6 Real Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science

6 Real Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science

The potential benefits of fasting are numerous and powerful.

From curing Diabetes to helping prevent cancer, fasting has tremendous potential.

Yet most people have never even fasted for longer than 24 hours.

*Always consult your doctor before fasting or beginning any new diet or exercise program. This artile is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition (have to say it).

Let’s take a look at why fasting is so incredible and how it can dramatically improve your overall health and wellness.

First, though, let’s take a quick look at why this is so important and relevant. (or just skip ahead if you wish)

Why is Our Society So Sick?

fasting benefits

Here are a few shocking statistics about our current society:

  • 1 out of 5 deaths in the US are from heart disease. Heart disease was rare pre-1900.
  • Roughly 40% of the US population are diabetic or pre-diabetic!
  • Over 40% of the US are obese, an 11% increase since 2000.
  • Average testosterone in men has decreased over the past several decades significantly (see here) (and here)

Our Food is Killing Us

The explanation for all of this illness is not complicated.

There are 2 primary culprits that are responsible for almost all of it:

  • Insulin Resistance (from sugars and processed carbohydrates)
  • Inflammation/oxidation from Industrial Oils (vegetable seed oils)
  • A third would be chemicals in plastics and processed foods, but the above two are (in my opinion) the worst.

Scroll through this post below from my IG if you like for some more info on Vegetable Seed Oils.

Insulin Resistance and Inflammation

fasting and insulin resistance

The two worst things we have going on are insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.

This is literally the origin and cause of the majority of heart disease, diabetes, cancers and many other illnesses that are rampant in our society.

Here’s a study from UAB showing that 40% of young Americans are already becoming insulin resistant. 40%!

How this isn’t viewed as a health epidemic is a true mystery of our times and is going to have major consequences in the not-too-distant future.

And most importantly, it can all be avoided through proper eating (and fasting.)

Straight from one study on PubMed:

Overconsumption of food with such eating patterns often leads to metabolic morbidities (insulin resistance, excessive accumulation of visceral fat, etc.), particularly when associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Because animals, including humans, evolved in environments where food was relatively scarce, they developed numerous adaptations that enabled them to function at a high level, both physically and cognitively, when in a food-deprived/fasted state.”

Having constantly elevated insulin levels is NOT natural for the body and is highly undesirable and toxic.

Coupled with constant inflammation, our lipids get thrown into chaos and this environment within our body wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular system (atherosclerosis and “hardening” of the arteries.)

Multiply this by 10-20 years of damage, and the stage is set for all things bad.

For a good read on cholesterol, check this post out.

We Were Designed for Scarcity, NOT Overindulgence.

fasting benefits and scarcity

Our ancestors evolved genetically over hundreds of thousands of generations to handle scarcity.

Going days without food was the norm for a very long time, and we’ve adapted genetically to THAT.

It’s only been a handful of generations where we have food in such abundance.

And an even smaller fraction where we have sugar-filled, processed foods everywhere.

Bottom line: our genetics are not capable of properly dealing with the way (and the things) that we’re eating.

The result is, of course, disease.


In 2016, Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize for his work on Autophagy.

When we have scarcity, our body naturally shifts into ketosis (burning fat for fuel).

After prolonged time without food (more than a day), we also begin a process called Autophagy.

Autophagy means “self-eating.”

The body begins to recycle old, damaged proteins and DNA.

Think of this as a way for the body to cleanse and purge itself of old and damaged, toxic material.

Autophagy has implications for treating and preventing cancers and other diseases like alzheimers, anti-aging, and much more.

6 Real Benefits of Fasting

fast for weight loss

1. Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Easily one of the most important benefits of fasting.

Improved insulin sensitivity can reduce your risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other morbidities.

Your blood pressure and triglycerides can improve. and symptoms of depression can potentially be alleviated (1).

All of this is due to the fact that we are simply not designed to be insulin resistant.

We’ve built up insulin resistance through the modern industrialized diet full of sugar, seed oils and chemicals.

Fasting will allow your glucose and insulin levels to drop, which will be soothing to the body and allow you to re-sensitize to insulin over time.

Both intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting can reap this benefit.

2. Prevent and Possibly Cure Some Cancers

Fasting has been shown to delay the growth of tumors in breast cancer (see here) and brain tumors (see here), as well as preventing their reoccurrence.

There are many different pathways that fasting can act on to achieve this.

Fasting can naturally reduce insulin and IGF-1, which can slow the growth of tumors.

Through autophagy, fasting can also cause the body to “eat” damaged cells before they become problematic.

Starving Cancer

Tumors often rely on glucose to survive and grow.

