Couch Potato

by Sean Gogarty, SGO Fitness San Diego

Is this you ?

Dictionary definition: Couch Potato: A person who watches a lot of television and does not have an active life.








We spend way too much time sitting down! Driving, eating, working, social media texting, relaxing and watching TV. For most people these all entail sitting for extended periods of time.

Do you need to develop better life style habits, to make the most of the personal time you have in your day?


  • Statistics show that the average American spends 5.11 hours a day watching television. We start Young!
  • In a life time that averages out to about 9 years of TV watching.*
  • 99% of households have one television, the average # for a household is 2.24.
  • 67% of Americans watch TV while eating dinner.
  • The number of TV commercials seen in a year 16,000 based on 1200 hours of watching television.

    Bad for kids

 Effects of Watching TV

Having TV’s switched on in your household leads to the temptation to sit down and avoid activity.

Imagine the things you could accomplish if you committed 5 hours per day to other life goals instead of TV time!.

Eating while watching TV leads to over-eating. If you are not conscious to the foods you are consuming your bodies signals of fullness will be ignored.

TV Advertisements constantly bombard us with foods and images of portion sizes we are trying to avoid on our Mission Thin Possible weight loss journey.

Is it time to turn off the TV and get moving?
How much extra time would you have?

 TV and Food Cravings

Big Food and Fast Food Companies use TV as one of their prime advertising vehicles. While watching TV our minds are being programmed to rationalize larger portion sizes and crave and consume more food.  Most of these foods contain higher sugar, salt and fat contents and are not beneficial when trying to loose weight. Reducing the amount of time we sit watching television helps reduce the implanting of large portion sizes of unhealthy foods in our memory.

Family life centered around eating and watching television also passes bad habits on to other family members and puts them also on the path to poor health and over eating. Its within our power to make a life change for ourselves and the whole family.

Pre-emptive Action Solutions

  • Tape your Favorite Shows: It will allow you to go and exercise, and then watch only the programs that are important to you on your schedule.
  • Don’t let TV control your Life: Space out your household chores for evenings, leave your weekends free for major family time and activity. Replace TV hours with quality time.
  • Keep Dinner at the Table: Separate food from your TV. Make family dinner just that, eat at the dining table without TV.
  • Commercial Break Challenge: When you are watching TV, take every commercial break as an opportunity to exercise, to do squats,lunges or press ups.Set a goal to reach say 100 of each by the end of the day. Can you do it?
  • Help your family. Unplug the TV and store the remote out of sight. The more obstacles you create to turning on the TV, the easier it will be to choose another activity.(replacing T.V. Time with internet browsing time on a computer or cell phone is a common alternative but is not a solution here……LOL.)


  •  Unplug:Cut yourTV time down to 2 hour or less.(This has  been shown to have a dramatic affect on weight loss.)
  •  Cut the Couch Time! Replace some of your TV time with exercise or activity every day.
  • Post your success of what you did on our MTP blog or your MTP private group Facebook page.
  • Share with us any other pre-emptive action solutions that you can suggest to help life change.








Portion Size Re-Programming

You don’t have access to view this content


Mission Thin Possible

Waging War on Weight Before It’s Too Late

LIfe Choice

Lifestyle Change Made Fun and Easy

Lifestyle Change

Currently 60% of Americans are overweight or obese and the number is creeping up. Big Food, Fast Food, Confectioners, Snacks, and Drinks manufacturers are putting profits at a higher priority than our health and have sold us on unhealthy food choices and oversized portions.
We have picked up the habit of consuming more fuel than we burn. Our “New World” of computers and cell phones is helping encourage us to lead a more sedentary life. 

The solution is easy –We all know it!
Eat less and Move more.

It is getting started and then keeping at it that is hard. Mission Thin Possible gives you the ammunition to fight the upward weight creep. We lead you, one step at a time, along a path to change. You will break the habits you have learned over a lifetime. Lifestyle change is the only way to finding a permanent weight loss solution.

How does Mission Thin Possible Help?

A common weight loss goal is set for everyone. “Lose weight at a rate of 1 lb. per week ”  – until you reach your recommended World Health Organization weight range for your height. Each week, we estimate and tell you how long we expect it to take you, based on how you are doing over the previous month. Our programs is not a 30 day weight loss fad full of false promises. You weight progress probably will bobble up and down on odd weeks but you don’t need to get upset on weeks you do not lose weight. This is normal especially for women.

A “Life Change Keyrelated to weight loss is presented each week in a short educational talk.  Each one is a baby step to a better healthier lifestyle.
We show you how to use ” pre-emptive actions”  to adopt each key and find a new you.
A pre-emptive action is an action taken to prevent a bad lifestyle habit from happening and replace it with a better one.
A weekly Homework Action is set giving you a related SMART goal to do each week. This gives you a meaningful measurable way you can tell when you have succeeded.

Personal Challenges

Most people have some very personal issues that affect their coming to grips with and conquering a life of weight gain.”
We help you overcome these personal challenges especially those that have made weight loss difficult for you in the past. We work together as a community and encourage discussing issues but its not compulsory. We do use  Feed Forward Sharing of ideas and solutions to identify and share new and different solutions. Very rarely are issues unique to you. You will find others overcoming many of the same. It is easier to do it together wih friends.

Weekly life balance and progress reports are provided based on a Weekly Weigh IN.


Weekly Homework

A weekly Homework Action  is set giving you a specific task to do. This is a meaningful measurable way to show you are making change happen.

Life Balance and Progress Reports

A confidential “Weigh In” is part of each class. We advise you how much you need to adjust your “life balance” in an emailed report to achieve a 1lb/week weight loss rate.

