Diet and Fitness – Tips and Tricks Your Trainer Forgot to Mention

When it comes to achieving your fitness and/or weight loss goals, diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. Unless you are genetically gifted, if you don’t incorporate both you’re likely to see only marginal results, but with so much advice out there it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are a few simple rules you can follow every day to help you get on the right path; that is the purpose of this article. It’s important to note when you first get started it’s ok to call them tips or tricks or whatever you want, eventually they need to become a way of life.

To get started, identify what your goals are.

1. Set Realistic Goals.

 

If you’ve never laced up a pair of running shoes in your life, you aren’t going to be running a marathon in a week. Possibly not even a month. That being said, don’t sell yourself short. If you are highly motivated and setup the right game plan you can achieve amazing results.

Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or run a marathon? It can be anything that’s been in the back of your mind recently or something that’s been bugging you for years. Whatever it is, write it down and look at it. Make sure instead of saying I want to run a marathon, say something like I want to be a marathon runner. This puts you in the mindset that it’s not just a one-off thing you do but a way of life.

Then ask yourself has anyone ever done this before? I’m fairly certain you can answer “yes.” Then ask yourself “what is stopping me from doing this myself?” You might say “well, I’m not good at running.” or “I’m not strong enough.” Then I want you to think about this, anyone that ever did anything amazing was a human being just like you and me. They had a brain and a consciousness just like you and me. So, why are you selling yourself short?

What set them apart was they let their goals consumed them. It became their life. Lacing up those running shoes was possibly the most important thing they ever did. Some might say it even gave them purpose.

Is it always easy for them? HA, not likely! You will have hardships, you will step on toes, and you will have to keep it in the back of your mind at all times. If you let something consume you and you constantly tweak and progress, you will move towards achieving your goals. Running a marathon is only an example. This can be applied to anything!

A little motivational quote:

Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.

-Richard L. Evans

What’s great about achieving your fitness and weight loss goals is it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Simply incorporating a few things in your life will make all the difference. Once you have your goals let’s take a look at a few things you can start doing today that will help.

2. Do something every day to progress towards your goal.

Whether you are trying to build muscle or become a marathon runner, It’s important to do something new every day to move closer to your goal. Maybe you’ve just run your personal best on a training day or maybe learned a new breathing technique from a running magazine. To move towards your goals you need to keep pushing into uncharted territory. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you become stagnate. That’s when things become boring and you lose interest.

Sometimes life gets in the way and we suffer setbacks. Just remember it’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up. Everyone suffers setbacks, but it the ones that push through that will achieve greatness. Never give up on yourself, because you are worth it.

3. Get involved in different exercise/diet related hobbies.

This is a great way to move towards your goals. Obviousl,y weight training is a great hobby if you’re trying to build muscle but what about getting a personal trainer certification? It may not be as hard as you think. Just look for reputable companies such as ACE, NASM, ISSAACSM, or NSCA. There are literally 1000’s of options when it comes to personal trainers so do your research first.

When it comes to hobbies just be creative. You could get into mountain biking if you’re trying to lose weight, join a running club, or get into Powerlifting to build muscle. Some options for improving your diet could be vegan cooking classes, juicing, or join a health-food club. The number of options is only limited by your imagination.

4. Eat more fruits and veggies

It doesn’t matter what your goals are if you’re filling your stomach with junk food you’re not making maximum progress. You need to start eating healthier. One of the best ways to do that is to eat more fruits and veggies. You shouldn’t need to supplement your diet with a multivitamin. Get your vitamins from your diet. It doesn’t matter how you like them (unless they’re deep-fried) load up on them. Eventually, your body will begin to crave them! Plus, the added fiber will benefit you in ways you can’t even imagine.

5. Cut back on foods that are contradictory to your goals.

Added sugars and chemical laden processed foods are not necessary to our diets. If they were you would find them in nature. What’s scary is the lack of long-term research on these foods and what they do to our health. Trying to quit these foods is almost like trying to quit an addiction, but like I said, once it becomes a way of life it’s easy. Shoot for lean unprocessed meats and if possible locally grown organic fruits and veggies. Also, set a goal to eat 80% clean, 15% so-so, and 5% cheat. You don’t have to be perfect to see results, just be better than you are now.

6. Resistance train at least once every three days.

Schedule workouts like they are important meetings (seriously). Resistance training is crucial to maintaining muscle mass as you age. It’s also crucial to keeping you from getting flabby if you are dieting and doing cardio. You may not like to hear it, but if you don’t lift weights while dieting and doing cardio up to 25% of your weight loss could be muscle mass. For more information on this read my Health Benefits of Lifting Weights (Benefit #1).

What’s more, you don’t need a gym membership to do resistance training. There are thousands of YouTube videos that can show you simple body weight exercises you can do at home. You can also get a 3-peice budget home gym that will work every muscle in your body and pull some workouts from here. For more information on a home, gym read my 3-piece Home Budget Gym Post or check out my list of Home Gym Equipment. When training, focus primarily on total-body, or upper/lower-body split routines for the best results.