Fasting, especially longer duration fasts, will naturally lower glucose levels as the body shifts to ketosis, thus essentially “starving” the tumor of its preferred fuel source.

This is known as the “Anti-Warburg effect” of fasting.

There are numerous accounts of people completely ridding their body of cancer through prolonged fasting.

Animal studies have also shown that fasting can have potent anti-cancer effects:

According to another study:

“Periodic fasting or FMDs consistently show powerful anticancer effects in mouse cancer models including the ability to potentiate chemoradiotherapy and TKIs and to trigger anticancer immunity.”

3. Fasting is Anti-inflammatory

foods to lower cholesterol naturally

Inflammation increases risk for many diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and others.

Studies have consistently shown that fasting results in a decrease in inflammatory markers. (see here)

Inflammation is not a natural state for the body to constantly be in.

It is the result of living against our nature and genetics.

Again, we are designed for scarcity, NOT overindulgence.

We have not adapted to eating constant sugar and inflammatory, processed oils and foods.

Fasting can provide relief to the constant cycle of inflammation and lower our risk for many diseases.

I also highly recommend getting a quality omega-3 supplement as well to further reduce inflammation and improve your lipids.

I’ve had great results with cod liver oil, and I very highly recommend the brand below as one of the highest quality I’ve found.

4. Stem Cells and Anti-aging.

A fascinating study by MIT shows that age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24 hour fast.

Stem cells are the body’s building blocks for all of our organs and tissues.

As we age, we lose the ability to regenerate, thus accumulating damage, also known as aging.

Fasting seems to stimulate stem cell production. This boosts the body’s ability to regenerate.

fasting and stem cells

Caloric restriction is linked to longevity in both humans and animals.

It’s possible that stem cell regeneration plays a significant role in this phenomenon.

5. Fasting can Make You Live Longer

We know that caloric restriction leads to a longer lifespan in both humans and animals.

We don’t know the exact mechanism for this, but the theories are very interesting.

Some believe that this is an adaptation billions of years old from prokaryotes (single-cell organisms) trying to survive amongst very limited resources.

We can view this today by observing that E. Coli will survive 4 times longer when given a calorie free medium vs. a calorie dense medium.

Coupled with the reduced insulin, inflammation and oxidation seen with fasting, there’s a very strong case that it is highly conducive to living longer.

6. Fasting can Protect the Brain

fasted brain scan

Several animal studies have concluded that fasting and low-calorie diets can delay cognitive decline.

Smaller human studies have also shown similar results.

It is known that diabetics have about twice the risk for Alzheimer’s, so we can reasonably assume that fasting will have a positive effect.

Fasting is possibly the best remedy for insulin resistance, so logically this makes a lot of sense.

A reduction in inflammation and an increased reliance on fat (ketones) also appear to be highly beneficial to the brain.

Many people swear by increased mental clarity even several days into an extended fast.

While we are still learning about how fasting affects the brain, it appears there may be significant neuroprotective benefit.

Final Thoughts and Recap

If one thing is clear in our current society, it’s that we are extremely unhealthy overall.

Obesity, insulin resistance, cancer and heart disease are all being caused by what we consume every day.

Fasting is one tool you can incorporate into your life to combat this trend and reclaim your natural health.

Combined with a diet free of sugars, industrial oils and processed foods, you’ll have a simple and powerful plan of attack to stay healthy, live longer and feel better.

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

If you’re searching for how to lower cholesterol naturally, you’ve come to the right place.

If you like, you can scroll straight down to the diet list of foods and supplements that naturally lower cholesterol.

But I do recommend reading the whole article to get a full picture of the problem and solution.

I’ve searched through research and listened to many experts who are on the cutting edge of this topic.

I’ve also experimented on myself after discovering my lipids were a mess.

This article is what I’ve discovered to be most useful and important.

*Note, I am not a doctor. This article is my opinion based on what I’ve seen and experienced and is not medical advice. You should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements, making dietary changes, or analyzing lab results.

There are some affiliate links in this article. All are products I’ve tried and believe can benefit you

Ok, that’s out of the way. Now let’s move on.

Why I’m Passionate About this Topic

A while back, I got some deep bloodwork done through a company called Marek Health.

I’d never really paid much attention to my cholesterol before, and assumed I was in great health.

I eat well (I thought), work out all the time, and feel good.

By outward appearances, I looked perfectly healthy and strong.

The results from the bloodwork shocked me.

My lipids (cholesterol) were a mess, my glucose levels were high and by all measures I was at a high risk for cardiovascular disease and pre-diabetes.

This led me down a path of getting as much information as I could to fix the problem asap.

And that’s exactly what I did.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is essentially a type of lipid (fat). It is a waxy substance that is made by the liver.

