Do You Measure Up?

TapeI mean that in the literal sense – when you set a goal, do you measure to see if you are reaching it?

There’s a saying “What get measured gets done”.

When a client comes to me expressing frustration about lack of progress, asking advice about what to change in their nutrition plan, I will usually ask a question –

“What does your nutrition look like now?”

And then ask for their food log.

You see it is impossible to make suggestions without seeing what’s going on currently.

Let’s think about it from an athletic perspective. You like to run 5k races (you’re crazy, but that’s beside the point). You have a goal to run your next 5k in under twenty minutes, and your current best time is 22 minutes. So you want to shave a couple minutes off your time. What would you do? How would you know your training is effective and you are getting faster? You would time yourself periodically to see! If you were getting faster, you more than likely would continue your present training. However if your time was stagnant, or worse yet you were getting slower, you know you need to change something up. Logical, yes?

Or maybe you are business person, and you want to know if your latest direct ad campaign is bringing in customers. You would track the number of responses to the ad to see if it was effective and profitable. If not, changes will be made next time around.

In either situation, you are not going to just leave it to chance and let the chips fall where they may. You are going to measure.

Weight Scale

If you have been following my food blog (, you may have noticed that I changed things up a little this week. I have been on my present plan for a few weeks, my compliance has been high (this is critical – you can’t accurately measure if you are all over the place on one of the metrics) and I have detected a trend that is contrary to my goals. So it’s time to change up. I measure myself once a week: Scale weight and waist measurement. The tape tells me my bodyfat has most likely increased over the past couple of weeks (1/2″ increase on the waist measurement). Why? Most likely because I have eaten more grains than I was during my previous phase (I am very sensitive to non-fibrous carbs, not everyone is this way). Because I want to keep those grains in my diet, I have decided to eat my last meal before 6:00pm. How will I know if this was the right approach? The tape will tell me over the next couple of weeks!

If you are in our bootcamps, we encourage the same approach: Scale and waist measurement, once a week. Detect the trend over a 2-4 week period, and adjust food intake (up or down, depending on the goal) as necessary.

Critical Points:

  • Be consistent – measuring once every two months is way too long. You could gain or lose  10 pounds in that amount of time and not even realize it.
  • Be consistent Part II – weigh yourself at the same time of day in the same clothing; be as careful as you can to measure yourself in the same place every time – It takes practice!
  • Be consistent Part III – As I mentioned above, you must KNOW what you are currently eating on a DAILY basis. It isn’t good enough to guess. Studies show that the average person trying to lose weight underestimates calorie intake by 25%!
  • Don’t get discouraged – Discovering what is optimal for you can take time. That time will be reduced by, you guessed it, being consistent.
  • Don’t think you have to make huge changes right way, IF you are following the points above. I eliminated one meal (snack) that averages about 250 calories. Not a huge change, but it may be all it takes. DON’T stop feeding your body by taking drastic measures.

Measure, analyze, adjust. Step-by-step, week-by-week.

Do you measure up?

Make It Happen!


Tonight’s Dinner and The Biggest Loser

Got a quick, easy and great tasting recipe you can make for tonight…more on that in a minute!

I was reading the other day that the TV show “The Biggest Loser” is looking for one or two new trainers for the upcoming season. They are expecting to be inundated with thousands of portfolios and tapes from trainers looking to get on the show.

As you know, I am a “Biggest Loser” junkie. Not necessarily a fan, but I do enjoy watching the show. I enjoy watching people accomplish what they never thought possible. It intrigues me to watch Bob and Jillian (the trainers) interact with their team members and search for what will drive each individual closer to their goals. Some of the challenges are really cool. The reveal at the end of each show where you see how much progress each voted off contestant has made since leaving the “ranch”. I just have fun watching.

As I mentioned previously, they are looking for a couple additional trainers. Some of you have even been so kind to say that I should go for it, send in a tape and audition for the show. I am humbled and flattered, and I have to admit it crossed my mind. What better platform to get the message out?

But therein lies the problem; I would not be allowed to get Nancy and my message out. While the show is fun, we have a few fundamental disagreements with the methodology.

