In order to get where you want to go, you need to develop a system.
You can’t just rely on willpower and discipline. While these are great in theory, they’re not going to be there every day. Even the most disciplined people sometimes falter. We’re more likely to achieve our goals if we have a structure within which we work toward them.
This is the simple, two-part system I have used to become the leanest, strongest, and healthiest I have ever been.
1. Single-Ingredient Foods
I base my diet on single-ingredient foods.
What I include within this ebbs and flows a lot. But the focus is always on eating good-quality, single-ingredient foods.
This protocol is an easy way to ensure I’m on the right track toward good health, without all the stress and confusion of diets.
When determining whether or not to eat something, all I have to consider is how far removed it is from its natural form. For example, unprocessed meat, fruits and vegetables, and eggs make up most of my diet.
Sometimes I will also have rice — which is single-ingredient but a bit further removed from its original form compared to something like a sweet potato.
This simple system also ensures I stay away from anything processed, packaged, or otherwise modified. It keeps things simple while including nutrient-dense whole foods and eliminating energy-dense junk food.
2. Exercise Every Day
One of the hardest parts of sticking with an exercise habit is deciding whether or not we’re going to exercise today.
I don’t make this decision. I exercise every single day. I’ve already decided, so that when I get to the end of the workday and I don’t feel like doing a workout, I don’t need to decide with my fatigued brain whether or not to get into the gym. I just do it.
Minimizing resistance is incredibly important for achieving goals. You need to set up your system to have minimal resistance — otherwise, it’s not going to happen. Figure out where there’s friction. For me, it was deciding which days I was going to exercise. Now, there’s no friction.
Of course, we all need rest days and we can’t go hard every single day. But you’ll notice my criteria is vague. This is intentional. “Exercise” can be almost anything. A HIIT workout or a yin yoga session. I still listen to my body and do whatever will benefit me most each day. But this doesn’t mean I skip workouts. Active recovery is more effective than doing nothing anyway.