Cholesterol is made by the body because it is extremely important.

It is used by the body for everything from making hormones, to creating new cells.

The first thing to understand is that cholesterol is not “bad.”

It is actually vital, and you literally could not survive without it.

In fact, there are studies showing that certain types of cholesterol can be protective against diseases like Alzheimers.

The Framingham Study

Most of the current beliefs surrounding Cholesterol come from what is known as the Framingham Study.

The conclusion of this study was essentially that high cholesterol is bad and is predictor of heart disease.

This is known as the “lipid hypothesis” of heart disease.

The study further divided cholesterol into “good” HDL cholesterol, and “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Major Flaws and Ulterior Motives

foods to lower cholesterol naturally

As with any study, it is very important not to just take its conclusions as objective truth.

The Framingham study has many flaws.

A great critique of it can be found here in more depth if you want to go deep down the rabbit hole.

From how it was funded, to the bias of those carrying out the study, to the fact that it’s a purely observational study (which can never be used to prove causation).

Despite many shortcomings, this study is still the reason your doctor will put you on statin drugs with an outdated and misinterpreted cholesterol test.

Statin drugs are one of the best-selling drugs on the market, and one of the biggest money-makers for pharmaceutical companies.

So obviously, contradicting the notion that cholesterol is the boogey-man is going to be bad for business…

Unfortunately, statin drugs come with a host of undesirable side effects, such as:

  • Increased blood Sugar and Diabetes (study here)
  • Severe Muscle Damage and/or pain (see here)
  • CoQ10 Depletion, which can damage heart function (see here)
  • Neurophathy (weakness, tingling, pain in the hands/feet)

The point of this first section is to highlight two important things:

  1. Cholesterol is not in itself bad and has to be analyzed deeper. Traditional tests do NOT do this.
  2. Statins are handed out like candy to anyone with even moderate cholesterol levels. This is more due to profits and ignorance than actual benefit to a given individual.

Logic and Reason

When I say that cholesterol is not “bad,” what I mean is this:

First, your body would not produce something and place such a high priority on it, with such complex mechanisms, if it was not extremely important and beneficial.

Second, we need to look deeper into our cholesterol to understand which parts are actually harming us and which are beneficial or benign.

And last, it is our diet and lifestyle that cause our cholesterol to become problematic, and it is probably fixable for most people without prescription medication.

This is where an advanced lipid panel comes in.

Before we discuss diet to lower cholesterol, we need to get an accurate picture of what our cholesterol profile looks like.

Below is my original lipid panel done through Marek Health. It was not pretty, as I said.

cholesterol lipid panel

Advanced Lipid Panel.

To get an accurate picture of your lipids, you have to get an advanced panel.

The way most doctors are using the old method is unacceptable, as we know that we can easily get a much more accurate picture with additional measurements.

In my opinion, the old panel is used as it continues to allow the prescribing of the statin drugs. It’s part of the profit machine.

Most doctors are probably just taking the safe route and following the “standard of care,” in which case they are free from liability by prescribing statins for “high” cholesterol, as it is the accepted norm.

They should be discussing a diet to lower cholesterol, including lifestyle changes, before handing out medications.

The Real Cause of Heart Disease

heart disease picture

While we’ve allowed cholesterol to be deemed the boogeyman in relation to heart disease, there’s another monster lurking in the shadows.

That monster is insulin resistance.

It is estimated that over 10% of the US population is diabetic, and up to 2/3 are pre-diabetic.

This is NOT natural. It’s a symptom of a massive problem in our society.

The majority of people with diabetes will eventually develop cardiovascular disease.

This means that through a poor diet and lack of exercise, our bodies have become full of inflammation and resistant to insulin, one of the most important hormones in the body.

When you eat sugars (carbohydrates), Insulin clears that sugar from the blood and stores it away inside cells. When you’re resistant, you cannot properly deal with that sugar.

The result is constant inflammation and oxidative stress, among other things.

Heart disease is an inflammatory disease.

The real enemies are sugar, dangerously unhealthy oils, and unhealthy chemicals in our food that cause all of this inflammation and stress.

If this article was titled “how to raise your cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease,” the recommendation would literally be the Standard American Diet.

It’s All About Your Diet

Starting with what you put into your body, it all comes full circle.

It goes something like this:

We eat a diet full of unhealthy sugars and carbs, seed oils and chemicals..

This leads to insulin resistance and inflammation, along with oxidative stress.

This inflammation and oxidative stress damages the LDL particles transporting cholesterol around your body, shrinking them.

Those now small LDL particles (Small LDL-P on the test), will wreak havoc on your vascular system and arteries, leading to further inflammation and plaque accumulation.

