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Hungry? Late at night? Middle of the day? Listen to Cathy and Tom break down the best options for you!

For more tips and other videos please view our blog above! But if you want to take the next step click the link to the right!

Stay tuned every Tuesday night for more fun and exciting tips.

Think that you do not have time for breakfast. Watch and discover how in 20 minutes you can make breakfast for a week!

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60-Minutes to Fat Loss?

There is a constant conversation on the Internet about the most effective way to burn fat.

Heavy weights or light weights? Long-distance cardio or sprints?

With all of these different opinions, how are you to know the best way to invest your time for fat loss?

I’m going to tell you right now - and I’m even going to break down the hour for you minute by minute.

Minutes 0-5:

Sit down and think about what meal is the hardest for you get healthy food.

For A LOT of people it is breakfast. For others, lunch in an office is really tough. And many parents I talk to make terrible choices at dinner when the kids are running around like crazy.

Whichever it is, think about that meal and what meal would be the IDEAL choice for burning body fat. Then make a list of the foods you need to build that meal.

Minutes 5-30:

Now that you have a list made, drive to the closest grocery store. Enter that store on a mission; DO NOT deviate from your list. Get the items you wrote down, nothing extra.

Once you have the items, get out of the store quickly, before you can make any bad choices.

Minutes 30-60:

Prep your ingredients, cook the meal and pack it away into meal size Tupperware. Make sure you take a little taste to make sure you did a great.

Now that you have your meal prep done for the week, you do not need to worry about what you are going to eat when you are in a rush or you are “starving”, because it is already there.

All that, in just 60 minutes. That’s all it takes.

So, even if you don’t feel like it, get it done!

Grab a pen, you’re going to want to write this one down.

What I have for you today is the secret to finally getting the body you want, increasing your energy and having long term success on your diet.

You ready?

YOU HAVE TO LIKE THE FOOD YOU EAT.

Sorry if that was anti-climatic, but it really does come down to that. There are a few other factors that come into play, but basically, if you don’t like the food you’re eating, you are not going to last very long on any meal plan or diet.

I hear it all the time:

“That diet was awesome, I lost a ton of weight and looked great, but the food was terrible”

or

“I’ve never been that lean, but I felt like crap all the time”

If you really want to find long lasting success and improve your health for the long term, you have to start thinking about what kind of foods you like to eat and are not going to create health problems for you.

Boiled chicken and broccoli three meals a day might get you shredded, but if you’re miserable and hate everything about it, that is not a long term solution, it becomes a tiny band aid you are putting over huge wound.

You need to start finding healthy foods that you really enjoy and can eat on a regular basis, that will not only help you get healthy, but that will also make you happy.

That is one of the biggest issues with sort term diets and most “quick-fix” meal plans, is you have to sacrifice your happiness or enjoyment of food in order to drop a few sizes or fit into some old clothes. It is not necessary and it is not realistic.

The people that I have been around and worked with who have experienced this long-term success have found foods that they truly enjoy, they have easy access to (whether its their own meal prep or from a restaurant) and are in-line with their health and fat loss goals.

Sure, there are always going to be times when you might tighten up your food choices and restrict items for short periods in order to reach a certain goal, but for the long term, it is time to stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

No matter how picky you are about food, there is a way to incorporate delicious, nutrient dense, healthy foods into your daily life. Being really “clean” for a few weeks and then letting yourself go for a few months and then “getting back on the wagon” is a vicious, never ending cycle.

If you want to get serious, if you want to see changes and have them last, it is time to start building them into your lifestyle and in order to have that last, if you have to enjoy what you’re eating.

What are you having for dinner tonight? How about breakfast tomorrow morning?

Did you hesitate at all when you thought about it? Do you have any idea at all?

Now, I bet if I asked you what you’re doing this weekend, you could give me an hour-by-hour itinerary of everything you have going on (except your meals).

