4 Essential Foundations To Fast and Sustainable Weight Loss

What you need to lose the pounds and keep them off.

By Dr. Sam Bakhtiar
Founder, Fitness Concepts Transformation Centers

Over the last decade I’ve have the opportunity to help people of all walks of life achieve their fitness goals.

Through my Transformation Centers and my 6-weeks challenges I’ve guided thousands of people to losing 20 lbs of fat in 6 weeks or less. Not only that, I help my clients lose even more, and keep it off.

This has given me a unique outlook on what’s really needed for anyone, with a deep desire to burn fat, get in shape, look better, and most importantly – feel better.

I’ve found there are 4 essential foundations to weight loss.

#1. The right nutrition plan.

I don’t believe in fad diets. You shouldn’t either. What happens is the yo-yo effect. You lose a ton of weight, and gain it back plus some friends.

Our 6-week Transformation Challenge isn’t based on fads, but science. Yes, you can lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks. We help our client do that with massive success. What’s more important is that they do it in a way that is healthy and sustainable.

#2. The right fitness plan.

Do not kill yourself in the gym. Overwork and over exercise leads to burnout and injury. You must do the right workout that’s suited to you and your goals, but also not strain or stress your body so it “shuts down” and does not help you gain the results you want.

In our Transformation Challenge I give you simple work outs designed to burn fat without sending your body’s systems into “fight or flight mode”.

#3. The right people.

The biggest factor for creating positive change is surrounding yourself with the right people. This is the step most often overlooked. Without the proper motivation and accountability it’s easy to slip.

And verses an expensive personal trainer who works with you one-on-one, when you work in a group setting with like-minded, supportive, and nurturing people like in our 6-week challenge you feel motivated to not only let yourself down but also not let your fellow challengers down.

#4. Lifestyle change is a must.

You are not changing just for the short term… the goal is to change your life…. to make a positive transformation. And true change lasts. In our 6-week Transformation Challenge we help our clients lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks and we do it for free!

In fact, when you reach your goal we pay you!

Why do we do this?

Well there is a sneaky trick we play. But don’t worry it benefits you. 6 weeks is the time needed to instill positive habits, and redirect negative ones.

In our 6 week challenge program you develop the right habits, conditions, and mindset to help you reach your goal of losing 20lbs in 6 weeks.

When you reach this goal we pay you a big check for your accomplishment.

If you want to know more about the 6-week Transformation Challenge where I pay you to lose 20lbs in 6-weeks then then register over here.

How To Set Achievable Fitness Goals

It is almost time to make New Year’s resolutions again. If you made a resolution last year to stick to fitness goals, you may have noticed how difficult it was to actually stick to that. So how can you do things differently this year, so that you are actually able to enjoy that beach-ready body come summer? It is all about setting realistic goals that you can actually achieve.

Think About Your Goals

First of all, you need to be very clear about what you actually want to achieve. This may just be one thing like losing 10 pounds. But in addition, you may also want to have a six pack, toned arms and have the ability to do a certain amount of dead lifts. Once you know your goals, it is time to get started and actually stick to it.

Write Down Your Goals

You will need to make sure that you have a list of what your goals are.

“Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.”

Have a list of goals that you exactly want to achieve and have copies of it placed in various visible places. This will allow you to refer to your list daily. It is about being constantly reminded of what you actually want to achieve.

Team Up With Someone With the Same Goals

Next, it is much easier to stay motivated if you work on the same goals with someone else. Find someone who also wants to work out, like a friend, your partner, a coworker, or anyone else. You will keep each other on track, also because you don’t want to let the other down by cancelling on a gym appointment.

Work With a Personal Trainer

Personal trainers aren’t cheap but they are certainly worth the money. If you have home gym equipment functioning as a clothes horse, then a trainer can help you to make sure that you actually put it to good use. Even if you only hire them for a short period of time until you know what to do with your equipment, you will see a return on your investment.

Track Your Progress

Writing down your goals is hugely important. However, writing down your achievements is just as important.

“You can set a variety of personal goals, and each kind will require different methods of measuring progress.”

You need to know, after all, whether or not you are on track towards achieving your goals. Additionally, it will help you to set new goals when you have completed one. It is recommended to write a review at least once a month, but some goals require more frequent measuring. Also do an annual review before you set your New Year’s resolutions.

Visualize Your Goals

Having goals is one thing, but actually seeing the results of achieving these goals is a different ball game. You need to be able to see yourself once you have achieved your goals. Some people are able to create mental pictures, others prefer making a picture board. A picture board, whether mental or physical, is basically a collage of images that represent the completion of your goals. Before and after pictures also work as a great motivator.

Take It Slowly

Make sure that you don’t expect the world in one day. Don’t go for the impossible. Any progress is good progress, even if you would prefer it if things went a little bit quicker. What you need to do is to ensure that you do not get frustrated with your own efforts, because that could actually ruin things. If you have set yourself a goal of losing 10 pounds in a certain period of time, but you only lost 8, don’t be hard on yourself. Losing those 8 pounds still represents progress.

