The PEERtrainer Weight Loss And User Guide:
Getting Started on PT, Proven Steps To Lose Weight
The first section of this guide has ideas that help put you in the right mindset to lose weight, help you to get started
, what to expect
and why PEERtrainer will help you. There is instruction to help you find groups
, explain why support
is effective, define your goals
, and how to set up a plan
for the first seven days that will give you a couple quick wins. Many of them come from members
of the PEERtrainer community who have used them in their own journey.
After the user orientation the guide begins to go into some proven ideas to help you succeed by exploring some weight loss myths
, discussing portion size
, how to diet and still eat dessert
, the important role of vegetables
in weight loss, how exercise
fits into the equation.
The structure of PEERtrainer is rooted in the principles and fundamentals of support, motivation and accountability. These are the things that when brought together lead to long term behavior modification.
So bookmark this page and review the ideas here. And as you do the daily work, come back to the list and try and go into a couple in depth each day or week. Some will resonate with you, some won't. And some will only become relevant as you begin to get your first few successes under your belt. Most of the ideas here are not new and many will seen familiar. But they take on a new life when paired with the unique structure of the PEERtrainer platform. If you ever have any questions, need any help; want to get your clients, customers or co-workers using the system in any way, please contact us
. We look forward to hearing from you.
Video: The Three Things You Need To Do In Your First Week
Signing Up For PEERtrainer Is Very Simple
Signing up is the first step. PEERtrainer is easy to use and easy to get started. Unlike other logging formats, PEERtrainer employs a free form log that allows you to add as much or as little as you like each day. No pull down menus, no intensive process. Nobody is telling you to jump in and do a difficult "Phase 1". More
Aim For Small Quick Wins When You Start
One of the great things about PEERtrainer is that you can't "fail" at it. There is no rigorous first phase that you have to stick to 100%--that you are 100% guaranteed not to! PEERtrainer was built with this in mind, with an easy to use format, that allows you to start slow and rack up some quick, small wins. More
Finding and Creating Active Groups
PEERtrainer is full of incredible people, connected together. It is much more than simple "support"- it is a network of like-minded people, motivating, encouraging and inspiring each other. The fundamental building block of PEERtrainer is the group. This is a set of tips on how to find and create great ones.
Figure Out The Real Reason Why You Want To Lose Weight
People often say that the "why" is more important than the "how" in terms of getting something done. If you've been thinking about losing the last 10 pounds or the first 50 pounds, it's most likely been on your mind for a very long time. More
Write it Down and Have a Way to Measure Your Progress
Once you have identified your reason, take that reason and put it into a goal. Develop a weekly plan to stay accountable. Do you hate the scale? That's fine. Maybe one day you will make friends with it. In the meantime, find a different way to chart your progress. More
Get As Much Support As You Can
Support works and is cited over and over by people who have successfully lost weight. Who is around you daily? Are they supportive of your quest for a healthy lifestyle? Would it be better for them if you stayed 30 pounds heavier? Is your friend secretly happier that she's the thinner one who gets more attention? Is your husband secretly happy that you're overweight so he can hide from his own weight problem? More
Take A Baby Step: Commit To One Change, For Only 7 days.
When people begin to focus on their weight loss efforts and their health, they often want to do a complete and immediate overhaul. They want to change everything, and learn how to burn fat
immediately. They want to switch from having fried and fast foods and a relatively sedentary lifestyle to only eating salads, fruits and vegetables, with running/strength training every day. More
Don't Believe The Myth That You Can And Will Lose Exactly 2 Pounds Every Week
In a group support setting like Weight Watchers or PEERtrainer, everyone makes progress at a different pace. Try and be motivated by the progress of others. Often times you'll lose a couple pounds one week, one pound the next week and sometimes you'll gain a pound the following week. What is important is the trend. You didn't gain the weight in a measured fashion of 2 pounds per week, you're most likely not going to lose it in the same way. More
Question Everything You've Learned Up To This Point
The knowledge that you have right now got you to where you are sitting, reading this. That same set of knowledge isn't necessarily enough to get you where you want to go. You have to dig deep and question what you've learned, how you've come to believe what you believe to enable successful weight loss. If you're often rigid in your opinions and beliefs, you've got to open yourself up to new ideas. Instead of automatically saying "NO!" to a new diet thought or suggestion, train your very first response to be, "That's interesting. Let me think about that."
Your success is highly dependent on how well you know your own triggers and habits and how well you respond and change your approach. No one source of information is the end all. It takes several tools, and those tools need to be customized to you for you to be successful. Be open to ideas. More
Learn What A Portion Size Really Is
Your stomach is about the size of your fist. Most plates of dinner served at a restaurant are twice, sometimes three times the size of this. Make it a buffet and you could be eating a portion that is 6 times the size of your stomach. An appetizer is usually a sensible portion size for your stomach.
How about that dressing on your salad? 2 Tbsp of salad dressing
= a shot glass. Most salads in restaurants have 2 ladles of dressing on them; 2 Tbsp is a relatively small amount and will average about 240 calories (5 Weight Watchers Points). Adding lemon or mustard or something like balsamic vinegar
can make your salad "moist" without adding extra fat and calories. More
The Three Bite Rule
When it comes to dessert, the three bite rule is unparalleled for satisfaction and portion control. If you want dessert, have three bites. There is no dessert that is forbidden, and you'll find that after the three bites, you're mindlessly eating. Once you try this a few times, you'll see how easy it is to maintain. More
Eat More Vegetables Than Anyone Ever Told You. Too Much Is Not Enough.
