Happy New Year Everyone!
Today is Day 1. The first day of a new beginning. The day that, wait, are you hungover? If you are, it’s probably best you read this tomorrow, or the next day. But for everyone else, welcome to a clean slate. And with every new year comes new goals. Maybe your goal is to quit smoking, earn that promotion, close that big deal, listen to what she says… even if you’re tired… and have work… so she doesn’t get upset and then you can spend the weekend with your friends without any judgement. You know, the normal resolutions we ALL have.
Day 1 for most of us means we begin the road to weight loss. Losing weight can be tough, but thankfully many of us were gifted the tools of success during the holidays: a new gym membership, a yoga mat, some dumbbells, or even a fancy elliptical machine that is currently… still in the box, waiting to be assembled. And while our ambitions are at an all time high, they’ll soon fall if we’re not properly equipped. Not just with tools but the RIGHT tools for success.
Before you start, make sure you know what to do. Take our Fat Loss Quiz to know if, you know the right stuff.
Losing weight is like a marathon. We are all on the start line right now. We know the finish line, but our nerves are on high alert. If we don’t pace ourselves, we will give up and fail. Trust me, I know this all too well. At the start line of every marathon, my training partner Tony and I, always had a plan. I would repeat this plan over and over again.
“Remember Robert, take it easy in the beginning, get a rhythm, and then set your pace. You got this!”
The race starts and the plan goes straight out the window. I dart down the course as if I’m being chased by a pack of wild dogs. I can’t tell you how many times Tony has caught up to me and reminded me of our trusted plan.
I always let the start line excitement get the best of me. Unfortunately, that’s how most of us are with weight loss. We sprint like a madman, and then must be pulled back to reality. Our minds know what to do, but once the gun goes off, logic disappears. We’ve all done it. We’ve started 90-day workout programs with a strict diet, only to give up after 7 days, if that. We’ve meal prepped for an entire week, only to throw away most of the food by weeks end. We take off sprinting and forget we still have 26.2 miles to go.
Quick shameless TBP plug. Starting off too fast isn’t the only fitness fail people make during the new year. If you haven’t already, check out TBP’s animated video on fitness fails. It’s hilarious and oh so true!
But just because we aren’t sprinting doesn’t make it easier. We still need the right tools to get us to the finish line. I’m getting tired of these marathon metaphors, but last one, I promise. The tools below are the ones you need before the race even begins. And without them, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s called the MAD PLAN.
These are the three most important tools needed to successfully lose weight. Simple, direct, to the point. But much like that elliptical machine still waiting to be assembled, many of us will leave these tools in our box waiting to be assembled.
Number one is MOTIVATION:
Why the hell are you doing this?
Really ask yourself this question. What’s motivating you? What’s going to make you get up early, or stay up late and put in the work? Don’t give me the BS excuse of: I just want to be healthy? No you don’t. There’s something else driving you. All of our motivations are different. Maybe you want to look sexy in that dress that doesn’t fit. Maybe you’re sick of asking yourself, “Does this make me look fat?”
Maybe you just don’t want to be a 232 pound fatty that is being made fun of because his suit is too tight at the wedding of your close friend who hasn’t seen you in a few years and comments about the fact that you can’t button your suit. Yup, that’s me! Look at those chipmunk cheeks.
Whatever your motivation may be, it must be deep enough to inspire you to not give up. Find your BIGGER BURN.
Number two is ACCOUNTABILITY:
Nobody can climb Mt. Everest alone. We need Sherpas, a team of other climbers and a crew at base camp telling us about the storms coming ahead. See, I told you no more marathon metaphors Losing weight is the Mt. Everest of FAT. We can’t do it alone! I repeat, we cannot do it alone. Once you have found your MOTIVATION, it is imperative we have a few people who are apart of our Accountability Alliance. These are people who will hold your feet to the fire when times get tough. When you want that pizza slice, who’s going encourage you to make a better choice? When you want to go out for beers, who’s going to remind you about that 232 pound fatty that… You get my point. It can be a friend, a family member, or more importantly, your significant other. If your partner is not on board, your weight loss success diminishes. The reason why TBP clients are successful is because we hold our clients accountable, weigh-ins, measurements, pictures. It allows us to gauge our success in short periods of time, in order to reach our long term goals. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. The stronger your alliance, the higher likelihood of success.
