Be Serious, Don’t Be Casual

People that are casual about pursuing their goals become life’s casualties. They are continually disappointed in themselves, but not too disappointed because they never really expected to achieve their results. They never put pressure on themselves to produce results.

Casual people take a lax approach to life. They have no written goals, and they don’t share the vague goals rattling around in their head with anyone else. The only time they come up is when they complain about not reaching them. These are the same people that waste their best hours chatting, gossiping, watching TV or addicted to social media.

Serious people expect to make progress. If their goal is to lose weight, they set weekly goals. They track their food to ensure they create a caloric deficit. They share their goal with supportive friends who they check-in with regularly to share their progress and frustrations. They spend their time with people that have achieved their goal and will be a positive influence on them. They put internal and external pressure on themselves to make consistent progress.

When someone tells me their frustration with losing body fat I begin by asking them, how many calories they are eating each day. When they say they don’t know, I know they aren’t serious. Many people complain about their genetics, but when I ask them how many calories they are eating each day, they don’t know. If you don’t know how many calories you are consuming each day, don’t expect to lose much weight or keep it off.

Learn more:

Flying Blind – If You Aren’t Logging Your Food You’re Flying Blind,

Top 5 Priorities of Effective Fat Loss and Looking Great, and

Group Norms & Expectation- Don’t Put Rocks in Your Backpack and Pebbles in You Shoes

 

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The Effective Program Litmus Test – Does your Program Pass

 “Greatness is a lot of small things done well. Day after day, workout after workout, obedience after obedience, day after day.” Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis _image by Shea Huening .pngImage by Shea Huening

Today we are drowning in information, but starving for wisdom. Most of us have the knowledge of the world available to us in the palm of our hand. A lack of information isn’t the problem. A lack of common sense is the problem. Nowhere is this truer than in the fitness industry.

You might be reading this with the hopes of validating your current program. You want to know if it meets a scientific litmus test for determining its effectiveness. You might be reading this to discover the five characteristics of an effective program. I am sure you could find an article like that, but this isn’t it. I conducted a Google search and wasn’t disappointed.

The litmus test for determining if a program is effective is simple. Is your diet and exercise program sustainable? That’s it. If your program is sustainable, then it is effective. So many people fall into the trap of doing a program. The whole mentality of “doing a diet” or workout program is flawed. It implies a task that has a beginning and end. Staying fit is a journey, not a destination. Fitness isn’t something you do, it is something you live.

If your program isn’t sustainable, your results won’t be either. It’s unreasonable to think otherwise. That is why I focus on developing small daily habits. When it comes to fitness and life, small and sustainable gains are the key. It isn’t what we do once in a while that matters, or even what we do for 12-weeks. It is what we do consistently, day after day, week after week, year after year. Staying in shape is a lifestyle.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” Jim Rohn

If you want lasting results, ensure your program is sustainable. Every fitness program has two elements, diet, and exercise. If you need to lose weight, diet is the key. If you set your goals on the MyFitnessPal app, accurately log your food, and don’t exceed the caloric intake, it calculates, you will lose weight. Don’t try to out exercise a bad diet or fly blind by not logging your food. For you to lose weight through exercise alone, you would have to run approximately 25 miles a week or walk 45 miles. If you want to run the numbers for your specific bodyweight, Runner’s World wrote a great article on the topic.

Energy balance is how you gain or lose weight, but we become fit through exercise. Exercise should primarily be done to improve performance, not weight management. It is possible to stay thin without exercising, but you will not become fit. If you want a strong lean capable body, you need to exercise.

Too many people get this wrong. I see a lot of overweight people working hard on cardio, but neglecting to eat mindfully by logging their food. I see skinny guys working hard in the weight room, but neglecting to eat enough calories and protein to build muscle. You cannot build a house without bricks. You can have the best blueprint, the most skilled workers, but without raw material, you aren’t going to build anything. Gaining and losing weight is a numbers game. If you create a deficit, you lose weight, if you create a surplus, you will gain weight. This is scientific fact.

We need to find a diet and exercise program that suits us. I eat small meals in the morning because I am not hungry in the morning. I save my larger meals for times when I am hungry. It isn’t when you eat your calories, but how many you eat. This is science. It isn’t how often you eat, or when you eat that matters, it is how much you eat each day that matters.

Your muscles are not snowflakes, and frequent eating has not been proven to increase your metabolism. Eating high protein food does increase your metabolism because your body burns calories digesting the food; this is called the thermogenic effect of food (TEF).

