Most people strive to combine business with pleasure, but few think to blend business with weight loss. Scott Davis did, and he's 60 pounds lighter as a result.2011-03-01
Scott is the chief concept officer for Panera Bread, which means he's responsible for overseeing all aspects of our customers' experience at Panera - from the food on our menu to the chairs in our dining rooms. A couple of years ago, he began looking for ways to make nutrition information more available in our bakery-cafes - an undertaking that eventually led to our online Nutrition Calculator and voluntarily posting calories on menu boards in all of our bakery-cafes. It was during this process that he had a revelation.
"I weighed 285 at the time and had tried lots of other diets," admits Scott. "But I realized that all this talk about fat, protein, and carbs is really irrelevant compared to the number of calories you take in."
So Scott adopted a project manager's approach to weight loss. First, he set a budget of reducing his daily calories from 4,000 to 2,500. Rather than avoid his favorite foods (a dozen chicken wings), he learned portion control (three or four wings). And to help him monitor his intake, he downloaded a weight-loss phone app called Lose It!, which tracks daily calorie consumption and expenditure.
Then he implemented the weight-loss program in two parts. Phase One was calorie reduction. "I knew I could control that, and it would help me gain traction," he explains. "It's the same way in business; I always look for easy, quick wins and then build on them." And it worked. After three months, he had already lost 30 pounds.
Then came Phase Two: aerobic exercise. He started working out on a home treadmill and elliptical trainer, in addition to riding his bike and just being more active. Unlike most people who combine diet and exercise from the start, he took things more slowly in order to minimize effort and potential frustration. And he eventually dropped 30 more pounds.
To stay motivated, Scott kept a spreadsheet of his weight loss. But instead of reacting to daily fluctuations, he tracked the rolling average. "It's like looking at a long-term stock chart," he explains. "You're more concerned with the trend line than daily ups and downs."
The food at Panera Bread, where he eats two or three times daily, also helped him with his weight loss. He usually starts the day with a 330-calorie Breakfast Power Sandwich and enjoys a sub-500-calorie You Pick Two® combination for lunch.
Scott is down to 225 pounds and is eventually hoping to drop below 200. "Knowledge is power," he concludes. "That's the whole idea behind our Nutrition Calculator and putting calories on our menu boards. All you need to reach your weight-loss goal is information. I'm proof of that."