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The 39 Best Fitness Tips the World Has Ever Known

rack of dumbbells

The 39 Best Fitness Tips

  1. You burn the highest % of calories from fat while at rest. Forget the fat burning zone & instead focus on total calories burned. Read more about the fat-burning zone myth.
  2. Use seasonings on your food instead of sauces. The calories you save can translate into fat loss.
  3. Consistency is the key to success. A workout here or there is going to get you nowhere. Lay out a plan & execute it every single time.
  4. Cook your meals in advance. It makes it easier to stick to your diet plan when you only have to reheat and eat.
  5. Add lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber to your water. It adds flavor but keeps your drinks low calorie. Here are 8 healthy drinks besides water you can drink for added taste bud stimulation.
  6. Learn to eat for fuel, not for pleasure. Food is meant to be nourishment for your body and mind. Find a more productive way to achieve gratification other than eating.
  7. There are 1000 reasons why you can’t start a fitness program. Put the excuses away, drop the word can’t, and start focusing on reasons for why you should.
  8. Don’t waste your calories on drinks. Drink water instead, and save your calories for nutrient dense foods. Here is a list of 100 nutrient dense and healthy foods to eat.
  9. No time to work out? Set your alarm to wake you up 30 minutes earlier. Make exercise a priority and part of your everyday routine.
  10. The best time to work out is at a time you will always do it. Whether it’s morning, afternoon or night, choose a time that will keep your workouts consistent.
  11. When you start a fitness program, the people around you will either support you or tear you down. Ignore their negativity. Remember that your goal is to be healthy. If someone has a problem with that, then that’s their own problem. Read more about “why does my healthy lifestyle offend you”.
  12. Don’t make excuses. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, can have the body they want – if they would just knock down the walls they’ve built around themselves.
  13. Don’t be afraid to eat carbs. They (glucose) are the brain’s primary source of fuel, and your body’s energy source for high-intensity exercise. Focus on eating low-glycemic carbs for a slow and steady release of glucose. Learn more about the glycemic index and picking the right carb choices.
  14. Set goals. Don’t just wing it. Decide on a realistic amount of weight to lose in a particular time (1-2 pounds per week, or better yet, .5-1% body fat per week). First, decide on a big goal (lose 25lbs in 4 months). Then, divide that up into several smaller goals (lose 8 pounds this month). Each time you reach your smaller goal, it gives you the motivation and confidence to continue on. Start small, and eventually the weight loss will add up. See why losing 2lbs per week isn’t realistic for everyone.
  15. Your first meal after your workout is the most important. Make the most of it by giving your muscles all they need to rebuild bigger and stronger. For this meal, take advantage of your improved insulin sensitivity, and eat the majority of the day’s allotment of carbohydrates in order to replenish muscle glycogen stores. Also, try to get 1/4th of your lean body weight in protein grams. Read more about what you should eat after a workout.
  16. For your workouts, start with your most difficult compound exercise first. A compound exercise recruits a high number of muscle fibers at one time, and should be a priority in every workout. Make sure you are doing at least one of them in every workout. Examples include – bench press, squats, deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, pushups, and variations thereof. Read more about how compound exercises are the key to building muscle.
  17. On food labels, look beyond the total calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein of the food product. Start focusing a little further down on the area titled “ingredients”. If you start reading the ingredients and there’s a word in there you don’t know, don’t buy the product. Odds are, it’s a processed food. Make sure you know what you’re putting into your mouth. Click here to learn how to read a food label the right way.
  18. It doesn’t matter who’s faster or stronger than you are. This isn’t a competition. All that matters is that YOU are faster and stronger than the previous you. Don’t worry about other people.  Focus on setting and breaking your own records.