Be Realistic

As a follow up to the previous advice, you have to be realistic. Is it really possible to lose 10 pounds in that set period of time? Life tends to get in the way of things and for all our best intentions, things just come up. Hence, make sure you factor in such eventualities, particularly in terms of setting time scales in which you want to achieve your goals.

Allow Some Flexibility

You should also make sure that you aren’t too rigid with regards to your goals and schedules. Perhaps your intention is to go to the gym every Monday, for instance, but you find yourself caught up in a family affair on a particular Monday. Simply move your day to Tuesday for that week, rather than beating yourself up. Or maybe you aren’t able to get to the gym at all that week, but you can do other things to burn some calories, such as parking a little bit further away from your place of work.

Have a Break

Every once in a while, you will need some real “me time” as well. Read a book, go to the movies, visit a nice restaurant. Routines are good for us, but they are also tedious. By taking a little break every once in a while, you stop yourself from getting obsessed and you are better able to reach your goals.

You Have Achieved Your Goals – Now What?

If you stick to all of the above, you are in a much better position to achieve your fitness goals. However, once you have ticked off everything on your New Year’s resolution list, what will you do next? The and then what question is a very important one.

“Reaching the goal is a temporary mark and a means to an end. Setting the goal and hitting the goal is actually the starting place, not the destination.”

Indeed, this is all about mindset. Remember why you wanted to set those goals? Usually, it has something to do with the idea of being happier, healthier or anything like that. So now that you have arrived there, you need to set new goals and actually enjoy the results of all your hard work.

How To Fit In 10 Minutes Of Exercise In Your Daily Routine

It has long been known that we should take part in around 45 minutes of exercise every day. However, most of us simply do not have that amount of time available consecutively. Hence, we often fail to get enough exercise. What we don’t realize, however, is that we can also break up those 45 minutes blocks of time that are much easier to manage. Indeed, research has shown that if a woman splits up the time in 10 minute increments, she is far more likely to exercise sufficiently each day, and the weight loss and strength building results are far more impressive.

One recent study completed by the University of Virginia‘s Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D. demonstrated this by asking a group of participants to perform 15 sets of 10 minute exercises each week.

“After just 21 days, the volunteers’ aerobic fitness was equal to that of people 10 to 15 years younger. Their strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility were equal to those of people up to 20 years their junior.”

What this demonstrates is that it isn’t a case of all or nothing. Quite the contrary in fact. When you break up your exercise routines so that they fit in a busy day, you will remain motivated and build up your confidence. No more need to feel depressed or guilty, in other words. So how do you fit in five or six sets of 10 minute exercises in your daily routine?

Walk to Work

The first thing you can do is walk to work, or at least drive less.

“Plan an extra 20 minutes (or more if you live further away) and enjoy the scenery. This also gives you a chance to clear your head and mentally prepare for the day before you get to the office.”

A 10-minute walk going to the office and another 10-minute walk back equates to two sets. Plus, you can make things harder for yourself by putting weights around your ankles or wrists, for instance. That way, you are even doing a little bit of strength training.

Use Your Couch

You know those moments at night, after you have had your meal and the kids have gone to bed? Those moments when you sprawl out on your couch and just vegetate until you go to bed? Why not use that time to do some crunches instead?

“Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head with elbows pointing outwards. Support your neck with your hands. Keep your neck in a straight line with your spine.”

This is a great way to combine two fantastic activities: working out and relaxing. You can make your crunches harder by placing something heavy on your abdominal area. Additionally, you can change your crunches by going up for two/three counts, holding and then going down for one count, and then reversing it. Your couch does not have to be the antithesis of all that is fitness related. Instead, it can be a fitness tool. Another thing you an use your couch for, for instance, is by doing leg exercises.

“Do leg exercises and lifts with small weights while you watch The Weather Channel, cooking shows, movies, or the news.”

Work Out While Doing Housework

It is easy to fit in little blocks of 10 minutes if you combine it with something else. While you are ironing, for instance, you can do squats, using your iron as a weight held away from your body. That last detail is hugely important. Not only is it hard to squat with your hands away from your chest holding something heavy, it will also stop you from getting burned.

If you have to hoover up your home, do it with lunges. Every time you push the hoover forward, you can do a lunge. Or, you can do side to side runs with your broomstick, dropping it down to the floor and lifting it back up before sliding to the other side.

Finally, have some fun. Turn the music on loudly and dance like you’ve never danced before. Your mop stick, for instance, can make a fantastic dancing partner that you can swirl and twirl all over the ground.

Fitting in different blocks of 10 minutes each and every day is incredibly easy. Remember to have fun with it and to think outside of the box. Any time that your body is moving, you can turn it into a workout so long as you stop yourself from getting stagnant.

How To Get Started With Strength Training

Strength training is such a fantastic form of exercise that more and more people are becoming interested in it. This is also a very important part of achieving your weight loss goals. Plus, it is a key component of excellent overall health. However, just how do you get started? And just what is strength training?

“Strength training is one of the oldest disciplines. Legend has it Milo of Croton trained for strength in Ancient Greece by carrying a newborn calf on his back daily until it was fully grown.”

Before you reach for the nearest calf, you will be happy to know that things are considerably easier these days. Let’s take a look, therefore, at everything you need to know to get started with strength training. Good luck and enjoy!