I’m sure you don’t shoot from the hip when it comes to paying your bills, either - you have a plan, and you don’t have to think about it.

This is where EVERYONE runs into a problem when it comes to good nutrition: They wait until they’re really hungry and then try to decide where to go and what to get.

Chances are, by the time you reach the point where you are past the point of hunger, you are not going to make good choices.

I think we can all agree that the types of food you eat have a profound effect on every other aspect of your life:

How you feel, how you look, energy levels, sleep, mood, productivity, and on and on.

These are all DIRECTLY affected by what you put in your body - but most people just wing it when it comes to food choices.

I know what you’re thinking, you have so many other things to worry about and I appreciate that.

I’m not saying you have to prepare every meal in advance (but that does work as well).

I’m simply saying that you will see immediate benefit when you put some thought and planning into where your food is coming from.

There is a good chance you have most of your day mapped out in advance, so you need to start making meals and food choices a part of that plan.

Any area of your life where you have been successful, I’m sure there has been planning and a lot of thought put into how you are going to get there.

So, if you want to eat better, you need to take the same steps!

I think it is finally time that we give up on trying to Eat Clean all the time.

I’m serious -  I’m tired of people being frustrated, and I’m sure you’re tired of trying to eat perfect all the time, so just stop.

It’s a waste of everyone’s time and effort.

Do you feel a little better? I do.

Now that we don’t have that pressure of trying to be perfect every day for the rest of our lives, it’s like a weight has been lifted.

So what’s the plan of attack now? Should we just hit every drive-thru we can find and see how much food we can put down?

That doesn’t sound like a very effective plan either… actually, it sounds almost as crazy as trying to be perfect ALL THE TIME.

The more I talk to people and try to help with their nutrition, the more I hear frustration about “not being perfect”, which usually leads to them giving up.

Have you fallen into this trap? Have you ever completely cleaned up your diet for a few days, then had one bad meal or a crazy night out and said, “I RUINED IT! ITS ALL OVER!” and then went back to your old habits?

Most people smile and nod their head when I ask them that, because we have all been there.

So let’s stop that cycle.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT TO GET RESULTS.

The people I’ve worked with who have seen the most profound and long lasting results were nowhere near perfect - but they also were nowhere near giving up and starting over at any point either.

Why do people think it has to be all or nothing when it comes to nutrition?

Where else in your life do you have to be perfect, 100% of the time in order to get results?

In order to feel better and look better and get healthier, being perfect its NOT REQUIRED. 

What is required is CHANGE, or even better, PROGRESS.

Take a look at what you’re eating now on a daily basis. Take a look at your nutrition and lifestyle habits.

How can you IMPROVE on just one of them tomorrow? How can you make some PROGRESS (without seeking perfection)?

The bottom line is this:

You are never going to be perfect when it comes to food, it’s very difficult to do and honestly, it’s really kind of boring. So stop thinking you need to 100% diligent with every morsel you take in and focus on making PROGRESS every day.

I love people watching at grocery stores. It always makes me smile to see people standing in the aisles staring and squinting at the backs of cans and sides of boxes.

There are people who will not drop 1 item in their cart until they check out the food label and make sure it clears all their checks. But I often wonder - what are they looking for?

I want to walk up to people and say, “What exactly are you looking for that is going to allow you to drop that item in your cart. What is the pass/fail criteria for your food?”

Do you really know what you’re looking at or does it just make you feel better when one item has less of something than what you usually buy?

Well today, I’m going to give you a few EASY to follow guidelines to help reading those labels MUCH easier.

Look for foods with no labels

This one makes it real simple to read labels, just buy the foods that have no labels. Take a walk through the produce department or buy the butcher or where they have fresh fish. You are not going to find too many food labels, because they’re not required for the foods that have not been ALTERED. The healthiest foods you’re going to find in whatever store you shop in usually don’t have labels at all.