We all celebrate with you when you pass a major milestone.

  • Stop gaining weight –no weight increase over 4 weeks.
  • Start losing weight- Loose 1lb
  • Achieve ½ lb a week weight loss every week for 4 weeks
  • Achieve 1lb a week weight loss every week for 4 weeks
  • Achieve 5% body weight loss.
  • Achieve 10% body weight loss.
  • Achieve your WHO ideal weight range


Balance Lifestyle


Suddenly starving yourself or going crazy on exercise can trigger your famine response which can fight your weight loss. This also makes you put weight on even faster if you stop dieting and is the main cause of yo-yo diet weight gain.

For those who like to count calories the report tells you the calorie adjustment you need to make in your “Life Balance”. (calorie counting is not required.)

MTP Games Exercise Session

Each week you will take part in a unique fun “team game ” exercise session.

As the game is conducted, boot camp style exercises, sprints and loop runs are done at intervals. Less demanding versions of each exercise are provided for all fitness levels. You may be exercising hard but you will be having so much fun in the games that you won’t feel it! This session we have added “sprint training” into our exercise program. These short sprints and shuttle runs add some extra fat burning by taking advantage of Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). You can lose weight even after you have finished your session, ”the after-burn effect!” All health and fitness professionals recommend that you exercise three times a week for 60 minutes. This is not required for weight loss success but does help and it will build up your fitness, tone your body and will help you maintain your path to lifestyle change. Four SGOFitness boot camp sessions are included in each 90 day MTP session. SGO Fitness can provide you with additional boot camp sessions or personal training sessions to supplement this program. (See our website or talk to your trainer.) Alternatively, you can combine our one day program with a walking or jogging program or any other fitness exercise activities.

Fun Weight Loss Competition

Team Challenge

The whole group is also entered into a weight loss Team Challenge. You pick a fun team name for your group. The average weekly score of all your Team based on attendance points and weight loss points is your weekly team score. This is entered for your team into a 90 day points “league” and compared to previous teams and other locations. This league table will eventually be posted on the Mission Thin Possible website with others across the USA.

90 day Weight Loss Challenge.

A “weight loss challenge” is also ran over each 90 day session.
We make sure everyone knows this is for fun and only 1 person can win but everyone has a chance as it is based on bodyweight percentage lost. A number of prizes and recognition awards are presented to celebrate the Weight Loss Challenge winner and recognize other Team member’s participation and progress. This is also a good excuse to have a party every 90 days.

Let the Games Begin !

Online Support

The weekly talks, the homework and pre-emptive actions related to each Life Change Key  are also provided in full online in written and /or video form on our Mission Thin Possible Blog for active signed up members.

  • You must sign up to gain access to the weekly talks as the content is now only available to active signed up members.
  • Sign Up Here
  • A Team Facebook Private Page is also available to encourage interaction of new ideas and solutions with your team.

Repeat After Me

  • Eat Less
  • Move More
  • Repeat!
  • Awesome!

Anyone wanting to know more about our program contact


Practically No Calorie Soup

This recipe is for a  tomato based “practically no calorie soup”.

It is full of vegetables and provides a great way to eat a full serving of vegetables  and provides a quick, in-expensive 48 calorie meal at lunch time.

This recipe is enough for two batches of soup, each batch makes 12 servings.




This makes 2 batches of soup.

5 carrots, peeled and diced

4 onions, chopped

2 large cans of diced  tomatoes –  low sodium preferred.

1 large cabbage, sliced and chopped

15oz chopped frozen green beans, use fresh if in season

2 quarts’ tomato juice (no added sugar/ low sodium)

2 green bell peppers, diced

1 hot pepper – chopped – optional

10 stalks of celery, diced

1  x 14 oz. container of low sodium beef broth.

pint size zip lock bags for freezing

1 large zip lock bag for freezing vegetables for second batch of soup.

All these ingredients are readily  available at regular grocery stores, this group of ingredients was purchased for  $12 (Walmart prices).



Use a large cooking pot.

Chop each ingredient, put half in the large cook pot, and the second half in the large zip lock bag for a later batch.

Add half the tomato juice, 1 can of tomatoes and half the c0ntainer of beef broth to the cooking pot.

Cook slowly, simmer until vegetables are soft but still firm.  Stir occasionally.

Let cool.

Plan ahead:

You have chopped and prepared enough vegetables for two batches of soup, freeze the large zip lock bag of remaining  un-used chopped vegetables, this will speed up soup making next week.  Keep the remaining tomato juice and broth in the refrigerator it will keep for 7 days for next week’s batch.

Once the cooked soup batch is cooled it can be refrigerated in a sealed container  or  frozen in zip lock bags  or individual portion sized plastic containers. ( I placed the zip lock bags in a container in the freezer to freeze, the container can be removed as soon as it is frozen- this prevents spillage – see photo below)

Serving the soup:

Take out the number of servings you need from the refrigerated container of cooked soup and re-heat on the stove or in the microwave oven. It is important to re-heat the soup to 165 F before serving if you are cooking from a frozen bag.


This soup can be served several ways, there is no seasoning added while cooking,  here are some ideas for changing it up

  • serve with extra seasoning to your taste. ( salt substitute, ground pepper, worcestershire sauce,  etc)
  • add Hot sauce – to add spice
  • add diced cooked chicken for a protein boost
  • add red kidney beans or black beans and salsa
  • add fresh herbs – cilantro or fresh basil before serving
  • serve as a cold vegetable juice – add ice and one cup of the cooked soup to a blender with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and blend. makes a nice change for a hot day.

