Fit and Trim for Life

For ten years, I was consistently overweight.

My clothes were too tight and then didn’t fit at all. This year, I developed a formula that I have used to get my weight under control for the first time in a decade. I have dropped from 196 lbs to 179 lbs. I feel terrific and get compliments from strangers about how trim I look. I now fit all of the suits and clothes that had been gathering dust in my closet.

The turning point for me was at Christmas, when I realized that I would have to change my lifestyle dramatically if I was ever going to get back to my ideal weight. Here is what I learned and practiced.

First of all, I realized that we all get into certain habits and rituals of diet, exercise and lifestyle, and then it becomes very hard to change, to get out of this “comfort zone.” But to get your weight and level of fitness back to where you want it, you are going to have to make some sacrifices.

Make a Decision

The biggest weight gainer of all is dinner time. It had become a ritual for me to come home, or go out, and have dinner between 7:00pm and 8:00pm with my wife, or with friends. We would share a bottle of wine, if not a little more, and generally eat more than could ever be justified for survival.

Then I read the works of Adele Davis, the nutritionist, who was famous for saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

To lose weight, the goal is to consume 80% of your calories before 2:00pm in the afternoon, in breakfast and lunch, and finish the day with something light and nutritious. If you just discipline yourself to eat lightly in the evening, you will start to lose weight almost immediately.

Salads at Six

A major turning point for Barbara and I was when we began to have “salads at six.”

This is an incredible weight loss technique! Instead of drinking wine and eating a large dinner, we instead have salad for dinner together as often as possible, Monday through Friday, at 6:00pm or thereabouts.

To break the natural tendency to come home at night and have a glass of wine, or some other drink, immediately drink a large glass of fruit juice, preferably cranberry or apple juice. This “sugar jolt” immediately cancels your desire for an alcoholic beverage, satisfies your appetite, and prepares you for your “salad at six.”

With your salads at dinner, add protein of some kind – chicken, fish or even slices of the steak you bring home from the restaurant. You can’t gain weight on salads. Without protein, you will be hungry in a couple of hours.

One of the things that Barbara and I have done is to have “salad at six” and then go out to a movie, thereby breaking the habit of having wine with dinner. Often, we go for a one hour walk around the neighborhood. Once you have broken this “dinner with wine” ritual a few times, it becomes easier and easier.

When you do this, you will feel lighter and brighter, have more energy, sleep well, and actually notice the difference in your weight within a few days, or less.

Eliminate the Three White Poisons

First, eliminate white sugar of all kinds, including soft drinks, desserts, candies, chocolate, and anything whatsoever that has sugar in it, for any reason. The elimination of sugar by itself will cause immediate weight loss.

Second, eliminate salt. Refuse to put it on any foods. Most foods, especially snack foods, canned foods, and processed foods, have so much salt that you need nothing additional in your diet. When you consume salt, your body retains water to hold the salt in suspension, causing you to bloat.

Third, eliminate white flour products of all kinds. Stop eating bread, pasta, rice, rolls, and even potatoes. The consumption of flour-based products is a major reason for overweight.

Your Exercise Regimen

Aerobic exercise has been the key to weight loss for me. I have always been physically active, but over the years, I had gradually cut back, putting on a pound a year over time.

Now, I get up at 6:00 AM, four or five days each week, and immediately exercise vigorously for 60-75 minutes. My favorites are the Lifecycle (reclining style), swimming, cross country ski machine, treadmill, or the elliptical machine. My goal is 200 to 300 minutes per week.

When you get up and exercise for sixty minutes first thing, your body burns calories all day long. The exercise energizes you and makes you brighter and more alert all day. When you start the day with exercise, it is easier to develop and maintain the habit of regular exercise.

After exercising, I usually have a cup of coffee and do some reading. The first food I eat is an apple, cut into four pieces and chewed slowly. When you wait thirty minutes after the apple for your protein breakfast, the apple quickly digests and then acts like a “roto-rooter” in your system 24 hours later.

Eat a Good Breakfast

For breakfast, I eat two scrambled eggs, covered with Mexican salsa heated in the microwave. This is sufficient to satisfy your appetite and give you sufficient fuel to run your system for 4-5 hours.

If you eat a handful of nuts on top of the eggs, you will not be hungry for 5-6 hours.

At lunch, eat only salads and protein. Eliminate breads, pastries, desserts and soft drinks of all kinds. I often buy a sandwich or a chicken burger and throw away the bread, just eating the protein. High quality protein takes 4-5 hours to digest slowly, giving you a continuous flow of energy without drowsiness.

