How to Lose Weight Easily: Set a Modest Target

When it comes to weight loss, the biggest mistake many people make (in my opinion) is to set ambitious goals (such as losing 3lbs per week). Such goals are difficult to achieve at the best of times, and once you have a single off-day or discover that you’re not quite on target, the inevitable chipping away of your drive and enthusiasm begins, which typically leads to failure.

On the other hand, if you set a very modest target (such as any ongoing weight loss – even if it’s only 0.5lbs per week on average), you’ll find success far easier to come by. Furthermore, you may find yourself surprised as to how far such “modest” goals can take you – after all, half a pound a week is equal to a whopping 26lbs per year.

If you allow yourself to consider the prospect of losing weight slowly but steadily (which makes it far more likely that you’ll keep that weight off, incidentally), it opens up some pretty exciting opportunities. In other words, you may discover that losing weight doesn’t actually have to be that hard, and doesn’t necessarily require a great deal of sacrifice.

Let’s break down some simple numbers to make my point. I don’t claim that the following numbers are precise – because they aren’t – but they work well enough as approximations.

A pound of fat is often said to be equivalent to 3,500 calories, which means that if you consume 3,500 calories less than your body needs over any period of time, you’ll lose a pound of fat. The simple weight loss equation, therefore, is to achieve a calorific deficit that is equal to the amount of fat you wish to lose.

The rules of the game are made simple if you set a modest goal. If you shoot for say an average loss of just 0.5lbs per week on average, your deficit needs to be 1,750 calories per week – or 250 calories per day. That kind of deficit can be achieved with relative ease. By making just a handful of small, barely noticeable tweaks to your eating and exercising habits, you can make that weight loss happen (and stick).

For example, here are a few potentially easily executable strategies you could use to achieve such a calorific deficit:

The key is to find the strategies that you can implement with little effort or willpower required. Different strategies will work for different people. The point is that you won’t have to do much, because you’ve not set a huge weight loss goal. Start tracking your weight loss trend, and as long as that trend points downwards, you’re doing all you need to do in the long-term.

I believe that throwing ambitious targets out of the window and focusing instead on steady, gradual progress is the single most impactful step you can make to long-term sustainable weight loss. The process is simple: set the lowest possible goal (i.e. any ongoing weight loss), then do the bare minimum to achieve that goal (by cherry picking simple strategies that work for you). You’ll experience no feelings of hunger, deprivation, or frustration – just results. That’s the kind of balance that will eventually get you to where you want to be, and keep you there.

How to Track Your Weight Loss

I recently explained why I believe you shouldn’t set a time-sensitive weight loss goal. My alternative philosophy is that any consistent weight loss caused by sustainable habit change will eventually get you to where you want to be, without you putting undue pressure on yourself or setting yourself up to fail. (That, in a nutshell, defines the Healthy Enough approach.)

More specifically, I discussed the concept of “statistically relevant” weight loss, and that you should be observing the general trend of your weight loss, rather than what you weigh from one day or week to the next. In this article, I want to go into more detail regarding the above, and provide you with the tools you need to track your weight loss in a way that is both useful and informative.

Continue reading How to Track Your Weight Loss

How to Set a Weight Loss Goal

I’ve previously discussed whether you should weigh yourself. In short, you probably should, because it is an objective yet simple means of determining whether you are losing weight or not.

That being the case, how do you go about setting a weight loss goal?

The simple answer is that you don’t. At least, I wouldn’t advocate setting a weight loss goal in the way that most people do. Specifically, I wouldn’t recommend that you (for example) set a goal to lose ten pounds in four weeks, or get down to 160lbs by Christmas.

Why? For two key reasons:

  1. Realism. When people set weight loss goals, they don’t typically first consider (to any level of accuracy) how realistic their goal is. And more often than not, in my experience, such goals are unrealistic – they’re not representative of what is reasonably possible. If you accept the above to be true, then by creating a weight loss goal, you are setting yourself up to fail before you’ve even begun.
  2. Pressure. The concept of putting pressure on yourself to lose weight is anathema to the Healthy Enough way. And yet, by setting a specific goal, you’ll feel pressured to ‘perform’ from day one.

You may argue that setting an ‘unrealistic’ goal and putting pressure on yourself will help you to lose more weight than if you’d set no goal at all. You may be right, but at what cost? Life is too short to stress yourself out unduly.

