Develop Your Health Plan Today
Okay it’s time. It’s time to stop making excuses, unleash your inner stud or studette and create your health plan! The funny thing is that it isn’t incredibly hard or complicated to achieve healthy weight loss.
Here’s a secret: 75% nutrition + 25% exercise = Losing Weight!
Keep this equation in mind when implementing your health plan then you will see sustainable results… you ole stud you!
Health plan breakdown
Nutrition: High Quantity of High-Quality Food
I come from the Nate Miyaki and Jonathan Bailor mantra of nutrition, which is eating so many high quality foods that you will never want to eat crap. I believe that unless you are physique competitor or are shooting for single digit body fat percentage, you should never be hungry.
Never be hungry? It’s possible to do that and still lose weight. A high quantity of high quality foods will get you in the best shape of your life!
You can even still enjoy the things you love whether it’s Doritos or your mom’s pecan pie in moderation. If you cut the things you enjoy out completely then you will never stay on your nutrition plan…it has to be sustainable!
Instead of cutting out things, eat them occasionally but add high-quality foods into your diet. High quality includes non-starchy vegetables, fruits, and nutrient dense proteins (think salmon and beef steak). These should make up the majority of your diet.
Try a 2000 calorie a day diet full of high-quality foods.
Trouble Losing Weight
If you still need help losing weight you can try to create a calorie deficit by cutting your calories, SLOWLY. If you are on a 2000 calories a day diet, try decreasing your daily consumption by only 50-100 calories for a week.
If there is no weight loss, decrease your consumption again until you witness sustainable weight loss and stay at the caloric consumption.
Do not cut your calories severely because that can never be sustainable!
If you have dieted off-and-on over the years and have difficulty losing weight even with significant calorie restriction (never recommended), you can try reverse dieting. Basically, take your current diet and increase your caloric intake (of quality calories) by 100 calories per week until you see a two-week increase in weight.
The prior number of calories consumed without weight gain will be the number of calories your body needs for maintenance without weight gain or loss! From there you can create a calorie deficit by exercising, eating properly, and slowly decreasing you calories consumed if needed.
We have a broken record here titled “Josh Talks About Breakfast Again.” I’m sorry, but breakfast is one of the biggest weight droppers there is. It has been found that those that maintain successful long-term weight loss were more apt to eat breakfast (Wyatt et al 2012) and in fact after that weight loss was maintained for at least two years, weight maintenance got easier (Wing & Phelan 2005).
Breakfast is a common denominator for those that lose weight and keep it off in the long-term!
Straight up, breakfast needs to be convenient or it won’t be sustainable. For instance, it’s 6:00 am and you are zombie-tired, does opening a snack-cake pack or making a couple eggs sound easier?
Make it convenient like a couple boiled eggs and a fruit salad and therefore sustainable!
Soda and other sugary drinks
Just a quick blurb on soda and sugary drinks; if you want a simple way to cut calories and sugars from your diet, cut your soda consumption by at least half or out completely.
These types of drinks are nothing but empty calories (one 12oz can of CocaCola contains ~144 calories); if you want useless calories you might as well have a beer instead (unless you’re at work) because at least you will be getting a small amount of protein.
It’s amazing what cutting out soda can do for your caloric intake.
While this has nothing to do with caloric intake, soda and sports drinks are terrible for your teeth, especially if you have poor dental hygiene. Want proof?
A 2013 study in General Dentistry illustrated that the consumption of carbonated soda can be as damaging on your teeth as methamphetamines due to its high acidity that wears down tooth enamel and lowers your mouths overall pH causing the propagation of cavity forming bacteria. If you take anything from this article is that you should at least brush your teeth after having a soda!
Exercise: Get an Active Lifestyle
If you haven’t had that much experience in exercise or have been out-of-the-loop for a while, it’s time to jump back in cautiously. By this I mean don’t jump in head first and start lifting 5 times a week and doing 2 hours of cardio three times a week.
Doing this only leads to bad things like program dropout, injury, and soreness that could make a grown man cry.
Beginners should start by briskly walking 45-60 minutes a day that can help you achieve amazing results!
I’m not joking; simply walking for this extended period of time will increase your heart rate, oxygen consumption, and calorie burned. Going from dead couch potato to walking 45-60 minutes a day is a huge-huge deal.
If your exercise capacity is improving and you feel like you need more than try resistance training. This really is the best form of exercise because it gets you consuming a lot of oxygen and your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. Start by performing 3 full body workouts per week (hitting the main muscle groups), keeping them relatively short (30 minutes) but high intensity.
You don’t have to life a huge amount of weight either, keep it light but move quickly from exercise to exercise!
As your cardio endurance and strength increase you can implement 2 high intensity interval training sessions (HIIT) per week. I’ve talked about these at length because they are so amazing and quick! Try implementing a 4 Minute RampUp after each resistance training session or perform a couple conventional HIIT sessions per week.
Here’s how to exercise to get from dud to stud: Start slow by walking 45 minutes a day, progressing to 3 full body resistance training sessions per week, finally progressing to resistance training AND 2 HIIT sessions per week.
Even without resistance training and HIIT sessions, the simple act of briskly walking for 45 minutes can really start to turn your health around. Progress your exercise regime as your exercise capacity increases!
Essentially, most of us don’t need to decrease our calories or start doing 10 hours of steady state cardio a week, in fact that can be terrible for your body.
Going from Dud to Stud via your own health plan doesn’t have to be extremely complicated and you don’t have to be intimidated. The only thing it has to be is sustainable!
Start with this health plan and you will release your inner stud or studette:
- Eat a high quantity of high quality foods so that you are never hungry
- Have a healthy, hearty breakfast every single day
- Forget the soda and other sugary drinks
- Perform at least 45 minutes of brisk walking daily (eventually 3 resistance training sessions per week)
Wing RR & Phelan S (2005) Long-term weight loss maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr 82:2225-2255.
Wyatt HR, Grunwald GK, Mosca CL, Klem ML, Wing RR, & Hill JO (2012) Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the national weight control registry. Obesity Research 10:78-82.