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Boomers' Sustainability Diet: How I Lost 20 Pounds

Bill Roth headshotWords by Bill Roth
Energy & Environment

Editor's Note: 3p correspondent Bill Roth used sustainability principles to get healthy, lose 20 pounds and keep it off. He documented his experience -- and what he calls the Boomers' Sustainability Diet -- in a three-part series. This post is part one. You can read the second part here, and the third part here

If you are a member of the boomer generation, then this is a must-read. We are the first generation raised on fast food and suburban living. It has been a great run of cheeseburgers, fries and driving everywhere we wanted to go. But tummy fat and growing health concerns are now the unintended consequences of our lifestyle.

As a boomer, I went searching for personal answers. The answers I found have helped me to lose 20 pounds and keep it off. I am on track to lose another 10 pounds by year end. My secret sauce? I found that applying the same sustainability best practices I have successfully used in coaching businesses can be used to achieve sustained weight loss.

Easy to begin

From my business coaching I have found that the easier the change-path is to implement, the more likely change will happen and will continue to happen. So, my diet-focus is eating foods I like to eat that also help me lose weight. However, what I like to eat may not be what you like to eat. So, my first suggestion is to get on your computer’s search engine, and search for foods that are both good for you and that you think taste good. Use these foods as the foundation of your sustainability diet.

A second step is to do a computer search on foods that the health sciences say are not good for you (like you do not already know that eating manufactured foods and beverages are not good for human consumption over a long time period). The reality is that most of us have been eating manufactured foods and fast foods our entire lives. Stop now or face the health consequences, plus the burden of increased health care costs.

No hunger!

I do not manage hunger very well. Most of us do not. The key to my diet’s success is that I eat a lot of food, and I am not hungry. Under my diet, when I get hungry I eat a banana or apple rather than cookies or nuts or something from the drive-through fast food pickup window. The only discomfort from this diet was during the first six months when my body went through withdrawals tied to the sugars, caffeine, fats, etc. that I had become addicted to from eating manufactured foods.

Lose weight plus save money!

Are you approaching retirement and needing to downsize your daily expenditures? I believe I am saving money on this diet. Yes, the price of natural and organic foods can be higher -- though there is a growing amount of experiential advice out there like "how to eat organic for $5 per day." Because I eat a lot less restaurant food and drink tap water rather than manufactured beverages, I think I am saving money. Recognizing I am still eating a lot and not really trying to lower my costs to single-digits, I estimate my daily food cost is around $20 to $25 (except when I am traveling and I have to eat at restaurants). That is $20 to $25 per day, and I am eating all I want and not at all hungry!

20-minute walk every day

The evidence is pretty conclusive that diet is only half the answer to losing weight. You have to exercise every day to lose weight and keep it off. The great news is that this can be achieved by just walking for 20 minutes every day. I wanted to be healthier faster, so I added doing 40 minutes of cardio every other day (riding my mountain bike about 10 miles). Wow, what a difference this has made in terms of weight loss. Plus I feel better about myself after my daily exercise.

You can sin and still lose weight sustainably

Let’s face it, self-sacrifice does not define our generation. I still have happy hour most days. I eat cookies, pies, biscuits and stuffing during the holiday season. But my sinful behavior has a minimal impact on my annual weight loss goal. I gain a couple of pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's; I lose that weight, plus another 10 pounds, during the year from eating sustainably and doing at least 20 minutes of daily exercise.

Sinning makes dieting a lot less stressful. When I began this diet I was all over my bathroom scale every week. It was a frustrating day when the scale did not show weight loss. Over time I came to understand that a sustainable diet succeeds because it is solving root-cause problems created from eating industrial foods and living in my car. By sticking to sustainable actions that address the root-cause problems, my sustained weight loss just happens. Now I weigh myself once a month. Most months I lose a pound or two, and over 12 months I lose at least 10 pounds.

The 10 steps to sustainable weight loss

There are 10 steps to my Boomers' Sustainability Diet. The first five are “to do” steps that will help you lose weight. They will be covered in tomorrow's article. Then, my last article will cover the five things you should stop doing to sustainably lose weight.

Image credit: Bill Roth

Bill Roth is an economist and the Founder of Earth 2017. He coaches business owners and leaders on proven best practices in pricing, marketing and operations that make money and create a positive difference. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies of pioneering best practices that are proven to win customers and grow product revenues. Follow him on Twitter: @earth2017

Bill Roth headshotBill Roth

Bill Roth is a cleantech business pioneer having led teams that developed the first hydrogen fueled Prius and a utility scale, non-thermal solar power plant. Using his CEO and senior officer experiences, Roth has coached hundreds of CEOs and business owners on how to develop and implement projects that win customers and cut costs while reducing environmental impacts. As a professional economist, Roth has written numerous books including his best selling The Secret Green Sauce (available on Amazon) that profiles proven sustainable best practices in pricing, marketing and operations. His most recent book, The Boomer Generation Diet (available on Amazon) profiles his humorous personal story on how he used sustainable best practices to lose 40 pounds and still enjoy Happy Hour!

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