LLU Day 5 – What’s your strategy?

As noted over the past few days, I’ve been reviewing the Leanness Lifestyle University’s free 5-day program. Today is day five.

After this time, it’s clear to me that this program has clearly been approached in a comprehensive manner, meaning that it’s been thought through from the top down, and takes into account all elements of a person’s life that have impact on their ability to control their weight. In that sense, it’s not “just” about food and exercise. Yes, I still wish the whole eat less and move more (ELAMM) part were phrased a bit differently, but the fact is that the ultimate goal of this program is to help people stay in the right frame of mind so that they will be able to successfully (and properly) ELAMM. So while I’ll take away a few style points, the bottom line is that the program appears to me (from the outside looking in) to be really well designed.

* Note, I am not a physician, nor do I play one on the internet.

I say the above after having now watched the fifth and final video, which discusses the strategy that LLU’s program is designed around. It even starts with a mission statement that makes sense. How cool is that?

First, let me drop my breadcrumbs:

Day 1: Overview
Day 2: Adventures with Food
Day 3: Can you outrun what you eat?
Day 4: I second that emotion

All right. Let’s hop to it…

Day 5 Video:

In this video, David Greenwalt explains that 90% of the program’s customers are “weight-fighters” (the other 10% are athletes and physique performers), and goes on to define a weight-fighter as someone who has struggled with achieving their weight/body goals for longer than a year without any sustainable success.

I love this definition. The mere fact that he has these definitions is remarkable.

He then goes on to define success as when an individual achieves their goal and maintains within 10 pounds for at least 4 years.

Again, I love these definitions. Very crisp, and very relevant to the person undergoing the change. Low on the ambiguity scale, eh?

Given that the program has these definitions, it comes as a “well, duh” kind of revelation to me that the program’s mission statement and comprehensive strategy statements are quite robust.

Mission Statement:

Evidence-based lifestyle education for permanent weight control.

To go one step further, David G. then defines his evidence as coming from published science, and real-world experience of results over their 15 years. (Aside … I would still like to see his quit rate as it relates to other programs, but that’s an issue for another day).

The rest of the video lays out the six strategic statements that he feels every weight loss program should have in order to be successful. They are hard to argue with:

1 – SMART goals (meaning Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time sensitive)

Being from a background in corporate performance management, I got a chuckle out of this. Definitely right on.

2 – Know _why_ you want to lose weight?

The 5-day videos don’t go into this very deeply, but my pure guess is that this is a critical element in any real success. The more personal and important the “why” is, the more likely the chances are of success (IMHO). You cannot make someone do something they aren’t committed to doing, and people will only commit to big undertakings if they have something at stake that is vitally important to them. In addition, sometimes we hide the “real” whys from ourselves. When Lisa and I started “getting healthy” again, I realized that one of my own “whys” was that I wanted to be proud of myself, and I couldn’t actually say that without being up front with the fact that I felt stupid for having let myself get to the 196 pounds that I had slowly climbed to at that point. It is no fun to realize you are not as smart s you think you are (very wry grin).

3 – Accountability

Yes, and this is likely related to the “why” above. I know I hold myself more accountable to things if I know why they are important to me.

4 – Use a science-based behavior modification program that applies nutrition, activity and emotional lifestyles.

It’s damned hard to argue with a program that use basic science to help you eat less (and right), and move more (and safely), as well as leverage behavioral science to keep yourself feeling good about it.

I note here, that I think there’s huge value in being a nutrition skeptic when it comes to the science portion of the program (meaning, not trusting packaging, and paying attention to the details of crappy nutrition guides). This is an area that Lisa spends a lot of time talking about, and for good reason. American food manufacturers are not doing us simple folks any favors.

5 – TEAM (time, energy, affection, and money)

This acronym stands for Time, Energy, Affection, and Money–and it’s basically a call for people to invest a part of their lives in themselves. It says that to really transform a lifestyle you have to give yourself time, expend energy on yourself, find ways to think well of yourself, and invest some financial resources on yourself (buy the right shoes, equipment, program, etc. for you).

Yes, it’s “buzz-wordy” but I like this because it’s focused on the self. It makes okay for people to be just a little selfish about taking accountability for their own health, and let’s face it, most of us use external pressures as reasons for continuing self-destructive behaviors. A lot of people won’t spend time to really working on improving themselves in this way (especially since the exercise can hurt!).

That said, one of the things that made Lisa and my efforts as successful as they have been is that we did them together. If you can find support in those close to you, the self-investment doesn’t seem so intensive, or as selfish.

That said, I need to buy some new shoes.

6 – Seeking out and engaging with personal, professional, or spiritual support when needed.

Interestingly enough to me, I find the personal support I need in Lisa, and the spiritual support I need (perhaps oddly?) in writing.

And that’s the video.

Overall view of the 5-Day program

I came into this with a little bit of skepticism. I worried that the program was going to be a bit rah-rah for my taste, and my comments in the first day or two were born of that fact (though I’ll always stand by my thoughts on ELAMM, of course). But after the five days of videos I’ve reversed my field a bit. From what I’ve seen, this is a great framework from which to hang your program, and its philosophies aren’t cloaked in so much hokum than you can’t understand the main points they are getting to. The tracking tools are good, though sometimes a bit hard to use. I think I could do the same thing and make it easier with a little work on an Excel sheet. Perhaps I’ll do that in my copious free time. The support information that I’ve fiddled with from the site is pretty simple to absorb, and the whole thing is easy to understand.

If there is “problem” with the program, it’s that–in my opinion–in order to succeed, you’re probably going to have to make a real lifestyle change. Of course, that’s the problem with all programs, and hence it’s why most fail. People don’t make that kind of change unless they are ready to make it. But a major strength in this program is that it seems to be designed with the idea that its entire purpose is to make it more likely that you will make that change.

I’m no deep expert in the field of weight control, but I can’t think of another program that I’ve seen advertised that supports the emotional aspect of the problem so intensely.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to make an actual lifestyle change, my guess is that this is program is something you should look at.

Daily Progress vs. Plan:

Day 1:
Calories eaten: * 1907 (target = 1887)
Calories exercising: 778 (target = 429)
Balance: 329 calories better than “plan”
Carb: 59% vs. 30% guideline
Protein: 17% vs. 40% guideline
Fat: 24% vs. 30% guideline

Day 2:
Calories eaten: * 1648 (target = 1887)
Calories exercising: 681 (target = 429)
Balance: 491 calories better than “plan”
Carb: 52% vs. 30% guideline
Protein: 22% vs. 40% guideline
Fat: 26% vs. 30% guideline

Day 3:
Calories eaten: * 1814 (target = 1887)
Calories exercising: 983 (target = 429)
Balance: 627 calories better than “plan”
Carb: 53% vs. 30% guideline
Protein: 23% vs. 40% guideline
Fat: 24% vs. 30% guideline

Day 4:
Calories eaten: * 1882 (target = 1887)
Calories exercising: 444 (target = 429)
Balance: 20 calories better than “plan”
Carb: 54% vs. 30% guideline
Protein: 26% vs. 40% guideline
Fat: 20% vs. 30% guideline

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