So it killed me when I came across an article the other day that was essentially telling people that eating five hundred calories of organic fruits and vegetables is basically no different than eating five hundred calories of steak with white bread and butter.
What I have found to be common among the majority of these so called "health articles", is that rather than use their power to empower and inspire people, most of them leverage their power to instill fear and doubt; which I'm sure is exactly what their sponsors want them to do.
By publishing this confusing, ridiculous nonsense, they are in fact turning a lot of people off to the very things that (I know for a fact!) actually help people lose weight!
So to set the record straight, I felt the need to express to you the truth about how incredibly simple and easy losing weight can be if you just ignore all the nonsense, and listen to someone who has actually done it!
Some of this stuff I have written about before in greater detail, but for the sake of this article I am going to try and keep this as plain and simple as possible.
 You have to want it.
I can't tell you how many people I have run in to, who upon finding out how much weight I have lost, express to me their complete shock and disbelief. Then in the same breath, they will tell me how great life would be if only they could do what I've done.
They'll say something like, "I wish I had your discipline," or, "I could never do that."
All that these statements are telling me is that you obviously are not ready to change your life yet. Because I tell you what, in order to lose weight, you have to face your demons, and you have to want to change.
 Recognize (and change) your daily rituals.
The way we live our lives today is essentially based upon a series of rituals.
For the most part, the majority of us go about our days essentially stuck on autopilot: we wake up, brush our teeth, take a shower, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then we go to sleep and repeat it all over again the next day.
Before we know it, our rituals have become so automatic that we can't even recognize when something negative infiltrates our routine and sabotages us from within!
Have you ever heard the anecdote about the frog in boiling water?
The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
This is what happens to us if we don't slow down and take inventory of whatever rituals we are allowing to take over our daily lives.
In order to change anything about your life, you are going to have to recognize the patterns and behaviors that are causing your discontent. Then you have to have the strength and the courage to replace them with habits that will benefit you and help you become the person you truly want to be.
For me, I had to completely shift my entire life habits around in order to change my life.
When I was fat, my day consisted of a lot of the same routines that most of you have, just with a lot of sitting on my butt and eating a lot of junk food packed in between.
It took me a while before I could recognize that the reason I was fat wasn't because I was a bad person; it was because I had developed bad habits that I simply was not paying any attention to. My eating habits were so deeply engrained in me that I never even thought twice about them.
It was only after I recognized what my daily habits were, that I could draw out a new plan of action to replace them with healthier habits.
If you were to take a look at my life now, I still do a lot of the same things I used to do. I brush my teeth, I take showers, I eat, I sit down (occasionally). But the new rituals that I have placed in between all of that stuff looks nothing like it did when I was overweight.
Now before I eat breakfast and take a shower, I usually run five miles. Instead of eating sugary cereal: I eat healthy, organic, whole grain cereal with almond milk, along with an organic cup of coffee and non-dairy creamer. Instead of watching television after breakfast, I spend time meditating or reading books that fill my brain with new knowledge. For lunch I will eat an organic veggie burger on twelve-grain wheat bread with organic ketchup, along with a whey protein shake blended with almond milk and a handful of almonds for my mid-afternoon snack. For dinner I'll have whole grain pasta with organic pasta sauce and a side of steamed broccoli mixed with whole grain rice. Then to wash it all down, my wife and I will blend up a delicious concoction of fresh juice using our fruit and vegetable juicer.
Can you imagine what your life and body would look like if you made a commitment to live that way for the rest of your life?
That is the life I get to live out every day, and every new day of my life I feel healthier, stronger, faster, smarter, and more energetic than the day before.
You can't just have it though, you have to want it!
 Learn the simplest way to read nutrition labels.
There are a lot of people out there who will talk all day about the pros and cons of nutrition labels. Some people think and believe that they are inaccurate and that you should pay them no attention. Then there are others who go way too far and will stress out over every gram and calorie until the cows come home.
