With some very simple mindset ideas and a crystal clear plan, it IS possible to lose weight easily and keep it off for good. In this article, you’ll learn the simple and easy tools you need to make it happen for you.
I’ve never seen this approach fail — it always works when it’s carefully and faithfully applied.
The “BIG STUFF” of weight loss
You need to hit a calorie target consistently and easily every day (or most days — it’s what you do most of the time that matters).
This plan does NOT involve COUNTING calories, which I’ll explain later. The mega-important words there are consistently and easily, so here’s how you do it…
Create a structure for your diet day that OPTIMIZES consistency and ease. If you get down to the bottom line with weight loss, it’s about WHAT TO DO. I mean, we have thousands of diet books and plans out there, but what actually matters is the bottom line, not you being an expert in the latest fad theory (that does more for the bank balance of the authors than it does for your waistline).
A crystal clear, no-brainer diet
The WHAT TO DO part has to be a no-brainer — you need to plan (it’s easy), memorize it and follow through with it. And to be easy, it needs to hit the right calorie level for you (without counting), so that you don’t have any hunger… or only a very manageable twinge now and then, nothing much to bother you at all.
If your target is wrong, you’ll hit problems… too many calories and weight loss is slow or non-existent, too few, and you hit hunger and metabolic slowdown as well as bad moods.
But at JUST THE RIGHT LEVEL FOR YOU, you’ll get easy consistent weight loss.
The right level for you is easy too — if you’re an average sized woman, start with 1500 calories, if you’re a man, 1750. And then tweak up or down by 250 if you’re bigger or smaller than average, or have a great deal to lose. So for example if you’re a small woman you could start with 1250. A larger than average man could start at 2000.
Why the wishy-washy target? Because it doesn’t really matter what the start point is — it’s simply a matter of RESULTS — what actually happens at weigh-in time. So… you’ll be consistently hitting a target by having a simple structure AND seeing what happens on the scale once a week… then tweak as you wish to speed up or slow down your progress.
Choose your rate of weight loss cautiously
The rate I recommend is one pound per week… slow and steady WINS the weight-loss race, because if you set your goal too high, hello hunger, metabolic slow down, bad moods and a higher chance your skin won’t adjust. One pound a week is easily manageable, and even people with a lot to lose will hit their target weight within a reasonable time-frame at this level.
Understand that FAILURE will set you back time-wise and hurt your self-belief, so at least start easy, and then because your daily structure is crystal clear, you can tweak as you go and then feel how it feels to reduce by another 250 calories. Start off-the-bat with a solid WIN, and your belief in your ability to finally make it will sky-rocket!
But what about all those books with complex theories like thermic effect? What about all those scientific sounding theories out there? There is some truth to some of them, and thermic effect of macro-nutrients is one but they are all gimmicks and I’ll tell you why — what matters is WHAT YOU DO, AND THE RESULT IT HAS.
AND… any workable, useful theory has to be automatically built into your plan, so it’s a no-brainer. You shouldn’t have to be a scientist, OR feel deprived, OR have weeks of study just to apply a DIET!!
The calorie is KING
You will lose weight on any reasonable, healthy ratio of fat, carbohydrate and protein… just normal traditional amounts will be just fine. The Happy Guide plans do optimize these things but believe me when I say, they are THE SMALL STUFF and they don’t matter that much. THE BIG STUFF of weight loss is hitting a calorie target easily, that’s what will work for you without any pain or deprivation at all.
Weight loss plan
OK, so let’s get to the nitty-gritty. What’s a great daily structure? Here’s an example that I use in the Happy Guide book… you can adapt it, and you SHOULD adapt it, to be as easy for you to line up with your current HABITS as possible — keep the first step nice and easy.
It is a pretty awesome plan though, so as time ticks by, you can creep up on your bad habits and keep tweaking your plan until you’re ALSO eating the healthiest stuff which long-term, is going to keep your body functioning at the highest level.
