July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

For those wanting to learn about and follow the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Program. You can also join our monthly weigh-ins.

Moderators: JeffN, f1jim, Heather McDougall, carolve

July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby Mark Cooper » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:17 am

A very warm welcome to the July 2020 Weigh-In thread for Dr. McDougall's Maximum Weight Loss Program!

This is a weekly weigh-in group for those wanting to follow the Maximum Weight Loss (MWL) program. MWL is a minimally processed starch-based diet that is low in fat, low in calorie density and low in added sugars and salt. MWL is the simplest, easiest, most effective path to achieve your weight management and health goals.

Please familiarize yourself with the MWL Guidelines and the MWL 10-Point Checklist. These serve as the textbook for this group, and represent the program we will follow exclusively within this group. The accountability and support we provide is in understanding and implementing these guidelines. If there is any confusion or question on any issue, just ask and Jeff, Wildgoose, or I will answer.

Regarding the book, The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss; while the book is helpful, it was updated with the guidelines provided in the January 2005 newsletter and has been further condensed into the MWL 10-Point Checklist, which together provide the most current program information. You do not need to buy the book.

Weight loss is an outcome contingent on behaviors; to change that outcome, it is necessary to change those behaviors. The most effective behaviors for achieving healthy, sustainable weight loss are outlined in the MWL 10-Point Checklist. In this group, our focus is on bringing our behaviors into adherence with the MWL 10-Point Checklist, not just our weight change from one week to the next. While we do recommend participating in the weekly weigh-in and reporting your weight change (up or down), the MWL program is not about rapid weight loss, but rather establishing a pattern of behavior and a way of living that produces steady, healthy, and lasting weight loss.

Weigh-ins are on Friday; participants have until noon pacific time (19:00 UTC) on Saturday to post a report of their result for the week. Reports posted outside that window of time won't be included in the weekly summary. If you choose to participate in the weekly weigh-ins, please post your report in the following format -

Weight change +/- in lbs
Points from the MWL Checklist where I succeeded this week
Points from the MWL Checklist that need greater attention
General impressions & observations / resources to share / sources of excitement / requests for input & support

Please post a new report each week. All group members are encouraged to post regardless of whether they have a gain, loss or no change to report.

Our goal is for you to learn the program, enjoy the food and change your lifestyle. The average weight loss at the McDougall 10-Day Live-in Program is 3.5 lbs in 7 days; the first week is when the majority of people have their largest weekly weight loss. The average over time is about 1% of your current weight.

This thread is intended for the mutual support of all who wish to participate. We encourage members of the group to converse openly with each other.

To anyone considering joining the group - there is only one requirement for joining this thread; participants commit to follow the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss program as defined by the MWL Guidelines and the MWL 10-Point Checklist. We don't expect perfection, because making these changes in behavior is extremely difficult; however, the intent of participation for the group is important - are you willing to make an honest attempt to follow the guidelines as intended, and keep trying to work toward improvements when you are struggling? If so, you are in the right place, no matter what your starting point is, and how much (or little) success you may feel you're having at the moment. Intentionally planning NOT to follow the guidelines, or not attempting to make changes in the appropriate behaviors when needed, however, doesn't serve the individual participant well, nor is it good for the group as a whole.

If you feel you can benefit from this group, please do jump aboard, just be sure to review the information in this introduction, and post below to introduce yourself. For all our returning members, give yourself a pat on the back for continuing to show up and put in the work! I can't promise that it will be easy, but I DO promise that it is worth it. I will do my very best to be present here periodically throughout the week to welcome new members, respond to questions, and share resources; thank you so much to Jeff and Wildgoose who have volunteered to help out and jump in when they are able.

Our continuing focus is on taking action in accordance with the following ten points -

A 10-Point Checklist for Maximum Weight Loss

  1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit.
  2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert.
  3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. This includes gourmet sugars and salts, too. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them.
  4. Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood).
  5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy).
  6. Eliminate any added oil.
  7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e., bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit.
  8. Don't drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages).
  9. Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until you are comfortably full. Don't starve yourself and don't stuff yourself.
  10. Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily (i.e., brisk walking).