Protein has the largest TEF. Approximately 30% of the calories consumed from protein will burn during digestion. About 10% of the calories consumed from carbohydrates will burn during digestion, and 5% of the calories consumed from fat will burn during digestion. Eating a high protein diet helps with appetite control; but how many meals you eat, three vs. six meals does not affect your metabolism as demonstrated in a study by the University of Missouri. [i]

Another study conducted by the University of Ontario, found no significant difference in average weight loss, fat loss, or muscle loss, among study participants who consumed a hypocaloric diet spread out over three meals vs. those that ate three meals and three snacks each day.[ii] The studies demonstrated what you would expect; large meals produce a greater thermogenic effect than smaller meals when macro ratios are constant. The ratio of metabolic increased was proportional to the size of the meal. Thus, there is no benefit to smaller or larger meals.

I prefer strength training to cardio training, so I spend more time lifting. Any exercise burns calories, but strength training helps us to preserve muscle and reshape our bodies. Learn more, Why you should prioritize strength training, especially on a diet (UPDATED with FREE workout program log).

If you prefer cardio training, I suggest you spend more time doing cardio. I believe we should balance out our programs, but there is no one size fits all. Do what you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy your program, it won’t be sustainable, and neither will be your results.

Spend most of your time doing what you enjoy. If that is playing basketball during your lunch hour, do that. If it is Brazilian jiujitsu, do that. The only caveat I would suggest is that you spend a little time doing some strength training. This is because without strength training your muscles will begin to waste away as you age. The condition is called sarcopenia, learn more, Why your Metabolism Slows Down as you Age and How to Prevent it!

An example minimalist strength training program would be one set Dips, one set of Chin-ups, one set of Bulgarian split squats, and one set of One Leg Hip Thrusts performed two to three times a week. This routine should only take about 5-7 minutes to perform. Focus on good form and generating a strong contraction in the muscle. Perform as many repetitions as possible. When you can exceed 15 repetitions add weight. You can add weight using a backpack. You don’t even need any equipment to begin strength training, THE NO EQUIPMENT, NO EXCUSES WORKOUT

No Equipment No Excuses Workout
I believe the 3 Keys to an Effective Program are:

1)    Sustainability: If you cannot sustain your diet and exercise program as a lifestyle, any results you achieve will be temporary. You must be able to fit exercise into your daily schedule. You want to choose a diet you can adopt as a lifestyle, not a temporary, quick fix approach to weight loss.

2)    Likeability: The more you enjoy your eating and exercise program, the more consistent you will be. Find pleasure in the process. Instead of focusing on what you cannot have, focus on what you can have. Savor your food. Enjoy your workouts.

3)    Variability: Vary your workouts. You cannot go hard all the time. Vary the intensity of your workouts. Vary the length of your workouts. A 10-minute workout is a million times better than a missed workout. Don’t let great be the enemy of good. If you feel burned out, take a walk instead of doing your normal routine. Don’t make exercise drudgery. Change up your routine from time to time. Don’t allow your workouts to become stale.

Best Wishes and Best Health!

Start SMALL, dream BIG, build MOMENTUM! Do BETTER today, be BETTER tomorrow. Change your habits, change your life!

Learn more, The Habit: Week-10 (Develop Consistency through Accountability)

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Book Available on AMAZON – Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #naturalbodybuilding#traininglog #workoutlog

 

[i] Leidy HJ, Tang M, Armstrong CL, Martin CB, Campbell WW, “The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men,” Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr; 19(4):818-24. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.203. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

[ii] Cameron JD, Cyr MJ, and Doucet E, “Increased meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss in subjects who were prescribed an 8-week equi-energetic energy-restricted diet,” Br J Nutr. 2010 Apr; 103(8):1098-101. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509992984. Epub 2009 Nov 30.

Group Norms & Expectation- Don’t Put Rocks in Your Backpack and Pebbles in You Shoes

“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours, and you’ll drift in that direction.” Warren Buffett

You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Jim Rohn

If we are striving to improve in any area of our life, it would be a great idea to take Warren’s advise and spend time with people that are better than us in that particular discipline or skill. We are all influenced by group norms and expectations more than we would care to admit.

We must remain ever vigilant. We live in a world of negativity; surrounded by negative influences. Approximately 65% of American’s are overweight. Group norms and expectations have a huge impact on behavior. The clear majority want to fit in and avoid the ire of those around them.

