Bob Harper is tired of fad diets that are full of empty promises (and not nearly enough calories!). But he also knows that it’s common to resort to extreme detoxes (like the lemon juice and maple syrup diet Gwyneth Paltrow once denounced for making her “hallucinate”) as a last-ditch weight-loss effort before a wedding or beach holiday.
That’s why Bob’s now putting his decades-long career on the line to share the kind of secrets no one in his industry wants you to know. He swears you can transform your body in as little as three weeks — and make those results last. Even better? His book, Jumpstart to Skinny, reveals it isn’t even hard to do.
“My program is all about getting back to the basics of regular exercise and whole foods,” says Bob. “Which means eating smaller portions of high-quality produce and proteins from the earth, not a package, and making more time to move around.
1. Set goals with urgent deadlines
Add an important date to your calendar for three weeks from now. It could be a weekend away or a date with an old friend — anything where you need to look good. This trick pushes you to do whatever you can, in the healthiest way possible, to achieve it.
2. Go to town on greens
Starting now, you can literally eat this food group in unlimited quantities.
3. Drink water!
Set reminders (an alarm on your phone is great). Keep a bottle on your desk. Drink two large glasses before meals and snacks (for a total of 2.5 L per day). Drink when you think you’re hungry before a snack (we often mistake hunger for thirst).
4. Stick to an easy diet equation
Make sure 40 percent of your calories are lean protein, 40 percent are carbs and 20 are healthy fats. And no complex carbs after breakfast! They’re forms of sugar, and sugar cues the pancreas to make insulin, which can trigger appetite.
5. Focus on what you can do today
Right now, right this very second, is the time you can decide that you are worth it and make a change. By choosing a mindset that supports you, you make everything much more manageable.
6. Flex your mind and your muscles
Exercise is mostly a mind game. Your brain may say, “Stop and rest,” but you’ve got to say, “Let’s go.” Keep moving during workouts. Push yourself, using the power of your mind.
7. Fill your fridge with containers
For Bob, Tupperware is one of the best tools for “thin maintenance.” He says his fridge is stocked with perfectly packaged single portions of fresh, whole foods, making grab-and-go a breeze.
8. Think like the first lady
Bob works with Michelle Obama. And if she has time to work out, then we can all make time to work out. It took her a while to get the hang of certain moves, but she never gave up. Borrow her motto for yourself: Always try your best — especially when it gets tough.
9. Make friends with fish oil
As scientists study links between fish oil and chronic illness, they’ve uncovered big benefits. Fish oil can help with post-exercise soreness (and eliminate the need for any excuses to delay your next workout!). Click here for more on the health benefits of fish oil.
10. Controlling stress is key to good health
Exercise helps; so do other hobbies like gardening, sudoku or art. The idea is to find ample time for anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed.
What habits do you live by to stay healthy? Tell us in the comment section below.