25 top Health and Fitness tips to help you change your body, have more energy and be happier

This took a while to put together, but I wanted to help you with a list of all the tips I use and have learned from my education and training clients over the last few years.

There is a lot of stuff here and even if you put some of this into action you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.

So here we go:

  1. Have a specific goal – it’s not enough to say you want to lose weight. You must have a specific number in mind and a deadline to achieve it.
  2. Have a big “WHY” – It’s easy to lose motivation when times get tough, you have a bad day in work and you resort to comforting yourself with food. Ask yourself Why you want to achieve your goal. Get really deep with this and keep asking yourself why until you find the reason that will motivate you the most. It may be to be a better Mum or Dad. What is it that will motivate you?
  3. Start now – don’t put off starting an exercise program or going to the gym by waiting for a perfect time like when you are in better shape or feel better. Start something, anything. if you are really not comfortable in a gym start walking, then maybe look at getting a personal trainer who will guide you.“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” Zig Ziglar
  4. Have a plan – You should have some plan of how you are going to achieve your goal. Example: Commit to going to the gym 3 times per week and eat healthy 90% of the time.
  5. Small chunk your goal into smaller behavior goals – An outcome goal is something like lose 12lbs of body fat in 12 weeks. Behavior goals focus on how you are going to get there.  E.g I will exercise 4 days a week for the next 12 weeks. I will reduce my total calorie intake by 500 calories per day.
  6. Be patient -Rome wasn’t built in a day. Everybody wants fast results without the effort. In the words of bodybuilder,  Ronnie Coleman, “Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weights”! If your goal is to lose fat, then it should be done in a sustainable way. Forget dropping 10lbs in a week, unless you have a lot of fat to lose, 1-3lbs per week is realistic and excellent progress.
  7. Forget the fads and detoxes – There are so many detoxes and juice cleanses promising quick results. They’re all bullshit. Mostly you will lose a lot of muscle and water and drop weight on the scale, but these will also mess up your metabolism.
  8. Take Responsibility – You have to take responsibility for your own success. The body you have is the result of what you have done up to now. Making excuses won’t change anything. 
  9. Get accountability- Accountability is a very important part of achieving your goals. It’s easy to say you are going to do something, but if you don’t have anybody holding you accountable, it’s easy to let yourself down. How many times have you said you’ll go to the gym, then decided not to and made some excuse in your head to  justify it.              Get a coach or a friend or family member to hold you accountable.
  10. Don’t go on a crash diet – The worst thing you can do is go on a really low calorie diet. If you starve yourself to lose weight then you will gain it back once you come off the diet. You still need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, but you want to keep calories as high as you can while dieting so you have some room to lower them when you plateau. 
  11. Drink 2 litres of water – It’s one of the simplest things you can do but what’s easy to do is easy not to do.
  12. Prioritize your workouts – If possible, schedule in your workouts in advance. If you put them in your schedule you’ll be a lot less likely to miss them.
  13. Sleep – This is often overlooked. Sleep has a major impact on your performance in the gym, recovery and your results. If you are sleeping less than 6 hours every night, then this will have an effect. Apart from having no energy to train, you crave more food and your cortisol levels go up which can stop fat loss. Magnesium or melatonin can work well for people who don’t sleep well. Consult a doctor to check if you are taking other medications.
  14. Increase protein intake – One common thing on a lot of food diaries is a lack of protein. Protein is essential for growth and repair of muscles. For the ladies, that doesn’t mean you will put on huge amounts of muscle! Protein keeps you fuller for longer and has a slightly higher thermic effect. You should shoot to get at least one palm size per meal If you are a vegetarian you can  still get protein from foods but may need to supplement with extra.
  15. Don’t cut carbs – I know it’s the first thing most people do when they want to drop weight fast. Cutting carbohydrates from your diet will make you lose weight, just because you are taking  away a large food group, hence a big source of calories. You need carbs for energy so if you cut them completely energy and gym performance will probably suffer. You also drop a lot of weight on the scale, some of which is fat, some is water and glucose and some muscle. The main thing with cutting out food groups is that it is not sustainable for most people. If you are doing it for a short term that’s ok but it should never be a long term strategy.
  16. Change as needed – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If it’s not working then you need to change something. You will reach a plateau when losing fat and doing the same thing isn’t going to work
  17. Measure – If you are not measuring your progress along the way then you can’t tell if it’s working.
  18. Switch it up – You do need to change your routine every so often, both for variety and to stimulate more progress. This doesn’t mean a different workout every week to ‘confuse’ your muscles (that’s rubbish), but it is a good idea to change something every 4-6 weeks. Keep a track of your workouts
  19. Strength train – Or ‘Resistance training’ is the best type of exercise for changing your body composition. Focus your routine more around weight training and less on cardio. For sample routines visit my book “Optimal Fitness for Busy Professionals“.
  20. Less is more –  If you think you have to exercise 5 days a week to get results, then you falling for the more is better theory. It is possible to do too much. Your body doesn’t change when you are in the gym. I have clients train twice per week getting great results.
  21. Focus on constant improvement – Focus on getting better. Not eating any vegetables? Start eating 4- servings a day. Not drinking enough water? Focus on drinking 2 litres a day. Little habits can add up to a big change over 6-12 months.
  22.  Release stress – Whatever you can do to relieve stress is a good thing as it doesn’t serve you well for being happy and can halt fat loss too. Try meditation for 30 days with apps like head space to make it easy.
  23. Take your vegetables – Try to get 8-10 servings of vegetables per day.
  24. Stop making excuses – You can make all the excuses you like but only you can change your body.
  25. Train hard – Intensity is one variable in your control when you are training. If you are not training hard or giving your body a stimulus to change, it won’t. Your body wants to stay the same. Learn to train hard or get a trainer to push you.

Thanks for reading I hope you got some value from that. If you did then I’d love you to share this with your friends.

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If you are reading this and think you could do with some help then we can arrange a free transformation session so we can find out what is holding you back and get you on the path to achieving your goals. Click the link here, fill out the form and I’ll be in touch.

Talk soon,

Nigel

Nigel

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