  19. Need a healthy snack idea? Try some protein balls. Ingredients: 2 tbsp natural crunchy peanut butter, 2 tbsp raw agave nectar, 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 scoop whey protein powder. Mix all ingredients together and form into 3 balls. They aren’t a replacement for a meal though, but they can be a great alternative for a snack when you go to see a move or go to a party.
  20. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Anything other than water that has 0 calories shouldn’t be put into your mouth. Find out if artificial sweeteners cause weight gain.
  21. Losing weight is just as much of (if not more of) a mental challenge than a physical one. If you can take control of your mind and body, the weight loss will follow.
  22. Diet, exercise, and recovery are the 3 cornerstones to a well thought out fitness program. An equal importance should be placed on all 3 of them. Here are 10 muscle-recovery tips for improved performance.
  23. Eat as many meals as you can at home. Self preparation gives you complete control of everything that goes into your mouth.
  24. Start your diet today – not tomorrow, not Monday. Don’t rationalize your bad eating habits. Today is going to be a great day. Say goodbye to unhealthy food and start right now.
  25. Your workouts should take no more than 45 minutes to complete. The longer your workout goes, the greater the increase in negative side effects (injuries, hormones, etc). Use an interval timer to keep your rest time in check. Read more about why your workout times should be kept short.
  26. The majority of diets fail in the first 48 hours. If you can stick it out through the first couple of days, your success rate increases several fold. Read more about how to overcome your food addiction.
  27. Put a handful of spinach in your protein shake. You can’t taste it, it’s packed with nutrients, and it gives you added fiber. Also, shred some up and put it in your omelet. It’ll have a similar consistency as cheese.
  28. The less experienced you are as a weight lifter, the fewer exercises you should be using. Isolation exercises should be kept to a minimum until you’ve built a solid muscular foundation.
  29. Choose fitness activities that you enjoy. Your heart knows no difference between basketball or running. It only knows perceived stress. Get your heart rate up any way you can. Read more about what to do if you hate exercising.
  30. Your lifestyle is highly influenced by the people close to you. To be fit, surround yourself with fit people.
  31. Track your body fat percentage instead of your weight. Weight can fluctuate wildly and discourage you. Body fat percentages are much more consistent and accurate. I recommend this cheap body fat caliper/tape measure combo to accurately measure you fat loss progress.
  32. Change your workout routine every few months. Your nervous system adapts quickly to different stimuli. Always keep things new to continue progressing.
  33. You can either: (A) Binge eat – be happy now that you’re eating delicious food, but feel bad later after the guilt sets in. (B) Eat a healthy snack instead – be sad now (maybe) because you feel deprived, but feel happy about your good decision later. Either way, you are going to be both happy and sad about your decision. But if you choose option (B), you’re going to look better and be healthier tomorrow. Choose wisely.
  34. Buy a heart rate monitor. Use it when you work out. When you finish a set of an exercise, watch your heart rate. As it starts to come down, begin your next set at a predetermined heart rate (60% – 75% of your max heart rate). Begin all your sets at this same heart rate. Use this method for interval training instead of keeping time. It’s a good way to add consistency and variety to your workouts. Here is the reasonably priced heart rate monitor I personally use and recommend.
  35. Eat at predetermined meal times. Your body adapts to these times, and when it knows it will be getting food soon, it’s less likely to send you hunger signals.
  36. Keep your house empty of bad food. If you want to lose weight, don’t tempt fate by filling your pantry with unhealthy food. If you buy it, chances are you’ll eat it. Don’t buy it in the first place.
  37. Your body becomes its function. Do the activities you want your body to adapt to.  If you sprint, you’ll become a better sprinter by losing fat and gaining muscle. If you eat pizza and watch TV, you’ll become a better TV watching pizza eater.
  38. Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach. You’ll be more likely to buy bad food. Unless you’re attempting the “see food diet”, get your groceries after eating a meal.
  39. Don’t start a diet that has an expiration date. Focus on forming a lifestyle that will last forever.
  • http://www.journeytoonederland.blogspot.com Sunny