High levels of fruits, vegetables, greens and beans help you lose weight because they are low in calories, high in volume and high in critically important nutrients. On a very practical level they fill you up, without loading you up with fat and calories. And when your stomach is filled up with high volume, low calorie food, there is less room for other stuff. There is also a growing body of evidence that shows that plant-based foods help to control food cravings and overeating. The nutrient deficiency that is created by the lack of fruits and vegetables tells the body, "keep eating." More
Create short bursts of cardio and strength building throughout your day. Take the steps instead of the escalator. Carry the bags of groceries to the far spot in the parking lot instead of pushing them in the cart. Take a walk to the other side of the office instead of sending an email. Studies show that you don't have to get the whole 30 minutes in at one time to enjoy the benefits of oxygen moving through your system. More
The Only Way To Fail Is By Giving Up
The only way that you fail at losing weight - or anything in life - is by giving up. It's unfortunate when you watch someone give up because it's precisely at the point of giving up that they need to push through. It's easy to give up when you hit a plateau. It's easy to give up when you've had a bad weekend of eating and hanging out on the sofa. But what happens is devastating...More
The Importance of Social Support and Self-Monitoring
Group and peer support is a highly proven method for losing weight and getting healthy. It is one thing to learn how to lose weight and eat more healthy, it is another thing to put this into practice on a consistent basis. Friends and family are of limited use because there is only so much burden they can bear. Getting the support of an anonymous group of people each day can make the critical difference. More
Be Sure To Log Everything in Your PEERtrainer Log and Fill out Each Field.
It's important to write down everything even if you're completely embarrased about the overwhelming amount of food you ate. Even if you finished an entire bag of potato chips, a full box of cookies, and drank an obscene amount of wine, you must write it down. It's easy to log when you've had a great day but it's most important to log when it's hard. More
There Are Diets That Work
You have heard over and over that diets don't work. The traditional American idea of dieting is "portion control" or reducing your caloric intake. These approaches are incomplete because you are usually reducing portions of unhealthy, fatty foods and processed foods. Low carb and low fat is not the precise approach you need for long term greatness. There are new diet approaches out there that seek to fundamentally change what you eat. These diets slash the amounts of saturated fats and sugar that you eat and radically increase the amount of plant-based foods. More
If You Fall Off Track, Commit To One Good Day
Falling off track happens and it can happen often. You find yourself at a party on Saturday night where you stuffed your face, the next day you don't want to workout and you choose pizza and coke to hdyrate yourself instead of the water and fruit you know you should be having. Then Monday comes around, it's a stressful day at work and everyone ordered chinese and the free egg rolls came with your order and were hard to resist. More
Build A Relationship With Your Primary Care Doctor- Or Find One You Can Work With
The best primary care doctors can help you lose weight and should be considered as a key resource you can take advantage of. They can help you set a goal, usually 10% of your weight, and you will be informed about how this will help improve your health. More
It Can Be Ok To Compare Your Body To Others
While envy is a bad thing, comparison as an exercise can be helpful in helping you pinpoint exactly what you want. One of the challenges in setting goals is to truly define what you want. Some people say, I'd like to be thin, but what does that mean? Your brain needs clarity, a personal definition of what thin and healthy represents. Welcome the mind's natural tendency to compare itself. Your goals are no longer vague of "I'd like to lose 10 pounds". When you compare yourself to others, you get a clear picture and the mind starts to execute on that vision. Having a visual, a particular vision in your mind of what you want to look like gives the brain the exact target and goal. Once you know what you want, you are on your way to developing a series of motivating goals. More
Emotional Eating: Consider The Space Between Stimulus And Response
This is a powerful concept and it can be applied to virtually any area of one's life, including eating. It may be helpful to consider our response to stimulus, and understand that we have a wide range of potential response. It is important to note that this is not a suggestion to simply think positively about something. It is however a suggestion to consider your responses to the weaknesses of others around you. More
Create An "Environment Of Thin"
There is an old saying "Change Your Space, Change Your Mind". It is impossible to have the same thoughts if you change your space. Your energy will be changed if you change your space. Creating an environment of thin means wherever you are you make the changes to support your new habits. You need to make it easy to make changes and adopt new habits. Maybe you have a roommate who is always smoking, drinking, eating. What if you instead had a roommate that ran every day, got a good nights sleep. You need to avoid the trap of thinking that you are a victim of your environment, but you can make some changes. More
What You Focus On Is What You Will Get.
A popular and well known motivational figure, Tony Robbins, often speaks to focus and how the single action of focus can take you beyond your limitations and ultimately to your wildest dreams. A powerful ancedote he uses discusses his experience in learning how to drive a race car. As he was learning to drive, his instructor would literally shout in his ear, as he would drive, "look forward, look at the road". "Do not look at the wall, Look at the road". His body would listen and he would turn the car, and drive at speeds he never thought possible. The same techniques and principles can be applied with any sport. When you're riding a bike or roller blading, don't look at the bump in front of you and wonder, "is my bike going to crash"? Look ahead past the bump. Look directly forward and look at the path of where you want to go. More
There Is No Quick Fix
Maybe we should take that back: there are hundreds of quick fixes, but they rarely last. Good, quality, long lasting habits come from discipline and character changes and they take a long time to develop. It took a long time and constant repetition to indoctrinate the bad habits that got you to an unhealthy place, it will take some introspection and work to get you to a place where you're proud of your habits and proud of the way you respond to potential slip-ups. You have to give yourself time to learn and time to heal and most importantly time to change. More
Read The Nutrition Facts Label on EVERYTHING.
Marketing has become extremely clever; loaves of bread contain the words "healthy grains" on the front label only to turn over the package to find ingredients such as partially hydrogenated oils and corn syrup. Whole white flour is just another word for white flour. A quick tip: if it doesn't actually say the specific words "Whole Wheat", it's not whole wheat, it's a combination of white flour and other ingredients. Dairy derivatives come in all forms such as whey. Even if the package says no trans fat, it could still have chemicals and by products that your body cannot digest.
