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Shedding 35 pounds and keeping them OFF!

How did I do it

Me Before and AfterI struggled to attain the ideal weight all my life, but once I focused on this goal, the results came quickly and consistently. I want this article to be the inspiration, motivation and a practical resource to help you achieve your weight goals and live a happier and healthier life.

There are many causes of weight gain including family history, emotional issues or stress, and of course unhealthy life style.

I went through the entire process in stages i.e. talked with my mother about childhood weight, evaluated my diet and exercise and habits, and started an exercise regime.

I started off by prepping my body for three months by doing extended medium intensity workouts, stretching and a whole lot of cardio. After that period, I went hardcore by working with a personal trainer for four months, five times a week for one hour sessions. But I gotta tell you, moving up the belt loops and seeing my body getting fitter was a priceless feeling.

If it sounds like a lot of work – it was. I learned a lot about myself, nutrition, and the importance of following a good weight loss program. The most important thing that I learned is that cleansing and proper nutrition are absolutely the most critical – I also learned that they are the most neglected.

Me AfterIn doing all this, I went from 225 lbs to 190 lbs, dropped from a 38 inch waist to 34, 25% body fat to 12%, and perhaps my biggest accomplishment was that I went from being chubby, weak and tired, to toned, strong and energetic. Right now I’m at the gym 3 to 4 times a week to maintain my fitness. I attend various classes or do medium intensity workouts.

After about a year, I decided to educate myself further and completed a Can-Fit-Pro Personal Training Specialist course. Everything on this site has been experienced personally and it is backed by the up-to-date fitness industry education.

I then found out about the Noni Bioactive Beverage and after 6 months of drinking it regularly my knee joints were repaired, my resting heart rate went from over 60 down to 45bpm, and I was unstoppable in my Muay Thai class (endurance, strength, flexibility and recovery).

The First Steps

Weight loss success - Fitting into JeansThe motivation for weight loss should not be a pair of jeans but an ideal, healthy life. Start off with a plan and educate yourself on the choices you should be making, why you should be making them, and how to make them on consistent basis. With a committed but healthy weight loss program you can shed a maximum of 2 pounds per week.

Evaluate and monitor your physical health. Get a blood test done to check your cholesterol and other levels. Understand family history as it plays an important role in designing a successful diet plan.

Approximate body fat percentage ranges:

Description Women Men Notes
Body Builders/Models 14-16% 6-8% hard to maintain
Athletes 17-18% 9-10% clear 6-pack
Great Fitness 19-21% 11-13% 4-pack
Great Shape 22-24% 14-17% definition
Average 25-31% 18-24% normal
Obese 32%+ 25%+ take better care

Based on all the facts above, I cut my sugar intake by slowly eliminating chocolate and candy bars. On occasion I sweeten my herbal tea or coffee with a teaspoon of honey, but if it is not available, I don’t crave sweetening it.

Before you start or as you get started, I strongly suggest a body detox or cleansing. You will drop an inch or two simply by getting rid of some really bad stuff accumulated inside of you. You will feel great and with a healthier metabolism, your body will be more capable of accepting and processing healthy nutrition.

Detox should be the first step in a high quality weight loss program

Remember that any exercise is better than no exercise. Any low intensity activity that spans a few hours, such as planning a party or extended hiking, will help you get closer to your goal. Incorporate a workable balance of diet and exercise in your life to maximize the benefits. Try to consume fewer calories during the day and increase your daily physical activity – this is the holy grail of weight loss success.

If you are eating a lot of sugar right now, you will also need to cut fruit and sugar completely from your diet for the first two to three weeks to get your blood sugar levels down. Same goes for smoking and alcohol – do everything you can to stop these unhealthy habits or get help.

Weight loss is 70% diet, 20% exercise, 5% mindset and 5% determination.

Get your eating in order and you’re ¾ way there! The rest becomes easy. Really!