Group norms and expectations influence our behavior for the better or worse. With most people making poor choices in the areas of diet and exercise it is easy to allow ourselves to be negatively influenced by them. If we have four overweight friends, the chances are excellent that we are the fifth overweight person in our circle. We tend to flow in the direction of our friends.

We can make group norms work for us or against us. You can’t hope to change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to be around. The only person you can hope to change is yourself. That is difficult enough; don’t intentionally make it more difficult. I am not suggesting you cut all ties with your overweight friends, but the more time you spend with them, the more likely you will fall back into old habits. The more time you spend with people that lead an unhealthy lifestyle, the more motivation, and discipline you’ll need to stay the course.

The more time you spend with them, the more you are choosing to remain trapped in your current body. In my book, The Fat Loss Habit, I provide a lot of evidence to substantiate these claims, but for the sake of brevity, I am asking you to accept, what you already know in your heart is true. Our friend’s attitudes and behaviors can either lift us up or drag us down. Why not spend the majority of our time with people that will inspire us to live better and do better?

We need to realize that the more time we spend with people who don’t value being healthy; the more difficult we are going to make our journey. It is like putting pebbles in our shoes, and rocks in our backpack. These people are going to constantly be tempting us to eat poorly and drink. They may not tempt us directly by offering unhealthy food, but their mere example is enough to make our journey infinitely more difficult. Why would we intentionally make our weight loss journey more difficult? It is like choosing to pick-up our morning cup of coffee at a donut shop or going to a sports bar to eat dinner if we were a recovering alcoholic. We want to shape our environment to make our journey easier, not harder.

I am not suggesting we divorce our unhealthy friends, but we will want to minimize the time we spend with them, and I certainly don’t recommend we meet them for dinner unless we are mentally prepared to overcome the temptation they are going to create. One way to mentally prepare for these events is to have a plan. When others are having alcoholic drinks, I’ll drink Topo Chico or another mineral water with a piece of lime in it instead. It makes not drinking a lot easier. We don’t feel like we are standing out as the one not drinking because we have a bottle in our hand. We must be serious. We must equate our old behaviors with pain and our new lifestyle with pleasure. Our old behaviors will produce our old results. Better decisions, better results.

If we want to improve our odds of success, we should seek out a support group. Seek out people that will inspire us to live a healthier lifestyle and support us along the way with encouragement. This will make our journey to becoming leaner and stronger easier, faster, and more enjoyable. Social contagion is a powerful influencer of our behavior. You will not feel alone on your journey to becoming fitter. You’ll be inspired by others who are sharing their workouts and progress with the group. This support group could be on social media or a group that meets regularly.

An easy way to find motivated, like-minded people, is to join a club. Part of CrossFit’s allure is that it makes getting in shape a team sport. Members bond with each other and encourage each other to achieve new personal records. You can join a running or biking club. You can participate in instructor-led spin classes, which are often offered free with a gym membership. Being part of a group makes our journey to becoming leaner and stronger easier, faster, and more enjoyable. Social contagion is a powerful influencer of our behavior. You will not feel alone on your journey to becoming fitter. You’ll be inspired by others who are sharing their workouts and progress with the group.

If possible, find a mentor or workout partner that will inspire you. Ideally, it would be a person that has triumph over the same challenges you are now facing. A good training partner can help motivate you not only to work out more consistently; they can also encourage you to push harder during your workouts. Workout partners can challenge each other to set new personal records. A workout partner adds an extra layer of accountability since no one wants to let the other person down.

With social media and the internet, it is easier than ever to join a group of fitness enthusiast. You can add friends that support your goals to your MyFitnessPal profile as an additional layer of accountability and encouragement. They will be able to view your progress, workouts, and provide messages of encouragement. A Northwestern University study found that dieters that checked into an online weight-loss website to log meals and friend other dieters lost 8% more weight after six months than their less-connected peers.[i] Here are just a few of the weight loss forums you can choose from Weight Loss Buddy, Fat Secret, SparkPeople, and Diet.com.

Celebrate the completion of a tough workout, preparing all your meals for the week, losing two more pounds, sticking to your diet, increasing your strength on the leg press, or completing a mile in record time. Post a photo of your progress so your friends can offer congratulations and encouragement. You can customize your privacy settings on Facebook so that you can control who sees the post. You can celebrate milestones, like losing the first five pounds and continue celebrating every five pounds lost, until you celebrate reaching your ultimate goal. The encouragement you receive will help fuel your determination and build your belief in yourself and your program.