Whether It's A Good Fat Or a Bad Fat, Fat Is Still Fat.
Plant fat is better than animal fat, but it is still fat. Yes, an entire avocado can "lower your cholestoral" supposedly, but the cellulite on your thighs will only recognize it as fat. Nut butters, olive oil, olives, Whole nuts - they're all a better choice for you than bacon, but be careful when you start to see yourself take a few more handfuls because "they're good for you". More
The 80/20 Rule.
There is a rule in business that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your clients. That rule can be applied in many different areas and weight loss is no different. More
Strategies For Social Situations
Parties can trigger overeating for several reasons. Maybe you consume large amounts of fare because you're nervous and you like to keep your hands busy. Or perhaps you overeat because they're serving food you rarely eat and you haven't had it in a long time. It could be the simplest answer: you didn't get a chance to grab a snack prior to the event and you're hungry. It's challenging to moderate your intake when there is beautifully crafted food, readily available, being served at eye level with a napkin and a welcoming gesture. Here are a few tips to help you get through the party: More
Daily Logging Works And Increases Your Odds Of Losing Weight A Great Deal
Developing a habit of daily logging or journaling is very important and very effective. In fact, it recently made
with new research that quantified how effective it is in helping people lose weight. Daily logging is the cornerstone of PEERtrainer. In fact, PEERtrainer takes this concept one step further and welds small groups to the user logs. More
Explore your Childhood and How Your Family Thought About Food.
It's important to think of your childhood behaviors in the context of food. What does that mean exactly? Ask yourself questions such as, "Was dinnertime stressful"? "Did your mom give you cookies to "make you feel better" or promise you ice cream when you were "good"? Was a scotch and soda or full bottles of wine standard practice every night in your home? Did your mom tell you to "eat healthy" but then you watched her scarf down a chocolate bar? More
Practical Tips To Combat Emotional Eating
Emotional eating tends to resonate with all of us. Stress or highly charged situations can make even the most disciplined dive head first into a box of cookies. If emotion strikes, here's what you can do to avoid the a mini binge. More
End The Mindless Snacking at Night. Get On The Scale Right Before You Go To Bed.
Stepping on the scale right before you go to bed can be a profound accountability tool. If that number is on the high end of your "range", it will stop you from "getting a little something from the fridge". If it's on the low end, you have the motivation you need to refrain from even a small bite of the leftovers downstairs. More
Live With The Pain of Discipline or The Pain of Regret
This gem came from Karen28, a member of the PEERtrainer community. Instead of lamenting about how hard something is and using that as an excuse of not doing it, change your thinking around. Exercise isn't always fun and you're not always psyched to go do it but many things you have to do on a weekly basis aren't fun. More
Making Counting Fat Grams Easy
There is an easy and fast way to figure out fat grams and additionally, it's important to have a perspective about fat grams within the context of your diet regimen. So instead of thinking, that has 8 grams of fat!! I can't eat that. Understand what 8 grams of fat means within the entire daily fat intake. More
Instant Gratification- Learn To Be a 2 Marshmallow Person
Getting the body you want is a 2 marshmallow endeavor. What do marshmallows have to do with dieting?
Stanford University conducted a study with young children of the faculty there many years ago. They had the children in a room and the facilitators put 2 marshmallows on a table in the room for each child. More
Restaurants: Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
It's extremely difficult when you aren't in control of your environment and sometimes you can't avoid eating out, nor should you have to. Many studies show that individuals eat 50% more than they normall would when they eat out with friends so make some rules for yourself when you're out to dinner and always stick with them. More
The Power of High Nutrient Super Foods
Most of us need a lot more energy than we have. And most of us use things like coffee or other caffeine based products to boost our energy. And we still end up exhausted at work at 3pm or tearing our hair out at the kids bathtime hoping they will magically fall asleep before storytime. Now this is not a suggestion to cut out coffee. That would be cruel and unusual. But it is a suggestion to find ways of getting high doses of nutrient rich foods every day. We know to eat more fruits and vegetables, that the percentage of this stuff in the diet is highly correlated to weight loss and better health. More
This Is For Life. Slow And Steady Does Win the Race
It bears repeating- do not get discouraged if you are not making the progress you think you should be. It takes a long time to even figure out what changes you need to make. It takes time to figure out how to put them into practice. And it takes time for your body to respond and benefit from changes. If you have a serious health issue like high blood pressure, it is going to take a long time before proper diet and exercise bring about change. This point highlights the importance of working with a doctor. Medicine often does a great job at treating the symptoms of a disease or chronic condition. Understand that will take time for diet and exercise to have as much of an impact as blood pressure medication for example. If you are overweight and have not seen a doctor recently, you absolutely have no excuse not to. If you are uninsured find the money or find a way. If you want to get preventive care, someone will help you. Just ask. You will be amazed at what you can get from just asking.
Do You Know How To Lose Weight But Have A Hard Time Following Through?
If you are like most people, you know how to lose weight, get fit and improve your health. You know what to do, but most likely are having a hard time following through. As a country we buy billions of dollars worth of advice each year to tell us how to lose weight- yet the stats tell us we are getting heavier each year. The problem is that we focus on knowing things, rather than acquiring "know how". More
Some People Have The Best Intentions
In a group support setting such as PEERtrainer there will be times that people try and help you, but do so in a way that is not helpful to you. Try your hardest to let the other person save face. Odds are that the unhelpful or poorly received comment was simple miscommunication. Try and think about where the person was coming from, and if you can't figure it out yourself ask a couple clarifying questions. Times like these are also a great time to practice "considering the response." It's also a great time to "consider the source". People often see things from their own filters and their own agendas and the response often doesn't have anything to do with you, it's "all about them." Looking at a response as a chance to learn rather than a chance to react will trigger new thoughts and ideas to help you with your weight loss efforts.
