I know, I know, I’m only about 3 months too late for New Year’s resolutions. Well, even if you’re not achieving your goals, hopefully you’ve stuck with them long enough to read this and change your ways. I won’t go into a lot of detail here because this is strictly for beginners and people without a clue.

So, your resolution was to lose weight and get that sexy high school body back that you used to have. You spend an hour on the cardio machines, you lift weights, and you’ve stopped eating fast food. Congratulations! Now, are you seeing the results you expected? You’ve been doing this for 3 months and you’ve only dropped one pant size? I’m sure you can find some apologetic writer on MSN telling you that it’s ok and that you’re doing all the right things and that you’re just naturally or, even worse, genetically unable to lose weight in a short amount of time. Bull-effing-shit! If I can gain 10 lbs. of mostly lean mass in 2 months coming from two tree-hugging, hippy parents (back in the day) that have never played a sport in their life, I think you can manage to lose a couple vanity pounds in 3 months.

Here’s the short and sweet of it. If you’re not seeing the results you expected, take a look at your diet. Write down everything you eat for 3 days. Make sure you don’t eat any differently just because you know you’ll be evaluating it later. Now, draw a line through everything that comes from a box, comes pre-made, has ingredients you can’t pronounce, has ingredients you’ve never heard of, or has high-fructose corn syrup and/or trans-fat in it. What do you have left? If you crossed off more than 3 or 4 items (assuming you eat at least 3 times per day), that’s most likely the reason you haven’t seen any changes. Mankind survived before TV dinners and HotPockets (although they are both delicious), and so can you!

So how do you go about fixing it? It’s very easy. At the most basic level, only eat things you can find in nature as they exist in nature. Meaning: lean meats, whole, unprocessed grains (or as close as you can get), fruits (sparingly), and as many green vegetables as you can humanly stand. A word of caution, not all fruits and vegetables are created equally. But if you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t worry too much just yet. Now, when you’re just starting, don’t go all G.I. Joe, Commando on yourself. If you’re not a good cook, it may take some time to get used to eating things that don’t have 80% of your daily sodium in one serving. So, get used to eating healthy foods; then worry about calories. Chances are, if you eat the same amount of food as you have in the past, you’re still not going to get the same amount of calories, and that’s a good thing. My guess is that if you crossed off 3 or 4 items from your list, you will see results based on the diet change alone as long as you keep working out.

One last thing to consider. How much water do you drink during the day? Do you even drink water, or do you drink diet soda because there’s no sugar in it, or maybe it’s juice because it’s “healthy” (and loaded with sugar)? Perhaps green tea? That’s what all the guru’s and “experts” are prescribing anyways. Well, if you’re actually drinking water with a green tea bag soaking in it you might be alright, but stay away from Lipton or anything else that has sweeteners in it. The last good article I read was an interview with Paul Chek, a very successful, very experienced holistic trainer. He, and many others, recommend drinking at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water. So, if you weigh 200 lbs., you should be drinking 100 oz. of water every day at least. Personally, I just shoot for a gallon. Then again, I’m not your average “dieter” either.

There it is. Can’t be any simpler than that. Lean meats, a little fruit, an ass-ton of veggies, and some water. That’s all you need to know. It got a little long, but you’re much better off by making it through. Congrats!

Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.