5 Biggest Game Changers for Physical Transformation

I was recently asked for one specific thing that was a game changer for my health transformation. After taking a moment, I came up with healthy smoothies as my answer, but it really got me thinking about the other changes that have made the biggest impact on my level of health and fitness. It was impossible to keep it to just one, but I did limit it to a short list of absolute game changers that helped me lose 90lbs, achieve optimum health, and build a lean, muscular physique.

1) Changing Mindset from Weight Loss to Muscle Gain

Most people are focused solely on weight loss, just as I was, and it’s easy to fall into the outlook of eat less, exercise more. But actually, the reverse of this philosophy is true. Proper fueling and energy expenditure are what you should be focused on. How many calories do you need in a day to maintain your weight? How many do you need to gain muscle? Lose body fat? You can get estimates of these numbers using a calorie/macro nutrient calculator. If you haven’t done this, chances are you’re not eating enough calories, which can wreck your metabolism and promote the retention of body fat. Or, you’re eating too many calories, which will cause unnecessary weight gain. Find out your daily needs, figure out where you’re at, and you may be surprised at what you find. Instead of weight loss, focus on getting stronger so that your body becomes efficient at burning body fat. In order to achieve this, I recommend adopting a strength building routine involving lifting weights. Resistance training is far more effective at changing body composition than cardio. Instead of wasting away for hours on a treadmill, do some weight training with compound exercises like the squat, dead lift, bench press, and overhead press. You’ll be getting lean and strong in no time.

2) Making Smoothies

From day one, smoothies were a major aspect of my weight loss journey. Today, they’re simply a way of life. You can literally drink your way to better health. I will have generally 1-2 per day, but sometimes as many as four. I initially started with a $30 blender from Wal-Mart. Today, I use Blend-Tec, which ranges from $200-$300, but is worth every penny. Smoothies are a quick, easy, and delicious way to get vital nutrients into your diet. Here is a list of the smoothie ingredients we use frequently:

  • Purified Water, Ice
  • Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Coconut Water, Kefir
  • Berries (Raspberry, Blueberry, etc), Banana, Apples (Fresh or Frozen)
  • Mulberries
  • Spinach, Kale
  • Cucumber, Beets, Carrots
  • Oat Bran
  • Grass Fed Whey Isolate (Hormone/Antibiotic-Free, Naturally Sweetened)
  • Creatine (Weight Training Supplement)
  • Casein Protein
  • Cacao Nibs, Cacao Powder
  • Coconut Oil, MCT Oil
  • Flax Seed, Hemp Seed, Chia Seed
  • Avocado, Almonds, Cashews, Coconut
  • Spirulina Tablets
  • Green Superfood Powder Blend (Chlorella, Wheat Grass, Etc.)
  • Carob Powder, Camu Powder, Maca Powder, Moringa
  • Stevia, Xylitol (Natural Sweeteners)
  • Cinnamon

Mix and match based on this list of ingredients or come up with your own. A great place to start is the Wes Sider Smoothie for optimization or the Fully Charged Chocolate Smoothie for dessert. When it comes to produce, we generally buy organic. It’s usually cheaper to buy frozen over fresh, but we mix and match depending on what’s on sale or in season. I always switch up ingredients, but the smoothie recipes I have listed on Wise-Eats.com are a great place to start.

What are you putting in YOUR smoothies? Shoot us an e-mail or leave a comment down below.

3) Hydrating Properly

Adequate hydration increases energy, reduces appetite, promotes weight loss, and increases muscle strength, among countless other benefits. The first thing I do every day is drink a tall glass of high quality water and stay fully hydrated the entire day. Generally, 1-2 gallons per day total. If I’m running to the bathroom every hour to pee, I’m winning. Once you eliminate pop, milk, energy drinks, and other junk fluids, drinking water becomes natural, and your body instinctively craves it above all else.

It’s not only the amount of water you drink, but the quality of your water. Tap water and even some bottled waters expose you to the hazards of added chemicals and pollutants. Purchase a filter or buy water directly from a facility that does purification. In the past, I have used a Pur filter, but these commercial filters usually only mask the taste of poor quality water and do nothing to remove contaminants. After ditching the Pur, I began buying water from a reverse osmosis facility. Today, we use a Berkey filtration system in our home. For a more in-depth look at exactly how I drink water, check out the Wise Eats “Always Workin’” Water recipe video.

4) Being Able to Work Out Anywhere

Building a home gym made getting fit much more convenient and helped me stay consistent with my routine. You don’t have to waste gas, time, and precious motivation driving to the gym in order to execute a quality workout. Initially, I started with a few sets of dumbbells and P90X or UFC Fit. Now, I’ve built an entire home gym that I’m constantly adding to. Here is a list of items I have:

  • Dumbbells
  • Pull-Up Bar
  • Adjustable Barbell Rack ($100 on Amazon)
  • Barbell & Weight Plates
  • EZ Curl Bar
  • Jump Rope
  • Workout Mat
  • Kettlebells
  • Foam Roller

That is more than enough to get a complete workout and jumpstart the recovery process.

What’s in YOUR home gym? Comment below!

If you do prefer to work out at a gym, look for one that is close to home or work. Prepare meals and shaker bottles with protein and supplements in advance so you’re well fueled and not tempted to buy junk convenience foods. Pack a bag with everything you need in advance so you have no excuses not to show up.

Outside home and the gym, build movement into your routine no matter where you are. Go outside and get some sun. Go for a walk, ride a bike, or stop reading this article right now and do some push-ups or bodyweight squats. I am not afraid to do bodyweight squats right in the bathroom wherever I’m at if I need an energy boost or want to burn some calories. Bring some weights and a mat to work so you can exercise on your lunch break. Any time you’re feeling stressed, find a place to do some quick push-ups or pull-ups. You’ll work that anxiety out and be feeling like a new person in no time! Just because you don’t have 30-60 minutes to dedicate to a workout, doesn’t mean you have to do nothing. 1 minute of effort is all you need to get started. Make progress from there.

5) Listening to Podcasts and Audiobooks

I credit much of the knowledge I’ve gained over the years to podcasting, which has changed my life for the better. Through this medium I’ve found many mentors including Mike Dolce, Shawn Stevenson, John Lee Dumas, Mike Matthews, Joe Rogan, Ben Greenfield, Brock Armstrong, Monica Reinagel, and many more. The subject matter is not limited to exercise and nutrition. You can find podcasts on news, business, sports, entertainment, virtually any subject you’re interested in. You can listen right off of your phone while driving, working around the house, or completing some otherwise mindless activity. Podcasting has been a true game changer for my life as a whole as well as helping me get fit. I’ll actually be launching the Wise Eats podcast later this year, so stay tuned for that!

Honorable Mentions
6) Finding a Coach

I’ve never used a personal trainer or nutrition coach, so my coach was Google. Through trial and error, I learned a ton about proper diet, exercise, recovery, and thriving lifestyle habits. If you have the means, seek a reputable coach who can help you assess your current physical condition, set some goals, and help you get started. If I had a one-on-one coach years ago, I could have achieved my physical transformation much more quickly. Having someone with knowledge and experience that you look up to for motivation is critical. If you don’t have that person yet, find them.