Not Everyone In Your Group Will Bond With You And That's OK
A good PEERtrainer group is golden and people cling to them with zeal. But when you start a new group or join a group, don't expect everyone to log immediately or even get along. You will be surprised at the people with whom you are compatible with. Usually just being present and active with a helpful or nice comment goes a long way. Join several active teams of interest and see if you enjoy the comments from a particular person. Drop them a private comment and ask if they would like to join or start a group with you.
There Are People Out There Who Don't Know You, Who Will Support You In Your Weight Loss
One of the great ironies is that people you don't know are often more helpful than the ones you do know in helping support the changes you want to make. That is not to say your friends can't be helpful. In fact private groups of friends are very popular on PEERtrainer. The point here is that be open to the idea that strangers may be more helpful than you think, and that your friends and family might be less helpful than you expect. Setting the proper expectations is important.
Understand Many People Don't Have Compassion For People Who Eat Emotionally.
Expectations- How Much Do You Want To Lose Vs. How Much Do You Expect to Lose
Explore the gap between what you want and what you expect. Based on a thread
in the PT community, a user met with a fitness guru that asked a simple question: How much weight do you want to lose? Then he asked the question: how much do you expect to lose? The answers were different and usually the "expect" answer is the one that you'll strive for. Ask yourself these two questions and analyze the reasons behind the difference.
Food Addiction Is Real And It Is Not Necessarily A Character Flaw
Addiction is an overused term in a society that seems hell bent on making everyone a victim of something. We are quick to judge and condemn, and delight at the tisk tisking about the weaknesses of others. Someone wisely said, "forgive those who sin differently than I do." The short thesis of this subject is that if you love food, or food is your "weakness", make sure that it is food that nourishes you and that you set out to really enjoy it. More
Rethink Your Idea Of The Role of Nutrition
Consider the possibility that you can turn food from an adversary into a powerful tool that can change your life in a positive way. We often hear that we need to "get plenty of exercise" and "eat a sensible and balanced diet". But what is sensible exactly? And is a "balanced diet" applicable if your health and weight are radically out of balance?
Don't Be Ashamed Of What You Eat
In the context of logging in a group setting on PEERtrainer, it can be tough to see someone eating sprouts, juice, planting their own organic garden and traipsing through farmers markets with their resuable earth-friendly bags. When you have just been to Starbucks and eaten a low-fat muffin. Resist the urge to not log that muffin, and resist the urge to preach if you are Ms. Organic Vegan. The logic and reason of eating lots of plants is solid, no question, but changing habits is really hard work and often a function of time when you have a structure like PEERtrainer to help you along.
What Do YOU Think? Are Your Thoughts Really Your Own?
The act of writing things down each day--your thoughts and emotions, your exercise and food, your goals-- is a powerful thing. Seeing in writing, your words and thoughts will often reveal interesting things like, "that sounds like my mother". Writing things down provides the environment to find your own voice and determine what you really want. When this happens, you have ultimate congruence in your own thoughts and your own actions. What do we mean when we say "congruence"? If your mind wants something but your subconscious mind has a different belief, it's hard for your head to know what to do. When you are congruent, meaning, your mind and actions are a compilation of what you truly want and desire, your goals have a chance to become a reality.
Go Easy On Yourself and Go Easy On Others
Tough love only works when someone genuinely begs for it. If you are not sure if someone will react to a comment positively, just ask them. Usually just being present and nice goes a long way.
80 % of Weight Loss is Dieting, 20% is working out.
If you are a high school, college or professional athlete, your body needs the calories to perform. Unless you are eating a diet of only vegetables, you cannot eat loads of food and expect to lose the weight based on your 1/2 hour trips to the gym, or your walks from the far end of the parking lot. Working out is an essential part to overall health but actually losing weight is mostly rooted in your food intake.
You Will Get Help From The Most Unlikely Places.
You never know where that one piece of advice that gets you to the next step will come from. We are taught to stick with our own but that can sometimes mean a limited perspective. Be open to the person from a different religion, race, geography, class. Try lots of different teams, different groups, visit the Spotlight often. Jerry Garcia once sang, "sometimes in life you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right."
A Vegan/Vegetarian Diet Does Not Guarantee Weight Loss.
This may be an important moral issue for you, but in order to lose weight and gain optimal health, you need to consume high levels of greens specifically. If you eat a ton of grains, and any form of processed food you most likely won't be overweight, but you might not be at the weight that you'd like.
No One Diet/Tool/Person/Fitness Routine Will Help You
Be prepared to try a lot of different approaches and ideas to losing weight, getting fit and improving your health. Learn to be a critical thinker, but also learn to try things if they make sense and are aligned with your personal values.
Thoughts From A Long Term PT Member:
"Do some foods work better than others?
Most people want to make a long-term change, so the best "diet" to go on is one that they love and can make an everyday thing!
That said, I think that most people aren't honest with themselves about how much they eat and drink. Food servings in restaurants are FOUR times what a woman my size needs, for instance. One of my favorite people on PT was eating great but drinking an enormous amount of beer and liquor -- and wondering why losing weight was so hard. Ooops. IMO the problem with Weight Watchers is that the point system allows people who are likely to fool themselves to keep fooling themselves -- counting calories is a lot more reliable.
As for the dairy question, that is so individual that it's not worth making general statements. Most adults can't digest dairy well -- luckily, I have that Scandinavian gene that lets me digest it, and milk, yogurt, cheese, & whey are staples for me. As with everything else, though, portion control is key! A serving of cheese is very small!
