The Truth About Losing Weight & Getting in Shape
What if I told you there was one easy adjustment to make to your diet…and you could lose up to 10 POUNDS in just one month?
Would you want to find out what this one easy adjustment is and apply it to your diet right away?
I bet you would.
Unfortunately, this one small easy adjustment isn’t real and does not exist (sorry to disappoint) …but it seems it’s what a lot of people are looking for when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape.
They want that “magic trick” or “secret diet” that will bypass all the exercise and proper dieting, and get them the results they want…fast.
If only it were that easy…
I go into more details on this below, but for a period of my life after graduating college, I put on a few extra pounds from some additional stress of making my mark in the “real world.” For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a ripped physique, and was in a position where I had to lose weight, and figured out a way to do so.
For those looking for that “quick special trick”, I don’t have it (and similar to the Fountain of Youth, it most likely does not exist.)
That being said, I do have a method for weight loss that is simple and brings results.
If you’re looking for advice on how to get in shape and lose weight, I have the answer for you here. The advice below, has been applied by both myself and others and has resulted in a tremendous amount of weight loss and improved physique.
First, we’ll take a look at how most people approach weight loss and getting in shape. Then, we’ll take a look at the Marcus Method overview to weight loss and getting in shape, including the mindset/attitude, proper diet, and exercise.
*I’m going to spare the studies and fact for this article since they’re already all over the internet, and instead, just focus on getting the results with some tips thrown in.*
How Most People Approach Weight Loss
From speaking with countless people interested in losing weight, when it comes to weight loss, the average person seems to approach in one of the following ways:
- Eat fewer calories, to the point that it’s unhealthy and are nearly are starving themselves
- Work out a lot, especially with cardio, but then slack on their diet
- Follow some new diet trend they read about online or heard from a friend and expect instant results
- Occasionally eat healthy and occasionally work out without any real consistency and assume that will result in weight loss
- Start off committed, then realize they are not seeing the results they hoped for fast enough and start to slack off
The fact is, losing weight and getting in shape is not a 1 method trick or something that happens instantly, in a week, or from eating a “secret super food” as some people hope.
When it comes to losing weight and getting in shape, at least for the long run, it takes time, effort, and willpower, and that’s what we’re going to cover today.
Sure, you can try one of those “instant diets”, and lose weight fast, but more often than not, those people end up gaining all the weight back, and sometimes end up heavier than when they started. When it comes to losing weight, it’s about the proper mindset, diet, and exercise. Let’s now take a look at all three.
The Marcus Method for Weight Loss & Getting in Shape: AKA The Straight Forward Method for Weight Loss
This method is fairly simple and straight forward, but people rarely ever do what we’re going to discuss, and most importantly…it works.
The general overview of the method is this:
- Set Goals
- Break down goals into smaller goals (Start small, work your way up)
- Have the right mindset/willpower
- Eat a healthy diet
We’re going to cover all of these today in more detail, and have you on track to losing weight and getting into the type of shape you want.
The Mindset for Weight Loss & Getting in Shape
I put this first for a reason:
The mindset is everything.
Losing weight and getting into shape all starts with your mentality, attitude, and mental approach. What usually causes people to give up on their diets and weight loss goals is losing motivation, not having enough willpower, or just not believing in themselves if they don’t see results right away. However, with the right mentality and focus, this can easily be overcome.
In order to get what you want in life, you must have direction and motivation. Goal setting creates both. Your goals should be specific, and written in the positive, not the negative.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, rather than write “I want to lose (x) pounds” which is focused on the negative, write “I want to weigh (x) pounds” This keeps you focused on the positive end result. It may seem like an insignificant difference, but the way in which you deliver a message to your brain (positive or negative) makes all the difference.
Instead of: “I’m going to stop eating unhealthy food”, write “I’m going to eat healthy food’s.”
Also, don’t just write “I want to weight (x) pounds.” Be specific.
Make your goal: “I want to weigh (x) pounds by the summer time.”
“I’m going to eat only vegetables, lean meats, whole grain pasta, and other healthy foods.”
You can take it a step further and add in the actual pay off of the goal to keep yourself motivated.