Another important thing is to make sure you finish eating one to two hours prior to exercising since it takes that long for your body to actually digest the food. On the flip side, don’t workout when you are starving. Have a granola bar 10 minutes before the workout if you must, but don’t make it a habit.

Food: Separating the Good and the Bad

In order to reach for weight loss success, I cut sugar from my diet. This includes all kinds of high-calorie foods such as cookies, cakes, ice cream and soft drinks. This change was an adjustment I had to make on many levels, but it was worth it. When shopping for food, I always check the nutrition information for the amount of sugar in the product and pick the one with none or the lowest amount.

Choose my Plate by U.S. Department of Agriculture Thanks to Michelle Obama Healthy Eating InitiativeGradually eliminate the bad-carbohydrates (sugar and white breads) and fried foods since these are packed with calories no matter how small the serving size may be. Such foods include potato chips, French fries, donuts, fried chicken, onion rings, etc. I call this the “yellow or orange” food group. Watch out for the “low-carb” or “low-fat” food varieties, which pack many chemicals to keep the product tasting good. If it ain’t fresh or you can’t read it, it’s probably bad for you.

If you have to eat meat, stick to light varieties such as lean turkey, white chicken or lean beef. Keep it to minimum – once or twice per week, and avoid fatty cuts of pork, beef or lamb. Best yet, gradually shift to vegetarian diet. Once you feel more energetic and experience a clearer mind, you will be convinced. Rest assured, a pure vegetarian diet can deliver ALL the essential amino acids that are found in the meat-based protein.

When you avoid all the bad foods, entire aisles in the grocery store will become irrelevant to you and you will find yourself reaching for healthier choices. Avoid mainstream Fast Food places with deep-fried or microwaved food. Opt for grilled or cooked warm food, eat it cold, or go someplace else. Choose green tea over coffee, but if you must, opt for a single long espresso with 2% goat milk or soy and honey instead of a fancy specialty coffee.

Food Groups Colour ChartI increased my daily intake of fresh and colourful salads, fibre and proteins such as casein, egg, soy, whey and hemp. Your focus should be on creating a balanced, colourful, light, fresh and organic diet for yourself. Go to Organic grocers, local health food stores, restaurants and salad bars like Marche. For munching while you work, consider ready-to-go salad mixes with lettuce or spinach as a base from large grocery stores such as Metro/Dominion’s.

A few notes straight out of my Journal:

Go easy with those dinners too. It’s amazing how much I am saying no to desserts, candies, sugary juices, fatty meals, etc. And actually I love salads now! It’s amazing .. my mouth waters on seeing a good omelette with salad! Weird, but awesome!

Have a freshly squeezed veggie juice a few times a week. Go for organic carrot, beet, apple, parsley, celery, spinach, green pepper, cucumbers, and optionally ginger. Some juice bar places also add wheatgrass or E3Live! (blue-green algae), ginseng or ginkgo (energy), green tea matcha or lecithin (metabolism), echinacea or rose hip (immunity) – though probably not all at once! You will love the feeling of pure health in your veins and soon enough you will also love the taste. Also consider an anti-oxidant and all natural Noni Juice.

Use Tropical Traditions Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and olive oil since both are good for metabolism and weight loss. Consume good fats such as seafood (salmon, tuna, shrimp) and almond or peanut butter, but do so in moderation. The expression “too much of a good thing can backfire on you” perfectly applies in this scenario.

My eBooks titled Balanced Diets, Workout Foods and Vitamins and Healthy Low-carb Hi-protein Diet for Weight Loss will serve as an excellent guide for you to start. Sign up for the Practical Wellness Guide newsletter to download these weight loss and nutrition eBooks.