I used this recipe for my own weight loss journey with Mission Thin Possible, I ate it for lunch every day  for 3 months to have a less than 300 calorie meal at lunch time.  The soup itself is approx 48 calories per portion.  It worked for me and with the change up of ingredients I did not get bored with the taste.    I lost 19 lbs  and I still make the soup on a weekly basis, its great to eat just after you get home from exercising, just take out a portion from your refrigerated container and mircowave.   I hope you enjoy trying it.

I would love to hear about your alternate ways of serving it, please share them on the blog.

19 lb weight loss on MTP


How active are you?

Why Exercise?

Research has shown that dieting is 5 times more effective in loosing weight than exercise. So why should we exercise more?

  • Research has shown that people adopting an exercise program as part of their weight loss program are 5 times more likely to succeed and achieve their weight loss goal.
  • Further maintaining exercise as part of a life change program supports making the weight loss permanent.
  • So we all need to MOVE MORE.

Body Atrophy

If you do not exercise your body muscles atrophy. They become less capable to do everyday life activities. As we age we lose muscle mass, and strength unless we repeatedly use them.  Eventually basic functions like getting up off the floor and getting in and out of the car can start to be effected especially if overweight. It is never too late to halt or in most cases reverse this trend. We all need to take stock of our situation and adopt and implement a plan to Move More while we can.

Think ahead, move more now!

Benefit of Exercise

As we lose weight we will regain some functional capability. This is amplified when combined with improvement in your strength, flexibility and endurance. As your level of activity increases, your physical fitness increases, and you’ll find that you:

  • Feel better about yourself.
  • Have a feeling of improved health.
  • Enjoy your day more.
  • Deal with life’s daily physical demand.
  • Handle stress more easily.
  • Have more freedom of movement.
  • Have stamina to do much more than just go to work and do the home chores.

Steps to loving exercise.

  • Choose an exercise program featuring exercise that suits you.
  • Make it a habit, exercise 30 – 40 minutes at least 3 times per week, daily if possible.

Make your exercise a regular routine habit.  It helps to exercise around the same time each day. The key is to build exercise into your life style so that it is not disruptive. Chose times of the day that work best for you. If you miss a day or a workout, don’t worry about it.  Everybody struggles once in a while.  Just make sure you get back at it the next day.

Ideas to help you move more.

Walking: the first option that works.

Walking is the simplest way to start and continue a fitness journey. Walking costs nothing to get started. Walking is easy, safe and can be done anywhere. Go out for a short walk before breakfast, at lunch or after dinner. Walk to the corner store instead of driving.

When walking, pick up the pace from leisurely to brisk to amplify the effect of the exercise. Set yourself a step goal, aim for 10,000 steps a day

Get busy at Home: any form of exercise counts, the idea is to move more

  • Do housework to fast music, get the heart rate up, dance in between chores.
  • Work in the garden or mow the grass. Using a riding mower doesn’t count! Rake leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.
  • Stand up while talking on the telephone.
  • Walk the dog, or borrow the neighbours’ dog.
  • Stretch to reach items in high places and squat or bend to look at items at floor level.
  • Keep home exercise equipment repaired and use it!

Move more at the Office

Walk whenever you can:

  • Brainstorm project ideas with a co-worker while walking
  • Walk down the hall to speak with someone rather than using the telephone
  • Walk around your building for a break during the work day or during lunch.
  • Stand or walk around the office or while talking on the telephone. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.
  • On business trips – take along a jump rope or a resistance band in your suitcase. Jump and do calisthenics in your hotel room.
  • Get active in organizing others: Create an exercise accountability partnership.
  • Form a sports team. Participate in or start a recreation league at your company.

Family and Friends

Replace eating and drinking socializing time. Look for opportunities instead to be active and have fun at the same time.

  • Plan family outings and vacations that include physical activity (hiking, backpacking, swimming, etc.).
  • Make a date with a friend and invite them to come try your favorite fitness program or physical activities.
  • Play your favorite music while exercising; enjoy something that motivates you.
  • Hit the dance floor. Dance with someone or by yourself. Take dancing lessons.

Plan ahead and make exercise dates every week. The more people you involve in your exercise the more enjoyable exercise usually is.


Exercise Benefits on Stress

Exercise is effective in reducing and combating the effects of life stress. Regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to:

  • Decrease overall levels of tension,
  • Elevate and stabilize mood,
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve self-esteem.
  • Gain strength
  • Feel more energetic

Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Pre-emptive Actions:



The Homework:

The Thought:

  • What activity do you do each day that keeps you moving?
  • Do you get 30 minutes of Exercise a day or 60 minutes 3 times a week?

The Action:

  • Establish a daily 30-minute minimum, exercise program with the same committed activities at regular scheduled times each day. Make it a habit.
    (If you haven’t been physically active for a while, build up the intensity of your exercise steadily.)
  • If you are already doing 30 minutes a day, try to increase to 60 minutes a day on 3 or more days.

Encourage friends and family to take up exercise with you.



Hungers and Cravings and How To Fight Them.

What is Hunger?
Hunger and Satiety are physical sensations felt in the body. Hunger represents the physiological need to eat food. The sensation of hunger is felt after only a few hours without eating and is unpleasant. ( eg. stomach cramps, headache from low blood sugar). The only way to take away true “hunger” is to eat.when you need to.

Satiety is the absence of hunger, it is the sensation of feeling full. “Satiety,” is a physical feeling of fullness that allows us to stop eating for a while. Satiety dwindles as nutrients in our blood diminish and hunger returns.

What is a food Craving?
A food craving is an intense desire to consume a specific food whether we are hungry or not. You don’t really need that specific food you crave. Cravings and over-eating aren’t instinctive or natural. They are learned behaviors, habits shaped over time, through the intricate mechanisms of habit formation.

