7 Keys to Permanent Weight
Loss Success, Part 2 by Jeremy Likness -
Tom Venuto's Fitness
Part 1 of Jeremy's 7 Keys to Permanent Weight Loss
Success is found
Key #4: Make it a lifestyle
Youve heard this one so much you
probably dont even pay attention to it anymore. The idea of a lifestyle
change has become a cliché. Sure, we all want to avoid the yo-yo diet
plan and make something permanent, but few people really take the effort to
Are you one of those people dead-set in
making a difference, so you strap on your shoes, load your refrigerator with
nothing but chicken and broccoli, then put on your blinders and focus 110% for
twelve weeks until you reach your goal?
What happens after that?
Most people celebrate. They eat a lot. They
take a break from training.
A few weeks later, they are back to square
one. Instead of feeling great, they talk about how great it felt. Instead of
looking terrific, they tell old stories like grandfathers in rocking chairs,
I remember when I could see my shoes and not my belly when Id look
down at my feet.
Its great to have focus and to take on
the challenge and really pursue it. But have you stopped to think about what
Are you training and dieting for a few
weeks, or for life?
Let me ask you this
if its for
life, can you imagine yourself eating the way you are eating from now until you
are six feet under with a bouquet of flowers above your head? If not, its
time to change.
You see, living healthy doesnt have to
be about diets and horrendous workouts. It can be about fun. I still recall the
first time I set down the barbell and put on a pair of running shoes. Several
people wrote me, horrified at the thought of how my muscles would wilt and
wither from the rigors of training for a half marathon. How could I give up the
admirable iron game for some lousy 13-mile run through the woods? What was I
The truth is, Im beyond the need to
compare my self-worth to the depth of my abdominal cuts or the girth of my
biceps. Im in this for life, and that means having fun. While I enjoy
grabbing rusty dumbbells and slinging them around as I grunt, groan, and sweat
like Im taking an indoor shower, theres more to life than
weight-lifting. Thats why I like to ski, jog, and do other activities as
well. I make it fun. And you know what? I can do fun. I dont have to
always have a workout sheet and a pen to stay in shape. Sometimes all I need is
a good pair of shoes, two hours of free time, and the good green earth to make
The same is true for nutrition. Live a
little. Experiment with healthy recipes. Understand what better bad
choices and portion control means. If I want some cheesecake,
I might order a slice and split it with my wife and daughter. Youll catch
me eating a slice of pizza on occasion, and even sipping on a glass of red
wine. The key is moderation. I dont have to count the days until my diet
is over because Im focused on the process, not the end result. Learn to
get out of the finish line and into the race. Youll enjoy it more.
Key #5: Listen to your body
Jeremy, I cant finish my cardio
workouts because I get dizzy and nauseous when I do them first thing in the
morning, but I cant eat food because they said I have to have an empty
stomach to burn fat.
Jeremy, I know I need a ton of
protein, but I just cant seem to get it down. I get ill eating so much
protein. How will I ever build muscle?
These questions are common, because instead
of listening to their body, many people are giving up their power by following
the current trend or diet program. Your body has built-in mechanisms that can
teach you a lot about what you are doing and if it is working. A healthy person
knows when it is time to eat, because they get hungry. A healthy person also
knows whether or not they require protein. These instincts are built in, but
the S.A.D. diet (Standard American Diet) is so loaded with processed food that
has no counterpart in nature, its no wonder the signal is getting lost.
What happens when you are next to a busy
intersection with a constant buzz of cars going by? Eventually, you will tune
out the noise. It becomes part of the background. If you are standing next to a
deserted road, however, the occasional car whizzing by will attract your
attention. Youll be in tune.
The typical diet is so loaded with salt that
it completely nullifies your sense of taste. When you try to eat something that
is low salt or salt-free, it tastes bland and disgusting. You reach immediately
for the salt shaker or at least grab a bottle of Mrs. Dash and cover it with
herbs and spices.
Try going without added salt for just four
weeks. This is an experiment I experienced first hand, as did my wife, and so
do many of my clients. The first few weeks are not fun, because everything is
so dull. Then, just like a smoker who has stopped sucking on smoke for a few
weeks, something amazing happens. Slowly but surely, your taste will return.
Suddenly, you become aware of the subtle flavors in vegetables, fruits, grains,
meats, and other foods that just tasted like salt and seasoning before.
