I believe that health and fitness suffered a bitter divorce a long time ago, and that today, the things that people do in order to become fit are actually far from being healthy. My good friend and colleague, Dr. Lou Pack, loves to say, “Health is something we go through on the way to fitness.”
It doesn’t have to be that way!
Here is what I did to lose an easy 50 pounds in 4 months, and experience greater health than I have in years.
Step 1 - Detoxify and Eat Raw, Living, Plant-Based Foods
This undoubtedly has been the biggest reason for my easy weight-loss and increased health. After switching to a predominantly raw, plant-based nutrition plan, my body began to detoxify at a rapid rate. When we consume raw, vegan foods (uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds); we assist our body’s ability to detoxify.
When we dump toxins, we lose weight rapidly. In addition to accelerated body-fat loss, we experience many other benefits, our eyes get clearer, our skin becomes clearer, our energy soars, and I believe we begin to develop a deeper connection to all living things. I am constantly being told how much younger, healthier, and more vibrant I look. I’ve even been asked what products I use to have such nice skin. People are astounded when my reply is fruits, vegetables, and energy promoting exercise!
In a nutshell, dump animal-based foods, eat a plant-based diet making sure to consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and be sure to focus the bulk of your food consumption on raw, uncooked, plant-based foods. I recommend what Kevin Gianni, in his book “High Raw: A Simple Solution”, refers to as the high raw diet. Basically shoot for 75% raw plant-based foods, 20% cooked plant-based foods, and 5% of “free foods”.
Step 2 - Strengthen the Mind and Spirit
It is just as important to strengthen the mind and spirit as it is to clean up the nutrition, and strengthen the body, when true health is the goal. For me this came about by adding additional stretching and joint mobility exercises, Qigong and Taijiquan training, and meditation to my exercise program. This type of exercise teaches us to become present and promotes the cultivation and circulation of energy. This is essential as stress is becoming more prevalent in both our professional and personal lives.
Any low intensity exercise that promotes energy cultivation and a calm mind, combined with meditation will work. Some people may prefer Qigong or Taiji, some may prefer yoga, or even just deep, relaxed breathing exercise. The key is to find what you enjoy and will make a regular part of your daily practice.
Step 3 - Strengthen the Body
Vigorous exercise that challenges the body’s muscular and cardiovascular systems is essential. I prefer strength training with free-weights; such as barbells, kettlebells, and Indian clubs; and cardiovascular exercise from running, or performing strength exercise in a circuit fashion to challenge the cardiovascular system.
What’s interesting is that I actually backed off on the intensity of my exercise, but increased the frequency. Instead of training really hard 3-4 times a week, I was performing moderate exercise daily. I firmly believe it is better to perform moderate exercise daily then go balls-out a couple times a week. I’m not against an intense workout occasionally, but as one of my mentors, Dr. Ed Thomas likes to say, “Fitness shouldn’t hurt.”
Step 4 - Integrate All of the Above
Once I combined a high raw, plant-based diet, with moderate daily exercise that focused on the development of mind, body, and spirit; the results came faster than anything I had ever tried. By focusing more on cleaning out the inside of my body through plant-based nutrition that promotes detoxification, and exercise that promoted the cultivation of energy, the outside of my body reflected it almost instantaneously. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for the opposite approaches I had tried in the past.
Here are some photos that show the physical changes.
- Bodyweight: 220-230
- Blood Pressure: 125/85 - 135/90
- Total Cholesterol: 220 mg/dL
- HDL: 41 mg/dL
- LDL: 130 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: 135-300 mg/dL
- Bodyweight: 178-182 lbs.
- Blood Pressure: 102/67 - 112/72
- Total Cholesterol: 151 mg/dL
- HDL: 43 mg/dL
- LDL: 95 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: 65 mg/dL
Losing weight and getting healthy does not have to be difficult, as long as you are willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Remember to focus on health first, and everything else will fall into place.
If you haven't checked out my book Abundant Health, please do so. It will give you a more in-depth look at the things I've presented in this article, as well as options on how you can best incorporate these lifestyle changes into your daily routine. I can honestly say that this is the most surefire approach to losing weight and improving your health that I've ever come across-and over my 15+ years in the fitness industry I've seen and tried everything.
Check out my book here: click here for Abundant Health! and please don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions about my experience!
Stay Strong AND Healthy!