Eating and snacking on craved foods usually provide both relaxing physical and oral body sensations and feelings that give comfort.

Many things trigger cravings  e.g.

  • Watching someone enjoy a cold beer on TV triggers you to crave one yourself if you drink cold beer regularly.
  • Or the smell of freshly baked donuts triggers you to crave one if you consume them regularly.

Images of things we crave and the pleasant feelings that result are stored in our memory waiting to be triggered.

Eliminating Cravings

Most people can identify one or two things as their common cravings. We need to limit or cut down and avoid over indulging in high calorie ones. This has to be done by abstention and giving our memory time to forget the trigger or the pleasant or comforting effects the craved food provides for us.

We must conscientiously work at:

  • Identifying and avoiding the triggers and
  • Stopping buying or indulging in our craved foods.

With time the craving will no longer be triggered in our mind or the intensity of the craving resulting will dull to a point we can resist it.

This as we all know however can be much harder than just saying it but it is the only way.

Personal Cravings

Most cravings are personal and we all need to identify and address our own particular ones in our own specific way.

Make a list of your triggers and cravings as they occur and develop an action plan for each to:

  • Eliminate or minimizes your exposure to the trigger that sets you off craving,
  • Removes the specific food or drink from being immediately available. (The more difficult to access it the better it is.)
  • Introduce a healthier lower calorific food or drink replacement.(This can be as simple as a sip of water.)
  • Immediately begin an alternate activity to food consumption, i.e. an exercise or mental activity until the desire has gone.
    (e.g. use a book or magazine to divert your primary train of thought from your cravings.)

Repeat solutions that work for you until you have achieved a new norm.

Reducing Emotional Triggers

Scientists have proven ‘comfort’ eating really does lift our mood.

Comfort Eating

This is why many of us develop the habit of grabbing a specific craved food in response to stress or emotional upset. Stress, boredom, fear, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, anger can all result in emotional eating for comfort.  Always look at the causes of your emotional state and if you can, address what in your life or surroundings is causing any negative emotions or anxiety. Some of life’s challenges are however unavoidable. We sometimes can make our emotional problems far bigger in our minds than they really are. Always ask yourself is it really that important. Many times they are not.


Thinking of something else that is good in your life, may help put you into a better emotional state.

Avoid dwelling on emotionally triggering thoughts by taking part in activities that you enjoy that require mental activity, e.g. educational study, a hobby or pastime, yoga or meditation.

Friends, family, partners and your health professionals should all be looked to for help if you are repeatedly craving food in response to emotional turmoil you cannot resolve alone.

Night Cravings

Night cravings are often due to true hunger or our emotional state of mind when we are relaxing or laying down to sleep. Introducing  a relaxing alternate mental activity to avoid craving thought triggers can be a good sleep aid.

  • Do something pleasant and relaxing and calming just before retiring.
  • Avoid staying up too late to where your feeling of satiety is starting to turn back to hunger?
  • If you are hungry eat something small before retiring.
  • Avoid caffeine , cigarettes, alcohol- stimulants that can make it hard to fall asleep.
  • Reading an all absorbing book or magazine is a common solution before sleep.

  • Self relaxation through meditation or listening to relaxation sounds and music etc works for some.

Our Electronic World

T.V., cell phone and computer browsing and video games can all trigger emotional states. We can develop cravings triggers and snacking habits as a direct response or as a linked activity if we regularly practice eating and drinking at the same time. Always take a break and eat and drink as a totally separate activity. Limiting snacking to specific times and only eat meals at meal times. Elimination of snacking altogether in front of the T.V. is a good step to take for the health of the whole family. Beware of the office meetings with a magically refilling coffee pot and donut tray.

Pre-emptive Action – Hunger

The following are ideas to help limit the physical stimuli of hunger and/or delay the end of satiety:

  • Eat meals at regular times and foods that leave you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Keep your body in a natural rhythm. Eat regularly but when and only when you are hungry.
  • Drink a large glass of water before a meal to bring on feeling full earlier when eating a smaller lower calorie meal. The worst of cravings can come from leaving the table feeling “still empty.”
  • Increase the amount of vegetables on your plate. These are higher volume for lower calories and help you feel full sooner.
  • Choose higher fibre foods that take time to chew and swallow. E.g. apples over apple sauce, nuts in their shell rather than shelled nuts.
  • Eat some healthy lean meat or vegetable protein in your main meals. These take longer to digest and keep you feeling satiated longer. This will make it less likely you will feel hungry between meals.
  • Eat slowly and chew your food well to allow your brain to register as many sensations as possible from what you are eating to feel satiated quicker.
  • Train yourself to enjoy many different and incredible smells, textures and tastes in your food menus and make your eating choices as varied as possible.
  • Learn to enjoy healthy greens ,fruits and nuts, beans and vegetables in their natural fresh forms.
  • Minimize the use of blenders and juicers as these can reduce digestion and transit times of food passing through you and bring on hunger prematurely.
  • Using fruits to sweeten the taste of smoothies containing green vegetables defeats the primary objective of lowering calorific in-take.
  • The claims for health benefits of super vitamin smoothies are mostly unproven and only serve to sell blenders, diet products and vitamin powders.

Pre-Emptive actions – Cravings

  • Do not purchase foods that you regularly crave, or cannot resist and remove all your reserves of them from your fridge or cupboards.
  • Make your home a crave free food and drink zone
  • List out and then replace each craved item with a readily available alternate low calorific value item.
  • Rehearse in advance how and with what you will respond differently to the triggers that usually set off your cravings.
  • Visualize yourself avoiding your craved foods, making healthier choices in your mind. Run through your alternative choice list and memorize it.


