The picture above isn’t to “impress” anyone, to “show-off” or any other superficial reason. While the two pictures above were taken 2 years apart, the real work was done in about 6 months. This was achieved through a signficant amount of trial and error, struggle and emotional hardship. But, luckily for you the reader, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge on how to achieve these results in a short amount of time. Read on to find out how to apply this to your fitness goals.
If you’ve listened to my podcast, you know I’m passionate about a healthy lifestyle. Exercise has always been a big part of my life, even if at times I was “overweight”. I know that there are many people out there who struggle with weight loss. They are either able to achieve some results, but aren’t able to keep the weight off, or aren’t able to achieve any weight loss at all. The tips I’m about to share with you are not for everyone. We all have various body types, medical conditions, genetic makeups etc. The suggestions that I’m sharing is overall knowledge that I have acquired first hand. I’m not a Personal Trainer or registered in any area of fitness. However, since working out over the last 15 years, I feel that I do have legitmate merit to provide this advice to you. So, without any further hesitation lets get right to it..
Before I provide you with “tips & tricks” that will improve your “external”, you have to align your “internal” self with what you want to achieve. Getting into shape and losing weight is as much of an internal struggle as it is external. You have to know WHY you are doing this. Find the reason WHY, this will be your motivator. Staying motivated and focused is the KEY to achieving the fitness level that you desire. If you’re looking for a “quick fix” or an overnight program, then you may want to stop reading. What I’m suggesting is a complete LIFESTYLE change. In other words, your day-to-day life will be changed for the rest of your life (or as long as you desire). CONSISTENCY is the key to achieving any of your goals in life, not just fitness. While we all live in an instant gratifcation society, this type of change cannot be viewed as such or you will become quickly frustrated and likely quit. Don’t fall victim to any of those “pill-popping” weight loss gimmicks. While they may help you lose weight initially, they have harmful side effects that can do more damage than good. What I’m suggesting here is a good-old fashioned hard work and commitment. I know…probably not what you wanted to hear. But really, its easier than you may think..
First, your DIET is the MOST important aspect of losing weight. You can workout all you like in the gym, but if you go home and have a roast beef $5 footlong from subway, the only thing melting off of you will be the cheese from the sub. For those who are looking to LOSE weight and GAIN muscle here is the program I follow:
Now lets break that down specifically:
- Breakfast – should consist of some type of carb such as oatmeal or cereal. You can substitute a bagel in every now and then. And protein such as eggs (or a protein shake)
- Snack – This can be a variety of nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, almonds etc
- Lunch – This is where I may have a sandwhich. However, always make it a lean meat such as turkey or girlled chicken. Make it a 6″ sub rather than a footlong and just have them put double meat on. That way you get twice the protein with half the carbs
- Snack – Protein shake or more nuts
- Dinner – Grilled chicken or fish/ brown rice and greens (this can be salad, green beans, asparagus)
- Drink lots of water throughout the day
I hope this gives you a little more information regarding my diet. Again, this is not a set-in-stone diet plan. This is what works for me and MY goals. Customize as you wish, but try to follow the general rule of low carbs/high protein. Also make sure to break down your meals into smaller portions. Don’t have one large meal. Keep your metabolism going with 5 small meals throughout the day. If you HAVE to cheat, make sure its just a cheat MEAL and not a cheat WEEK. Portion size and moderation is key. One last tip on diet. DONT SKIP BREAKFAST. Breakfast jump-starts your metabolism for the day.
As for Exercise… if you’re looking to BUILD strength, gain a small amount of muscle and get that “toned” look here is my program:
- Day 1: 30 minute warmup on the treadmill of 1-2 miles. Then 30 minutes of intense cardio and plyometrics. There is no need to run 3 hours on the treadmill, unless of course your goal is long distance running. Long distance running actually has a reverse effect and can burn off muscle (which is what happened to me)
- Day 2: Run 1 mile on the treadmill – then 1 hour of weight training and machines. On this day, I focus on my abs and upper body. Bench Press for 3 sets, dumb bell curls, lat pulldowns and dips are some common exercises that I do
- Day 3 : Rest
- Day 4: Repeat of Day 1
- Day 5: Yoga
The key in any exercise program is to not allow your body to adjust to your workout routine. If you feel yourself plateauing that means you need to change up what you’re doing. That may be as simple as amping up the intensity in whatever workout you’re doing that day. Also, don’t just “go through the paces” when you’re exercising. Intensity and focus will determine your results. Getting to the gym is the most difficult part, make the most of it and bust your ass. Of course, if you’re just starting a workout routine for the first time, you should take it easy and ask a certified trainer for advice. You don’t want to risk injury.
Again, the most important factors that I’ve mentioned here are CONSISTENCY and DIET. Stick with it. Change doesn’t come overnight, no matter how much we want it to. Set GOALS, even small ones. They will help you stay motivated and keep you on track. It’s inevitable that you’re going to go off track at some point, but just keep in mind where you want to go and use whatever motivates you to stay the course. It’s not an easy road to travel, but it is one of the most rewarding you can journey down. There is no “destination”, you’ll never be fully “satisfied” where you are, but that is exactly what will force you to never stop improving.
Hope this helps. Email me at email@example.com or comment below if you have specific questions.
Until next time.