You can choose to listen to whomever you want to.
The way that I lost weight, was by disregarding all the technical jargon and focusing on a set of rules that I created based upon information that I gathered and my own common sense.
- Did the food have sufficient calories (energy) and nutrients to sustain me for that meal? If you don't know how many calories your body needs, find out here.
- Did it have enough protein to help fulfill my daily protein requirements? If you don't know how much protein your body needs, find out here.
- If it has more than 10 grams of sugar per serving, don't buy it and don't eat it.
- Buy Organic.
- The product with least ingredients is always going to be the best, bar none.
On the other hand, the ingredient label on my bag of almonds at home reads like this;
INGREDIENTS: ALMONDS, SALT...and that's it.
That's really all the information you should need in order to make the best possible decisions when you go grocery shopping. Oh, and did I mention that I lost 120 pounds doing it this way?..
By now you might be saying, "Well, that's all well and good, but how am I supposed to keep track of all this nutrition information?!...
 Keep a food and exercise journal.
Losing weight is a simple math equation. I know this is true, because I used simple math to help me figure out my weight loss action strategy.
Here is pretty much all the math you'll need to know in order to understand body weight:
- One pound equals approximately 3500 calories.
So hypothetically, if your body requires 2000 calories to maintain your current weight, and you wanted to lose weight, you really have one (good) option (in my mind): reduce your calorie intake by 250 calories per day, then figure out a way to burn (at least) an extra 250 calories per day through exercise. If you do the math, you will lose about 3500 calories in a week doing this; which is equal to about a pound every week.
The part most overweight people do not understand is that the heavier you are, the more calories you burn doing the same activities as your less than heavy competition!
So for instance, a 170 lb man who bikes for an hour at a moderate pace will burn approximately 650 calories. And if you are as overweight as I was and weighed 330 lbs, you would burn approximately 1,300 calories doing the exact same exercise for the same amount of time! In my opinion, this is the biggest advantage an overweight person has over a thin person, yet none of them are doing anything about it.
So all I did then to lose weight quickly was tap into this concept and I used my heaviness to my own advantage. I would bike for approximately 2-3 hours every single day.
So based on what I just taught you, how much weight should I have been losing each week? You do the math...
I mean it, you need to do the math here. Because frankly, nobody else cares as much about you as you do, therefore nobody else is going to bother to do the work for you.
Now, will you have to do this forever? Up front, I am going to say that for the majority of people out there, a solid no should suffice. Typically after about thirty days of keeping track of the calories you consume and calories you burn, you will develop your own natural rhythm and will no longer require the assistance of the food and exercise journal. My only disclaimer would be that if you find yourself slipping and are eating too much or not getting enough exercise, that you immediately go back to using these tools in order to help you get back on track.
 Make it important and keep it simple (because it is).
All I can say is that once you get your life on the path of discipline, where eating healthy and exercising become an important part of your daily ritual, your weight will naturally level out on its own. So long as you keep it up, you'll never have to worry about weight again.
Is it going to be hard at first? You bet. Depending on where you are in your journey, the first three to six months are probably going to be incredibly difficult, but it's worth it.
Try and imagine that your life is like a traveling locomotive that has been cruising along and gradually building up speed for the past however many years; it's probably going to take some real effort to stop that train in its tracks and get it set up on a new track isn't it?
But once you switch the track and get it up and running, after a few months the train just kind of takes care of itself. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.
Now that I've put in the work, I really don't even have to think about eating right or exercising every day. It's become such an automatic and rewarding ritual for me that it's gone from being a big chore, to being something I truly love and enjoy doing every day; like brushing my teeth or taking my wife to work.
So take it from me, someone who has actually done what you're trying to do, and keep this simple.
Use your common sense, trust your gut, want the change, believe you can make positive changes happen in your life, educate and empower yourself, and have the courage to follow through.
Trust me, it's easy!