Planning in advance and setting up your pre-emptive action avoidance tools will boost your “will power” and help you defeat your craving habits e.g.

  • have carrot and celery sticks or other low calorie snacks prepared and ready in your fridge or carried with you.
  • have a water bottle or low calorie drink with you at all times.
  • carry sugar free gum.
  • use a tooth brush and tooth paste to refresh your mouth throughout the day, instead of eating or drinking.



The Thought:

  • Acknowledge the food cravings that you struggle with.
  • Try to identify the trigger or emotion that sets off your craving.

The Action:

  • Make a list of the high calorie craved foods and drinks you crave and their triggers.
  • Replace these high calorie cravings, one or two each week with a more healthy low calorie alternative.
  • Buy healthier food and drink alternatives and change your home into a crave free zone.


Plan It , Do it.

Making a Plan of Attack.


If we declared and started a war without an attack plan we would lose.  If you are trying to lose weight you are fighting a war  against your fat cells. Life change to eat less and move more is how you win. Your enemies are poor habits and the people and the environments around you that are bad influences.

When signing up to MTP we asked you to make a contract with yourself, to set goals for yourself and lose as much unwanted weight as possible with the support of your team mates and fellow agents. Done! You are among excited recruits ready for battle! You have been weighed in and you have your MTP life balance and progress reports. If you are losing 1 lb. a week average your current battle plan is working.

If you are not losing 1 lb. a week average you need to change your battle plan going forward.


Starting Point

To lose weight we all need to restrict our calorie intake to less than we burn off.

Change both your food intake and your exercise program steadily so as not to trigger your body’s famine response which will fight against your weight loss.

Life Balance Adjustment

Based on your current weekly weight trend this simple Life Balance Adjustment Table gives you roughly the daily change you will need to make to your food intake vs activity life balance to result in achieving a  1lb per week target weight loss rate goal.

Life Balance Adjustment Table
Current Weight Weekly Trend Life Balance Adjustment
(Reduction per day required)
Gaining 1lb per week 1000 cals
Gaining 1/2 lb per week 750 cals
No change-Plateaued 500 cals
Losing 1/2 lb. per week 250 cals
Losing 1lb per week no change required
Losing> 1lb per week no change required


War Strategy Basics

  • Eating less and moving more is the simple way to say it. We all know that.
  • Now whatever you have heard before, the latest studies are showing it does not matter if we eat 1,2,3 ,4, 5 or 6 meals a day. Only total daily intake really counts as far as food goes.
  • 1200 calories per day will give steady weight loss for most people. i.e. 3 meals of 400 calories – no snacks. (You may need to reduce this if you snack and don’t exercise.)
  • It does not matter if we sometimes skip breakfast, lunch or dinner as long as we don’t overcompensate the next meals.
  • The best reduced intake meal plan for you to adopt is the one you find easiest  to follow.
  • Beware of protein bars, vitamins and supplements promising weight loss, and fitness drinks,detoxes and powder smoothies. Most of these are higher calorie than regular foods and drinks, or just don’t help weight loss. Everyone seems to be pedalling potions, pills and weight loss magic these days. We recommend you save your money and use it to buy healthy food alternatives.
  • You don’t need to count every calorie you eat or need to know exactly how many calories you burned off. Just make sure you are heading steadily in the right direction.Your weekly MTP reports will tell you the rest.
  • Whatever ways you find easiest to add more activity and exercise into your life is also the best for you.
  • Everyone is different and whatever works for you is best.
  • You can and will work it out. Just get started and do it.

Exercise vs Food Restriction

Food restriction is by far the most effective for losing weight.  Adding more physical activities and exercise to your life is a bonus as it can increase the amount you can eat at a single meal from very little to an amount you may feel more satiated with. Exercise alone though is not usually a successful war plan for weight loss. It is hard though to be eating while you are exercising.
Replacing T.V. time, cell phone and computer browsing time, or simple couch time with activity and exercise burns extra calories and reduces high “snack time” risk.

Burning Your Fat

  • Very Light to Moderate exercise intensity is the most effective in burning off our stored fat.
  • Even low intensity activity is burning fat.
  • 30 minutes daily is recommended. 60 mins 3 times a week may fit into your schedule easier.


Heart Rate Zones

High intensity exercise at higher heart rates is not necessary for successful weight loss. In addition it can take up to 6 months exercising regularly to safely exercise at higher than moderate heart rate especially if you are starting out overweight or have not exercised frequerntly for a while. Execising in the green zone or below is where you should start.

Pre-emptive Actions

Adding the following into your plan of attack will help improve your life energy balance and improve your success.

  • Plan your eating and meals ahead of time. Regular scheduled meals help to keep you on track.
  • Also plan your exercise on fixed days of the week, every day if possible.
  • Add extra physical activity throughout your day wherever you can.
  • Reduce all your meal sizes every day. The myth that a single party binge once a week has little effect on your weight loss has been proven not to work.
    You are looking for and needing a new healthier lifestyle for life.

Reduce your Meal Sizes

  • Plan and eat lower calorie healthier meals, reducing fats, sugars, and carbohydrates.
  • Eating a few reasonable size meals works for some while eating several smaller meals helps others avoid feeling starving and triggering a binge of snacks.
  • Eat half a meal and half later.
  • Split restaurant meals with a fellow weight loss buddy.
  • Eating small snacks at special times of day-like coffee breaks can stave off physical hunger feelings but “Warning” all snacks are usually high calories unless pre-prepared healthy veggie snacks.
  • Small snacks e.g. few nuts 20 minutes before a meal can act to reduce physical hunger.
  • Drinking water or zero calorie drinks- e.g. black unsweetened coffee especially before a meal van make a small meal fill you better.
  • Eliminating or reducing alcohol consumption is always an asset for weight loss.
  • Try to eat only healthy snacks. Prepare lots of carrot sticks etc in advance and keep them handy.
  • A “small” special treat, once or twice a week, fresh fruit or small piece of chocolate (they do contain sugar),etc. as a reward for a good low food intake day, does not go a miss and can boost your spirits when its a self-awarded reward for your success.