First and foremost, it is not realistic for the VAST majority of the population.

Odds are you are not going to be sequestered on a private ranch with other totally like minded individuals 24 hours a day.

You are not going to be able to train 8 hours a day.

You are not going to have someone do your shopping and stock your fridge for you.

You are not going to have someone looking over your shoulder every hour of every day making sure you don’t do something that will compromise your weight loss.

And you are not going to average 7-12 pounds of weight loss for 12 weeks.

And you know what? That’s OK!

Because when it comes down to it, it’s not just losing the “weight” that’s important. I can point to thousands of people that lose weight at one time (or more) in their life. And I can point to just as many that gained it back (and more) once they stopped “dieting”.

In fact, many of the contestants on the show have done that very thing! They may have “learned” how to lose weight in the little bubble they were put in, but once they got back into everyday, routine, “normal” life, they were not equipped any better than when they first got there. Yes, some have kept the weight off – very few from the research I have done.

You know I don’t like the word “can’t” – but I am going to break my own rule…

You can’t tell people that it’s ok to eat “100 calorie packs”, because while the portions are controlled on the show, who says I can’t eat a whole box when I get home? 100 calories of junk is still 100 calorie of junk!

You can’t expect a mom with 5 kids to go home and be able to train 7 or 8 hours a day in order to maintain her weight loss.

However you can…

Expect to get hit with the every day stresses of life.

Expect your boss, or your kids, or your husband to drive you nuts once in awhile.

Expect to be tempted to resort to poor choices when things seem out of control – so called “comfort food”.


You also CAN take the small steps you need to every day to help you achieve consistent AND permanent weight loss.

Ok Mr. Trainer, you are asking – what do you know anyway? What do you know about being overweight, stressed, and life seemingly spinning out of control?

Fair enough – why don’t we ask this guy instead:

or how about him?

or what about this dude, holding his ribbon for a pie contest he just placed in?

What if I told you this guy topped the scales at 270+ pounds, had a 46″ waistline, couldn’t walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, had high blood pressure,  problems randomly passing out, and a whole list of other fun stuff?

Why would I listen to him, you say? Why, he’s worse off than I am!

What if I told you this same guy now weight 188 lbs with a 34″ waistline, has normal blood pressure, the heart rate of a triathlete, normal blood sugar, and has (this is important) kept it off for over 5 years?

What if I told you the tools that he used to achieve this are available to you, absolutely free?

Would you take advantage of them, or would you find another reason why not?

Here’s the tools, go on and get them, I’ll wait:  Weight Loss Success Toolpak

Ok, now here’s that recipe I promised. It is absolutely delicious and great for you!

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken and Avocado Salad (4 Servings)
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 tsp.lemon juice
1 bag(10oz.) torn romaine lettuce (about10cups)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 medium tomato,cut into wedges
1 small cucumber, sliced
¼ medium Vidalia onion,chopped
½ cup Red Pepper
½ cup Light or Fat-free Italian Dressing
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese

Toss avocados with lemon juice in large salad bowl. Add lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions; mix lightly. Add dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Let me know what you think!

Oh and if you see the guy in the pictures, say hi for me! 🙂

Make It Happen!

Don’t Look For Your Motivation Here!

Are you motivated today? Let’s get motivated! Find that inner motivation! What’s it going to take to motivate you?

You’ve heard it, and I’ve heard it – you have to be motivated to reach your goals.

I say Hogwash!

Blasphemy you say – isn’t it your job as a trainer to get me motivated?

Well, maybe for the one hour a day we are together I can encourage, inspire, and yes, even motivate you to get through the workout.

But what about the other 23 hours in the day?

I submit that what you need is a good dose of determination on top of that motivation.

Let’s look at a definition of each word:

Motivation – the state or condition of being motivated

Determination – a fixed purpose

Do you see the difference? Motivation depends largely on how we feel, while determination has a much more solid foundation – it is fixed, or unchanging in nature.

So what does that have to do with losing weight, eating healthier, reaching higher athletic performance? In a word – Everything!