Further, eating this way can also lower your HDL or “good” cholesterol.

The test actually measures the size of the small LDL particles, giving you a snapshot of how damaged those particles really are, and how dangerous they may be.

LDL on its own is not necessarily “bad.”

The larger LDL particles are healthy and may not cause problems.

It’s the damaged particles that are dangerous, and that’s critical to understand.

A test that doesn’t differentiate between the two is throwing darts in the dark and handing you potentially harmful medication in the process.

Diet to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

diet to lower cholesterol naturally

So now the reason you probably clicked on this post in the first place.

What foods can lower your cholesterol naturally?

Here’s a list, with links to studies that show they work.

Note some similarities in a lot of these;

They often work as antioxidants and/or have anti-inflammatory properties.

This is addressing the root of the problem, as we discussed earlier.

Citrus Bergamot

One of the best supplements to lower cholesterol naturally is Citrus Bergamot.

Bergamot is a citrus fruit native to southern Italy.

Studies have shown that supplementing with Citrus Bergamot can lower both total and LDL cholesterol.

It is thought to be the potency of phytochemicals (flavonoids) that provide this protective effect.

Below is a brand that worked really well for me and is rated very high:


Similar to citrus bergamot, several studies (like this one) have shown that Red Grapefruit (about 1 per day) can reduce triglycerides.

This is likely due to the antioxidants present, including naringenin, a powerful antioxidant.

(note, grapefruit can interact with some medications, so make sure to consult your doctor)

You can also get Naringenin as a supplement, if you don’t want to consume grapefruits every day.


Studies have consistently shown that Berberine can reduce LDL and Triglycerides by 20-50 mg/dl.

Berberine is made from the bark, roots and stems of certain plants, so it is natural.

Here is a link to a high quality Berberine Supplement.

Olive Oil

Studies have shown that olive oil can reduce total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, as well as increase HDL more than any other plant oil.

I believe the reason for this is the way it is made.

Other oils like canola and vegetable oil are heavily processed.

If you don’t believe me, check out this YouTube Video on how Canola oil is made (gross).

Cold Pressed, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by simply pressing the oil from the olives. That’s it.

It’s important to only buy good olive oil (cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil should be the ONLY ingredient.)

Here’s a good one off Amazon:


Garlic has been shown by several studies (like this one) to lower both total and LDL cholesterol by up to 10%.

While the mechanism is not fully understood, it is thought that compounds in garlic inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver.

Eating about 1-2 cloves/day should do the trick.

You can also blend garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to make an extremely heart-healthy dressing.

Of course, if you don’t like garlic, you can always take it in supplement form.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil is a rich source of Omega-3 Fatty acids (DHA and EPA).

Many studies have shown the effectiveness of Omega-3 at reducing inflammation and “bad” cholesterol..

Our typical diets are low in omega 3’s, so making this addition can have a profound effect on your lipids and inflammation levels.

This is the one I use (pure ingredients, no fillers, just cod liver oil and lemon).

Lower Your Sugar Intake Dramatically

If you’re eating the SAD diet (Standard American Diet), you are probably consuming a ton of carbohydrate and sugars.

As we already discussed, this is leading to insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.

Eating healthier fats and cutting out a lot of those carbohydrates will lower insulin levels and go a long way to fixing your cholesterol issue, and probably other issues as well.

Here is a fascinating study where people were put on a carbohydrate restricted diet for 12 weeks.

At the end of 12 weeks, their lipid panels were dramatically improved.

The Large LDL particles (good) increased in size and number, and the small (harmful) LDL particles decreased.

This has incredibly powerful implications for improving your risk for cardiovascular disease.


Avocados are naturally full of monounsaturated fats.

Eating about 1 avocado a day (along with avoiding processed foods and sugar) can help raise your HDL cholesterol.

Avocados are one solid way you can replace carbs/sugars with healthy fats and see progress.

Cardiovascular Fitness

This discussion would not be complete without at least mentioning this.

Studies show that increasing cardiovascular fitness has a positive effect on lipid profiles.

It also has been shown to reduce all-cause mortality (higher cardiovascular fitness means you’re less likely to die from just about everything.)

By combining increased cardiovascular fitness with an improved diet, you’ll have a very solid plan of attack.

Final Thoughts on how to lower cholesterol naturally.

The overarching theme of this article is pretty clear.

Profits often dictate a lot in our current world. Reliance on pharmaceutical products and the widespread consuming of garbage foods is a symptom of that fact.

The root of much of our cholesterol and heart problems lies in what we eat.

Insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress are wreaking havoc on our bodies.

But, we can take steps to combat the problem.

