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The Best Eating and Exercise Plan for You

The Best Eating and Exercise Plan for You

Recently I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people who disagree with me on what eating and exercise plan is best for them. The reason they disagree is often that they have done something that worked for them that is the complete opposite of what I’m saying. Now you might think that all this would break my spirit, make me crouch into the fetal position, and cry but it doesn’t. That’s because I also get a ton of comments and emails from people who are getting success by following my advice. How can this be? Well, there’s a simple explanation: “We’re all different.” What works well for some individuals may not work for others, and there are many factors that come into play here.

A common trap that all health enthusiasts (even professionals) can fall into is neglecting to mention that their advice may not apply to everyone. I’m a fan of a low carb and real food based diet. I don’t recommend calorie counting, and I am personally against low-fat, vegan, and meal replacement diets. I have a lot of evidence to support my point of view, but evidence isn’t everything, because there are many people who are doing these different things with incredible success.

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While I like a low carb diet, still we are all different and what works for one person may not work for the next. The fact is that most diet plans work if you follow them. That’s the real trick because most diet plans are very difficult to follow.

Low-carb is probably one of the easiest to follow because it reduces hunger which has been confirmed in randomized clinical trials. Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard in the public health and medical science community. However, for some individuals something vastly different might be optimal.

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Alternative Plans that work Extremely well for Some People

There are vegans who do pretty much the opposite of what I preach. I honestly think that this is not a sensible way of life, and that they must be careful to take the right supplements and read some books by vegan doctors, but there are many individuals who do incredibly well on vegan diets.

A lot of people have had success with calorie counting. Somehow they can consciously eat less and less food all the time and lose weight in the long term. These people often claim that this is the right approach for everyone which I wholeheartedly disagree with, but it works for them.

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Then there are meal replacement diets. There are many of these. It is something that I would never recommend, but there are many people who follow them and do great. I am not going to tell these people to stop doing what is working well for them.

If you find something that works for you, do it!  That’s my motto – or at least one of my mottos. I think everyone needs to find a way to eat healthy and exercise that fits with their lifestyle and cultural setting, and that is sustainable for them in the long term.

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Final Words

I think it’s important for anyone who is reading about health and nutrition online to put things into perspective. Ask yourself the following questions: “What kind of website is this?” “Does this apply to my situation?” “Is this suitable for my lifestyle?”

Everyone is unique. Our body types are different; we do varying amounts of exercise; we have different kinds of jobs; we are from different cultures. The best diet plan for you, is the one you can follow and which fits into your lifestyle.

Featured photo credit: shutterstock via image.shutterstock.com

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Jae Berman

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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