3 (Underrated) Healthy Hacks That 10x My Fitness And No One Else Is Talking About

“Don’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because it’s stormy now doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine.” – Dr. Anthony Fernando

3 (Underrated) Healthy Hacks That 10x My Fitness And No One Else Is Talking About

Losing weight, building muscle, building a spaceship, starting a business, falling in love, and healthy eating are no simple feat. These can be stressful and take a toll on us. Some more than others.

For this article’s sake, let’s stick to nutrition and exercising while leaving the other topics for NASA and Alex Hitchens (one of my all-time favorite movies).

Many people fall short with their goals because they’re unable to follow through with the implemented plan. In the majority of those plans, it wasn’t the plan or a lack of ability, it was the plans faulty foundation.

When I started to take my fitness serious, I became ultra restrictive with my personal life. For a decent amount of time, this worked and I got into phenomenal shape.

But over time, the effects of having a non-existing personal life lead me to have a deep disdain for fitness.

Far too often, we have this goal that we’re capable of achieving but always seem to fall short with it. With nutrition, it can be attempting to go cold turkey on your coke addictions. It could be attempting to exercise for 45 minutes 5x a week after you haven’t exercised in 3 months.

Great intentions and meanings are behind the goal. But, the foundation and execution required don’t match up to the existing psychology and skill set that the person is at.

In a world full of extremes and big moments garnering all the spotlight—it’s tempting to think that these cataclysmic leaps and transformations are the norm.

And that’s where the never-ending cycles of starting and then fizzling out weeks later starts.

By making small changes in our lifestyle, we increase our chances of succeeding long-term with our fitness.

Being involved with health and fitness for over ten years, when I look back at my journey—I attribute 3 key healthy hacks for my success.

1. Focus on adding healthy and positive habits into your life, not subtracting out the “bad”

For most people (including myself), it’s tough to remove things in our life once we’ve become accustomed to them. Subtracting involves changing a habit. It signals that there will be something to miss and long for.

Think about people after a breakup. Maybe they’ve been dating for seven months and then they break up. That comfort they had is gone. Saturday night activities aren’t a known fact since their partner is gone.

healthy hack
The look of someone with an “unexpected Saturday night void”

Cutting out your daily three cokes leaves a void.

When there’s a void, it triggers a feeling of discomfort. At the beginning, few of us are able to handle being uncomfortable.

Attempting to avoid this emotional feeling leads to regrettable decisions (one night stands, drunk calls/texts to the ex, and substitutions of coke for something equally worse but just seen in a different light).

What’s easier, adding a salad to lunch or ditching your grande mocha frappuccino?

Adding avoids deprivation.

Instead of banning your afternoon sugar fix from ever existing, try implementing a couple portions of lean proteins and some healthy fats at lunch. That sugar fix will likely disappear because you’re supplying your body with quality nutrients.

Instead of banishing cookies for eternity, plan on eating 150-200 calories of something each day that isn’t considered healthy. Then fill the rest of the day with quality foods.

Here are a couple of ideas to start with

  • Slowly add water into your life with a reminder every hour to drink at least eight ounces
  •  Commit to exercising for 10 minutes and if you feel good, continue
  • Want to sleep earlier? Start your bedtime 30 minutes earlier for 10-14 days and then reduce by 30 more minutes after reaching the first milestone
  • Poor eating habits? Aim to make the first meal as healthy as possible, and only move on when you have consistency

2. Defaulting to every decision having the long term in mind

Playing the long term game prevents you from chasing short-term victories that are satisfying in the moment but actually distances yourself further from succeeding in the long term.

A regimented 30-day program where sugar isn’t allowed, you exercise every day for 60 minutes, and calories are super low isn’t ideal for the long term.

You’ll definitely lose some weight during those 30 days, but what happens after those 30 days. What about your metabolism? What about your habits? Have you learned what proper healthy habits are? Or have you just been a robot for 30 days and will resort back to your old habits after this period?

The long term game in fitness prioritizes longevity, quality of life, and sustainability.