Through eating the right foods, taking the right supplements, avoiding processed foods, sugar and chemicals, you can see dramatic improvements in health, which are likely to be reflected on your lipid panels.

For some people who have genetic disorders and simply cannot control their cholesterol, statins may provide enormous benefit.

But for the majority of us, it’s lifestyle changes that are long overdue.

Hope you enjoyed this one, leave a comment and let me know!

Here’s another article you might find interesting: How to Get Lean Fast

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson

ISSA Tactical Conditioning Specialist, creator of Forged Female and Swole Town Training programs, author of SupaStrong.net. Former Army 11B Infantryman. Coach, Husband, Father, Brother, Son, Friend.

High Protein Snack Recipe – 5 Minute Protein Bites

High Protein Snack Recipe – 5 Minute Protein Bites

When it comes to building muscle, a high protein snack can help fill the gap in your daily protein needs.

These homemade protein bites take about 5 minutes to make, and are a healthy option made from whole foods (and a few chocolate chips 🙂

*If you like this article, check out my high-level training programs that have helped hundreds get a better physique.

Each Protein Bite contains:

  • 175 Calories
  • 16 grams of carbs
  • 8 grams of fat
  • 8 grams of protein

Check out the video below, or read on for the full list of ingredients and instructions.

High Protein Snack Ingredients:

Feel free to be creative with these.

The goal is to have a healthy, high protein snack, but we’ve experimented with different ingredients and have yet to be disappointed.

  • 1 1/2 Cups Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Scoop Whey Protein Powder (you can use a different kind if you like)
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Chocolate (or white chocolate) chips.
  • Splash of Milk (or almond milk)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Read: 6 Real Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science


high protein snack protein bites
  1. Mix all the ingredients together really good. It may take a minute or two.
  2. Add another splash of milk if you’re having trouble or if the mixture is too dry.
  3. Once mixed, use your hands to form the protein bites, rolling them into balls. Shoot to make 8-10.
  4. Put them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them up.
  5. Try adding Cinnamon, chopped up peanuts or almonds or anything else you think sounds good.

Benefits of a High Protein Snack

The benefits of having a high protein snack option are many.

It can be a struggle to get enough protein throughout the day.

Studies show that the optimal amount of protein for muscle building and recovery is somewhere around 0.7 grams per pound of body weight.

It’s a long-standing myth that you need 1 gram of protein per pound.

This means that if you weigh 185 pounds, you’ll need around 130 grams of protein each day.

The extra calories and protein you can get between meals with a calorie dense, high protein snack can fill the gap and make a big difference in building muscle and recovering from workouts.

Some additional benefits are:

  • You won’t eat other, less nutritious snacks
  • You’ll keep a steady flow of muscle building amino acids in the body
  • Helps curb your appetite for other sweets that are nothing but sugar


These high protein snack bites are a great option to help you get enough protein each day to build muscle and recover from your workouts.

They can help keep you away from other garbage snack foods and are simple and easy to make.

It usually takes us about 5-10 minutes.

I hope you liked this article. If you did, feel free to share!

Follow our blog for more articles like this one.

As always, I hope this article helps get you just a little bit closer to that best version of you!

*Note: This article contains affiliate links. Anything purchased comes at no additional cost to you

Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

ISSA Tactical Conditioning Specialist. Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Former Army 11B Infantryman. Husband, Father, Brother, Son, Friend, Coach.

Weight Loss:  15 Best Tips for Fast and Lasting Weight Loss

Weight Loss: 15 Best Tips for Fast and Lasting Weight Loss

Weight loss and exercising more account for well over half of all new year’s resolutions each year. Here’s a few statistics for you:

  • About 45 million Americans go on a weight loss diet every year.
  • Only 5-8% actually achieve lasting weight loss
  • Over 30% of Americans are obese. More than half of all Americans are either “overweight” or “obese.”

The 15 mistakes listed here aren’t the same ones you’ll find in every other copy and paste article. This is a much deeper look at the problems keeping you from achieving a goal that could really change your life.

Why do so few people achieve lasting weight loss?

There are many factors that result in a failed weight loss resolution. From the obvious diet and exercise issues, to deeper psychological factors, we’ll discuss the 15 biggest mistakes to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight this year.

Recommendation: Grab a pen and paper. If any of these resonate with you, write them down. Summarize what you get out of the article, and get motivated to crush whatever weight loss goals you have this year.

1. Have a “Why” Statement.

weight loss why statement

This could easily be the best tip for achieving any goal, and none more so than losing weight.

We’re all really good at knowing what we’re doing. We also can easily explain how we’re doing it. But can you really explain why you’re doing it?

