What you NEED to know about Protein

What you NEED to know about Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient that your body needs to grow, repair, and keep your muscles and metabolic rate healthy. It is the macro nutrient that you should prioritize at every meal. There is a lot of misinformation and confusion on the subject and as a result, only a few understand how to use protein to their advantage.  Below are the key questions that I receive about protein intake.

How effective are protein supplements compared to whole food sources?

At the risk of throwing mud at the supplement industry, a lot of the confusion starts here. They will have you believe that all you need to do is drink 5 of their high tech protein shakes each day and you will look like this guy by Christmas. Bodybuilders and fitness models are sponsored by supplement companies who are looking to sell more of their products. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to seek your protein recommendations from sources with such a vested interest. I am not opposed to using a protein supplement post workout. I like the convenience and quick absorption that powders provide, but that is the extent of my supplement use. You should eat real chewable food throughout the day. Meat, fish, dairy, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Relying on nature is always your best option. There is no chemist in a lab that can create anything better than what the earth can provide you.

How many grams of protein do I need per day?

Whether you want to gain muscle mass or strength, the first goal to establish is how much protein to eat. For males who aim at increasing muscle mass and strength gains, 2 g per kg of body weight should be more than enough. For women, 1.2 g per kg. There is no evidence suggesting any added benefits to eating more protein unless you are insulin resistant and morbidly obese. In that case a high protein/ultra-low carbohydrate diet is warranted (3.3 g per kg of body weight). As insulin sensitivity improves, protein needs will go down and you can replace some of those protein calories with yams, sweet potatoes, russets, etc.

Will I damage my kidneys by eating large amounts of protein (more than a gram per pound of body weight)?

No. The misconception that eating a high protein diet will harm your kidneys comes from the fact that in people with kidney disease, a high protein diet can further compromise function, but we are talking about people whose kidneys already aren’t working well. Kidneys filter your blood to remove waste, maintain proper blood pH, produce hormones and balance out water and sodium (salt) levels. Your kidneys process the waste products from the food you eat, including protein. So eating large amounts of protein will increase the rate at which your kidneys filter, but there is zero evidence suggesting that it causes any damage to them.

Should I eat all my protein at one or two meals or am I better off spreading it out?

Your best bet is to spread your protein intake over 4 to 6 servings approximately every 3 hours. It will keep your blood sugar balanced and provide you with sustained energy and focus throughout the day. If you are not convinced, try lumping your entire protein intake into 1 or 2 meals and I guarantee that your productivity both in and out of the gym that day will suffer for it.

How to MAXIMIZE recovery after a tough workout

How to MAXIMIZE recovery after a tough workout

Do you find that a day or two after your training sessions you get stiff joints? Muscle soreness? Fatigue?  I have encountered quite a few clients over the years who follow a proper warm up/cool down routine with 15 minutes of stretching after their workout but still feel extremely sore for the next 24 to 72 hours. If this sounds like you, it is perfectly normal.

When you lift weights or place any type of load on your joints, the forces being applied tear muscle fibres. I am not talking about the kind of tears that send you to the hospital, but tiny micro fibril tears that are required for your muscles to grow. These tiny tears cause an inflammatory response which is the reason that we get sore after we train. After a few days these tiny tears will heal. The end result is that they grow, get stronger and you can train more frequently. The more frequently you can train, the more muscle you will be able to build. The good news is that you don’t need to sit around and wait for the soreness to subside. There are pro-active protocols that you can follow to speed up the recovery process. Give some of these suggestions a try and I think you will like the results.

To speed up the recovery process, focus on consuming alkalizing foods such as cruciferous vegetables and dark coloured fruits (think blueberries and broccoli). Consume them as frequently as possible. By eating a higher alkaline diet you’ll recover faster from your workouts and you will have more energy because your blood will be better able to transport oxygen throughout your body. Keeping your body alkaline will help remove all the excess acid that is created from your training sessions. You also need to consume adequate amounts of protein to heal and repair muscle tissue. Just don’t overdo it because excess protein is acid forming.  I like to use a whey protein supplement (25 grams post exercise is plenty). If dairy doesn’t agree with you, look for a plant based alternative. Hemp, rice and pea proteins will do the trick.

