Excerpt for Burn the Fat Build a Better Life: The Art of Improving Your Life by Starting with Fitness by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Burn the Fat

Build a Better Life


Copyright © 2017 Kevin R. Ngo All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.



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Chapter 1: Reasons Before Results

Chapter 2: Mindset

Chapter 3: Losing Weight 101

Chapter 4: Mechanics of Losing Weight

Chapter 5: Action Plan

Chapter 6: Bring it All Together


What this book is about

This book is about transforming your body to the physique you desire. In doing so, you will become a different person—a better version of yourself, one who is capable of achieving any goals in your life.

I started my own self-improvement journey by first changing my body from a state of "weak and soft" to a strong and lean physique. While doing this, I realized the power of this transformation. Not only was I seeing the progress in my body but also in my mind. I was more alert, confident, and hungry to get what I really wanted in life.

I soon realized that by achieving this ultimate goal for myself, which requires everything I have, I became a very different person, a better version of myself in every way. Now I can confidently say that I am more discipline, more persistent, and more focus. I began believing that this is who I am now.

People usually act in a manner they believe represents who they are. If you are a person of high discipline, you will act accordingly. When your mind tells you to stay home and not go to the gym, another voice within you will say, “I am going because I am disciplined and this is the right thing to do.”

When you practice this discipline over and over, whether it be going to the gym, doing cardio, or eating the right things, YOU become a disciplined person because you have ingrained this habit into your flesh, your being. This is who you are now. From now on you can apply this belief and behaviour to any other areas of your life and improve it. How do you think this will affect you in achieving your goals? Good or bad?

For some, this may be a load of BS right now, but that's OK. Don't take my word for it; do it yourself, practice this behaviour, and then tell me what happens. This philosophy is not just something you can understand intellectually and be like, "OK, I got it." You have to experience it for yourself. The question is, are you willing to try it? Do you want it bad enough?

I believe you came across this book for a reason. It could be that you are searching for something, something to enrich your life, whether you know it consciously or not. The fact that you are reading this now is a sign—a sign you must continue with. Listen to your inner invoice, your gut feelings, and not the negative thoughts that you are bombarded with most of the time.

At the end of this book I hope you will find some of the answers you were looking for. Along the way I hope you realize that this book is about so much more than just changing your body. It's really about finding out who you really are as well. Just remember, your daily habits will determine the life you want or don't want. So choose wisely to create a habit that will get you what you want and not the other way.


This book contains my advice on how one should strive to change their body as a great way to improve their life as a whole. It is from my own personal experiences and not intended as a scientific study. Please use the information where it makes sense for you. You are responsible for everything that happens to you, so make smart choices.

This book is not a get-fit-quick book. If you are looking for a quick fix like those fad diets and workouts, this is not the book for you. There are no new secrets that you will discover about losing weight; this process requires hard work, sacrifice, and commitment.

This book should not be the only book you should read about transforming your body. I recommend reading many more books so you can have different perspectives on this topic. Then you can decide what's right for you. Take the good and discard the bad, even if it's from this book. The important thing is to get the value that fits your needs.

At the end of the day, YOU are responsible for every successes and temporary failures in your life. Don't point your fingers anywhere else. Know this, accept this, and you will be well on your way to achieving great things in life.

Let's begin.......


    1. You Must Have a Powerful WHY to Achieve Your Goals

What is a powerful WHY? How can I have powerful WHY's? Why do we need powerful WHY's?

Have you ever had a goal you didn't achieve? I sure have. Have you ever wondered why you didn't achieve it? Have you ever achieved a goal and asked yourself why you achieved it?

Answering these questions will allow us to discover those powerful WHY's we need to succeed. So what are your powerful WHY's?

Those powerful WHY's are different for every person. Your powerful WHY may not be a powerful WHY for another person. For example, one powerful WHY for me was to master the art of discipline by going through the body transformation process. I know you have to discipline yourself to do a lot of things you may not want to do throughout this journey. I realized that if I can discipline myself to be successful in this arena, I can be successful in others as well.

This may be a powerful WHY for me, but not for another person. Being disciplined may not be important to them as getting the physique they want. To get to your powerful WHY's, you must spend a few minutes jotting down all the reasons why you want to do this. Why are you willing to do certain things to get it? Once you have about 10 or 20 reasons, select your top five, the “MUST” haves for you to do this.

    1. - What Are Your Real Reasons? Inner Goals vs. Outer Goals

Is your goal for weight loss just to look good to impress other people? Or is it for you to look at yourself in mirror and say, "I love the way I look and I feel great"?

Both are to change your body, but both have very different motivation levels. I can tell you from experience that the latter reason is a much better driver than the first. Remember, if we do it for ourselves, the fire is much bigger than if we strive to do it for someone else’s.

Have you ever suggested to someone that they should quit smoking? How did that go? Not even doctors can tell a patient to quit smoking. At the end of the day, it will be up to that person—and no one else—to finally decide to stop for their own reasons.

My point here is that you must do it for your own reasons. Do it because you want to become a better person, to reach your full potential, to be fit so you can do any outdoor activities you want with ease, to be energetic so you can play with your kids all day long. Those are the reasons that will be the never-ending fire that burns to push you through every obstacle along the way. These are your inner game reasons.