How Do You Train?

There are different types of strength training and choosing the right one depends on your goals and the equipment you have available. The first option you could choose is bodyweight training. This requires almost no equipment and you can do it anywhere. The difficulties to be encountered with this type of training are staying motivated and setting the bar higher as you progress.

Then, there is dumbbells training. You will usually be able to find an array of dumbbells in any gym, or you can purchase some yourself. The great thing is that you can build up your resistance as you go along and it is great for beginners as well.

One step up from dumbbells training is barbell training. This really builds some tremendous strength. Plus, you can do certain things like presses, squats and deadlifts and adjust the weight as you see fit. However, you will struggle to do this at home unless you have a lot of space available.

Choosing between the different types of training depends on your own preferences and abilities.

“Choosing the right exercise is a matter of finding an activity that helps people achieve their fitness goals and is safe, sustainable, and enjoyable (or at least tolerable). Exercise should also offer some degree of challenge so that the exercise increases or sustains fitness levels.”

Also, you can mix and match the types of strength training that you do as you see fit. If you have a gym membership, working with barbells one day and dumbbells on another day is a great way to keep things varied. And then you can do bodyweight training when you can’t go to the gym. There are also other options out there, including yoga, rock climbing and parkour to name but a few. However, these are more advanced forms that require instruction and equipment.

How to Pick a Program

If you are completely new to the world of strength training, you need to choose a program that is suitable for beginners. Set the bar too high, and you will set yourself up for disappointment. Additionally, it means you will be less likely to keep going with a program that is too difficult because you will lose your motivation. There are many programs available online that you can download for free, but do make sure they come from reputable sources so that you know you will actually see some results.

Learn the Moves

Next, you need to know how to actually do the moves. Once you know that, you can actually start to build your own program to keep your routine varied. Do make sure that you practice the movements without any actual weight first. This is because you need to get to know which muscles you engage as you are doing the movement before you put too much pressure on them.

Form is crucial to all your moves, or you risk injury. Hence, practice your deadlifts, squats, bench presses, pull ups and more before you actually do them with any weights. Practice them at home if you don’t want to lose face and compare yourself in the mirror to video images, for instance. If you’re still not sure, look around you in the gym or ask a personal trainer for a demonstration. You have to be completely safe with your movements before you push yourself to new limits.

What Equipment Should You Bring?

Firstly, you need to be fully comfortable in your clothes when you do strength training, regardless of what anyone else is wearing. Make sure your shoe is light and non-restrictive and that the sole is non-compressable. You also need to bring a water bottle to make sure you stay hydrated during your workout.

“A 2% drop in body water can cause a small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and slow thinking. Dehydration can also reduce endurance, decrease strength, cause cramping, and slow muscular response.”

Next, you may want to bring some showering gear and a change of clothes. To keep your mind focused, consider bringing an mp3 player with a good playlist as well. Other than that, you are good to go.

What To Avoid When Choosing Your Workout Shoes

Most of us understand how important it is to have good quality workout shoes before we engage in any physical activity. However, as much as we know this, we do not spend enough time thinking about which shoes we actually need. Choosing the wrong one could be detrimental to how well you are able to perform your workout and even to your overall health. So let’s take a look at the biggest mistakes we can make when choosing our shoes.

1 – We simply grab what is available.

Many of us simply look in our cupboard and grab the first pair of sports shoes we find. These are often old and don’t actually give us the support we need anymore. Unfortunately, although this may be convenient, it is also a very poor choice.

“The biggest mistake people make when they start running, jogging, or some other exercise program is just reaching into the closet and pulling out an old pair of sneakers.”

2 – We don’t consider our workout when making our choice.

The second mistake we can make is that we often choose a very high quality shoe, but our choice is based on fashion and our own personal likes and dislikes, rather than on the actual sport we want to play. For instance, if you purchase a pair of high quality tennis shoes, they won’t benefit you if you actually want to play basketball.

3 – We use our shoes for everyday wear.

Sport shoes manufacturers create items that are not just good for sports, but that are fashionable as well. For instance, if you look around you, it is likely that you will see quite a number of people walking around in Nike Air Max shoes. These shoes are incredibly stylish and fashionable, but they are still sports shoes. Make sure that you do not use your shoes for everyday wear, but only use them for your workout. If you must wear them as a fashion statement as well, then purchase a second pair for that purpose.

4 – We don’t get rid of them at the appropriate time.

Shoes are expensive investments and they should serve you for a long time. However, there comes a point when you need to get rid of you. Depending on the type of shoe, the brand and how often you actually use them, you will need to replace your shoes at different times.

“Your running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability over time. Continuing to run in worn-out running shoes increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints, which can lead to overuse injuries.”

5 – Forgetting to get good advice.

Unless you are a sports specialist or shoe developer yourself, you do not know which shoe is best for you. You may have used a certain make or brand of shoe for a long period of time, but that doesn’t mean you should simply purchase the same ones again and again. As technology and sports awareness increases, shoes change as well. You should always get advice not just from a personal trainer, but also from a shoe specialist before purchasing your next pair.