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A New Way To Get In Shape: The Busy Man’s Guide To Losing Fat

SUMMARY: Even if you’re the busiest of guys, you can drop fat, get healthy, and get into the best shape of your life.  All that’s needed is a simplified exercise plan, a progressive set of nutrition habits, and a knowledgeable coach to help guide the process.

"Man, I wish I could train like we used to."

That's what a high school buddy - a former training partner of mine - told me at a recent gathering.

"With the kids, my business growing, and all the other stuff I've got going on…I don't know...there's just no time to get in shape."

My buddy has gained about 30 pounds of weight - let's face it, fat - since high school.  His cholesterol and blood pressure have sky-rocketed.  And he's always feeling lethargic, sometimes even depressed.

"I really want to do something about this," he says grabbing his stomach, "and I want to feel good again.  But where am I gonna find time to work out like we did back in the day?"

As I sat there, I couldn't help but feel for the guy.

He's a great person, with a fantastic wife, two young children, a growing consulting business, and two aging parents he helps care for.  So it sucked to see him feeling trapped and struggling.

But here's the thing: he needn't feel that way.  Busy guys everywhere are still able to manage hectic lives while also managing their health and fitness.

I know because I'm one of them.

I'm married, have two young children, manage a growing company, and have a host of other things competing for my attention on a daily basis.  Yet I still manage to make health and fitness a priority.

Here's more: our team helps thousands of other busy, high-stress guys get in shape and manage their health every single day.  And, if you're interested in looking and feeling good again, we can help you too.

A New Way To Get In Shape

Getting back to my buddy for a minute, here's the first piece of advice I gave him - and it's a piece of advice I give to guys everywhere:

“Get rid of the idea that what we did in high school is the best way to get in shape.”

Truth be told, what we did back then was pretty stupid.  Weight training for an hour or two?  Every day except Sundays?  What a waste of time and energy.  But I guess we had plenty of time and energy to waste back then.  Oh how times have changed!

Of course, if we'd have known better, or had some proper coaching, we might have gotten our acts together.  But we didn't.  So we spent too much time in the gym, doing the wrong stuff, in way that wasn't sustainable.

Yes, we were in shape.  But we were young, had great metabolisms, and succeeded in spite of our program.  Not because of it. In fact, those nagging aches and pains we complain about today - the sore knees, trick shoulders, bum elbows - are probably related to our dumb high school training.

As I told my friend:

"Here's the good news: you don't have to train like we did in high school to get back in shape.  In fact, you don't even want to.  I've got something else in mind that'll work way better, take far less time, and fit into your life, as it is now."

Dumbbells Stopwatch

Start With Workout Minimalism

Instead of 6 weight-training workouts a week, each taken right out of the pages of Muscle and Fitness magazine, we started with a completely different approach:

Each week he did the following:

-2 x 30 minute resistance exercise sessions - mostly body weight exercises
-2 x 15 minute interval exercise sessions - on a treadmill or outside at a track
-1 x 60 minute walk - outdoors with his family

So, instead of 9 hours of exercise a week - plus travel time to and from the gym - he would be doing less than 3 hours a week.  And most of it could be done right at home, if he wanted.

He also got to do it all on his own schedule, adjusting the workout days and times so that they would fit into his demanding and ever-changing planner.

Sound too good to be true?  It's not.  (After all, it's trusted advice that I gave to a good friend of 20+ years).

For more on how this can work, check out my “Experiments With Exercise Minimalism” article here. You can also check out our latest Lean Eating Men’s Finalists.

(Note: In our Lean Eating coaching program, exercise minimalism forms the foundation of the entire workout. That's why even the busiest guys can get fantastic results by following the program).

Then Add In Better Nutrition Advice

Yes, exercise is important.  But, for busy, high-stress guys wanting to drop weight or get back in shape, nutrition is where it's at.  That's why I also recommended a few nutrition tips.

Again, I told him to forget what we did "back in the day."  Loading up on whole milk, protein shakes, chicken breasts, and steamed broccoli was fine when we were younger.  But nowadays his goals are different.

Plus, he's got a family to consider.  Forcing his wife and children to choke down "bodybuilding food" - or to make special meals just for him - will do more harm than good.

So, we started with a few nutrition habits, just like we do in the Lean Eating program.

To keep things simple, for the first two weeks of his new exercise program, he added 1g of fish oil per percent body fat (he took 25g a day) and a multivitamin.  Yes, that was it.   For the first two weeks.

After that, we introduced a new nutrition habit every two weeks.  Some habits had to do with how he was eating, some with what he was eating, some with how much he was eating, and some with when he was eating.

But they were all designed progressively - each habit building on the last.  The key: we didn't change too much at once.  By changing just a little at a time, the changes felt small.  Almost too small.  But, at the end of the year, his eating was completely different.

Keeping It Simple

For guys with a lot of responsibilities - and stress - this is exactly how it ought to be.

When you're 19 years old, you may have the time to read, research, and come up with all sorts of crazy exercise and nutrition plans.  (Although a good coach would still probably do better).

But, at 40, focusing on being a good partner, doing your best as a parent, giving your all at work, keeping up your home, and making sure your bills are paid...there goes your time and mental energy.

Do you really need more stuff to figure out?  Probably not.

That's why it's best, when it comes to fitness, to find someone who can do the thinking and planning for you.  Who can make it easy and allow you to focus on one thing: doing.

According to our most successful Lean Eating clients, it's this very thing that made all the difference.  By trusting the coaching process, and simply doing as we said, they were able to get into the best shape of their lives without stressing and agonizing over every step of the way.

What To Do Now

In the end, know this: If you're a busy guy it's still possible to drop fat, get healthy, and get into the best shape of your life.

All you need is a simplified exercise plan, a progressive set of nutrition habits, and possibly a coach to help guide the process.

Of course, if you'd like some help, consider the Lean Eating program.  This is what we do every day, and we've gotten quite good at helping busy guys – we’ve worked with over 5,000 of them – find a way to prioritize their own health and fitness.

However, whether you choose Lean Eating or not, I do encourage you to do something, anything that moves you in the right direction, as soon as possible.

Before you know it, 30 extra pounds can easily become 50 extra pounds.  High blood sugar can easily become type 2 diabetes.  And high cholesterol can easily become cardiovascular disease.

So the question isn't "Do I have time to get in shape?"  It's "Do I have time not to?"


If you’d like to learn more about fitness, losing fat, and feeling better, here's something else you need to see.  We've created a free 5-day video course that show you how to get control of your eating and your health.

To get started, simply click the link below:


In this free course you'll discover:

- The 5 things you need to know about nutrition.
- Exactly what foods to eat to lose fat — at every meal.
- The best way to exercise to lose fat.
- Exactly how much time you need to exercise.
- How to make delicious meals with a few simple ingredients.
- Why you don’t need supplements to lose fat.
- Which four supplements work the best, if you choose to use them.
- The one thing that separates those who lose fat and those who fail every time.

Until next time,

John Berardi

Dr John Berardi is the director of the world’s largest body transformation project.  In the last 5 years, his team has helped over 15,000 clients lose more than 250,000 pounds of body fat.  (That’s more total weight loss than all 13 seasons of the Biggest Loser combined).  For more on his one-of-a-kind program – Lean Eating Coaching – click here.

Want more from me? Find me on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

>> Read more of John Berardi's articles here! <<

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