Choosing the right monitoring metric can help you lose weight and become healthier

Gary Tomak, a member of the Desert Sands Unified School District Board of Education, wanted to be healthy by his son’s wedding. Adequately motivated by the reason, Tomak registered himself to an ongoing health initiative coordinated by Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert campus. And since enrolling in the programme, he has lost 55 pounds or 25 kilograms and lowered his blood pressure. He hopes that he will be much healthier at his son’s wedding.

About The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative Healthy Lifestyle Challenge:

It’s an ongoing challenge open to any Coachella Valley residents. Hundreds of participants have already registered in the programme and slowly know the importance of healthy lifestyle and normal weight. To participate, residents track their physical activity on the health initiative’s website, according to university behind the initiative.

For instance to get back to a healthy body, much lighter than his previous appearance, Tomak took up biking, swimming and walking, and the motivation to be fitter at his son’s wedding, made him get a healthier body.

To motivate the participanst the challenge, puts the right numbers in front of the participants — steps, distance, time expanded and calories burned etc. To be honest such numbers are much better than counting number of pounds lost.

Praising the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, Tomak says that the programme helped him lose 10 belt sizes, reduce his blood pressure by almost 30 points and “bragging rights for the Desert Sands Unified School District and 200 team members who joined the challenge.”


Carefully designed Healthy Lifestyle challenges like the above one, have found to be quite effective in pushing people to a healthy lifestyle. In addition, those programmes which are targeted at communities rather than individuals, help too.
Another important variable in any weight loss or Lifestyle change initiative is to choose the right monitoring metric. For instance, counting the number of pounds one has lost, most of the time makes a person desperate and start looking for short cuts. Rather than counting the pounds lost; one should count, the number of steps, metres and kilometers walked or run. In the same way, instead of counting the number calories consumed; one can count the number of calories saved for poor kid or person in Africa (food is a limited resource, if a person limits his consumption; he/she automatically leaves the food for someone else).

Another important thing to understand while beginning any fitness or weight loss regimen, is to see things qualitatively, instead of quantitatively. So, telling oneself that “I’ll be fitter, healthier, and more energetic in one month,” than what I was in the past, is better than saying oneself – “I will be 10 pounds lighter in one month”.

Weight loss or Lifestyle change is a transition to a better self. Better health, Better energy and better everything. It’s not about the number of pounds lost. Our bodies are designed to carry an optimum weight, which is also called ideal body weight. Just focusing on getting healthier, fit will slowly take you closer to your optimum weight. If you want to count – you can count – steps, metres, miles, food saved for Africa and so on.

So make sure not to allow desperation creep in.