It’s a muggy, sunny day here on Long Island, and in a couple of hours, I begin a full afternoon into the evening of clients. I love helping people change their lives by incorporating exercise into their daily lives, and by making simple nutritional tweaks. Because of all the information out there (most of it being bull!), it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and confused while seeking to improve your health and your weight!
Today, I want to dive deep a little bit about conventional thinking on diet and exercise. Here in the States, it’s recommended by both the government and the medical establishment that the average person gets an average of 60 minutes of light-to-moderate physical activity per day, and that their diets should be carb-saturated and dependent on calories above all else.
This is what we’re taught in school growing up, what we’re told by our doctors, and what most of the people in our lives looking to lose weight and to improve health turn to. The problem is, NEITHER of these common recommendations are accurate, and as a result, there are a lot of folks across the country and around the world that follow this advice to the tee who see little-to-no longterm success.
I should know… I’ve been there…
After struggling with childhood obesity, I decided to pick up a baseball and start playing sports at the ripe old age of 12. Due to my growth spurt, the sudden onset of regular physical activity and my teenage metabolism, I quickly grew into my weight, and then entered college at a lean but muscular six feet tall, 215 lbs.
A common ailment for folks attending university is to put on 15 lbs during their freshman year. I was fortunate that did not happen to me… Unfortunately, over the first three months of my sophomore year, I wasn’t so lucky:
In just three months, I put on 70 lbs! I was still active, going to the gym five days a week, playing rec sports like basketball, football, and racquetball, and yet, because I never changed a damn thing about my nutrition, it finally caught up to me!
I remember going home for Thanksgiving break towards the end of November, and my family members and home friends asking me, ‘What happened to you?! You were just in shape three months ago!’ To make matters worse, my school friends began to see all the weight I’d put on in my weeklong absence during the holiday, and quickly began ragging on me when we had a few too many to drink back at school.
After the academic year was over, I decided I was going to count calories, reduce portions, and exercise HARD! Following the Food Pyramid (now known as MyPlate), I consumed a diet low in calories, high in ‘healthy’ grains, vegetables and fruits, and minimized my dietary fat. My gym sessions ramped up from 90 minutes to nearly three hours, and I’d often do two-a-days!
For four months, this worked: I lost 40 lbs, and thought I was well on my way to undoing the damage. Unfortunately, this began the longest plateau of my life 🙁
For the next TWO years, I didn’t lose a pound. I stayed stuck at 235 lbs, and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t get under that. I started trying other popular dietary strategies and fitness methodologies with little-to-no success. I damn near gave up…
Then, my buddy turned me on to CrossFit. After doing some research, I saw that a lot of CrossFitters subscribe to the Paleo diet. While my nutritional philosophies have evolved a bit since then, this was the first nutritional philosophy I’d come across that told me NOT to worry about calories or portions, and to instead worry about WHAT I was eating.
Over the next four months, I lost another 20 lbs, and got back to my ‘original’ weight when I started my journey. But, I wasn’t satisfied! I wanted to look like one of those fitness models in the magazines, and decided to see if there was anything I could do to push the envelope. I was told to get a food allergy test by another acquaintance, and sure enough, found I was allergic to dairy. I cut that out of my regular diet, and another 15 lbs left without even trying! I then learned about lipolysis and keeping your body in a fat-burning state, and it was game, set and match:
Why do I tell you this? Because I wasted TWO YEARS of my life following conventional advice and fad diets with nothing to show for it after the first four months. I really thought I was going to be stuck with this tubby dadbod forever, and that maybe that’s just how I’m meant to be.
This whole experience really turned me off to listening to conventional thinking, and so I took matters into my own hands: Getting both certified and educated so that I could make the best decisions possible for my health! Now, that’s what I do for others, and I’m proud that that’s the path I’ve chosen.
So, if you’ve been told to watching your portions or to bust your ass for an hour a day, think again! Studies show that types of exercise like interval training can do just as much for you in 10 minutes as a two hour gym session can 🙂
Plus, you don’t NEED a gym! If going to a gym works for you, great, but I’m a huge proponent of working out at home or outdoors. This gives me more flexibility to change things up and work out on MY time, without having to allocate nearly two hours to commuting to and from a gym.
So, do me a favor? Next time an ‘expert’ tells you to eat a certain way or to do a certain type of exercise, do your homework before you blindly accept his/her recommendations 😉
P.S. If you’re READY to take that first step on your health and weight loss journey, then you’re REALLY going to want to download my FREE report!
With 10 years of experience, SEVEN different fitness and nutrition certifications, and a sustained weight loss of 100 lbs., I think I know a thing or two about this Permanent Weight Loss thing 😉
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