Outer game reasons like looking good, fitting into a hot piece of clothing, or impressing someone are good, but they won't have that lasting power. Trust me, if your sole purpose is to change your body for these outer game reasons, it will be a struggle and you may not make it to the end.

Let me ask you an obvious question. How easy is it to change your body? Not very easy is it? As a matter of fact, it may be one of the toughest things you can do in your lifetime. It requires great motivation, patience, and persistence. I feel that's why when you achieve this awesome goal, everything else becomes easier.

I mean it. You will ask yourself, "Wow if I can do this, what else I can do?"

If you were successful in reaching one goal in the past, then you will likely reach many other goals because you have the experience and discipline to do it. And you can do it again and again as long as you want.

    1. - How to Stay Motivated With Your “MUST” WHY's

Once you have your list of “MUST” reasons, you are ready to attack your goals. This is your wood to the fire to keep you going. It's not a matter of if, but when. When those tough times come and you feel like quitting, pull out this list and read it over and over until in sinks in and you feel confident.

The “MUST” reasons usually affect you and your loved ones. So having this readily available will give you the boost you really need. Ask yourself, is it acceptable to not only let yourself down but your loved ones as well? I know this may seem like you're being too hard on yourself; in a way you are, but don't forget, we are here to get results. It's not a walk in the park. There are going to be obstacles, hurdles, and holes we have to jump over.

I believe the reason we ask ourselves these “WHY” questions is because we're interested in whether it is really beneficial for us. We ask ourselves, “What's in it for me” all the time because it's built into our DNA for survival purposes.

So we ask ourselves, "Why should I eat things I don't enjoy very much?" or "Why should I run on the treadmill when I could be watching TV?" or "Why should I go to the gym when I can sleep in?"

The only person who can answer these questions is you. The only person who can do something about it is “You.” This is why we need a very powerful and compelling reason to do things, especially if things are new to us or uncomfortable.

So again, ask yourself..."Why should I lose weight?" Write down all the benefits if you lost 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 30 pounds, or more. What would you do? How would you feel? Imagine it.

Would you feel more confident? Would you have more energy? Would you love life more? Would you feel more excited about the day? Would you feel that you could do anything? Would you give more attention and love to your family?

Losing weight is about making yourself happier inside for you, not for anyone else. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you will get your butt in gear. It's about you. It's about loving yourself and giving yourself the attention we all need and deserve. When you are aware of this and accept responsibility for yourself and the way you feel, believe me, things will start to change in an incredible way.

Here's a dumb question. Why would you want to make yourself feel happier? Have you ever asked yourself this his question? It's silly I know, but try it. It will actually give you more clarity in terms of your end goal.

Example: I want to feel happier inside so that I can express it on the outside. When I am happy and alive on the outside, I will make others around me feel the same way.

That's clarity! Now the question is, do you want that? I certainly do!

What's the alternative? Would you rather feel miserable, stressed, just trying to make it through the day? Of course NOT. If you're reading this book, you definitely don't want that. You are the kind of person who wants positive change in your life, and you should be proud of that.

Give yourself a pat on the back and say, “I am proud of myself. I am making progress toward creating the life I want, and I know I can do it”. Seriously, I want you to stop reading and really say it, out loud if possible.

Now, how do you feel? Honestly, don't you feel a terrific positive energy surging through your body? Do you feel that confidence feeling? If not, say it again and again until you do feel it.

Here's the thing; unlike most people, I don't want to just make it through the day. I want to live the day to its fullest, enjoy it, and make others feel great just being around me. I know you want this too, and that's why you're reading this book. Or maybe you just wanted to lose some weight. Either way, I don't care; you've stumbled upon this book and it is my duty to help you make your life better than ever before, the best way I know how—through fitness!

When you start to lose weight, you will feel great about yourself. Your brain kicks into high gear and feeds you tons of good thoughts that will boost your confidence. When you have more confidence, you will want to do more things that will make you feel even better about yourself. This is what fitness really gives you. Yes, the by-product is a sexy, hot body, but more so your mindset steps up another level. You will begin to think more positively about everything because you believe in yourself and others. It's basically like you've been given a new pair glasses for life, and when you look through the lenses, you see how great things really are.

    1. Take Care of Yourself First, then Others

What really matters is why you do it. I do it because I find that being in the gym or just exercising provides the energy, the motivation, the confidence, and the mental toughness I need to tackle other parts of my life. If I want to be in control of my life, the results I get are deliberate, not by accident. Training yourself day in and day out, you become a disciplined person. Now take that and apply the discipline to other areas of your life and see what happens.

If you've gotten this far, I know you're serious about making a change in your life, and that starts with your physical fitness. If you've ever traveled by airplane, you've probably heard of the flight attendant going over the safety procedures just before the airplane takes off. Do you recall when he announces that when the air mask drops from above, make sure you put it on yourself first before you put it on your children?