An easy way to always have the long term in mind is to use these three methods.

  1.  If presented with a question or decision to make and you don’t feel an instant yes come upon you, then odds are, it’s something that you can pass on.
  2.  Ask yourself “does this action benefit me in the long run?” If not, no is the answer.
  3. Ask yourself why 3-4 times before making a decision if there is some doubt or you’re about to make an impulse decision?
healthy hacks
Random but gets the point across

Keep the big picture in mind and those temptations and distractions will diminish.

3. Be strict with your relationships and communication

People can either lift you up or sink you down. You’re either moving forward with your goals or you’re moving backward.

Relationships are important because you become your company (sounds cliche, but true). If you hang around broke people who see the world from a scarce point of view, odds are, you’ll see the world the same way.

If you hang around friends who have poor eating habits, then odds are, you’re going to adopt those same habits and share their mentality.

One of the first things I gather when coaching and consulting is to get an idea of the client’s environment. Are they around people who support their new goals? Or do some of the most important people in their life happen to have behaviors and habits that aren’t conducive to their new lifestyle?

It’s important to assess and be mindful of your environment. Before writing up a new diet or joining a workout program, assess your circle of influence. Is it a positive or a negative for these new goals?

If it’s a negative, seek out support and accountability to counter your circle.

6 Smart and Proven Ways to Reignite Your Fitness And Well-Being

6 Smart and Proven Ways to Reignite Your Fitness And Well-Being

Growing up playing high school basketball, there would, unfortunately, be some games where we headed into halftime down by more than twenty points.

For whatever reason, we just didn’t have it in the first half. At times, we would also go on a losing streak where nothing was going according to plan. This was a rough stretch—mentally, physically, and emotionally.

In life, no matter how prepared and motivated we are, there will be times where we find ourselves getting blown out in sports, getting beat down by the everyday events of life, or falling into a fitness rut.

These times aren’t fun. These times are often caused by being burnt out, fatigued or lack of a proper strategy.

To get back on the right side of things, you need to make a comeback, but that is easier said than done. Being down by twenty points at halftime doesn’t leave room for a lot of optimism. Falling off the wagon for the last three weeks with your health and wellness doesn’t leave you with a cup full of confidence.

When it comes to making a comeback, it starts with building positive momentum and getting small wins.

An NBA team can’t make a twenty point shot. Therefore, obsessing over being down by twenty points isn’t an effective approach. A more effective approach is to break the big goal (coming back from twenty points) into smaller goals (breaking the deficit into bite-size chunks of four points) which will psychologically build momentum quicker.

Aiming to cut the deficit by four points every few minutes is more realistic than attempting to suddenly erase twenty points.

In fitness, attempting to miraculously work out intensely six times per week in addition to being spot-on with your diet is unlikely and isn’t setting yourself up for quick wins.

To reignite your fitness and well-being doesn’t mean shooting for the stars and potentially flaming out quickly. Instead, making a health and wellness comeback is about making consistent and incremental progress.

Here are six ways to intelligently reignite your fitness and well-being without losing your mind.

1. Place your diet in timeout

Sometimes rest is just what the doctor ordered. In the NBA, this means resting your players even if that seems counterproductive to the team in the short-term.

In fitness, this means loosening the grip with your diet.

Dieting over time can be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically exhausting especially if you’re Type A and count every single speck of food.

If everything you see triggers you into mental math and leads to you conjuring up just how many calories and grams of sugar are in each item you consume—you need a break.

Tracking is important and helpful, but over time, this can lead some people to see food only as numbers instead of the plethora of other meanings it has.

Just as you take vacations from work, your meticulous calorie counting needs a rest as well. When you’re in a funk and trying to get back into the swing of things, the last thing you need is extra tasks.

Rediscovering your fitness groove requires proper nutrition so you can think clearly and have more energy, but you can rest on the calorie counting.

Simply being mindful of your food choices is an excellent way to maintain your health without calorie-counting while simultaneously providing some much-needed mental relief.