And… if you can and want to… just dive right in and do this plan, it will be the one of the best diets for you because I’ve looked at every angle and optimized it for most people’s way of eating, what they will do, what they’re used to, what’s socially acceptable and easy, as well as hitting all the daily nutrient needs and avoiding foods that could trip you up.
Calorie target 1500
So here’s the Happy Guide 1500 calorie weight loss plan, and you’ll see why you don’t need to count calories to hit your target (the calorie figures I’ve worked out for each food are in the brackets):
Breakfast smoothie ~ 300
1/2 oz protein powder (50)
1/2 pc fruit: banana, apple, pear (40)
4 1/2 oz fresh or frozen berries (40)
6 oz milk substitute (85)
1/2 oz nuts or seeds (85)
1 multivitamin, 2 fish oil capsules
Lunch salad ~ 400
Starter: 1 piece medium fruit (80)
1-1 1/2 oz salad greens (5)
4 oz salad vegetables: cucumber, tomato, bell pepper etc. (20)
3 oz lean protein chicken, fish, tofu, egg whites etc. (140)
3 oz cooked quinoa, rice or millet (100)
1/2 oz high quality salad dressing (50)
Snack 1 ~ 100 : 1/2 pc fruit + 60 cals yogurt or vegetable crudites + 1 1/2 oz hummus or guacamole
Dinner ~ 400
Starter: 1 pc fruit (80)
3 oz lean protein:chicken breast, fish, meat etc. (140)
3 oz fresh or frozen steamed/roasted vegetables (60)
2 oz cooked new potatoes or sweet potatoes (55)
Sauce or 2 tsp butter or 2 tsp olive oil (65)
Or repeat lunch or 400 cals of something else!
Snack 2 ~ 100 : 1/2 pc fruit + 60 cals yogurt or vegetable crudites + 1 1/2 oz hummus or guacamole
Extras ~ 200 : Drinks, chocolate, alcohol etc.
So, you can see the system… each meal has a target, so you’ll very quickly get to know for example: 300, 400, 400 plus 2 x 100 snacks plus 200 extras, or whatever your plan is. If you’re out and about, and can’t prep your meal, it’s very easy these days by looking on packaging to find something healthy to hit your target, there, or thereabouts.
And the foods themselves are averaged out for that type, so you can have say 3 oz of rice, potato or quinoa, and say 4 oz of chicken, fish, beef, shrimp etc. — whatever your individual plan calls for. Very simple.
Simply write a daily structure for yourself like the example above. The key to it is to get the portion sizes right — the QUANTITY of the different foods.
When you’re at home, cook up plenty of food for the whole family and just dish yours out on the scale. It’s so easy just to weigh out 3 oz of rice or potatoes for example, and then you quickly learn what the amount of carbohydrate you need — what it looks like. So if you’re at a restaurant and want to stay on track, you’ll know exactly what the amounts will look like, near enough to stay on track.
Steady as you go
Within only a few days you’ll be flying along on this plan, and you’ll experience exactly what I’m talking about… how easy it is to hit your target and lose weight consistently without counting calories directly, but by averaging out the types of foods like carbohydrates, protein and fats, and getting near enough.
Near enough is good enough because you can adjust by just tweaking your daily plan to accurately control the amount of weight you’re losing. And on this plan, there’s an endless variety of combinations of foods within each type to try so you’ll never get bored. Cook simply and then use sauces and dressings to liven up your meals. That will keep your meals tasty, keep you satisfied and keep you heading easily towards your weight loss goal.
Final thoughts to be aware of
Certain foods like chocolate, pizza and ice-cream have unnatural combinations of fat and carbohydrate, salt as well as other flavor enhancers added by food manufacturers to make your taste buds go WILD. Not only that, but they trigger a biochemical system that compels you to GORGE. It’s wise to stay away from these foods if you can’t control that gorge reflex — it’s not greed, or lack of will-power or anything else other than a biological trigger.
The Happy Guide plan does allow for extras, but as I say, only eat foods like chocolate as extras if you can stick to the allowed amount.