This makes perfect sense, doesn't it? You're no good to anyone if you're dead, right? I know this is a bit strong, but this is reality. You must take care of yourself, your body, your mind, and your spirit first. Then you have the right to take care of others. Don't for a second think that you're being selfish when you think about taking care of yourself first and trying to improve yourself to become a better person.

From my own experience, I can tell you that when you try to improve yourself and become better, some people, including your own family members, will not understand and will say things to stop you.

"Why do you need to lose weight?" "Who are you trying to impress?" "This is not important; making money is." Don't listen to that crap, even if it's from your own family. Remove yourself from situations like this and listen only to your inner voice. Hear only that voice guiding you in the right direction for you.

You know what you're doing. You have a list of reasons why you're transforming yourself...it's so you can better yourself and give more to others. Like motivation, positive energy, and support. Please tell me how this is selfish. I say this because I've been called out before. Expect it and accept it, but don't give it any power. Leave it with the clouds and continue to pursue the body you want so you can have a better life.

To end this chapter, let's go over some of the items on which to take action:

  1. Write down on a piece of paper as many reasons as you can for why you want to lose weight. For you and for others. Write at least 10 reasons.

  2. Keep it with you and read it every day before you start your day. Read it at night too, if you can.

  3. Share your goals with your loved ones and ask for their support.

Do this now before moving on to the next chapter. Pick one item and do it now, then plan to do the others the following day.


2.1 – Positive Mental Attitude vs. Negative Mental Attitude

So what does mindset have to do with losing weight? For me, this is everything. Your mindset will determine your outcome. Meaning if you think you can do it, you will. The same is also true if you think you cannot. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you can't, you are right.”

In chapter one you came up with all the reasons why you need to change your body. You wrote them down so you can use them as gasoline for your motivation. It will give you that push you need to break through any kind of barriers and self-limiting thoughts. Did you know that as humans, we natural revert to negative thinking most of the time if we don't make ourselves think positively? I've certainly noticed this throughout my transformation. Unfortunately, we are just wired that way, but fortunately we can do something about that. We can simply replace our negative thoughts with positive ones and keep focusing on them. When you do that, the negative thoughts will disappear because our minds can hold only one thought at a time.

Positive mental attitude is important because we need this driving force to get us to the end of our goal. Negative thoughts will cloud us and put a stop to our journey if we don't replace them with positive thoughts. When we are in a negative mindset, we lose our drive and motivation to keep going. Thoughts like 'It's too hard,' 'Why am I wasting my time?' and 'This is really not that important,' will start to populate your mind. You must eliminate these thoughts by concentrating on positive thoughts for a period of time. Focus on what you want, the end goal. You need to motivate yourself by repeating motivating and encouraging words every day. Read your affirmations. It's challenging to force your mind to think positive thoughts all the time, but if you can keep doing it, soon you will create a new habit of thinking. And that habit will stay with you for life.

2.2 – Standards and Beliefs

Now we need to ask ourselves one of the most important questions in this journey. Can I do this?

What's your answer? I hope it is, "Hell, yeah I can!"

First you MUST believe you can do it. You must have an unwavering belief that you can do it. If you believe you can do it, you will find a way, and things in the universe will align to help you get there. It is so important that you believe you can do it and be convinced that you will get to the end of your goal because if you don't believe in yourself, who will? Certainly not your neighbour or anyone else.

Here's a good tip to use to help with your belief. Ask yourself, do you know anyone or have you ever heard of anyone who has lost 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 30 pounds? Do you?

The answer to this question is OF COURSE! There are lots of people today who have been able to lose 10, 20, 50 pounds or more. This is a fact. If they can do it, why can't you? They're not better than you are, they're not smarter than you are. Then what is stopping you?

The only thing that can stop you is yourself. Your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs will destroy your dreams and goals. Don't ever let this happen. Harbour only positive thoughts that you can do it and you will find a way, no matter what. When you dwell on supportive thoughts like this, your mind won't have space for the negative ones to come in. This takes a lot of practice, but you can do it. Again, what's the alternative? An unfulfilled life, a life of regret that you did not go for it, a life of less than what you deserve. Is this acceptable to you? I hope not.


To help drill the positive beliefs into your head and body, write down five declaration statements to help you. Look at them every morning and night to keep you going.

Here are some examples:

  1. I can do anything I put my mind to.

  2. If they can do it, so can I.

  3. I have unlimited potential.

  4. I am committed to achieving my goals no matter what.

  5. I refuse to stop and nothing can stop me.

  6. I will get up every time I fall.

  7. I will never give up.

  8. Failure is not an option.

  9. I will never fail because I will never stop trying.

  10. I have all the resources I need to succeed.

2.3 - Begin With the End in Mind

Ask yourself what it is you really want. Be very clear and write down what you want; the path to get there will start to unfold for you. You will notice things you would never have noticed before—all the things that will help you reach your end goal. That is how awesome our minds are.

In chapter one, we wrote down why we wanted to lose weight. Now we need to know what exactly it is that we want, the details.

1. What is your ideal weight?
2. What is the fitness level you want?
3. Do you want an athletic build, lean and strong?
4. Do you want a marathon runner's build? Slender, agile, incredible endurance.
5. Do you want a bodybuilder's physique? Muscular and strong.