Limit your caffeine intake. I realize this is very hard for most people to do. Ingesting large amounts of caffeine produces a ton of acid in your body. It overstimulates your adrenal glands and causes your blood sugar levels to drop, which is extremely hard for your system to recover from. Try a tall glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning. That will set you up to stay alkaline all day.  If you must have caffeine, stick to green tea. Less caffeine equals less acid formation.

Get some sleep! A lack of adequate sleep can decrease tolerance to training, alter mood, increase fatigue and negatively affect the physiological mechanisms responsible for recovery. Hormonal secretion during sleep is the most important factor influencing recovery. The purpose of sleep is to create a state of physical and mental recovery in the body. Anabolic (muscle-building) hormone activity increases during sleep while catabolic (muscle breakdown) hormones decrease. When you don’t get enough sleep your anabolic hormones are negatively affected. Try to get into a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same times throughout the week (10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. works well for me) and minimize the amount of light your eyes are exposed to 30 minutes before you retire for the night.

Is Red Meat really BAD for your health ?

Is Red Meat really BAD for your health ?

Red meat gets a bad rap. I have read that it causes cancer, diabetes and heart attacks. My social media feeds are loaded with articles on a weekly basis warning against the dangers of red meat consumption. Well I have some news for you. I eat 8 to 10 ounces of it every day for lunch with a side of green veggies, tomato and avocado, and my blood work is pretty damn good. The amount of energy and alertness that I get from red meat is second to none. Not to mention that it tastes a heck of a lot better than a dried out chicken breast.

Cows are ruminants (meaning that they have two stomachs) and they evolved to eat grass, hay and clover. Humans are not able to digest grass (we only have one stomach). Cows are not meant to be cooped up in a barn all day. Think of them as four-legged lawn mowers, always moving around and grazing on grass. This is their form of exercise. Cows should be lean and muscular. This produces meat that contains less fat, is more flavourful than the factory farmed meat you will find at the supermarket and has much higher levels of beta carotene,  omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid.

The health risks with red meat that you read about are specifically linked to how cattle are raised. Farmers made the switch from grass to corn several years ago because corn allows them to fatten up their cattle much faster than grass, and more importantly it allows their cattle to produce a lot more meat. The problem is that these animals are not healthy. And when you eat meat from unhealthy animals you end up getting sick!

Believe it or not, only 1-3% of the total beef produced in North America is fully grass fed and grass finished. (That means that for their entire life they were raised strictly on pasture and nothing else.) The other 97% are raised in confined feedlots where they are unable to move around and are fed a strict diet of corn, wheat and candy. Yes, you read that right. Candy. Cows raised on a corn fed diet have low levels of omega 3 fatty acids, highly levels of inflammatory omega 6’s and very little in the way of overall nutrition.

The problem is that the vast majority of the population does not have access to hormone-free, antibiotic-free, grass-fed meat. It is extremely challenging to find high quality meat that is affordable. A number of years ago I did my due diligence and found a couple of reliable providers. Whole Foods now has a large supply of grass-fed, grass-finished beef available in a number of different cuts. You can also go to grassfedbeefontario.com or check out realfoodtoronto.com, place your order online and have it delivered to your door. All three of these options are reliable and affordable.

Lose weight without dieting or exercise

Lose weight without dieting or exercise

This blog is for those people who reject the idea of intense exercise and refuse to meticulously watch what they put in their mouth, but would still like to drop some pounds. The choices we make are based on what we love most. Some people love the taste of pizza and donuts more than they love the idea of being lean and energetic. With that said, it is still possible to lose weight without exercise. Here is how:

Stress is the #1 offender. There is zero debating it. I am not telling you to live a stress-free life. We all need some stress. The stress that forces us to get up out of bed in the morning and get things done is necessary. Without stress it would be a pretty shallow existence. The problem is that most people bite off more than they can chew. The word “no” doesn’t exist in their vocabulary. Whether you are a people pleaser who says yes to everyone or you have some underlying issues that being super busy allows you to avoid, finding balance is crucial when it comes to keeping stress at a manageable level.  If you can’t figure it out on your own, consider practicing some form of meditation. Research has shown over and over again how effective meditation is at minimizing stress.

