Before I get into this embarrassing story, let me say upfront I’ve never been a techie person.

I can upload videos on YouTube, write this blog on my site and perform enough basic functions to give the illusion I can handle modern life.

That façade got blown out of the water this past week in a major way.

I’ll begin at the beginning…

I use a Bluetooth remote mic to record my videos on my Canon camcorder. One day, as all technology eventually does, it stopped working. I replaced the batteries, shook it upside down, recited a Gregorian chant, all to no avail.

As luck would have it, this particular mic was discontinued and no longer available. So I ordered a different brand that was supposed to work.

Only it didn’t.

I watched YouTube videos, Googled “how to” connect, looked through the 17 reams of instructions that came in every language except English without any luck.  I was about to send it back to Amazon since it was clearly a waste of money.

As a last resort, I decided to stop in at Best Buy to see if any of their tech people could make head or tails out of this ridiculously complicated, clearly futile, situation.

I expected a long, technical explanation that ends with, “Everybody knows Sony products don’t match up with Canon products, sorry.”

And, at first, it started that way. “I wouldn’t expect a Sony mic to sync with a Canon product,” said the techie sales person as he shook his head while examining the mic. Then he asked me, “Are you sure you’re putting in the batteries correctly?”

Duh. Yes, I’m sure.

Then he picked up the cord and attached it to a portal on the side of the device.

I knew immediately what I’d done wrong.

I felt a mix of elation, because I knew this would work – and abject mortification when I realized I’d overlooked the simplest of solutions.

I’d been attaching the cord to the top of the mic, not the side (see photos for reference).

I burst out laughing when I saw my mistake. “In my defense, the Canon mic attaches at the top, not the side, so I assumed the same thing with this brand,” I said, trying to save face.

Even while I laughed I knew immediately I’d be the subject of the next staff meeting, under “the dumbest customers you’ve seen this week.”

He turned red out of embarrassment for me.

“You’re not the worst person we’ve had in the store this week,” he said. “Another woman came in here asking if we had any laptops that connected to the Internet.”

First of all, let’s not make this a contest. And secondly, I’m not in the same category as that woman! I can do things with technology, I swear! 

My feelings of relief quickly overcame my embarrassment and I left happier than when I came in.

The lesson: Sometimes we make things way more complicated than they are.

We tend to do the same thing with weight loss. We look for ways around the simple fact that you need to burn more calories than you take in.

Period.

You can argue all day long about gut bacteria, metabolic issues and yes, some of these factors may play a role in some people’s weight issues, but it does not pertain to the majority of us.

In the end, simple changes can make a huge difference when we stop overthinking them.

The only downside is that “simple” does not necessarily equate with “easy.”

But use a little self-discipline, a simple change can take you far.

So I came up with the SIMPLEST ways to lose weight I could find. No, they’re not easy, but try one or more for a few weeks and you’re guaranteed to see a change on the scale, depending on how much you do…

1. Swap starchy carbs for leafy and green veggies

I have nothing against carbs at all. In fact, I’ve talked in the past how my death row meal would include nothing but warm French bread and butter. HOWEVER, calories in starchy carbs such as pasta, rice and potatoes add up faster than Kim Kardashian selfies. In a nutshell: super fast.

So substitute veggies and salad for your rice and potatoes and immediately cut hundreds of calories.

2. Do not drink your calories

I’m looking at you, white wine. And while ditching alcohol for a while — or at least save it for weekends only — drinking any of your calories makes it too easy to forget them, too. I’ve talked at length about how booze reduces fat burning, racks up calories and reduces your inhibitions so diving into a bag of M&Ms sounds like a good idea, so I won’t repeat it here. Or maybe I just did. Either way, it’s worth repeating. Soda, juice and other not-water beverages also rack up calories faster than you can say, “These pants are too tight.” Try plain old water, fizzy water or some of the new flavored waters instead.

3. Stop eating after dinner

This one’s HUGE. We tend to treat ourselves after dinner by relaxing, watching Netflix and dipping a hand into a bag, box or pint of something calorically rich but nutritionally bankrupt. Not only is it easy to rack up tons of extra calories this way, but it’s also easy to lose track and more than make up for skipping breakfast or lunch. Stop eating two to three hours before bedtime and watch what happens.

NOTE: I’ve talked many times about how this one change enabled me to drop 15 pounds in a year.

4. Eat at home more

No matter how many restaurants provide nutritional counts of their food, you never really know how much you’re consuming. Hidden calories in the form of cooking oils and brushed on butter tack on way more than you’ll ever dream. I used to work in restaurants, so trust me on this.

Chefs think nothing of ladling butter over a piece of healthy, steamed fish to make it look and taste more appealing. Mission accomplished, but at the expense of your waistline. Experiment at home with super simple meals. A rotisserie chicken, piece of baked fish and veggies or a simple turkey burger make far better choices — and you know what you’re getting.

5. Track your food

Yup, there it is again. According to my own research, no one in the history of human history has ever enjoyed keeping a food journal. But guess what? It works. Even if you show it to NO ONE, keeping track of every bite increases your awareness and will likely result in you cutting back.

NOW YOUWhich of these changes will you try this week? Or do you have a simple move that worked for YOU? Let me know in the comments section below…

Other posts you may enjoy:

4 Dietary mistakes you don’t know you’re making

3 “harmless” diet beliefs that sabotage weight loss

7 Easy ways to boost your metabolism (and none involve kale)

Got questions? I got answers. Send me a note at linda@lindamelone.com and I’ll be sure to get back to you (I answer my own mail, so give me a couple days to respond, please!)

Your Ageless Body Coach,