Tactical thinking: I agree. IMO the best thing you can do for yourself is prepare meals ahead. I often cook on Sundays for the entire week -- I end up with 1-cup servings of rice and beans, or 1-cup servings of chili, or pasta & veggies, or slices of homemade pizza, or "pseudo-mini-quiches." That takes care of lunches and dinners! I'm not a big fan of prepared food from the store, but have been known to eat Amy's burritos, too.
I don't think it's possible to be successful in the long term unless you are single or your spouse/partner is on board. If your partner is always bringing junk food into the house, it's not going to work. Also, one has to pull one's friends along. I just said, "I'm not going to meet you for lunch, dinner, food in general. Let's go for a walk, or a run, or a movie. But my social life has to stop revolving around food!" If it's knocking you off your game, you have to draw new social boundaries.
Hope this is helpful!
About people leaving:
(1) There is a certain percentage of people out there for whom PEERtrainer is not sufficient. While these people might need and want to lose weight, the factors keeping them from their goals are psychiatric rather than psychological. The one of them that I know who has kept with it gets therapy AND uses PEERtrainer, and it's still very difficult for her to overcome her self-hatred.
(2) Once people start to pay attention to what they eat, some become ashamed. It's pretty common to see "I didn't eat well today so I'm not writing here," in someone's log. Also, in the closest group I was ever in one woman would refrain from writing in her snacks because she was afraid (with some reason) that if she wrote "maple scone at Starbucks," it would set one of the rest of us off. It did happen a couple of times! But once one stops logging, one can't get a whole lot of useful feedback from others in the group. It's just mystifying to read a log where the person eats half a cup of spinach a day and is still gaining weight, right?
It's pretty common to be in a group where one person is losing weight very quickly, another person is losing very slowly, and two people are going nowhere. Those two people, comparing themselves to others, begin to think that they are "bad" people, in addition to the frustration most people have when they don't lose at the maximum rate possible. And then they start apologizing for every meal. And then, no matter what one says to them, they disappear. I don't think this is a fault in PT, but just that it doesn't work for every person.
Read The Success Stories on PEERtrainer.
A lot of the narrative is the same, why PT works. And a lot of the specifics are different. Read through the success stores
. The following story is from member "rosemarie" in California:
"When I joined PEERtrainer in early June, I was intrigued by the concept, as I'd never heard of anything like it before. I liked the idea of logging in my food and my workouts as it made me accountable not only to myself, but also to my group because I knew everyone in my groups would see what I ate. While I know the saying "garbage in - garbage out" I didn't want everyone to actually SEE all the garbage that I'd been eating - never mind that people could see it in my weight. I've never participated in programs such as Weight Watchers because I didn't have the time for weekly meetings and weigh-ins. I like the fact that I can log into PEERtrainer at my convenience and find my community there for me no matter when I log in.
My goal is to lose 50 pounds and in two months with PEERtrainer I've lost 30 pounds!! I'm amazed at how quickly I lost the weight. I must admit that I've had some stress that has negatively impacted my appetite, but I tend to deal with stress in two ways - eating too much comfort food and not eating enough healthy food. This time, because I was on PEERtrainer and I knew my group mates would be monitoring my food intake - I was motivated to watch what I was eating and I tried to make a conscientious effort to have the majority of the food I eat be good fuel food for my body - rather than just junk food. When I first joined the site there was a time a friend and I went to the store to get some treats and I had the tasty treat in my hand and was walking toward the cashier to pay for it and then I realized that I'd have to admit to this indiscretion in my food log and I so didn't want to do that - so I PUT IT BACK!!! Still hard to believe to this day. I view my daily log as striving to get a good grade - there are days when I may get an A because of a great workout and eating wisely, but there are days when I may only get a B because I just wasn't as strong, but that's OK. I still strive to get that A and on the days when I may only get a B - my group members are still very supportive of me.
I've joined several different groups and I love being involved in so many. I've received wonderful support and encouragement from my group members - about my personal stress issues and my battles with emotional eating and weight loss. I've received excellent information and tips that I can use in my daily life. I've also received kudos when I was able to fit into my "skinny jeans." (WHOO-HOO!!!!) The support I've received from my group members has been instrumental to my weight loss. I feel as if I not only don't want to let myself down, but I don't want to let them down either. I like the fact that I can obtain motivation from some members while I can be inspirational to others - it's a great mutually beneficial give and take process for everyone. Several of my groups have implemented various challenges - such as eating smarter challenges and workout challenges to modify or increase our workouts. When I started with PEERtrainer I was struggling to maintain my goal of four workouts per week. Because of two group challenges I've now been working out five days per week since the beginning of July and for the last several weeks as a personal challenge I've even been working out six days per week! This would have been unheard of for me before!
I find myself eager to post on the site and read the comments and join my PEERtrainer friends. Thank you PEERtrainer and thanks to all of you wonderful members!!!"
Read about Fleur83
and how she transformed her body from 147 pounds to 110.
lost over 100 pounds.
to read more inspirational stories.
Question How You'd Like To See Yourself 20, 30, 40 and 50 years From Now.
How do I fit in more vegetables? Put This Challenge At The Top Of Your To Do List
I'll bet you don't hate all vegetables. You might hate the collective vision that comes up when you think about vegetables - broccoli, lima beans maybe? But what about artichokes? Corn? Water chestnuts? Make a big long list of all the vegetables there are and then circle the ones you actually like. I'll be there are a lot more than you even know that you like. You'll surprise yourself. After you've finished circling the ones you like, tape the paper to your refrigerator. Make the ones you like a part of your life. Eventually, you'll even start to incorporate the ones you don't like. Have it on the refigerator every time and visiually remember this to pick some of them up the next time you go shopping. Redefining what a vegetable is will help you reach for things you like instead of having to fit in the 'dreaded' vegetables and they'll easily become a part of your daily meals.