Develop a morning routine. As long as I am not working at the crack of dawn, I like to get out first thing for a 45 minute walk. It doesn’t have to be speed walking. You are simply getting your body moving and your blood flowing which kick starts your metabolism and sets you up to burn more calories throughout the day. If you don’t have a lot of time, take your dog for a walk around the block for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s all you need.

Try apple cider vinegar. I was first introduced to it by a chiropractor. Apple cider vinegar contains a compound called acetic acid, which has a number of health benefits. When you are eating at home, pour a tablespoon or two into a glass of water and drink it before you eat. It will minimize the insulin spike you get at the end of your meal, and that will limit how much of the food you eat ends up in your fat cells. Whether you have blood sugar issues or not (most people do) it will definitely make a difference.

Minimize the amount of wheat/gluten that goes into your body. If you are having a hard time getting weight off, I can just about guarantee that a temporary hold on wheat-containing foods like bagels, pastas, boxed cereals, cakes and cookies will help you lose weight. I believe that wheat is highly inflammatory and highly allergenic. It is extremely hard to digest and assimilate.  I am not saying stop eating bagels, pastas and cereals, but look for wheat and gluten-free alternatives. I like quinoa for pastas, almond and coconut flour for baking.

Protein, protein, protein. Start your day off with it. I don’t care if it is a protein shake, eggs or yogurt. Get a minimum of 20 grams into your system first thing in the morning. By doing this you will stabilize your blood sugar and feel fuller for longer. That will reduce the cravings you are likely to get later in the day from eating a high carbohydrate breakfast. A good size portion of protein will keep you alert and energized.

The straight facts on coffee Part 2

The straight facts on coffee Part 2

In last week’s blog I discussed the negative effects of caffeine and coffee and why it is in your best interest to stay away from it. What I didn’t do is provide you with any alternatives. Getting off coffee cold turkey is brutal. So to be successful, you will need a plan.

The hardest part about getting off coffee is the withdrawal symptoms. Here are my suggestions to make the transition as smooth as possible. First and foremost, you must hydrate. Drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily. Instead of coffee in the morning, take some warm water with freshly-squeezed lemon juice. It will alkalize your gut and help prevent headaches.

Make a point of exercising daily to ward off any fatigue. It doesn’t have to be super strenuous. A 30 minute walk after dinner is more than sufficient. The idea is to increase blood flow.

A lot of people substitute coffee for real food.  When you do this, you are letting your blood sugar get too low. You need to consistently feed your body protein throughout the day. A piece of cheese, a handful of nuts or seeds will easily do the trick. If you find that you are irritable the first few days and have trouble sleeping, supplement with calcium and magnesium citrate before you go to bed (250 mg of each).

Learn to slow down. This might be the hardest one of all, especially if you are a hard driving Type A personality. Withdrawal can be stressful and research has shown that yoga, tai chi and other meditation techniques will help calm an over-stressed system while boosting the immune system. Don’t ignore this one.

There are numerous substitutes for coffee; I like green tea. It has a lot less caffeine than a cup of coffee but enough to give you a boost without the coffee jitters. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and potent disease fighters.

Wheat grass tea is a natural energizer. It is used in a lot of greens drink supplements because it is loaded with nutrients. Some people like the taste and others don’t. Regardless, it is easy to digest and it is absorbed rapidly into your system, making it a great natural energy supplement.

Have you heard of Yerba mate? Probably not. This is another herbal tea with numerous health benefits. Yerba mate tastes great hot or cold and it is loaded with antioxidant properties. It can also accelerate weight loss as it is known to speed up the metabolism.

If you are just not a tea person and you can’t live without the taste of coffee, there is always decaf. If it were me I would look into a caffeine-free herbal coffee. Herbal coffee alternatives are quite common with people who have removed regular coffee from their diets because they taste very much like coffee but are caffeine free. There are a number of different kinds and they mix well with water if you are a black coffee person, or you can mix them with milk, sugar or honey. I like this one the best: http://www.dandyblend.com/

The straight facts on coffee

The straight facts on coffee

Are you one of those people who can’t get going in the morning without a cup of coffee? A whopping 68% of Americans surveyed start their day with a cup of joe. What most people are unaware of are the long term side effects that come from flooding their system with caffeine on a daily basis. Some people enjoy the taste, but the majority of those polled admitted that they use it as a crutch to get through the day. The irony here is that over the long haul, you might actually be making it harder on yourself to get through the day. Let me explain.

