If the title is what intrigued you…great. But know that my intention in writing this series is not to simply help you lose 8% of body fat in the next 8 weeks. Truthfully…that’s not as difficult a prospect as most think. There are thousands of “diets” available that can help you do that. So if that’s all you’re looking for, move on because you’re not going to like the rest of what’s in here.
Losing weight is easy.
Over my years in the fitness industry I’ve met countless people who tell me that losing weight isn’t the problem…keeping the weight off is! They’ve done the diets (good and bad ones), they’ve dropped the 10-15 pounds, and then 2-3 months later they are right back where they started…or worse.
By the way…what’s the point in waiting until January 1st? If you are ready, get started and ward off the extra 2-5 pounds you were going to gain in the next month of holiday parties anyway.
So what’s the deal? The trick? The magic technique?
Consistency. It’s that simple…and that difficult.
My guess is that at this point you’re either rolling your eyes or you’re feeling the impact of where I’m headed. This is the deal, though. Yes, there are all kinds of nutrition and exercise techniques and tricks I can offer my clients to lose some body fat quickly. And there are times when we’ll do that. But if the weight is going to stay off, I ALWAYS come back to consistency. Let’s be honest for a moment and blow the cover on all the quick fixes out there…THEY…DON’T…WORK! We’ve tried too many things not to understand that change in life (in any area) takes 2 simple ingredients: work and consistency. So let’s agree to embrace the truth, quit messing around with things that offer short-term fixes or false hope, and get to work.
Most of the struggles and physical problems I see that result in excess weight and a variety of cardiovascular disease (among others) are a result of doing just a few things wrong. The problem is that what we do wrong, we do it wrong enough long enough to throw our bodies spiraling into a frenzy of physical mayhem.
It’s not that we’re doing everything wrong. It’s simply that we’re doing a few things wrong and we’re doing it wrong consistently. That’s the fix. The difference I see between “success” and “failure” in this arena centers around:
-the ability to change a few habits
-the ability to be consistent about the implementation of those habits
-the ability and desire to continue getting back on track more often and more quickly after getting off.
So before we get into the meat of how to attack this and make some lasting changes that will stay with you for a lifetime, let me offer a definition of fitness or health success.
Fitness/Health = caring for the gift you have been given (in your body) in such a way as to honor the One who gave it to you in order to be able to accomplish the tasks/jobs/passions/responsibilities put before you in this life.
Now, I realize that is quite off the beaten path as far as health descriptions go, but I do believe there is a wealth of benefit in that perspective…and it has been of significant value in my own life. It also leaves room for some differences. Example: fitness for a professional athlete involves a tremendous amount of time and effort on nutrition and exercise. If that is the job and passion to which he/she has been called, it requires more focus. A school teacher, on the other hand does not need to put the same time and effort in order to achieve a reasonable level of health in order to carry out the task or passions before her…nor should she! It is unnecessary.
Stop listening to the ads, buying into the commercials, and comparing yourselves to those that are called to different tasks or passions. You don’t need to look like them to lead a full and healthy life. I’ve got some news for you folks, self worth is not found in a dress size or a body fat percentage (focus on self worth…self esteem is overrated). Never has been. A study I heard yesterday said one of the primary differences between those that labeled themselves as “happy” and those who were “unhappy” was that “happy” people watched 20% less TV. Read into that what you like, but I can tell you it’s true for me.
If you’re still with me and want to make some lasting change in your life that will begin in the next 8 weeks, let’s get started. I truly hope you find success here and begin the journey well. But I would encourage you to check your perspective and beliefs. If you are not on the same page with me at this point, you’re going to fail. You will give up when the body fat doesn’t leave fast. You will not be committed to the process. And even if you drop 8% or 10% or even 15% in 2 months…you’ll gain it right back because you missed the point. Don’t do that to yourself…again.