Use what works for you and forget those things that do not.

Let your friend’s family and fellow Mission Thin Possible group know what works for you. Celebrate each successful battle.

Homework-The Thought

  • Eating less, rarely does anyone any real harm if you are overweight.
  • Most people need to get into a regular routine for both eating and exercise and keep to it.
  • Eat similar foods at the same times on certain days of the week.
  • Exercise at certain times and on certain days with the same forms of exercise.
  • Plan regular meals, physical activity and exercise at times that fit your life schedule.
  • Using a salad plate and controlling your portion size or leaving some on your plate at every meal is best……pat yourself on the back every meal you do it.
  • Leave the table and walk away when you have finished eating before you begin thinking of needing to eat more.
    You are reprogramming your norms.
  • Plan what you eat and try your best to find out and be aware roughly of total calories for each meal.
    (If you don’t know assume a 400 calorie meal is 1/3 of what you would normally be served in a restaurant.)
  • Establishing a plan of attack and repeating it works.

Homework-The Action

  • Write down your meal and exercise plan for a week,adopt it and if you change it, try change your plan at least a day in advance.
  • Adjust your attack plan for meals and exercise as required until you have a balanced life plan that produces for you a 1lb./week weight loss.

Don’t worry if it takes you a few weeks to tune your meal and exercise action plan to achieve it.

(A steady weight loss lifestyle will win the war!)


Heart Rate

What is Cardio

Cardio, or Cardiovascular Exercise is when we use large muscle groups to improve the function of our lungs, heart and blood vessels. The more efficient they are at transferring oxygen to our muscles, the more fat and carbs we can convert into energy during exercise.

Why is Cardio Important?

The better your heart and lungs are at moving oxygen to your muscles the easier it is for you to accomplish activities.

The easier it is to do activity, the more you’ll be active and the more energy you will use. This means you are more likely to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Energy in (Food) < Energy expended= lose weight

What  should we pay attention to when exercising?

It is important to note that we are all at different levels when it comes to our cardiovascular health. Pay attention to how your body reacts to activity and exercise.

It is great to get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that means you are pushing your limits and can only improve. Feeling uncomfortable is fine, feeling pain is not!

Stop and take a break if you become breathless, feel dizzy, or nauseous.

The Talk Test

A restricted calorie weight loss program is helped by any level of exercise. If you have not exercised for a while, take it easy for the first few exercise sessions. The Talk Test measures your ability to carry on a conversation while doing physical activity or exercising. It is an easy self test to guide you to a good aerobic intensity.

  • If you are able to talk effortlessly, you may be working below your target heart rate zone.
  • If you are able to talk with someone with some slight effort during a workout, you are probably in your target heart rate zone.
  • If talking is very difficult or impossible, you are overdoing it.

Stop and take a break if you feel breathless or dizzy

How to calculate your maximum heart rate.

Everyone should know their own maximum heart rate (MHR)

  • MHR is roughly calculated as 220 minus your age in Beats Per Minute (BPM)
  • It is generally recommended that the target heart rate should be within 60-85 percent of your maximum heart rate for at least 20 to 30 minutes for Aerobic exercise.
  • Exceeding 85% MHR is only appropriate for extremely fit individuals. It can be can be dangerous and is not recommended for the general population especially if overweight.
  • Exercising in the 65-75% for 40 minutes -1 hour a day is the best approach for weight loss for most people.

  • Example :

If your age is 45, your max heart rate is (220-45 =175 bpm)

60% of 175 is 105 bpm

85% of 175 is 149 bpm

So you Target Range would be 105 to 148 bpm



Heart Rate Zones


Measuring your Heart Rate

You can measure your heart rate by taking your own pulse. Use two fingers index and middle, count the beats for 20 seconds and multiply by 3. This will give you your heart beats per minute.

Use of a Heart Rate Monitor is another way to gauge your exercise intensity.

Heart Rate Monitors

Heart rate monitors act as your pacers, telling you when to speed up and when to slow down to  keep you exercising within within your target MHR. Heart rate monitors come in different designs, some use chest straps others are a wrist version. Wrist versions use an optical sensor built into the unit to detect your pulse. Chest strap versions use a wireless sensor on a chest strap that detects your pulse electronically and sends the data to a wristwatch style receiver. These units can also provide other health indicators such as calories burned, time exercising etc.

Exercising within your limits helps you stay on track with your exercise plan and will help you to keep a focus on your weight loss journey.


The Thought:

  • Everyone has a maximum heart rate range applicable to their age.
  • Exercising in the range of 60-85% of your heart rate is a good target range.

The Action:

  • Calculate your maximum heart rate, MHR, ( 220 minus your age in Beats Per Minute (BPM)), and your target range of, lower, 60% of MHR and upper, 85% of MHR.
  • Exercise 30 minutes every day in your target range.
  • Add your exercise ideas and success stories to our Mission Thin Possible blog.

Cut Your Fats

You don’t have access to view this content

Friend or Foe

Building your Support Team.

If we eat the right amount and right types of food we will maintain a healthy weight.  We should only eat when we are hungry and we should only eat what we learn by experience,  is the right quantity  of food to meet our needs.

