Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout programs like the change techniques, have all been proven effective and are all backed by research and scientific studies.
This book is full of change strategies and provides a blueprint for how they can be applied to transform your body. These strategies can also be used to transform your relationships, build your career, and improve your life. You will learn the importance of creating a sense of urgency around your goal, tweaking your environment to foster new habits, finding bright spots, and generating short-term wins to help you sustain momentum. Motivation is fleeting, that is why you will learn techniques to keep you stoked. You will learn how to apply solution-based therapy’s miracle question to subdue personal struggles. You will learn how Starbucks teaches willpower to its baristas to produce a first-class customer experience. You will learn about action triggers, and how they are the key to adopting instant habits. You will learn how to use your smartphone to lose body fat, improve your workouts, and create new habits.
You will learn how group norms help US soldiers returning from Vietnam, overcome heroin addiction. You will learn what is often perceived as a “people problem”, is often a “situation problem”. It is much easier to change one’s environment than one’s attitude and behavior. You will learn about internal struggles between your logical brain and your emotional brain, and how you can leverage their respective strengths to achieve your goals, instead of sabotaging them. You will learn to break the habit of procrastination by applying the 5-second rule. You will learn that measuring an activity, automatically modifies your behavior because of the increased attention it is receiving.
You will learn why you should prioritize strength training while on a weight loss program. Learn how to properly design a strength training program, that can burn more calories than traditional cardio. Learn how to build strength and muscle based on science, not bro-science. Learn when and how to incorporate cardio sessions into your routine to get leaner, stronger, and fitter. Learn to prevent normal loss of muscle that occurs during most fat loss programs, which results in early plateau and gaining back the weight lost, and in some cases a few extra pounds. Learn three methods to keep the weight off and reset your body’s set point body weight. No foods or alcohol are off-limits. This is not an extreme 12-week quick-fix program. Those programs do not often work because they are not sustainable. This program is designed to fit into your personal lifestyle.
There is a lot of inspiration in the pages of this book. In many cases, real-life examples are used to illustrate the effectiveness of the strategies being taught. You will learn how an unwelcome American advisor, with meager resources, and a limited timeframe to achieve significant results, was able to solve the problem of childhood malnutrition for millions of Vietnamese children. You will be surprised to learn that solutions to complex problems, are often simple if you observe the patterns surrounding them. For example, a US Military Army Officer, in Kufa, Iraq; noticed that preceding violent riots, protesters would gather at dusk, and shortly thereafter food trucks would fill the plaza. After requesting the food trucks not to enter the plaza at dusk, the number of riots dramatically dropped.
Most people would agree with the statement that we are the result of the thousands of decisions we have made during the course of our lives. If you are overweight, it is a result of the many decisions you make daily; particularly eating and drinking choices. Your daily habits are what make you who you are. Confucius said that “men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart”
What if I told you that most of our daily decisions are made automatically? The area of our brain responsible for cognitive thought fatigues quickly and can become overwhelmed if it is forced to make too many decisions. This condition is called “decision fatigue.” Many business leaders suggest that you tackle complex problems and make difficult decisions early in the day when your energy is at its highest, and reserve less complex tasks for the afternoon. Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs were said to have simplified their lives by having their closets full of identical outfits, to avoid having to decide what to wear each day. President Obama said, “You will see I wear only gray or blue suits… I am trying to pare down decisions. I do not want to make decisions about what I am eating or wearing. Because I have too many other (important) decisions to make.”
The basal ganglia, sometimes called our primitive brain or reptilian brain, was once thought to only help control movement; but is now thought to play an important role in how we learn, process emotions, make decisions, and adopt habits. It is the part of our brain that takes over when we are performing repetitive daily activities. This primitive brain frees our conscious mind from having to make countless decisions we face each day. Many of these decisions are inconsequential. Decisions like which pant leg to put on first, or putting Splenda in your coffee mug before creamer. It is a huge advantage to delegate these tasks to the basal ganglia, so the conscious brain can focus on more important decisions. Have you ever gotten into your car and driven towards your work instead of driving to your doctor’s office, even though your conscious mind knew you had a doctor’s appointment? That is because your conscious mind was not in the driver’s seat. It was your primitive brain directing action out of habit. What is a habit? Habit is an automatic behavior.
Habits are not good or bad. We place those labels on them based on whether they are or are not in line with our goals, objectives, and in some cases, “perception of our own reality”. They have simply learned behaviors. “Bad” habits can be interrupted and replaced by “good” habits. You just need to muster up enough discipline to make the new routine stick. Fortunately, we can change our habits and do it quickly by creating action triggers. Action triggers create new habits almost instantaneously. You will learn more about that later.
Please stop believing the notion you are overweight or unfit because you lack willpower, have a slow metabolism, you’re lazy, do not have time or any of the excuses we all make. Trust me, I was once an overweight kid. My father was never able to shed the extra pounds, try as hard as he did. He was always overweight, like his father before him, who died of a heart attack during my father’s freshman year in high school. In one of those life-changing moments, I decided I was not going to be fat. No one would put that fat label on me. I committed to daily exercise, and gave up all sweets, and no junk food. That was it, that was my plan. The only difference between me, my father, and his father before him was that I decided to change. I was committed to that decision and doggedly stuck with it, day after day until I lost the weight, which led me into a life of fitness and self-awareness. Some might say, it led me to an appreciation of a healthier lifestyle without giving up on what most people were doing.
Exercising was the easiest part for me, I enjoyed exercising. My father introduced me to exercise. He let me use his Cement Weight set in our basement and let me read all his Joe Weider Muscle and Fitness magazines. I was at that age when you love spending time with your parents. He would take me with him when he would go running around the local reservoirs, or through the woods of Brookdale Park, in my hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. I enjoy the simple rhythmic nature of running, which always cleared my mind. I rode my bike everywhere and relished the feeling of exertion that came from climbing up Mount Hebron road, and the rush of going back down at high speeds. I can still remember our dark dank unfinished basement, my dungeon. It was the place where I first pushed and pulled weights, making my muscles get stronger.
Giving up desserts was the hardest part, made more difficult by my family’s love of it. We ate out often and everyone ordered desserts. It was hard, it was very hard to just not succumb to temptation. Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery was the restaurant we patronized most often. It is still well known for its homemade ice-creams and chocolates. Also made famous as the dinner in which the last scene of The Sopranos was filmed. It was tough not making an excuse. I had to ignore that voice that said, “Everyone else is having some, why should I not?” It was rough, but I was resolute. I was not going to be fat. I was going to strengthen my body like the heroes in my comic books. Silly, but I was only ten years old. I did not know what I was doing, but I was doing it. Moreover, I was doing it enthusiastically. Over time it became easier to say no to desserts, and eventually, they stop asking me if I wanted any.
You are not doomed to be overweight. You simply need to commit. Without commitment, you will never start. The program will not work unless you work. This program is unique from any other program you may have tried in the past because it provides practical tips and tricks that make the process of change as easy as possible. The high-impact change techniques coupled with the book’s nutrition program will transform your body. You will be surprised how quickly you will burn away fat, and achieve a leaner stronger body. GOOD LUCK!
I hope you enjoyed reading this book introduction. If you have any questions or think I can help you reach your fitness goals, please contact me at email@example.com.
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The book contains:
- 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
- A Flexible DietProgram that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit, including Alcohol
- 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
- 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off
- A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.