How Do You Get Your Husband/Significant Other To Lose Weight?
Men will consume vast amounts of foods. They'll eat to excess and they'll drink to excess. They're used to being nagged, they don't even hear it anymore. They've already tuned it out. The best way to get your husband to start losing weight is to not say a thing. Lead by example. Start cutting up pineapple, avocado and tomatoes and start leaving it out or in a tupperware container, fully visible in the most popular place in the refrigerator.
If you live together, throw out all the bad stuff. If you like to eat cookies, eat them out of the house. If you're used to making full fat pasta, start making it more healthy. I'm sure you'll benefit too. Don't be a sabateour. Don't suggest the restaurant that you go to with the lasagna to die for. Pick a new place, one that you know has healthy alternatives so there won't be a pull to have "my favorite thing, just this one time and I deserve it because I've been so good." Pass on the dessert. If you must, order something small and make sure there are two forks to split.
The Scale Is A Must.
You must have a scale. How can you possibly lose weight if you have no numberical representation of that goal? It's the same as attempting to run a marathon, and having no idea where the water breaks, mile markers and finish line are? Buy a scale you like. There are all kinds of scales now and we know you'll find one for your bathroom. You don't have to weigh yourself every day, although studies prove that people who seek to lose weight and do weigh themselves every day are more likely to reach their goals and mantain the weight loss. Weigh yourself once a week. Make it a group activity: pick a day that your group weighs together and be sure to report your results to your group and provide motivating feedback. Scales are there to keep you in check and the way to measure your progress.
Create A Decent Profile.
When you find your groups and you get settled in, fill out the personal information section in 'MY INFO'. Your group members read this and they get a sense of who you are and what you're about.
"I think people are more likely to offer help if they know who they're talking to, and it shows them you're willing to invest in yourself."
Pick Groups And Teams With Names That Speak To You.
If someone creates a group with a name that resonates with you, the likelihood of you clicking and being serious about helping each other goes up. Don't be scared to join that group. Simply click join and post a comment, introducing yourself. We're all here for the same reasons - to help each other and groups are created so that you do join in the mission of losing weight and getting fit.
Join 2-3 groups and teams to Start.
You can create and join as many groups as you like. Be sure to join or create more than one group. The usual rule of thumb is if one group is quiet, the others are there to pick you up.
"There is always time to join more later. Drop the group or team immediately if it's been inactive for over a week (I need help now and my time is precious). Ditto if you don't like your fellow posters. I have one team I consider home base, and move in and out of others as I am moved to do so. I prefer groups that are extremely active, some people can"t track that volume of dialogue and would get lost in too much conversation. There is no shame in leaving a group/team one week and then coming back a week or two later, especially when you schedule becomes more freed/limited."
Don't be too quick to leave a group if you discover people who aren't exactly like you. You will get help from the most unlikely places, because new perspectives sometimes help you see your own struggles from a different angle.
"Don't Expect Responses To Your Posts, Even if You are Revealing Something Vulnerable or Making a Plea for Help."
We've found that when you make a plea for help in the community, you will most likely get a response for help but sometimes, you'll get some unwanted advice. "While this is an environment of support, and you may well indeed get the assistance or feedback you seek, remember that until you know the other posters they are strangers with agendas and time restraints of their own." Rather than taking unwanted advice personally, sometimes that unwanted advice can be revealing and can actually be the truth that you need. Sometimes, your groupmates have obligations of their own and they won't be around to answer in your time of need. There's usually someone in the greater community
that will be there to help but again, remember, the definition of help might not be what you expected, but it might be just what you needed. If you do encounter negativity or something that pisses you off, use it as an opportunity to ask yourself, why does this bother me so much? Use the community as a "safe" place to test out your behavior patterns and your coping mechanisms for real world situations, such as, ways to cope when your mother says something the wrong way.
Be Friendly And Supportive.
Set an example for others and watch yourself get back suppport in spades. Be kind and honest. You can say anything if it's delivered from a kind heart.
"If someone posts a success of some sort, even if you don't know them, post a note of cheer or congratulations! Likewise, encourage them up when they're down or struggling. The benefits are for you, rather than them (though you get them too). This reinforces your presence in the PT community and connects you to it psychologically in a way that will help you stay more on track when you're away."
Giving honesty in a kind, gentle way will teach you to be kind and gentle to yourself.
Avoid Offering To 'Fix' Someone or Be Their Solution.
At the end of the day, people need to help themselves and the old adage of teaching a man to fish is essential to lasting habits.
"Remember, that to keep any success achieved, each person has to feel like they earned it. If you loan them your strength for anything other than a very rare and brief period of time, you are assisting in creating a measure of dependence that could undermine their success when it came time to withdraw it."
Don't Avoid The Scale.
Scales provide context and range.
"I gained 60 pounds when I got depressed and avoided the scale".
"I gained over a hundred pounds by not having that reality check and one day woke up and said, "What the heck happened?"
As much as you might not want to see the number after a huge feasting day or even week, don't let it get out of control. If your scale breaks, don't make excuses. Simply go to the store and buy a new one. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. It just has to be a scale and it has to be able to weigh you.
Get to bed at a reasonable hour.
A good night's sleep just makes you feel better and it's a lot more likely that you'll get a good night's sleep if you go to bed at a reasonable hour. Make it a routine, just like the one you probably had when you were a toddler. Perhaps you'll want to make a bath part of your relaxing, bed time ritual or maybe it's reading a chapter of a favorite book.
"I know when I haven't had a proper night's sleep, I mistake fatigue for hunger and I overeat all day."
