Probably the worst climbing movie of all time, Vertical Limit features the mediocre Chris O’Donnell at his finest.

At one point he turns to one of his fellow climbers after breaking his index finger and asks if they will reset it with a quick tug.

With perfect timing, a heckler from the audience yelled out, “Pull my finger!!!”  And that was the moment that defined the movie.

The entire audience treated the picture as a comedy and everyone was having a good time.

Taking a moment to consider your food can also change how you eat.

I’ve been doing nothing but think about food and how much I miss it but it’s gotten easier because I’m focusing more on how drinking a glass of water or a small container of Jello makes me feel in the moment. Because I’m not gluttonous about drinking water all day followed by broth and Jello to cap off the day, I’m more focused on how whatever I do eat will effect me. And those effects are immediate. Thinking long term makes sense but for me, the trick is to think about food short term. This container of Jello is enough for right now. And that’s part of what we’re trying to carry forward from the “induction” into “just enough.”

To that end, the purpose of these first 2 weeks is to shrink the stomach:

  1. Week 1; Flush the body completely with fluids.
    1. Water, broth, 100% apple juice and sugar free Jello have been the magic combination for me.
  2. Week 2; Stay on liquefied foods to continue what you started in Week 1, which is to reset when your body feels full.
    1.  Liquefied food includes anything you can suck through a straw.
  3. Week 3 and beyond; use 1 tool and 1 trick to control portions and change the way you think about eating.
    1. The tool is a simple divided plate such (seen below in Figure 1).
    2. The trick is to simply do 2 things when you’re eating:
      1. Put vegetables in the largest cell of the plate and then fruit (or additional vegetable) and your protein (or whatever else you have decided to eat) in the other 2 small cells.
      2. Tell yourself you can eat anything you want as long as you eat the vegetables from the large cell first and that after you are finished with your plate that your meal is over.
divided picnic plate

Figure 1: standard divided plate.


This is really the whole plan. Unless you are training for an Iron Man and need 10,000 calories a day, most people will keep their stomach at a reasonable size and eat only what they need by following this rule (see any portion control diatribe for a first hand testimonial).

From going through behavioral workshops that involve planning change, I know that individuals have to find what works specifically for them.

And one important element of this the way we tend to use tools (maybe you’ll use portion control Tupperware containers) but find and use a simple tool.

Changing your thinking is based on the appearance and the practicality of the tool.

But once you’ve done it, the goal is to permanently change how you think about food.

My doctor lost a few hundred pounds doing this and then told me about it.

He said 2 things that coached me into doing it as well:

  1. “I knew I could do just about anything for a week.” (Referring to the Clear Fluid phase)
  2. “Its hard to think of anything more practical than eating from a divided plate. Simple!”

And then I was in.

My wife and I are doing it together and it did take some convincing for her to subscribe but so far so good.

This log will continue on so, stay tuned and let me know if you have any tips or troubles for the greater good!