Orientation Information for Time & Adherence

For those wanting to learn about and follow the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Program. You can also join our monthly weigh-ins.

Moderators: JeffN, f1jim, Heather McDougall, carolve

Orientation Information for Time & Adherence

Postby Mark Cooper » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:16 am

Orientation to
Time & Adherence:
The Behavioral Path to MWL Success


This is a weekly check-in and assessment group for those wanting to follow the Maximum Weight Loss (MWL) program. MWL is a minimally processed starch-based diet that is low in fat, low in calorie density and low in added sugars and salt. MWL offers the simplest, easiest, most effective path to achieve your weight management and health goals.

Please familiarize yourself with the MWL Guidelines and the MWL 10-Point Checklist. These serve as the textbook for this group, and represent the program we will follow exclusively within this group. The accountability and support we provide is in understanding and implementing these guidelines. If there is any confusion or question on any issue, just ask and Jeff, Wildgoose, or I will answer.

Weight loss is an outcome contingent on behaviors; to change that outcome, it is necessary to change those behaviors. The most effective behaviors for achieving healthy, sustainable weight loss are outlined in the MWL 10-Point Checklist. In this group, our focus is on bringing our behaviors into adherence with the MWL 10-Point Checklist, not our weight change from one week to the next. The MWL program is not about rapid weight loss, but rather establishing a pattern of behavior and a way of living that produces steady, healthy, and lasting weight loss.

We ask that you refrain from setting a goal weight and focus on the 10 points of MWL. If you follow the fundamental principles and guidelines, you will arrive at a healthy weight in due course.

Our ongoing focus is on taking action in accordance with the following ten points -

A 10-Point Checklist for Maximum Weight Loss

  1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit.
  2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert.
  3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. This includes gourmet sugars and salts, too. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them.
  4. Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood).
  5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy).
  6. Eliminate any added oil.
  7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e., bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit.
  8. Don't drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages).
  9. Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until you are comfortably full. Don't starve yourself and don't stuff yourself.
  10. Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily (i.e., brisk walking).

Your plate should look like this -Image For example,
Image

I strongly recommend using the MWL 10-Point Checklist on at least a weekly (or daily) basis to bring to your attention the areas that may hinder your progress. The more you are willing to use it in your own life, the more success you are likely to have.

An essential resource for all participants to review is Jeff Novick's presentation on the principle of calorie density,

Calorie Density: How To Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer

Watching this video is one of the best ways to come to a clear understanding of the concepts embodied in the MWL program, and it will likely answer MANY questions and help alleviate confusion.

Please also note this important advice -
JeffN wrote:The fundamental basic principle of the MWL Program and the principles of calorie density is "whenever hungry, eat until comfortably full of the recommended foods." Because of this, there is no reason for anyone to feel hungry when following our guidelines. The recommended foods are minimally processed starches, fruits and vegetables. The most satiety, short term and long term comes from minimally processed starches and to keep the calorie density low, have them with some non-starchy vegetables. Remember, we do not have to figure out if it is true hunger, appetite, craving, etc. However, to be successful, you have to prepare for success and make sure you have availability of minimally processed starches throughout the day.

At the 10-Day program, the snack room is full of veggies (cherry tomatoes, baby carrots), fruits (apples, oranges) and starches (regular hummus, roasted red pepper hummus, potatoes, Split pea soup, Black bean soup, and Lentil Couscous soup). People choose from both the starches and fruits/vegetables. Choosing just vegetables or fruit will not be enough for most people to feel satiated. If you experience cravings for unhealthy foods, you can beat these cravings by choosing healthy foods to eat and knowing that these cravings will eventually pass and stop. However, you can not beat your biology (hunger) and your biology/hunger will eventually win.


Regarding the book, The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss, while the book is helpful, it was updated with the guidelines provided in the January 2005 newsletter and has been further condensed into the MWL 10-Point Checklist, which together provide the most current program information. You do not need to buy the book.

If you are in need of recipe ideas, the recipe section of Dr. McDougall's website has a category for MWL, filled with delicious recipes from Alu Gobi to Zucchini Corn Salad. If you prefer something extremely easy and affordable, try Jeff's SNAP meal template.

If you would like to share recipes with the group -

  • Please do not post or recommend a recipe unless you yourself have made it and tried it.
  • Only post recipes that conform to the MWL guidelines.
  • If you have adapted a recipe to meet the MWL guidelines, please clearly list any needed adaptations.

