Stay Fit and Healthy with low Maintenance : the Dummy Recipe
You're never gonna find me in a gym and even though I will never look like The Rock, I still workout (almost) everyday.
Staying fit and healthy is always one of my main (if not my main) priority in life.
And it should be for you as well.
There's only upsides and benefits to working out and doing your best to stay healthy :
- You're less likely to be sick
- You've got more energy
- You look better
- You feel more confident
- It balance the crap you eat
- It balance you're drinking habit (if you're like me)
But even though fitness is a huge trend this days, I don't think most people want to be jacked and train 10 hours a week.
It's probably more about selfies at the gym and how you look on social media.
Still, you can stay fit and be healthy with low maintenance without spending hours at the gym or sticking to a crazy diet.
Personally, here's how I manage it :
- 1 - Manage Your expectations
- 2 - Find what works for you
- 3 - Easy Steps that work for me
- 4 - Stay Fit and Healthy when you travel
- 5 - Do it for you
- How do you manage to stay fit and healthy ?
1 - Manage Your expectations
And yes that’s the first point !
Because your ability to manage your expectations is key for your success.
How can you expect to look like a guy that go to the gym every day and kill himself if you train 30 minutes every 2 days ?
Truth is, unless you got superhuman genetics, you can't.
And it's fine, you just need to be Realistic.
Aim for the best version of yourself.
Don’t try to be someone else. It's impossible. Especially when we're talking about body shape.
Genetics, Nutrition, Supplements, Routines… there’s a lot that come to plays.
Why want to be a copy of someone else when honestly, you’re just not the same.
Aiming to be a better version of yourself make more sense.
You know where you come from, you know your strengths and weaknesses, you know where to focus and where you need to improve.
So don't compare yourself to others on Instagram (I know it's tempting).
Instead, stick to improve yourself and get harder, better, stronger.
Example : For me the body I would love to have is the one of Chris Heria from ThenX.
I've been following him for a while and love to watch his content for motivation.
But there's no way I'm gonna train as hard as he does and pay as much attention to my diet.
I would hate my life and have to beat myself to death to get there.
That's not for me.
So Chris is gonna do Chris, and Matt is gonna do Matt.
2 - Find what works for you
I’ve been doing mostly bodyweight workouts since 2010.
It took me 5 years with different methods to find what work best for me.
I’ve tried Gyms (on different occasions), Karate, Hockey, Running... nothing get me excited and push me to train harder.
It doesn't mean it doesn't work or it's not good.
(Almost) Every diets and types of workout work... if you stick to it and do it religiously.
You just have to find what work for you, what get you excited and what suit you.
But unless you're lucky and find your lucky star at first sight, you're gonna have to try a bunch of workouts and diets before you find the one that is perfect for you.
And trust me you will.
There's so many options out there, especially this days, it's impossible you don't find something that suit you.
Keep trying, every failure is bringing you closer to success.
And once you feel like you found the sweet spot and manage to get 80% of the results with 20% of the effort, it's gold.
3 - Easy Steps that work for me
Here's the core of the Dummy Recipe to Stay Fit with low maintenance (at least for me).
Those are basic principles and it should make sense for everybody who's in shape or fit.
It's no rocket science, just common sense and discipline.
But if you've never paid attention to your body, what you eat or never exercised before and you want to start improving, here's a few easy and steps that should give you 80% of the result with 20% of the work (Pareto's Principle forever 🤘)
- Train Daily (not hard)
A lot of people believe that in order to be fit you need to kill yourself at the gym, everyday or so.
The more fitness is advancing and we learn about the human body, the more we're convinced it doesn't need to be that way.
Listen to what Firas Zahabi, one of the smartest (MMA) trainer in the world, say about it in the Joe Rogan Experience.
Repetition over intensity.
It's cool if you love to kill yourself at the gym and lift heavy weights, but it doesn't need to be like that.
Instead, find something that you can do everyday, not something that you will do for 3 weeks before you lose your motivation and get back to your old habits.
That's the key to stay in shape and get better.
You need to find something that you're gonna enjoy doing over and over.
Running, Bodyweight workouts, Gym, Pole Dance, Muay Thai... or a mix of different disciplines.
It doesn't matter.
Try as many disciplines as you need until you find the right one(s) for you.
- Avoid Carbs and Sugar
Counting calories, sticking to a healthy diet all the time and supplements seems like an impossible mission for me.
And I’m not sure I ever want to try it.
But that’s fine because I’m not expecting to look like a fitness trainer or a Gymshark Athlete.
What work for me and a lot of people, it's to avoid refined sugar and carbs as much as possible.
Pasta, bread, noodles, sweets, cheesecakes, croissants… try to stay away from anything with too much carbs as much as you can. (and processed food of course)
And it works.