7) Using Intermittent Fasting & Fasted Cardio

Intermittent fasting is a fat loss tactic I’ve adopted recently to help aid in calorie restriction. There is research supporting the idea that restricting your hours of eating can have some great health benefits resulting in fat loss and increased energy. In the first few hours of the morning, I feel more alert and focused when I don’t eat right away. Fasting for a little while at the beginning of the day helps keep my thoughts clear and burn stored fat. While I enjoy walking any time of the day, I especially love going for a brisk walk in a fasted state first thing in the morning. It’s highly effective for fat loss and one of my favorite forms of low-intensity cardio.

8) Focusing on Sleep

Some say physical fitness is 80% exercise and 20% diet. Others say it’s 20% diet and 80% exercise. I say it’s equal parts diet, exercise, and rest. Once I finally made sleep a priority in my life, my fitness results and overall health improved dramatically. The higher your quality and duration of sleep, the more mental, physical, and emotional energy you’ll have to perform at your best. At a bare minimum, I shoot for 6 hours a night, but operate best at 7-9 hours. Here are a few of the strategies I implement to improve sleep quality. There’s good science behind many of them, although I won’t bore you with the details. Inspiration for this section, in part, came from Shawn Stevenson’s book “Sleep Smarter”:

  • Exercise earlier in the day – Too close to bedtime can inhibit sleep
  • No caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime
  • Sleep in a very dark room (We use blackout curtains)
  • Rise and fall with the sun to take advantage of your natural circadian rhythms
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid junk food
  • Get as much natural sunlight exposure as you can
  • Supplement with magnesium and vitamin D (or multivitamin)
  • Drink hot tea (Helps with food cravings, too)
  • Go to bed around the same time every night – Even on weekends
  • No large meals just before bed – Light, nutritious snacking only
  • Foam rolling or massage just before bed
  • Remove all electronics from the bedroom, including TVs and cell phones
  • Avoid using blue light emitting devices (TV, cell phone, etc.) at least an hour before bed
  • Read a book until your eyes won’t stay open anymore
  • Physical touch with another human being before sleep
  • Meditation or deep breathing just before sleep and/or just after waking

These are most of the strategies I use to get the deepest, longest sleep possible. The more you sleep, the faster you recover, the more you can work out, the better you will feel and perform, the more you’ll be able to work out and feel great and look great. You get the idea.

Are there any techniques YOU utilize to improve the quality of your sleep? We’d love to read them! Post in the comments below.

These factors have been absolute game changers in helping me lose 90lbs, build muscle, and improve quality of life overall. I hope you’re already incorporating one or more of them into your own life. If you’re not, it’s time to wise up!!! Thanks for reading.

For more health and fitness tips, stay tuned to Wise-Eats.com. And if you’re not a member of Wise Choice Nation, sign up now free!

10 Fat Loss Tips & Six-Week Challenge Results

Note: Before/after pics were taken in the evening, fully hydrated and fed.

10 Fat Loss Tips & Six-Week Challenge Results

Six weeks went fast! The fat loss challenge is by no means over, but I did say six weeks in my original post, so here’s an update. I didn’t get quite the results I wanted but did make some progress and lost a decent amount of weight in that time. I also made consistent strength gains in all of my major lifts (bench, squat, dead lift, overhead press), which was pretty surprising. I also learned some valuable lessons that are going to help me do even better in the next six weeks, and hopefully help you do the same. Read on.

Age: 34
Height: 6’0

Start Date: 4-2-18
End Date: 5-14-18

Starting Weight: 198.6lbs
Ending Weight: 193.2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 5.4lbs

Average Calories/Day Prior to Cut: 3,500-4,000
Average Calories/Day During Cut: 2,500-2,700

Macro Goals/Day
Protein: 240g
Fat: 40g
Carbohydrates: 278g

1) I Expected to Do Better
Total weight loss of 5.4lbs is not as much as I hoped for in six weeks, but it’s still nearly a full pound per week. My biggest downfalls were lack of cardio and inclusion of cheat meals (more on that later). Ultimately, slow and steady weight loss is the goal to keep a sustainable, healthy weight. A crash diet resulting in drastic weight loss will burn valuable muscle and contribute to metabolic deficiencies. That said, I lacked some dietary discipline during this cut and could’ve achieved results much faster.

2) Eating Clean Does Not Guarantee Weight Loss
Although I have tracked my meals every day since 2009, I’ve gotten away from strict calorie/macronutrient counting over the past couple years and focused mainly on quality of nutrients. Eventually, this led to excessive caloric intake (3,500-4,000 per day) and accumulation of excess body fat, which is why I decided to start this six week cut. Sure, I’ve been lifting weights like a madman and gaining muscle but didn’t need nearly that many calories in order to acquire the muscle I desired. Had my calories been around 2,500-3,000 per day, I could have still gained muscle without adding so much body fat in the process. It’s valuable to count calories so you know where you’re at. Calculate your baseline needs and adjust from there based on your goals to gain or lose weight.

3) Dietary Fat is Healthy, But Too Much Leads to Weight Gain.
Grass fed butter. Avocado oil. Almonds. Coconut oil. Cashew butter. Dietary fat has tremendous health benefits, and it’s delicious. But when it comes to losing weight and eating fat, tread lightly. Fat has the highest calorie content out of all the macronutrients at 9 calories per gram. It is also the nutrient most easily converted into body fat. Leading up to this challenge, I was consuming 100-200g or more of dietary fat per day under the assumption that it was clean eating and good for me. During this challenge, I limited my intake to 40-60 grams per day on most days, and this had a major impact on my ability to restrict calories and shed body fat.

4) Intermittent Fasting Helped.
By putting off breakfast for a few hours in the morning, you can get a cognitive boost and utilize the many benefits of low intensity fasted cardio (walking, other light activity). This will also assist you in keeping total calorie intake down. I love the way I felt in the morning during that fasted period, so intermittent fasting is a strategy I will continue to use going forward.

5) I Was Never Starving
I used to think that eating needed to be restricted to the point where I was physically uncomfortable in order to lose weight, but that’s just not the case. During this cut, I averaged 6-8 meals per day at about 2,500 total calories. There were definitely times when I wanted to eat more, but I never felt truly deprived of anything during the cut.

6) I Did Almost No Cardio
I focused strictly on heavy, compound weight lifting 5 days per week. What little cardio I did do involved low intensity bike riding, walking, core workouts, and stretching. To accelerate results in the future, I will incorporate 2-3 high intensity cardio sessions per week. This should help get results much faster.

7) “Workout” Less, Lose More
Calorie restriction alone is enough to ensure weight loss, but exercise is still a critical component. 1-2-hour training sessions are unnecessary to build muscle and lose body fat, which is what I was doing previously. 30-60 mins of focused weight training with proper form and challenging weight are all you need to get strong and lose body fat. Short, intense cardio sessions lasting 20-30 mins are all you need to complement that schedule. Rest, recovery, sleep, walking, stretching, foam rolling, yoga, etc. are just as important as strenuous physical exertion.

