This is something we stress a lot in the Marines: Keep It Simple, Stupid. The idea behind it is there’s no need or use for overly complicated plans. Keep it simple if you want to have the best chance of success. The more overly-complicated a plan is, the higher the likelihood of failure.
I took this KISS principle with me when I decided I had to change my life and get healthy and fit. I didn’t want to use any chemicals, patches, powders, pills, medical procedures, or overly-complicated plans to get healthy. I didn’t want to have to use a plethora of equipment or complicated fitness plans to get fit. I wanted to use the simplest plan possible to accomplish my mission of getting healthy and getting fit.
The conclusion I came to was that the Paleo Diet coupled with push ups and running meet all the needs I had and allowed me to lose over 150 lbs and to get fit. I consistently run sub-9 minute miles, 3+ miles at a time. This is important for me as a Marine and as a National Guard soldier.
The Paleo Diet has a very easy-to-follow set of rules: no added sugar, no grains, no beans, no soy, and no dairy. My fitness plan is very simple: push ups (max) followed by a minimum of a three-mile run. I didn’t start with a three mile run or with 80+ push ups every time I run; I worked up to it. But the point is that it’s doable, it’s fun, and it’s simple. No room to mess things up.
I see people who use product after product and super-complicated fitness plans to try to reach their goals. I also watch them work really, really hard to get the results they get, and while successful, they are not nearly as effective or time-efficient as my plan is. Why? Because losing weight and being healthy is 90% what you eat and only 10% exercise.
This goes against what we were taught in school which is why so many people work so hard to lose weight while enjoying only moderate success. What’s worse is that many of these people end up falling off the wagon and giving up because the amount of work necessary to continue to achieve their moderate weight loss is unsustainable long-term.
I’m not a marathon runner (though I wish I could be). I’m not a gym rat (though I admire those who can push themselves that hard for month after month). I’m not someone who jumps from product to product to try to maximize their health gains. I stick to a very simple, easy plan and I’ve been rewarded with steady, solid results and fitness beyond my wildest dreams.
I never thought I could be so successful at weight loss. Were it not for Whole30 and the Paleo Diet, I would have likely have given up by now. People assume I had to work very hard for my weight loss. Whenever I show people my before and after photos, typically their first response is to congratulate me on the hard work. I smile and tell them that while it wasn’t easy, it was simple and honestly, not that hard. I just had to use discipline, stick to the diet, and stick to my easy fitness plan. The weight loss and fitness came pretty easy after that.
Don’t think you need to sweat all the weight off. You don’t. All you have to do is eat right and move for 30 minutes a day for a minimum of three times a week. I’m living proof that this plan works, and that it’s all you need to do. Don’t buy into the marketing hype that is the fitness industry. Eat right and move. That’s all it takes. Oh, and avoid sodas, alcohol, and pizza. That helps.