Every January, bookstore shelves groan under the weight of the hundreds of brand-new weight loss/diet/exercise/nutrition/snake-oil books.
And every January, millions of people…unhappy with their bodies…spend bazillions of dollars…in the hope that one of those books will contain some magical insight that will allow them to transform their bodies from fat to fit…without having to sweat…eat spinach…or lever their butts off the sofa.
The journey from fat to fit is never going to be that easy.
- You’re going to sweat.
- You’re going to eat healthy.
- And you’re going to stop spending every night on the couch watching tv and/or playing XBox.
But in return, you’re going to…
And to help you get there, I have put together the “From Fat to Fit” roadmap…
Consisting of a series of 4 meta-steps, this DIY infographic will make your transformation from fat to fit simpler, faster and much, much, much more effective….I promise.
Step 1 – Follow a plan
I don’t really care which plan you follow.
- If you want to combine an Atkins diet with a yoga routine, go for it.
- If you want to become a Vegan who does Crossfit, go for it.
- If you want to count calories and do exercise videos at home, go for it.
- If you want to join Weight Watchers, perform EFT tapping, go to AquaFit classes with the little old ladies at my gym, go for it.
In my 20+ years as a personal trainer, I have helped people transform their bodies using all sorts of different plans. In my experience, finding a plan that works best with the client’s lifestyle is infinitely more important than the plan itself.
And science finally agrees with me.
According to researchers at McMaster University, all diets work…if you can stick to them.
Conducting a meta-analysis of 48 randomized clinical trials of branded diets – Atkins, Weight Watchers, Zone, Jenny Craig, LEARN, Nutrisystem, Ornish, Volumetrics, Rosemary Conley, Slimming World and South Beach – Mac researchers found that any weight loss differences between these popular diets are minimal and likely of little importance to those wanting to lose weight.
What was important for weight-loss success is the ability of people to stick with the diet.
- People who stuck with the diet, lost weight.
- People who didn’t…didn’t.
What this means to you
This means that instead of following the latest & greatest weight loss program, find a program that works best with YOUR current lifestyle.
- How much time do you have for exercise, meal prep, etc?
- How much money can you put into the program?
- What kind of foods do you love/like/hate?
- Do you prefer group activities or are you a lone wolf?
- Do you like lifting weights & sprinting or would you rather go for a walk with your dog/spouse?
Be picky. For the plan to work, we NEED it to be a custom-fit it to YOUR lifestyle.
It’s like buying a new pair of shoes. No matter how awesome they look on the shelf, if they don’t have your size, you’re not buying them.
Step 2 – Cook & eat real food
Back in the olden days, Moms taught their daughters how to shop for, prepare and cook complete, nutritious & yummy meals from scratch. Aside from the obvious gender role sexism, this was a great thing for the health, wealth & appearance of the whole family.
And it’s going to be a great thing for you too.
- Cooking real food costs less than frozen diet meals
- Cooking real food costs less than diet-delivery meals
- Cooking real food lets you modify meals to fit perfectly with your tastebuds
- Cooking real food will give you complete ownership of your plan and will make you proud of yourself
- Cooking real food gives you control over the quality of ingredients
- Cooking real food gives you control over calories
- Cooking real food gives you control over macro & micronutrients
- Cooking real food teaches you a skill that you can give to others (kids, friends)
- Cooking real food can be a very calming, zen experience…helping to reduce day to day stress
- Cooking real food for friends & family is great for expressing & receiving love…and that’s a heck of a great feeling
- Cooking real food means no more artificial flavors & colors
- Cooking real food means you can invent new recipes and try new flavors
- Cooking real food means that your kids will learn how to cook real food, eat healthy, be healthy, be fit
And that’s just off the top of my head. There are so many more benefits to learning how to cook like Grandma did.
Luckily for you, Youtube has a ton of “How to Cook” instructional videos. Here are a few to check out.
Step 3 – Non-Workout physical activity
On the infographic, I ask the question: After dinner, are you more likely to go for a walk, or sit on the couch and watch tv?
If you answered sit on the couch and watch tv, I am 99.99% sure that you will never achieve your weight loss goals.
There are two reasons why I believe that:
- Sitting on the couch at night watching tv (or playing XBox, or surfing the net, or some other form of inactivity) means more calories consumed via snacking & less calories burned as you sit on your keester. Over time, this caloric sabotage is going to make a major difference in your body transformation.
- Being inactive during your “leisure time” means much more than just calories in : calories out. It is a symbol that bleeds into the rest of your life, sabotaging your food choices and influencing your decision to skip your early-morning workout or replace your home-made healthy breakfast with a muffin from Starbucks.
On the flipside, being physically active (walking, cycling, cleaning the house,etc) after dinner is guaranteed to have a positive impact on your body transformation.
- In addition to the calories burned and the snack foods not consumed, going for a walk with your spouse/kids/friend is hugely beneficial to your mental and emotional health.
- As well, this “non-exercise” exercise has a sneaky way transforming your overall point of view towards leisure time. Watching becomes doing. Instead of staring at a screen, shared experiences become the new normal. The entire family becomes more active and interactive.
Step 4 – What do you do when stress hits?
Nothing wrecks a healthy diet faster than a crappy day at work…or a sick kid…or an overdue pile of bills…or some other emotional catastrophe.
While your logical mind is calmly & rationally telling you how important it is to stick with the plan and eat healthy…your out of control emotions are screaming at you to wolf down a dozen donuts, an extra-large pizza and a six-pack of beer.
Can you guess who is going to win that argument?
Without a pre-existing plan to handle life’s rainy days, your weight loss / getting healthy plans are going to take the occasional beating from your emotions.
Here are a few techniques for controlling your emotions when life punches you in the face
Note: All of these techniques may seem different but they all work on the same principles:
- They distract you from the emotional thoughts
- They prevent you from obsessing & bring you back into the present moment
- They give you time for the emotions to die down & your conscious mind to regain control
My advice: find something that works best for you & your unique lifestyle
- If you’re religious…pray
- If you carry a smartphone with headphones…load it up with meditation or brain wave entrainment mp3s
- If you don’t buy into this new-agey, crunchy-granola stuff…drop to the floor and do push-ups & ab exercises until you are a sweaty mess.
The how is irrelevant…all we care about is short-circuiting your emotions & regaining conscious control of your mind.
Getting lean, fit & healthy isn’t rocket science.
- Find a plan that works for YOU
- Cook real / healthy food
- Increase your “non-exercise” physical activity
- Learn to control your emotions
And feel free to contact me with questions (Twitter / Facebook) if you need to chat.