8) I Had Epic Cheat Days and Still Lost Weight
I usually try to limit myself to one cheat meal per week, if at all. Most of the time, I just eat like I normally do because I love real food. During this cut, I wanted to exclude all cheat meals, but failed. Enjoyed three significant cheat meals during the six weeks. Back-to-back date nights with the wife involving beer and NY style pizza, then most recently a Mother’s Day feast with the family where I pretty much ate what I wanted but still had the cut in the back of my mind. Most other times, I adhered to my allotted calories and macros every single day.

9) Carbs Are NOT Your Enemy
Sweet potato, fruits, vegetables, jasmine rice, steel cut oats. Carbohydrates fuel your workouts and provide valuable energy but have been bastardized by profit-seeking firms that are usually selling poisons and ineffective diet fads. Make sure you’re eating enough carbohydrates based on your activity levels. I had around 278 grams of carbs per day throughout this cut and felt great doing it. Keto…eat your heart out.

10) Can’t Expect Results Overnight.
Fitness is a lifelong journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. One rep higher than your last workout. 10 seconds faster or 1 mile longer than before. Stay consistent, and you will see results. Small deposits in your physical bank account now add up to huge dividends later. Stay committed, keep making progress, and you will see results in time.

These results have only motivated me to keep going and do even better. I will report my progress at the end of the next six weeks and continue to share the biggest lessons learned. I hope you can take some of these fat loss insights and apply them to your own life. Health is wealth, so start making some wise choices! Please contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions. I want to produce the best possible content to help people get healthy and feel great because that’s how we should all be living. Thanks for reading.

Wise Eats Approved Foods / Grocery List

Here is a complete list of Wise Eats approved nutrition. It is broken into categories based on the three dietary macronutrients: Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate. Any items outside this list should be consumed with discretion. There are other healthy foods that are not mentioned, but these are the ones we use on a regular basis and consider to be ideal for a healthy, varied diet. If it’s on this list, it’s definitely a wise choice! Constructing your diet based on these real foods will help you lose weight, build muscle, increase energy, fight depression, prevent disease, and feel amazing.

If there is a food you believe should be added or removed from this page, please post a comment below or contact us.

Carbohydrates (40-50% of Daily Calories) – Complex, Slower Digesting – Ideal for Normal Meals & Workout Fuel

  • Grains – Oat Bran, Steel Cut Oats, Buckwheat, Quinoa, Amaranth, Millet, Barley, Spelt
  • Beans – Garbanzo, Black, Kidney, Pinto, Red, Fava, Lima, Hummus
  • Sweet Potato
  • Brown Rice, White Jasmine Rice, Wild Rice
  • Pasta Variations – Quinoa Flour Pasta, Red Lentil Pasta, Other Gluten-Free Pastas
  • Ezekiel Bread, Dave’s Bread
  • Green Vegetables – Spinach, Kale, Asparagus, Broccoli, Zucchini, Brussel Sprouts, Celery, Collard Greens, Cucumber, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Green Beans, Parsley, Snow Peas, Peas
  • Other Veggies – Bell Peppers, Tomato, Onion, Beets, Carrots, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Olives, Radishes, Water Chestnuts, Artichokes, Squash, Pumpkin, Cabbage (Sauerkraut), Heart Palms, Salsa
  • Sea Vegetables – Dulse, Kelp
  • Flour – Tapioca Flour, Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, Pamela’s Baking Mix, Kodak Pancake Mix

Carbohydrates – Fast Digesting – Ideal with Protein for Pre/Post Workout

  • Coconut Water
  • Rice Milk
  • Fruit – Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Acai, Goji, Cherries, Lemon, Lime, Pears, Apples, Oranges, Mangoes, Bananas, Pineapple, Melon, Grapes, Kiwi, Peaches
  • Dried Fruit – Goji, Mulberries, Raisins, Cranberries, Dates, Apricots

Protein (30-40% of Daily Calories)

  • Greek Yogurt, Goat’s Milk Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Eggs (Organic, Cage-Free), Egg Whites
  • Chicken Breast
  • Ground Turkey
  • Grass Fed/Organic Beef
  • Venison or Other Wild Game
  • Fish (Wild Caught) – Tuna, Sardines, Salmon, Cod, Flounder, Tilapia
  • Protein Powder (Hormone/Antibiotic-Free, Organic, Grass Fed, Naturally Sweetened) – Whey Isolate, Casein, Hemp Protein, Egg Protein
  • Bone Broth – Beef, Turkey, Chicken

Fat (20-25% of Daily Calories)

  • Cooking Oils – Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Grass Fed Butter, Ghee, Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil, Peanut Oil
  • Non-Cooking Oils (Salads, Smoothies) – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hemp Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Walnut Oil
  • Avocado, Guacamole
  • Nuts (Raw) – Almond, Cashew, Walnut, Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Macadamia, Brazil Nuts, Pine Nuts, Unsweetened Coconut
  • Nut Butter – Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, Cashew Butter, Sunflower Seed Butter
  • Hemp Seed, Chia Seed, Flax Seed
  • Cheese (Organic and/or Grass Fed) – Feta Cheese, Goat Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Ricotta, Pecorino Romano, Vegan Cheese

Drinks

  • Purified Water (Reverse Osmosis, Spring Water, Berkey Filtered)
  • Natural Sparkling Water – No Carbonation Added (Pellegrino)
  • Lemon Water
  • Coconut Water
  • Green Tea
  • Herbal Teas (Unsweetened, Organic)
  • Raw Vegetable Juice
  • Organic Black Coffee
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Milk Alternatives – Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Coconut Milk, Cashew Milk, Goat Milk

Flavor Enhancers, Electrolytes, Other Nutrients & Minerals

  • Sea Salt
  • Liquid Aminos, Coconut Aminos
  • Mustard
  • Hot Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Mixed Seasonings & Spices (Basil, Thyme, Parsley, Cumin, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, etc)          
  • Natural Sweeteners – Stevia, Xylitol
  • Sugar Sweeteners – Raw Honey, Agave, Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla Extract, Almond Extract, Peppermint Extract
  • Peanut Butter Powder

“Super Foods” (Provide Balanced Nutrition, Vitamins, Energy)

  • Cacao Powder, Cacao Nibs, Maca, Carob
  • Moringa Powder
  • Green Superfood Powder (Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass, etc.)
  • Camu Powder

Supplements (For Optimization Only, Not Required in Diet)

  • Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate (Hormone Free, Naturally Sweetened)
  • Grass Fed Casein Protein (Hormone Free, Naturally Sweetened)
  • Hemp Protein Powder
  • Egg Protein Powder
  • BCAAs (Fasted workouts)
  • Fish Oil
  • Multivitamin
  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Caffeine
  • MSM Powder
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Probiotics
  • Green Superfood Powder with Spirulina, Chlorella, etc.
  • Collagen, Colostrum

Tips:

  • Watch your ingredient lists – Eat only real food!
  • Be careful of hidden sugars, artificial flavors, additives, and other harmful chemicals
  • Avoid added sugars and refined vegetable oils
  • Avoid processed foods, convenience foods, and fast foods
  • Buy organic, cage-free, grass-fed whenever possible
  • Get as close to the original source as possible (Farm, Butcher, Minimally Processed, Raw)
  • Supplements are only necessary in order to complement a diet rich in healthy foods or if you are deficient. Strive to get the majority of your nutrients from whole food sources (Fish oil from fish, protein from meat/vegetables, vitamins from vegetables, etc.). Supplements can also help take your fitness game to the next level. Choose wisely!

