The Secret to Losing 10 Pounds is Just One

In honor of Dr. Oz’s Just 10 Challenge, I submit the best way to lose “just 10” is to find “just 1.One small change in behavior or activity that will unlock your ability to be more mindful when it comes to food. If you try to change too many things at once, you won’t be able to do it for very long; it will be like holding your breath under water, eventually you will have to come up for air.

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In honor of Dr. Oz’s Just 10 Challenge, I submit the best way to lose “just 10” is to find “just 1.One small change in behavior or activity that will unlock your ability to be more mindful when it comes to food. If you try to change too many things at once, you won’t be able to do it for very long; it will be like holding your breath under water, eventually you will have to come up for air.


For example my wife, Margie, seemed to have figured the whole healthful, food, balance-thing out, until she hit about 45-and-a-half years of age. Suddenly, size 4 became a size 10. It was like somebody pulled a switch. She was still exercising. She never ate junk food; but still she gained weight. Finally, at the encouragement of a friend, she started drinking her dinner 4 nights per week. Her drink of choice was not wine, but rather a vegetable smoothie she made with her new juicer. 

She still ate whatever she wanted for breakfast and lunch, and we still went out on date nights, 3 nights a week (one of the luxuries of having both children in or nearly in college). In 6 weeks she was back to wearing her old jeans. I like scales; however, according to my wife, nothing feels so successful as being able to wear your old jeans.


As an orthopedic surgeon, I have seen many patients come in with significant weight loss, upon questioning their success; it is almost always one change that had led to the most results. For some, it is cutting out all breads, for others it’s cutting out all junk food. One person, who lost over 40 pounds, said, “I just paid attention to everything that went into my mouth!” 

For myself, I swim 3 days a week with some good buddies. They push me way out of my exercise comfort zone for about an hour. I have come to realize that everybody’s “1 thing” is different. Your appetite is like your thumb print, everyone’s is unique. It is also okay to try and fail in finding your “1 thing." Think of it as feedback, not failure. Something will eventually unlock your 10-pound loss. Additionally, it is okay if your “1 thing” leads to 2, 3 and 4 things. Hey, the snowball effect happens with weight gain, why not let it happen with weight loss?


When people notice you lost your “just 10”, be sure to tell them it was because you found, “just 1.”


Good luck and good health!

Blog written by Scott K. Forman, MD
Dr. Scott Forman is a board certified orthopedic surgeon whose specialty interests include sports medicine of the knee, shoulder,...