7. Get into a routine.

A routine takes out the guesswork and helps you clearly define your path. From your workout routine to your daily routine this will help you prepare for your day and ultimately lead to your success. You may not need to go as far as creating a daily itinerary, but it is important to be prepared. Pack your gym bag before you go to bed and take it with you to work, carry a healthy snack, or bike to work every day. It’s all about planning. See it in your head first and then do it. If it doesn’t work tweak it and try again. Whatever you do, don’t give up. The second you give up is the second you fail. Even if you have to step on a few toes, try and try again till you have it down.

Also get on a regular sleep schedule and maintain it. Our bodies don’t care if it’s Friday night or Monday night they want to go to bed around the same time every day and wake up around the same time every day. It’s called the circadian rhythm. By disrupting this rhythm, you throw your hormones and chemical responses off balance. This can inhibit sleep patterns and ultimately affect progress towards your goals.


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12 thoughts on “Diet and Fitness – Tips and Tricks Your Trainer Forgot to Mention

  1. Michel Reply

    Excellent post and very motivational. Makes me want to get up and run.

    Realistically my knees give a lot of problems when I run so I prefer too walk fast and do strength training.

    It is true what though what you say about getting into a routine. This is one of the hardest things to do but once you have this part right, the sky is the limit.

    • Jeff Smith Post authorReply

      Hi Michel, Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you liked the article. Have a nice day!

  2. Jess Reply

    Hello Jeff, and thanks for sharing. 🙂 I have realized it is hard to get your ass off from the sofa if you do not have the motivation to exercise. Many of my friends want to be fit, but they just go to the gym for a couple of months and then quit and like to complain that it was too ruff and they are too lazy. 😀 One asked me how I stay fit all the time. I just told I have motivation for that (I like to eat healthy, walk instead of driving a car/bus and go to the gym 3-4 times a week), that is all. 🙂 Of course, I want to look good, too. 😀

    • Jeff Smith Post authorReply

      Hi Jess, thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to motivating people to work out. Even then once they’re motivated keeping that motivation is extremely difficult. That’s why I schedule my workouts like they’re meetings and do my best not to my best not to miss. It has to become part of your daily routine just like brushing teeth. Best of luck. Keep up the good work!

  3. Maria Rosa Martinez Reply

    Great article, and so tru about the routine, i think that this could be the most difficult part in order to be fit, and also so true that without a balanced diet it doesn´t matter how much you will work out, there will be no progress, althought if you are able to stablish a routine this make so much easier be more healthy. we just need to be more consistent.

    • Jeff Smith Post authorReply

      Routine is one of the biggest things you can do to help you get in shape. Doing the same thing day in and day out may get boring but if you want to succeed you need to make it habit. Then you can start venturing outside of your routine. Thanks for the comment. Have a good one.

  4. Jose Reply

    Hey Jeff, thank you for posting this wonderful post, I totally agree with everything you say. It just doesn’t work to just diet, or to just workout you have to have a balance of both. Whenever you see a person at the gym that works out all the time but doesn’t look great, it’s because you can’t outwork a diet. Same with only dieting, you’ll just get skinny and lose a bunch of muscle mass. Much thanks, keep up the good work!

    • Jeff Smith, EP-C Post authorReply

      Jose. Thanks for the comment. You’re absolutely right it takes way more than just exercise for most people to accompany their goals. It’s usually a combination of exercises and food that is usually the best way to go.

  5. Jagi Reply

    Dedication is required to reach goals, you seem to doing the dedicating part of this. Great way to motivate others. I think some people get stuck at resistance training, they get afraid of bulking up.

    It’s hard to realize, the bulk eventually turns into muscle. But to see the picture at the end is hard for some.

    Thanks for the great article.

    • Jeff Smith, EP-C Post authorReply

      Hey thanks for the great comment. Visualizing where you want to be is so important. All things have to be seen by the mind before they can be seen by the eyes. If you don’t picture what you want and get it down on paper as a goal you will never achieve it.

  6. Ben Reply

    It seems like I hit most of the tips that you mention on this blog post although my weekends seem to be where I let myself down. Alcohol and the accompanying take away food seem to bring me unstuck. I guess that is down to motivation right? Do they say diet is 80% important and exercise the remaining 20%?
    Being a lad I do tend to go for the resistance training and cardio does not happen much for me. Is this bad? Thanks

    • Jeff Smith, EP-C Post authorReply

      Hey Ben. Unfortunately that’s where a lot of my clients fall apart is on the weekend. I always tell them Monday can go one of two ways. You can tell me you were good and you slept well or you got drunk ate terrible and didn’t sleep well. Hopefully they choose the first.

      As for diet and exercise I think the equation is a bit skewed. There are two very important factors people leave out. Recovery (sleep) and mental attitude (visualization).

      If they don’t allow their bodies to recover properly they will never progress. Also, they have to see themselves actually achieving the goal. These make up a big chunk of the equation and people regularly forget about them.

      As for how much of each, it depends on the person. Some need more rest, some can eat anything they want, you see where I’m going with this. As long as you have all four in balance you can easily achieve your fitness/health goals. Until then you’re only treading water.

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