Count the ingredients

The FIRST thing you should always look for on a food label is the ingredients. Forget the calories or proteins or whatever you normally look for. Go right to the part where it says INGREDIENTS and take a look. 

First, check how many ingredients there are: generally speaking, the fewer, the better. So if you’re buying peanut butter, you want peanuts in there and not much else. Also, if you see a word and you have never seen it before or can NOT pronounce it, do you really want to put it in your body?

Sugar Check

This is one that food companies are getting smarter with and starting to use artificial sweeteners to hide, but still holds up overall. If there is one thing that you DO NOT need any more of (and should probably cut out completely), it’s SUGAR.


So if you are going to be buying something in a can, box or jar and you want to be a label checker, look for SUGAR.

No cartoon characters

This one is more for the kids in your world, but unfortunate applies to adults as well. Anything - and I mean ANYTHING - that has a cartoon character on the box or can, just put it back. That’s it, that’s the rule, don’t buy it.

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If you're looking for more help creating an eating plan for fat loss, check out the Summer Meltdown.

You'll get the complete 30-day meal plan, as well as help avoiding all of the biggest distractions that can keep you from having the body you want.

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Shakes are a great go-to after workouts or on those crazy busy days where breakfast just isn't an option.

If made right, shakes can help you increase your lean muscle mass while dropping body fat.

The only problem is most people make them the 'wrong' way - either skipping ingredients so they taste terrible, or adding the wrong things and turning into a fattening milk shake.

To make it easier for you, here's a simple 5-step system for great shakes:

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The first step in making a delicious shake is adding the right liquid. You're going to want to use between 1-3 cups, depending on how thick you like your shake. Remember, the more liquid you add, the easier it will be to blend and drink.

I recommend:

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This is the key ingredient to building lean muscle. Use 1-2 scoops depending on your goals - and ALWAYS use high-quality protein. (Don't be surprised if you have digestion issues if you use the cheap stuff). I recommend the Doctor's Blend Chocolate, available at GFP.

Your best options are:

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The best way to add great flavor is with fruit. Fresh is best, but frozen is almost as good and much easier to store.

You can add any combination you like, but my favorites are:

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Adding healthy fats can help you feel full longer, as well as get you some great Omega 3's. They'll also give a better texture and flavor to your shakes.

The best options are:

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If you want to take your shake to the next level, add some of these extras:

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That's it! Just add you desired ingredients into a blender, mix it up until you like the texture, then enjoy!

How much easier would it be to reach your fitness and fat loss goals if you knew exactly what to eat and when? Better yet, what if those were foods you looked forward to eating?

The problem with most diets is they restrict you to a very limited set of options (that usually don’t taste great). As a result, it can be too hard to stick with the plan - meaning you’ll end up falling off track and not wanting to get started again.

On the other hand, when you want to eat the fat-burning meals you’ve planned out, you’re much more likely to see real results. Many of the people who have participated in our recent fat loss events have found that they were able to lose fat and gain energy by following a meal plan full of things they liked, created with our easy-to-use templates.

In the upcoming Memorial Day Meltdown, you’ll get access to all new & improved versions of these meal planning templates.

You’ll be shown step-by-step how to plan healthy meals for the week based on your preferences and lifestyle. This means no more boring meals day after day and no more struggling to balance your goals with your family’s tastes - while you still see awesome fat loss results.

To learn more about how you can start losing fat with the Memorial Day Meltdown, click here.

“It costs too much to eat clean!”

I hear this all the time when I start helping families start planning an Eat Clean lifestyle. I think it’s one of things we’ve all heard so much that we’ve started believing it instantly.

But is it true? Let’s take a look at the facts:

Some researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health took a look at a number of studies examining this exact topic and their results were very interesting. Interesting enough for the British Medicine Journal to publish them.

As it turns out, eating clean IS more expensive than eating poorly - BUT not by much.