Let me put it this way; It’s late Monday afternoon, you just finished a grueling day at work, your boss was being a major jerk and you have enough paper piled on your desk to heat your house for a month. You don’t feel like going to the gym, you don’t feel like doing anything but going home and plopping down in front of the television. What do you do? Are you motivated to go the the gym? The answer is pretty obvious – absolutely not. This is why determination is far more important than motivation. Determination will drive you to the gym, your present state of (lack of) motivation will cause you to drive right on by.

We humans are emotional beings. Our nature causes us to act on how we feel and the circumstances that surround us much of the time. Hard day at work? I don’t feel like going to the gym. Kids driving you nuts? That pint of ice cream is sure to make me feel better.

How about this? You have been working hard in the gym, not missed a training day in 3 or 4 months. Your nutrition is on track, and yet you still can’t get rid of that last 10 pounds. You are not seeing the results you want as fast as you want. What do you do? Circumstances like this can sap our motivation, no question about it. But are you determined to reach your goals, to do what is necessary to reach them, or do you give up, because it’s just “not working”?

The battle we are waging is largely in our minds. No one lives in a perfect bubble, immune from the pressures of the outside world. We all deal with less than ideal circumstances, it is only a matter of degrees. For years I made excuses why I was obese and unhealthy. For years I was “motivated” to do something about it, only to lose my motivation a few months later. Fear of failure, fear of ridicule, even fear of success can cause us to lose our will to keep going when things get hard.

As a trainer, when a prospective client wants to hire me to “motivate” them, I know we are in for a hard battle. It goes back to what was said before – if you are only motivated 1 out of 24 hours of every day, are you likely to do what it takes? I can guide you and inspire you, but motivation is personal and transient; it comes and goes. The best way I know to overcome these peaks and valleys is to formulate a plan, the “fixed purpose” that defines determination.

We are big on plans around here. We provide a training plan that you execute on a daily basis. The nutrition plan guides what and when you eat. 6 Pack 6 incorporates daily and weekly checkpoints into an overall plan that drives you toward your goals.

Do you have such a plan, the purpose that drives you on in spite of what is going on around you? Do you know what you are going to do today that will help get to where you want to be? Do you know what you are going to do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year? Taking a step back, do you even know what the end result will be? Have you fixed a picture in your mind of what you want to look like, feel like, or perform like? If not, now is the time.

Take out a piece of paper, and write down your “fixed purpose” for the next year, the next 6 months, the next month, next week, and today. Start with the end goal, the “fixed purpose”, in mind and work backwards. The action you take today will determine where you end up tomorrow.

This quote from the great Jesse Owens, a man who overcome far more obstacles than most of us will ever know, sums things up nicely.

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

It’s a new week. What are you determined to do with it?

Make It Happen!


The Love Of My Life and Your Weight Loss

A couple weeks ago Nancy and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. Yes, she IS up for sainthood, in case you were wondering.

As I was reflecting on those 23 years, I could not think of one significant achievement over that time span in which she didn’t support my efforts.

And that got me thinking once again about the importance of having someone to support you in your fitness goals, and particularly if you are trying to lose weight.

I know some of you have heard parts of this before, but it’s worth repeating.

At one time in my life I weighed 270+ pounds, and was anything but “fat and happy”.

Fat Yes – Happy No!

Tired all the time, blood sugar out of control, unable to find clothes off the rack – not conducive to making one really satisfied with his life.

When I made the decision to lose the weight and seek to regain my health, Nancy was there every step of the way. Cleaned the cupboards of all the junk food (really – we threw it away), changed a lot of the food we were eating and tried a bunch of (what was then to us) crazy new stuff (you know, like vegetables and fish), supported the investment into exercise equipment, and tons of other stuff.

She also held me accountable. If popcorn wasn’t on the plan, she reminded me of that. Not nagging, but just asking me about it. She celebrated with me when I lost pounds, and encouraged me when I didn’t. You know stuff like – “Suck it up you big baby”. 🙂

You NEED to find someone like that. It’s part of our 6 Pack 6 to share your goals and progress with someone every week. Ideally that someone is on board with what you are accomplishing – if they are not, find somebody else.

