The 30-Second Exercise That Can Help You Lose Weight

If you have read my blog for more than a single minute, you know that I am not about gimmicks, tricks, and silly methods to lose weight.

However, I am committed to giving you tangible ways to motivate yourself and keep yourself on track when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance.

Hence the title of my post. While there is no 30-second physical exercise that can help you lose weight (sadly), there is a 30-second mental exercise that can offer you some benefit.

The following video is only 2 minutes long. Please watch it and then keep reading.

Okay, now you see what I’m talking about. It is so tempting to go about the process of losing weight by focusing only on the external things. We often freely answer questions such as how am I going to lose weight, how much should I exercise, and how much water should I drink, and forget to consider last question that I asked you. Like I shared in the video, I really do believe that the final question is the crux of the 30-second exercise.

What’s your answer to the final question and do you see why it is important? Diane

37 thoughts on “The 30-Second Exercise That Can Help You Lose Weight

  1. Diane Carbonell says:

    Absolutely! I totally agree with the need for constant vigilance. It sounds depressing to some people when they hear that phrase, but to me, going back into a life of obesity would be a far more depressing proposition.

    • Karen P says:

      I totally agree! Choose wellness or chose less well. Loved your vblog Diane. I keep careful watch on what does and doesn’t work on my blog. Even at 14 months of weight maintence, I still sharpen my skills and planning. Every day. It makes a difference long term.

      • Diane Carbonell says:

        Even after 15 years of maintenance, I still am careful and diligent. That part never ends or else I run the very real risk of regaining my weight, which is that last thing I want to do. You are doing great at maintenance – 14 months is impressive!!

  2. Contemplative Fitness says:

    These are ALL great questions. I love that you suggest them. My whole shtick — my whole career in fitness is based on questions, not answers. I continually challenge people to ask themselves questions, rather than provide them with answers they will soon forget.


  3. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    Diane – GREAT video – love seeing & hearing you too! As you know, I am already OK in all 3 places but people do need to ask these questions of themselves! Thx for sharing!

  4. Babbalou says:

    I really like this Diane, I think it is a very helpful exercise. As you know I’ve been maintaining a 30 pound weight loss for a number of years now, so nothing as impressive as the 150 pound loss you’ve successfully maintained! Although I did finally lose the weight in my 50’s – so post-menopause – which made it just a bit more challenging. For me, the key to maintainance, the area that’s posed the most challenges and also caused the occasional small gain during these maintenance years boils down to one thing – life in maintainance needs to pretty closely resemble life during active weightloss. The healthy habits we hopefully develop as we lose weight should carry us through to the finish. In my experience the people who think, “Ah! Now that I’ve lost weight I can…(insert whatever eating habit or lifestyle that caused the weight gain in the first place) and I’ll be fine!” are the people who get into trouble. I also see great value in sitting down regularly in a calm, quiet moment and thinking about things – so very much like your suggestion to ask yourself the three questions every month. It was during a moment like this that I figured out how I’d finally, successfully, lose my excess weight – I realized I was working as an analyst and decided maybe I should use those analytic skills to figure out what would work for me and what wouldn’t – so much more successful than madly trying every fad diet idea that came down the pike!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Absolutely! If we try and “go back” to our regular life after we lose weight, we often gain weight because our old life was often plagued by bad habits that aided our weight gain in the first place. I often tell people there should be a relatively seamless transition between weight loss and weight maintenance, especially if you lose weight by changing bad habits and adapting a new, healthier lifestyle.

  5. Jill @ a Girl in Progress says:

    Great post Diane! For me, the biggest thing holding me back (and this may sound weird) is BOTH the fear of failure, but also the fear of success. Sometimes, it feels so odd and uncomfortable to be at a healthy weight and wearing smaller sized clothes that I don’t know how to live in my own skin. It’s like being at a fancy party and not knowing how to behave. I’ve just so rarely been at a healthy weight in my life that when I am there, it feels strange and I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m still working through that issue! Great post as usual.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      It’s not weird at all. In fact I have a section in my book where I talk about both the fear of failure and success. It is a strange phenomena and something that people who don’t struggle with their weight do not really understand!

  6. Maura says:

    Great post. At my current point in this journey, I feel i need to change the 3rd question to “What can I do right now to help move me along?” The ‘right now’ part of that is critical. And if I can’t come up with a doable action, then I make your 3rd question my 4th. What’s holding me back. And it’s usually me and bunches and bunches of excuses.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      That’s wonderful! It is vital that you individualize this to fit with where you are and what you need to succeed. You are not alone with the excuse thing – I’m right there with you and have to fight it just like everyone else!

  7. Dr. J says:

    That was wonderful, Diane! And beautifully presented!

    This may be peripheral, but what about when someone has a food addiction? I wish they would ask themselves to get some outside help for that person in the mirror.

  8. Blessedmama says:

    I do see the importance of each of those questions. They deal with the honesty that we are allowing ourselves with ourselves, if that makes any sense. I love the video and would love to see more of those!

      • Babbalou says:

        In general I don’t watch videos on the internet BUT I do watch and love your videos, Diane. For one thing, it’s fun to see you “in person” and hear your voice. And for another thing, your message is always a good one. So my opinion is to continue the videos, perhaps more often (although I don’t know if they’re a lot of work for you or not so bad).

  9. Tanvee says:

    Hi Diane, great video. These questions are so important, I think revisiting these every now and then helps me keep moving forward. I’m in my maintenance mode but have to keep revisiting question 2 and 3 very often so that I keep improving and I don’t move in the wrong direction ever

  10. Kerstin says:

    I am not even at the beginning of my weight loss journey, it’s a path I see clearly in front of me but my anxieties are firmly holding me back from taking the first few steps (I have taken one or two, but quickly went back to where I started). I have suffered from existential fears (wars, death, illness) ever since I was a little girl and food is the one things that calms me and gives me a sense of safety. As a result I provoke with my overeating and resulting obesity that which I fear the most: illness. It is completely illogical behavior and I know in my mind that the sense of safety that food gives me is an illusion. This year I turned 50 and I am convincing myself that it is too late, that I have done too much damage and I subsequently spend my days living in a haze of doom & gloom scenarios that are temporarily eased by food. Normally I don’t even like talking about any of this but your 3rd question is making it clear to me that I do need to find a way to face up to my fears and start addressing the roots of my overeating rather than just treat the symptoms. Thank you for keeping it real and personal.

  11. Sally says:


    I enjoyed your video and I think the majority of us will look in the mirror to see what is holding us back. Habits are so hard to break and for me some of my not so “healthy” ones definitely hold me back and are what I need to break to move forward in the best way possible. Thanks.

  12. Lee says:

    I am new to your blog and I am so glad that this post was not what I thought it was going to be when I saw the title. Your right the mental side of things is so important and going back over things if for nothing else but to re iterate to ourselves that what we are doing is the right path is so important.

    Great post thanks lee

  13. Jason says:

    Aw darn I was looking forward to a 30 second physical exercise! Still, mental ones seem to be just as important – if you haven’t got your mindset right then it’s difficult to lose weight anyway.

  14. Nancy says:

    Just found your website and love reading about your journey. I have just started my weight loss journey and moving forward to become healthy. Big fan of yours and would love for you to visit my website, I am a writer and the former and food editor. Staying on the course everyday and you are an inspiration to those of us on the journey.

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