    And what would some of these low glycemic carb foods be???

  • Coach Calorie

    you can go to http://www.glycemicindex.com to see a list of foods and their place on the GI scale. Foods that are low glycemic are whole, natural foods. Foods like beans, fruits, and vegetables.

  • E. Rod

    Are all these tips posted by yourself daily on your Twitter account? Or should I say tweeted on your page?

  • Coach Calorie

    Yes they are E. Rod

  • http://www.macnmos.com Mo

    These are FANTASTIC tips! Thanks so much for posting!
    I just retweeted!

  • Coach Calorie

    Thanks for the comment Mo. Glad you like them

  • http://www.theskinhealthnews.com Hakeem

    Jumping mindlessly into a fitness program will not only lead you to failure but will also lead you to discouragement.

  • Krucial kolors

    You guys got some great articles and tips. Thank you so much!

  • Lantana H.

    Great tips. I am so glad I found your website. I’d love to win your Amazon giveaway and that is what brought me here but I think it was really divine appointment to get me serious about losing weight. I need to lose about 50 pounds and your posts are very motivating! I wasn’t going to subscribe but now that I’ve read your tips I am going to subscribe as well. Thanks for such great content!

    • Coach Calorie

      Glad the giveaway got you over here :)

  • Edina

    I’ve really started to focus lately on how much of all this is mental instead of physical. My body can do it; it is my mind that sometimes thinks it can’t. And I love those moments when I push through anyway. :)

    • Coach Calorie

      So much of fitness is mental. Most people see the physical changes and assume that it’s a physical transformation. What they don’t realize is how much getting fit changes you mentally.

  • http://goo.gl/QnUWT Jason

    Forget the fat burning zone. You start things off right. It troubles so much when people get out the heart rate monitor and talk about their fat burning zone. It bothers me even more when you have fitness people telling people about it. Great post

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks Jason. People look at their monitor and see they’re working out too hard and back off the intensity. Why? If you want to burn a higher percentage of calories from fat, go for a walk. Better yet – go to bed.

    • ASCM Trainer

      I also disagree with the fat burning zone, I prefer and see better results with HIIT training. But at the same time, knowing your HR is crucial especially when you’re training for a very specific reason. Certain athletes need to train within certain zones in order to properly develop specific energy systems and pathways. Its as he said in this article, train what you want your body to do. You won’t become a marathon runner by maxing out every week.

  • anita b.

    i agree don’t waste your calories on drinking liquids like soda. instead have a healthy 120 calorie snack in stead
    I definitely follow #4 Cook your meals in advance. It makes it easier to stick to your diet plan when you only have to reheat and eat. SO TRUE and tomorrow I am going to start #5. Add lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber to your water. It adds flavor but keeps your drinks low calorie.
    These are just small changes to your lifestyle adn eventually it’ll be second nature I am hoping to lose 12lbs by March. I’ve always failed at diets cuz it’s so hard to change your lifestlye that drastically but making subtle changes daily it will add up
    imnotarunner at gmail dot com

  • ria clarke

    Great tips, the only one I am having a problem with is tip #6- food is a very important aspect of my culture and the enjoyment of food, not just as a source of nutrition, is very important. I don’t believe in over-indulgence but certainly in enjoying food beyond just nourishment. Just my 2 cents.

  • http://CalorieCoach-contestblogentry Sue Bendix

    Hi Coach,
    I would like for you to add a 44th fitness tip!!! GEt YOUR SLEEP! It needs to be included as part of the overall fitness regimine!
    I really enjoy reading your site! Brillant tips! I am a 55 year old menopausal woman ( who had a thyroidectomy due to a cancererous nodule at the age of 30). I have had to always battle 20-25 exta pounds! One of biggest reasons, I attibute to weighing 120 lbs standing five feet four (along with many of your above tips) is for anyone, any age ” GET ENOUGH SLEEP”!!! Sleep restores everything!!! With lack of sleep, your other hormones take over to compensate…we eat more especially high caloric and non-nutritutional foods..really throws your workout routine (If you can get off the couch from a lack of rest hang over due to blood sugar surge, then plummets,…then, energy stores get further depleted!! I make better choices in food selection and fitness regimen. .
    I suggest meditation/ restorative yoga moves if you are having difficulty falling asleep. Make sure you catching your ZZZ’s!!
    Thank you for letting me share. I hope you and all the other viewers have a Happy and Healthy 2012!!

