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Look Good, Feel Great : 1 - Seven key principles

Stand naked in front of a full length mirror and ‘let it all hang out’. Now, be honest, are you happy with what you see? Turn around and think for a minute - are you happy with the way you feel? Do you have enough energy to do all the things you want or do you make excuses like ‘oh, I’m far too old for that’ (translation - I haven’t got the energy to do that any more)

So maybe you’re not too happy and want to do something about it. The problem is what? At this time early in the New Year we get bombarded by the media by the latest in fad diets. There is so much conflicting advice out there that it’s enough to drive anyone barmy. Low fat diets, high fat diets, plant based diets, alkaline diets, low carbohydrate diets, paleo diets, the list is endless. And here’s the thing - none of them can agree, but all claim to work. How can that be possible?

Ask yourself this - if there are so many sure-fire ‘miracle’ diets out there, why isn’t everyone slim and healthy? Either they don’t work, plain and simple, or they’re so restrictive and unreasonable that no one with a will to live can stick to them for very long. Most likely both!

So, over the next few weeks, NMTBP will show you an approach that works for LIFE, not just for a few weeks or months. It’s an approach based on fact, common sense and a recognition that everyone is unique

There are 7 key principles underpinning the approach, principles we’ll explore in much more depth as we make progress:

1. Fad Diets don’t work

Diets that restrict or abolish particular foods, for short or long periods of time, do not work in the long run. You’re invariably being asked to give up too many thinks you love, something you can manage for a short period of time. During that time the weight might very well come off, but after a while you just can’t hack it any more and fall off the wagon spectacularly. You pile on the weight again, invariably ending up weighing more than you did before. Then you try the next fad diet and the vicious cycle continues. This is called yo-yo dieting

2. What you weigh is irrelevant

Take a look at any picture of Muhammad Ali in his prime. What’s your first reaction? Whatever it is, I guarantee is ISN’T “I wonder how much he weighs”, or “Blimey, he looks heavy”. That’s because, when you see someone who looks fit and healthy, you don’t think about what s/he, just how good s/he looks

So why should you worry about how much YOU weigh? Especially if, when you look into the mirror in a few months’ time, you see a body you like much better than the one you’ve got now? A body that is more solid and athletic looking than the round, soft doughy mess you see now. Honestly, would you care if you weighed more than you do now if you looked leaner and trimmer, had a narrower waist, broader shoulders (men), slimmer hips (women) and firmer bum and generally felt great? OF COURSE YOU WOULDN’T!

3. It’s all about the fat

Rather than fretting about your weight, you should have a laser–like focus on reducing both your body fat percentage and the absolute amount of
body fat you’re carrying around

WHY? Because muscle is denser than fat. In other words, one pound of muscle takes up less room than one pound of fat. So, by altering your body’s ratio between muscle and body fat, by building muscle and losing fat, you can look leaner while staying the same body weight . You could even gain weight and look leaner. Let’s say that at the moment you weigh 200 lbs and have 25% body fat – that’s 50lbs of fat and 150 lbs of muscle. At
some point in the future, having followed the principles in these guidelines, it’s entirely possible that you could weigh 210 lbs but have just 10% body fat – 189 lbs of muscle and just 21 lbs of fat! Believe NMTBP, you would look much better than you do now!

4. There’s no calorie counting

Life’s too short to count calories. You won’t have to spend time looking up values in tables or weighing and measuring food precisely, or calculating points or any other ‘totting up’ process in order to succeed – not unless you feel a burning desire to do so. Nor will you need a calculator, look up tables or a set of portable weighing scales! These techniques do have their benefits of these techniques, but, given the lifestyle we all lead, it’s just not realistic to expect you to be able to do this consistently. And if you can’t do it consistently, why do it at all?

5. You won’t need to give up anything

Go into a bookshop and take a look at a random selection of diet books there. Or pick up a paper and read about the latest diet ( usually one that celebrities are ‘swearing by, darling’). They’ll have a list of foods you can’t eat for some or all of the rest of your life. Here’s a SMALL sample of ‘red light’ foods in one  - includes broad beans, alcoholic drinks, regular coffee, bagels, pizza, couscous, white rice, tortillas, cheese, butter, watermelon, hamburgers, sausages, eggs, coconuts, raisins and honey!

WHAT PLANET ARE THESE PEOPLE ON? When did we get so precious about the food we eat? Is the best way to motivate someone who’s fed up with their appearance and fitness and who wants to do something about it to START with banning virtually any and every food they love?

But that’s exactly what most diet books do! Virtually all of them involve rigorous food and/or exercise plans that involve set numbers of weeks during which you seem to have to give up ALL of life’s pleasures and/or begin exercising like a professional athlete. You are told what to do, eat, and not eat, just as though you were in Infants School. And, just like infants, you’re very rarely told why!

NMTBP’s aim is to show you that it isn’t simply the amount of food you eat, but the volume, frequency and combination of food that’s important in helping you reduce fat. We want to give you the ability to make your OWN decisions on the quantity, quality and combination of food and drink that best helps you towards whatever fat loss/appearance goals you set yourself. YOU need to call the shots. To us it’s obvious that any changes you make to your diet and lifestyle will be far more effective and sustainable when you make the choice yourself than have it dictated to you

6. You’ll exercise more

In order to lose weight you need to create an energy deficit. In other words, you need to take in fewer calories than you use. Simple, right?

The problem is that creating that energy deficit by diet alone results in losing muscle rather than fat. We’ll explain in much more detail later, but, trust us, changing the way you eat will only get you part of the way there. So NMTBP introduces both aerobic exercise, to strengthen your heart and lungs and burn fat, as well as muscle training to build up your muscle mass. The reason is simple – the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate, and therefore the more fat you burn

7. You’ll take it at YOUR own pace

What is it about 28 days? or three months? Or any time period associated with virtually all diets? It’s impossible that everyone can follow, or benefit form, a diet that is rigorously divided up into set time periods. We’re all different and need to take things at our own pace. so, while the NMTBP plan IS divided into phases, how fast you progress through the phases is entirely up to YOU

Next - Getting started

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  1. Sara Herald

    January 13, 2012

    Hi Gordon, looks good, a couple of typos (You know us improvement types) but you asked…

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