Target 100 is a plan based on a few basic truths I have learned over many (many) years working in weight loss:
When it comes to losing weight, our struggles are universal—but our solutions are individual.
One-size-fits-all programs simply do not work. I know this from personal experience. Every time I lost weight via someone else’s cookie-cutter instructions, I’d gain it all back as soon as I started being Liz again.
I also know it from professional experience. The people who lose weight and keep it off don’t succeed by blindly following a one-size-fits-all diet and exercise plan; they triumph when they begin with a great plan and customize it until it fits them like a glove, based on their unique personality, preferences, and history. Weight loss must be personalized.
The simpler, the better.
Weight loss should not take over your life. If a plan requires you to to memorize a bunch of complicated rules, recalculate how much you are "allowed" to eat every time you lose a pound or change your exercise routine, or track every nutrient and calorie you take in, you won't stick with it. (And I won't blame you! That sounds EXHAUSTING.)
When the rest of your life gets complicated, your complicated weight loss plan will be out the window. And the truth is, long-term weight loss means making changes that you can stick with, well, long-term.
Slow and steady really does win the race.
Drastic, restrictive diet and exercise regimes are a bad idea. Small, meaningful changes that you can stick with (are you noticing a theme here?) will always, always be more effective than trying to overhaul your entire life for 30 days or six weeks or whatever period of misery is being prescribed by the latest miracle plan.
You might lose some weight with one of those programs, but when the program ends, you'll still be the you that gained the weight in the first place, with all the same habits and challenges. Or (far more likely), you will drop out after a week or two and feel terrible about yourself. (You shouldn't, by the way. I firmly believe that if a weight loss program doesn't work, the problem is the program, not you.)
Drastic programs rely mostly on willpower. But willpower isn't all that powerful, and relying on it is a recipe for failure. Once it fades, the pounds will creep back on.
It's not just about food.
When people hear "weight loss," they think "diet," but our weight is affected by a lot more than what we eat. Hydration is huge. Sleep, stress, and our sedentary lifestyles all have massive impacts on our biology. They affect which foods we crave, our ability to make good choices, and the way the body processes fat and produces hormones.
You can lose weight, at least temporarily, just by changing your diet, but weight loss that lasts comes from addressing your wellness as a whole, and looking at the underlying habits and environmental factors that keep you from success. Hydration, exercise and movement, stress relief, and sleep are all critical sources of the mental and physical strength you need to live the life you want.
Habits are the key.
Understanding and applying the formula for changing habits is the only way to achieve lasting weight loss. This is why most plans fail: there is plenty of telling you what to do, and precious little explaining how to actually do it.
Target 100 gives you six guidelines to produce weight loss and better health. I've made them as flexible, simple, painless, and holistic as possible. But without the engine of habit change behind them, they are just another set of rules that probably won't be followed long-term.
Most of us begin any weight loss project with the baggage of multiple past failed attempts, and I spend a lot of my time as a professional telling my clients that they are not broken. I promise, you aren't either. If you've tried and failed to lose weight before, the problem is not you. The problem is that you've been fighting the wrong battle, with the wrong tools.
The enemy isn't food; the enemy is habit. You don't need a meal plan, you need a simple formula for behavior change, and the patience to use it.
Habit and Environment
Chapter 1 of Target 100, the longest chapter in the book, is devoted to habit and environment. The formula for habit change is the glue that makes the plan stick, and awareness of your environment is key to making use of that formula. I happen to believe that this chapter alone is worth the price of the book, and I encourage you, if you don't have a copy, to buy one or find one at your local library and read that chapter before getting started.
For now, read a quick rundown here.
The Six Targets
Target 100 has six simple guidelines, or targets, each with a goal of 100, addressing the areas of diet, hydration, exercise, movement, stress, and sleep.
Six targets, one number to remember. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
WORDS OF LIZDOM
ACHIEVING SUCCESSFUL, LASTING WEIGHT LOSS IS LIKE BUILDING A HOUSE, OR KEEPING A CIRCUS TENT ALOFT, OR PLAYING A GAME OF JENGA—GO AHEAD, PICK YOUR METAPHOR! THE FORMULA FOR HABIT CHANGE IS YOUR FOUNDATION, AND STRESS, SLEEP, HYDRATION, NUTRITION, EXERCISE, AND MOVEMENT ARE ALL VITAL STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS, BRACED BY AND SUPPORTING EACH OTHER. OVERLOOK OR WEAKEN ANY ONE OF THEM AND THE WHOLE THING COULD TOPPLE OVER.