I’m going to get a little personal here. If your significant other knows what you are trying to do, but tells you it’s okay when you “cheat” on your diet repeatedly, or miss training, you MUST talk to them about it. Sit down with them and ask them to hold you accountable; ask them to keep the junk out of the house – not forever, but just for now. Look I don’t care, get brutal – ask them if they love that stinking cookie more than they love you! There is a time for compromise and a time to stand your ground. If not now – when? And this passive aggressive “I love you just the way you are” bull – don’t even get me started! I’m sure they do love you, but that’s really not the point.

Personal confession time – Right now, to this day, if there is a box of cookies in the house, 90% of the time I am going to eat them. It’s just better if they are not in the house or if I don’t know they are. Guess what – either they aren’t or I don’t. Simple as that. Nancy knows that, she wants me around for at least a little while longer, and she helps me out.

A couple more points:

#1) I know that not everybody who reads this is married or otherwise co-habitating. If this is the case, you are way ahead of the game as far as what’s in your cupboards and fridge, cause you control it all. Your task is to find someone who will hold you accountable when you stumble.

#2) I am not trying to drive a wedge in any relationships. The fact is that non-support at home can be a huge challenge. It can be overcome, but it’s so much easier to be on the same page. Be transparent and have that conversation. We are here to support you and help you work through it.

Now get out there and….

Make It Happen!

Your Personal Stimulus Package

The economy is in the news all the time. Stimulus this, stimulus that…Spending millions, billion and trillions…

Well I want to stimulate something else…your mind.

Despite the financial “crisis” that is going on now, we still realize the importance of investing our money for the future.

Successful investors are consistent – riding out the daily fluctuations and adding to their accounts on a regular basis. They understand that nothing is gained by sitting on the sidelines, but by wisely and consistently adding to their investment. Great fortunes were and still are made this way.

It is no different with the investment you make in your health. The correct action consistently applied is the key to your health as much (if not more) than your wealth.

Sure there are going to be ups and downs. Nobody is at the top of their game all the time.

But you are just kidding yourself if you think that you can miss workouts, eat junk half the time, and stay up until midnight watching the idiot box and reach your goals.

Why do you expect something for nothing?


I want you to think about why you train, why you exercise, and if you are in this category – why you come to bootcamp.

Isn’t taking action investing in the future of your health?

After all, what difference does it make how much money you have if you aren’t healthy enough, or even around, to enjoy it?

Look, getting old isn’t for sissies.

You have a couple choices – you can sit on your butt and let your body waste away, or you can start fighting back now so you have a solid foundation for great health when you get into your 60’s, 70’s and beyond.

I am at the age where you really start to realize how short and fragile life is. It seems not a day goes by when my friends and peers are telling me that one of their loved ones is sick, or in the hospital.

You know what’s sad?

Many of the reasons they are sick are behavior related, like diabetes and heart disease, which in most cases could have been prevented with diet and exercise.

It’s just stupid!

Let me tell you about Dan.

We had an absolute butt kicking training session last Friday. Very challenging. And I watched a 52 year old man (Dan) smoke the rest of his class – who were up to 35 years his junior.

It got me to thinking – Dan has been training with us since May of 2008, and besides a week of vacation he took with his family, has missed maybe two sessions. He has made great strides in his nutrition habits, works hard every time he shows up, and has lost a boatload of weight.

In short  – He Makes It Happen!

Dan is doing what it takes now to increase his chances for lifelong health.

It’s not just about living long, but living well.

So what about you?

Are you going to let life pass you by?

Are you going to wake up another 10 years older and still be the same person you are today?

Are you going to be lying in that hospital bed kicking yourself because you know it didn’t have to be this way?

Are you going to finally stop making excuses and do what it takes to show up every day?

Some of you will, but many will not.

Will this be the day that you once and for all determine that you will do what it takes?

Time Will Tell…

It Always Does…

Now Make It Happen!


Why Don’t You Just Quit?

If you want to achieve more, sometimes the best thing to do is ‘quit.’


Yes, quit.