There is no doubt that coffee will give you more energy. The problem is that the energy comes in rapid fashion. And what typically happens when something elevates quickly? It will also fall quickly. Unfortunately, caffeine is not time-released. This is referred to as the ‘crash’.

To help make sense of this, here is a crash course on insulin/blood sugar and how it affects your body. You wake up in the morning and feel flat. So you put on a pot of coffee.  Within 10 minutes your energy and alertness are at a 10. You are on top of the world. You head out to start your day and for the first little while you are extremely focused and productive. An hour or so later you start to feel groggy and much less alert. Naturally you want to get that surge of energy back, so you grab another cup of coffee and you’re back to square one. This is due to an increase in blood sugar. And just like you did the first time, eventually you will have to crash.

Here is the reason you feel lethargic.

Let’s start with the sugar you might be adding to your coffee. When you ingest sugar, insulin is secreted from your pancreas to take a lot of that sugar out of the blood, and as a result, your blood sugar drops. You have two small glands the size of peanuts that rest on top of your kidneys called adrenal glands. When you drink any form of caffeine be it coffee, colas or energy drinks, these glands see it as a form of stress being placed on them and their job is to respond. So when you ingest caffeine, these glands will release stress hormones into the blood stream. Namely cortisol and adrenaline.

Adrenaline is a feel good hormone. When you produce enough of it you feel as though you are ready for anything. The main issue with adrenaline is that it goes to different storage areas in your body. It can be stored as glycogen (carbohydrate stores) or it can be stored in your fat cells which end up breaking it down into individual glucose (sugar) molecules, which enter your bloodstream. That’s where the problem lies. Now you’re tapping into your energy reserves, which increases your blood sugar. (The reason is that it’s preparing your body to fight/flight so you can use that sugar for immediate energy.)

This quick spike in blood sugar only lasts for a short period of time because your insulin’s job is to manage blood sugar. So it clears the sugar out of the blood as a matter of safety. Once your insulin removes the sugar from your blood, you crash, and the cycle repeats itself again with the more coffee you drink. The reason you are so tired is because your adrenal glands no longer function optimally due to the repeated stress placed upon them.

Next week I will discuss some caffeine alternatives and give you tips on how to remove coffee from your life entirely.

The Best Anti-Aging Foods

The Best Anti-Aging Foods

Modern day culture is obsessed with remaining youthful to the point where people are willing to spend extreme amounts of money to have operations that will make them appear younger. We are all going to get older. What you can control is how quickly you age. You are far from helpless. Granted, some people will go prematurely grey, while others will lose 80% of their hair by the time they reach their 40th birthday. This stuff is out of your control for the most part. What most people don’t seem to figure out is that looking young and healthy are the by-products of good health. There is no operation that I am currently aware of that will do a better of job this than taking good care of yourself.

One of the best ways to keep yourself looking youthful is to eat a diet rich in these anti-aging foods:

Blueberries – Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which will remove all of those free radicals inside your body that do damage to your skin and generally make you age faster. Blueberries are also low on the glycemic index. So while they taste sweet, they won’t do the harm to your body that foods high in sugar will. Try eating strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and a lot of cherries too. You can mix them up in the blender or throw them on top of yogurt or cereal.

Avocados – They are full of monounsaturated fat. The good kind of fat. Avocados help reduce bad cholesterol, limit risks for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The fat in avocados will keep you fuller for longer making you less likely to overeat, keeping your waistline in check. You can cut them up into salads, spread them over bread or make guacamole with them. Try and eat half an avocado daily.

Walnuts – This is my nut of choice. They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for brain health. They help you think more clearly and ward off depression. They do a great job of maintaining the health of both your nervous and cardiovascular systems. Aim for 1/4 cup a day. You can eat them in salads or crush them up into cereals and smoothies.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – It is another phenomenal source of monounsaturated fat, which plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. I put it on everything. Salads, vegetables, marinades, etc. It is also loaded with antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals, keeping your hair, skin and nails looking healthy and shiny.