Why we eat, when we eat, what we eat, where we eat and how much we eat are all influenced by our environment and the people in it.
Our eating habits tend to come from the average of the people we spend the most time with.   To improve our eating habits we have to spend more time with people who make healthier choices.

Happy family dining together.

Making a Declaration of Intent to change life style

 If you want the best chance to make a change of your eating habits:

Tell everyone around you that you are trying to eat lighter and healthier. If your co-workers, friends and family are not aware of your intent, they will never know that they can help you.

Those Who Eat Good are Good For You!


If you need to change some of the people around you, look for those people who share and support your goal. Avoid being influenced by non-supportive people.
Friend or Foe

Defend yourself against Foe’s

We are fighting a war against our fat cells,  everyone in our daily life will be either  :

  •  Friend , supporting and being helpful to you in changing poor or overindulgent eating habits,


  • Foe , in some way blocking your life style  change and holding you back from changing old habits.

We need to load up our team with Friends as much as possible and try avoid Foes and their influence.

Recognize Friends

When they know of your journey…. Friends:

  • Join you on your weight loss journey.
  • Are family who start eating healthier and  correct portion size at  meals with you.
  • Accept invitations to go for a walk or other exercise activity with you.
  • Listen and encourage whenever you talk about your journey.
  • Give helpful suggestions of good food choices.
  • Make light, well portioned sized meals when inviting you around for dinner.
  • Don’t push you into fast food, high calorie ,evenings out.

Recognize Foe:

When they know of your journey…. Foes:

  • React negatively when you get pumped about your new program and they hear and see the progress you are making.
  • Push you to drink more alcohol after you say you have had enough.
  • Repeatedly drop pizza, sugary drinks, donuts, or Caramel Iced Capp coffee under your nose.
  • Will not change restaurants to ones with better food choices when you are dining out together.
  • Laugh or scoff at your good life choices.

How do you build your support team of Friends:

Pre-Emptive Actions

Applying some of these tactics will help you slowly change and adapt your lifestyle and environment to be in tune with your weight loss journey.

  • Choose people in your life that support and encourage you.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who will help you succeed.
  • Pick friends/people who have similar aims and goals like your MTP team mates or others seeking weight loss. Maximize the time you spend with them in pleasant environments eating well , being positive, doing exercise and following healthy pursuits.
  • It is important to set realistic expectations for all of those around you. Let everyone know that you’re not planning on being 100% perfect. You’ll still be available to go out and have fun, but will just eat a bit less and drink a bit less.
  • Let your team see that this is so doable and they may decide to join you.
  • Let everyone know it’s a lifetime decision and make a point of thanking them for their help and support.

Friends cheer you on!



  • Who do you have in your support team?
  • Make a mental list of your Friends and Foes.
  • Which people are “most” and “least” positive and supportive.


  • Spread the word around that you are on a lifestyle change quest and eating lighter and healthier.
  • Tell everyone that you would like them on your support team and that you would be glad of their support.  Let them know how they can help you.
  • Add all who respond supportively to your “Support Team” as friends.
  • Spend as much time with your Support Team “Friends” as possible.
  • Invite them to attend a free session of MTP and bring them along. The more people you have on your local group the more support you will have.
  • Let us know how you do.

Lets Make America Thin Again

by Stuart Gogarty- Mission Thin Possible

We are not doing too well in the USA in fighting the war on obesity. It will take a lot of work and effort to change the trend in the USA that has been emerging in recent years.

The trend is slowly reversing in many countries as health and fitness is being encouraged by governments ,the fitness industry and the general population alike.

The USA, the home of family style cooking, is falling behind. It could even be making your family ill!

Adoption by families of social events linked to  “come eat and drink “, the generally accepted mainstay for gatherings, was established when food was more scarce and eating was a gift. Most people today have more than enough to eat. The introduction of healthier lifestyles by all and helping others move in that direction is the only way to go to save America.

Try and  serve light and healthy food at your family gatherings. Add in some energetic activity, party games or dancing.

Better still take your family hiking, biking, swimming ….or to a beach.

Every little helps.

10,000 Steps

You don’t have access to view this content

Sugar, is it really all that nice?

What is sugar?
Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food.

Most food contains sugar of some kind. When we eat food it is converted into blood sugar, “glucose”, in our blood and that gives us energy to do activity.The problem is that if we do not burn all that sugar our body will convert the excess into fat and store it. We do not want that to happen on our weight loss journey.

1lb of body fat

Burn it or store sugar as fat!

Why is sugar such an issue?

It is a main player in creating over-indulgence food habits and addictions.

Addictive activities usually trigger a short term spike in brain chemicals causing a pleasurable feeling of excitement or well being. If we trigger that feeling repeatedly and often we can develop a mental and physical dependency on it. Sugars trigger serotonin in our bodies and brains which give us that feeling of contentment and well being.

Consume sugar often enough and we can develop an addiction for sugar just like other addictive substances.

  • Habit –  a person can control a habit and can stop it successfully if they want to.
  • Addiction – a person is unable to control it and will repeatedly do it and probably do it to excess.

Sugar In Our Food

In the 1970’s food manufacturers started chemically producing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and other processed sugars and adding these to our food and drink.

It coincides with the growth of overweight and obesity in the population of developed nations. Big food and fast food chains all sell us products laced with extra processed sugars. This makes us like and crave these foods , makes us want more or them, it makes us buy more of them, eat more and helps push us all towards sugar addiction.


Processed Foods

Most processed foods have added sugars. Ingredient lists on processed foods are long and complicated, they are not listed as simple “sugar”.

  • Specific examples of added sugars that can be listed as an ingredient include:  brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar and sucrose.