The researchers found that the cost per day, per person to switch to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and quality meats (as opposed to one filled with processed foods and lower quality meat) is $1.50.

It is 1 dollar and 50 cents more per person per day to eat for better health, performance, and fat loss.

Now, I realize that turns into $45 more per person a month, and about $550 more per person a year. That is lot of money, I understand. Especially if you have a family, it adds up quickly.

Now, normally I would go on a rant talking about how much is your health worth to you and how could you place a value on your body, blah, blah, blah. But, I’m not going to do it.

I just want to help put things in perspective for you. While I appreciate that $550 is a lot of money, let’s take a look at what else WE are all spending our money on.

Let us start with coffee. I love coffee, chances are you do too. Daily coffee drinkers rack up an average tab of $1,092 a year. That’s a LOT of caffeine.

So, maybe you’re not a coffee drinker (or refuse to give it up), but I bet you watch TV (and if you don’t do either, you need to get a vice… or you have one that is WAY worse and more expensive).

The average US household pays about $64 a month on their cable bill (not including all the premium channels - and we all know Game of Thrones is starting soon). But realize - $64 bucks is $19 more that it would cost to make you healthier and leaner and happier.

Here are a few more interesting expenditures we Americans spend our hard earn money on:

185 dollars a year on lottery tickets

450 dollars a year on alcohol

400 Dollars a year lost on gambling

And this one might be my favorite: the average American THROWS AWAY about $540 dollars worth of food every year.

So, what’s the point? It is possible to eat clean. You can afford it. Lots of fruits and vegetables and quality meat do cost a little bit more - it’s just a matter of how important it is to you.

When you got out of the shower this morning and looked in the mirror, were you impressed with your body? Were you satisfied with how you look?

If those questions make you unhappy, you might want to start by taking a little inventory about what you’re doing.

So, let’s take a walk to your kitchen and take an honest look at what you have in your cabinets.

There is a simple rule when it comes to nutrition:

IF IT’S IN YOUR HOUSE, YOU’RE GOING TO EAT IT!

It’s a fact - your willpower will only last so long, so those cookies or chips tucked away in the back of the cabinet, that ice cream stuck under all of the frozen veggies or those chocolate bunnies you buried deep in a drawer will get eaten (by you) sooner or later.

I know, I know.  Your kids love them. Or it’s your husband or wife’s fault, they are the snackers (they have a terrible influence on you).

I’ve heard it all before.

But do the people you love really need to be eating that stuff? I bet if someone you loved were trying to quit smoking, you wouldn’t keep cigarettes in the house. Or if you were trying to quit, they wouldn’t do the same to you.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s dramatic, I shouldn’t compare eating poorly to smoking. You’re right - it’s really not fair to compare the two.

But, did you know there are actually way more studies and scientific research showing the detrimental health effects of a poor diet than ones about smoking. There are A LOT more long term and deadly diseases that can come about from eating poorly for long periods of time.

It’s not easy to avoid those foods. They are everywhere, they are advertised everywhere and the worst part, THEY ARE DELICIOUS.

Listen, I love Oreos as much as anybody, but I’ve found a very simple method to not eat them: I DON’T BUY THEM. If they are in my vicinity, I will eat them, so I keep them out of my cabinets and drawers.

So just try it, go through your kitchen, take inventory and take all the “crap” out. Throw it away, it will feel good. Just get rid of it.

Worried about wasting money? How much is your health worth?

Give it a shot; let me know how it goes.

I think it’s time to be honest with you.

Many times when I’m driving home from work after a long day, I have visions of quickly jerking the wheel and turning the car off the road.

Wait a minute, sorry about that, probably sounds a lot more dramatic than it needed to.

What I was implying is that on my way home, I pass by A LOT of fast food places and sometimes, I just want to pull in. 

I’ve never officially counted, but there are at least 5 with drive-thru windows that I can think of off the top of my head, plus a few sandwich shops, pizzerias and a really good fish and chips place.