The Ideal Diet

I have learned that awareness is the key to maintaining a successful diet plan. There are five steps to creating an ideal diet:

  1. Calorie intake: this includes knowing the number of calories you consume in a day and where they are coming from i.e. every single piece of food you eat in your day.
  2. Determine how many calories you need in a day to attain and maintain your ideal weight (see links at the end of this article for help or see a professional nutritionist).
  3. Compare your answers in step 1 and 2. You may be surprised by the difference in how many calories you “need” versus how many calories you actually consume. This number is an eye-opener for most of us who wonder where the extra pounds are coming from.
  4. Create a plan to balance the two numbers and remind yourself of them EVERY TIME you reach for any food. You need to watch what you eat and enforce your daily limit. Remember that eating wholesome nutritious food keeps you satisfied a lot longer.
  5. Add exercise to your plan. This should be done in any form you can. Light to moderate exercise is very helpful as long as you stick to it.

I recommend choosing low-GI (slow carbohydrates breakdown) foods such as fruit or vegetables (colourful foods), non-sugared breakfast cereals (such as PC Blue Menu Fibre First and/or Raisin & Almond), brown rice and whole-grain breads (brown foods), milk and plain yoghurt, etc. Avoid high-GI foods such as white rice, baked potatoes, corn flakes, and pretty much any food or beverage high in sugar.

Fruit Smoothie - diet and exerciseA great alternative to breakfast or as an after-workout snack is an Acai Protein smoothie (Jugo Juice) with optional PowerZone booster or Flaxseed oil. The antioxidant Acai and pure whey or hemp (vegan) protein will make you feel light and energetic, while keeping hunger away for hours. See the 126 Easy Smoothie Recipes eBook for some great ideas available free with the newsletter signup.

Avoid smoothies purely based on fruit and sorbet as they are loaded with sugar and carbohydrates. Ask for nutritional information before making the buying decision. Get rid of any unhealthy food from your environment and stock up on healthy snacks. Have them available near you and reach for them as you need them. See my wellness links for more information about binge eating.

Isagenix 30 Day Nutrient and Energy Infusion System

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When you are hungry, you are simply short on nutrients. It’s not HOW MUCH you eat, but HOW WELL. It’s about quality, not quantity! You have to focus on maximizing nutritious food – fresh and organic as much as possible.

If you really really crave a snack, have a simple system in place that will help you deal with the cravings as they come. For example: first reach for a glass of cold water with lemon juice. If the craving persists, have a piece of fruit (apple, orange or blueberries), a healthy raw organic protein bar, 1 to 2 pieces of high quality dark chocolate, or a healthy smoothie.

UPDATE: Here are some great add-ons for home-made smoothies, for example: I start with the President’s Choice frozen berry-mix or blueberries, add a banana and mango juice, some soy, rice or goat milk, then I add Progressive VegeGreens Superfood powder, Hempola 100% Raw Hemp Protein & Fibre Powder, 1 spoon of each: Salba Whole Food, Sunfood’s Organic Raw Cacao powder, Lecithin grains for the mind, and Flaxseed Oil. Shop around for all of the above as prices vary as much as 150% from store to store.

Depending on the need or daily dosage, I would add Green Tea Matcha powder or Noni Juice. Because I’m not the best when it comes to eating 5 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every single day, I take an “organic garden” in a capsule: NatureBorn Vitamins. Currently I am shopping around to assemble my own PowerZone (Jugo Juice): Ginseng & Ginkgo, Echinacea & Rose Hip ‘Vitamin C’, and Lecithin. For the evening or late night snack I would use Casein Protein powder (Optimum or GNC).

To attain and maintain your weight loss success, variety and balance are both required when it comes to food choice and physical activity. Diets fail because we create difficult short term goals for ourselves. The key to successful and permanent weight loss is to create a balanced plan that allows you to live your life normally. That means a systematized, easy-to-follow, gradually progressing, and as much fun as possible kind of plan.

Exercise: Understanding what works for you

The benefits of exercise are endless and any exercise is better than no exercise. By lowering your resting heart rate and normalizing your blood pressure, you attain a healthier body inside and out. Also, you reduce your risk of serious injury by improving your strength and flexibility. The eBook 122 Life Enriching Reasons to Exercise (available with the newsletter signup) provides a list of benefits that regular exercise will bring into your life.