Number 3 is DISCIPLINE:
Making the correct decision, even when you don’t want to. Easy peezy! YEAH Freaking right! We’re bound to slip up. Sunday brunch? Happy hour? We will fail, because if it was easy, everyone would be a Victoria Secret model (My dream, not yours!). We won’t be perfect all the time, but we have to listen to that little voice inside our head. You know the one. That voice that creeps up and says don’t do it when you’re driving home and you’re a little hungry. You have everything you need for a perfectly good sandwich waiting for you, but you inexplicably pull into an In-N-Out drive thru, and order a triple-triple (yes those exists), with animal fries, then pay, while asking for a box with a lid to keep everything warm (I knew it was a problem when the cashier knew me by name). That voice has to be your guiding light. It can be trained to be powerful armed with the right Motivation and supported by strong Accountability Alliance. Your little voice can take over your choices and automate decision making. Discipline is about limiting the decisions taking us away from our goal, and maximizing the decisions moving us towards our goal.
If you’re still reading, first off, thank you. Secondly, your hangover is definitely gone. But more importantly, it means what you’ve read makes at least a little sense. You’ve found your true motivation and have people in mind for your Accountability Alliance. You even promised yourself to try harder to listen to your little voice. What I’m about to ask of you next requires you take a leap of faith with me. And you can’t laugh. Ok, you can laugh but you have to keep an open mind. Deal?
I need you to fill out a workbook. And not just any workbook but the Master Trainer, Tony Arreola’s Secrets of the Skinny workbook. Go ahead, finish laughing, I’ll wait. Before you brush this off, we’ve used this workbook as homework for our individual personal training clients and it really works. Trust me, when Tony first sent it to me I was a skeptic. But it works because it teaches the secrets you need to master before you even step foot into a gym.
Are you still with me? I told you I needed you to take a leap of faith. If this all sounds silly, it’s probably because you have been taken advantage of in the past. The fitness industry has tricked you into believing you can lose, 10 pounds in 10 days. Juice cleanses that jumpstart your metabolism. Or the top 5 fat burning exercises. As a member of the fitness industry, I’m sorry we lied to you, and this workbook is our mea culpa.
If you have failed to lose weight in the past, it wasn’t because of lack of effort. You were setup for failure because you weren’t equipped with the right tools. Now you have them. Use them and more importantly learn from the mistakes I, and countless other have made to make your weight loss journey as easy as possible. Take that leap of faith. If I can do it, so can you! Cheers to you and your fitness success!
NASM CPT, WLS, BCS
“Hay mijo, you have to relax, it’s Christmas.”
My mom looked at me with a sly grin. Mind you, I offered to buy my Mom a new car when she reaches her fitness goals (offer not valid for everyone.)
Her goal was to lose 30 pounds. She’s lost 10 so far, but when the Holiday season comes, she runs out of steam.
How can we avoid the Holiday pounds?
I don’t know about you, but I hate throwing away my results. And I’m sure my mom hates wasting another year taking the bus. Okay, I don’t make her take the bus, Uber works well.
When it comes to Winter, our bodies default to our cold, harsh, winter caveman days. This was a time, when we as a human species needed to hunker down, needed to eat as much as possible (when food was available) to survive. Without this mentality, I would not be typing this blog. We would not have survived the first harsh winter.
Great for survival, bad for our bellies.
It’s been a while since I hunted for a meal. Sometimes, I can just send a text to my girlfriend or push a button for Postmates to get fed.
But, the primal instinct remains inside of us. It takes effort to get outside when it’s cold. It takes effort to stop eating. It takes more effort than in the spring.
Through extensive trials with our clients we’ve found 6 proven ways to fight those fattening Holiday pounds.
Tip #1: WHEN YOU’RE FULL… STOP EATING
How many times have you been satisfied at a meal? Let me guess, always. When you’re full, take a deep breath, smile and stop eating.
Pro Tip: Tip: Ask yourself, “Am I still hungry, bored, or just eating to eat.”
Tip #2: DRINK WATER
Contrary to popular belief, the stomach isn’t an endless garbage disposal. It’s an organ with a fixed size. When you fill it with water, you’ll eat less. This is a good thing, for you and your waistline. Drink as much water as you can.