Best Wishes and Best Health!

Start SMALL, dream BIG, build MOMENTUM! Do BETTER today, be BETTER tomorrow. Change your habits, change your life!

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Learn more, Harness the Power of Identity – Become a Modern-Day Spartan

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Book Available on AMAZON [Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook]

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #naturalbodybuilding#traininglog #workoutlog

[i] Erin Spain, “’Friending’ Your Way Thin,” Northwestern University, Northwestern University, January 28, 2015.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Purchase a Kettlebell instead of a Treadmill

Treadmill image by Sport-Tiedje GmbH

“The kettlebell is an ancient Russian weapon against weakness.” Pavel

Before we go into greater detail, here are the 7 reasons I suggest you purchase a kettlebell instead of a treadmill:

  1. Kettlebells Improve both Muscular Strength and Cardiovascular Condition
  2. Kettlebells are More Cost-Effective
  3. Kettlebells have a Small Footprint and are Portable
  4. Kettlebells are Simple & lend themselves to Quick Workouts
  5. Kettlebells are Quiet
  6. Kettlebells allow for a lot of Exercise Variety
  7. Kettlebells workouts are low impact

#1 Kettlebells Improve both Muscular Strength and Cardiovascular Condition

It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you are losing weight, strength training, not cardio training should be your number one exercise priority. For years we have been indoctrinated to believe that to lose weight you have to eat less and move more, but the main flaw with this approach is that even if you do it properly, you will lose muscle mass. If you don’t challenge your muscles, you will lose calorie-burning muscle mass along with the fat which will lead to a fat loss plateau.

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Kettlebell workouts can burn as much as 20 calories a minute, depending on your level of effort. Just like running, it is depended on your intensity of effort. If you want to transform your body, replace the mindset that cardio is how you burn fat. Exercise burns fat and strength training helps preserve muscle. Learn more, Why you should prioritize strength training, especially on a diet (UPDATED with FREE workout program log).

#2 Kettlebells are More Cost-Effective

Personal treadmills can range from $500 to $5,000, with the average cost of a well-built treadmill being approximately $2,500. You also have to factor in the cost of purchasing a new pair of running shoes every 6-months as well.

You only need one kettlebell to begin a kettlebell workout routine. I recommend a 15 lbs. kettlebell for women, a 30 lbs. Kettlebellfor men. The two kettlebells I recommend cost $25 and $38 respectively. Even if you decide to add additional kettlebells, the cost will never approach that of a treadmill.

#3 Kettlebells have a Small Footprint and are Portable

Unlike a treadmill that will dominate a space, a kettlebell takes up very little space. It can be put in a closet or under a bed. Some treadmills are designed to be folded-up, but I have never seen anyone actually do that between workouts.

Kettlebells are completely portable. On a beautiful day, you can take your kettlebells outside for a workout. You can take it with you on a camping trip or a vacation with your family.

#4 Kettlebells are Simple & lend themselves to Quick Workouts

“Our communist enemies, who are trying to bury us, have exercise breaks instead of coffee breaks.” -Bob Hoffman, York Barbell Club

Kettlebells are very simple. There are no electronics, and there are no belts to maintain. You simply grab it and begin. You don’t need to put on your running shoes, you can perform a lot of movements in your street clothing.

I suggest we take Bob Hoffman’s advise and squeeze in some quick workouts throughout the day. Before I began writing this article, I grabbed my kettlebell, performed 25 swings followed by 50 jumping jacks and then finished with 25 more swings. Our physiology and psychology are linked, so when I want to get my energy up, I like to do something that will get my heart racing for a couple of minutes. Kettlebells make getting in a quick workout very manageable.

Here is a simple workout you can do in under15-minutes:

Beginner Workout: Complete 150 kettlebell swings in as many sets as you need too. When you get tired, rest for 30-60 seconds, then keep swinging and repeat until the 150 repetitions are complete. Once you can complete 150 swings consecutively in a workout, progress to the intermediate level.

Intermediate Workout: complete 300 kettlebell swings in as many sets as you need too. When you get tired, rest for 30-60 seconds, then keep swinging and repeat until the 300 repetitions are complete.