Fun fact : It’s hard at first when you got a sweet tooth but try to cut sugar for a whole week and binge eat sugar during one day only (Saturday for example).
I’ve done that for about 2 months in 2013 when I was doing Tim Ferriss Slow Carb Diet. I get so sick from eating too much sugar in 24 hours on cheat day that it stopped my craving.
Maybe a bit extreme, but it worked.
- Drink (more) Water
That’s where a lot of people fail.
There is an endless list of reasons to drink more water, and you can hardly over do it.
Drinking a lot of water help you to eliminate and stay slim.
It also help your body regenerate, help your kidney get rude of all the bad stuff...
Avoid any sugary drink, milk too and try to drink more water every day.
I aim for 3 liters every day and usually land at around 2 liters or more.
I can see the difference on my body fat if I forget to drink enough for a few days.
And if you’re a tea fan, that even easier and better for you.
Add some green tea to your day to burn even more fat.
- Eat Proteins
I'm not talking about Protein Shakes or supplements.
You can if that's your stuff but I'm not gonna talk about those here.
Try to eat as much proteins as you can during the day, especially after your workout. And try to get proteins from both, animal and vegetable sources (nuts, legumes, beans...).
Not only it will help your muscle recover and grow after workouts, but eating more proteins make you also feel more full and less likely to be hungry between meals.
- Stick to the same diet over and over
That's another habit I developed when trying the Slow Carb Diet that have a lot of benefits.
Not only it make you most likely to stick to a healthy diet as you're not constantly looking for different dishes, but it also make you save time (and less likely to have decision fatigue).
Prepare your meals in advance if you can or stick to the same food joints.
This way you know approximately what your intakes are like and if you can afford this extra slice of pizza this weekend.
- Cold Showers
There's a ton of benefits to cold shower.
First, it's cheap. It doesn't cost you anything or require some extra time in your day.
It also help your burn calories. As your body is trying to heat your body to stay at the right temperature, it burn calories in the process.
For me, it also improves my mood a lot.
I don't know why, but I keep track of my mood with a journal and I noticed that I had more energy and focus when I took cold showers in the morning.
Not convinced yet? Here's a list of all the benefits from the website of the Ice Man himself.
- Take it Easy
The only reason the above is working for me is because I’m not too hard on myself.
It’s Tuesday and we're going to dinner with my friends? I’ll get whatever I want.
No matter the day or time, I eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
That’s why having a routine is so Important.
Because I stick to the same diet pretty much all the time, drink a lot of water and exercise daily, I don’t have any problem eating a raclette on any night and going out til late drinking cocktails or Rum and Coke all night.
Because the next day I’ll be back to the same routine. (Unless I’m hungover and I'm down for a nice pizza or a juicy burger).
- Drink Tequila instead of rum
That's for the rum lovers and all the alcoholics like me out there.
Of course, drinking isn't the best habit you can have but if you do other sacrifices to stay healthy, you can at least reward yourself with a few parties.
Now, if you want to get smashed and avoid to fuck all your diet, Tequila should be your weapon of choice.
I'm not talking about some cheap white tequila that the bars also probably use to clean the toilets.
I'm talking about real tasty tequila, something like Cuervo Especial Gold or Patron for shots, and something like the tequila 1800 Anejo to drink neat.
But why Tequila?
Because tequila is made from agave.
That's a plant that does not contain sugar but another type of sweetener that is not only diabetic friendly, but diet friendly too.
4 - Stay Fit and Healthy when you travel
That's one of the main reason I do bodyweight workouts and don't stick to a particular diet.
Like a lot of you, I'm lazy and procrastinate a lot. (no kidding)
And travel, rain, heat, the lack of equipment... all excuses are good to avoid a workout.
By doing bodyweight trainings and with Fizzup App on my phone, I got 0 excuses.
No matter how small the room I'm in is, wherever I am, I can train.
And so could you.
It's the same for your diet.
I know when you're traveling you eat different things, local food and sometime whatever you can get your hands on.
But when you avoid sugar and carbs as much as you can, focus on getting enough proteins and drink a ton of water, you stay away from doing a lot of damages to your body and you can still control your weight.
It doesn't matter if you're backpacking or traveling for business, with a bit of discipline and this few rules, you can stay fit. (and you should)
5 - Do it for you
That's the key to stick to a routine and stay disciplined.
You have to love the process, focus on the result and do it for you.
You deserve to be healthy, to have more energy, to feel more confident and to love your body.
It's not about Instagram, what people think. It's about you and your happiness.
You're the one in charge here.
You can take the decision right now to stay fit and healthy, no matter what.
How do you manage to stay fit and healthy ?
I'm always looking for new ways to improve my routine and I love to shake things up and try new things.
Let me know how you manage to stay fit or what you've been doing to improve your health in the comments.