If you are on the same page, good things are to come. I worked with a friend on this very same process. She had struggled with weight her entire life. She was over 300 lbs. and nearing 50 years old. Blood pressure meds., cholesterol meds., etc. Things were not getting better. She stuck with me, bought into the lifestyle, and 2 years later she was over 100 pounds lighter with a renewed passion for life (read Jeanne’s story here).
Over the next eight weeks we’ll be exploring what I have seen to be some of the key nutrition habits that effect long term health and weight management (muscle gain or fat loss). ONE HABIT per WEEK. That’s it. Do one thing well, make it a habit, and then we add to it. I will cover both the areas of food intake and supplementation. In all that I have gathered from those I respect in the nutrition field, I have come to 2 conclusions at this point:
1. We need to do our best to get as many nutrients through real food as possible.
2. Even if we eat well, we won’t get all we need through real food so it’s worth filling in the gaps with appropriate supplements.
I will offer you the supplement suggestions I offer my clients in case you are looking for products you can trust. These are the products I trust and are the only ones I recommend to my clients.
Lastly, if you’re not currently exercising, you need to get at it. I’ll explore that arena in some upcoming articles, but suffice it to say that I believe nutrition is the bigger issue here which is why I’ll focus on it. As for exercise…2-4 times/week of 20-30 minutes of vigorous activity (circuit training weights and or cardiovascular activity).
Food Habit #1: Drink ½ of your body weight in ounces of Water/day.
Example: If you weigh 140 lbs., you should drink about 70 ounces of
water each day.
*If you sweat a lot, drink 15-20 ounces more per day.
*If you don’t sweat much, adjust your ounces down a bit.
*Yes, you can do teas (i.e. Green Herbal or Oolong Herbal).
*Don’t count any other beverages (avoid soda, monitor juice).
Why? Among the many reasons this is important, let me name a few:
-Thirst is often masked as hunger (meaning you think you’re hungry but you’re actually thirsty). Drink first, then decide if your body truly wants calories.
-Helps you stay hydrated with less calories.
-Keeps metabolism boosted (all metabolic activity occurs in body fluids; less fluid = less metabolism).
-Digestion and excretion suffer (both negatively impact weight loss/management).
How? Carry around a 20-25 ounce reusable water bottle with you at all times. Drink it whenever you think of it throughout the day (not all at once!).
Supplement Habit #1: Cleanse, Breakfast and Energy.
Why? If you haven’t read my article entitled “GI, Oh My,” make sure to so you understand the benefits of cleansing toward the ends of weight loss (as a colleague of mine says, “If it ain’t comin’ out, it ain’t comin off!”).
-A quality breakfast with good protein primes the metabolism. You can either use the Meal Replacement Shake for this meal or for lunch (whichever you struggle to get in consistently).
-A healthy, clean energy drink supports your metabolism during your “low” point during the day so energy stays up and food decisions stay good.
*Get the following products (see note at end of article to save):
Meal Replacement Shake
Spark, SLAM, or V-16
Your task: focus only on water consumption, a Meal Replacement Shake for breakfast or lunch, Herbal Cleanse, and Spark/V-16 this week…no other nutrition habits.
Example Day/Week One:
Herbal Cleanse 30 min before Breakfast
Meal Replacement Shake for Breakfast (within 1 hour of waking)
Water and snack
Spark 30 minutes before lunch
Water/Tea and lunch
Water and Snack
Water/Tea and Dinner
Herbal Cleanse before bed
*For those that would like to save between 20-40% on my nutrition products, I have the following offers available (put your order together and then sign up for your membership upon checkout):
1. 20% off all products for life with a membership
2. 25% off a $500+ order (and receive 25% off all future orders) (click here to begin)
3. 30% off a $1500+ order (and receive 30% off all future orders) (click here to begin)
4. 30% off a $3000+ order (and receive 40% off all future orders) BEST VALUE (click here to begin)
Stay Tuned for Part 2 the Day after Thanksgiving!
Donnelly, Jenny. Commit 2 Fit. 2006.