What’s it really take to look good again?
Okay, it happens.
I don’t know why, you don’t know why – we just know that one day we woke up looking a little chubby and feeling a little more out of shape.
It kind of sneaks up on us as we start getting older and a little less bulletproof every year.
Believe me, I’ve been there! And more than once to boot!
For a while I thought maybe I was a professional dieter I was getting so much practice!
Maybe you have too.
And I’ll bet you are like me and have figured out it doesn’t really work to diet.
It sucks, you make some progress, maybe even reach your goal weight, and then it’s done.
“Man I hated that, I am glad it’s over so I can eat normal again.”
And then (duh) since you kind of go back to what was comfortable before, the pounds sneak back again.
A vicious cycle, seriously.
The “it’s not so bad” phase…
So, maybe you just give up and think “being lean and looking good just isn’t meant to be for me” anymore.
“Hey, we all get older and it goes with the territory”
And you start to justify that you don’t look that bad…..
But inside you know better – and trust me, you will pay the price with health issues down the road.
Nobody wants that, and nobody needs to settle for that. Including you.
In this article, I am going to explain why it is not as hard as you think it will be to get lean and fit for the rest of your life.
3 steps to fix your “broken diet”, AND nail down your workouts.
This FREE and simple infographic proves NO ONE is too busy to be healthy.
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So, let’s talk some reality here
You’re not a kid anymore and you know that things are not just given to you.
Your reward is in direct proportion to what you are willing to invest – it’s so true in all of your life and you know this.
Your lean, fit, healthy self is indeed a reward and does require an investment – quite a bit of an investment actually.
Sounds scary, right?
Chill, dude – the dreaded diet will never enter your life again.
The investment you need to make is time and small changes in your habits – changes that are not a big deal once they become your new habits after a few weeks.
I’ll talk a little more about my ProCoach Advanced Nutrition and Exercise Coaching software program after the post, but it is designed to make the habit changes easy for you.
A little bit at a time, a little better everyday.
With just a few minor course corrections, you can eat until satisfied and not feel starved.
You can eat normal foods – no “low fat” this or “diet” that.
And you don’t have to join a gym or spend an hour a day exercising – find a half hour a day and you will make good progress.
The key to this is to invest a year of your life, 365 days of getting a little better day after day, to reap the reward of being lean, fit and healthy (and, yep, to look good) for the rest of your life.
Because once you have invested that year – it’s just the new normal at that point.
It’s now your life, you own it, and it’s no sweat to keep it up.
So, what’s your goal?
Okay, time for a quick expectation alert – The amount of time for you to get there is in direct proportion to where you are starting from.
Remember this is a small change so it will produce small results which multiply over time to get you where you want to go.
In the real world, this level of dietary and exercise change can be expected to produce maybe a half-pound loss of fat per week. A reasonable expectation would be 25 pounds of fat loss and 5 pounds of muscle gain in a year.
A 200 pound dude 5 foot 10 inches tall has a Body Mass Index (a rough approximation of body fat percentage) of almost 29. Getting down to 180 pounds equates to roughly a 3% reduction in body fat – this guy will likely need to take about two years to achieve that 19% body fat level.
I was pretty dedicated in my weight lost transformation about 7 years ago, and it took me about two and a half years. With a little less compliance everything stretches out a little longer.
Hey, that’s okay. You will look a lot better at 26 BMI than you did at 29, and you’ll be rockin’ it if you get down to 23. Because of the muscle gain from exercising, a fit dude with more heavy muscle really has a much lower body fat percentage than his BMI at that point.
As for your personal goal, here’s something that can help.
I ran across a post some time back titled “Body Fat Percentage: How to Quickly Identify Your Body Fat Level” by Jeff Cavaliere, MSPT, CSCS, a professional sports physical therapist and strength coach, and the creator of the ATHLEAN-X™ workout programs and supplements.
I am posting the link at the bottom of this post so you can see for yourself images of guys at different body fat levels.
I am fairly sure most of you reading this will be more than happy to get into the 13% to 19% body fat range.
The good news is that this level of body fat is very attainable doing what I discuss above a little more than half the time.
