🍽 One plate challenge

how I lost 10 lbs without exercising

Fun fact: 52% of Americans polled in a 2012 study believed doing their taxes was easier than figuring out how to eat healthy. I'd have to agree.

For as long as I can remember, I've always eaten a second plate of food at (almost) every meal.

Often, even a third. (or fourth)

But all that changed 2 months ago when I hit my heaviest weight ever. (yikes)

I'd been feeling super bloated and gross, so I stepped on the scale.

There on the little screen above my toes were the highest numbers I'd ever seen for myself.

That was a bummer.

Seeing as I write this newsletter with habit tips every week (maybe you've heard of it?), I decided to do a "fun" little challenge.

So I deprived myself of excess indulgence for one month.

(for your entertainment. You're welcome)

The goal? Break the habit of always eating seconds.

Don't get me wrong - "seconds" aren't evil.

But compulsively eating 2, 3, or 4 plates even when I'm not hungry, just because it's what I do, isn't such a lovely thing.

This wasn't about ditching seconds forever - it was about knowing I was conscious and in control of choosing when and where it happened.

Here were my rules:

  1. at each meal, I allowed myself one plate of food. Nothing more.

  2. that's pretty much it. If I ever got confused, I just referenced rule #1.

Ok, so technically I had a couple cheats cause I'm not a complete psychopath:

  • Who in their right mind actually has just one bowl of cereal? But I normally have like 6, so I cut that down to 3 per sitting for the month

  • Also I totally splurged on Halloween and Thanksgiving because... because. (again, not a total psychopath)

Most mornings I'd also step on the scale to check in. To be clear, weight loss was not the goal here. It was just an interesting metric to watch as I focused on breaking my "compulsive seconds" habit.

Just 2 weeks into the one-plate challenge I was already several pounds lighter:

As you can see, by the end I'd gotten rid of about 10 pounds (which I've kept off for another month since then, despite going back to occasional seconds).

And if seeing is believing for you, here's my before and after:

(no photo-shop, sucking-in, or other shenanigans)

What did I learn?

  • It was way easier than I thought it'd be. I felt generally pretty satisfied with how much I'd eaten at every meal.

  • I was right to suspect that 98% of the time, I really didn't need to eat more.

  • It also made me think a lot more about how much food I was dishing up to begin with, which helped me get more in tune to listening to how hungry my body really was.

Some notes for context about this habit example:

I did NOT increase my exercise intensity or frequency during this month. In fact, I significantly DECREASED it.

I do not believe weight should not be your main indicator of personal health. Is it a factor? Yes. But I believe your first indicator is how you honest-to-goodness feel in your own body.

My genetics have fortunately allowed me to never seriously struggle with weight (yet.. knock on wood). Please do not misinterpret me feeling unhealthy at my own weight as a judgement on yours or anyone else's weight or health, even (and especially if) you happen to weigh more than I do. Weight is super personal and no single weight marks a standard of health for others to follow.

My definitely real attorney told me to say that you should talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or anything health related. Also my results were probably atypical, so don't expect the same if you tried it.

Why the heck does this matter to you?

Maybe it doesn't!

But if there's one takeaway here, it's that you probably have some food related habit that you don't even think about. Don't even question.

And you have no clue how significantly it's impacting your overall health.

And if you tried going for just a few weeks abstaining from (or simply adjusting!) that habit, you might learn something about your body you didn't know before.

You might discover it's not so hard to kick (or start!) that one tiny habit.

Maybe you'll even like the new you and decide to stick with it for good!

Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.


Can we talk about things that aren’t real? Like Zebras?

Thanks for reading!

- Kody

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P.S. My dad sent me this chill playlist the other day - it's been awesome background music for work, thinking, or just hanging out around the house. Hope you like it!