Obvious sources of added sugars we eat or drink come from soft drinks and sweetened fruit drinks. Sugars however are also found in flavored yogurts, breads, crackers, baked beans, frozen pizza, cereal bars, salad dressings, canned fruits, boxed desserts, baked goods, breakfast cereals, condiments, ketchup, jams and jellies and many more.

This added sugar is bad for your weight, your blood pressure your heart and your health.

What can we do?

Step 1:

  •  Know what foods contains sugar especially processed sugar especially HFCS in high concentrations. Read the ingredients panel on all processed foods for sugar content.

  • Check the carbohydrate and sugar values on nutrition facts labels to know how much sugar is in the processed foods you are eating.  Choose products that have low % daily values.

Step 2:

  •  Make a list of the “bad sugar actors” that we are consuming.

Step 3:

  • Develop a pre-emptive action plan for each food. That means to avoid them or find healthy replacements and then replace them. We need to slowly cut these foods out of our regular diet one at a time , step by step.
  •  Set elimination of each of your main “bad sugar actors” as a personal smart goal and celebrate a victory once you eliminate each one from your life.

Pre-emptive Action Solutions

Sugar is one of the easier food types to reduce quickly.Here are  some ideas on how you can do this…

  • Move from processed foods to fresh products whenever possible.
  • Eat plain yogurts which contains no added sugar. Fruit Yogurts usually  contains added sugars
  • Change the way you drink beverages for easy calorie savings, choose water as often as possible!
  • Eliminate the addition of sugar to your coffee and save calories for healthier food choices. Adding one spoonful of sugar in your coffee is equal to 6g of sugar or 24 calories. If you consume 4 cups a day with sugar you consume 96 calories daily.
  • Substituting a bottle of water ( 0 calories) for an 8 oz glass of soda pop can save you 90 calories.

Reducing sugar intake is the fastest and easiest route to  weight loss success.


The Thought

  • How much sugar are you consuming every day?
  • Start reading the food labels on all processed foods in your diet.
  • Check out the sugar content.

The Action

  • Go sugar free in coffee and tea and sugar drink free the next week.
  • Replace all sugar sweetened drinks with water.
  • Start to take out other high sugar content foods and drinks from your diet one at a time.
  • Replace as much processed food with fresh produce and home cooked foods until you are hitting your weight target 1-2 lbs. loss every week.

Goal Setting and Milestones

You don’t have access to view this content

Exercise is good … but it won’t help you lose weight.

Repost from Guardian U.K. newspaper

British cardiologist-led team accuse food and drink firms of over-emphasising how sport can fight obesity.

While physical activity is useful in reducing the risk of developing heart disease, dementia and other conditions, it ‘does not promote weight loss’, the authors say. Photograph: Alamy

While physical activity is useful in reducing the risk of developing heart disease, dementia and other conditions, it ‘does not promote weight loss’, the doctors say.

Being dangerously overweight is all down to bad diet rather than a lack of exercise, according to a trio of doctors who have reopened the debate about whether food, sedentary lifestyles or both are responsible for the obesity epidemic.

In the article for a leading health journal the authors – who include British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, an outspoken critic of the food industry – accuse food and drink firms such as Coca-Cola of having wrongly emphasised how physical activity and sport can help prevent people becoming very overweight.

The truth, they say, is that while physical activity is useful in reducing the risk of developing heart disease, dementia and other conditions, it “does not promote weight loss”.

“In the past 30 years, as obesity has rocketed, there has been little change in physical activity levels in the western population. This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed.”

The authors add: “Members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise.”

That “false perception”, they claim in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, “is rooted in the food industry’s public relations machinery, which uses tactics chillingly similar to those of big tobacco … denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives.”

Given the worsening scale of obesity “let us bust the myth of physical activity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet”, say Malhotra and his co-authors.

They challenge conventional wisdom further by arguing that those who want to avoid excess weight gain should adopt a diet that is high in fat but low on both sugar and carbohydrates.

Athletes and others about to do exercise should ditch high-carbohydrate intake regimes and instead eat more fat, they say, because “fat, including ketone bodies, appears to be the ideal fuel for most exercise. It is abundant, does not need replacement or supplementation during exercise, and can fuel the forms of exercise in which most participate.”

In a broadside against food industry practices, they also urge celebrities to stop promoting sugary drinks, call on health clubs and gyms to stop selling them and denounce “manipulative marketing” for sabotaging government efforts to introduce taxes on those drinks and to ban the advertising of junk food.

But their comment piece was dismissed by the food industry and divided opinion among experts in diet, obesity and health.


“The benefits of physical activity aren’t food industry hype or conspiracy as suggested. A healthy lifestyle will include both a balanced diet and exercise, as Change4Life summarises: eat well, move more, live longer”, said Ian Wright, director general of the Food and Drink Federation, a trade association which represents producers and retailers.

Catherine Collins, of the British Dietetic Association, said the doctors had downplayed the metabolic and physical health benefits of undertaking even moderately intense exercise and had used “incomplete evidence” to make their case.

Professor Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at Oxford University, who also chairs the food network of the government’s Responsibility Deal, said: “The authors fail to note that weight loss programmes which combine diet and physical activity are the most successful route to weight loss in both the short (three to six months) and medium term (12 months)”.

However, Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The junk food and drinks industry has known for years just what it has do to make its products healthy, but persists in not doing it. The coalition has so far colluded with this through its inept attempts to challenge the producers to be responsible.

“The next government has to crack down on junk if obesity is to be halted and the NHS not brought to its knees. Whitehall could also crack down on commercial sponsorship of sport – but it won’t. Funding sport makes corporations feel good about themselves and they know it’s good for business. They have the cash and the public purse doesn’t”, added Fry, who is also an expert adviser to the Action on Sugar campaign group.