointed when I tell them. They can even seem a bit annoyed, as if I really do have a secret, but I’m not telling them what it is. They don’t seem to like the truth, which is that I am doing it by keeping things very simple.

Many people seem to have complicated targets when they are trying to lose weight. Yes, they want to lose weight, but they also want to eat ‘good fats’, eat more protein and less carbohydrates, go to the gym five times a week, drop three dress sizes, lose four inches off their thighs, look good for their daughter’s wedding in six month’s time. And so on. As I never stop saying, we are all different, and maybe people manage to achieve several targets at once, which is terrific. But it’s too complicated for me – I need to keep it simple!

When I started with Nutracheck I had just one target – I was going to lose 10% of my body weight. That’s it. I started to weigh everything, put it all in my food diary, and made sure my calories were under the total every day. I didn’t care whether the food was red meat, good fat, full of salt, processed, or had been driven by truck from Cambodia – I just counted the calories, and I lost weight. I weighed myself every morning to see how I was doing. I couldn’t even complicate life with exercise, because I was crippled with arthritis in my knees.

When I had lost the 10% I set my next goal as another 10%, and kept on with the same system. But now, my knees were getting better, so I started to walk a little. I didn’t join a gym or buy a cross-trainer – I just walked. And if the weather was bad I walked inside the house. I bought a pedometer, recorded my steps every day, and tried to increase the number of them gradually. If my weight loss slowed down, I ate fewer calories for a few days.

I kept losing weight like that until my BMI was under 25 – I didn’t worry about whether or not BMI was a perfect measure. Then I reckoned that was time for maintenance. Now life got slightly more complicated, because I wanted to check that my diet was OK for the long-term. Nutritionist Emma gave me some advice, and I adjusted what I ate a little. Apart from anything else, I had to start eating more, so that I would stop losing weight. But I still follow that simple approach – eat low calorie, walk as much as I can, record both my weight and steps every day, and don’t worry about anything else, least of all the truck from Cambodia.


  • Liz says:

    Hi Steve, thank you so much for this. I had been trying to overcomplicate things and getting stuck. I will keep it simple!! I have reset my target to 10% and, although I do get lots of exercise some days, will just walk on the days when I am not doing anything else. A fitbit zip will help keep me on track and I now have a target which I should reach before xmas. Inspirational!

  • dawn says:

    Steve I love this post more than any other. When I hear of people doing the egg diet, the slimfast diet, the grapefruit, no carb, 5:2 and I could go on and on, I just want to say a big WHY. Why go to all the trouble when you can do your simple NC method and lose weight without hardly any pain. I have only been losing 1lb a week but I have hardly noticed that I have been on a diet. No special foods, I don’t cut anything out, I still have my bar of chocolate when I want one. I would like to shout it from the rooftops how amazing NC is so thanks for your words of wisdom and congratulations on one heck of an achievement.

  • Sprog says:

    I love the idea that people think you are keeping a magic weight loss formula to yourself!

    I too have had some people be a bit disappointed when I say that primarily I am losing weight by the “old fashioned method of eating less and moving more.” (Helpful as I find Beck, I that keeps me to the diet and does not directly help me lose weight).

    I know it may look like I like it complicated (Beck is not best described as “simple”) but I do agree with you – losing weigh is best kept simple … eat less, eat wisely, and move more and (if you eat fewer calories than you burn) you will lose weight. Simple.

    Odd how extraordinarily difficult it is at the same time!

  • bChristine says:

    Hi Steve,

    I always enjoy yours posts, you have such a sensible, realistic attitude!
    I am interested that you had arthritis in your knees; did weight loss alone solve the problem, or had you other interventions too, e,g, medication, surgery etc?

    I have arthritis in one knee, but my husband has it in both knees, and is probably facing two replacements. He goes to physios, chiropractors, therapists, but won’t address his weight problem!


  • jill says:

    Hi Steve thanks so much for this. I enjoy reading your blog.
    It’s so true that people think there must be an easy answer. When I lost weight, people suddenly noticed and thought that I must have done it overnight, simply because they didnt notice the journey. When I said no, its taken 7 months of eating less and moving more, its almost like they are disappointed. No quick fixes folks!!

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