2. Take it back to the basics

In today’s world, we’re unfortunately transitioning to a philosophy of where complexity trumps simplicity. This is backwards logic.

It’s increasingly easier to major in the minutiae when it comes to our nutrition since there are a gazillion diets in existence promising us the world and some more. There are new and fancy workouts with sexy fitness jargon, but at the end of the day—the fundamentals still reign supreme.

Before we had all these fancy names and rules for our workouts, a squat was just a squat. Before we had our laundry list of diets to choose from, eating whole foods which came from nature while avoiding processed foods was enough.

Reignite Your Fitness And Well-Being
Let your to-do list be for major tasks, not full of minutiae

 

The basics of health and nutrition will never steer you in the wrong direction. Adding more rules only adds complexity and more decision making for you on top of your already busy lifestyle.

3. Think efficiency over duration at the gym

Maybe you’re used to a typical body part workout split that has you lifting 5-6 days a week—this isn’t a good idea right now.

Why?

Your motivations aren’t likely to be sky high nor are your habits up-to-par. This type of split is going to require more of your time and if you’re not in love with fitness at the moment, the last thing you need is a requirement of five 60 minute workouts weekly.

Instead, opting for three full body weekly workouts not only allows you to hit multiple muscle groups per session, it more importantly, frees up your time for other engagements that mean something to you.

As you’re building yourself back into fitness, the main point is doing something (anything that gets you moving) and doing it efficiently and intensely.

4. Get more sleep

We know sleep is important, but yet, it seems we’re moving in the wrong direction. The average adult is getting one and a half hours less sleep per night than the average adult did 100 years ago.

Sleep helps us make better decisions in our professions, helps our relationships, helps us be better leaders, and helps with us being better lovers for our partners (this is important).

Increasing the quantity of our sleep will helps us reignite our fitness and well-being. Sleep helps in this arena by providing us with energy and preventing us from being a zombie on the Walking Dead.

5. Try a new activity

Many of us think of exercise and relegate it to only taking place at the gym.

But, who says that exercise has to be solely done at the gym? Up until recently, gyms were non-existent. There was no such thing as a YMCA or Planet Fitness. But yet, there was still plenty of lean, healthy, and vibrant-looking men and women roaming around the world.

Being in a rut and needing to reignite your fitness serves as the perfect opportunity to jolt a new surge of electricity into your exercise life by trying new activities.

As long as you’re sweating and getting your body in motion—that’s all that matters for now. More specific body composition goals and various performance goals can wait until you’re consistent with your basic health habits.

What are some things that seem fun to you or something that you could include your partner or family with (getting your environment on board is key)?

For some it could be daily walks in the park, learning how to dance, swimming, gymnastics, pole fitness, yoga, and the list could go on forever.

Reignite Your Fitness And Well-Being
Improve your fitness, relationship, and dance skills with the intimate Argentine Tango

6. Reach out to your community

It’s a lonely world out here and even lonelier when we try to go about things by ourselves. No one accomplishes anything in this world by themselves.

Olympic athletes even have coaches and corners of people for accountability and support. Having a community for accountability and support helps you stay on track because we all have off days where we need a shoulder to lean on.

Using a community to help you along your journey can help you burn more calories, especially if they’re are working out with you.

The Power of Broke: What Daymond John Can Teach You About Fitness and Life

Power of broke mentality

It’s 1997 and LL Cool J (one of my favorite artist) is rapping in a Gap commercial.

In this commercial, he was instructed to write his own lyrics (something a lot of today’s rappers don’t do but that’s a story I’ll save for another day).

This commercial was to promote their Easy Fit Jeans—sounds kinda lame now.

What made this commercial stand-out beside the rapping was when LL included the lyrics “For Us, By Us” into the commercial and the hat he was wearing.

This hat and statement of “For Us, By Us” was promoting FUBU.

The fact that a celebrity marketed some designers clothing items isn’t the biggest takeaway here—it’s the mentality of this designer from which we can all learn from.

Who is this designer behind FUBU?

