Cut the excuses and change your life. 20 tips from a personal trainer

4 min read

Fitness expert Michael Jarosky says don't go crazy – implement exercise and diet into your life in a realistic and healthy way. Here are his top 20 tips to stop making excuses and start changing your life!

1. Staying fit and healthy is not a ratio

There's a common belief that weight loss is 80% food and 20% exercise, but if you tell somebody that stat they will concentrate on the food majority and ignore exercise. Staying fit means dedication in both the gym and the kitchen. Give it 100% in both.

2. Spot reduction is a myth

Good training isn't about isolation, unless you're gearing up for a bodybuilding competition. You should be performing functional exercises that integrate multiple muscle groups. The more muscles you're working with each session, the more calories you're burning, and all that leads to being toned and slim from head to toe.

3. Pilates, planks, crunches and paddle-boarding – your core is a priority
Your core is your inner muscles that relate to balance. Forget the importance of a six-pack, a healthy core is like the foundation of a house – it's a necessity.

4. Fad diets are a waste of time
Concentrate on portion control. Eat meals such as salmon and veggies. Trends, and new ways to eat, will come and go, but protein, vegetables, real food, less booze, and moving your body works consistently.

5. Sleep and stress affect your ability to get fit

Stress reduction and good sleep may be intangibles, but they are just as important as moving your body and choosing salmon over pizza.

6. Get started early

Metabolism slows and muscle mass decrease with age. Yes, it does get harder as we get older, so it's best to make a 'healthy lifestyle' permanent in your 20s or 30s.

7. Men and women may have different caloric needs but the goal is the same

For both sexes, the goal is not perfection but rather to move well, eat well, and stay out of the hospital. Look better, yes, but most importantly – feel healthy.

8. Make exercise personal

To get that last bit of flab or to tone up trouble spots, change your exercise regime and add more intensity, more cardio, more strength sessions, and change your diet. I remind my clients that everybody, and every body, is different.

9. Avoid late-night snacking

Going to bed in a food coma is not good for sleep or weight maintenance. Throw out bad snacks from the cupboard and freezer. Temptation lurks, but easy to avoid if it's not there!

10. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper

I follow this methodology. Start your day with a hearty breakfast of oats with milk and fruit, two eggs on healthy toast with avocado and half a banana. Fill up with good stuff, and you'll burn it off all day as you get moving.

11. Before breakfast, start your day with water
When you wake up, your body has been without water for eight hours or so. Hydration is so important first thing in the morning. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to kick start your metabolism.

12. Carbohydrates are not as terrifying as their reputation

Veggies, fruits, quinoa, oats are all carbs. Carbs are required for energy. I wouldn't strip your diet of bread and noodles, but remember balance. Choose healthier bread and pasta options that contain nutrients instead of just processed 'bulk' with butter and sauce.

13. High intensity equals results

High intensity gym training that mixes cardio and weight bearing activities is best. However, if you don't like the gym, I can email you 20 high intensity circuits that only require a skipping rope and two weights that will achieve the same, toned results as any gym program.

14. Fitness apps, watches, bands… whatever it takes

Will robots and apps be the turning point to end this war on obesity? I don't think we need more gadgets, analysis, or dependence on technology in our lives. However, if your FitBit buzzes at 8pm and tells you to do another 1,000 steps... and you get up and move? Great.

15. Patience is your most overlooked asset

We live in an era of 'now'. I want food now. Game of Thrones, now. The worst way to go about getting a toned, healthy look is to think you can have it now. Change takes time, and patience. Everybody is motivated on day one. It's weeks two, three, and four that create change. You've not reached the finish line after a month, but rather the starting line to a healthier lifestyle.

16. Skip the supplements -- you're fine on the protein front

Why do you need protein supplements? Whether you're healthy or unhealthy, it's very rare for an individual living in the Western world to be protein deficient.

17. Superfoods are mere marketing jargon

"Salmon is super, and so is broccoli. If it grows - if it's been alive - then it's pretty super for us to eat.

18. Look beyond perfection, to a sustainable lifestyle

Many people are unrealistic and want a body they see in movies or in magazines. The goal should be to feel better, look better, stay out of the hospital... and have more positive, healthy energy.

19. Hold yourself accountable
We live in a beautiful country where we have space to run and an ocean to swim in. How we are so overweight is beyond me. We all need to do more. You are the boss of your body. How are you doing as the CEO?

20. Michael's mantra
Eat well. Move with intensity. Be patient. Cut the excuses out of your lifestyle... and enjoy a few beers or wines on a Saturday night.

A qualified accountant with a Masters in Economics, Michael travelled the world as a strategy consultant, until one day he found himself on his living room floor in Sydney. Fat. Naked. And with a hangover that would kill a dinosaur. He made some lifestyle changes, and wrote a diary to keep himself committed. That became his book: 40 Days as a City Caveman. He’s never looked back and now is dedicated to helping people do the same.

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This information is current as at 15/08/2016.

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Information current as at 26th May, 2015. These projections are predictive. Whilst we have used every effort to ensure that the assumptions on which the projections are based are reasonable, the projections may be based on incorrect assumptions or may not take into account known or unknown risks and uncertainties. The actual results may differ materially from these projections.