Your plate should look like this -Image For example,

I strongly recommend using the MWL 10-Point Checklist on at least a weekly (or daily) basis to bring to your attention the areas that may hinder your progress. The more you are willing to use it in your own life, the more success you are likely to have.

An essential resource for everyone to review is Jeff Novick's presentation on the principle of calorie density -

Calorie Density: How To Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer

Watching this video is one of the best ways to come to a clear understanding of the concepts embodied in the MWL program, and it will likely answer MANY questions and help alleviate confusion.

Please also note this important advice -
JeffN wrote:The fundamental basic principle of the MWL Program and the principles of calorie density is "whenever hungry, eat until comfortably full of the recommended foods." Because of this, there is no reason for anyone to feel hungry when following our guidelines. The recommended foods are minimally processed starches, fruits and vegetables. The most satiety, short term and long term comes from minimally processed starches and to keep the calorie density low, have them with some non-starchy vegetables. Remember, we do not have to figure out if it is true hunger, appetite, craving, etc. However, to be successful, you have to prepare for success and make sure you have availability of minimally processed starches throughout the day.

At the 10-Day program, the snack room is full of veggies (cherry tomatoes, baby carrots), fruits (apples, oranges) and starches (regular hummus, roasted red pepper hummus, potatoes, Split pea soup, Black bean soup, and Lentil Couscous soup). People choose from both the starches and fruits/vegetables. Choosing just vegetables or fruit will not be enough for most people to feel satiated. if you experience cravings for unhealthy foods, you can beat these cravings by choosing healthy foods to eat and knowing that these cravings will eventually pass and stop. However, you can not beat your biology (hunger) and your biology/hunger will eventually win.

In addition to participating here, I would highly recommend you all consider starting a journal in the My Daily Menus & Journals forum. These journals can be really helpful in keeping track of your progress over time and they also help other members to learn from your experiences.

If you are in need of recipe ideas, the recipe section of Dr. McDougall's website has a category for MWL, filled with delicious recipes from Alu Gobi to Zucchini Corn Salad. If you prefer something extremely easy and affordable, try Jeff's SNAP meal template. If you would like to share recipes in this thread -

  • Please do not post or recommend a recipe unless you yourself have made it and tried it.
  • Only post recipes that conform to the MWL guidelines.
  • If you have adapted a recipe to meet the MWL guidelines, please clearly list any needed adaptations.

This month's first weigh-in is on Friday, July 3, 2020.

I wish you all a successful and health-supporting month!
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Mark Cooper
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July 2020 MWL Group Resources (for easy access)

Postby Mark Cooper » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:21 am

This section will be updated throughout the month with links to useful resources, as they are added to the thread.

MWL 10-Point Checklist
MWL Program Guidelines
Calorie Density: How To Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer
MWL Recipes
SNAP Meal Template
1- 28 oz Can No Salt Added Tomatoes
1- 16 oz Bag Frozen Mixed Veggies (any type)
1- 4 oz Frozen Green Leafy Vegetables (collard, turnip, mustard, etc)
1- Around 200-250 Calories of a Cooked Starch (Brown rice, Yam, Potato, WW Pasta, etc)
1- Seasoning (to your preference)

200- 250 Calories Of Starch options
~ 1.25 to 1.5 Medium Potatoes
~ 1.25 to 1.5 Cups (Cooked) Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
~ 1 to 1.25 Cups (Cooked) Brown Rice

The Road to Success: Creating Healthy Habits
The Pleasure Trap: Dr. Doug Lisle at TedxFremont
How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind with Dr. Doug Lisle
Dr. Doug Lisle on The Ego Trap
Dr. Doug Lisle: The Story of Willpower – What it Is & How it Works
Dr. Lisle's Three Top Tips for Dietary Success
Jeff Novick, RD - Nutrition & Health FAQ: Answers To The Most Asked Questions
A Review of the Rules & Guidelines for Reading Labels
Passive Overconsumption: The Unintended Intake of Excess Calories
Why We Hit Plateaus and What We Can Do About Them
Amy's Giant List of Links to Dr. Lisle's Lectures
Last edited by Mark Cooper on Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby AnnetteW » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:24 am

Once again, Thanks Mark for guiding us each month. I'm already over my "greens before each meal" thing, I don't want to dislike my greens and I will if I have to force them. July is definitely going to be my challenge month and I'm ready to take on the challenge. I will have so much company at my home which also means tons of food in the house to feed everyone. I'm grateful that I'm back on track as that will help encourage me along. MWL will just be how I eat, nothing more, nothing less. I will be baking lots of bread as that's my thing...got loaves started already today to start freezing away, to feed the hungry hoard.

