Where To Begin…

Pretty easy, right?

I often get people who really want to start to change their lives, but aren’t sure where to begin or what to do.  So here is a Quick Start Guide for those of you who really want to get going but aren’t sure just how!

Nutrition is the first thing that you must dial in.  We’re talking about eating real food, the food that we have evolved eating for over two million years.  Eat meat and fish, veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds, and drink water.  We want to stay away from all things agriculture-related.  So no grains, no bread, no pasta, no sugar, no wheat.  We also want to start by removing dairy and legumes from our diet, as they can be problematic for a large number of people too.

There are two ways to achieve this first goal, and the path you take will depend on your personality and how far off course you may have gotten.  The first option is to slowly remove one offending food, and then another.  If the idea of going cold-turkey is just too difficult to swallow, I recommend this course.  Cut gluten first, then sugar.  Follow up by removing all other grain products, then legumes, and finally dairy.  Even if you go one food at a time, you’ll get there eventually.  The second option is a 30-day 100% buy-in, and this is recommended as it will really show you what a difference food can make.  Remove ALL offending foods (grains, legumes, dairy) for 30 days and see how (in the words of Robb Wolf) look, feel and perform.  If you want to re-introduce certain foods after the 30 days and see how you feel, go for it.  But chances are you’ll start to feel like crap again, so I’ll leave it to you after the 30 days.  Keep in mind, the point of the 30 days is to go 100% strict.  You HAVE to remove ALL the bad things for that time frame in order for your body to start to repair itself.  I know this sounds like a lot to ask, but is it REALLY a lot to ask that you give yourself 30 days out of your entire life to devote to your health?  The answer is entirely up to you.

The second thing we want to get on track is the exercise thing.  First off, let me say that any exercise is probably better than no exercise.  That being said, I do believe that there are certain things that are better than others.  While I come from a background in “chronic cardio”, I’m generally not a fan of running everyday for good health.  I used to run, bike, or swim everyday, sometimes twice a day.  And I was almost always hurt, I was tired, and I was 20lbs overweight.  Weird, right?  Chronic cardio is NOT the best path to health.  There are even studies out there linking higher-than-average rates of heart disease to marathon runners.  If you love running, then go for it.  But if you just want to get healthy, then start lifting some weights.

78 years old, deadlifting heavy. What’s your excuse?

Weight lifting is good for you on so many levels.  And by weightlifting, I mean squatting, deadlifting, pressing, cleaning, jerking, and snatching.  These are the lifts that supply your body with the most stimulus for change, and if you’re trying to get healthy, I can’t imagine anything better.  Find a trained and certified coach or trainer in your area and learn how to do these things safely though.  Generally speaking, you CAN’T learn to do these lifts from watching videos on youtube or vimeo.  You need someone with you who knows what they’re doing.  Age or sex has nothing to do with this, either.  I don’t care if you’re a 30 year old man, or a 75 year old woman.  Get in there and lift some heavy weights!  Just doing this two or three times a week for 30 minutes each session is enough to make some real progress for you.  Coupled with diet, you should start to see changes within a couple of weeks.

Once you’ve dialed in these two essential things, or at least begun, you can start to get a little more specific with what you do, both in the kitchen and in the gym.  And if you’re in that boat, I am available for consultations.  Contact me directly for more information.

Remember, it’s easier than you think to get on the track to health and fitness!

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