You must be absolutely clear on what king of physique you want because the path to get there is slightly different for every goal. How do you decide which body type you want?

Allow me to share my experience.

For me, it was about bettering myself so that I can do what I really enjoy doing. I enjoy being in the gym and lifting weights. I enjoy working out like a bodybuilder. I enjoy making progress in the amount of weight I can lift. On the flip side, I also enjoy activities like hiking, playing tennis, taking part in any kind of sports, and running.

So for me it was about combining bodybuilding with the outdoors. I want a physique that can lift weights but also be very functional in doing activities about which I'm passionate. The body type I aimed for was Men's Physique or the Fitness Model Look. This body type is fairly muscular, but not so big that you're bulky and can't fit into regular clothing. You're very functional and agile. You're strong enough to lift some good weights and can breeze through the outdoor activities without a sweat. You look good in a suit but underneath you're an anatomy chart.

I find this body type works for me. So now that you know how I did it, spend a few minutes writing down what body type you want. Again, be as specific as you can. This will be your goal going forward. One thing I want you to make note of is that this goal is not cemented. By this I mean your goals may change as you progress in this path, and that's totally OK.

My initial goal was to get fit so I could do other things with ease. I never thought in a million years that I would want to compete in bodybuilding. Goals change because we become someone different, someone better than the person we were when we started. Just remember, you are free to change your mind, your goals.

Caution: Just don't do it because it is easier...never do this. I mean it. An easy path is a path not worth taking.

OK, now we know what we want in detail. We have a clear focus. How do we get there? In the next chapter I will share with you all the fundamentals of losing weight and the strategies to help you get there. All I need from you is the commitment to take action. Deal?


In the previous chapter we talked about mindset and how we need to believe that we can succeed, be very clear on what we want, and begin with the end in mind.

To get to your ultimate goal, you must take actions every day. Small ones and big ones, it doesn't matter. What matters is doing the activity everyday to get you closer to your goal.

What I found worked well for me was to have small wins every day, even if it was something minute, like writing down my intention for the day. These small wins could be reading my affirmations every day...it really doesn't matter. The point here is to build a habit of doing something consistently to reach your goal. When you acknowledge these small wins, you will be confident that you can take action every single day. Soon you will take bigger and bigger actions until you fast track your way to the end. This is called a Habit SNOWBALL effect.

How do we create these small wins every day? What actions do we take?

3.1 – Reverse Engineering

To determine what simple tasks I should do every day, I reverse engineer my goals. This simply means mapping out all the necessary steps to get to your goals. First you would write down your goal, then write down all the activities, then prioritize them by sequence and importance, then keep breaking down the activities until you get to the simplest task possible.

Once you have mapped out all the important steps, identify the simplest tasks and make time in your calendar to do one to three items daily. This way you will know what to do and not have to think about it. It's really about making it easy for you to take consistent daily actions. If you know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, it's a matter of using your willpower to act. That's it. If the action is easy to do, it doesn't take much willpower to do it. Doing this every day will eventually make it a habit, just like waking up and brushing your teeth, and it will no longer be a difficult thing to do. Remember, things are difficult before they become easy. Expect this and keep doing it until it does get easy to do.

Now you have clarity on what you need to do every single day. The fact of knowing what to do will give you the confidence you need to achieve your goals. Clarity is power. When we don't have this, we feel confused, frustrated, and de-motivated because we aren't clear on our directions.

The first thing I do in the morning is get very clear on my goals and the simple tasks I need to do that day. Then I block out the time to do it. I organize my tasks by sequence and priority. By sequence involves determining which tasks must happen first before the others. By priority involves what makes the most impact on your goals. Then I go about doing them, never moving on until one is complete. Tackle the most important task first and concentrate until done. If you don't finish the tasks on that day, move them to the next day and continue until the task is complete. By doing this, I always get the most important tasks done first before moving on to the less important tasks.

Try this technique for time management and productivity; stay at it and see what happens. I promise you it's nothing short of extraordinary. You will surprise yourself once you've reached your goal and ask yourself how you did that.

3.2 – Small Daily Habits

One key element to being self-motivated is to create small daily habits and do them every day. When you do this, you are achieving something every day—winning. Most of us like to win and achieve; I know I do. When this happens, we become more driven to keep going until we reach the end goal.

How does this apply to losing weight? For me it was as simple as drinking four litres of water every day and going to the gym every day, whether for lifting or cardio. I did this for so long that when I didn't go to the gym for just one day, I could feel the effect, like something was missing.

Have you ever gone a day without your cell phone? Gone a day without drinking coffee? Or something else that you do every day? It's the same thing. It's WITHDRAWAL from your daily habits because you've built this activity into your routine and now it's a part of you. If you go without it, even for a day, you will feel the adverse effect immediately. My point here is that it's the same thing with exercising and eating right to lose weight. Once you become accustomed to exercising regularly and tracking what you eat, it will become a habit and you won't want to let it go.

