The Tough Love Diet

Time for some tough love. It’s tough because it’s true, but it’s still love because I care so much about helping you overcome the obstacles in the way.

First, a damaging admission…I like chocolate. I also like eating snack food for meals (like almonds and cashews…mixed with chocolate).

While, technically, these food choices are still healthy (the nuts are packed with fiber, healthy fats, and a decent amount of protein), I rely too much on healthy snack foods and supplements like protein bars. It’s time for me to take my own advice and get serious about improving my nutrition – just like you are.

So how can we eat better?

The Most Important Nutrition Change You Can Make

The answer is so plain and simple, but of course, it’s not anything we want to hear.


Because we want a magical answer that will allow us to eat whatever we want and still get fitness cover model results. But it doesn’t work that way.

In fact, the number one secret to eating better is keeping the wrong foods out of the house.

I know that’s not the answer you want to hear, but it is the answer that will change your life. It’s tough to have a disastrous midnight snack when you don’t junk food in the house. Your healthy diet starts by making the right decisions at the store to make all of your other nutrition decisions much easier.

But I know, we’re human. And we all too often let the junk food and bad choices creep back into our lives.

(Although I blame my dog. I don’t know how it’s his fault, but it is! He always looks guilty of something.)

Make This List to Make Life Easier

My mistakes are clear. My weaknesses are predictable. I’m sure yours are too. Like many folks, I’ll be able to go a month on a perfect diet, and then I’ll end up unnecessarily ordering boxes of protein bars. While these supplements are an acceptable choice when compared with fast food, they simply aren’t the best choice I can be making.

You need to make a list. Write down your nutrition weaknesses. Next to each foible, write down two healthier alternatives. Now you have two solutions for every obstacle. Don’t lose this list. In fact, keep it with you at all times if you struggle, and most importantly, make sure to implement the healthy choices you’ve identified.

By making this list, I’ve resolved to cut back on my other nutritional vices, namely macadamia nuts and chocolate covered almonds. I don’t need to buy huge bags of macadamias as that only leads to snacking on five unnecessary handfuls over the course of the day. And I don’t need to treat myself to chocolate covered almonds more than once a month.

I’m going to follow my own advice. And if I can do it, so can you.

Whatever your nutritional vice, write it down, identify alternatives, and implement those solutions.

Let’s make a pact to stick to the right choices for the rest of the year.

Shall we?

How to Eat Right When Dealing with Real Life

“But Craig,” you might be thinking, “this all sounds nice in theory, but when you have kids, a full-time job, a demanding boss, and a two hour round trip commute, your best intentions can often get derailed pretty quickly.”

Plus, it’s one thing to be better at the grocery store…but what about in real life.

Well, there’s one more secret to successful eating that will help you stay on track. I used it recently over a holiday weekend that I spent in a house stocked with more diet temptations than even the most disciplined dieter could resist on their own.

I was visiting my good friend Joel Marion to celebrate his birthday and the Easter weekend.

Dinner each night was fantastic. His Father-In-Law Frank made us incredibly healthy meals of steak, salad, broccoli and sweet potatoes.

Unfortunately, Joel has been flavor-testing dark chocolate bars for his business, and he had over a dozen bars sitting in the kitchen. Plus, there were countless Easter Eggs sitting in the kitchen in preparation for the Marion family Easter Egg hunt.

And yes, I had some chocolate. But not a lot, because I knew I would be reporting back to you.

That’s the power of Accountability. It is one of the Four Pillars of Transformation Success, along with Social Support, Incentives, and a Deadline.

And that is the second secret to eating better.

Imagine This

If you knew that you had to honestly report your daily diet to the rest of the world, would you eat that candy bar? That fried chicken? That extra piece of pizza? The extra value meal from McDonald’s? The pint of Haagen-Dazs?

Nine times out of ten, if not more, I hope your answer would be a big, fat no.

Remember the role of accountability with every nutrition decision you are faced with. Heck, harness the power of accountability with every important life decision that you asked to make.

What decision would you make if the world were watching?

What option from your checklist would you choose?

Why The Harsh Truth is So Much Better

I’m sorry I can’t give you a magic pill or secret ingredient to fix your nutrition, help you lose weight, or turn back the clock.

Instead, all I can give you is a steady diet of tough love and truth about what it takes to eat better and make the right decisions with your health.

But those always work so much better, don’t you think?

Those are long-term, real-life solutions to the obstacles that stand in your way. Over time, as you make the right decisions, you’ll gain more discipline in all areas of your life.

By keeping your vices out of reach, identifying your weaknesses, having better alternatives in place, and being accountable to others for all of life’s decisions, you’ll make the right choices when it counts.

And that’s what really matters.

Let me know how everything goes.

I’ll be right there with you taking my own advice and working to improve my life.

Let us know your nutrition weaknesses and secrets for staying on track and having more energy.

[Ed. Note. Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and author of Financial Independence Monthly and Turbulence Training. He is also the co-creator of the Early to Rise $100,000 Transformation Contest. Though this round of the Transformation Contest has closed it’s not too late to get access to all the helpful tools and advice that has helped many people make a positive change in their lives. Get started on your major life transformations today.]