Our Top 10 Diet and Exercise Tips
We give a lot of advice about losing weight, getting in shape, and improving your health. There’s a lot of nuance in the topics we share with you, which is why we’ll never run out of pointers, guidelines, and suggestions.
But that can also be a problem.
When there’s so much information that you start to feel overwhelmed, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. That’s when you’ll find that most of it can be boiled down to one these top 10 pieces of advice.
This Isn’t a Trick Question
What’s more important: breathing or drinking water?
Someone who’s stranded in the desert might put the priority on finding an oasis rather than stopping and doing some deep-breathing exercises.
A scuba diver whose oxygen tank is empty might be more concerned about taking their next breath rather than asking a fellow diver for a bottle of Dasani.
In both cases, breathing and drinking are still important aspects of life, but either one can take precedence in the moment.
This list is like that, but for diet and exercise.
The advice in this list isn’t in any particular order. It’s all equally important, but not necessarily to every person at every moment. You’re coming at this from a different place than the next person, which means some of it will take precedence for you now, and only you can decide what that is.
Just don’t think that because some of this advice isn’t critical for you now that you should ignore it. Someday it may be exactly what you need to accomplish your goals.
1. Find Your Path
No matter how much good advice you get, there’s still no one-size-fits-all solution. What worked for one person might not work for you.
When you get advice, try to discern the overarching principles (that’s what I’m sharing today). If they’re no good, throw them out. If they’re solid, take notice, but adjust the details to find the path that is realistic for you from a long-term perspective.
2. Don’t Fall for Magic Tricks
There’s no such thing as magic. Any pills, supplements, drinks, patches, detoxes, fitness challenges, etc., that promise big results are a lie.
Even if you find one that isn’t pure nonsense, it still won’t get you sustainable results without a larger focus on the things that really matter.
3. Set Appropriate Goals
Research has shown that the best goals lie somewhere in the middle between “too easy” and “too hard.”
That said, it can be difficult to know where a goal lands in that spectrum before you get started. That’s why it’s more important to be willing to adjust your goal than it is to pick one and work on it until you either reach it or die trying.
DO make a goal. You won’t get anywhere without one. But constantly reassess as you go and be sure you’ve set one that’s realistic.
4. Set Your Pace
Quick results are almost never a good idea, no matter the goal.
For one reason, your body will fight back against change that takes place too quickly. We’re talking about real, physiological adaptations that take place in your body to work against you.
But also, it would be utter foolishness to expect any results to last if you don’t spend significant time (we’re talking about months and years, not days and weeks) building new habits as a foundation.
5. Expect Mistakes
Consistency is key, but you can be consistent about your efforts even if you aren’t always consistent with the execution.
You’re going to make mistakes. Learn from them. Keep working. Move forward. You’ll find more success from that approach in a year than you’d find in a lifetime of only accepting perfection.
6. Dig Deeper
Doing something that feels tough is often just a deflection from having to work on the deeper issues that will have a more significant impact on your life.
It might feel hard to do an hour long group fitness sweat session, but it’s easier than actually spending time thinking about your goals, the motivations behind them, and then doing the research on how to achieve them.
It might feel hard to jump on a diet like Keto or intermittent fasting, but it’s easier than actually dealing with the complex emotions that surround your relationship with food and then working on better eating habits.
Don’t just take action that makes you “feel” like you’re doing something. Get to the heart of the problems that have led to you needing a change and work on a solution from there.
7. Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis
When it comes to the difference between a moderate vs. an extreme amount of effort spent working on diet and exercise, the results are often negligible.
It’s not a waste of time or effort if you want to get into peak physical condition, but for most people, it won’t be worth the sacrifice.
On the other hand, just doing a little bit with fitness and nutrition compared to doing nothing leads to immeasurable reward, and not just for your body composition. It can impact your energy, confidence, attitude, lifespan, quality of life, mental health, and more.
Whatever you decide to do (or not do), make sure it’s worth it for YOU.
8. Use Efficient Workouts
The type of workout that can accomplish almost any fitness goal is resistance training (e.g. lifting weights, using bands, bodyweight exercises, etc.).
There’s nothing wrong with other types of exercise, and it’s important to do what you love.
But if you’re looking for something that can improve your heart health, strengthen muscle, bones, and tendons, improve your mobility and balance, help you burn calories, lean out, and tone up, plus more… resistance training (when designed properly) is the only thing that can cover it all.
9. Use Efficient Nutrition Strategies
In nutrition, the most bang for your buck comes from prioritizing lean protein, veggies, and unprocessed foods.
When you focus on adding these nutrient dense foods to your meals, a lot of the other problems you face with your diet may balance out naturally. I’m not saying it’s the only thing you’ll ever need to work on… but it could be. If that doesn’t show its significance, I don’t know what will.
10. Complement Your Diet and Exercise
If you want to give your diet and exercise the best chance of success, you need to make sure other elements of your life complement your fitness and nutrition goals.
Make sure you get enough quality sleep. Don’t ignore stress in your life and allow it to build up internally. Have people in your life who will support, encourage, and hold you accountable.
And make sure your sense of self-worth isn’t tied to your diet, your workouts, or the number on the scale. If it is, you’re guaranteed to make poor decisions.
11. (Bonus) Follow Up on the Details
Everything I mentioned in this list is enough to get you started in the right direction. Realistically though, the more time you spend working on these things, the more you’ll need to get into the details of each topic.
Those details are what can make or break a plan in the long run.
It can be overwhelming to try and figure it all out on your own, which is exactly why we’re here, to figure out the details for you. One of the easiest (and free-est) ways to get our help is to sign up for our email list where we send out tips and advice and dig into the details a bit more every week.
You can also reply to those emails for direct access to ask us any questions you have at any time. Click here to sign up.