When you have a goal of losing weight, your “what” would be trying to lose weight. Your “how” might be, exercise more and eat less. But your why is a much deeper question, and requires a deeper explanation. It is the source of your motivation for wanting to lose weight.

What is your Why?

Maybe you want to feel better and have more energy for life. Maybe you want to feel sexier and more confident. Whatever your deepest reasons are for wanting to lose weight, you need to define them and put them down on paper.

The why statement should resonate with you on a deep, emotional level.

Your “why” statement should be reviewed daily to keep you focused on the reasons you’re doing what you’re doing. In the darkest moments, when you’re feeling like you want to give up, it will come to your rescue and remind you of your vision for a better version of yourself.

To Do: Write down your why statement, and put it somewhere you’ll be able to see it every day. In your wallet, on your mirror or on the bedroom wall.

2. Take Massive Action Towards Weight Loss

Most of us dabble in all sorts of things, without ever achieving mastery of any of it. The reason? We never fully commit to it. We leave room for failure, or lose focus when something else has our attention.

Taking massive action means you are 100% sure that you’ll achieve your goal, because you’re willing to do whatever it takes until you reach it. It happens when you finally decide that you cannot go on living in your current circumstances.

Understanding your “why” can spark you to take massive action. Here’s a really motivational video where Tony Robbins explains how to take massive action.

3. Don’t Keep Calories Too Low

It’s a fact that you have to have a calorie deficit to lose weight. That means you’re expending more calories than you’re consuming every day.

Many people think that by this logic, they should eat as little as possible. This is a huge mistake, and can have some very negative consequences, such as:

  • Loss of muscle and strength
  • Increase in stress hormones, causing inflammation and signalling the body to store fat.
  • Slower metabolism. As the body tries to conserve energy due to limited nutrition intake, it will actually fight off weight loss. This is known as Adaptive Thermogenesis (AT).
  • Decreased energy and impaired immune system.

A 2015 Study showed that calorie intake below 1500/day should be avoided by active people. Numerous studies have shown the negative effects of consuming less than 1200 calories per day.

The bottom line is that our bodies adapt to everything that we do. The way the body adapts to an energy shortage is by slowing down, and trying to hold on to as many calories as possible.

To Do: It’s far more productive to focus more on what you’re eating. Base every meal around lean protein, and have whole, single-ingredient foods make up a big part of your diet. This alone can have a dramatic effect on your health and success in losing weight.

An anti-oxidant, appetite suppressing fat burner

4. Too Much Exercise is Not Beneficial

weight loss exercise

It’s another easy trap to fall into. The more exercise we do, the more calories we burn, right?

Not so fast…

One particular study placed overweight, sedentary women into four groups: No exercise, low exercise, moderate exercise and high exercise. They then predicted how much weight they should lose over a 6 month period based on how much activity they were doing.

The graph below shows the results. While it was predicted that the high exercise group should lose the most weight, this is not what actually happened. The moderate activity group lost the most weight.

weight loss study graph


It’s important to understand that in a given day, there is only so much energy to go around. Our body cannot infinitely supply energy. When exercise levels, activity and stress go beyond a certain point, the brain will take over and begin pulling energy away from other functions.

Recovery Debt

When this happens, we end up accumulating a recovery debt. When this becomes a chronic problem, our body’s homeostasis becomes completely disrupted. Hormones go out of control, our insulin sensitivity decreases, and the body is unable to properly recover from all the demands being placed on it.

Read: 10 Ways to Boost Recovery

To Do: Pay attention to your body. If you’re feeling run down, perform low intensity cardio, or even go for a long walk. Recovering from the daily stress we place on our body is essential for staying healthy and for long term weight loss.

5. Eat More Protein for Faster Weight Loss

eat for size and strength

Protein is probably the single most important component of a weight loss diet. Getting at least 30% of your daily calories from protein will:

  • Boost your metabolism
  • Reduce your apetite
  • Improve fat burning and weight-regulating hormone levels

Studies have shown that high protein diets result in improved body composition, greater weight loss, and greater reductions in fat-mass.

Here’s a list of some of the best protein sources for a weight loss diet:

  • Lean meats like chicken breast and white fish
  • Beans: Black beans, Lima beans, Garbanzo beans (also high in fiber!)
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Eggs or Egg whites

To Do: Base every meal around protein. Shoot for 25-30 grams of protein at each meal. You can also use a protein supplement. Whey protein, or if you prefer, there are vegan options such as pea protein that are high quality.