“I want to weigh (x) by the summer time so I’ll be more fit, and be able to run a better mile time.”
“I’m going to eat only vegetables, lean meats, whole grain pasta, and other healthy foods that will benefit my health.”
Whatever your reason is, that’s up to you, but it’s good to put that in as a reminder for why you’re doing what you’re doing to stay motivated.
Start Small, Work Your Way Up
Once you have your main goal decided, you want to break it down into smaller goals, and work your way up. For example, if you currently weight 180 pounds, and your goal is to weight 165 pounds, your main goal is weight 165 pounds. However, you want to break that down into smaller goals first.
For example, the first goal could just be to reduce your weight to 178 pounds (2-pound loss). Once you do that, then focus on weighing 175 pounds (3-pound loss), then 170 pounds (5-pound loss), then 165 (another 5 pounds).
Why do this?
This breaks the goal down and makes it appear more attainable, rather than focusing on losing 15 pounds altogether and becoming frustrating when it feels like the goal is so far away from being achieved. The biggest setback so many people face is having this huge goal and become frustrated when it feels like they aren’t making much progress.
By breaking the goal down into smaller goals, you can see a gradual progression, and develop a gradual sense of confidence and belief in yourself, almost like increasing weights gradually on a workout.
Keep in mind, this method isn’t just for losing weight and getting in shape. Goal setting can be applied to virtually anything you want to accomplish. Starting a business, gaining more customer’s/client’s, improving your social/dating life, pushing your comfort zones, gaining muscle, etc.
Along with setting goals, it’s important to have the right mindset and attitude toward weight loss. (Or anything you want to achieve.) When it comes to losing weight, it can be very easy to lose focus, and cheat your diet, skip a workout, or have that small voice inside your head convince yourself this isn’t worth it and to quit.
This is where reminding yourself of your goals is important, ensuring you stay focused.
A lot of this has to do with will power, which studies have shown can be developed just like a muscle over time, but what’s most important is to guide your actions by your mindset, which will be guided by your goals.
Let’s say your goal is to weigh 150 pounds, and you’re out to dinner and debating having dessert. This is where the importance of willpower comes in with your goals.
I have a very simple solution as to how to avoid cheating your diet (or other goals) and maintaining willpower.
“Will eating this help me lose weight and get in shape/reach my goal?”
When the answer’s no, don’t eat it.
It’s that simple.
It’s the only question you need to ask yourself to stay focused and maintain willpower.
And if that devilish voice inside your head comes on and tries to tell you it’s just one time and it won’t set back your weight loss goals, ask yourself this:
What’s more important, a quick temporary joy of eating a dessert that won’t even last 5 minutes, or the long-term gain of weight loss, and all the long-term benefits that will bring for you and your life?
When you focus on the long term benefits, and the willpower will take care of itself, with whatever goals you may have.
The Diet for Weight Loss & Getting in Shape
We’ve now covered the mentality, and with the right mindset, that alone could guide your diet and workout so long as your armed with enough knowledge and understanding of dieting.
In regards to weight loss, doctors have cited that the diet will bring more benefits for weight loss than working out itself. (This is in regards to weight loss, exercise still has a TON of benefits for both mental and physical health.) Someone could work out every day but have a poor diet, and see little weight loss results, while someone else could eat a very healthy diet, minimally workout, and find themselves in better shape. That being said, a proper diet alongside a consistent workout routine will always bring the best results.
How to Diet for Weight Loss & Getting in Shape
Avoid diet fads. While some may work, they usually only work for as long as you’re on it. What’s best is designing a healthy, low fat balanced diet.
From personal experience, my usual diet consists pretty much only eggs, Greek yogurt, OJ, protein shakes, chicken or lean meats, and green vegetables. That’s about it. However, at age 24, I began slacking on my diet, and began eating unhealthier foods, I started gaining weight. When I went back to my normal diet, I lost weight. (I was working out also, but for the first few weeks, was more focused on the diet than exercise, and still lost a few pounds per month.)
While there isn’t necessarily a one diet fits all for everyone, there are general rules for dieting when it comes to losing weight.