Sometimes the easiest way to make things happen in a positive fashion, for example…

  • Feel Like You Did at 20
  • Gain Muscle
  • Eat Healthier
  • Exercise Consistently
  • Look Better
  • Have More Energy
  • Lose Unwanted Ugly Fat

…is to quit doing some of the things that are standing in the way of your progress.

Here are some ideas to get you rolling:

  • What activities can you quit spending time on that produce little value or don’t help you reach your goal?
  • What people that aren’t supportive of you can you spend less time with?
  • What websites can you quit wasting time on?
  • What TV shows can you quit watching?
  • What stresses zap your energy that you can quit worrying about since you can’t change the outcome anyway?

And one that may ruffle your feathers…

What excuses can you quit making?

So instead of quitting the way most people do…they quit thinking big and they quit setting lofty goals…go a different route and quit doing some of the things that are standing in your way.

Quit telling yourself it’s impossible, and start making it happen!


My Clients Inspire Me!

I received an email from a client this morning that not only really touched me, but that I thought was profound.

You see Petra is a cancer survivor. Surgery caused some challenges with training her upper body, she wanted to gain strength, and she was unsure of her limitations.

She recently discovered those limitations – she doesn’t have any!

This is what she wrote:

Oh, I wanted to tell you how great I thought last night’s session was.  I haven’t exercised that hard in a long time. It was great… This is the absolute perfect exercise setting I need.

You know, I wonder how much of my not having upper body strength was actually just psychological?  Just simply being totally afraid to even try anything and then to put any pressure on it …. cancer can do that to you.  Well, whatever it was – and it was – it is no more.  I can put pressure on my right side.  I won’t break.  Yeah!

Thanks so much for the opportunity to come.  This is really, really great.

Best regards,


How many of our “limitations” are self-imposed?

How do you know you “can’t” do it if you don’t try?

Is the fear of failure – or the fear of success – holding you back?

It’s time to throw off the shackles of fear, self-doubt, and anger.

It’s time to attack each new day as if it were your last.

Petra, I thank you for being an inspiration to us all.

It is our privilege to work with you.

And thank-you for making my day!

Now the rest of you (and me)….

Make It Happen!

From Resolution To Results

There is no doubt that the training and nutrition systems we have in place work. I have seen it over and over again – our clients have lost pounds and inches, are healthier, and look and feel awesome. Flat out – the system works. But that said, today I am going to share something even  more powerful; something that must be set in place before you can even start to think about following a fitness program.

So, let’s just get right to it. What is the real secret behind our clients success? Well, if your answer was my aforementioned training and nutrition system, then your answer is wrong. An incredible program? Absolutely! Here’s the rub – It’s useless if you are not willing to start it AND stick with it. The real key, the most important component of changing your body is being absolutely determined that nothing is going to stop you from getting the lean, healthy body you have always wanted. That is the focus of my article today – setting goals and being determined to reach them.

Before I get into this goal setting process, I just need to get something off of my chest. I know a lot of people think goal setting is just a cheesy, useless thing. If you think that way I am probably not going to change your mind, but do yourself a favor and stick with me anyway. You might just learn something. The bottom line is that the most successful people out there, and I mean not just weight loss success, I am talking business, lifestyle, etc., are shamelessly goal driven. They know exactly why they want to do something and harness that super motivation to figure out what and by when they want to go about accomplishing that. Furthermore, they plan and prepare for every possible roadblock they will encounter in their path to success. This is what I want to teach you how to do today, so let’s get to it!

Step One- The Why: Why do you want to do this?

This is where it’s time to get real. In almost every initial consult I do, when I ask why they have contacted me today, here is the typical blanket response that I first hear:

“Well, I just want to get healthy and lose weight I guess.”

Nope, I don’t buy it. Sure, I know they want to lose weight and be healthy, I mean who doesn’t, but really WHY do they want to do this? I mean, what is it that’s going to get them up at 5 am to get their morning workouts in or take a couple of hours on Sunday to plan and prepare their meals for the upcoming week? It sure isn’t “being healthy” because for some reason this just isn’t a very powerful motivator for most people (though it should be).