It’s none other than Daymond John.

Many know him as one of the sharks on the hit tv show Shark Tank. But, before he was a shark and invited to give game-changing speeches across the world, he was just another guy from the inner city with a dream.

All he had was ambition and persistence—but those are key traits when you’re trying to change the narrative of your life.

While Daymond achieved this breakthrough in 1997, he was putting in the work many years before. During those years, many crossed him off or thought he was crazy for trying such a thing.

At the beginning of chasing after a goal, there isn’t much validation and justification to show for our efforts and choices.

Money is low. Weight isn’t moving as fast as we want. People are questioning our business decisions. We’re questioning our own capabilities. At those times, the mentality that’s needed for success is what Daymond calls “the power of broke” mentality.

He shares this mindset in his book “The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage”.

The power of broke mentality is “when you’re up against all odds, when you’ve exhausted every opportunity, when you’re down to your last dime…that’s when you’ve got no choice but to succeed.”

His hustle started back in 1989 selling hats in Queens.

Initially, he would wake up early in the morning, sew some hats by himself, tag them and answer the orders that came in overnight. After finishing the hats and packaging them, he would ship them out. Around 4pm until midnight, he went in for his shift at Red Lobster and worked on some more hats after his shift.

FUBU ultimately started to shape into a successful entity once three of his friends joined aboard the mission.

As you can imagine, his journey was full of obstacles and various struggles just as a health and fitness journey will be for anyone (no one is excluded).

But, through those various strings of obstacles is what ultimately separates the successful entrepreneur who creates and perseveres with his company from the wantrepreneur who just dreams.

Those challenges separate the person who wants to change the narrative of their fitness arc despite their environment and immediately network not being conducive for this.

As Billy Ocean famously reminds us, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going”—will you dig deep and keep going or bow out when times get tough.

Pretend you’re a company appearing before the sharks. You need to have a plan, but most importantly, you need to have a mentality engineered for success.

The power of broke mentality extends beyond the boardroom or trying to get a promotion. These principles are the perfect ingredients to helping you succeed in fitness.

Level up your health, business, and life with these seven mentality upgrades.

Mentality #1:  Be resourceful with what you have

Maybe your discipline is lackluster and getting to the gym consistently is spotty at best.

Don’t freak out.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take an honest assessment of yourself and analyze where you thrive and where there’s room for improvement. As Daymond John was trying to make FUBU a global brand, he needed help to make this a reality.

Instead of letting his ego prevent him from doing what is necessary, he identified a need for help and found a partner in Samsung America (who’s a great global distributor).

While you may need some accountability with getting to the gym consistently, maybe your friend needs help with making healthier food choices—an area that is perhaps easier for you.

Everyone has something that they excel at. Use each other and let your respective journeys become a win-win for everyone involved.

Mentality #2: Don’t sugarcoat the situation

The ego is both beneficial and problematic depending on how you use it.

In the early days of building FUBU, Daymond could’ve been stubborn and not ask for help and tried to figure everything out himself. Or he could’ve searched for the one simple business life-hack to 10x his business (no such thing unfortunately). 

In reality, those actions would’ve been a terrible use of time and likely the reason for not achieving success.

Many people start a fitness journey and convince themselves that it’s just this one little thing that’s preventing them from achieving their goals.

One small life hack or tweak to your diet isn’t the solution to your goals. Before expecting to make any progress with your fitness goals, you must be honest with yourself.

Before investing in supplements, ask yourself “do I really need that pre-workout drink or fat loss pills, or any other supplements because I’m not burning fat off my belly?” Or are you just not giving the best effort that you can?

power of broke mentality—supplements
Supplements aren’t a magic elixir

 

Before complaining or blaming genetics for the lack of progress, ask yourself “did I do my best today toward my goals that I stated I wanted?”

If you can’t answer yes, then no need to seek outside solutions for problems that you can solve internally—this is merely a distraction from the root cause.

