If you’re spending hours a day on crunches and not getting the results you’d like, then check last day’s interview excerpt with Scott Colby where I dish out a few non-traditional, total-body exercises that produce shocking abdominal results.

For most of you, the working out isn’t the hard part, but instead it’s the diet and making sure you’re consistently eating healthy. It’s way too easy to slip into bad eating habits, so today I’m going to give you the best advice to keep those high calorie, minimal nutrient foods at bay.

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Scott Colby: Lynn out in Sudbury says, “I’ve been going to the gym lifting weights and doing a little  cardio. So, I was wondering two things. What types of food will increase my chances of building muscle and how much cardio a day should I do?”

Craig Ballantyne: Okay. Building muscle is quite simple – we just want to make sure we’re eating whole natural foods and slightly more calories than we need.

So, I have this little 3-step system for fat loss…

  1. Figure out how many calories you’re eating.
  2. Improve your diet by improving the quality of nutrition.
  3. Get rid of processed food.

If you’re still not losing fat then go back and count your calories. You may have to decrease the calories by 10 to 20 percent.  If you want to GAIN MUSCLE you’ll have to INCREASE your calories.

For cardio, again don’t use the slow cardio programs…

…DO interval training, three sessions of interval training for 20 minutes.

I find that when people go from doing cardio to interval training, they get the most RAPID RESULTS by changing up that intensity. So, that should help.

Scott Colby: Very cool. She also had another question that was more about the mindset. I think it’s always good to have at least one question about the mindset to help people who are having a bit of trouble getting motivated.

She said, “I’m sitting here trying to make a LIFESTYLE CHANGE to reach my goal. I try to educate myself with what’s healthy and what’s not, yet I always find myself doubting what I’m eating and is it really healthy? I try and keep it as NATURAL as possible, but I often find myself getting discouraged and eating whatever is the quickest meal or not eating.” “So, my question is, how do I change my mindset to continue with a healthy lifestyle? How can I better organize myself, so I don’t just throw in the towel so quickly?”

Craig Ballantyne: I think the very simple thing is that SUCCESS comes from planning and preparation. I was reading some motivational stuff today and there was one guy, Frank McKinney, he’s a businessman, but he had a very nice quote. It said, “organization is the key to success.” I think that’s something people will agree upon or at least admit that organization is a very key component to success.

When it comes to nutrition most of it’s really pretty simple to agree upon. Fruits and vegetables are GOOD, some people might argue that’s fruits aren’t, but we’ll show them the research, and then they’ll have to agree.

Eating organic grass fed meat if you are a person who likes to eat meat, that’s something most people can agree upon. Obviously, vegans are going to say that you don’t have to eat meat, or that you shouldn’t eat meat, but almost all nutrition people that I know are going to say, “Yes, that’s an appropriate thing to do.”  Make sure that you don’t eat farmed fish, but you eat wild cod fish, that’s something that almost everyone can agree upon.

Most people are going to agree if you want to lose fat limit your starchy carbohydrates.  Although, what I show in the Simple Nutrition stuff is that you CAN eat a lot more carbs than you think when you’re eating the high volume high nutrient density low calorie type of carbohydrate.

With someone who wants to GAIN MUSCLE, then it’s going to be okay to eat a little bit more grains and a little bit more starchy carbohydrate. It’s very simple.

For the motivation aspect, it really comes down to PLANNING and PREPARATION.

I always talk about Sunday or Saturday being your plan and preparation day where you’re probably going to spend two hours making the list, planning out what you’ll eat for the week.

If you ask anybody that is lean, “What are you going to be having for lunch a couple of weeks from now?”, most of them will probably know. Generally, they’re going to say…

…“I’m going to be eating  some type of lean protein and some vegetables, maybe a bit of complex carbohydrate, depending on whether or not I have that at lunch, or I have that at dinner, or if I had that for breakfast.”

Most people that are lean, healthy and into fitness can you tell you pretty much the EXACT MEAL they’re going to be having three Tuesdays from now – these people are planning all the time.

It really comes down to that planning, preparation and mindset. Again, what I talked about in the last question was the 2-week nutrition education where you figure out how many calories are in all these foods. I did something like this when I was 16 and started reading the bodybuilding magazines, I just wrote down lists.

  • An orange 60 calories
  • An apple 80 to 100 calories
  • A piece of bread 75 to 100 calories

Again, it will only take you 10 to 14 days, and you’ll NEVER have to do it again, because you’ll know it all. Combine that with your planning and preparation, you’re just going to rock it out.

Scott Colby: That’s AWESOME advice. I’m glad we went through that, because I know a lot of people have trouble getting started, and they seem to be stuck. There’s a lot of information out there.  It’s a great thing to do, get organized first and stay supported, keep following some good workouts and nutritional advice like Craig and other people give, and you’ll be on your way, Lynn.

In Part 6 you will see my New DVD set “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” is  more than a ABS DVD Program. It’s easy to follow and I have included more beginner and advance programs. Check it out!

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com

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