Take me, for example. I still track my macros on MyFitnessPal on my phone almost every day because I did it so much during my prep for competition that it is now my habit and part of me. When I eat something it's always in the back of my mind to find out how much I am eating or what kind of food I am putting in my body. Now I'm not saying that you will get like this and become all obsessive about what you eat, but at least you will think about it. Over time you will tend to make decisions that support your goals.

Now you may say to yourself, "Exercising every day is not an easy thing. That's hard. How can I fit exercising into my life every day?" What if I tell you that you need to exercise for only 10 minutes every day; do you think you can do that? OF COURSE you can. People daydream or sit on the toilet for 10 minutes every day, Now, that's a silly comparison, yes, but I wanted to make a point that small wins don't need to be something hard to do. Matter of fact, it should be an easy thing, at least for the first few weeks and until you have created the habit.

The idea of small wins everyday is to create a habit. Once you've created a habit and you do it every day, like brushing your teeth (I really hope you brush your teeth every day), the habit becomes who you are and then it is easy to do. If it's easy to do, you will be less reluctant to do it. You follow me? By doing the easy task every day, you will get to your goal. That's the formula; figure out the easy thing to do every day and do it until you reach your goal. That's it!

3.2 – Calories In vs. Calories Out

The key fundamental to weight loss is the principle of calories in versus calories out. The simple idea is that the amount of food you consume versus the amount of energy you burn will determine whether you lose weight, stay the same weight, or gain weight. For our weight-loss goal, we need to eat fewer calories than we burn. So how do you eat fewer calories than you burn?

First you have to determine your maintenance caloric requirement, also known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This is how many calories or how much food you need to eat to stay at the same weight.

Visit this link to find out: https://tdeecalculator.net/

Note that it is not crucial to be exact; you just need a ball park number so you can have somewhere to start. then make adjustments as you go along.

Now that you have your maintenance number, you need to eat less than that amount to lose weight. How many fewer calories should we eat? To determine this, multiply your maintenance number by 15%. For example, if my maintenance number is 2000 calories, multiplying by 15% would give me 300 calories. Take 2000 and subtract 300 and you will get your deficit caloric intake number of 1700 calories. Eating 1700 calories will create a deficit where you're eating fewer calories than your maintenance; therefore, you will lose weight over time.

There are several ways to eat fewer calories than you burn. The one I use is the macro nutrient tracking method. I use MyFitnessPal and track how much I eat every day by recording the macros, carbs, protein, and fats. An app is also available on iPhone and Android devices.

I know some of you may not want to do this and find counting calories too much work. That's OK; we can use another method. My other favourite method is portioning. Imagine a regular-size dinner plate. All your food should fit on that plate; that's all you're eating for that meal.

Half of your plate should be vegetables, one quarter should be protein, and the last quarter should be carbohydrates. This will equal 100% of the food on your plate. For more information on portion control, click the link: http://huff.to/29IWEdB

For example, I like to eat Costco's sweet kale salad for veggies, so half of my plate is covered by salad. For protein I like to eat roasted chicken breast, so I portion it to cover one quarter of my plate. The last quarter is covered by a sweet potato.

This example shows you a low-fat, moderate-protein and carb diet. For the average person, this is a balance meal to burn fat and lose weight. If you're a bodybuilder or an aspiring competitor, I would advise that you track macros because you need a more precise number.

3.3 – Myths and Fads

There are many myths and fads related to losing weight and burning fat. There are countless diets and exercise programs to entice you to buy. These programs are created to target people who are looking for a quick fix, something easy to do without too much work.

I admit that I have done it. It's in our nature to find the quickest and easiest way possible. This is in our evolutionary brain and that's fine. But once you are aware of this and can change this thought process, you must do so for your own betterment, to reach your full potential. Do not let this way of thinking limit you.

What are the myths and fads in the health and fitness industry? Click the link to find out more: http://bit.ly/29IWh2M.

Some include:
- Don't eat carbohydrates
- You can reduce fat in a specific spot.
- You need to take supplements to lose weight.
- Eat high protein and high fat.
- Eat-whatever-you-want diet program.

There are so many more out there. The point here is to acknowledge that this is reality. There are lots of companies marketing these types of product to people. You have to steer clear of them and never buy into EASY. Nothing replaces hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Everything about losing weight is learnable and doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are many resources that speak the truth; you just have to be more diligent in researching and finding them. Books and audiobooks are a great start.

3.4 – Common Sense vs. Common Practice

We really don't need a special diet or exercise program to transform our bodies. We actually know what we should do; sometimes we just need a little help getting started. The good news is that there are tons of resources out there, just like this eBook, to help you on your path.

We all know that we should eat fewer fried foods like french fries, and sugary foods like ice cream, cake, and candies, but we do it anyway. That's perfectly fine; the key thing is to find a balance. I recommend an 80/20 rule for eating. Eighty percent of the time eat good, wholesome food and the other 20% of the time, you can eat whatever you desire. This works for me and I think it will work for you if you give it a chance and stick with it for 30 days.

The process of changing our bodies can be easy if we do it for a long time and it becomes our lifestyle. Other than that, it's going to be a challenging road. Still, it's a challenge you can overcome with a little of bit of creativity, discipline, and sacrifice. You have it in you; trust me, we all do. We just need to stop making excuses and take action daily! We know what to do, and if we don't, we can learn. Just decide, set a due date, and take action.