- Drink plenty of water (8-15 glasses per day) (I drink at least 1 gallon every day, usually more)
- Cut back on sweets and sugars,
- Eat a lot of vegetables
- Eat lean meats over high fat meats
- Reduce alcohol consumption
Following these simple diet rules alone will greatly help with any weight loss goals.
The Workout for Weight Loss & Getting in Shape
Not everyone’s body responds to workouts the same. If your goal is just to lose weight, it’s best to focus on more intensive cardio. If your goal is to lose weight and also gain muscle, it’s best to do intensive cardio combined with weight training.
For me personally, I combine both intensive cardio workouts along with endurance cardio workouts. This burns fat, develops muscles on both the legs and the core muscles, and also keeps my body guessing. (You want to change your workout every few weeks as a way to “shock” your body.)
For those who are new to working out, don’t worry about being at an Olympic level of exercise. Just like with setting goals for weight loss, focus on first just getting started, and make gradual gains from your starting point.
For example, first focus on just being able to do cardio for 10 minutes. Then increase to 20 minutes, then 30, and so on. (Similar to how you would gradually increase the amount of weight when weight lifting).
This way, rather than exhausting out your body or setting goals that aren’t attainable at first, you’ll make a gradual progression and continuously gain confidence. The small gains result in quick confidence boosters as you go along your exercise routines.
I used this method to turn my mile time from over 10 minutes to under 6:00 minutes. You see, all my life, I’ve been into fitness and focused on keeping myself in good shape.
By the time I was 22, I could rep 225 on the bench, was curling 40 lbs in each hand with ease, and had great speed. The thing was, I couldn’t run a decent mile time to save my life. I decided that since this was my last remaining weak point with fitness, I would get my mile time where I wanted it to be.
The thing was, when I first started, I wanted to reduce my time so badly that I kept either burning myself out from working out too hard, or feeling frustrated from not getting my time down fast enough.
Once I adjusted my approach, I was able to do reduce my mile time to 6:00 minutes (and soon faster) in only a few months by continuously reducing my mile time combined with pushing myself past my limits when it was time, rather than just continuously pushing myself to instantly reach my goal of under 6:00 minutes.
For example, I first focused on running just a 9:00 mile. Once I accomplished that, I focused on running an 8:30 mile. Once I did that, I focused on a 8:00 mile, and continued focusing on reducing my time by 30 seconds until I reached the 7:00 minute mark, and made my goal to reduce the tie by 15 seconds every week or so, until I reached my final goal of under 6:00 minutes.
By doing this, I simultaneously lost weight, and got into much better shape. (The workout I actually did to continuously reduce my time was mostly running mile and half mile circuits. In the beginning though, I focused on just running a half mile to get started, then a mile, and then ran a few miles to get comfortable with the distance, and then began focusing on the time.)
I would later use this same method at age 25 to lose over 15 pounds and get my mile time back where I wanted it after I put on a few pounds.
The key is about balance. Gradually pushing yourself, and then pushing your body to its limit when appropriate to make a big gain. Once you’re used to working out and have a good feel for your limits, make sure you push yourself. Your mind will always tell you you’re too tired and have to start way before your body is really pushed to its limit.
Also, on days you’re feeling tired or that you don’t have the time to workout force yourself to get out there. Going out for a quick 5-minute jog is still better than nothing, and more times than not once you’re out there, you’ll usually do a longer workout anyway.
(Keep in mind, it is important to occasionally allow your body to rest and heal, as I said before, you’d be surprised at the type of workout you can do when you think you have almost no energy.)
The Truth About Losing Weight & Getting in Shape Recap
As said before, the 2 most important parts of losing weight and getting in shape are the right mindset and attitude, and the diet. Obviously, working out still plays a major part, but if you eat a very healthy diet, it won’t be the end of the world if you miss a workout or 2 now and then.
- Set specific goals to stay focused & motivated
- Break down your bigger goal into smaller goals (Start small, work your way up)
- Guide your decisions by your mentality; when facing a choice between eating unhealthy or skipping a workout, ask yourself if that will help you get closer to your goal
- Eat a healthy diet
- Gradually increase your workout
- Push yourself when appropriate