I won’t bore you with my story of being a 400lbs, depressed, never-made-it athlete,

but I will give you a little insight into how my brain works.

When I was that big, my brain was like a GPS or an advanced restaurant finder app on you smart phone. No matter where I was going, my mind would instantly start thinking about all of the food places I would pass along the way and trying to figure out the best place to stop and get a snack.

Now I want to be 100% transparent here - not much has changed. I still know where all those restaurants are and I still think about food A LOT. That food will always taste good, even though I live a much healthier lifestyle now.

No matter how much weight I lose or how hard I work out, it won’t stop me from staring at the donut racks at Dunkin Donuts while I wait for my coffee. Sometimes I figure out what 12 I would pick if I were to order a dozen (seriously, they have so many good options it’s never easy.)

I’ve come to realize that feeling of wanting to order those donuts or turn into that drive-thru is not going away. I always thought I would reach a certain weight or body fat percentage and a switch would flip in my head and make me not enjoy those foods anymore, but it just doesn’t happen.

The biggest difference for me has been my ability to make the right choice, for that one second. It really just comes down to that for me. I know I always talk about drinking all your water and prepping food and taking your supplements: and don’t get me wrong, that stuff all WORKS and will help get you to your goals. But before you tackle any of that, you have to start winning those little battles with your mind on a daily basis.

It is those little once second decisions, which are by no means easy, but they are what is probably holding you back from looking and feeling the way you want.

Figure out the best strategy to keep you from pulling the trigger on ordering that food or turning that wheel. For me, it’s a deep breath and a quick flash back to the day I took a picture of myself at my heaviest, that usually does the trick for me. So now, when that evil little man at Dunkin Donuts asks me if I want any donuts with my coffee (and he ALWAYS does) it’s not a problem to say no.

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Did you open this e-mail hoping this could be the one that changed your life?

Was there a part of you that hoped I really did have one super secret tip that could unlock the door to all of your fitness and body composition goals?

Maybe I was going to reveal some new supplement that will take all of the hard work and monotony out of eating well and getting healthy.

I can’t lie, I sometimes think the same way. I have a library full of nutrition and training books which I bought to expand my knowledge, but in the back of my mind I always thought, “Maybe this will be the one that fits me perfectly. This one might make it really easy for me to reach all my goals.”

Well, first of all, that secret tip or super supplement: it’s not out there.

If it was, you probably would have seen it on Shark Tank by now.

Secondly, I’ve got bad news: You already know EVERYTHING you need to reach your goals. Seriously, you have it in your brain right now.

But there is one thing, one word that will help you crush your goals and feel, look and perform exactly like you want in 2015.

ACCOUNTABILITY

It’s that simple.

Vince talked to you about the 1st step in Mindset Monday: SET A GOAL.

You need to know where you want to go before you can start anything. So have a goal and write it down.

But the next step is even more important. Tell your goal to someone (or multiple people) who is going to help you stay accountable.

Having a goal that no one knows about is like a tree falling in the woods.

The first person that can really help you with this is a Coach. A Coach can help you break down that goal and set up a game plan to get you there. They can give you action steps to take every day, every week and every month to make sure you’re on track. (If you need help finding a good coach, click reply to this email and I’ll help you out, I know a few really good ones.)

There is someone who can be more important than a Coach. (Keep in mind I coach people for a living, so this is full disclosure)

To me, nothing beats a TEAMMATE when it comes to accountability.

I played team sports for the majority of my life and I have had a few coaches that have impacted my life in profound ways, but it was always my teammates that kept me going. It was my peers who I didn’t want to let down, they were they guys that kept me from quitting and got me through the hard times.

The truth is, sometimes I was less than truthful with my coaches. I didn’t want to get in trouble or didn’t want them to think less of me.

But with my teammates, they could see right through my BS.  They also understood exactly what I was going through. I felt comfortable talking to them about what I was going on in my head and any issues that were coming up.