Besides, you’re more likely to be wrong, in my opinion. You’re more likely to fail to reach your goal, and quite possibly fall off the dieting wagon as a result and put back on the weight you lost. And if you do reach your goal, what then? Set a new goal, perhaps? Or possibly slip back into bad habits, and watch the pounds creep back on.

Continue reading How to Set a Weight Loss Goal

34 Easy Ways to Exercise (And Enjoy It!)

I hate what I call ‘prescribed exercise’.

I’m talking about the kind of exercise that you feel you should do in order to get/remain in good shape. The kind of exercise that you feel guilty not doing. The kind of exercise that you probably don’t enjoy.

Because I hate it, I don’t do it. And yet I still exercise; I just choose to exercise in ways that I enjoy.

The simple fact is this: there are an enormous number of ways in which you can be physically fit and enjoy it. If you hate the gym as much as I do, the following list will be absolutely invaluable. I can practically guarantee that you’ll find a physical activity below that you will enjoy doing.

Continue reading 34 Easy Ways to Exercise (And Enjoy It!)

Healthy Enough is Back! Where Have I Been?

The last post on Healthy Enough (before this one) was published on 3rd June 2014 – over three years ago.

Three years is a long time. Whether you’re a longtime Healthy Enough reader or new to the blog, you might wonder where I’ve been for the past 38 months or so.

I’d say you’re right to wonder, and that you deserve an explanation. After all, I’ve set a high bar in terms of what I want to achieve with this blog – given that I’ve been absent for so long, why should you treat me seriously?

Continue reading Healthy Enough is Back! Where Have I Been?

Getting Fit and Strong: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

My name is Tom Ewer and I am healthy enough.

At least, that’s how I see it. I’m 6’1″ and a notch or two under 200lbs. Consult a BMI chart and I’m technically overweight, but I feel pretty healthy, and I’d rather trust my own subjective measure than one so simplistic as BMI.

Tom Ewer
Judge for yourself!

But here’s what I’m not: what most guys want to be. You know – toned, lean, buff, head-turning. And I wish I was, as many of us do.

So what’s holding me back?

Continue reading Getting Fit and Strong: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

How Your iPod Can Make You Stronger

If you go to any gym these days (perish the thought), chances are you will see that the vast majority of people are wearing headphones. And while most people may think that listening to music while exercising is great for passing time and breaking up the boredom, it actually has a much stronger effect that few are aware of.

Listening to music during exercise can have multiple performance benefits and can give you that extra boost you sometimes need.

In fact, music can be so powerful that wearing headphones and using mobile music devices was banned by the national governing body for running, USA Track & Field, because of the competitive advantage it gives runners.

Continue reading How Your iPod Can Make You Stronger

When Do You Want to Die?

I have a vivid memory of finding out about serial killers when I was a child. The notion that I could be killed, seemingly at random, was terrifying.

My discovery of the concept of death and its seemingly random nature came as a shock, as perhaps it did for you in your youth. However, what many adults don’t fully appreciate is just how much control we have over our own mortality. While it can be all too easy to sit back and accept that death will come for you when it is good and ready, it is likely that the time of your death will be determined, at least in part, by you.

Continue reading When Do You Want to Die?

Paul Ingraham on the Most Beneficial 20 Minutes of Your Week

The US Department of Health & Human Services recommends a bare minimum of two and a half hours of  “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” and two sessions of “muscle-strengthening activities” per week.

These guidelines would appear to be unrealistic for most of the population, as suggested by the evidence that just one in five Americans meets the prescribed amount. However, even if you don’t feel capable (physically or mentally) of completing that much exercise in a given week, one health expert I recently spoke to claims that there are a myriad of benefits to moving just a little more than you are now.

Continue reading Paul Ingraham on the Most Beneficial 20 Minutes of Your Week

The Healthy Enough Manifesto

It is a sad truth that many of us have been conditioned to accept a certain false reality when it comes to health and fitness. That false reality is a construct of the health and fitness industry, or more specifically, unscrupulous types who have a commercial interest in misleading us.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Healthy Enough is a destination for anyone who believes that there is a better way to live healthily than what fad diets and outrageous exercise regimes demand. Read my manifesto and discover if Healthy Enough is for you.


If you think that our manifesto sounds like a good way to live, subscribe to the blog via the sidebar, and check out my About page if you haven’t already.