Michelle and I successfully completed our first eight week cycle of E2M and are now halfway into our second round. We both continue to be very happy with the results. And not just the weight loss. We both feel fitter, stronger, and more healthy overall. It’s been a great way to jolt us out of a pandemic rut and implement some positive new lifestyle habits.
For this second round, we recruited some curious friends to join us. They had a lot of questions. We didn’t have all the answers (trust the process!) but we did have some tip from our first round experience about how you can best set yourself up for E2M success.
Here are our best tips and tricks for getting the most out of E2M:
Do it with a Partner
If at all possible do the program with someone in your household. Each household only pays one time and everyone gets access so why not spread out that cost. This program works but it is not easy. There are going to be days where you are low, mentally or physically, and having that someone nearby to nudge you and keep you track is invaluable. It can also make the meal prep and fasting components a lot easier if there is someone under the same roof to complain to!
If you can’t convince your spouse or partner, then try to recruit a friend as an accountability partner. At some point, I promise you, you are going to need some help. The community around E2M is vibrant and strong and will definitely lend a hand but I’ve found there is no one better than someone familiar to push the right buttons to get you to do the workout.
Trust the Process
You signed up to get the expertise and experience of the program. Don’t question things too much. Be curious but not impudent. Follow the meal plan, do the workouts, drink the water and you’ll see results. Don’t use ignorance, arguments, or questions as an excuse. The meal plans offer plenty of variety. The workouts are easily adaptable. You asked for this. Try it.
Don’t Go Crazy with the Treat Meal
Each week, you are allowed one celebration meal to eat anything you want. Anything. Giant sundae? Sure. Greasy burger? Sure. Glass of wine? Sure.
And that first week, when you are detoxing from sugar, carbs, and diary, the treat meal is like a shining beacon in the distance. Don’t skip it. Enjoy it. It’s a pressure release valve for a week of discipline. It resets your internal motivator. But don’t go too over the top. You will not feel great in the aftermath. Again, enjoy it, but don’t take too much advantage of it. A couple slices of pizza and a beer. Not an entire pie and a six-pack.
Get Temptation Out of the House
This is a tough one for us because we have kids and kids live off snacks but if you know you have certain trigger foods that can cause you to binge on the couch (for me it was peanuts or pretzels) then get them out of the house. At the very least, make them much harder to access. We ended up putting certain snack foods on the shelf in the garage.
You Need a Good Reason
There will be times over the eight weeks where you are questioning why exactly you are punishing yourself like this. Is it really worth it? How will you answer? If you don’t have a strong reason or motivation for transforming your eating or lifestyle habits than you very well might give up or backslide. Think about this before you join. What will keep you going at the low points?
Keep It Simple
A sister tip to ‘trust the process’ is to just keep it simple. One of the big benefits of this program is that you don’t need to count calories or track macros or get an expensive piece of equipment to see real and dramatic results. Don’t overthink it. Turn your brain off and train your body with new stimuli and habits. Don’t plan out elaborate meals. Don’t buy a complete home gym. Stick to the meal plan. Do the prescribed workouts. Follow the schedule. Don’t fight the restrictions, embrace them.
Focus on the Small Positives
Finally, while the program is challenging, it is also rewarding. You are going to slip, even with the lure of a cheat meal. You are going to have bad days where work, or the kids, or just life in general gets in the way of your goals. That’s okay. Just start back up the next day. Don’t let one or two bad days derail the whole cycle.
Is this way, it is better to focus on the process and the overall journey. Find something small. E2M calls them non-scale victories (NSVs). Maybe data motivates you but the fluctuates of weighing yourself get you down. Focus instead on resting heart rate changes. Or total steps. Or total calories burned for a workout. Better yet, make it non-weight related. For me, after an eight-week cycle I was able to fit my wedding ring back on without worrying they’d have to cut it off to remove it. That was a major NSV.
Focus on the positives. Focus on getting chips out of the house. Focus on running that first mile or doing the entire plan for sixty seconds. These little victories are easily forgotten when you hit a speed bump but they are just as momentous and worth celebrating. We have a tendency to better remember the bad times. Make an effort to quickly forget those moments and instead remember the string of days where you stuck to the plan and nailed all your goals.
There are no tricks or shortcuts to E2M and it’s not always easy but it gets easier. It’s not a hack to lose weight or boost fitness, at least not for the long term, but it does work if you follow the program. With the right mindset, you can achieve amazing personal change. Maybe E2M is the first step.