Where to Shop

  • Grocery Stores/Markets
  • Farmer’s Markets
  • Amish Markets
  • Costco
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Amazon.com
  • ThriveMarket.com

Sample Meal Plan #1 (Recipes Available Here)

  1. Breakfast: Razor’s Edge Scramble and Energy Bowl
  2. Pre-Workout: Whey Isolate with Coconut Water
  3. Post-Workout: Whey Isolate with Coconut Water
  4. Lunch: Sautéed Vegetables with Chicken, Quinoa, Spices
  5. Dinner: Chokeslam Chicken Salad
  6. Pre-Bed Snack: Blueberry Yogurt Bowl

Sample Meal Plan #2

  1. Breakfast: False Finish Fried Eggs, Filthy French Toast
  2. Pre-Workout: Whey Isolate with Rice Milk
  3. Post-Workout: Whey Isolate with Blueberries & Rice Milk
  4. Lunch: Sauteed Vegetables with Salmon and Quinoa
  5. Dinner: Chokeslam Chicken Salad
  6. Pre-Bed Snack: Almond Butter & Apple

Sample Meal Plan #3

  1. Breakfast: Sidewalk Slam Smoothie
  2. Pre-Workout: Whey Isolate with Rice Milk
  3. Post-Workout: Whey Isolate with Banana & Rice Milk
  4. Lunch: Salmon with Veggies and Sweet Potato
  5. Dinner: Chicken Wise Rice
  6. Pre-Bed Snack: Casein Protein w/ Almond Milk

A Note on Calories & Macronutrients

Calorie and macronutrient requirements vary depending on the individual, body type, and activity level. In general, your daily calorie intake should be broken up into 40-50% Carb, 30-40% Protein, and 20-25% Fat. These numbers can be manipulated to your own specific needs based on your goals. For instance, the ketogenic diet utilizes a high fat, low carb approach. A normal diet focused on weight loss should include high quality protein with each meal (about 40% of total daily calorie intake). For someone who is working out vigorously on a regular basis, a higher carbohydrate intake is recommended. Identify your goals, determine your caloric needs, fulfill your dietary requirements, and you are destined for success.

To calculate your daily caloric and macronutrient requirements, visit:
https://www.muscleforlife.com/macronutrient-calculator  

A balanced diet rich in whole foods and low on heavily processed foods will promote healthy weight, muscle growth, high energy levels, strong immune system, and longevity. Take control of your life today by getting these high-quality nutrients in your life!

Wise Eats Approved Foods/Grocery List
http://www.wise-eats.com/approvedfoods

Complete List of Recipes
http://www.wise-eats.com/recipes

12 Lessons Learned from 90lb Weight Loss – Full Article
http://www.wise-eats.com/weightlosslessons

The Following Announcement Complete Episode Guide
http://www.tfashow.com

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12 Lessons Learned from 90lb Weight Loss

If you’ve been to Wise-Eats.com/MyStory, you know that I lost 90lbs back in 2009. It was the start of a major lifestyle change in which I became passionate about nutrition, fitness, building lean muscle, preventing sickness, and optimizing energy levels. Today, I want to share the biggest lessons and tips from that initial weight loss experience, and how you can apply them to your own fat loss goals:

 

1) Embrace Your Need for Change.

In order to improve your health, you must want it for yourself. Think of the reasons you want to lose weight or build muscle. Don’t let weight loss be some idea that’s out there floating in space. Make it tangible. Will losing 20lbs help you interact better with your kids, make you a better worker, leader, friend, or family member? Think of the reasons you want to change and it will help you solidify that goal. Making the commitment is the first step

2) Set A Specific Fitness Goal.

At 6ft, 270lbs, my original goal was very simple: lose weight. After the weight loss, my goals changed. I was skinny, but still sick and unhealthy. At that point, my goal turned toward body composition and building lean muscle. Assess your current physical condition and figure out exactly where you want to go. Then, make it a goal to finally get there, no matter what!

3) Losing Body Fat Is A Numbers Game.

Calories in, calories out. Assuming you have no pre-existing health conditions or metabolic deficiencies, weight loss is very simple. You need to achieve a caloric deficit in order to lose body fat. A calorie surplus is needed to sustain or grow muscle over time. Use a calorie/macronutrient calculator to find out what your daily needs are. I’ve provided my favorite below. Remember, these are just approximations. At 6ft, 200lbs with an active lifestyle, here’s what my caloric needs look like:

Maintain Weight: 2,925 calories per day
Gain Weight: 3,510 calories per day
Lose Fat/Sustain Muscle: 2,632 calories per day
Lose Fat: 2,340 calories per day
https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator

I prefer to lose fat while sustaining as much muscle as possible. Eating too few calories will burn up valuable muscle, which slows your metabolism and hinders long-term progress. Weight loss of about 1lb per week is a sustainable pace that will help ensure long-term results. As long as you’re eating slightly less calories than required, you will lose weight. If you’re lifting weights with proper form, making progressions, and eating slightly more than you’re expending, you will gain muscle. It’s that simple.

4) Start A Diet Journal and Count Calories

This step can be as complicated or simple as you make it. Use an app on your phone, track on a spreadsheet, or write longhand like I used to back in the day. This will help you monitor calorie intake, stay accountable, and wise you up toward the foods you’re currently eating. A kitchen scale will help you measure portion sizes. Counting total daily calories is a great place to start.

When it comes to macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates), there’s no need to obsess over counting every gram, although it helps when you want to accelerate fat loss and build muscle. I could’ve achieved my current level of fitness much faster if I had been more strategic with my eating and drinking habits over the years. The more disciplined you are with your diet, the faster your results will come.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure you’re getting high quality protein with every meal (usually 30-50g per meal). This will ensure healthy weight loss while preserving lean muscle. Add a moderate amount of healthy dietary fat (which, in my experience, is very easy to go overboard on). The rest of your meals should consist of high quality carbohydrates, which will fuel athletic performance and boost physical and mental energy levels.

Instantly receive a full list of recommended protein, fats, and carbohydrates via e-mail when you subscribe to Wise Choice Nation! http://www.wisechoicenation.com/

5) Get Educated About Diet and Exercise.

Do some research about the things you’re putting in your body. Every single thing you eat or drink is either fueling progress or hindering it. Give your body the raw materials it needs to repair and grow efficiently, and you will reap the benefits.

When it comes to exercise, form and safety are paramount. Study proper form through trusted sites like Bodybuilding.com. There are quality videos for literally any exercise you can imagine. Once you understand how to perform compound movements properly and get some confidence doing them, you can get consistent with your training program and make steady progress.

6) Get Moving.

