Summary: WWS is the acronym for Walk, Water, Sleep, and a simple way for people to remember the fundamentals and foundation of any successful weight loss program. At Strength Matters, we require adoption of WWS, in accordance with the Triple Seven Rule, prior to taking on any nutritional program that supplements your training.
If you’re looking to lose weight the right way in 2019, this is the article for you.
I’m going to share with you the single most important formula Strength Matters uses to help people lose weight, without killing themselves in the gym or kitchen. No countless hours on the treadmill. No meal planning. We don’t even talk about food. In fact, most people struggling with nutritional programming fall back in love with food after they apply this formula.
The formula is so simple, you might dismiss it straight away.
For those of you who absorb and apply this information, it will be life-changing. It’s a formula that consistently helps people lose between 15 and 20 pounds in as little as 60 days – and keep it off forever. And it’s 100% free.
WWS and the Triple Seven Rule is advice you’ll be able to implement immediately. And it’s advice that I consider to be far more important to your overall health and longevity than just the resultant weight or fat loss.
My goal today is to explain WWS and why it is the foundation for (most) successful weight loss plans.
Excellence is a Habit
Habits are the small decisions we make and actions we perform every day. Researchers at Duke University say that habits account for about 40% of our behaviors on any given day.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Will Durant
In our mind, the key to long-term weight loss success was to create a system that allowed people to develop and stick to healthy habits for the long haul. People will go to great lengths to ensure that they have a smart exercise program and nutritional plan, but they often forget about or abandon their walking, drinking, and sleeping habits.
“Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are is a result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits. What you repeatedly do (i.e., what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray. Everything from procrastination and productivity to strength training and nutrition – starts with better habits. When you learn to transform your habits, you can transform your life.” -James Clear 1
Research into better habits shows time and time again that you need to start with an incredibly small habit. Once we start with an incredibly small habit, we maintain that habit for a period of time. Once we have a period of consistency, we increase that habit in a very small way. A habit that’s so easy, you can’t say no to it. Would you say no to an extra 500 steps per day? An extra glass of water? How about an extra 10 minutes of sleep?
The Power of 10,000 Steps
While the World Health Organization, the American Heart Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services have all adopted 10,000 steps as a daily activity recommendation, it did not begin as a science-backed concept.
Ten-thousand steps is a completely arbitrary figure, one that originates from a successful Japanese marketing campaign in the mid-1960s. The campaign was designed to promote the world’s first wearable step-counter, a device called manpo-kei, which translates as “10,000-step meter.”
For many people, this can be a daunting figure at first. We know that. That is why our advice is to work with what you have first and just add 500 steps.
We are certainly not telling people to go from 0 to 10,000. It just isn’t practical.
However, we know that if you’re taking fewer than 5,000 steps a day on average, this can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of bone loss, muscle atrophy, and diabetes.
Professor David Bassett of the University of Tennessee states that 6,000 steps and above gets you into the range that studies show protects you against cardiovascular disease. 2
From an athletic perspective, people who have poor cardiovascular capacity tend to be poor walkers. We believe a foundation of movement from walking will improve cardiovascular capacity.
We see it time and time again: People who perform poorly at cardiovascular testing (running, rowing, biking, etc.) all have one thing in common – they walk less than 5,000 steps a day.
Simply stated, walking builds a strong cardiovascular engine. By improving our aerobic capacity by walking more, we improve our ability to perform better at cardiovascular exercise, and exercise in general. Walking sets the foundation for cardiovascular capacity as well as for strength training. A stronger, more efficient heart leads to improved strength performance. It’s science. You can do more volume in less time and recover faster.
Walking more primes you to perform better, not to mention improves your overall health and longevity. Are you sold on walking 10,000 steps yet?
The Magic of Water
I’d like to start with some surprising statistics about water:
- 75% of all Americans are dehydrated.
- The average human drinks just 2.5 cups of water daily.
Water is necessary for human survival. In fact, it’s possible to survive up to 21 days without food, but only a matter of days without water. Your body needs to consume a significant amount of water each day to function properly. Water makes up roughly 60% of your bodyweight.
Drinking water is essential for your body to effectively use the fat you eat as well as what your body has stored. Water is part of the chemical equation used to burn fat as fuel.
The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules break down triglycerides (fats) to essentially create energy. Without hydrolysis, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.
When the percentage of body water changes, it has significant effects throughout the body, including on athletic performance. Dehydration of just 1% of body weight is enough to reduce endurance, strength, and cognitive performance.
An estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Chronic dehydration reduces the amount of essential amino acids that your body needs to produce a natural chemical called melatonin, and its creation is linked to a natural circadian rhythm – that is, a normal sleeping and waking schedule.