Let’s face it: everybody, including YOU, wants to look better. There – is that so bad? The great part is that when you do the work to look great on the outside, the insides start to look great, too. So, after a little digging, I find out the real reason why they want to do this; what it is they are really looking for. Some people want to be able to mow the lawn in the summer with their shirt off and not feel self-conscious. Others want to get back into their favorite pair of pants that they haven’t been able to get one leg into for the last five years. Then there are those who want to look and feel more attractive to ignite some passion back into their relationships and/or put for their best image at work. And of course, my personal favorite is preparing for big events that have built in deadlines. Wanting to get as lean and tight as possible for that big vacation in Argentina, or get off the plane in Texas when visiting family you haven’t seen in two years to blow them away with how different (and great) you look, or being a classic beauty in your wedding dress on the big day, it all works! This is the stuff that gets people excited and ready to commit to making some real changes.

So, the first thing you have to figure out is your personal WHY. To make this even simpler for you, just answer this question: what are your physical dreams? Once you establish this, everything else is easy!

Step Two- The What and When: What do you want to accomplish and when do you want to accomplish it by?

So we already figured out the obvious: you want to look and feel great! So, now we need to establish what objective goal(s) need to be accomplished in order to realize this subjective dream.

Well, from a logistics standpoint and keeping things as cost effective as possible, there are three major ways I track “look better” progress with my clients, in order of importance from least to most important:

  1. Scale Weight: This is by far the least important goal, but it gives a number that’s worth tracking. Though body fat percentage would be a much better method of tracking progress, it is simply too inaccurate on a small scale and too costly on a large scale. The key is to taking your initial weight before you start and then not weighing more than every week.  There are simply too many variables for controlling your body weight and the natural fluctuations based on diet (and for women, their menstrual cycle), meaning every day is just no worth it. If the scale is just too de-motivating for you in general, then just skip this one altogether if you must, because the next two markers are far more important.
  2. Dress/Pant Size: This is probably the most simple and effective unused method of tracking whether or not you look better. I think it’s safe to say that if you are dropping dress and/or pant sizes that you will be looking better, right? Your best bet is to also select one dress or one pair of pants that you really want to get into since that is the true end goal in mind. For those of you would want to argue that every outfitter has different sizes, well that’s a moot point if you use the same pant or dress size to track. There’s nothing more powerful than being to literally being able to feel yourself comfortably get into clothes that use almost rip when you put on.
  3. Digital Pictures: Pictures don’t lie, that’s the bottom line. If you want to look better, what better way is there to assess this than pictures? I cannot begin to tell you how important this is. Taking a before picture is essentially you telling the whole world that you are ready to change and that you are ready to do whatever it takes to make those changes. They key is take pictures wearing exactly what you want to look your best in. Maybe it’s taking pictures of you in the dress or pair of pants that you are using to track your dress or pant size. Or maybe it’s a sleeveless shirt and tank top that you want to wear during the summer. And if you want to see your abs, then you best believe that you need to take pictures of your abs to track how much more definition you get. Take a front, side, and rear view picture and be sure to note the exact conditions in which the picture was taken (lighting, distance from camera, time of day/week, etc.) to be as accurate as possible in your assessment. Your before pictures will become your trophy and they are an absolute must if you really are serious about getting results that count.

Step Three- Planning and Preparing for Roadblocks: What are the big obstacles that will prevent you from having the success you desire? What’s contributed most to past failures?

Now that we know what you want to accomplish, it’s time to plan and prepare for any obstacles that might get in your way of getting the job done based on your own personal schedule.

In general, the number one thing I hear is that people are too busy and tired and don’t have enough time to get their workouts in or make their meals. Well, I don’t care how busy you think you are, there is always hidden time throughout the day and week that can be freed up if your re-prioritize. Again, think back to why you wanted to do this in the first place and then examine what’s most important to you. Make your workouts and your meal times just like work appointments. Either you make the appointment or you don’t. And if you want to keep your job (or get your dream body) then you better make that appointment.