Discover forms of exercise that you enjoy and will perform on a regular basis. You can workout at home, work, or a local gym. Hire a personal trainer, join a fitness class, or just get outside and go for a walk or run or bike ride. You don’t have to buy expensive equipment or spend hours wasting away on a treadmill. A dumbbell and a YouTube video are all you need to get started. My favorite workout regimens, past and present, will be available soon at Wise-Eats.com/Workouts. Currently, I enjoy weight lifting 5-6 days per week mixed with some high intensity interval training 1-3 days per week (usually performed with kettlebells or UFC Fit full-body dumbbell/bodyweight training). Once you find an exercise program that you’re passionate about, working out is never a chore. It becomes part of your routine; something you can’t function without. You show up because you’re motivated to get better every single time and know that you won’t function at your best without it. Feeling amazing becomes the norm; getting in shape is just a byproduct.

7) Track Your Progress.

Use a fitness journal to record exercises and weights. Monitor your bodyweight daily and/or week-to-week. When tracking your weight, don’t be disappointed if your results aren’t immediate or consistent. For weight loss, aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. For muscle gain, look to make progress over time by making small improvements each workout. Slightly more weight each time or more reps with good form. Record your performance, reflect on your progress, and celebrate your accomplishments. Realize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you stay consistent, you will see results.

8) Eat Real Food.

Total calorie intake and macros are important to fitness, but I believe nutrient quality is even more important to overall health. Replace fast food or processed convenience foods with home prepared meals from fresh ingredients. Pay attention to nutrition fact labels, and try to eat minimally processed, organic foods as often as possible. Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and whey protein powder. Nutrient-rich carbs like oat bran, quinoa, and sweet potato. Fresh fruits and vegetables as close to their original source as you can get them. Meats that are organic or sustainably raised. Food has tremendous power over your health and fitness, so take it seriously. It can make or break your motivation, consistency, and progress.

9) Drink Only Water.

Okay, this is a bit of an exaggeration. Tea, coffee, coconut water, rice milk, and almond milk are also acceptable beverages, but you get the idea. The bottom line is to eliminate pop, juice, energy drinks, and most other processed beverages. They’re usually science-based chemical concoctions that are going to lead to imbalances and long-term health complications. I used to drink 20oz or more of soda per day for most my life, so I get it. Quitting that was one of the hardest mental struggles I’ve ever overcome. Trust me, once you finally eliminate soda from your diet, you’ll wonder why you ever drank it in the first place.

A complete list of Wise Eats approved foods, beverages, and supplements are sent instantly via e-mail when you subscribe FREE to Wise Choice Nation! http://www.wisechoicenation.com/

 

10) Limit Yourself to One Cheat Meal Per Week Or Less.

Throughout my 90lb weight loss, I cheated on my diet a ton. Cheat meals, cheat days, even full cheat weeks. Calorie restriction sustained my weight loss, not consistent healthy eating. Over time, however, I was able to improve my diet and focus on eating clean, which helped me build muscle and start to get really fit. You don’t have to eat perfect all of the time to lose weight and get in shape. Focus on your goals, try to eat healthy the majority of the time, treat yourself in moderation, and always get back on track after a cheat meal.

11) Plan Meals in Advance.

It’s time to get in the kitchen. Remove processed junk foods and other unhealthy snacks from your kitchen. If it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it, so stock your cabinets with wise choices. Make large batches of food to have ready for quick, convenient, well-balanced meals. Make enough breakfast to have leftovers for days. Bring healthy snacks like nuts and fresh fruit to have on hand at work. Prepare shaker bottles full of protein for those moments when you’re stuck needing a meal. The more you prepare, the greater your chances for success. Stay away from vending machines and restaurants. You possess sole responsibility for every single thing you put into your body. Own that role and do good things for yourself.

12) Kick Your Bad Habits to Make Room for Good Ones.

Quit smoking and take more deep breaths. Replace soda with filtered lemon water. Less sitting, more walking. Pack a healthy lunch instead of buying fast food. Stop feeling tired and sick. Start feeling energized and upbeat. Less negativity, more compassion and kindness. Watch less TV, read more books. Look at your cell phone less, sleep a little more. Reduce processed snacks, eat more vegetables. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Focus less on your problems and more on things you’re grateful for. Small changes today add up to life-altering results in the future.

Develop a lifestyle that will eliminate body fat, build muscle, and optimize your life for good. Do it for yourself, but also do it because there is someone out there who needs you to be around for a long time. Avoid sickness, boost your mood, increase energy levels, and fight depression with a longevity-based lifestyle. Through proper diet and exercise you can improve your mental capacity, productivity levels, and motivation to get better in other areas of life. Stick with Wise-Eats.com to help get you there, and feel free to send any questions you may have along the way. To keep up on the latest updates, articles, recipes and more, join our free newsletter, Wise Choice Nation. Thanks for reading. Make Wise Choices!

 

Always Workin’ Water


Drink Your Way to Better Health with the Always Workin’ Water

Hydration is one of the most important elements of overall health and fitness. Every day when I wake up, drinking high quality water is my first priority of the day. It fires up your metabolism, flushes out toxins, fuels your brain, and reduces appetite. Only after I fully hydrate will I start to work, check my phone, e-mail, text, etc. Take your hydration to the next level with Wise Eats “Always Workin’” Water. Your drinking water will never be the same again!

Ingredients

  • Filtered Water
  • MSM Powder
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Optional: Condensed Greens Powder

Health Benefits/Tips

  • Drinking more water is going to help you lose weight, improve energy levels, fuel your muscles, aid digestion, and improve your mood.
  • MSM powder helps detoxify the body, improves flexibility, healing, energy, and promotes skin health.
  • Lemon juice adds a little flavor and Vitamin C.
  • Greens powder provides energy, detoxifies your body, aids digestion, and supports immune system.
  • Himalayan sea salt provides trace minerals that detoxify the body and help balance blood sugar. Adding minerals will help your body absorb the water and keep you more hydrated.
  • Be sure to drink purified water. Reverse osmosis water or a Berkey home filtration unit is what we use.
  • How much water should you drink? More than you’re drinking now! Personally, I drink a gallon or more per day.

I used to drink at least full liter of pop per day. If I can drop the pop and start making wise choices, you can too!

Make hydration part of your daily routine, and you will be amazed at the results. Next time you’re in the kitchen, make a wise decision.

 

My 90lb Weight Loss Story

Back in 2009, I lost 90lbs and dedicated my life toward health, fitness, and self-improvement.

Up until that point, I never had a consistent exercise regimen, often abusing my body with food and alcohol. Despite my long battle with obesity and poor lifestyle habits, today I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. I eat a well-balanced diet, exercise in some form every single day, and try to be an example of “the healthy guy” for those around me. But it wasn’t always this way.

Growing up, I was always a picky eater. Dinner was usually a disappointment unless it involved a McDonald’s happy meal, pepperoni pizza, or some other type of fast food. I would frequently pass on normal, delicious, healthy foods in favor of junk foods and dessert. I specifically remember a night as a kid when I refused to eat my dinner and wanted to skip straight to dessert. When my dad refused, I secretly scraped my boring meal into the trash when he wasn’t looking, then proudly told him that I was done with my food and ready for ice cream. This didn’t go over very well with dad, but he eventually let me have the ice cream.