Pro Tip: Urine color is a great indicator of proper hydration. “Clear pee means a healthy me.”
Tip #3: EAT A LIGHT SNACK BEFORE THE MAIN EVENT
Don’t arrive “starving” to a special event. If you have nothing in your system, you’re much more likely to overeat.
Pro Tip: Eat a light snack, like an apple or an orange 15-30 minutes prior.
Tip #4: EATING IN HERDS
Did you know when you eat alone, you’re less likely to overeat? Add one person, you eat up to 35% more. If the group exceeds 7, you’ll eat 96% more. This is an alarming stat, perfect for the Holidays. Be aware, and always be mindful.
Pro Tip: Farmers feed chickens together to create this overeating herd affect. Don’t let the environment trick you into overeating.
Tip #5: STAY AWAY FROM CALORIC LANDMINES
Watch out for high-caloric foods. High calorie foods like guacamole, cheeses can wreak havoc on your goals. Imagine shopping on Rodeo Drive with a limited budget. You would check every price tag before you buy. Same for food. Check the calories of any new foods. Better safe than sad.
Pro Tip: Use our favorite calorie app My Fitness Pal, to find caloric landmines BEFORE you blow up (literally.)
Tip #6: STAY AWAY FROM THE FOOD-PUSHERS
You know exactly who I’m talking about. Your Tia with the tamales. Your Uncle’s can’t miss casserole. Your eggnog downing cousin. Stay away, learn to say no, or if they get really annoying, resort to name calling. Totally kidding about the last one, kinda.
Pro Tip: When facing food pressure, look them in the eye and say, “No thanks, I’m stuffed.”
We’ve shared these tips with our clients, and they have experienced a happy and healthy Holiday Season. Remember the goal is to celebrate life, to enjoy each other. And like I told my Mom, I enjoy our lives more when she’s healthy.
Special Bonus: Survival Guide Checklist
Remember nutrition is only one side of the equation.
If you want to eat more, you need to move more.
Read our cardio guide to find out which movement burns more calories.
NASM Master Trainer CPT, WLS, CES, SFS, WFS, BCS
Best Selling Author, Get Me Skinny.
We all enjoy the thrill of speed. Speed makes biking fun (and easier.) Whether you’re cruising along the beach or racing up mountain tops. Bicycling is one of the finest ways to enjoy nature’s beauty. So exhilarating, you forget it’s even exercise. Well, until you climb a hill…
Here are 3 quick tips to add free speed to your bike:
Experiencing pain in your knees? Your seat is probably too low. Your knee should be at a slight bend at the bottom of your pedal stroke. You can usually move the seat up, down, forward and back. If you’re serious, get a professional bike fit. If you just want to ride faster today, make sure it’s comfortable and pain free.
And Remember the faster you get on your bike, the faster you can use these tips. See you on the road 🙂
Running? Elliptical? Spinning? Or could it be swimming? The debate rages on. Last week, I was having an argument… I mean, conversation with my girlfriend discussing which cardio burns the most calories.
No matter what I said, I was wrong.
That’s normal for our conversations. But I asked her to give me a chance to explain my point. (After all, I do this for a living.) She teaches spin, and group classes, and insists her workouts burn way more calories than my workouts.
Cool story, bro.
That’s what she actually said. The faster our heart can pump this oxygen-rich blood, the more calories we burn. The way to burn the most calories is to increase the intensity of the cardio you choose.
So, I win.
Not so fast, I told her, any cardio.
Burning more calories requires more effort, little effort burns less calories than more effort. Walking burns calories, walking uphill burns more calories, speed-walking uphill carrying 8 grocery bags while chewing gum and texting burns the most calories.You get the point.The harder it feels, the harder you’re working, thus the more calories your burning, regardless of the type. Everyone wins. Score one for the home team.
But, which cardio burns the most calories?
That’s easy, the cardio you actually do, and do hard.
In my experience, people don’t struggle deciding between cardio burning strategies. They usually struggle between the couch and cardio.
Make it easy, pick what you like and do that.
At NASM and TBP we recommend the FITTE Principle
F: Frequency (Times per week)
I: Intensity (Effort level)
T: Time (Duration)
T: Type (Kind)
E: Enjoyment (Do you like it?)
Keep it simple: Harder Cardio = More Calories Burned