#5 Kettlebells are Quiet

If you are like me, you do most of your cardio workouts in the morning before everyone else is awake. My family would not appreciate me pounding away on a treadmill at 5:00 AM in the morning at all. Kettlebells are noiseless. I typically alternate between my kettlebell and spin bike. Neither makes any noise, and both are low impact. My spin bike has no electronics, so I can hop off, perform 20-30 repetitions of a kettlebell exercise or calisthenics, like mountain climbers, and then hop right back on and resume pedaling.

#6 Kettlebells allow for a lot of Exercise Variety

You can do countless exercises with kettlebells targeting every muscle of the body. You are only limited by your imagination. Kettlebell workouts are simply a lot more fun and enjoyable. You can purchase the exercise chart below for approximately $20.

 kettlebell

You can also find countless exercise videos on YouTube for free. This 20-minute video would be a great one to start with:

 kettlebell workout video.PNG

The treadmill was originally invented as a form of punishment for prisoners in the 1800s. It wasn’t popularized for commercial and home use until the 1970s.

#7 Kettlebell Exercise is Low Impact with very little Risk of Overuse Injuries

Unlike running on a treadmill, a kettlebell workout is low impact exercise, and your risk of overuse injuries is very low. You aren’t repeating the same movement pattern thousands of times during a workout like you do with running.

Best Wishes and Best Health!

Change your habits, change your life! Start small, dream big, build momentum.

Learn more, 7 Reasons kettlebell training is perfect for weight loss.

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Book Available on AMAZON [Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook]

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #naturalbodybuilding#traininglog #workoutlog

The Fat Loss Habit – Book Introduction

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Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss, but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program like the change techniques, have all been proven effective and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

This book is full of change strategies and provides a blueprint for how they can be applied to transforming your body. These strategies can also be used to transform your relationships, build your career, and improve your life. You will learn the importance of creating a sense of urgency around your goal, tweaking your environment to foster new habits, finding bright spots, and generating short term wins to help you sustain momentum. Motivation is fleeting, that is why you will learn techniques to keep you stoked. You will learn how to apply solution based therapy’s miracle question to subdue personal struggles. You will learn how Starbucks teaches willpower to their baristas to produce a first-class customer experience. You will learn about action triggers, and how they are the key to adopting instant habits. You will learn how to use your smart phone to lose body fat, improve your workouts, and create new habits.

You will learn how group norms help US soldiers returning from Vietnam, overcome heroin addiction. You will learn what is often perceived as a “people problem”, is often a “situation problem. It is much easier to change one’s environment, than one’s attitude and behaviors. You will learn about internal struggles between your logical brain and your emotional brain, and how you can leverage their respective strengths to achieve your goals, instead of sabotaging them. You will learn to break the habit of procrastination by applying the 5 second rule. You will learn that measuring an activity, automatically modifies your behavior because of the increased attention it is receiving.

You will learn why you should prioritize strength training while on a weight loss program. Learn how to properly design strength training program, that can burn more calories than traditional cardio. Learn how to build strength and muscle based on science, not bro-science. Learn when and how to incorporate cardio sessions into your routine to get leaner, stronger, and fitter. Learn to prevent normal loss of muscle that occurs during most fat loss programs, which results in early plateau and gaining back the weight lost, and in some cases a few extra pounds. Learn three methods to keep the weight off and reset your body’s set point body weight. No foods or alcohol are off limits. This is not an extreme 12-week quick fix program. Those programs do not often work because they are not sustainable. This program is designed to fit in to your personal lifestyle.

There is a lot of inspiration in the pages of this book. In many cases, real life examples are used to illustrate the effectiveness of the strategies being taught. You will learn how an unwelcome American advisor, with meager resources, and a limited timeframe to achieve significant results, was able to solve the problem of childhood malnutrition for millions of Vietnamese children. You will be surprised to learn that solution to complex problems, are often simple if you observe the patterns surrounding them. For example, a US Military Army Officer, in Kufa, Iraq; noticed that preceding violent riots, protesters would gather at dusk and shortly thereafter food trucks would fill the plaza. After requesting the food trucks not enter the plaza at dusk, the number of riots dramatically dropped.