Do you have someone in your life that you have a relationship like that with? Someone who is looking to achieve similar goals as you and that will help you through some hard times. It can be your spouse, a parent, child, best friend, maybe your neighbor.

Understand this: that person, your TEAMMATE, they probably need you just as bad as you need them. Find a person who will call you out when you need it, motivate you when you need a kick in the but and pat you on the back when you deserve it.

A great TEAMMATE is a powerful when looking to achieve your goals, so go find one…

Once you have that awesome teammate, it’s time to take action and get started towards your goals.

The best way to start is our 2015 Fat Loss Fundraiser. This 30-day program will give you the exact plan you’ll need to see great fat loss results. Plus, if you or your partner aren’t GFP members, you’ll have the chance to train with us for free, just for joining the Fundraiser.

 

And the best part? All proceeds will go directly to the Lustgarten Foundation to help in their work to cure Pancreatic cancer.

If you want to make 2015 your best year ever, just visit fatlossfundraiser.com to get started.

“I’m off the wagon, Tom!”

This is a phrase that has come up in conversations during the last few days in regards to people’s health and nutrition. I usually only hear it this time of year, but I hear it A LOT.

I’ve also had conversations with people who have dedicated entire days to cooking and eating cookies. Others are actively recovering from 5 days straight of being hung-over, but plan on drinking a few more times this week.

(I thought Spring Break didn’t start until March.)

I really wish I had an awesome vegetable recipe that I could honestly say tasted better than sugar cookies, but... I don't.

So, I implore you to enjoy your Holidays, no matter what it is you are celebrating.

Enjoy the time with your friends and family and eat whatever you want. Big meals on holidays with your families or loved ones are not the time to think about “eating clean” or “improving your health”. That is a time you can enjoy yourself and let go a little bit.

DO NOT stress about it or feel guilty for going crazy. Understand that you will probably not be feeling great and have no energy, but sometimes you just need to take a nap on the couch in the middle of the day.

The only small bit of advice I would pass on is to not let that type of behavior carry over for the next few weeks. Don’t be the person who completely lets go and says,

“Just wait until January 1, I’m going to change my whole life!”

How did that work out for you last year?

Mark the big meals and big parties on your calendar and go crazy. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the time with the people you care about and let go a little bit. Let go of any stress or guilt associated with the Holidays.

If you can fit a few workouts in, that might help too!

Enjoy your Holidays!

-Tom

Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of Holiday season, I’ve been talking to a lot of people who are struggling with their food.

This time of year introduces us to a ton of environments that make it extremely difficult to “EAT CLEAN”.

My first response to them is always the obvious, but a lot of people don’t want to hear it.

There are ways to stay on track during the Holidays. I have seen people drop body fat and get in better shape by working hard straight through Thanksgiving all the way to New Year’s.

Holidays in the Real World

But maybe you want to enjoy your holidays and not have to focus so much on what you eat for the next few weeks. I don’t love saying that, but I have to be realistic and realize that you might not be willing to put much effort into monitoring your caloric intake or tracking your macronutrient ratio at every Christmas party you attend.

Before you get too frustrated, there are a few simple things you can do to help limit the effects of going crazy during the holidays. If you concentrate on these and are very diligent it will go a long way in getting you through New Year’s feeling good so you can hit the ground running in 2015:

Don’t Miss Your Workouts 

Even better, crank up your workouts and get more activity in. A lot of times people when people let their nutrition go, everything else goes with it.

Don’t fall into this category!

Even if you're feeling bloated and hung over and terrible, get to the gym or go for a run, (or even a walk), but do SOMETHING to get your butt moving. I promise, you'll feel better afterwards.

Just don’t let that voice in your head with a full belly and a sugar hangover talk you out of getting your workout in. The extra workouts will minimize the damage of the excess calories and you will not need to ask for a new belt for Christmas.