6. Alcohol Can Hurt Your Weight Loss Goals


I don’t want to be the one to ruin the party, but I have to tell you…

Weight loss can be completely derailed by having too many drinks. The main reasons why alcohol is counterproductive for weight loss are:

  • Alcohol contains empty calories. Zero nutritional value, but still provides energy that has to be burned off..
  • Alcohol will be used as energy first before fat. That means that when you drink, fat burning ceases until your body has burned the alcohol away.
  • Regular drinking reduces testosterone levels. Lower testosterone = less muscle. Less muscle = slower metabolism. Slower metabolism = … you get the idea.
  • Alcohol affects nutrient uptake in the digestive system.
  • Drinking makes you HUNGRY! You’ll eat more after having a few drinks. (You’ll think of me when you’re ordering Mexican food at 1:00am)

To Do: Having a few drinks once in a while isn’t likely to stop you from achieving your weight loss goals. Stay away from binge eating when you drink, and try to limit how often you consume alcohol.

7. Don’t Rely on Motivation and Willpower to Lose Weight

weight loss willpower and motivation

“Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.

Jocko Willink

We’ve all felt the spark of motivation. We get excited to start something, jump right into it, and soon find that our motivation has left us. Where did it go?

Motivation vs. Willpower

Motivation is our desire to do something. Willpower is our ability to get it done. The problem? Willpower is fleeting. One really interesting study terms this “Decision Fatigue.” Exercising our willpower over and over results in fatigue, until it is finally spent and we are no longer able to execute our motivations.

How to Overcome limited willpower

It’s only a matter of time before willpower will fail you. To overcome this obstacle, here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Develop routines: From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, our day is full of decisions. Limiting how many decisions you have to make can reduce decision fatigue and prolong willpower. Have your meals planned out. Have your workouts planned ahead of time (or use a program).
  2. Develop habits: Research has shown that over 40% of what we do every day is done on autopilot. If you eat donuts every morning, that will become a habit. Likewise, if you prepare your meals every other night, have a morning ritual of reviewing your “why” statement, and work out every day at 5:00am.. those things will also become habits that will no longer require decision-making energy.
  3. Increase your mental toughness: Discipline is certainly one form of mental toughness. So is controlling your emotions. If you want to learn how to improve your mental resilience, check out my article on 6 Habits for Serious Mental Toughness.

Motivation and Willpower alone will never be enough to achieve long term, lasting weight loss. You’ll need to establish routines, habits and will have to have a personal why statement to remind you of what you’re trying to accomplish.

8. Don’t Get Too comfortable with your workouts.


It’s one of the three fundamental aspects of any training program:


The other two are specificity and overload. Progression means that you must continue challenging your body in order for it to improve.

If you’re doing the same exact workout without ever making it more challenging, your body will stop improving. This is because:

  1. Over time, the body gets more and more efficient at doing whatever tasks we do all the time. More efficient means it takes less energy to do it.
  2. The body has adapted to the activity already and no longer needs to improve to accomplish the task.

To Do: Try adding some new exercises to your routine, walk or run a little faster, or start lifting weights if you aren’t already. You have to give your body a reason why it has to make changes.

9. Don’t Rely on Weight Loss Pills to Lose Pounds

weight loss pills

Americans spent around $2 Billion dollars last year on weight loss supplements. And that number is only going up. So, do they work?

The truth about diet and weight loss supplements

The truth is that you never really know exactly what you’re taking when you buy a supplement. Supplement companies can make all kinds of claims, and do not have to disclose exactly what’s inside the product.

The most popular fat loss supplements, like Hydroxycut, contain stimulants like caffeine that boost metabolism and speed up fat loss. While this may work, you can simply get the caffeine naturally through a cup or two of coffee, without the added mystery ingredients.


Studies show that caffeine can increase metabolism by up to 11% and boost fat burning by up to 29%. And that was on only 100mg of caffeine! The bottom line, it works, and chances are you’re already drinking a lot more than 100mg per day.

To Do: Basing your diet around protein and limiting sugary foods is a far better and more effective approach to losing weight than relying on diet pills. Use natural caffeine, which has proven health benefits, along with a solid diet strategy, to achieve lasting weight loss.

10. Lift Weights For a Toned Body

inspirational quote lifting

Neglecting resistance training is a huge mistake people make when they set out to lose weight. There’s an important fact you should understand about your metabolism:

Muscle is the engine driving your metabolism. More muscle = higher metabolism.

It takes energy to grow, maintain and repair muscle tissue. Resistance training can raise your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn at rest) and speed up fat loss. That means you’ll burn more calories, even when you’re at home watching netflix.

Studies show that a combination of cardio and resistance training gets the best results for weight and fat loss. If you’re not lifting, consider implementing some resistance training into your routine. You’ll get stronger, lose more fat, and look better.