  • http://CalorieCoach-contestblogentry Sue Bendix

    Hi coach,
    In regards to no.23, is where the sleep should enter in. Adding it to the recovery process then. Agreed, that the three cornerstones Diet, Exercise and Recovery are essential in living a healthy lifestyle!

  • http://evelynparham.com Evelyn

    Hi Coach,

    These are very helpful tips! Very timely for me this new year. I’m trying to make changes and find what works for me. I love you #43 tip. It is so true. If we can just stick with one thing, then we will see some changes.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Evelyn. This is very true. Nearly every “diet” works if you stick with it long enough. The problem is people usually give it a go for a week and their big expectations weren’t met. Patience!

  • http://peaceloveandpetsblog.blogspot.com/ Nadine L

    7. There are 1000 reasons why you can’t start a fitness program. Put the excuses away, drop the word can’t, and start focusing on reasons for why you should

    This was me. I had 1000′s of excuses not to do it, why I “couldn’t” do it. but just before Xmas I sat and thought about it and realized, I can do it, there i nothing holding me back> I have done it before, I can do it again. So I joined a gym, paid in full so I have no excuse not to go. So far so good (I know it’s only been a week, but I am determined that this is the year I will get fit, lose weight and get healthy

    • Coach Calorie

      Good for you Nadine for self reflecting and finding the source of your problem. You are way ahead of the pack!

  • Janice Cooper

    This is what I’m trying to do is dedicate at least 30 minutes or more each day to exercise via walking or doing my walking exercises per my walk away the pounds dvd’s. I’m also drinking lots and lots of water daily.

    • Coach Calorie

      Both sound like good plans Janice!

  • anna pry

    #6 is my biggest downfall, i eat because i love it and then i eat too much of the wrong stuff since i’m stuck at home almost all day every day

    • Coach Calorie

      That’s a tough one for a lot of people. Food can be good too, you just have to learn to make it enjoyable and healthy at the same time.

  • Donna B.

    I’m glad to see I’m following most of these, but I need to work on a few (specifically 1, 3, 9 and 10.). Working out has been my hardest thing, but now that I’ve lost a lot of weight and had my knee replacement I’m planning to really make exercise a priority this year :)

    • Coach Calorie

      Consistency is a hard one, but it’s necessary for long term results. I’m glad your healthy enough to get healthy ;)

  • Judith

    I loved the spinach in egg tip. I add spinach to everything, potatoes, oatmeal, salads, eggs every casserole, soup and stew etc. And you are right if you add a little you don’t taste it. (of course if you add a cup of spinach to 1 egg you are going to taste it.)

    • Coach Calorie

      You definitely will then! I also add it to my protein shakes. I grab a handful and blend it in with my frozen fruit.

  • http://www.southbeach-diet-adviser.com/ Melissa

    Most diets are not a quick weight loss solution. In fact, you don’t want to lose weight too quickly or else you will gain it back right away. While you may be impressed by success stories of people losing 10 pounds in two weeks, understand that for some people, two pounds a week is good news.

  • http://www.transferofhealth.com Tiffany Youngren

    These are such great tips. Each time I read the list, it seems like I see new ideas each time!

    ~ Tiffany

  • http://lertnostraining.com Darren

    Great post Tony. I find that the way that I get the best results is scheduling my routines. Winging it never works. If you can get into a challenge or contest this will also help you stay focused on your goal.

  • Elisa

    Love it, love it, love it! Great posts and great feedback from all!
    Working on renewing ME!!
    Cutting out the Tampico juice from my everyday intake…terrible stuff and full of sugar…who knew!!
    Adding: GYM!!
    I wanna be smiling about all of this in 90 days and thereafter!!
    :)!

  • NaNi

    Hello coach,
    I would like to know why working out more than 45 minutes will have negetive effects as you mentioned in point 27.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Nani, it’s not a definitive number, but more of a guideline. As workout times increase, so do negative side effects such as injuries, and hormones like cortisol.