Its an amazing experience, if you let it happen.
By removing the additives, preservatives,
refined sugars, processed grains, and other artificial components of your diet,
you can start to sense your needs for protein and carbohydrates as well. I
dont follow the traditional slab of meat at every meal
bodybuilder diet. I know its popular, but I choose to listen to my body.
Ive force fed pounds of protein and
the end result might be a little more muscle mass, but it also leaves me
staring at a block of steak wishing I was somewhere else and hoping I never
have to taste a bite of meat ever again. Thats not living
its dieting, and Id rather live healthy than diet miserably. So, I
stay in tune. If I crave protein, I eat it. If not, I might just have a
vegetarian dish. I listen to my body.
If you have the most energy on an empty
stomach first thing in the morning, go for it. If youre one of those who
feels dizzy and weak, then listen to your body. Stop worrying about what
they say about an empty stomach. Instead, get some food, let it
digest, and then get to work. Whatever fat-burning benefit you might have from
training on empty will be negated by your lack of energy. Add some fuel and
then push down on the accelerator and go full throttle. In the end, its
calories that are king, not whether or not you time the meal before or after
If you thrive on high protein and lower
carbohydrates, thats great. Personally, I get extremely irritable when I
reduce my carbohydrates and get sick of eating protein when I raise my protein
intake. So instead of giving up my power to the almighty diet, I listen to my
body. I figure it knows what it wants. Of course, the trend is that you have to
cut carbohydrates to lean down, so I made certain I lost 35 pounds and cut down
to 7% body fat while eating 300 grams of carbohydrates and 90 grams of protein
per day to prove that, first, you can lose fat even with carbohydrates in your
system, and second, it doesnt take pounds of meat and tubs of protein
powder to maintain a muscular physique. The proof is in the pudding!
Bottom line, get comfortable with you. Stop
ignoring your body. Listen to it. If you find that your splurge
meals are making you sick, think about the message your body is giving
you and decide if you are going to continue it week after week, or if its
time to take off the training wheels and grow up. You dont have to have
pizza every week to enjoy life.
Key #6: Control your rewards
Youve heard it before.
Have a free day. Eat cheat
It sounds exciting, doesnt it? For
several days, you focus on ultimate discipline. You eat perfectly
clean and dont deviate from your diet
not even a
little bit. But thats because you have a great motivator
promise of a day or meal where you can literally go no-holds barred
and eat anything and everything in sight!
If you start to feel a twinge of guilt about
your plans to assault the nearest buffet, you can simply flip to the pages of
your favorite book and reassure yourself with the claim that this meal is
necessary because it will boost your metabolism. Its okay. Have it all.
Chow away. Stuff yourself. You earned it, and it wont make a difference,
maybe, and then again, maybe
Cheat meals, free meals, reward meals, or
whatever names you choose serve their purpose. I know that I would not have
jumped headfirst into my first physique transformation if I did not know I
could dive back into my binge habits once a week. And it worked
awhile. I stuck to the program and was losing weight.
As time progressed, however, I noticed a few
Monday to me was simply a countdown to the
day I could eat anything I wanted. I was obsessed with it. Sure, I was eating
clean throughout the week, but I could barely focus on anything else other than
the idea that one day I would be going crazy. When that day came, I would
actually plot out a course through the city so I could hit as many fast-food
and donut joints as possible. We went to buffets and then hit the store and
bought pounds of junk food to bring home and consume before midnight.
I realized that this wasnt control. It
wasnt even reward. It was addiction. I thought back to when I quit
cigarettes. How did I do it? Did I stop smoking six days out of the week, and
then have a day where I smoked as much as I possibly could?
My body was giving me a few clues as well. I
would feel bloated, disgusting, nauseous, and would often get sick after a free
day with a cold or sinus infection. I felt like I spent the first half of the
week recovering from the last day and the next half barely holding on to make
it to the next splurge festival.
Thats when I decided it was time for
things to change. I did not want to remain a slave to food. I could not imagine
going on like that for the rest of my life, but this was supposed to be a
permanent change, right? So I put my foot down.
I started with only allowing myself one or
two reward meals per week. I called them reward meals because cheating is not
what I was doing
I planned them, and deserved them. After several weeks
of this, I noticed a significant change: I was no longer desperate for those
meals, I was enjoying my healthy meals more, and when it was time to have a
reward meal, I didnt waste it on junk food or fast food
Id go to a nice restaurant, sit down, and truly savor it.