No Excuses - one of good reasons to exerciseBefore you start any exercise plan, understand what your current fitness level is and what is your preferred target. Whether you work with a personal trainer or on your own, make a commitment to yourself and stick to it no matter what – tired or not, rain or shine! See my eBooks on weight loss and exercise for plenty of practical information.

To keep yourself motivated through this entire process, try wearing smaller more form-fitting clothes which serve as a constant reminder of your goals as well as how far you have come in your journey. Don’t worry about things such as excess skin as with a healthy weight loss, skin has the ability to gracefully adjust to the leaner body. Watch for my upcoming article on motivation for more great tips.

Another piece of advice that I would like to offer is not to weigh, measure or evaluate your self in front of the mirror everyday. You will hardly notice any changes, but if you leave about a week in between, you will see progress which will motivate you to stay committed.

Mountain Biking will make you fit and healthyFind a physical activity that you enjoy and do it every day for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes. This can include brisk walking, riding a bike, going to various classes at your local gym, etc, but the most important thing is that you do it 6-7 times a week. Also the more compound the exercise (whole-body) the better as you burn more calories per movement.

Here is my daily fitness schedule and locations I kept in my phone for instant reference and choice when on-the-go:
Monday
9:00      Trainer, Dundas
18:30    Hot Yoga, Dundas
19:30    Hatha Yoga, Bloor

Natural Balanced Energy Shot to increase Endurance and Stamina

Tuesday
9:30     Stability Ball, Bloor
19:00   Swimming, North York

Wednesday
9:00      Trainer, Dundas
18:30    Hardcore Abs, Dundas
19:00    Kung Fu, Dundas
19:30    Hatha Yoga, Bloor

Thursday (DAY OFF)

Friday
9:00     Trainer, Dundas
17:30    Power Yoga, Dundas
18:30    Start Yoga, Bloor

Saturday
10:00    Strong Body, Dundas
10:30    Start Cycle, Bloor
10:30    Conditioning, Bloor
10:30    Muay Thai, Eglinton
11:30    Kickboxing, Eglinton
12:00    Hot Yoga, Dundas
13:00    Pilates, Dundas
13:00    Zen Yoga, Bloor
13:00    Yoga, Eglinton

Sunday
10:00    Start Yoga, Dundas
10:00    Kickboxing, Bloor
10:00    Body Sculpt, Eglinton
11:00    Pilates, Dundas
11:00    Hardcore Abs, Eglinton

Take the stairs instead of elevators, park your car further from the store, get off one stop early and walk the difference, walk or bike to work whenever you can, and always remember that it’s the little things that will add up towards your big goal.

Try to use light weights when you work at your desk or a hand-gripper tool when you watch TV. Find an exercise buddy so you can keep each other motivated and form a routine you can stick to.

Helpful Tips

Three grossly underestimated and very simple weight loss program ideas include:

  1. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of purified water per day (carry a bottle of water with you)
  2. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day (ideally go to bed around 10 – 11pm)
  3. Eat small portions of nutritious food frequently and regularly (never get starving hungry)

Start your day with a cardio exercise to give your metabolism a boost and keep it working throughout the day. Experts say that morning exercise is 300% more effective for weight loss success than evening – exactly for that reason.

How do you START this great new habit? Try this handy morning ritual:

  1. Shift your day schedule to wake up and go to sleep one hour earlier. If you need help falling asleep or having a restful and fulfilling deep sleep, try this sleep support system that works real magic.
  2. Immediately after waking up have a glass of warm water with lemon juice (half or full lemon) and 2-4oz of Noni Juice (careful not to use boiling water).
  3. Take a quick 3-8 minute hot shower (finish with cold water) and get dressed.
  4. Eat a small size apple, orange, kiwi, cherries or grapefruit, or drink half of one Fit Reset drink (great fat burner and energy booster).
  5. Raise your Heart Rate with 20-30 minutes of exercise. A brisk 20 minute walk is the perfect way to start. You can walk down and up the stairs in your building, do some jumping jacks or push-ups – JUST DO IT! Take a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated.
  6. Cool down for 5 minutes: sit with your eyes closed and breathe or meditate.
  7. Have a healthy breakfast (Nutritional Shake or a veggie omelette, etc.).
  8. Spend 10-15 minutes reading or watching something inspirational in-line with your goals.
  9. Have a great and very productive day!