When it came to eating, I was given the freedom to make my own choices growing up. Mom passed away when I was five years old, so Dad was faced with raising three boys all on his own, and he did the best he could. He frequently prepared meals at home, but I either fussed or flat out refused to eat unless it was some type of junk food paired with a sugary soda. Even my school lunches were usually some kind of white bread sandwich paired with a bag of Doritos, Mountain Dew, and hostess pie for dessert. Most of the time, Dad would cater to my meal requests, whether it be pizza, fast food, pancakes, or just a grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup, and I loved him for it. He’s actually a fantastic cook and, looking back, I wish I hadn’t been such a fussy kid! Nowadays, healthy eating is a passion that both of us share, but he still cooks his amazing pizza and seafood on special occasions.

Poor diet and lifestyle choices followed me into my teenage years. In early 1997, when I was 13, my 18-year-old brother Jason was tragically killed. One of the greatest idols in my life had been suddenly torn away from me forever, and whether or not I realized it at the time, I was lost without him. He was one of my best friends, and his absence was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever dealt with. Thankfully, a great support system helped me get through that heartbreak, but the depression from that event didn’t help my lifestyle habits. At age sixteen, I started smoking cigarettes in an effort to fit in and “be cool” with my group of peers. My meals at school consisted primarily of fast food sandwiches, cheese sticks, pizza, and other junk foods. I drank at least 12oz of soda with every meal. Each morning, I would wake up miserably tired and drained. My exhaustion was so severe that I would sleep through classes, and it’s a wonder to me that I maintained good grades through most of my early education. I wonder now how much more I could’ve accomplished if I had been eating a proper, healthy diet, and getting adequate rest.

After graduating high school, my lifestyle habits got even worse. It was rare that a day went by when I didn’t have some sort of fast food or processed food. I consumed alcohol too often, and smoked close to a pack of cigarettes per day. I supplemented these poor lifestyle habits through occasional exercise, but not with any sort of consistency or commitment. I spent a couple semesters in college, changed majors three different times, and eventually stopped going altogether. I worked a few different jobs, mostly in food service, which fueled my poor eating even further. In 2004, after getting fired from Big Boy of all places, I began working in the shipping department of the auto manufacturer my Dad worked at for almost 30 years. My poor lifestyle choices continued, but at least I was holding a job.

After two years of working at my Dad’s factory, I hit a significant milestone. On May 2, 2007, the day that would’ve been my late brother Jason’s 29th birthday, and a full decade since his death, I decided to make a major change and quit smoking. I had finally decided that giving up cigarettes was just something I had to do for myself; that it was within my power to overcome it. It was hard, and it took me two tries, but I did it. After 7 years of smoking cigarettes, I had finally quit cold turkey at the age of 23. To this day, I’m so thankful that I made this choice, because that marked the beginning of a complete lifestyle change for myself. However, I didn’t exactly find success immediately.

Fitting the stereotype, I gained weight excessively after I quit smoking. I was done with cigarettes but replaced my craving for nicotine with more food and alcohol, so my calorie intake increased dramatically. I was living away from home for the first time and making consistently poor lifestyle choices. My girlfriend and I were both overweight and eating whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Our dinners usually consisted of take out, fast food, and fried food. When we did eat a “normal” meal, it was often something frozen, boxed, or processed. Eventually, Julie decided that she had had enough with being overweight and chose to undergo lap band surgery. I encouraged her to try to lose the weight on her own, but eventually supported her decision to go through with the surgery. Unfortunately, it was a decision I would regret later on.

In March 2009, my weight had reached an all-time high. I was 6ft, 272lbs, and on a one-way path toward lifestyle-related disease. I rarely exercised, and my daily routine revolved around the next junk food meal I would consume. It was at this time that I decided to make my second biggest lifestyle change; I was going to lose weight. It was time to change the course of my life. I can’t say there was a specific light bulb moment that made me realize it. I just looked at my lifestyle, realized that it was within my power to overcome my addictions, and made the choice to do it. It was that simple. You can talk about losing weight or getting healthy all you want, however, at the end of the day it comes down to discipline. Improving well-being is a choice, and it takes willpower, plain and simple. You have to make the commitment, and once you do, it’s inspiring. And it’s addicting. And believe it or not, once you start, it gets easier as you go along. At least it did for me.

So, with a renewed sense of passion, I got to work, and began tracking all of my meals. I didn’t follow Atkins, Paleo, Keto, or any other “fad” diet. Instead, I educated myself and found inspiration from many different sources. Initially, it was the intense-workout.com. This site introduced me to the types of foods I needed to be eating and avoiding. It also gave me a starting point for exercises and workout routines to implement. This was a terrific start for my new approach to diet and exercise, so I owe a debt of gratitude for this website, which still exists today.

My diet strategy from day one was very simple: count calories. I didn’t focus on the quality of foods as long as I kept my calorie count down. My diet was still very poor; I just ate less overall. My lunches at work consisted of frozen diet meals and other processed “healthy” foods, like Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice entrees. I still allowed myself to drink alcohol multiple times per a week, and weekends were reserved for cheat meals galore. I allowed myself to do pretty much whatever, whenever, as long as I logged every single calorie, and restricted total calorie intake on several days of the week.

The greatest habit I developed during this time was starting a diet journal. No matter what I ate, good or bad, I wrote it down, and estimated the number of calories I consumed. Regardless of food quality, my goal was to keep the calorie count down. In order to supplement my calorie deficit, I also began jogging and occasional weight lifting.

The weight loss was immediate. Every week, I would track and record my weight. Living in a calorie deficit, I lost weight nearly every week. If I didn’t lose anything one week, I would usually lose even more the next week. When it came to eating, I had good days and I had bad days. My diet was far from perfect. Weekdays were reserved for lower calories, and weekends were reserved for cheating, a lot. Looking back, it’s amazing the foods I was able to consume and still lose weight through calorie restriction. But in my mind, if I averaged a low per-day calorie amount for the week, I was doing well. And for weight loss, it worked!

No matter how many people want to contest it, actual weight loss is simple math; calories in, calories out. Calorie restriction won’t help you build lean muscle, and it’s not the most sustainable way to keep weight off permanently, but it does work for weight loss. The problem is, many people don’t develop sustainable habits like getting stronger and making exercise a regular priority in their life. They fall off and go back to their old inactive habits. Luckily for me, I stuck with it, because I was determined to lose weight and kept it my singular focus.

The next major step toward improving my health was limiting soda and fast food. If you’re reading this and still drinking soda, I encourage you to do whatever you can right now to stop permanently or at least cut back! It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but over many years, I gradually phased soda out of my diet, and it was a game changer! Its dramatic effects on blood sugar drastically impact your mood, performance, energy levels, and cognitive function. Even diet soda is filled with poison that alters your brain and body chemistry. It literally does nothing for your body other than hold you back from being the optimized human you were meant to be. Today, I won’t even touch the stuff, nor do I desire to. Drinking that toxic junk is not even an option in my mind. But it took many years to get my mind to that place. Same goes for fast food. During my weight loss, I limited fast food “cheat” meals to weekends only. Today, I rarely eat any type of junk food at all, because I enjoy the taste of real food and the feeling of feeling good!