The one other thing that springs to mind right now is for people who are in the obese category. If that’s you, you may well be used to eating 3000 calories or more every day and your body, hunger and comfort levels will not approve if you suddenly drastically cut calories. Design your plan with an easy start in mind, get used to the structure, preparing the meals etc. and feel your way into it. Then each week, tweak your no-brain diet down until you’re hitting the rate of weight loss you want.
If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer. Good luck with your easy weight loss and I wish you the best of health!
“I have definitely done every diet! So, I follow your diet and advice and call it done. It works, I have been great!
So, thanks, now I know the real truth!!! That is what I just love about Happy Guide. You have no need to promote some particular viewpoint — just the truth with integrity!
Thanks for the clarity, candour, and compassion: your calm resonates and is just oh, so reassuring! And, damn you make everything just so simple! That is your talent you know.
Everyone I run into is going to hear about Happy Guide!!!”— Carla Goodrich, USA
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
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19 thoughts on “How to lose weight easily”
Hello Sir, I’ve a question about something… I definitely hope you can help me out with this problem please reply me and I will explain it to you by email! Urgently need to get an answer from you.
Hi Saba, have emailed you.
you haven’t mentioned anything about 2 beverages that are consumed everyday by almost everyone in India – tea and coffee. I drink about 50-75 ml thrice a day (either tea or coffee). Does it help/is it bad?
Drinking tea and coffee is not a requirement for health. If you look at nature as a guiding principle, it’s clear that drinking water is the most natural thing. Tea and coffee have a drug-like effect on the body. We don’t give it to children do we, we instinctively know it’s not good for them. These two mental handles are quite enlightening whatever your question is… is it natural? Would you let a child do it?
Why compare a child with a full grown adult? The body development is different….adults can take and tolerate what children can’t…
That’s true, and also when I was very sick, my body could not tolerate many things… even being near a car would make me very sick for days (fumes). So being unable to cope, one sees very clearly the true effect… what things are detrimental to health.
Disease is the result of multiple detrimental factors. 3 teas and coffees a day is not a big factor, but it is one factor, and we must account for all the factors e.g. chemical pollution, pesticide residues, alcohol use, stress, poor sleep, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sunlight exposure, suboptimal unnatural diet etc etc.
If you imagine a line with ultimate health on one end and death at the other, then we are all somewhere on that line. Once you are aware of all the factors then you can choose.
In general we have spiraling disease rates, because we are loading up more and more detrimental factors onto our bodies until they inevitably break. Where they break depend on our unique genetic make-up and specific factors in our case.
Also worth noting is that the dose makes the poison. Most healthy foods have some detrimental aspects, naturally present toxins, and so the dose is limited when we vary what we eat and drink. When substances are used habitually, they can create a problem because the body has a limited ability to detox any one specific toxin, and so specific metabolic pathways are put under pressure. You can see how poor nutrition would seriously compound this problem.
The best chance of the HIGHEST vitality and the LONGEST life is to live the best lifestyle every day, and make it habit so it is effortless.
Please read the book Sanjeev, it will save me a lot of time :-)
I really appreciate your patience in clearing my doubts .thank you Michael
Another thing worth mentioning, is that MANY unnatural foods and drinks trick your mind into thinking it is good. For example if you are tired and drink coffee, your body and mind associate coffee with more energy and will be very attracted to it in a tired state.
This is because in nature, what FEELS good, would BE good. In the modern what feels good could be a trick.
Another example of this is faux food like pizza that triggers a gorge instinct. It is firing so many taste buds and chemical systems that your body is tricked into thinking you have stumbled on some amazing natural food.
Now… when you are HUNGRY, your body will crave this pizza, burger or similar because it knows that is where the fastest and densest calories are.
Pizza and coke (stimulant) followed by chocolate and icecream is about the most EXCITING thing possible for your body. It’s natural systems are screaming YES YES YES, but it an illusion, a trick, because your body’s systems evolved in nature and only work with natural foods.
My son’s solution: Let’s keep eating pizza and coke and chocolate until we evolve into perfect balance with it and then it will be healthy :-)
This is why we as a species are constantly battling temptation. We are trying to fight our natural instinct to go for these food that make us fat and sick.