By the way, Jeff has a great YouTube channel with tons of free tips on exercising and nutrition. I watch when I find time and always enjoy each new video I see. I totally recommend it as a resource for you, and am putting a link to it below as well.
The “go to” exercise routine you can do anywhere. HINT: It’s just 6 key moves.
Finding it next to impossible to get in some exercise due to a full schedule or travel?
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Now, what’s it take to get there.
Ryan Andrews (an adjunct lecturer at Purchase College, State University of New York and former Precision Nutrition coach) co-authored with Brian St. Pierre (registered dietitian, performance nutrition expert, and coach at precisionnutrition.com) a comprehensive article on the real cost of getting lean.
This article is linked at the bottom of this post if you are interested and contains a great infographic which highlights why it’s not that hard to get to where you are looking good (a.k.a. lean and healthy) and why it is really hard to get the “six-pack-abs” look.
I do recommend you check it out, and even download it from PN in exchange for your email address, just to have it as a reference and reminder of the simple steps it takes to look good and to help you understand reasonable expectations for what certain body looks take.
(Note: I license my ProCoach software from PN and they have a ton of free articles also on their blog which are a great resource. I am a PN certified Level 1 coach and we talk in the same voice on nearly everything.)
Let’s say you are looking for that 15% to 20% body fat range (I am personally closer to the bottom half, but I’ve been at this 7 years!).
Taken directly from the infographic, here is what that looks like:
Eat slowly until satisfied at 60% of your meals
Include 1 to 2 palms of protein dense foods (see an easier way to calculate food portions) in 1 to 2 meals a day.
1 to 2 fists of vegetables in 1 to 2 meals per day
Exercise 3 to 5 times per week, any activity you enjoy at any intensity level
Eat fewer processed carbs, but do not reduce carbs drastically
Drink fewer caloric beverages, but do not cut drastically
That’s it – sound like a “diet” to you?
To me it sounds like eating until full and getting a variety of nutrient dense foods.
Not. That. Hard.
To go to the next level between 13% and 15% body fat requires doing the same as above a little more often (2 to 3 meals per day), exercising daily with some strength or other intense training a few times a week, and being stricter on desserts and processed carbs and caloric drinks (only 3 to 5 servings a week).
To start getting to “six-pack land” requires even stricter diet and exercise protocols, frankly more than most want or need to do.
You can absolutely look good, be fit, and achieve good health outcomes in that 13% to 15% range, and spend the rest of your time living a good life instead of in a gym and weighing your food.
I highly recommend you check out the article and infographic below to learn more about what your goal should be based on what you need to put in to reach it.
Now, I do want to caution you – I certainly think there is more to this than just how much you eat.
In the bodybuilding community they talk about “eating clean” which is an euphemism for whole one-ingredient foods and avoiding sugars and processed foods.
I will tell you food quality can be a big part of making this work.
I also think implementing some of the tips in my free Health Guides on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle help the process along as well.
Give them a read and experiment with them some to see what feels easy for you.
You can absolutely do this on your own with free research available on the net.
I am living proof of that.
Of course, I am a “nutrition and exercise nerd” and did not mind those many hours and the personal discipline it took to get the job done going from 225 and out of shape to 165 and actually having muscles again.
I’m going to guess that description above is not most of you, and a little help and guidance everyday would make a huge difference to you and let you get on with the rest of your life.
I know you can use all these resources to grow as a person, and I am always here if you want to contact me to ask a question or talk.
There’s never a charge to ask some questions or maybe even have a short consultation call.
Believe me, helping people like you is why I started this site.
Don’t forget to check out the links below!
Committed to your health,
If all this makes a lot of sense to you once you check these resources out, you may want to read more below about my ProCoach Advanced Nutrition and Exercise Coaching Program and what it can do for you.
(Hint: if you try the first 30 days of ProCoach for FREE you will be receiving a “personalized to you” 15 page Quick Start Nutrition Guide to download and keep forever.)
This guide gives you guidance on:
• how to eat right for your individual goals
• meal planning & portion sizing
• stocking your kitchen with healthy options
• and more.