      • NaNi

        Coach, I weigh 205 lbs and have been working hard in the gym since a month taking a balnced diet for building muscle and loosing weight.I work for about 2 hours in the gym doing cardio and some strength training.working out for 2 hrs ..Are there side effects ? could you be more specific about the harmonal side effects.

        Thank you.

  • April

    Thank you for the reminders, you have been helping motivate me to sick to it. I have gone from a size 14 to a size 10, but only lost 10 pounds. Yet gained muclse. But the biggest help for me is having people to keep me accountable and share success with.

  • janita

    i love your call-it-like-it-is attitude and awesome reminders about living well. so glad to find your site. you rock!!

  • Amy Sommers

    I really enjoy reading your tips, articles and posts. You are providing practical applications for a healthy lifestyle change. It’s not about being skinny but healthy/healthier. Good stuff! Keep up the great work!

  • Kasia

    This is the absolute truth. i have had so many people try to tear me down about my healthy, conscious, and disciplined diet and exercise regime. Honestly, this is one of the best informational pieces I have read in a long time. This sums it all up!

    Thanks!

    • Laura Toth

      Same goes for being a vegan. People seemed very offended by it.

      • Prat

        You see, there’s a good reason for that one. It’s not that I feel bad about myself for eating meat the same way that an unfit person feel bad about themselves when one of their friends is suddenly in good shape. it has everything to do with every, and I mean every single, vegan I’ve ever met acting like they are the most superior beings that have ever lived. I might be inclined to try vegetarianism if it weren’t for the attitude that comes with seemingly all vegetarians and especially vegans.

  • rob zwick

    I am a 70-year old man. Here’s my 5-day-a-week workout: MWF 10 chinups, 10 times up and down a flight of stairs with 8 lbs in each hand and 10 lbs in a fanny pack, then 9 chinups 10 flights with the weights, then 9 chinups and 10 flights then 90 situps and another series of chins and stairs… the workout is nonstop since the stairs, chinning bar and situp mat are steps apart. I end up doing 7 flights of stairs and 8 sets of chin-ups and 3 sets of sit-ups; sometimes I do a few more-or-less of each exercise and the totals are 72+/- chinups same for flights and 200 situps. Takes 45-48 minutes, sweating at end.

    Tuesday and Thursday same format but push-ups (175+/-) instead of chin-ups same stairs and takes 45-48 minutes.

    Any suggestions about if I should add anything to the workout? Been doing something similar for many years. Thanks

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Rob, that’s an interesting bodyweight routine. You’re hitting the push/pull muscles of the upper body, and hitting your lower body with the stairs, but you might want to try hitting the lower body with a greater range of motion. Maybe some bodyweight squats or lunges.

  • Reida Bokhari

    My exercise regime is going fine but I struggle with diet… I don’t eat junk food at all or consume sugar. The only sweet I eat is honey in tea. But I’m worried because I lost only 4 lbs last month. I feel great but I want to up my weight loss by 6 lbs a month. We are Asian so we eat alot of white rice and curry although this his dramatically decreased. Can someone please suggest ways I can make Asian cuisine healthier? I try to eat brown rice but it takes so long to cook and no one other than me enjoys it in my house. I don’t count calories and don’t plan to I just want some good calorie and fat cutting tips… :( plz help?

  • Reida Bokhari

    I want to lose 45kg and I really need some clever calorie cutting tips … I also do not eat processed food at all, only soups curry’s and rice plus I put veggies on everything…!

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Reida, I don’t have any Asian cuisine tips, but I will say that you should be happy with 4lbs in a month. It’s not a race. In fact, you should be monitoring your fat loss, not your weight loss. There will come a time where weight loss will slow and you might get discouraged as a result. Pay attention to the measurements that matter.

  • MT

    # 6 is my nemesis!

  • http://dbakeca.com Dbakeca Italia

    nice tips

  • Richard Lozada

    Any advice on weight gain?

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Tony Schober

      Like what, how to gain it?