Drink a Ton of Water

This one comes up in just about every article I write and I didn’t want to break my streak.

Are you eating too much? Drinking water has been shown to help reduce daily caloric intake.

Are you drinking too much booze? Drinking water will help you stay hydrated and reduce the effects of hangovers.

Are you feeling bloated and having all sorts of digestive issues? Yup, you guessed it, water will help you out there.

Get a big jug or bottle and carry it around with you at all times.

Weigh Yourself Every Day

Yes, you read that correctly - this is the one time you get a free pass to get on the scale on daily basis.

I would much rather you get your body fat tested every week or take circumference measurements - or even daily pictures - but as I said above, I’m a realist. Research tells me that the average American can gain over 5 lbs of pure body fat during the holidays, so if this will help you keep an eye on it, then step right up.

Check your weight in the morning when you first get up on an empty stomach and keep a mental note of your daily weight, keeping in mind that a fluctuation of 1lb up or down is normal, especially if your eating tons of processed foods and drinking alcohol.

These are simple, easy to follow and will get you through the next few weeks without completely destroying any work you have done on your health in 2014.

John was a man who struggled with his weight for his entire life. He was a chubby kid, an overweight teenager, and had turned into an obese adult. He was more than 100 lbs overweight and his overall health was rapidly declining.

John had many excuses for his weight, ranging from hormone problems, to addictive eating and even sometimes blamed his genetics.

Everything changed  when John's 13 year old daughter Paige was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease. Doctors told John his daughter would need a kidney transplant to ever have the hope of living a normal life. After an extensive search for donors, John was identified as a perfect match.

There was one problem though: Doctors would not operate on John in his condition. They told John he would have to lose at least 60 lbs in the next 8 months in order to help his daughter.

So what did John do?  What would you do?

John didn't lose the 60lbs in 8 months, he lost 80lbs in 6 months and saved his daughter's life. 

The moral of the story? If you have a big enough WHY, you'll always find the HOW

 John stopped making excuses and found a way to do something in only 6 months, that he had thought to be IMPOSSIBLE for the previous 30 years. He found a big enough WHY.

 Notice I didn't talk about HOW he lost the weight. It wasn't his diet or weight training program or how many grams of fish oil he took every day.

All of that is secondary to his WHY.

Now this is a very dramatic example of finding the right motivation to achieve your goals.

Hopefully none of us will ever have to go through something like this, but I think the story illustrates that anything can be overcome with the right WHY .

I was reminded of this story when I realized that in less than a month, EVERYONE is going to start making New Years Resolutions. Every year I hear hundreds of different ones, most are well thought out, strategic goals are set and people have the proper game plan for success.

Then why do 90% of Resolutions not even make it 30 days?

It’s not because people have the wrong goals or picked the wrong diet or aren’t doing the right type of training, most people just don’t have the right WHY.

In the next few weeks, as you start thinking about what you want to change in 2015, you also need to have a WHY attached to that goal. That might take a little more time to think about, but when you find it, it will help you overcome and stick to your plan.

The WHY is way more important than the HOW.

It might sound dumb, but it’s so true: You are what you eat.

I guarantee you’ve it before.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure who said it first, but I’m going to give credit to Jack Lalanne, he’s my go-to when it comes to health quotes.

My question to you is: Have you ever really thought about that quote? Even though it sounds corny and we’ve all heard it since it we’re little kids, it truly does hold some weight.

Change your frame of reference for a minute and think about buying high-end products of any kind. When you spend A LOT of money on something, there are basically 2 things you are looking for, the best MATERIALS available and the highest level of CRAFTSMANSHIP.

Let’s say you’re building a new house, your going to want to use the highest quality products you can afford. You’re probably not going to go looking for the cheapest materials and contractors that can get it done the fastest, no matter what. If you did, what would happen?