"Staying up late - I really enjoy walking in the morning more than any other time, but when I stay up past 11pm, I end up sleeping in until right before I have to leave for work."
There is truth to that old saying 'early to bed, early to rise' and we'll bet your diet choices start to change once you have some long needed rest.
Is It Ok To Have Just One Bite?
It is if you're disciplined. If you can follow the three bite rule, do. The important thing is to know yourself and how you'll handle it.
"Thinking 'just one bite' of sugar or processed grains is okay is not ok. Inevitably I end up eating a little more the following day, then a bit more the next, then the following week, etc., which leaves the door open to sloppy meals out with others, which then becomes a fairly slippery slope continually spiraling downward."
If there are certain trigger foods that you know you can't have just one bite, don't. Give it up completely and find a healthier choice that you like to have instead. Create a new association in your mind to a healthy food to replace the old one. For example, if hanging out with your old friend is usually a latte with butter cookies, switch to tea and fruit. After a few times of the new tea and fruit habit, your mind will associate the good feelings of being with the friend to the tea and fruit and it will become an easier choice in other situations.
Don't Be Afraid or Too Proud To Ask For Help.
We all need help and we forget that others get great satisfaction from being able to help.
"I love that I can get inspired but also be an inspiration".
We as humans need to contribute to others and society and when an opportunity arises to help someone, we get a chance to feel good about ourselves. Give someone a chance to feel helpful and let them help you.
Keep Your Favorite, Healthy Food in Your Kitchen At All Times
If you don't see the bad stuff, how are you going to eat it? Keep your fridge stocked with a bowl of fruit at eye level in your refrigerator. A container of hummus with chopped up carrots or a banana readily available will change your daily intake in a significant way.
Don't Put Off Starting Your Diet. Start It Right Now.
Don't put arbritrary dates on when you'll start your healthy way of living like the Monday after your brother's wedding or after your vacation in July. Pick a habit that you know you'd like to change, that you know will make a powerful impact on your health and change that habit right now. Changing even one habit, right now, will give you motivation to move in the right direction.
This Journey is MUCH easier with others.
Most things are much easier to do when you have laughs and fun and support. Dieting and getting fit is no different. You don't have to do this alone and why should you? Find a few groups and teams and create an environment of peers in your daily life that will remind you that you CAN and WILL do this.
Log Your Food Every Day.
It only takes a few minutes to write down your food and exercise for the day and it gives you tremendous insight into what you're actually putting in your mouth. You can't see it unless you write it down and there are people around you who can help provide feedback so write it down. If you can't get to a computer, text yourself so you'll have it later. If you aren't text inclined, write it down on a paper napkin until you get to a computer. Your group needs you to write your log, it's helping everyone keep themselves on track so just do it. Log your food and your thoughts every day and let your personal dialogue flow.
Think about your casual drinking habit.
A glass of wine, depending on how high you fill the glass, doesn't add that much calorie intake to your day. Most people justify the wine because it has the healthy anti-oxidants and can ease sore muscle pain. The problem with that casual glass of wine isn't the calories, it's two other things: First, the relaxation makes it easier to say yes to the cheese and crackers in front of you. You generally eat more when you're having a glass of wine than when you abstain. Second, the withdrawl symptoms that happen the next day end up making you think you're hungry, so you eat more. So it's not the alcohol, it's the extra food you eat because of the alcohol. If you do have wine, plant yourself at the fruit and crudite table. 99% of the time there is one, and you can go there. You don't have to have the empty carbs. The next day, recognize that withdrawl headachy feel as dehydration, not hunger and make yourself a large pitcher of water filled with ice and lemon. Nurse the pitcher of water during the morning and you'll find yourself feeling much better than having a pot of coffee.
A member of the PT community gives this tip: "Avoiding any cream-based or liqueur type alcohol (like Bailey's, Amaretto, etc.) as I swear even a little tiny bit seems to ensure the scale goes up the next day rather than down - it also sets me up for very powerful cravings!"
Learn to Love Water As Your Drink of Choice.
You don't have to order a coke or iced tea at lunch just because your waitress suggested it and she's trying to up the tab on the bill. Water is by far the best choice for all the reasons that you've heard for as long as you can remember. There is a lot of controversy about how much water you should drink a day. More>
Have a Healthy snack In Your Purse at All Times.
There are times when you're running around and you finally find yourself "starving". You've almost been so busy that you haven't paid attention to your building hunger. This is usually when you find yourself stopping at a mcdonalds because you're so hungry and you want it NOW. Having a snack - that you like - usually deters you from steering your car through the drive through. Make sure it's something you like - don't just carry an apple around if you don't really like apples. Same goes for carrots. Find a snack that you genuinely like the taste of and carry it with you. My healthy snack choices vary but right now I like KIND bars from whole foods. They have all sorts of flavors and my personal favorite is macadamia and apricots. They're vegan and they're fabulous.
Get your favorite music in one place.
This might take some effort but it is worth it. When you're going to workout, just thinking about the music that you're going to listen to can be enough motivation to get you out the door.
Leave your wallet at home when you're going to exercise.
Pin your key to your running pants or shorts, or use a jacket with a zippered pocket for the hour.
"Leaving my wallet at the office when I go for a walk at lunchtime - this way I cannot 'treat' myself to all the stuff I pass as I'm walking!" Bring along your drivers license, your building ID. Just the essentials. It may well buy you an extra hour of discipline.
Go Workout When You FIRST Think About Working Out.
Do not pass go. Do not think about the laundry or the bill that needs to be paid. That can be a successful form of procrastination and your sneaky brain likes to think of all the reasons to not go!
"Walking or working out when I first think of it - tossing it around in my mind or putting it off usually means I will not do it at all."
