A diet pill that ‘magically’ allows you to lose ten pounds in 7 days? A weight loss meal plan that promises to blast fat while burning calories? A ‘lose weight fast!’ brand that claims you can continue to eat whatever you want as long as you buy their fat burning supplements? Don’t believe the hype. While the idea of instant weight loss may be tempting to try, it’s not realistic—nor is it healthy. Lose weight the right way—the old school way, with the 70/30 strategy for success. It works every time.

The 70/30 Rule Broken Down

Wphotodune-6474159-go-the-extra-mile--xse live in the age of ‘instant’ everything. Anything you want in life (from a date for Friday night to a refrigerator full of groceries) can be yours. Well, almost anything. Your body is designed to be fit, strong and resilient—so what are you fueling it with? Living off of processed foods (and then consuming processed ‘weight loss’ foods) won’t get you to a smaller waistline.

You know what will? The 70/30 rule.

Here’s how it goes: weight loss is 70 percent the foods you eat, and 30 percent exercise. Therefore, it’s not scientifically possible to eat everything you want and lose weight—even with a ‘magic pill’ in place. Lose weight the honest way—with a food and exercise plan that makes sense.

Your Old School Meal Plan

Eliminate gluten, artificial flavors and dyes to start. Then, throw out most cans of food from your pantry, and anything else in a bag or box (crackers, chips, etc.) When hungry, head to the fridge—not the cupboard because let’s face it—that’s where the real food is. Eat less bread for more greens, and skip the soda for a smoothie (packed with flaxseeds and spinach) instead. Donuts or bagels for breakfast? Scramble up some eggs along with a side of fresh fruit. Fuel up on protein at lunchtime, and make as meals ahead as you can—that way, you’re more likely to stay on track.

Exercise Equals Weight Loss (There’s No Magic Pills For This One)

runner Since exercise makes up for 30 percent of weight loss, it’s time to get moving! If working out is a new concept to you, or it’s been a while since you’ve set foot in a gym, the goal is…mini-steps. After all, achieving a healthy weight is a way of life, not the destination. No matter how large of a goal you may have (to lose fifty pounds, to diminish your sugar addiction) nothing is outside of the rim of possibility. Reaching your goal is about taking the first step. Step one leads to step two. Focus your attention only on your workout for the day—not how long it will take you to reach your target weight.  In the words of Martha Beck, “If you find yourself getting nervous stop and relax for three full breaths.  Then take one small step, then another.  That is how people get to the top of Everest.”

When you focus on a 70/30 approach to weight loss, there’s no room for failure. As a lifestyle and not simply the destination, losing weight is just as much learning how to treat your body with kindness and respect as it is losing inches and pounds. Eat right, exercise and be kind to your body. It will reward you in every imaginable way!