Then I began to focus on my portion control.
I was still over-eating that one meal, and I would feel like I had a hangover
for the rest of the evening. So I made a pact with myself that I would never
eat so much that I couldnt have my other meals that day
words, even with a reward meal, Id control my portion sizes so that I was
still ready to eat again after a few hours.
This is when I suddenly found myself in the
drivers seat. The food was no longer in control, I was. I still enjoy
pizza, ice cream, and many other treats. But now I control my rewards. I
dont have to go overboard. I dont have to use one meal as an excuse
to jump into a pattern of binge eating for the rest of the weekend. I can
decide, ahead of time, what and when I will enjoy my reward, and then eat just
enough to satisfy my psychological craving without going overboard. I switched
from a free day festival (like smoking a carton of cigarettes) to controlled
indulgence (like enjoying a nice cigar).
Heres some final points to consider
1. People are 250% more likely to suffer a
heart attack after overeating
2. Most of the people I know who
successfully lose weight and keep it off control their rewards and do not have
a splurge meal
3. Your metabolism takes more than a day of splurging to
kick into high gear
you are better off having a planned week of eating
more calories, but from healthy foods
Key #7: Consistently refocus goals
This last key is perhaps the most important.
When I was digging through some old
documents, I came across my original goals list. This was in 1999 when I began
my fitness journey.
My main goal was to reach 40 and I
made a little side note, if possible?
Imagine that. A 44 in waist and I
wasnt even confident that I could lose four little inches.
After my first 12 weeks, I did not have a
40 waist. I had a 38 waist. I blew past my goal. So my new goal
became a 36 waist, which I new was my limit because I was
big-boned. 36 gave way to 32 and at 6% body fat I was
able to slip on a pair of 30 jeans
over a foot (30 centimeters)
had been trimmed from my waistline.
Goals can change, and thats okay.
Constantly refocus your goals. You may be capable of more than you imagine or
currently allow yourself to be. Some of my goals that I created after learning
the power to transform include running a half marathon and starting my own
business, both of which I have accomplished and neither of which I would have
thought possible in 1999.
To refocus your goals is to learn who you
are. Maybe you thought you could lose 40 pounds of fat in three months, only to
discover you lost 20. Thats fine. Set a new goal to lose 20 more over the
next three months. Maybe you thought you would never bench press more than 100
pounds, but just did 110 last week. Great! Set a new goal to bench press 150
pounds. As you learn your limits (or rather, how to move past them) dont
be afraid to set your goals higher.
Dont make the mistake, however, of
falling into the trap of not having goals. This is what many people do
When I reach 150 pounds, Im going into maintenance. That is
an excuse to settle, and settling means going backwards and ultimately falling
back into your old patterns. By consistently raising the bar, you are able to
remain fit. Fitness is about action and movement, not about complacency and
If you want to live a fit and healthy
lifestyle, you must realize you are not on a journey to trim fat or increase
your running speed. Ultimately, you are in pursuit of greatness.
These points that were created by people
just like you have illustrated that permanent weight loss success is a process,
not an event. It relates to the people you interact with, the mindset you
adopt, and your core beliefs even how willing you are to transform them.
Studying these points is not enough. You must internalize them and take action.
Only then can you become the journey to become your best.
About the author:
Jeremy Likness is an
internationally-selling author, motivational speaker, and health coach. His
unique coaching services have assisted people around the world with losing
hundreds of pounds of weight. Jeremy is the author of "Lose Fat, Not Faith: A
Transformation Guide" To learn more about Jeremy and his unique form of
coaching from the heart, visit:
www.naturalphysiques.com/hire or call Jeremy direct at
Author Tom Venuto -
Tom Venuto is a bodybuilder, gym owner, freelance writer, success
coach and author of "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle" (BFFM): Fat Burning Secrets
of the World's Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. Tom has written over 150
articles and has been featured in IRONMAN magazine, Natural Bodybuilding,
Muscular Development, Muscle-Zine, Exercise for Men and Mens Exercise.
Tom's inspiring and informative articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and
motivation are featured regularly on dozens of websites worldwide. For
information on Tom's "Burn The Fat" e-book,