Eventually, I transformed my diet and workout regimen completely. As my weight loss progressed, I gained more knowledge on diet and exercise through websites like bodybuilding.com. I started a consistent weight training regimen and spent more time in the kitchen. I replaced frozen diet meals and heavily processed foods with home-prepared meals. I drank mostly water and started focusing on whole sources of nutrients like nuts, fish, chicken, whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruits. I got smarter about my meals away from home. Initially, I would prepare large batches of whole wheat pasta or brown rice paired with chicken breast, spices, and fresh or frozen vegetables. I would pack containers to have convenient, healthy meals at work. I made smoothies with fresh and frozen fruit and whole grain oats. To this day, I still prepare nearly 100% of my meals at home, although my grocery list has evolved significantly. Instead of pasta I will use jasmine rice, quinoa, or green vegetables. Instead of fruit smoothies, I generally make green smoothies packed with fresh vegetables, fruits, and other superfoods. But getting in the kitchen initially was a great place to start, and a huge shift toward health improvement.

On August 16, 2010, 17 months after I started my diet journal, I had lost 87.4lbs. I was smoke-free, on my way to being soda free, and finally feeling great about my body, which was something I had never felt in my life. I had accomplished a major feat and was changing my life. But this was only the beginning. Losing the weight was only the first part of the battle. I had accomplished my goal of losing weight, but now what was I going to do?

I was still making poor food choices too frequently. During Christmas of 2010, only 4 months after I had lost 90lbs, I experienced one of the worst flus I’ve ever had in my life. After recovering, I followed up this sickness with an epic week-long junk food binge (the diet journal entries don’t lie!). 3 months later, on March 13, 2011, I got so ill that I temporarily lost vision and experienced some brief body paralysis. As I crawled around my house alone with what tiny bit of energy I still had, I remember being scared that I wouldn’t remain conscious long enough to make it to the phone in order to dial 9-1-1.

I was 90lbs lighter, and the healthiest I’d been my whole life, yet I was so sick that I thought I might die. Thankfully, I recovered after a few days of bed rest. One month later, in April 2011, my girlfriend Julie of six years tragically passed away after suffering complications from multiple weight loss surgeries. It was another shocking, difficult period of my life. I was no stranger to suffering loss, having already experienced the deaths of my older brother and mother. But Julie’s passing was a major wake-up call. In a way, I believed I had failed her. That if I had gotten my health on track sooner, I could’ve helped her, instead of just enabling her lifestyle choices and standing by during her weight loss surgeries. If I had been smarter, maybe I could’ve inspired her to overcome her addictions the way I did. Whether it was conscious or not, looking back, I think her death inspired me to keep going. I couldn’t let her loss be in vain, and it confirmed that I needed to stay the path that I was on. I hadn’t helped her, but I could still help myself and others. I knew that I had to continue my journey of health improvement and that there was no turning back.

Since my initial weight loss in 2010, I’ve kept the 90lbs off and completely altered my lifestyle. My path since then has been a learning experience that I look forward to sharing with everyone. As I continued to eat better, sleep smarter, and exercise more efficiently, I became productive in ways I never thought possible. At 30 years old, I went back to college, earned my Bachelor’s degree in business, and was finally performing optimally in all areas of my life. I got promoted at work, purchased a home, and in 2016, married my beautiful wife Giovannina. At 34 years old, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and getting stronger every day. I haven’t been sick in years, and continuously work to improve my lifestyle habits. I’m focused, motivated, and determined to help others who face the same struggles I did, and inspire those who share a similar passion.

In Summary, here are the steps I followed to lose 90lbs:

  • Made the commitment to change my lifestyle, quit smoking, and lose weight. Made it a goal for myself, shared it with family and friends, and found motivation by making it my sole focus. I recommend that you set a fitness goal for yourself. Do you need to lose weight, build muscle, or both? What is it that you want to achieve specifically?
  • Found a message that inspired me. Gained knowledge on weight loss, proper diet, and exercising. Websites like the intense-workout.com, bodybuilding.com, and podcasts like The Model Health Show, the Mike Dolce Show, Onnit, Get Fit Guy, and many others really inspired me to get where I am today. There are a million resources out there you can turn to, you just have to find one that resonates with you and that you trust.
  • Determined my daily caloric needs. Created a goal calorie count for the day and average calorie count for the week. Once you know the number of calories required to maintain weight, you can adjust them up or down to either build muscle or lose fat. In my case, I operated under a calorie deficit in order to drop the extra pounds. I also purchased a digital body fat monitor. It doesn’t give a precise measurement of body fat, but it will give a good estimate and allow you to track changes over time to see if you’re trending in the right direction. Today, I still track my weight and body fat weekly.
  • Started a diet journal and began calorie counting every meal. Wrote down every meal and kept track of my calorie total for each day and daily average for the week. Also purchased a kitchen scale to help guesstimate calorie count of my home prepped meals. This is a terrific strategy that helped me lose weight initially, and although I keep a diet journal to this day, calorie counting is no longer a significant part of my daily life. Calorie restriction will work for weight loss, because it worked great for me to lose 90lbs, but at some point, you have to look at quality of foods and source of your calories if you want to get stronger, fight sickness, and boost energy.
  • Shifted my mindset. Eventually, my focus turned from calorie counting to food quality, then from losing weight to getting stronger. The truth is, maintaining a healthy weight is important, but it’s only one piece of the getting healthy puzzle. Once you start focusing on strengthening your body instead of dropping calories and losing weight, it entirely changes your outlook. I started reading nutrition fact labels and ate only real foods with ingredients that I understood. Instead of focusing on calories, fat, protein, and other macros, I started paying attention to ingredient lists, because those provide your first glimpse of the quality of that food. If it contains an ingredient you don’t recognize or is hard to pronounce, chances are it is not a wise choice. Google those ingredients and aim to buy only fresh food and other products from whole sources.
  • Eliminated soda and fast food from my diet. If I can do it, YOU can do it! I drank soda with every meal my whole life and ate fast food or take out nearly every day. Phasing them out took time and dedication, but it’s a must for your health. Over time, I limited fast food to 1-2 meals per week until I was able to quit it completely. Even still, during and after my weight loss, I would over indulge on my fast food cheat meals. Instead of having a cheat meal, I’d have a full cheat day, or weekend, or even a full cheat week. Today, I rarely have them at all, and my cheat meals consist of more home cooked meals or a nice dinner out with my wife. But, when I do “cheat”, I do so mindfully. If you’re in a similar situation, try not to live an all or nothing lifestyle like I did. Enjoy yourself, but do so in moderation, and always with your goals in mind. After you treat yourself, get right back to making wise choices on the very next meal. You don’t have to eat perfect all of the time to lose weight and get in shape. Aim to be perfect 100% of the time, and if you come in at 80 or 90% that’s fine. Just try to get 1% percent better all the time.
  • Started preparing meals at home. Go grocery shopping. Lots of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, healthy carbs. If you don’t mind leftovers, prepare large batches of food to have for future meals, and to share with family or friends. For lunches and dinners, I’ll usually make some variation of the chicken wise rice or chokeslam chicken salad. For breakfast, I’ll make large batches of the Wise Eats Energy Bowl, or the razor’s edge scramble, or a sidewalk slam smoothie. I always mix and match ingredients and try new ways of preparing things to keep it fresh, tasty, and interesting.
  • Found ways to exercise that I enjoyed. At first it was running mixed in with some weight lifting at my local gym, then graduated into more at home workout programs like P90X, UFC Fit, and Body Beast. Those involve investing in a little home gym equipment, but if you can afford it, home workouts are a terrific and convenient option. And you don’t have to spend a fortune. A few sets of dumbbells are all you need to get a great home workout. Today, I’ll sprinkle in physical movement no matter where I am, but mostly enjoy working out at the home gym I’ve built over the years. There are a million different options. You can workout at home, at work, join a local gym, hire a personal trainer, join a fitness class, or just get outside and move around. My wife and I love going for walks together. Just try different things and see what works for you. The key is to find something that you enjoy that you will do on a consistent basis. For me, I initially found that with the UFC Fit program. It was challenging, fit my personality, and allowed me to do all of my workouts at home, which fit perfectly into my schedule. I always felt amazing and accomplished after those workouts, and hardly ever dreaded doing them. When you find an exercise program that you’re passionate about, working out is never a chore. So, find that thing that you love that you’re going to look forward to doing several times a week. Today, I love walking and lifting heavy weights. When I get tired of that, I love doing HIIT training with UFC Fit or kettlebells or trying an entirely new program. I constantly change up my routine to find variety and keep myself engaged. So, experiment, fuel yourself properly, and eventually you’ll find something you love, and have energy for days to do it!
  • Tracked my progress. Recorded my weight every Monday at the same time in order to maintain consistency, but also kept an eye on where I was multiple days throughout the week, which I believe helped improve mindfulness toward my weight loss goal. When monitoring your weight, don’t be disappointed if your results aren’t immediate or consistent. The scale won’t always accurately reflect your performance. If you don’t lose this week, you will lose next week if you stay consistent. I lost 90lbs over the course of 17 months, which is an average rate of about 1.25lbs per week, and I cheated a lot! Every weekend I was still eating bad food and drinking alcohol, but at least this time I was doing it with the weight loss goal in the back of my mind. And I always got back on track when Monday rolled around. Realize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and that if you stay consistent, you will see results, even if you fall of the rails from time to time. Crash diets may offer quick results, but these will be temporary. You want to lose weight at a slow pace, maintain consistency, which will lead to greater chance of permanent success.