Dumb question for you. If you put $5 in the bank and at the end of the year your return on investment was $100, would you be happy? Of course; I would. Give $5 and get $100 back. That's a fantastic return on investment, don't you think?

Now what's more important? Money or your body?

I am going to assume you said your body. If you didn't, this is not the book for you. Your body is your temple. Without good health and physical condition, you cannot enjoy anything money can buy. So doesn't it make sense to treat your body like it's your best investment ever?

Instead of money, put in the right food and exercises every day to grow your body. In return, your body will reward you tenfold for your investment by becoming stronger, healthier, and more versatile, allowing you to enjoy everything life has to offer and to help others. You have common sense; now just use common practices like exercising and eating right to get where you want to be.

3.5 – Getting the Right Help

There is tons of information online to help you lose weight—tons of exercise programs and dieting tips. Use your common sense and don't buy into the quick and easy schemes. Do your research and ask around, but be careful to not get information overload. If you are like me and want a safe bet, to start on the right foot, hire a coach or a personal trainer and learn from them. Later on you can do it by yourself because you will have the knowledge and experience.

I would hire a coach for three reasons:

  1. The coach does the number crunching so you don't have to.

  2. The coach holds you accountable for your progress and results.

  3. The coach has deeper knowledge about this and can help you learn more quickly.

These are the reasons why I hired my prep coach for my Men's Physique Show. I could have done it myself because I am a certified fitness trainer and have experience cutting down to a very low body fat. But we have only 24 hours in a day. With work, training, family, and your significant other, how much time do you think you have left to do your own calculations and planning?

Not much, I tell you. Besides, I would rather spend that time doing something else. I was already training really hard and tracking my calories. That in itself was a full-time job. It gets pretty intense with your mind and body when you drop down to such a low body fat. However, for most of you who don't wish to compete, the most important role of the coach is to hold you accountable for your results week in and week out. It's easy to procrastinate and let ourselves off the hook, but when we have someone to report to, it's a different story. Don't you agree?

Guys, this is so powerful. Having someone you are accountable to and whom you report to can make a huge difference. I know because I've cut down without a coach before. I was disciplined, but some days when I felt down I would take it easy and let myself off the hook. This would not happen if I had a coach. If you're serious and want the best possible results for the time you invest, hire a coach or find a friend or family member who is into health and fitness and ask them for help. Use them as a coach to report to every week. Trust me, they would love to help you. I wish more of my friends and family asked me for help.

Let me ask you another dumb question. What is the most precious thing in the world? If you said your diamonds, your car, or your house, you would be wrong.

Why? Because the most precious thing you have in life is TIME! Time to spend with your family. TIME to go and buy the diamond and TIME to enjoy your car and house. Isn't this true?

The bottom line is that if you can make time for yourself to do the things you love, by all means do that, whether you hire a coach to help you lose weight or a cleaner to help you clean your house. They both save you loads of time so you can do the thing that is really important to you. If it's feasible for you, I would highly suggest that you do it.


4.1 – Strength and Resistance Training

This chapter will give you a basic understanding of food, training, and cardio. I have included many helpful links for more information.

The first aspect of transforming your body is that you must have resistance training. It can be anything from using your own body weight, to lifting weights, to using bands and such. At the end of the day, we need to work our muscles. Therefore, any type of training that makes your muscles work harder than they normally do by applying tension and stress is fine. It doesn't have to get complicated; just pick a simple strength training program you like and go with it. You can always change the program if you want something else later on.

If you want to build more muscle, you're going to have to go to the gym and lift some heavy weights. Here's a great program I've used in the past, Lane Norton's PHAT (Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training). Click the link here: http://bit.ly/1maTVeb.

Just remember to start slow and progress slowly to avoid injuries. .

If you want to use more of a beginner's training program, I would recommend P90x or Insanity to start. All you have to do is follow the program's exercise and nutrition guidelines.

Choose a training program you enjoy and look forward to doing every day. For me, that was P90x. Man, I loved it. The instructor, Tony Horton, is awesome, so motivating and humorous. I would look forward to coming home after work so I could train every day. I believed that the results would come as long as I stuck to this program religiously. Sure enough, they did. Extraordinary results, may I add. I lost over 20 pounds over a 90-day period of training and eating right. You too can get these kinds of results if you find something you like and stick with it. The really good part is that after doing this for 90 days, the routine becomes a part of you and you continue with it. You will feel absolutely amazing and never want to go back to your old self.

It's kind of like getting a chance to eat at a gorgeous restaurant that has three Michelin stars and impeccable service, then having to go back to a restaurant that has no stars and mediocre service. Which would you prefer?

I know, it's another silly question, but seriously apply this analogy to your body. It's like you at level 10, with tons of energy and loving life compared to you at level 3 with low energy and struggles to survive the day. Which version of “YOU” do you prefer? Of course, you at level 10. This is my long way of telling you that when you transform yourself and become physically and mentally fit, you would never want to go back to your former self. I sure didn't. I love who I am now compared to me 10 years ago. You, too, will feel this.

