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10 ‘Commandments’ of Fat Loss

Hope you had a fantastic weekend.

Over at the Team Mohr HQ we were in full birthday mode … with back to back birthdays for Kara and Ella.  Of course no birthday is complete without cake, so we certainly had our share this weekend — from a homemade Elmo Cake for Ella (we even figured out how to create the colors with natural food dyes vs. dangerous artificial food dyes) to a Burnt Almond Torte shipped from Pittsburgh for Kara (it’s her favorite, so fortunately the bakery that makes them ships too!)

Both were hits … and Ella told us the Elmo Cake was her favorite part of the day yesterday.

I digress.

As we were thinking back about the weekend last night, we really did have a ton of fun — went out with friends Friday for drinks/appetizers to Churchill Downs for a night at the track, blueberry picking with friends Saturday morning, to the pool, dinner for Kara’s birthday Saturday night, then Ella’s party yesterday …

The ONLY thing that didn’t feel great was eating so far outside our normal diet for a couple days.  But you know what’s more important…

getting back on track.

Which brings me to today’s blog:

The 10 Commandments of Fat Loss (I’d suggest printing this as a daily reminder). 

  1. Thou Shalt Plan Ahead.  It’s a no brainer – to be successful in any area of life, including fat loss, you must plan ahead.
  2. Thou Shalt Eat Clean 90% of the Time.  This weekend we broke this "Commandment."  But you know what, it was part of our 10%.  The key is not that we enjoyed some cake (something people think we would NEVER touch) … the key is that we got right back to normal with the first meal this morning.  Eating cake, desserts, etc is fine … occasionally … as long as you bounce right back immediately after and get back to "normal."  Those types of foods become an issue when they’re more than "once in awhile" foods.  To make this more straightforward, if you eat 4 meals per day, 7 days/week that’s 28 total meals.  90% of 28 means 25ish meals are great choices and it leaves room for about 3 not so great meals. 
  3. Thou Shalt Eat Breakfast Daily.  Simple.  Straightforward, but a MUST to lose fat, preserve muscle, and maintain the fat loss.  The key is making the right choices, which means a lean protein, some fruit and/or veggies (see #6 and 9)
  4. Thou Shalt Eat Protein with EVERY Meal & Snack.  Protein helps fill you.  Protein helps you repair and recover from exercise.  Replacing junky carbs (white bread, sugar, cookies, pastries, etc) with lean protein is smart for permanent fat loss.
  5. Thou Shalt Lift Weights.  Let’s face it — if you to get in the best shape of your life, you MUST include some type of resistance training. Cardio won’t cut it so if you’re running or walking for exercise and think that will transform your body, it won’t.  Maybe to you that means body weight training.  Fine.  You can certainly challenge yourself with the TRX like we do daily. 
  6. Thou Shalt Eat Veggies with Each Meal.  Most people think you can only eat veggies at night … if at all.  Wrong.  Mix them into eggs like I do in this healthy breakfast video, add some to a wrap for lunch, use a wide variety for the base of your salads AND at dinner.  Not many foods in the diet provide more bang for your buck than veggies.
  7. Thou Shalt Not Eat Cereal with Cartoons on the Box.  So while the "2nd Commandment" says to eat breakfast daily, it doesn’t mean eating sugar filled junk … and that’s exactly what the "cartoon on the box" cereals are so avoid ‘em like the plague.
  8. Thou Shalt Move Daily.  While this may sound the same as the "4th Commandment" it’s not … this is in addition to training with weights.  Lifting weights is great, but let’s say you do that for 60 minutes per day (and that would even be pushing it for most people).  What are you doing the other 23 hours?  Usually sitting … all day at the office, all night in front of the TV.  If this is you, you’re an active couch potato.  Move as much as possible.  Take a walk at lunch time for half your break.  Get out after work, take the kids to the park, etc.  Just move.  As much as possible.
  9. Thou Shalt Eat Fruit with Each Meal.  We often hear that fruit has too much sugar or certain fruits are off limits.  Couldn’t be further from the truth.  No one became overweight from eating too many fruits.  The more colors you eat, the better, so mix in a nice variety of dark colored fruits regularly).
  10. Thou Shalt Only Eat Ingredients You Can Pronounce.  This means eating less packaged foods.  We had cake this weekend.  Kara made it.  From scratch.  And it was a pretty nice looking Elmo, if I say so myself!  This even goes for "energy" bars, shakes, or other pseudo health foods (yes, even the organic ones) that have a laundry list of ingredients. 

Print this list.  Keep it close to you and we guarantee that if you follow these "commandments" you’ll certainly be much better off with your weight, health, appearance, energy and pretty much everything else in life…

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19 Responses to 10 ‘Commandments’ of Fat Loss

  1. Rhonda June 27, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Chris and Kara,

    I second the comment on Protein. I was not getting enough because I do not eat much meat
    and my system was not handling all the Beans. So for my breakfast to mix it up from always
    having eggs, I now do 1 cup of Fage 0 Greek Yogurt with a cup of frozen fruit. I fix it the
    night before which goes along with the Planning theme. When I eat it the next morning the
    fruit has thawed so I have the juice to add to the flavor. I had a tough time with Greek Yogurt
    because of a texture thing. I hate sour cream and it reminded me too much of that. But since
    adding the frozen fruit , I have become a new fan.