Now say to yourself:

Now or never! I want to get fit and healthy, and I want to do it right so it lasts!

And this: “I am so happy and grateful now that I eat healthy, I feel great in my body, and I enjoy my life on a daily basis.”

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Do your best.
You can do it!

A few notes straight out of my Journal:

Amazing power workout: 35min elliptical, quick stretch, 140lb leg extension, 130lb leg flexion, 120lb butt, 15’s for shoulders, 60’s machine chest/shoulder press, 6 full pull ups w/ legs straight. After had a vector bar, then walked to Extreme Fitness. Felt like I had a lot more power! Checked the specs, the bar has everything. En route back had a beet, apple, parsley, carrot large freshly squeezed juice, then 1.5 cups of protein at the office. Now heading for a nice and spicy Vietnamese soup.

After having read all this information, don’t just sit there feeling educated and motivated – do some thinking, do some math, get out there and JUST DO IT!

This is exactly what I said to myself to get the results and you can do the same. Make your fitness and health a number one priority for a few weeks. Commit to it and make some great new habits. After that it will become easy and automatic. You won’t even think of living any other way.

Achieve weight loss success - get fit body nowI hope that in sharing my journey with you I was able to help you or at least motivate you to make a change since our health directly affects the quality of our life. Don’t forget to sign up for the Practical Wellness Guide newsletter to download free health and fitness eBooks.

I wish you good luck in reaching your goals. Promise yourself that you will do everything you can to reach your goals no matter what it takes.

Do it for yourself and do it now!

More Great Resources

Sign up for the Practical Wellness Guide newsletter to download free fitness & workout eBooks. Also check: Personal Health, Stress Relief, Fitness Workouts and Exercise Motivation.

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to most adult men and women. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories that your body needs to burn to support functioning of your vital organs. It is the minimum number of calories you must consume if you “didn’t do” anything and spent the whole day in bed.

Fit Body Composition System website is a great resource for fitness and nutrition. Healthy Body Calculator will help you design a nutrition plan that’s right for you, or check out this ready-to-go-on-the-go Healthy Weight Loss Meal Plan together with a Natural Energy Shot. Finally, this 100-200-300-Pound-Club video will inspire you with stories about second chances!

Shin Ohtake has a great free eBook and newsletter on fat loss, metabolism, and fitness. On his website he presents the 6 WORST things you can do if you want to ignite your body’s own fat-burning furnace and get lean.

If you’re short on time and/or want to work out at home, get yourself a yoga mat, make a commitment to yourself to workout every day (or get a friend or a spouse to do it together), and follow a 30-day BeFit Workout Plan together with the BeFit Workout Videos (search the BeFit Channel for the specific workouts). Make sure to workout for at least 20 minutes (pick a 20+ minute workout or 2 10-minute ones, eg. butt and abs) and optionally follow with a 5-minute Savasana pose Meditation to your favourite gentle music or sounds to reset your nervous system.

The Sports Fitness Advisor is a very helpful resource for athletes. It provides a variety of training plans and sessions for athletes. It also offers extensive information on the different elements of fitness and nutrition.

If you’ve found this article helpful, please post your comments below and spread the word. I want to hear your feedback. All the best!

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The information above is based on personal experiences, true results, and real stories. However, please consult your physician before following any advice on this website. For more details read this Important Disclaimer. 11:11

 

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  1. The Birch of the Shadow

    I feel there may well be a couple of duplicates, but an exceedingly helpful listing! I’ve tweeted this. A lot of thanks for sharing!

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