Another big obstacle is alcohol. People like to drink and unfortunately alcohol is about as detrimental to burning fat as it gets. Again, what’s more important to you, looking great or getting hammered. The choice is yours. Remember, once you achieve your goal(s), alcohol can be added back in (although I don’t recommend it) with moderation. But know this, lean people just don’t get wasted unless they are genetic freaks. Low to zero alcohol consumption is needed if you want to look your best year round and that’s a fact.

Lastly, many people deal with boredom eating or emotional eating. Boredom eating means just that, eating to fill up dead time when you have nothing better to do. The best way to deal with this is, you guessed it, to do something! Find an active hobby to keep your mind off of eating when boredom strikes and you can beat this trend. Emotional eating describes the use of food to cope with stress or to reward for accomplishment. Food is not unlike drugs or alcohol in this regard, it can be very addictive. There is no quick fix for emotional eating other than avoiding trigger situations (bars, parties, etc.) and trigger foods (starches, sugars, fast food, etc.) in the short term to break bad habits.

At the end of the day, whether your roadblocks are very individual or if they fall in line with the general roadblocks our clients encounter on a regular basis, the key is to be honest about them and to plan and prepare for them. And that’s where social support and accountability come into play. The clients who have had the most success with us have undergone their transformation with the support of other friends or family members. This is so critical, especially since most of the poor food and drinking choices that sabotage one’s progress occur on the weekend, when most people hang out with their friend and family. If they are committed with you and your goal to get fit and look better, you can put yourself in a much better position to realize the success your desire and deserve. The last thing anybody needs is sabotage or peer pressure from those closest to you, so get them on board and get them on board early.

The time is now to take action – don’t wait until 2010 to get moving!

The Best Diet?

Our 5:00am Boot Camp Class got into a discussion this morning regarding a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was designed to determine which type of three diets worked best. For purposes of this letter, the three types don’t even matter, as I’ll explain.

It was a good discussion, but when I thought about it afterward, I realized something was amiss.

Described as a “tightly controlled study” by the New York Times, the 322 participants lost an average of between 6-10 pounds.

Not too bad – right? I mean it must have been a 2 or 3 month time frame, right?

Try TWO YEARS on for size!

That’s .333 pounds a month.

That’s not so good. (In fact it’s downright lousy!)

To me the take home point is this –

It doesn’t matter how good the “diet plan” is –

If you don’t actually DO IT CONSISTENTLY!

I suspect many if not most of these participants were, how shall I put it? – less than truthful about their compliance to the diet.

I come to that conclusion based on experience.

You see, I have a philosophy regarding nutrition – principles that if applied produce the desired results.

If a client tells me it “doesn’t work”, 99 times out of 100, when we look at what he ACTUALLY does, it not the plan that isn’t working, it’s the client not working the plan.

(Note the “if applied” part above.)

So what do we do about it?

Here are 5 principles of nutrition that anyone CAN do.

The real question is – WILL you?

1) Track how much you are really eating. Log 2 weekdays and 1 weekend. is gold, and it’s no cost.

2) To lose weight, all other things being equal (your exercise plan for instance) – you need to eat less. Start with a 300-500 calorie reduction. Use to track it. Adjust every two weeks as needed.

3) Don’t eat food from a box, bag, wrapper or can. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and protein are the basis of a “good” nutrition plan.

4) Don’t make excuses. If you “fall off the wagon” and eat something you know doesn’t help, don’t turn it into a binge. That extra piece of cake DOES make a difference. Once in a while doesn’t mean once a day. Remember, making excuses only burns .02355 calories a day. (OK – I made that up)

5) Plan ahead. Pick a day when you can prepare ALL the meals for the week. If you are not willing to plan ahead, you aren’t serious about making the change.

Which is the most important?

In my opinion – #5.

If you don’t know what you are going to eat next, you’ll eat anything you can get your hands on.

I know, because I am right there with you.

But IF you combine these 5 tips consistently applied (i.e. EVERY DAY) with a good training plan (consistently applied) you will start to achieve the results you want.

As we like to say in Boot Camp – It’s Simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s Easy.

Nothing worthwhile ever is.

To your best health,


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