Most people would agree with the statement that we are the result of the thousands of decisions we have made during the course of our lives. If you are overweight, it is a result of the many decisions you make daily; particularly eating and drinking choices. Your daily habits are what make you who you are. Confucius said that “men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart”

What if I told you that most of our daily decisions are made automatically? The area of our brain responsible for cognitive thought fatigues quickly, and can become overwhelmed if it is force to make too many decisions. This condition is called “decision fatigue.” Many business leaders suggest that you tackle complex problems and make difficult decisions early in the day, when your energy is at its highest, and reserve less complex tasks for the afternoon. Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs were said to have simplified their lives by having their closets full of identical outfits, to avoid having to decide what to wear each day. President Obama said, “You will see I wear only gray or blue suits… I am trying to pare down decisions. I do not want to make decisions about what I am eating or wearing. Because I have too many other (important) decisions to make.”

The basal ganglia, sometimes called our primitive brain or reptilian brain, was once thought to only help control movement; but is now thought to play an important role in how we learn, process emotions, make decisions, and adopt habits. It is the part of our brain that takes over when you are performing repetitive daily activities. This primitive brain, frees our conscious mind from having to make countless decisions we face each day. Many of these decisions are inconsequential. Decisions like which pant leg to put on first, or putting Splenda in your coffee mug before creamer. It is a huge advantage to delegate these task to the basal ganglia, so the conscious brain can focus on more important decisions. Have you ever gotten into your car and drove towards your work instead of driving to your doctor’s office, even though your conscious mind knew you had a doctor’s appointment? That is because your conscious mind was not in the driver’s seat. It was your primitive brain directing action out of habit. What is habit? Habit is an automatic behavior.

Habits are not good or bad. We place those labels on them based on whether they are or are not in line with our goals, objectives, and in some cases, “perception of our own reality”. They are simply learned behaviors. “Bad” habits can be interrupted and replaced by “good” habits. You just need to muster up enough discipline to make the new routine stick. Fortunately, we can change our habits and do it quickly by creating action triggers. Action triggers create new habits almost instantaneously. You will learn more about that later.

Please stop believing the notion you are overweight or unfit because you lack the willpower, have a slow metabolism, your lazy, you do not have time, or any of the excuses we all make. Trust me, I was once an overweight kid. My father was never able to shed the extra pounds, try as hard as he did. He was always overweight, like his father before him, who died of a heart attack during my father’s freshman year in high school. In one of those life changing moments, I decided I was not going to be fat. No one would put that fat label on me. I committed to daily exercise, gave up all sweets, and no junk food. That was it, that was my plan. The only difference between me, my father, and his father before him, was that I decided to change. I was committed to that decision and doggedly stuck with it, day after day until I lost the weight, which led me into a life of fitness and self-awareness. Some might say, it led me to an appreciation of a healthier lifestyle without giving up on what most people were doing.

Exercising was the easiest part for me, I enjoyed exercising. My father introduced me to exercise. He let me use his Cement Weight set in our basement and let me read all his Joe Weider Muscle and Fitness magazines. I was at that age when you love spending time with your parents. He would take me with him when he would go running around the local reservoirs, or through the woods of Brookdale Park, in my hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. I enjoy the simple rhythmic nature of running, which always cleared my mind. I rode my bike everywhere and relished the feeling of exertion that came from climbing up Mount Hebron road, and the rush of going back down at high speeds. I can still remember our dark dank unfinished basement, my dungeon. It was the place where I first pushed and pulled weights, making my muscles get stronger.

Giving up desserts was the hardest part, made more difficult by my family’s love of it. We ate out often and everyone order desserts. It was hard, it was very hard to just not succumb to temptation. Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery was the restaurant we patronized most often. It is still well known for their homemade ice-creams and chocolates. Also made famous as the diner in which the last scene of The Sopranos was filmed. It was tough not making an excuse. I had to ignore that voice that said, “Everyone else is having some, why should I not?” It was rough, but I was resolute. I was not going to be fat. I was going to strengthen my body like the heroes in my comic books. Silly, but I was only ten years old. I did not know what I was doing, but I was doing it. Moreover, I was doing it enthusiastically. Over time it became easier to say no to desserts, and eventually they stop asking me if I wanted any.

You are not doomed to be overweight. You simply need to commit. Without commitment, you will never start. The program will not work unless you work. This program is unique from any other program you may have tried in the past, because it provides practical tips and tricks that make the process of change as easy as possible. The high impact change techniques coupled the books nutrition program will transform your body. You will be surprised how quickly you will burn away fat, and achieve a leaner stronger body. GOOD LUCK!

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I hope you enjoyed reading this book introduction. Best wishes and best health!

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The book contains:

·       7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

·       A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit,  including Alcohol

·       20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)

·       3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off

·       A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.