There are a million people out there selling the key to simple solutions to weight loss, health, fitness, and lifestyle. Let me step right up and join their ranks. I can help you out – it’s easy, and you only have to do three things to make the changes. It’s true! My promise is so simple that I’m asked constantly what it is.
Now friends, gather ‘round and let me tell you all about the magic, the secret. I get asked often about what I did to perform a seemingly magical transformation. I always ask them: “Do you want the truth, or the bull puckey I tell all the others?”. “The truth!” They all say.
“Well alright then! One day, I was walking in the forest with my dog, and I came across a leprechaun. For the low low sum of five dollars, just five dollars, he sold me a little silver pill. I took it and the following Tuesday, I woke up, and look like I do now.” At this point friends, I hear grumbles. I see eyes rolling. Heck, I even hear the eyes rolling, it’s happening so much. And I tell them “Wait!” I say “Wait, there’s more. I happen to know the leprechaun has more pills! And they’re still only five dollars“.
“But it’s $2.5 million, payable to me, to learn which forest and his location in it.” For some reason friends, I’ve not had a single taker, and that’s a good thing, because I use that tall tale to weed out the folks that don’t want to change from the inside. The ones that aren’t committed. The ones that want a quick fix. But for the few that remain, the determined and the strong and the wilful, well I give them the real tips. The ones that I really used. But I warn you: they aren’t easy.
Here they are:
- Watch what, and how much, you eat.
- Exercise at something different from 2 (above).
Ah, but there are so many more things you say, so many more things that you need to do. You need to take supplements. You need to completely eradicate critical building blocks from your diet, like carbs, or protein. You need to go on the swiss chard and grapefruit diet from Pompano Beach! Wrong my friends, wrong. My miracle cure is something entirely different from that – and it’s proven to work on me, so it can probably work on you. I’m so confident, friends, I will give you a 100% guarantee that it will quite possibly work for you!
The truth is there is no quick fix. There is no silver pill. There is no snake oil. There is only your dedication, your continued motivation, and your hard work. Your single-bloody-mindedness. But I can confirm that the three things above, if you implement them well, are the keys to staying fit and healthy. Hard work. Committment. Diet. Exercise. That’s all I have for you. Sorry.
Eating – tip 1
I’m not a trainer. I’ve no formal education. I only know what has worked for me. I only know what I have learned along my 2.5 year journey. I certainly am not a nutritionist, so I can’t answer any questions about food. I would happily refer you to the Canada Food Guide as a great resource, and I can certainly refer you to some books, which you will find in my links. The first is Eat this Not That – a fantastic resource for what to eat when you are out in restaurants, what choices to make. The results will probably surprise you. The other book, the one that spoke to me about how to eat, how to change my diet, and what it should look like, is the Volumetrics Eating Plan.
I’m not a nutritionist but here is what I will tell you – you can teach yourself a lot. But teach yourself that fad diets are ridiculous and in some cases dangerous. Honestly, eat well. Eat more vegetables and fruit, less starch, and less protein. Make your protein lean. Make your starches whole grain or all natural, like brown rice and potatoes. Discover things like quinoa and couscous, and whole wheat pasta. Be skeptical of anything you don’t prepare yourself.
Here is another tip: grocery stores make the most profits on the items around the outer aisles – the “power perimeter”. Those outer aisles are, always: dairy, meat and deli, and fruits and vegetables. That’s why they are in the outer aisles. Stores hire expensive consultants who tell them to place regularly sought after items at the back of stores (look where peanut butter and coffee are the next time you are there) to force shoppers to wander past products, hoping that they will impulse buy. A shocking number of purchases are an impulse, but most of those would be convenience or processed food items not contained in the “power perimeter”. Shoppers often wander, somewhat aimlessly, up and down each aisle. Ever got to a grocery store and wonder how you could possibly have spent $200? Most of the inner aisle purchases are impulse. So my advice is to eat more daringly, definitely eat more fresh food, and prepare it yourself; only shop the outer aisles of grocery stores when you can.
Eat well. Eat lots. Eat clean. I can refer you to 10 easy steps to change the way you think about food. You will soon start viewing food as fuel rather than just food. Viewing it as important to maintain your balance and keep your energy up for the eventual calorie burn you’re going to do later that day. Just be careful what you put in. And for pity’s sake, give up french fries.
Exercise – tips 2 and 3
However I do have some tips, as you might expect. The first thing I recommend is old-school, apparently, but I’m a big proponent of doing two things as far as your workouts go. The fancy exercise-industry term for this is cross-training. Doing two different sports, two different disciplines, will help you excel. It trains your body as a whole. (Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are themselves badminton players, thank you very much. Speed. Agility. Lightning reflexes. Well, when Kimi isn’t partying too hard, I think.)
My suggestions to do two specific things are entirely personal, but there are some rules. Do one thing that is a hard cardio workout: obviously I recommend running for the simple input and outcome result – it’s amazing and fantastic and a full body workout. However, some people do have issues with joints, and can’t run – I understand this. Instead, cycle. Swim. Do something that is hard and works your entire cardiovascular system. Something that makes you sweat. The other suggestion is to do something you love. Something you can’t wait to do. Something that makes your cardio workout, your running or biking or swimming, a training component to get better or stronger or faster for that thing you love. I often referred to running as my permission slip – if I ran, it meant I got to play badminton. I did each three times a week. It was very important to me to have that kind of balance. The punishment of a hard cardio workout that meant I could go and play this sport that had my attention. Whatever yours is – hockey, volleyball, dodgeball, heck even working out in the gym, but intense cardio is good for your heart and lungs, and depending on the exercise you choose, your legs and lower back, your arms, and your shoulders. Ever see a young man named Michael Phelps? He’s a complete specimen of what a cardio-based workout and lifestyle can do for you. Not that he doesn’t do other types of training, but swimming that many disciplines at that kind of pace, to be the best that ever was – that’s a massive endorsement for how good cardio can be for you.
Two things. Love one from the start. The amazing thing is that you will probably learn quickly to love the other. I adore running. I get jealous when I’ve just finished a run, and see other people out on one. It’s crazy, but it’s how much I’ve fallen for my chosen cardio workout.
Those three things, friends, those three miraculous things, are what can make a huge difference for you. Eat all you want, but no exercise? That will not get the results you are looking for. Slightly better is exercising but not caring about what you eat. Alternating your exercise, and eating well – that’s the key. Trust me. It worked, and works, for me.