Diet and Exercise Tips For Beginners

Simple Nutrition for Fat Loss eBook and DVDYesterday, I shared part one of my interview series from “Fit Pros Against Cancer.” A telefundraiser hosted by Abs expert Scott Colby, featuring fitness experts such as Tom Venuto, Rob Poulos, Holly Rigsby, Isabel De Los Rio, and myself we were asked a series of questions educating people about diet and nutrition.

Today, I’ll share with you an important and life changing tip to help you to lose weight.


Scott: Here’s a good one. It’s kind of a general question, but maybe it will give a lot of people a good idea of what type of exercise and food they should be eating. It just says…

What is the best way for a beginner to lose weight permanently? What kind of exercises and what should I eat?

Craig: Well, the first thing to do is, again, go with the nutrition. What I like to see people do is to write down everything they eat, because you can’t base it on someone’s memory, they have to write it down or people are going to leave stuff out.

So, make sure they write stuff down for at least three days, preferably use something like where they get an accurate representation of how many calories they eat in a day, how many grams of carbohydrate, how many grams of protein, how much fiber, and how much fat. That’s really important to know that information rather than just going to one of the equations of multiplying your body weight by 10 or by 11. Because it’s much more important to know how much you’re eating also what you’re eating and the quality of the food.

So, we find out how many calories somebody is eating, and before we even change their calories, we change the foods that they’re eating. The first thing you should eat more fruits and vegetables.

I get people who tell me they don’t like fruit and vegetable. Come on, you’re not a kid anymore. You’re not six year old, you’re not allowed to say, “I don’t like fruits and vegetables. You’ve got to be an adult here.”  Especially If you want to change your health.

Go to the grocery store, you see probably 50 to 100 different types of fruits and vegetables to choose from. You should be eating at least three to five servings of fruit and vegetable per day, so try to pick out three to five of them if not try ten or higher.

Research shows that by eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, your health will improve, and you’ll reduce the risk of cancer. So, that’s the first thing they need to do. DON’T GET YOUR SNACKS FROM A VENDING MACHINE, but instead eat raw nuts. It could be cashews, almond pecans, and walnuts that type of stuff. Again, you’re looking at whole natural foods.

So, no matter what type of diet somebody recommends; high protein, high carb, or whatever, you can’t argue with any of this stuff.  This is so plain and simple, everyone should know, all you need to eat is very basic healthy foods, and then you can build on top of that.

From there you can add in your protein. If you want to eat meat, that’s fine, but you don’t have to. If you want to eat grains you can eat some. However, again, what it really comes down to is making sure that you don’t eat too many calories.

So, by getting rid of the foods from a bag or a box you will improve your diet. By replacing a bag of chips with an apple and some almonds you’re eating fewer calories very likely 150 fewer calories. Just with that, if you were doing nothing else, you’ll very likely end up losing some weight.

This is the type of nutrition changes you should make. Next if you’re still not getting the results that we want then start cutting back on the calories. However, if someone comes to me and says, “I’m not losing weight, but I’m not gaining weight,” then we find out how many calories they’re eating. We improve the quality of their diet, and they’ll start to lose body fat.

If they’re not gaining weight than all we need to do is just get them to cut some calories. You don’t have to worry about calorie counting if we can SIMPLY IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THEIR DIET. That’s the first thing you should do.

Then after, it depends on what this person’s idea of a beginner is. A beginner might be a guy, who is 200 pounds, 20 percent body fat, hasn’t exercised in 10 years, but he can do some activities because he was relatively athletic 10 years ago. Alternatively, you might get someone like my mom, who just started exercising the last couple years.

She does the Turbulence Training Beginner workouts where she does hip extensions, leg curls with the ball, kneeling pushups, planks and side planks. She does everything almost entirely lying on the ground, but that’s a good enough workout for her.

That is a beginner exercises that we use with a real beginner, whereas going back to the man whom I mentioned, the 200 pounds, 20 percent fat, we might start him with bodyweight squats and even getting into split squats and step-ups and pushups.

We want to do a lot of body-weight at first. .There are two benefits there First of all, you control your body, and you get better results. Secondly, you don’t have to go to a big fancy gym with all those machines. So, that’s why we use those beginner workouts.

That’s kind of the beginner summary. Just go back to basics and get an active lifestyle. One other thing I wanted to mention is by not having to go to the gym and do cardio six days per week, and by doing three days of training only we allow ourselves to get back into some of our hobbies, some of the things that we enjoyed that were active based.

A lot of women come to me and say, “I used to dance. I did tap, I did jazz, I did ballet, 10 or 15 years and I’ve stopped because I don’t have time, since I am going to the gym six days a week and doing an hour of cardio.” So, if you get rid of that, you improve the quality of your training, and you will free up some time where you can go out and do stuff that you love to do and get your exercise in.

You don’t have to be on some type of machine to lose fat. People can get lean having fun doing stuff they love. There are so much propaganda and marketing by gyms making you think that you can only lose fat in a gym on a machine but that’s not true.

For instance, you can lose weight when you’re gardening, you can dance and lose weight, you can do all these types of activities that you actually enjoy. So, that’s another thing I like to tell the beginners, get back to do something that they love, and they’re much happier.

I really think that there’s one other component. I don’t have any scientific proof, but I truly believe that if you don’t like what you’re doing then you’re not going to get the results that you deserve. If you actually find activities that you do enjoy then you’re going to get more results.

I can’t prove that with science, but we definitely seem to see that in people in Turbulence Training where they’re able to cut back on their training. Giving them more results with the Turbulence Training workouts, but also when they get more active in their favorite activities.

Scott: I really like your nutritional strategies, Craig, because they’re really, simple and easy to follow.

There are so many different diet programs out there asking you to limit certain macro nutrients or eat a different way, that’s not really supportive of a lifelong habit, where as if you just follow the natural way of eating foods with single ingredients 90 percent of the time you won’t even have to count calories or worry about how many grams of protein, fat, and carbs you’re getting in your diet.

It’s a really simple, real clean cut way of eating. I think that’s something that people can follow versus some of these other diets that have like 10,000,000 rules to follow. Keeping along the same lines of being able to follow a program and stick to it.

That’s all for today. Join me tomorrow in part 3, where we talk about motivation and setting up a reward system.

reward system