Drinking an appropriate amount of water literally affects the quality of every hour in your day. Water is much more essential to your body than food. Yet, it can be a neglected aspect of a successful health and fitness plan, just like the importance of walking is often overlooked.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep and sleep quality is essential to health and survival. The average adult gets about 7 hours of sleep per night while 33% of the population gets fewer than 6.5 hours each night.
Studies suggest that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night gain almost twice as much weight over a 6-year period as people who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night. And excessive sleep isn’t necessarily better: Those who sleep more than 9 hours per night have similar body composition outcomes as those who sleep less than 6 hours.
Sleep quality doesn’t just affect body fat. Studies also show that getting less than 6.5 hours of sleep each night means that you’re at greater risk of heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. In principle, lack of sleep affects all daily life functions: Mood, cognition, memory, athletic performance, and ability to lose weight.
Further studies show that going 24 hours without sleep is similar to performing with a blood alcohol level of 0.10%. Ever tried working out while drunk? 3
What is WWS and the Triple Seven Rule?
WWS was designed for all our clients to remember the fundamentals quickly. It is a daily reminder of what they can do to support their own health and longevity. To supplement WWS, we use the Triple Seven Rule. It’s a simple way to remember how much to do of each (at least!), each day:
Walk – 7 days a week, take 7,000 steps
Water – 7 days a week, drink 7 glasses of water
Sleep – 7 days a week, get 7 hours of sleep
Managing the WWS formula comes before any exercise or nutritional programming because, without it, success in reaching any fitness goal is inconsistent, slow, and temporary. If any of these three things are off, we see problems across the board, be it with weight loss, athletic performance, or just the ability to cope with daily life.
WWS is the foundation of the Strength Matters System of Athletic Development, and like any foundation, if there are cracks, performance will suffer.Managing the WWS formula comes before any exercise or nutritional programming. Click To Tweet
WWS and Newton’s Third Law of Motion
In his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, first published in 1687, Isaac Newton wrote his third law of motion which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This law can be applied in many different ways, but I want to focus on one specific comparison, and that has to do with our journey to health and fitness.
Think of a balance scale. On one side of the scale is a pan for all of the positive healthy habits we develop in our lives. On the other side is a pan for all of the negative habits we allow into our lives.
Now, let’s pretend that every one of us has 100 coins divided into the two pans. Some may have a majority on the positive side; some may have a majority on the negative side. Everyone is different in the way their coins are divided.
Our goal is to get as many coins onto the positive side as possible. We do it through goal setting and hard work. Every time we succeed in moving a coin to the positive side (action), one coin is removed from the negative side (equal and opposite reaction). The more positive habits you develop, the more you will see your negative habits disappear. When you make positive progress in your life, you are also leaving behind negative hindrances.
Newton’s law of action and reaction gives us incredible insight into the balance and battle between the positive and negative in our lives. The takeaway from this law is that we should always look for ways to increase our good actions and habits. As you add more and more positive aspects to your life, the negatives will start to decrease without you even thinking about them.
That is the magic of this natural law. If you focus on increasing the positives, you are forcing a decrease in the negatives. By incorporating WWS, you’re adding small positive changes that have a significant carryover effect into other parts of your life.
The biggest change we see when all three WWS habits are maintained is that clients make healthier food choices naturally.
Without even discussing nutrition, clients tell us that they have cut down on candy, chocolate, and other processed food and replaced them with salads, vegetables, and smoothies.
They say that their bodies seem to just crave healthier food and that they no longer have the same desire for past food choices.
It seems Mr. Newton was right with his law.The biggest change we see when all three WWS habits are maintained is that clients make healthier food choices naturally. Click To Tweet
A multitude of factors contribute to a successful weight loss plan and one’s ability to lose fat. While many professionals focus first on nutrition, here at Strength Matters we’ve flipped the model on its head to focus on the fundamental habits of WWS (Walk, Water, Sleep) and the Triple Seven Rule.
This allows us to create a solid foundation that enables clients to implement nutritional programming later, while losing weight in the interim and creating a platform of long-term habit-driven success. By focusing on daily habits and putting the difficult discussion around nutrition on hold, we’ve managed to develop trust and better long-term relationships with our clients to support long-term weight loss strategies.
Every Journey Begins With a Single Step
In every great movie, the hero embarks on a path that promises adventure, challenges, and finally, achievement. Often, the hero finds a guide that takes the hero under their wing and pushes him or her to the limit. Just think, where would Luke be without Yoda? We are the stars of our own movies. And we all need that guide.
When it comes to fitness, a coach can be your guide to movie hero-type success, and your secret weapon. There are so many benefits to having a personal coach. I would go so far as to say that coaching is a prerequisite for achievement. Period.
Applying the Strength Matters System of Athletic Development to achieve a pain-free athletic lifestyle won’t be easy but it’s guaranteed to work if you follow it. And we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
Are you ready to take that first step?
Apply to take our six-week challenge today.
Life’s better as an everyday athlete. ~ James Breese