Check-ins and self-assessment reports are on Friday; participants have until noon pacific time (19:00 UTC) on Saturday to post their report for the week. Reports posted outside that window of time won't be included in the weekly summary, or receive replies. Please post your report in the following format -

  • Assess the week in regard to your adherence to each of the recommendations from the MWL 10-Point Checklist.
  • For each point from the list, please elaborate by discussing what contributed to your success and/or what actions you plan to take to better fulfill that recommendation.
  • Feel free to include any personal victories, comments, concerns, or questions
  • If you like, you may post a change in weight at the END of your post, but it is not required, nor is it part of the formal template. If you do choose to post a weight change, please do so in pounds gained or lost, and enter it as a whole number without a decimal. If your scale displays weight that includes a decimal place you can follow the general rules for rounding; .1 to.4 is rounded down to the nearest whole number, .5 to .9 is rounded up to the nearest whole number.
For example,
2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert. YES. This week I prepped adherent foods on Sunday. I steamed a bunch of sweet potatoes in my Instant Pot, roasted 2 sheet pans of broccoli, and portioned frozen strawberries in the fridge to thaw. Having everything ready ahead of time made it much easier to always satisfy the 50/50 recommendation.

or,
7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e., bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit. NO. I've been feeling really tempted by the pretzels my spouse likes, and I indulged in having some several times. I'm going to ask my partner to keep them out of the kitchen, so I'm not constantly walking past them. I hope this will help me stay on track with this point.


The intention here is to share effective practices and propagate them through the group. Likewise, when struggling with a particular behavior, we want to encourage participants to consider how they can overcome obstacles and devise an action plan for addressing challenges. Simply relying on "willpower" alone is often insufficient for success. If you are feeling stuck on a particular point, and you're completely at a loss for what to do, ask the group so that we can help. Our goal is to help you adopt a pattern of behavior that will lead you to achieve your important health goals.

The template below can be copied and pasted to use for your own reports: use your cursor to highlight all the text in the code box, copy it (on most systems you can do this with a right click & copy, or Ctrl+C on the keyboard) and paste the text into your own post (right click & paste, or Ctrl+V). Feel free to add bold text, italics, underlining, &c, if you feel it would be helpful in communicating your assessment.

Code: Select all
1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit.
2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert.
3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. This includes gourmet sugars and salts, too. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them.
4. Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood).
5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy).
6. Eliminate any added oil.
7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e., bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit.
8. Don't drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages).
9. Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until you are comfortably full. Don't starve yourself and don't stuff yourself.
10. Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily (i.e., brisk walking).

Victories, comments, concerns, questions:

Please post a new report each week in The Behavioral Path to MWL Success Group thread for the current month. All group members are encouraged to post an assessment, regardless of their relative success or difficulty in adhering to the recommended pattern of behavior.

Along with the behavioral progress reports, the Group threads are used for asking questions, seeking clarification of the guidelines, and other requests for support. Additionally, I would highly recommend participants consider starting a journal in the My Daily Menus & Journals forum. These journals can be really helpful in keeping track of your progress over time and provide a great place for interacting with other members of the discussion board, sharing experiences, and commiserating.

To anyone considering joining the group - the paramount requirement is to commit to follow the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss program as defined by the MWL Guidelines and the MWL 10-Point Checklist. We don't expect perfection, because making these changes in behavior is extremely difficult; however, the intent of participation for the group is important - are you willing to make an honest attempt to follow the guidelines as intended, and keep trying to work toward improvements when you are struggling? If so, you are in the right place, no matter what your starting point is, and how much (or little) success you may feel you're having at the moment. Intentionally planning NOT to follow the guidelines, or not attempting to make changes in the appropriate behaviors when needed, however, doesn't serve the individual participant well, nor is it good for the group as a whole.

If you feel you can benefit from this group and would like to join, thoroughly review the orientation information above, including the MWL Guidelines, MWL 10-Point Checklist, and Calorie Density: How To Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer. After completing your review of the orientation materials, please post in The Behavioral Path to MWL Success Group thread for the current month (usually posted near the beginning of each month) introducing yourself and stating that you have completed orientation and would like to be added to the group. After submitting that post, you will officially be a participant in the group and needn't wait for any further confirmation. Please remember, there is nothing magical that happens when you join this group and your name is added to the list. Jeff, wildgoose and I can offer accountability and support in terms of understanding and implementing the MWL guidelines, and your fellow participants provide a feeling of community; but, it is up to you to actually make these changes in your daily life. All the forum posts in the world won't have an effect on the outcomes we seek, without lasting changes in our daily pattern of behavior. Don't obsess over the minutiae; rather, direct your energy toward doing an excellent job at the fundamental principles. I can't promise that it will be easy, but I DO promise that it is worth it.

I request Time & Adherence program participants refrain from posting in this Orientation thread. I would like to keep the posts here limited to moderators so that Jeff, wildgoose and I can update the materials and add informational posts and resources as needed. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

My very best wishes to you for the journey ahead!
Last edited by Mark Cooper on Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:53 am, edited 4 times in total.
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