On to July....
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby Mark Cooper » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:22 pm

AnnetteW - Glad to have you forging ahead into July! I think enjoying the food is an essential component for making the program work, so I definitely wouldn't force myself to eat anything that I don't enjoy. This month's challenges are a great opportunity to practice the fundamental principles of MWL, build a solid plan for navigating the obstacles that will inevitably arise, and emerge with resilience. Enjoy all your company, I'm sure that will make for a fun and exciting July. :D
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby AtlantaCreole » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:38 am

I read through your post. How does a person join?
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby Mark Cooper » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:45 am

AtlantaCreole - Just by posting here. :) I'll add you to the group!
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby Debra140 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:47 am

I would like to join the group... not sure if just posting here is all I need to do our not?
This morning, before reading my emails, I was thinking to myself that I had to find a weight loss program that I could sustain. The only program that has ever worked (temporarily) for me is Atkins.... but I prefer a vegan lifestyle and have been 95% plant based for over 10 years now. My weight is a constant source of sadness, stress and shame. My whole life, not a day has gone by where I didn’t beat myself up about it... and yet the scale just keeps creeping up and up. Thank you for your invitation to join. I have about 40 pounds that I would like to lose and would appreciate some help, guidance and support.
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby Mark Cooper » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 am

Debra140 wrote:Hello!
I would like to join the group... not sure if just posting here is all I need to do our not?
Yes, just posting here is fine. I'll add you to the group. Welcome!
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby PonysPlants » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 am

Hello all,

Looking forward to doing this in July! I’ve lost about 35lbs over the last year but want to lose the 20lbs I’ve got left before my 40th at the beginning of next year. But more than that I’m hoping to learn the methods that will help me keep it off and be healthy for life. I have dabbled with the MWL method in the past but keep letting the higher fat plant foods sneak back in!

Is posting on here all I need to do to join the group?
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby rkburcham » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:51 am

Hi all!
I've been following the starch solution for a few weeks and have lost a few pounds and feel much better. However, I recently did some traveling and have not stuck to the guidelines. I'm ready to fine tune and follow the program more closely. Best wishes to everyone in the July group!
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby VikkiA » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:53 am

Hello All,

I just wanted to check that all I need to do to join the group is post here?

Thank you
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby Growler » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:58 am

Would like to join the group. :D
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby TessCC » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:00 am

Hello everyone!

I'm looking forward to this challenge with high anticipation! I've recently switched to a vegan diet and started exercising again, but the scale hasn't bussed much yet.

I'm hoping this more structured approach will change that. Time for an online grocery order (run out of fresh fruit & veg, and nearly out of everything else. :| )

Good health and happiness, everyone!
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby Tyler » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:07 am

Hi. I want to lose 140 more pounds. I have lost 42 pounds so far. I have been following the whole food plant-based no SOS for 9 years now with varying degrees of success and failure. Weight loss has stopped and I need to keep losing more weight. I eat too much food. I never cheat with animal products, but have lately been having a processed fruit and nut bar which is not helpful. I know better. I want to tighten up my control on what I'm eating so I can be more successful. I've had a heart attack in 2009 and I am a type 2 diabetic taking insulin for 30 years. I do exercise on a stationary bike for about 30-40 minutes a day. I also have fatty liver, which may be the root of my problems. I have lost hundreds of pounds in the past and have always re-gained the weight lost plus more. I am hoping to do better this time.
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Re: July 2020 McDougall MWL Weigh-In Group

Postby NinaDj » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:17 am

Good morning!

Perfect timing and I would love to join this group. I definitely do not eat enough starch so I tend to binge. I've been plant based for a few years and enjoy eating this way but need to get rid of my "diet" mentality.

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