Mentality #3: Be as efficient as possible

Make the very best use of your time, energy, and actions. Everything you do has a cause and effect. Are those outcomes swinging the pendulum more in favor of your goals or swinging further away?

Whether it’s fitness, relationships, business, or any other facet of life—make sure this asset is under the most tightest of security.

At the gym, guarding your time means utilizing exercises that provide the most bang-for-the-buck. It means measuring the effectiveness of a session not by the amount of reps and movements, but by the quality of reps and movements selected.

Are you getting the most results for the least amount of effort put in? These types of analysis are what leads to success in business and fitness.

Mentality #4: You’re either all in or out

Succeeding in fitness, thriving in business, and having a rich relationship doesn’t happen by dipping one foot in and keeping the other out.

Don’t half-ass your fitness. No matter what you’re going after, put all your passion and purpose behind it—and let the cards be dealt however they may.

The first step to a transformation requires you to believe in yourself. When you’re starting a company, you won’t have an army of followers patting you on the back to pamper your ego.

The majority of people in this world are followers and like to jump on what’s popular. If you’re committing to a full-body routine, don’t randomly switch in two weeks, give it time to work and then assess from there.

Mentality #5: Stop and take time to reflect upon your journey

In the midst of pursuing a goal, it’s easy to dismiss our efforts and any achievements early on.

The average client may want to lose twenty pounds, but so far after six weeks, they have lost 5 pounds. While they’re a fourth of the way to their goal, all they can think about is the twenty pounds; thus won’t allow themselves to feel good for their efforts.

In their head, they’re not good enough yet. I know this script all too much. Despite my book sales and being featured on some of the biggest publications in the world, I still didn’t feel I was good enough.

Why?

Because I didn’t define small mile-markers of achievement along the way to the big goal. I didn’t create a picture of what success looks and feels like. I was always in a “go…go…go…more…more…more” mentality, but never took the time to pause in between and reflect upon the journey.

power of broke mentality — pause and reflect
Simple in concept, often times difficult in execution

 

Appreciate how far you’ve come, the initial challenges you’ve overcome, and where you currently stand compared to a few weeks ago.

You lost five pounds—great. That’s five less than you had a week or two earlier; thus you’re healthier than you were beforehand. Progress is progress. After all, all you need to strive for is 1% daily improvement.

Mentality #6: Don’t let who you presently are determine who you’ll be in the future

We are not our thoughts nor feelings. Maybe you’re not close to being where you want to be, but this present moment doesn’t dictate who and where you can be in the future.

Your future is still in your control. You just have to take the correct actions today to start transforming into the person you want to be tomorrow.

Think beyond this moment. Business isn’t booming yet. Love isn’t being kind to you. You still have weight to lose.

Acknowledge those realities for what they are (remember point #2—no sugarcoating the situation). Today those factors are a reality, but what small actions can you take today to make tomorrow one step closer to that goal of yours?

This is where your focus should be, not letting your present cement your future. Find a way to support your dreams and ideal version of yourself by being action oriented and doing things today to make you better off tomorrow.

Mentality #7: Engineer your mindset for success

One of the biggest traits that many of the most successful people in the world have is this sense of inevitability.

Somehow, someway—they’re going to accomplish their goal. Expect good things to naturally occur. Open your mind to receiving the positives of life.

This isn’t woo-woo talk but instead is helping you engineer a mindset of growth and abundance instead of one being fixed and scarce. Train yourself to catch compliments and trust the compliments being given.

Good things come to those who expect them.

Keep your goals in mind and visualize those goals coming to fruition. Let those goals become your driving force to your daily decision making.

At the end of the day, adopting the power of broke mentality with your fitness requires you to

  • Set an initial goal (ex: lose 10 pounds )
  • Do some research (how can I make this goal happen)
  • Who do I need to become (what actions, mentality, and habits do you need to do in order to make this goal a reality)
  • Remember, time + consistency + repetition = the only way to long-term success (don’t cheat your future for short-term pleasures)
  • Stay persistent (everyone will get knocked down, but will you stand back up and keep fighting)