11. Ignore fancy Marketing Labels When Making Food Choices.

It’s a hugely successful ploy by food companies. Slap a label like “low fat” or “all natural” on a product, and people will assume it’s healthy.

Unfortunately, the “no fat” healthy fruit drink has 60 grams of sugar in it. The “all natural ingredients” cupcake has 20 grams of unhealthy fat.

Read the nutrition label

nutrition label

Instead of being lured in by fancy marketing, turn the product around and read the label in the back. Look for how much sugar it has, how much fat it has and how much protein it has. Stay away from high sugar foods at all costs.

The best approach is to have whole, single-ingredient foods make up as large a percentage of your diet as possible. This way you know what you’re eating, you know it probably has a lot of nutritional value, the fats are much healthier, and it’s going to be a lot better for your weight loss goals than any processed food could possibly be.

12. Most People Overestimate How Many Calories They Burn

calorie burning

A 2015 study showed that people tend to overestimate how many calories they burn while exercising by 3-4 times what they actually expended.

To make things worse… the study found that when people were asked to compensate for how much energy they expended in their workout by eating, they ate 2-3 times more calories than they actually burned in the workout.

This is a common mistake people make when trying to lose weight. We exercise and mistakenly believe we burned 700-800 calories, when in reality we actually only burned around 200-300. We then allow ourselves to eat a big meal to compensate for the exercise we just did, believing the workout will negate the food.

To Do: Pay attention to how many calories you’re eating, and don’t overestimate how many calories you burn, because you probably burned less than you think. An hour of jogging will burn less than 400 calories. Don’t be discouraged by this. Add resistance training to your workouts, and mix up the type of cardio you’re doing. Along with healthy eating, long term results will be all but guaranteed!

13. Have a Vision

lack of vision

Along with having a “why” statement, having a clear vision of the end result is critical to achieving your weight loss goal.

Beginning with the end in mind is one of the 7 habits outlined in Stephen Covey’s bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.” It means beginning each day with a clear vision for what you want to accomplish.

Having a vision of exactly what you want to look like when your weight loss goal is achieved can keep you motivated to make the right choices throughout the day. Seeing that vision in our mind can give us clarity in making decisions every day that we know will lead us toward our ideal vision.

To Do: Take 5 minutes and visualize looking in the mirror at yourself, seeing what you look like and imagining how you feel with your goal achieved. Be as vivid as possible. Do this every day for 5 minutes.

14. Stay Away From High-Glycemic Carbs and Sugar Drinks

too much sugar

If there’s one thing that has contributed the most to our obesity problems, it has to be sugar.

High glycemic foods like white bread, donuts, soda and cake are cheap and taste amazing. Eating these foods causes a huge release of dopamine in the brain, which causes us to feel good and want more. This essentially becomes an addiction.

What happens when you eat high-sugar foods?

Eating high-glycemic foods causes a massive spike in insulin, which is an energy-storage hormone. This causes that huge dose of sugar to be converted into glucose and then into fat, which then gets shuttled into cells for storage.

Repeat this process over and over for years, and you can see how easy it is to gain weight over time. We have a sugar epidemic, and if your goal is weight loss, you NEED to leave the sugar fix behind.

Here are a few ways you can cut back on the sugar:

  1. Stop drinking sugar drinks like soda, gatorade and fruit juice.
  2. Eat low-glycemic fruit, like watermelon, to help curb the cravings.
  3. Drink more water, or zero calorie flavored water.

15. Sleep is Crucial For Burning Fat

weight loss sleep more

Studies have clearly shown a link between poor sleeping habits and obesity.

A 2010 study found that when a group of dieters were sleep deprived (5.5 hours/night), they lost significantly more muscle mass and less fat mass than when they slept for 8.5 hours per night. When sleep deprived, the subjects also expressed that they were much hungrier.

When we sleep, our body is active. Repairing tissues, regulating hormones and preparing us for the stress and activity of the upcoming day. When we don’t sleep enough, we incur a recovery debt and cause our body to be in a sympathetic stress-state. The result is a cascade of catabolic hormones, inflammation and poor insulin sensitivity.

Getting solid sleep is a huge part of being healthy, and is critical to any weight loss goal. Try to develop a bedtime routine, limit screen-time before bed, and make the room cool and dark.


The statistics certainly aren’t on your side, and I hope this article helped shed some light on why so many people fail to achieve their weight loss goals. Armed with some new knowledge and tools, you can dust yourself off and get after it.

Take massive action, write your “why” statement, have a vision. Drink some coffee, lift some weights, and crush some goals!

I hope this article was helpful, and as always… I hope it somehow helped you get a little closer to that best version of YOU!

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Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Currently a Federal Agent in San Diego, CA, and an Infantryman in the Army Reserve.