1. You will work up to and take 7,000 – 10,000 steps per day.
A. Set your benchmark with how many steps a day you take when you start the program.
B. Increase the number of steps you take by 250 per day during each week (or more if you can), until you reach 7,000 per day. (So, if you are taking 1000 steps a day when you start, you will take 1250 steps each day for a week. The next week you will increase to 1500 steps per day for the week, and so on.)
2. You will set a weight goal to start, based on current weight, age, gender, and height. You will never fluctuate more than five pounds from your achieved goal weight. Here’s where to calculate your ideal body weight. Regardless, what goal weight you initially set is entirely up to you.
3. Calculate how many calories you can eat in a day and lose weight. Here’s where to calculate calories.
A. You will not eat less than 1500 calories per day if you are an average height woman; 1800 if you are an average height man.
B. The best goal is to not lose more than 2 pounds per week from reducing what you eat, depending on how much weight you have to lose. The ideal goal is 3A above. If you want to lose more, move more.
4. What’s in your kitchen:
A. No unhealthy food in the kitchen. Always have healthy food staples in your kitchen that you shop for no more than once a week. The Thin Food List comes out weekly and gives you some recommendations.
B. Appliances and gadgets will be at a minimum. Here is a list of the only appliances and food preparation tools that you should have in your kitchen.
C. No cookbooks or magazines or recipes unless they are part of an official or unofficial diet and can be used to make meals/snacks within the time allotted. (See Rule 6.)
5. Eat only in one of three designated locations: Your kitchen, in a break area at work, and in a restaurant if you can follow the Rules and still eat out.
A. Eat sitting down.
B. Do not watch TV or read or engage in anything other than conversation while you eat. If you eat alone, reading is allowed.
6. You will eat three meals per day and three snacks per day, on a regular schedule.
A. Preparation for each meal will take no longer than 15 minutes for breakfast, 10 minutes for lunch, and 20 minutes for dinner.
B. Snack preparation will take no longer than 5 minutes per snack.
C. Each meal will take you at least 20 minutes to consume.
D. Each snack will take you 10 minutes to consume.
7. Every meal will be a balanced meal, including a fruit, a vegetable, grain, and low fat protein. Low fat dairy is optional.
A. If you choose to lose weight through an official diet, be sure that the diet promotes eating balanced meals. If you chose to lose weight on your own, be sure to learn which foods give you the most bang for your buck – good nutrients and those that make you feel fuller, longer.
B. Buy and eat only food that you can and will eat for the rest of your life. Don’t buy food that tastes bad to you, don’t buy food that is loaded with unhealthy ingredients.
C. You will shop for groceries once a week, no more. This means planning every meal and snack for the entire week before you go to the grocery store. Buy only the food you need to complete the weekly plan. See the Weekly Thin Lists.
8. You will consume, on average, eight glasses of pure water per day.
9. Estimating that you sleep eight hours per day, and work nine hours per day, you have seven hours of free time. You will be active (doing some activity that requires active movement) for two of those seven hours to start. Increase this until you are active for five of the seven hours. This does not include food preparation or eating. It does not include video games, or television, unless you can do either while moving.
10. You will not collect recipes, read food blogs, belong to gourmet clubs, social clubs where food is emphasized, watch food television, or engage in Facebook or other social media activities or activities in general that are related to food. If you have friends that only do food related activities with you, minimize your time with them for at least the first six months of following the Thin Rules.