Chocolate – Yes, you read that right. However, I am not talking about the milk chocolate you buy at the convenience store. I am referring to dark chocolate. It is unusually rich in flavanols that help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels. Maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers your risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia. Have a few squares of dark chocolate after dinner or mix a tablespoon of cocoa into a smoothie and you are good to go.

Red Wine – Study after study shows that drinking wine in moderation protects against heart disease, diabetes and age-related memory loss. Red wine contains resveratrol, which is part of a group of compounds called polyphenols. They act like antioxidants, protecting the body against damage that can put you at higher risk for things like cancer and heart disease. Resveratrol comes from the skin of red grapes, so if alcohol doesn’t agree with you, eat a handful of red grapes a few times a week.

Fish oil or Cold Water Fish – Fish is an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you can’t stand the taste of fish, opt for a high quality fish oil. I like Nordic Naturals.  By taking 1 teaspoon a day you are lowering your blood pressure and protecting your heart.  What is special about fish oil and cold water fish (e.g., salmon, herring or mackerel) is that they contain the ideal versions of omega-3, which is DHA. It’s very helpful for our brains and can prevent conditions such as dementia.

The TRUTH behind more nutrition myths

The TRUTH behind more nutrition myths

I am not a registered dietitian or a nutritionist, but I have learned a lot about food. I have to. Because as a trainer, exercise is only half of the equation. I can give my clients legendary workouts, but if they’re going through the Wendy’s drive through at lunch hour every day, no amount of hard training is going to get them the results they are looking for. So before I start working with someone I analyze what they have been eating, factor in their food preferences, and together we create an eating plan that matches their lifestyle and goals.

After a couple of weeks, the weight starts to come down and in most cases I have a happy client. Family, friends and co-workers will ask him or her for the details of said diet and that is where the trouble generally starts. “Doesn’t your trainer know that dairy is not meant for human consumption and red meat causes cancer?” Unfortunately, misinformation like this confuses and frustrates us in our quest to eat healthy, regardless of whether we are achieving great results or not. It is important that my clients believe 100% in the program I have put together for them if they are going to reach their desired goals. So this type of water cooler banter makes my job that much harder.

“A high protein intake will damage your kidneys” – This is my all-time favourite myth. In 1983, researchers first discovered that eating more protein increases your “glomerular filtration rate,” which is the amount of blood your kidneys are filtering per minute. Based on this finding a number of scientists jumped to the conclusion that this would cause damage to your kidneys. After over 3 decades of research, there is zero published research showing that consuming high amounts of protein  (up to 1.27 grams per pound of body weight a day) will cause any damage to your kidneys. If you are strength training intensely 3 to 5 times a week I would recommend that you aim for a minimum of 1.8 grams of protein per kg of lean mass.

“Eating too much red meat causes cancer” – In 1986, Japanese researchers discovered cancer developing in rats that were fed “heterocyclic amines” which are compounds generated from overcooking meat under high heat. Since this study came out, a number of scientists have jumped to the conclusion that this must be the case.  No study has ever found a direct cause-and-effect relationship between red-meat consumption and cancer. If you are still concerned, feel free to trim off any burnt or overcooked parts of the meat when it comes off the grill.

“A high salt intake leads to high blood pressure” – In the 1940s, a Duke University researcher became well known for using salt restriction to treat people with high blood pressure. Years since, numerous scientific reviews have determined there’s no reason for people with normal blood pressure to restrict their sodium intake. Research has shown that if you already have high blood pressure, reducing the amount of salt you take in might be helpful. Your other option is to increase your potassium intake. What they found was that it’s the balance of the two that is most important (potassium and sodium). Think spinach, broccoli, bananas, strawberries and any kind of bean or legume.

“Sweet potatoes are better for you than white potatoes” – Most North Americans eat a highly processed/deep fried version of the white potato. French fries and potato chips being the main culprits. So somewhere along the line eating white potatoes became linked to obesity and diabetes. Sweet potatoes/yams are more often than not eaten whole and have been lauded for being rich in nutrients and having a lower glycemic index than their white counterpart. Both these spuds have their nutritional differences, but neither one has been proven to have more benefits than the other. Just different. Sweet potatoes have more fibre and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in minerals: iron, magnesium, and potassium. Easy answer. Eat both!