When you go out for dinner, remember that your “apostate” turns off twenty minutes after you take the first bite. Because it is the evening, you don’t need very much to eat. Instead of a main course, preceded with salad and followed with dessert, have two appetizers. If you eat a salad appetizer and a protein appetizer, your appetite will be completely satisfied, you will feel lighter, sleep better, and lose weight.

One of the things I had to learn to do was to break the habit of eating large meals. Everything over and above what your body requires for healthy living is simply stored as fat.

Appetite Killers

Another thing that has helped me is Zone Bars. These are ideally balanced nutritional bars that you can buy by the box at your local store. A Zone Bar has a perfect balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It is small, but it kills your appetite for 2-3 hours. It is the perfect “snack” to eat later in the day if you start to become hungry.

One of the keys to weight loss is to not allow yourself to be hungry. Once you get hungry, you lose all sense of portion in terms of what you eat. You can kill your hunger with Zone bars, or even by slowly chewing a handful of nuts.

Be Fully Rested

Sleep is very important. You need 7-8 hours of sleep each night for proper functioning. Too many people go to bed too late and get up too early. If they had eaten late, they don’t sleep well and don’t rest well.

A key to weight loss is for you to be fully rested as the result of going to bed at 10:00pm and getting eight hours of sleep each night. When you have had sufficient rest, you will not be as hungry, and you will be satisfied with smaller portions.

Lose 10 Pounds Quickly

There is a simple way to start strongly on your weight loss regimen. This method is based on the fact that your body accumulates as much as 5-10 pounds of undigested food in the 22 feet of your small intestine, plus your large intestine. Simply by flushing all of this excess food out of your system, you can drop five pounds quickly and off to a strong start.

The Cleansing Diet: Mix a level tablespoon of Sea Salt with a quart of warm water and drink it first thing in the morning. In almost exactly 60 minutes, your entire system will evacuate.

If you are really serious about starting strongly and losing weight safely, you can go on to what is called the “Lemonade Diet” for a week. Beyonce Knowles, the singer, recently lost twenty pounds in twenty days for her role in Dream Girls simply by using this diet.

The way it works is simple. To a ten ounce glass of warm water, you add two level tablespoons of pure maple syrup, two level tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

This miraculous combination provides you with all the vitamins and minerals you need, plus the sugar energy you require for efficient working, thinking and functioning (but not strenuous exercise).The cayenne pepper stimulates your digestive system to operate more efficiently.

You can drink as many glasses of this mix as you like during the day, each time you feel hungry for any reason.

On the first day, you will drink 6 or 7 glasses. On the second day of this diet, you will drink 4 or 5 glasses. On the third and fourth day of this diet you will be drinking about three glasses spread over the day.

Each evening, before you go to bed, you mix and drink a large cup of herbal laxative tea. This will cause your system to continue cleaning out as you sleep. You will lose one pound or more for every day that you follow this lemonade diet.

When you use the lemonade diet to give yourself a “fast start”, you will drop five to ten pounds in 24-48 hours. You will see and feel the difference. You will then be motivated to continue.

Take Food Supplements

In addition to your regular diet, you must take excellent vitamin and mineral supplements. The very best are Nutrilite from Amway/Quixtar. When you are taking sufficient nutrients, your appetite will decrease. You will feel completely satisfied with less food, but better quality food. You will lose weight.

The key to long-term weight loss is for you to follow the suggestions above and commit to losing one pound per week indefinitely.

Your goal is to establish a new “set point,” the weight to which your body naturally returns, like a gyroscope, over time. The only way that you can permanently reduce your weight by reducing this set point is by losing weight slowly and surely over an extended period of time, one pound per week.

Be Patient and Persistent

One last point: Be gentle and patient with yourself. It has taken many years to develop your rituals of eating and drinking. Like a drunk, you will “fall off the wagon” occasionally. You will eat and drink more than you intended.

But everyday is a new day. If you over-ate or over-drank last night, resolve to start again today by getting lots of sleep, exercising 60-75 minutes, eating an apple to start off the day, and then sticking to proteins and salads as much as you can.

The key to health and long life has always been the same, contained in five words, “Eat less and exercise more.”

If you do all the things that I am suggesting above, you will be astonished at the results.

Good luck!

Personal Success Made Simple

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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

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  • Rebekaah

    What a great article! Very useful information. I tried the lemonade diet a few times though and it was a waste of time. Way too much sugar, and I gained all the weight back right away. An alkalizing cleanse works way better and is a much healthier option as it doesn’t put your body in to starvation mode.

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