So that’s my story, and how I lost 90lbs. You may or may not have a significant amount of weight to lose, but you should have some specific goal for your health. If you don’t, think of one right now. Are you satisfied with your physical appearance and the way you feel mentally and physically? If not, what would you like to see happen? Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? Be more flexible? Run further or faster? Get better sleep? Be more productive? Feel better? Think about it and be honest with yourself. Figure out what you want and write it down. Make a commitment, develop a plan, set goals, and stick to them. Is this what you really want? Is your goal just idea in your mind? If so, it’s time to turn that idea into an action plan. What steps do you need to take to accomplish it? Write them down. Tell your friends and family of your plans. Get them on board. It’s time to make fitness a tangible objective instead of just something you’ll get around to next week or on New Year’s Day. It doesn’t start tomorrow, it starts today. So, figure out what that goal is and get after it. Until you decide to make the change for yourself, it’s not going to happen. Nobody else can do it for you; you have to do it for yourself.

If you’re ready to start making positive changes in your health, sign-up for our free newsletter, Wise Choice Nation.

If weight loss is your goal, I hope that something in this story inspires you to take action in your own life. If your goal is not weight loss, but building muscle, achieving some other goal, or overcoming another challenge, we have so much more to come for you. Either way, stay tuned, because this is just the beginning.

My dream is to help people achieve their goals and become the best version of themselves that they can be.

If you have a question, comment, or story to share, please visit the contact page. Until then, thanks for reading, and remember to make wise choices!

Complete List of BYB Matches, Features, and Highlights

Professional wrestling was a major part of my childhood and early adult life. In fact, it was my entire life during that time. Nothing inspired or entertained me more. I cried when Hulk Hogan lost to the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 6. I was terrified of Papa Shango’s dreaded curse. I learned morals from Hulk Hogan, hard work from Bret Hart, machismo from Razor Ramon, respect of authority from Stone Cold, and how to be cool from Big Daddy Diesel. I wanted to look like them, be like them, become them.

In 2006, I got my chance, when I participated in a backyard wrestling event called Back Yard Brawl. It was a local show put on by my close friend and consistent main eventer Jose “Paco” Rodriguez, and its reputation in the Metro Detroit area is legendary. Throughout middle and high school, I participated as a referee, but in 2006, made the switch to actual wrestler. My lifelong dream of performing in front of a live audience was fulfilled. Over the next 10 years, BYB put on six more shows, with the final event taking place in 2016. Some say it’s over for good, while others believe it will continue on. One thing is for sure, it’s legend will live on forever.

While most early video footage of BYB from 1999-2005 has been lost, its stories have become part of fabled history in the big little city of Mount Clemens, MI. From 2006-2016, BYB put on 6 events. All recorded matches and highlight videos are available on YouTube and listed below. Most are produced and edited by Darin “Lord Deezus” Roberts (Misteredit1 on YouTube). Please like and subscribe!

I grew up being taught to train, say my prayers, take my vitamins, and believe in myself. Today, I want to inspire the world to make wise choices. IT’S TIME TO WISE UP.

 


BYB 2006
Johnny Turbo vs Richard (No Video)
Lord Deezus vs Paco w/ Special Guest Referee Wes Daddy

BYB 2007
Lord Deezus vs Papi Chulo (Paco in a Mask)
Wes Daddy vs Johnny Turbo
Paco vs Dan Guzman

BYB 2013
Tomas Rodriguez vs Suavecito Supremo (Paco in Mask)
Lord Deezus vs Johnny Turbo vs Wes Daddy (Triple Threat)
Jose “Paco” Rodriguez vs Donovan Danhausen

BYB 2014
Harlan Creed vs Tommy Nitro
The Filthy Frenchman vs Wes Daddy
Lord Deezus vs Tommy Nitro
Jose Rodriguez vs Tomas Rodriguez vs Donovan Danhausen

BYB 2015
The Filthy Frenchman vs Ameriken
Tommy Nitro vs Harlan Creed
Johnny Turbo vs Justin Charge
Lord Deezus vs Wes Daddy
Team Rodriguez vs Team Immortal (10-Man Tag)
Jose Rodriguez vs Kate Reiter (Match Made in Heaven – BYB Style)

BYB 2016
Lance Wheeler & The Bastard Biker vs Elliott Quinn & Ameriken
Johnny Turbo vs Justin Charge 2
Tomas Rodriguez vs Jose Rodriguez
Wes Daddy vs The Filthy Frenchman
Lord Deezus vs Tommy Nitro

Complete List of Back Yard Brawl Matches, Features, and Highlights