Stop sugar cravings once and for all…..

Stop sugar cravings once and for all…..

Have you ever noticed that after you eat a chocolate bar, a couple of minutes later you have a strong urge to eat another one (which you ultimately give in to)? And the next morning you run to the convenience store and buy a bag of jujubes that you’re washing down with a can of cream soda. Does any of this sound familiar? Kicking a sugar habit is like any other addiction—you can’t just have a little bit of it once in a while, you have to stay away from it entirely. I know this is a lot easier said than done, but the physiological research is clearly on my side here.

It’s important to understand what sugar does inside your body. The reason we get such strong cravings for sweets is because we already have a lot of sugar (glucose) circulating in our systems and our bodies are screaming out for more of it. There are a few reasons for this. You likely have some yeast or candida issues lurking around in your gut. Don’t be alarmed. Very few people have clear digestive systems. These microorganisms exist on sugar, and if either of these conditions are renting space in your gut, then they are going to require a a daily sugar deposit. So the more of it you have in your system, the more it requires to stay alive.

The only way to fix these issues is to starve them out and eventually they will die off. There is really no magical solution to the problem. You have to stay away from foods that are high in sugar for an extended period of time and the cravings will eventually go away.  If you want to make this detoxification process as quick and painless as possible, you need to start eating foods that are alkaline-friendly. This is the key. Fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach, peppers, thin skin fruits and nuts. These foods MUST be staples in your diet. When your body becomes more alkaline, it naturally decreases your desire for sugar and that is key.  One little trick I learned several years ago was to start my day off with a glass of lemon or lime water before I have anything to eat. This gets my system alkaline right from the start.

Start looking for pre-biotics, which are foods that promote good bacteria. When your good bacteria is satisfied, it eliminates the bad bacteria that induces sugar cravings. Think chicory root, artichokes, asparagus, onions, garlic, legumes, bananas and apples. These foods in their raw form are typically better.

Whatever route you choose to take, the best piece of advice I can give you is not to take that first bite if you are easily susceptible to sugar cravings. If you are trying to get off sugar, the more greens and water you can get into your system, the better.

Perfectionism – Worry less and enjoy more

Perfectionism – Worry less and enjoy more

We all know people who appear to have it all together in every facet of their lives. You know the ones I am talking about. They always manage to stay fit no matter how hectic their lives get. Their kids are always well behaved. And they are never embarrassed to stand around half naked by the pool. Don’t you just hate people like that? They bring the envy meter up about 500%. If I could just exercise a little more, sleep a little longer and eat a little less for dinner, my life would be just like theirs. If only it were that simple.

Nobody has it all together all the time. Everyone has stress in their lives. It’s healthy. It’s what drives us. Stress at work, relationship challenges and difficulty finding time to care for our own needs. One’s social media feed is a great way to convey to others that you are living the good life. But even these seemingly “perfect” people still struggle with feelings of incompetence behind the scenes. It is very easy to look at others and believe that they are doing better than you are, until you come to the realization that there really is no “everybody else”.  None of us have the ability to escape the reality of bills, deadlines, obligations and responsibility. That is unless you are single, independently wealthy and living in a cave somewhere.

Accept that it is going to be hard. Struggling with physical and mental pain are part of being human. If you are training hard enough, you will experience both from time to time. We all have some level of self doubt that we carry around with us. We are going to fail a lot more than we are going to succeed. When we are young we want to be perfect and have it all, but once we reach adulthood those ideals are no longer realistic because things are going to go wrong. The ones who have the most success are able to dust themselves off and try again.

If you want to improve your physique, quality of life or your income, start looking for real life role models. Not the ones on Instagram. I am talking about real life people that you have the ability to interact with on a regular basis. Seek out their guidance and ask them questions. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked a successful client of mine how they market themselves or their company to attract new business and they are always more than happy to offer me their counsel.

Start by making small changes. If you don’t have time to get to the gym before or after work, do some push ups, planks and some body weight squats for 10 minutes by your bed first thing in the morning. If you are struggling to get your diet under control, pick one food item and focus on eliminating it each day. Once you have figured that out, move onto something else. Any successes that I have had in my life have come from taking small steps. Several small positive actions that eventually lead to big changes. They just don’t happen overnight.