    Rhonda

    • Chris and Kara Mohr June 27, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      It definitely makes a difference … try a different brand of Greek yogurt. We personally prefer Chobani — a little smoother.

      • Dianne June 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

        our favorite!! We buy it by the truck load!

        • Debbie July 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

          I love Chobani mixed with some chopped walnuts.

  2. Michelle June 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Any suggestions for a protein that can be put in a smoothie besides soy or whey? I have a casein and soy allergy! Love the blog and receiving my daily emails. I forward them to my family and they love them too!

    • Chris and Kara Mohr June 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

      Warrior Protein is a vegetarian protein from hemp, pea and some others…Vega also makes a product that could work. Thanks for the kind words!

  3. erik July 10, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    What was this list based on? Couldn’t have been scientific research since science has proven that losing weight is broken down into calories in vs out and that meal frequency (in terms of when to eat breakfast) has no bearing on metabolic rate or weight loss. Someone that has a PHD I would expect a little more than media perceived bulletin points when it comes to weight/fat loss.

    • Chris and Kara Mohr July 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      Thanks for the note, Erik — not sure which point you disagree with. The data suggests breakfast is crucial to weight loss overall. Appreciate you reading…

      • Ian McCarthy July 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

        Could you link me to empirical research showing that breakfast is “crucial” to weight loss?

        • Chris and Kara Mohr July 11, 2011 at 3:55 am #

          If you search for the National Weight Control Registry, lead by leading weight loss researchers Dr. Rena Wing and Dr. Jim Hill, you’ll see that eating breakfast is one of the habits that successful weight loss losers and maintainers practice. Here’s another specific study, but you can search pubmed and come up with 100′s. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18375417 Of course you can find research to support either side of the equation, but when you look to the majority of the data, a quality breakfast is important.

  4. Ian McCarthy July 11, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    So if I eat breakfast my results will be better even if my daily calorie intake doesn’t change?

    • Chris and Kara Mohr July 11, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      Possibly. Also depends on the quality of what you eat. “Breakfast” could mean Froot Loops or it could mean 2 eggs with loads of veggies. So there are a lot of factors.

      • Lou July 15, 2011 at 7:44 am #

        Ive always been told that when you eat in the morning, your body starts to work to digest and breakdown the food, so in theory the earlier you wake up and have a healthy breakfast the longer your body is working to burn it for the day, as opposed to not having breakfast and eating lunch around noon. Am i right about that?

        • Chris and Kara Mohr July 15, 2011 at 7:50 am #

          There seem to be several reasons why breakfast is important, but it certainly makes sense that your body is working more efficiently during the day so fuel it while it needs it!

  5. Josh August 16, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    I was totally unsuccessful at losing weight and staying lean for nearly a decade of my life- from ages 22 to 30. I started practicing daily intermittent fasting (16-to-18-hour fasts from 10 PM to 2-to-4 PM) and I have lost 35 pounds, felt better than ever, and stayed this way for nearly a year.

    My problem was (and still is) that when I start eating, I tend to continue eating. So, the small snacks (or even small breakfast, small lunch) plan didn’t work for me. For whatever reason, if I don’t start eating, I have no trouble with cravings or hunger pangs, etc.

    I’m not doubting your own conclusions, but they just didn’t work for me personally. My only issue is the claim that breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and that it is THE REASON those people lost weight and stayed lean. It hampers people like me who would have lost this weight years ago if someone had just told me that it’s okay to skip breakfast.

    Anyway, I really enjoy your posts, so I hope I didn’t offend you. I just feel that fasting needs to be put out there more as a viable alternative for people who fail with other methods.

  6. Josh August 16, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    I was totally unsuccessful at losing weight and staying lean for nearly a decade of my life- from ages 22 to 30. I started practicing daily intermittent fasting (16-to-18-hour fasts from 10 PM to 2-to-4 PM) and I have lost 35 pounds, felt better than ever, and stayed this way for nearly a year.

    My problem was (and still is) that when I start eating, I tend to continue eating. So, the small snacks (or even small breakfast, small lunch) plan didn\’t work for me. For whatever reason, if I don’t start eating, I have no trouble with cravings or hunger pangs, etc.

    I’m not doubting your own conclusions, but they just didn\’t work for me personally. My only issue is the claim that breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and that it is THE REASON those people lost weight and stayed lean. It hampers people like me who would have lost this weight years ago if someone had just told me that it\’s okay to skip breakfast.

    Anyway, I really enjoy your posts, so I hope I didn\’t offend you. I just feel that fasting needs to be put out there more as a viable alternative for people who fail with other methods. Also, I apologize for the slash marks… that is not my doing. Apparently the coding on this comment box does not like apostrophes. :-)

  7. Ivonne June 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Loved your article and I try to follow all the rules except for dessert which sometimes is a weakness. Question. How soon should you have breakfast after waking up. And you mentioned in your last rule energy bars and shakes – do you not recommend them or should they be minimized from your diet.

  8. Ivonne June 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    How long should you wait to have breakfast after waking up. And are whey protein shakes with fruit good to incorporate into your diet. When should you have the shake and any protein bars that you recommend. I usually have KIND bars.

    • Chris and Kara Mohr June 16, 2012 at 7:52 am #

      Within 60 minutes. The protein/fruit combo is a great one and KIND bars are fine. Less ingredients, the better

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