In the Football Diet, you spend every week preparing for Sunday. And every Sunday you decide whether the coming week you will play offense or defense. You and your fans always know whether this is an offense week or a defense week.
I think of every offense week as a set of downs. If you’re on offense, your immediate goal is not a touch down—you just need to make 10 yards—enough to get a first down. For me, 1 pound is a first down. So when I’m on offense, my goal is to lose 1 pound by Sunday. If I weigh 168 on the Sunday that begins an offense week, I try to weigh 167 the following Sunday.
I weigh myself every morning when I get out of bed. I’ve heard that this is a bad idea, because it can make you obsessive, and because your weight can fluctuate so much from day to day. But for me it helps, because it reminds me each day that I’m reaching for a very specific goal. If my goal for an offense week is 167, and on Thursday I’m at 169, I’m going to press extra hard to bring it down by Sunday. If I’m already at 167, then I have extra incentive to not pig out Thursday night—I’m almost there!
How do I lose that 1 pound? That’s where the blocking & tackling comes in, as described below. The important thing is that during an offense week, I’m actively trying to lose weight, but I’m not trying to make a touchdown—I’m not trying to lose 5 pounds in a week. If I can lose 1 pound each offense week, and if I play good defense, I’ll eventually make it to the end zone, my target weight. And I won’t have to starve myself to get there.
This is based on good behavioral science—you’re much more likely to be successful if you take small, achievable steps. People don’t typically give up on a goal when they’re making progress toward it—we give up when we “fail.” So with the Football Diet, you give yourself a goal that requires some effort and discipline, but is doable—it’s within reach. When you’re on offense, do whatever it takes to lose 1 pound by Sunday. That will move the chains, and you’ll be 10 yards (1 pound) closer to your goal.
Remember, every offensive play doesn’t gain yardage. Sometimes your quarterback gets sacked or your running back gets caught behind the line of scrimmage. So if you have a rough day during an offense week, just figure out how to make up the yardage—an extra trip to the gym? Salad for supper? It’s an offense week, so you have 7 days to move the chains.