As you progress through your training and eating right, you'll see the results and love it. This gives you the confidence to keep going, and then you will see more results and gain more confidence. Soon enough you will go so far, you won't recognize the person who started this journey. This habit becomes a lifestyle for you—looking great, feeling great, and doing great things. This is where I want to see you go. I want this to be your lifestyle because you will love the new you and you will go for bigger and better things. You won't settle for less.

You have only one body, one lifetime, and one person who can take care of it...YOU. You know what's right. Choose to do the right thing and not the easy thing. You will enjoy much more success if you choose to live this way.

4.2 – Nutrition

In pursuit of the body you want, I'd have to say that nutrition is king. If nutrition is king, exercising is queen. If you master nutrition, you are guaranteed the physique you want.

What do I mean by mastering nutrition? Is it hard? Can I do it?

Mastering nutrition in this sense means being aware of what you eat and why you eat the things you eat.

In this case, we are eating to lose weight. We have to understand what we eat and why we eat it. For example, why would we want to eat brown rice over white rice? A quick Google search reveals that brown rice is better for you. For weight-loss purposes, it helps keep you full for a longer period of time, so you don't need to eat as much. It's also full of vitamins and nutrients as compared to white rice, which has been stripped of its nutrients through the processing stage.

You can find all kinds of nutrition books and eBooks to help you understand food, especially the food that helps you lose weight and be awesome.

Click the link for a suggested eBook: http://bit.ly/2a4YECu

Nutrition definition: The process of eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly and be healthy.

When we break down food, we have macro and micro nutrients. Macro nutrients are the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, while micro nutrients are vitamins and the antioxidant properties of food. I won't go over too much in detail, but enough so that you can get to your goals. If you want to dive deeper, you can always Google it or pick up a book.


There are simple carbs and complex carbs. White pasta and whole wheat or whole grain pasta would be examples. Basically, any carb that is white in color is usually a simple carb, meaning it gets digested quickly, giving you fast energy but not sustaining fullness for long. A complex carb will take longer to digest, but will keep you full longer.

Knowing the differences between them, here's how I utilize them for the best weight-loss results. I eat simple carbs after a strength training session so I can have quick energy to recover from strenuous activity. Your body is depleted after intense training, so you'll need to feed it what it needs fast, hence simple carbs. As an example, I eat rice cakes, any fruit, or Rice Krispies bars. I choose low-fat, simple-carb food. I combine simple carbs with protein right after my workout to maximize muscle synthesis—muscle retention.

Protein is pretty simple. Just eat white meat most of the time. Why? Most white meat sources are lower in fat. We don't need to eat much fat because most foods have fat in them. We need very little fat in our diet compared to carbs and protein. My choices are chicken breast, white fish like tilapia, and ground turkey. I occasionally will have extra-lean beef and ground beef as well.

Most experts recommend eating at least your body weight in grams of protein for optimal muscle retention and fat loss. So if I weigh 150 pounds, I will try to eat about 150 grams of protein. Protein is the building block for our bodies and muscles, so we need to preserve them while we lose fat. The more muscle we have, the more calories we can burn, which will lead to the loss of more weight.

Fats. I find that it is very easy to eat the amount of fats we need in our regular foods today. This is the least of my concerns. I don't really have to try very hard to eat the amount of fats I require each day because everything we eat has some fat in it already. For example, when we cook, we use olive oil; that's a fat. Whole eggs have a good amount of fats. Anything really, unless you buy 0% fat-free food. Just eat lean proteins and you'll hit your fats requirement.

4.3 – Cardio

Cardiovascular training is a very important part of the overall plan to lose weight. Not only does this type of training burn the most calories in one workout, it also improves your heart and endurance level.

Having a consistent cardio routine alongside your resistance training and diet is important to maximizing fat loss. Cardio simply helps you burn more calories, which means a deeper deficit, which equals weight loss.

There are a variety of cardio exercises you can choose from, and each will help you reach your goals in a different way. For our purposes, the cardio we want to focus on is steady cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT).

Steady cardio is walking or jogging at a slow pace, about 65% to 70% of your maximum effort. HIIT training consist of two parts. One is full-out, maximum, 90% to 100% effort for a short period, like 15 to 20 seconds. The second part is a slow, 10% to 20% of maximum effort for 30 to 60 seconds.

HIIT training burns a lot of calories within a short amount of time. In addition, it strengthens your heart and lungs and can help with your weight lifting.

Click the link for HIIT training ideas: http://bit.ly/1Dha7T0.

Click the link for Cardio training ideas: http://bbcom.me/158GrfY

For steady cardio you can use a treadmill, stair walker, bicycle, or elliptical. The choice is yours. I find myself mixing between the elliptical machine and the treadmill and a slow jog outside when the weather permits. For HIIT training, I used sprinting and the elliptical machine.

Variety is the spice of life. Mix it up. Do the activities you enjoy and that can bring results. You can have both. This way you'll continue to do it and achieve great results.