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How about buying a new car? I bet you have a checklist of things you want to see. Why would you pay A LOT more for that car? Probably because it’s made of much better materials and engineered by the best people out there. So what do you get when you use the cheapest materials to buy a new car. Well, I always think of this….

But when it comes to food, people are always willing to take short cuts. Take a minute and think about food that is really cheap to buy and really easy to prepare, it tends to give people the biggest problems.

The “materials” that you bring in through your nutrition is all your body has to rely on when it has to build or repair itself.  So take a minute and think about what you ate yesterday. Did you think to yourself:

“I don’t have time to cook, I’ll grab some take out”

Or,

“I can’t wait for a good meal, I’ll just hit the drive through"

I know a lot you reading this are parents as well. How do you think about your kid’s nutrition? I’ll bet you wouldn’t let them live in house which was built for as cheap as possible and I know for a fact you wouldn’t let them get into the “Adobe” for a ride to school.

A lot of times the key to eating clean is simply a change of reference. Start looking at your food as the building materials for your body. So do you want to feel better or look better or perform better? Think about what you are supplying your system with in order to get those things done.

If you look at your body the same way you do your house or your car, it could help you make better decisions.

Grabbing a donut on the way to work because you don’t have time for breakfast?

They taste great, I can’t argue with that. So on the same train of thought: Why pay all that money for central air, when you can just….

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A burger and fries from the drive thru? You’re right, it’s cheap and it’s really fast. But so is using duct tape on your bumper:

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Change your frame of reference and it will make a world of difference in how you eat.

While most of us love the holiday season, we’re all too aware of the effects it can have on us.

There’s a reason “weight loss” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions..

It Adds Up

The average American gains 2.5lbs of fat between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Add that up for the past 10 years and that’s 25lbs of pure body fat added because of the one month holiday season

I think of that fact every time someone says “My goal is to weigh as much as I did when I got married or before I had kids or when I graduated high school”.

This next month can have a major effect on your long term health - whether its positive or negative is up to you.

I want to share with you 4 strategies that will help you navigate this time of year much easier and get through New Year’s without having to add an extra hole to your belt.

Enjoy the big meals

I think everyone should enjoy the holidays with family and eat good food, but let’s keep it to the HOLIDAY.

There are 40 Days between now and New Years. That’s 123 Meals.

That 2.5 lbs of Fat isn’t caused by 3 or 4 big family dinners, it’s everything in between.

So live it up on Thursday, eat whatever you want, FOR THAT ONE MEAL, but keep the meals before and after it as clean as possible.

Add heavy, intense workouts before meals

If you want to get the most out of your big meals, do heavy weight lifting & high intensity cardio before. Your body will be able to handle the high insulin loads much better and the meals might actually help you build muscle!

If you’ve ever wondered why professional athletes can eat so much and still be so lean, well, I’m going to let you in on their secret, THEY WORK OUT REALLY HARD.

The higher the intensity of the training, the more need for nutrients your body will have. So try hitting the weights or doing some sprints before you put on a show at the dinner table.

Digestion Is Key

We all know about that Holiday bloat and feeling “stuffed” all the time. Keep your digestion healthy through the holidays and you’ll feel much better. The first step is proper hydration. Drinking as much water as you can will help keep things “moving” along.

It might also help you not eat as much in between the big meals. Adding in a lot more fiber will also be a huge bonus here.

We all know the types of foods that are being consumed in the next few weeks can do 2 things to our digestion: Bring it to a screaming halt OR have us running to the bathroom every 30 minutes - neither one is very fun. Keep your digestion on point and you will be feeling much better.

Eat Before You Eat

This is a simple trick to use before all those Holiday Parties which you know are going to be loaded with terrible food.

Simply have a healthy meal right before you walk out the door. Going to a party hungry is a recipe for disaster. You’re going to be tempted to eat whatever is put in front of you, which in most cases are some pretty terrible options.

That extra healthy meal will help boost your willpower and make it easier to make better decisions.

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