“I have the wherewithal to challenge myself for my entire life. That’s a great gift.” – Twyla Tharp

I met with Dr. Sears at the very end of January to talk about his businesses. Eventually, the conversation turned to fitness. I told him that I’m very happy with my physical condition these days. I am strong and flexible and healthy. The only thing bugging me is that I feel like I’m carrying around a few extra pounds of fat.

Dr. Sears commiserated. He’s in the same situation, he said. He’s been so busy helping other people get fit and healthy, he let himself get a little paunch. I told him I didn’t believe him, and he showed it to me. He’s usually very lean and muscular, so I was surprised when I saw his stomach. I couldn’t help but laugh a little.

He took my body fat measurements and told me that I’m just as fat as he is. “Does my belly look as big as yours?” I wanted to know.

It was his turn to laugh.

It’s easy to put on extra weight during the holidays and the winter months. It’s especially hard to get it off after a certain point (a certain weight and a certain age). If you let it go for too long, you can get depressed. But if you do something about it, you start feeling better right away.

Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take part in Dr. Sears’ Fat-Loss Challenge. It’s open to everyone – and everyone is eligible for prizes, including a grand prize of five thousand bucks. All you have to do is sign up at his website.

Not bad. I don’t exactly need the money, but I could use the ego boost of getting my body fat below 18 percent.

Maybe you’d like to join me. And Dr. Sears.

Doing this with Dr. Sears will be especially motivating, because he will be competing along with us. And he knows how to lose fat without losing muscle. My goal is to go from 28 percent body fat (my level now) to 14 percent in three months. That’s a lot of fat!

To help us succeed, Dr. Sears will be sending everyone who takes part in the Challenge tips and techniques we can use to burn the greatest amount of fat in the shortest time possible. Plus, he will be having a teleconference to explain his amazing PACE program – the exercise routine I’m using now to get much stronger, much faster, and much fitter in just minutes a day.

He’s also throwing in some goodies – like a fat-food chart, a set of calipers to measure your body fat, a personal log to track your progress, and a copy of his PACE e-book: Rediscover Your Native Fitness.

And he’ll be keeping you posted regarding his personal results. I’ll do the same. Some of the members of both my staff and his will also be sharing their diaries on their own progress.

The Fat-Loss Challenge takes only 12 short weeks. That’s a small investment of time to achieve such important results.

  1. As soon as possible, you send Dr. Sears your picture, along with your body fat composition statistics.
  2. On the 15th of each month, you send in an updated photo and statistics.
  3. On May 15, 2007, you send him your final photo and information.

It’s that simple.

And if you are the person with the greatest percentage of reduction in body fat … you’ll win the grand prize of $5,000 cash.

And even if you don’t come in first, you’ll be eligible for plenty of other prizes. In fact, anybody who surpasses Dr. Sears’ personal body fat loss will win a prize package worth more than $200.

The most important thing, of course, is that you’ll be going into spring leaner, healthier, and with the body you’ve always dreamed of.

When you get those calipers in the mail and measure your body composition, you’ll discover other important numbers too – like your lean body mass. (You can also head to your local gym and ask one of the trainers to measure your body fat for you.)

Now, here’s your first fat-loss tip: According to Dr. Sears, your lean body mass is key to calculating the optimal number of grams of protein to eat per day to speed fat loss. So, once you have your measurement, he recommends that you simply eat one gram of protein for each pound of lean body mass.

For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds and have 20 percent body fat, you have 30 pounds of body fat (150 times 20 percent) and 120 pounds of lean body mass. Assuming you are trying to lose fat, for 120 pounds of lean body mass you would eat 120 grams of protein. That is more protein than your body needs, but, as Dr. Sears says, “That’s the point.”

Giving your body an abundance of protein will trigger a fat-loss response. It’s a very effective fat-burning technique that most “experts” ignore. In fact, most nutritionists sentence their followers to failure by focusing solely on cutting calories for weight loss.

As Dr. Sears explained to me, when the only change you make is to reduce the number of calories you consume, your body responds by decreasing the number of calories it burns. It’s the metabolic equivalent of chasing your tail. Yet, when you eat excess protein your body gets the message that “the hunting is good.” And during times of abundance, we are genetically programmed to burn off fat stores.

On the other hand, when your body senses that “the hunting is bad,” it will make and store fat as a way of protecting itself from starvation. When you cut calories, especially if you cut calories in a diet that’s high in carbs and low in essential fatty acids, your body reads that as “impending famine.”

Okay. So now you have your first fat-loss tip.

Here’s a Web page with all the rules for the contest: here

And for some practical advice and inspiration from Dr. Sears, go to his website and click on “Dr. Sears Articles.” Then click on “Weight Loss.”

Ready to join me in Dr. Sears’ Fat-Loss Challenge? I urge you to sign up today here. It’s free. It’s easy. And there’s $5,000 safely tucked away, waiting for you to claim it.

[Ed. Note: This April, Michael Masterson will lead 25 to 50 ambitious businesspeople through an elite 5-day program that can help dramatically increase the profitability of their businesses. He’ll reveal more than 100 ways you can increase your profits through direct marketing, the Internet, advertising, public relations, networking, front ends, back ends… You name it, he will find a new and better way for you to profit from it.] [Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.