There is NOTHING more important or pressing than getting your blood pumping and the oxygen in your lungs. Your health is much more important than the electric company getting it's check. If you have physical chores to do, they will be much easier to do after you've had your workout so just go do it.
Identify specific weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
Every weakness and quality also has a good side and identifying the "good" side can be a useful for your weight loss efforts. Maybe frustration is a weakness of yours but on the flip side, frustration can give you energy to move and get things done. Next time you're so angry at your husband that you want to cry or even worse, head to the refrigerator, use your frustration to get you moving and get your energy out. Frustration can give you insatiable energy on the treadmill. Use it to your advantage.
Celebrate Your "Wins".
If you wait to celebrate until your end goal, you can sometimes get discouraged on your way there. Break up your long term goal into small wins and celebrate the accomplishment.
"Looking behind me when I get to certain spots in my walks, especially the top of each hill, so I can see how far I've come! I'm so accustomed to blowing through any task I accomplish that I don't really ingest the fact that I've made progress and I really am doing something worthwhile. It's taken work to remember, but it always makes me smile to see how long the road or big the hill was that I just finished!"
You can celebrate your wins in so many ways, a manicure, a new pair of jeans, or a golf lesson. Make it something that you're really look forward to and write it in your goal so you see it every day.
Re-train Your Brain To See A Healthy Menu.
"Don't "see" anything on restaurant menus but the healthy (for you) choices. This takes practice. Try it on something else first. Look at a pencil. De-focus your eyes until you can no longer see the pencil, but rather see the table it was laying on or only the space in the air between you and the pencil. Once you can do that (and not "see" the pencil), try practicing on two items laying just a small space apart. Focus your vision on one while de-focusing on the other, until the one you focus on is the only one you can see. Then use this technique to read a menu. "See" the good-for-you items, but not the others. Let them pop out and have their colors deepen or their font grow larger, at least in your imagination. I can now do this almost anytime I'm in a restaurant, so I'm no longer struggling to make right choices, and I can always do this in theaters-never smelling the popcorn or noticing the junk food when I step up to order a bottle of water!"
The Three Must Haves You Must Have When You're First Starting Out to Lose Weight|Get Fit|Change Your Life.
1. You must have the "why".
Why are you doing this? Why is this time going to be different from every other time you've started out? You must create leverage, a powerful motivator to remind yourself of every day during the tough times. Some people are doing it because their doctor told them they will die if they don't. That is usually enough to get those people to change but what if you don't have as powerful of a motivator? Being healthy to watch your children grow can be a powerful motivator. Getting into your skinny jeans to show up an old boyfriend at an event can work for others. Find your personal "why" and you'll have a good foundation to start your journey.
2. Create your goal.
Now that you have the why, set a precise goal and make it positive. Make it as delirious and out-of-reach as you like. Maybe you want to run the New York Marathon this fall. Even if you have never gone for a run, write it down. Stretching your mind and making it ignore the "I can't do that!" is an important step for your growth and trains your mind to see things in a different way. Write down your goals. They will change over time as you change and you will be amazed at how much you've accomplished over time.
3. Create a support group.
Your peer group is a powerful influence. Make sure your peer group is positive and supportive of you and your goals. If your mother is negative, avoid chatting about your health goals. If you don't have people you know around you that can support you, create a support group of people you don't know with like-minded goals of getting fit and healthy. Sometimes people you don't know can help you even more than people you do know. They don't view you with the same filter and they can provide support from an open mind.
If You Are Serious Your Health, Consider Moving to A Warm Climate.
This might sound challenging to do, but there are certain environments that make it easier to be healthy than others. If you live in a cold climate and want to stay, really think about the effect of the environment on your health efforts. If you are single, are considering a job offer in a different part of the country, do not underestimate the power of environment. In Boston and New York City, people have to be inside a lot of the time. In California, Florida, The Southeast and The Southwest, people tend to be more outdoorsy. The people in NYC might mock them (sometimes incessantly), but the people who live outside will have the last laugh. Just don't forget to head back to The Hamptons, Cape Cod or Maine during August!!
How To Recover From Workouts | Learning How To Add Workouts
Within one hour of working out, make sure you replace the loss by drinking water! Have a "good carb", an orange, or banana and be sure to stretch, strech, strech.
Wear workout clothes and sneakers in your downtime.
It is perfectly acceptable to wear workout clothes in places other than work. What's great about this is that you're always ready to go. Can't find a parking space close to the entrance? Who cares, you have comfortable gear to walk from the farthest space. Someone suggests a more active activity and you're ready to go. You'll be surprised how many more active ideas swim through your head simply by being ready to do them. The Sex And The City girls might have looked like they were walking miles through Manhattan with 4 inch heels on, but they weren't. It was only for TV. Ditch the glam clothes and make your workout clothes cute and stylish. Your thighs will know the difference.
Weight Loss Is An Art, Not An Exact Science.
Inspiring Others Can Be Exciting and You Can Learn A Lot From It
It is often said that doctors who teach make the best doctors. As you learn to become a mentor to others, to share the knowledge you have gathered (when asked!), you will develop a greater mastery of yourself. As you teach an idea, the questions that you get will force you to master the concept in greater breadth, or approach the idea from a different perspective. Given how long the journey to health and self-discovery can be, embracing this role might just help to acheive your goals or further refine and clarify them. Maybe you will start running and lose some weight. Maybe you'll run a 5k, then a 10k. Then a marathon. This is just an example, but as you do this you will become an incredible inspiration to others. Offer to write an article for PEERtrainer, to share your knowledge and experiences with the others in the community. Reading an informative article from someone like Joel Fuhrman can improve your knowledge dramatically. But people need to know that people "just like them" can and have done something. Often it is the most motivating thing in the world for them.