It's no secret that in the United States our obesity problem is killing more people every day than any other pending social or political issues. Thousands of people are dying everyday in this country and countries across the world over something that is completely preventable. Now I can sit here and regurgitate what is on my web blog, and all over the internet, you don't need to read it, you know it already, 6 small meals, throughout the day, weights, cardio, no processed sugars, blah blah blah.... If we all know it, then why do we still see the obesity in America surging? It's not a matter of knowing what to do, it's a matter of having the commitment and discipline to do it. I have several clients I trained that have lost over 100 pounds, and while it is a lot of work, it's much more discipline to do it than anything else! So if you have been trying everything, and it hasn't worked, here's my realistic strategies for someone who is working full time, has kids, does not have the time to train 8x a week, etc. These points are the order I usually give clients, but for lifestyle you may have to switch them around a bit, remember it's not what works for everyone, it's what works for you!
- ACCEPT THAT A COMPLETE DIET CHANGE IS NOT GOING TO WORK.
I wish when I got a new client I could go to their refrigerator and take out all the shit that is bad for them, take them shopping and have them stick to that plan, but the truth of the matter is, making a 100% change for people is not hard, it's damn near impossible. So while there are so many great diets out there that are healthy and you should be doing, if you are having a discipline issue, start more basic. The most basic advice I give is to start with liquids.
Start with just water in your diet. That's all, stop drinking soda, and replace it with water, maybe some coffee in the morning. Water alone can make a difference of up to 20% of your calories.
- Take A Walk
There are so many awesome fitness programs out there, and while many claim to be the best, the truth is a lot of them work!!! It's not rocket science. I can't make a million bucks telling you this, but I can be honest, and help get you started. If the gym is painful to you, and you are maybe to shy due to your weight to enter the holy temple just yet, start by simply walking! Ideally 20 minutes, but in the beginning if you can just go around the block, then do that. Walk with your significant other, listen to an audio book, whatever, just walk. This may make a little difference, it may not make any difference at all to your weight, but it will be a huge difference to your discipline and mindset.
- Speaking of walking....
Ditch your car or the bus/train as much as you can. I have trained around the world, and particularly in lean European countries I've been to I notice they don't necessarily train balls to the walls to be in shape, but they walk everywhere, and...
- Smaller portions!!!!
It is ungodly how huge American portions are compared to what we need. In the beginning of weight loss you may not be able to go cold turkey and go to a normal healthy portion, but you can start to decrease it gradually. If you are at 4000 calories today, then maybe 3800 next week, and so on and so forth.
- Start with basics
I train my close friends and family free of charge. But I have noticed over the years that those who get things for free take them for granted. I can spend an hour writing out a diet and fitness program, then an hour training with someone only to have them ring me 6 months later asking for another program because they didn't follow the first. I no longer spend that hour, I tell them do sit ups or push ups for about 5 minutes every day, with no exceptions, if they can do that, I'll write the rest. I usually only hear back from 30%. The 5 minute training again probably won't change much, but it will get you mentally into the mindset that training is an everyday thing, not something you are going to cut short on.
- Accept that this is going to take YEARS!!!
And years, is being mild, realistically as you advance it's a lifelong process. But in the beginnings accept changes will take time, if it took you 18 years to be 40% body fat, it's not going to come off in 18 weeks. But it can come off if you are dedicated and you believe it can.
- Stop buying into bullshit supplements, short term diets, fad diets, etc!!!
This is going to be hard! Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying, no magic pill is going to work, nor is the 400 calorie a day diet for a week, nor is the lemon juice only for two days diet, etc.
- Honestly, read, but don't read too much.
I'd love for you to sit here and read every article on this blog, and my advertisers would too! But realistically in the day in age of the internet too many people are sitting in front of computers reading 1000's of work outs instead of actually doing one. The worst workout on the planet is probably better than reading about workouts and not doing any. Speaking of workouts...
- If you hate the gym, don't go.
Clients are absolutely stunned when I tell them this, but it's true, if you hate it, it's not going to work for you. While it is my favorite and in my opinion the best option, if you don't enjoy it, you will quit. You are going to need to find something physical and high intensity you do enjoy, join a basketball league, a running club, a swim team, etc. Another surprise reaction I get from clients is when I tell them:
- Stay off the treadmill
Unless it's an issue of extreme weather, bad joints, or safety, myself and The Captain Power are hugely against the treadmill. My unscientific experiment, go to the gym, look at the people on the treadmill, now go to where people run, track, beach, park, etc... Who is in better shape?
- Evaluate and Measure Progress
Don't just say something fits better or feels more loose, get a digital bodyfat scale and take progress pictures. Keep a diet log of what is working for you and what challenges you are facing that you need to overcome. The majority of my clients use this one from Amazon:
- Mentally Accept and Execute That This Will Change Your Social Life
People are going to pressure you to have cake instead of skipping desert, go watch a ball game instead of hitting the gym. I go over this a lot more in my article and video on Mental Preparation For Weight Loss. But basically, just accept that you will have social roadblocks. And the rest... is up to you.
Good luck with everything, as always hit me up with any questions or comments!