The purpose of steady cardio is to burn calories, mostly from fats and carbs, instead of your hard-earned lean muscle. We don't want that to happen because muscle keeps our metabolism high so we can burn more calories. Without much lean mass, we would burn very few calories as we move around or exercise. That's why preserving muscle is so important when losing weight. In addition, we have to strength train and eat enough protein to ensure that we keep all the muscle we can.

From my experience, doing any kind of steady cardio two or three times a week and one HIIT training a week will do wonders for weight loss. Along with proper eating and strength training, this will help speed up your fat loss.

4.4 – Supplements
The last piece of the puzzle is supplementation. We don't necessarily need it, but it does aid us. The proper vitamins and nutrients can help us recover better, which means better workouts, which means better results. There are a few supplements I would recommend. Get yourself a decent multivitamin, omega fish oils, and vitamin D. I believe these are the minimum to help you with your workouts.

As a competitor, I take these daily to help improve my performance and functionality.

- multivitamin
- omega fish oil
- vitamin C
- vitamin D
- glucosamine (for joints)
- glutamine


If you're like me, you are probably wondering where to start with all this information, right? First things first; you have to decide what kind of results you want. What is your target? If you don't have a target, there's zero chance of hitting it. Be very clear on what you want and be relentless at getting it. Everything you do should align with achieving your goal.

5.1 – Writing Down Your Goals

Decide whether you are going to hire a coach or do it yourself. Either way is fine. Once you've decided, the next step is to write down your goals.

Long-term and short-term goals:

  1. Write down your long-term goal of six to 12 months.

  2. Write down your short-term monthly goal to get to your long-term goal.

  3. Write down your weekly goals to get you closer to your monthly goal.

  4. Write down your daily activities to hit your weekly goal.

For example:

  1. My 6-12 month goal was to cut down to a weight of 135 pounds and be in the best condition for the show.

  1. To achieve this I needed to lose two or three pounds a month. This was my monthly goal. I then wrote it down in positive language (i.e., "I commit to weighing 140 by the end of this month."). Instead of writing "I will lose two pounds this month", I wrote down the weight I wanted at the end of month, as well as how I would feel (i.e., "I commit to weighing 140 pounds by the end of this month. At this weight I will feel alive and strong.").

  1. Your weekly goal should connect you to your monthly goal. If your monthly goal is two pounds, your weekly goal should be to lose half a pound. Again, write it in a positive format (i.e., "I commit to weighing in at 139.5 pounds by the end of this week. This will give me a feeling of confidence that I am moving in the right direction.").

  2. Finally, write down all the activities you can do to achieve your weekly goals. Once you have that, prioritize them and do them each day. Ask yourself, what is the most important thing you can do today to get you closer to your weekly goal?


    1. Exercise

    2. Cardio

    3. Portion my food

    4. Drink lots of water

I know this may seem like a lot of work, but by writing down your target and the activities to get there, you will save so much time in the long run. You will have a plan of attack so you won't have to think about what to do. Instead, all you have to do is take action as outlined in your plan. Keeping this process simple is the key to your success. Thinking too much inhibits action. There's a saying: “analysis paralysis.” Thinking of what to do, how to do it, and why to do it on a daily basis prevents us from taking action. We don't want this. We want to take action and move ahead. This is why having a plan is so important.

Remember, you don't have to be perfect here. You are working your way up to a result, so give yourself lots of credit for doing this in the first place. Instead of thinking that you have a long way to go, think of how far you have come. Be your own best cheerleader and think only positive thoughts that support your endeavours.

5.2 – Creating Daily Habits for Success

Creating a habit is essential to your success. It's like driving a car. You don't really have to think about driving a car, do you? You just do it. You formed the habit of doing it so well, you do it almost automatically. Your subconscious takes over and does most of the work so you don't have to spend energy thinking about it. This is where we want to get your with your fitness habits.

You automatically eat the right things and exercise regularly because you're used to it and you like it. You don't have to force yourself and use every single ounce of your willpower to do it.

Let's say you start to create a habit of exercising every other day. To create this habit, write it down as an affirmation.

Here's how I did mine:

"I commit to working out every other day for 60 minutes, ideally from 7am to 8am. By doing this I know that I am creating a daily habit that will help me attain my fitness goals. It won't be easy at first, but I know that the more I do it, the easier it gets."

This is an example of an affirmation I write down and read every day to motivate myself. It really does work; you just have to be super consistent at reading it every day. Seriously, give this a go. Your level of commitment to doing these small tasks determines how badly you want to achieve your goals.

If you commit to working out at the same time every day, the habit becomes more powerful and easier to do. Try to stick to the time for at least the first few weeks. Soon enough this habit will become a part of you and then it's automatic, like driving a car. Matter of fact, if you miss a day, you will feel like something is off and probably won't feel like you killed the day. This has been my experience. I will never go back to skipping my workout days because I know how it makes me feel mentally and physically. This is a non-negotiable for me.

Remember, getting the ideal body you want will change more than your physique. You will also improve your mental attitude. You will want to develop and grow other areas of your life as well. You will become a person who is no longer afraid to go after the things you want in life, regardless of how big they might seem.

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