zen habits : breathe

The Healthy and Fit Algorithm

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Adam Gilbert of MyBodyTutor.com.

Since I’ve quit my job, I’ve helped countless people change their lives for the better via one word: Consistency. And I want to help you too!

My idea for this post was to make a rule based post. Call it the healthy and fit algorithm. In the most general sense, an algorithm is a set of detailed instructions which results in a predictable end result.

Follow them consistently and you’ll be well on your way to getting in shape!

Remember: Getting in shape is about 3 things. Eating right. Exercising. And doing those two things consistently! Of course, that’s easier said than done but it’s the truth. Getting into shape is not rocket science!

Let’s get right into it.


  1. Eat every 3-4 hours. By doing this you’ll keep your blood sugar stable which is the key and also turn your body into a fat burning machine. Think of your metabolism like a camp fire. If you don’t want a camp fire to burn out, you have to constantly add wood and logs to it.
  2. Never let yourself get hungry! This serves many purposes. It keeps your blood sugar stable, keeps that fire burning, but also when you’re very hungry it’s extremely hard to make good decisions!
  3. Eat only complex carbs. Refined and simple carbs will spike your blood sugar which is exactly what we don’t want. Eat whole wheat bread instead of white, whole wheat pasta instead of regular, brown rice instead of white, etc.
  4. Eat lean proteins! Depending on your lifestyle stick with proteins like chicken, eggs, and fish. Beans, nuts, legumes, and lentils are also awesome choices.
  5. Veggies! You can never have too many vegetables. I say everything in moderation. Even moderation. Not with veggies!
  6. Fruit is nature’s candy. Eat fruit when you are craving something sweet. You’ll be amazed at how little you miss junk food!
  7. Drink lots of water. No need to get obsessive but try to drink a glass of water with each meal, and in between every meal. Your body will love you for it.
  8. Don’t eat 2-3 hours before bedtime. And if you must – make it a protein rich snack.
  9. Don’t eat until you’re stuffed. Instead, eat until you’re satisfied. You should feel like you can exercise right after you eat.
  10. Eat slowly. The best way to eat until you’re satisfied is to savor every bite. The slower you eat the more full you’ll feel. It takes 20 minutes for our brain to realize we’ve eaten. We don’t need nearly as much food as we think we do!
  11. No such thing as perfection! No one eats perfectly. We’re not robots! Remember: It’s what we do most of the time that generates most of our results! If you eat unhealthy make your very next meal healthy! No big deal. Just make that U-Turn! Every meal, every healthy choice, every compromise, really and truly makes a difference. Your body never lies!
  12. Am I hungry? Or am I eating to change the way I feel? Ask yourself this before you eat. If the answer is yes, you’re eating for the wrong reasons! Physical hunger comes on gradually. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly.
  13. Focus on eating foods that make you feel good. What does this mean? I like ice cream and cookies as much as the next guy. But I hate how it makes me feel afterward. Tired, lethargic, unfocused, etc. Instead, focus on foods that make you feel good before, during and after you’re done. You’ll never regret making a healthy choice!


  1. Do it 4 times per week for at least 30 minutes. Seriously, doesn’t matter. Basketball, jogging, weights, push ups, etc. Unless you have a specific goal just make sure to get it done!
  2. The two day rule! You can’t miss 2 days of working out in a row. You can skip one day. But not the next!
  3. Don’t let the “Exercise Monster” build up. When I don’t do laundry for a while it becomes what I like to call the ‘Laundry Monster’. It builds up in my mind and I avoid doing it at all costs. Until finally, I have to. And it’s never as bad as I think it’ll be! Don’t let it happen to you. Follow the two day rule!
  4. Don’t focus on exercising at a certain time. Just focus on making time to exercise!
  5. Make it fun! Listen to music; join a nice gym; etc. Bonus: If you love working out with music as much as I do, only listen to your favorite music while you workout. I’ve actually exercised just to listen to my music.
  6. Focus on how you want to feel. We always feel energized after we workout. Yet, we usually skip exercise when we’re feeling tired! Remember: Exercise will give you energy. Want more energy? Exercise more!

Exercise and eating right pays off big in your quality of life! If you need to spend extra money on groceries, a gym membership, trainers, etc., do it!

Warren Buffet said it best. “The best investment you can make is in yourself!”

And if you’re able to follow these rules consistently you’ll be well on your way to getting in shape!

This post was written by Adam Gilbert of MyBodyTutor.com.

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